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Meet CTSI 500 Star, Ayman Isahaku

Meet CTSI 500 Star, Ayman Isahaku

Ayman Isahaku participated in CTSI’s 500 Stars Initiative, a ten-year, comprehensive, multi-institutional, and community-focused, education and workforce diversity plan, with the overarching objective of replenishing, while increasing diversity in the translational science workforce. Ayman shared his experiences from participating in our 500 Stars Summer Internship program.

CTSI 500 Star Ayman Isahaku

My involvement in the CTSI 500 Stars program has provided me with an outstanding foundation for my scientific career. I have always been very passionate about science, however only after participating in this program and taking advantage of the state of the art resources and professional experience it offers did I truly begin to dive into the world of biomedical research.

Using the extensive research experience that I gained last summer, I started my own independent research project entitled “Metformin as a Novel Neurogenic Method of Methylmercury Neurotoxicity Symptom Mitigation in Danio rerio as a Model for Human Fetuses”. I drew upon recommendations from people that I had worked with at the Medical College during the 500 Stars program to gain access to a lab to conduct my research in. The project was long and intensive, however the connections that I made while participating in the internship never failed to help me out when I needed it.

My project won the regional science fair and qualified me for the state competition. At state, I won the top prize among many other awards. As a result, I will be competing at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) this May, along with attending prestigious research conferences in New York, Arizona, and North Carolina throughout the summer.

My project and the invaluable experience I gained last summer have also enabled me to receive a full-ride scholarship to continue my work in college at The Ohio State University next fall. I am immensely grateful for the 500 Stars program as it has undoubtedly changed my life forever. Not only did it inspire me to reach for my dreams and equip me with the tools to do so, but it also introduced me to a group of amazing lifelong friends, and colleagues. I wouldn’t trade my involvement in this program for the world as it truly has changed my life.


NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


Children's Hospital of WisconsinMarquette UniversityMSOEUWMVersitiVA Medical Center