Rob Onyenwoke received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of GA (Athens, GA). From there, he was awarded the Marilyn Yarbrough Dissertation/Teaching Fellowship at Kenyon College (Gambier, OH). He was then awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of NC-Chapel Hill, where he investigated unique drug targets involved in calcium physiology and their involvement with cancer development.
Currently, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at NCCU. He also serves as the associate director and as a principal investigator (PI) within the Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE). He is the PI for NCCU's $6.2 million U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build Back Better Regional Challenge to expand workforce opportunities in biomanufacturing and biopharma across the state of NC.
His academic lab works on (1) questioning mechanisms of pulmonary/lung inflammatory responses after microbial challenge/infection, especially with regard to tobacco product use/vaping, and seeking to develop novel therapeutic interventions based upon unique biomarkers of pulmonary distress and (2) developing pharmaceutical strategies to target and manipulate ER-resident Ca2+ stores and AMPK function through drug discovery and the identification and characterization of downstream targets/effectors, which targets metabolic disease such as diabetes and cancer.