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NCCU to Welcome Leading Human Geneticist Rick Kittles

Dr. Rick Kittles

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) will welcome Dr. Rick Kittles, a leading human geneticist who is noted for his research of prostate cancer and health disparities among African-Americans, on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, for the spring installment of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Speaker Series. The lecture is free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the H.M. Michaux Jr. School of Education Building (700 Cecil Street), on the campus of NCCU in Durham.

Kittles’ research has focused on understanding the complex issues surrounding race, genetic ancestry, and health disparities. He is professor and founding director of the Division of Health Equities within the Department of Population Sciences at the City of Hope (COH) National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., and the associate director of Health Equities of COH Comprehensive Cancer Center. Over the last 20 years, he has been at the forefront in identifying ancestry-informative genetic markers and in determining how genetic ancestry can be quantified and utilized in studies on disease risk and outcomes. Kittles’ work has shown the impact of genetic variation across populations in pharmacogenomics, biomarker discovery and disease gene-mapping. Although a major focus of Kittles’ work has been on measuring and utilizing West African admixture in studies of genetic disease among African-Americans, presently he is expanding his research focus further to include Latino and Native American populations, further enhancing the experimental design of his research studies.

In March 2012, Kittles presented the Keynote Address to the United Nations General Assembly on the topic: “International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” Recently, Kittles was named by The Huffington Post as one of “50 Iconic Black Trailblazers Who Represent Every State in America.”

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Speaker Series at NCCU brings distinguished experts to campus each fall and spring semester for lectures, workshops and seminars. The goal of the speaker series is to engage students, faculty and staff in conversations surrounding health care, technology, business, law and other topics. Previous speakers include renowned infectious diseases expert Dr. Nahid Bhadelia; Brian Reaves, formerly senior vice president for multinational software company SAP SE, now Dell’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer; Bobby Jefferson of the Center for Development Informatics; Dr. Keith Martin, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health; IBM Distinguished Engineer, John Medicke; Dr. Robert Newman, president of the National Humanities Center; and Dr. Robert Bullard, distinguished professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.9 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.comAll other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About North Carolina Central University:

North Carolina Central University prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Consistently ranked as a top Historically Black College or University, NCCU offers flagship programs in the sciences, education, law, business, nursing and the arts. Founded in 1910, NCCU remains committed to diversity in and access to higher education. Our alumni excel in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Visit www.nccu.edu.


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