Charles Rotimi, Ph.D.
Charles Rotimi is a biochemist and a genetic epidemiologist in the National
Human Genome Center, Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine,
Howard University. He received his undergraduate education from the University
of Benin in Nigeria before immigrating to the United States for further
studies. Dr. Rotimi started his education in the US at the University
of Mississippi where he obtained a masters degree in Health Care Administration.
He obtained a second masters degree and a doctorate in epidemiology from
the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. He is
currently Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Director
of Genetic Epidemiology, National Human Genome Center at Howard University
in the College of Medicine. His long-term scientific interest is directed
at understanding the patterns and determinants of common complex diseases
including diabetes, hypertension and obesity in populations of the African
Diaspora. Collectively, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and their complications
explain over 80% of the well-documented health disparity that exists between
African Americans and their White counterparts in the US. Contemporary
populations of African descent now live in very different social settings,
from traditional to fully westernized lifestyles, with varying degrees
of genetic admixture. Dr. Rotimi believes that studying these diverse
populations may help explain phenomenon like the monotonic increase in
hypertension rates as one moves from rural west Africa (about 7%) through
the black nations of the Caribbean (about 26%) and the US (about 34%).
Taking advantage of the huge contrast in the distribution of risk factors
in these contemporary African populations, Dr. Rotimi uses genetic epidemiology
models to test whether high rate of diseases like diabetes, hypertension
and obesity among African Americans is the result of exposure to higher
levels of environmental risk factors, an increased genetic susceptibility,
or an interaction between adverse environments and deleterious genes.
Back to 2003 Videoconference Homepage
Health Project| Department of Maternal and Child Health