Biotechnology PhD Training Program



The BTP is committed to identifying and recruiting promising candidates from under-represented minority and disadvantaged groups.  Our BTP minority graduates have excelled.


    Patrick Martin (’03 grad) won a UNCF/MERK postdoctoral fellowship (only one of ten awarded annually) and is now an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (Greensboro/Winston-Salem).  Antonio Ubiera (’04 grad) has risen through the ranks and is now Director of Process Technology at Glaxo Smith Kline.  Gary Davis (’06 grad) is a Technical Service and Application Technology Scientist at Evonik Industries.  Ernie Perez Almodovar  (’12 grad) is a Scientist at Amgen (Puerto Rico).  Kristina Little (’10 grad) is  now Manager of Biostastics and Clinical Management Data at Ilumina (San Diego).  Olugbemisola Oredein (’09 grad) is a MD resident at the Medical College of South Carolina (Charleston).

Current Students

    Current minority or disadvantaged students include: Joanna Adadevoh (mentor: Roseanne Ford), Anthony Awojoodu (moved with mentor Ed Botchwey to Georgia Tech), Glen Hirsh (mentor: Doug DeSimone) and Katherine Schiermeyer (mentor: Michael McConnell).  Joanna is organizer of the ’14 BTP Day of Caring event.  Anthony was organizer of the ’10 BTP New Students’ Dinner.  Glen was chair of the ‘12-’12 BTP Seminar Committee.  Katie is chair of the ’16 BTP Symposium Committee.

Outreach and Recruitment

    Over the years, BTP students have organized BTP Minority Day’s, first established by Patrick Martin in 2002 with students from Virginia Union University.  Gary Davis directed BTP Minority Day in 2005 with invited speakers David Patteson (Biotage, now at Advion) and Bob McKown (JMU), and over thirty visitors from Virginia Union University and Norfolk State University.  The third BTP Minority Day was organized by Michael Stadnisky with speakers Cheryl Apprey, David Chen (BTP externships; also directs translational efforts in UVa's School of Medicine and UVa's Coulter Project)  and Gordon Laurie (BTP Director).  Gordon Laurie serves on the Advisory Board of Hampton University’s new MARC U-STAR program, directed by Cecile Andraos-Selim that will fund summer research by 2 - 3 undergraduates in UVa School of Medicine labs.  Gordon is also past member of Norfolk State University’s NIH/CBSS Planning and Advisory Committee, and is an Advisor on Norfolk State University/s recent BUILD application to the NIH in which 21 BTP mentors have volunteered to host top NSU undergraduates for summer research with continued research interaction.  Both are prominent Virginian HBCU’s.  Over the years, the Director and BTP faculty have also  travelled to and interacted with students at HBCU Virginian Union University (the undergraduate home of BTP alumnus Patrick Martin).


Minority & Disadvantaged Outreach

BTP Minority Day 9.23.08 with visitors from NSU.  Mike Stadnisky, Gbemi Oredein and Ernie Perez Almodovar lead a panel discussion (top), visitors (bottom), talk below.