Chiatogu Onyewu came to UMBC in 1995 from Sherwood High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. She was a Meyerhoff Scholar and MARC U*STAR Trainee, majoring in Biology. Throughout her time at UMBC, Chiatogu engaged in various research experiences. Most notably, she completed a summer research internship in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Tom Cech in 1997 and she received a Howard Hughes Fellowship to Brandeis University in the spring semester of 1998. Chiatogu graduated cum laude in 1999. She was accepted into the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. After completing two years of medical school, she joined the Pharmacology Department working under Dr. Joseph Heitman. Her research focused on antifungal drug targeting in Candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast that causes systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals such as transplant, chemotherapy, and AIDS patients. In March 2006, Chiatogu defended her doctoral dissertation and went on to complete her final year of medical school. In May 2007, she was awarded her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Onyewu is the third African-American female to graduate from DukeÔø‡Ôø‡Ôø‡s MSTP program since it began in 1966.
As a graduate student, Chiatogu received several distinctions including an Ôø‡Ôø‡Ôø‡Acres of DiamondsÔø‡Ôø‡Ôø‡ award at the 2003 Minority Training Research Forum, a UNCF/Merck Graduate Dissertation Fellowship in 2004, and an NIH Minority Supplement Award in 2005. She presented her work at several national conferences, and has been a guest speaker for various high school, radio, and university events, including the 2004 UMBC MARC U*STAR summer seminar series. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at ChildrenÔø‡Ôø‡Ôø‡s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. Her work focuses on translational science, as she is charged with developing clinically relevant research studies and interventions to address metabolic syndrome and obesity among pediatric minority populations.