Dr. Rachel Issaka is a Gastroenterologist and Assistant Professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington with expertise in colorectal cancer prevention, quality improvement, and health equity. Dr. Issaka’s research focuses on decreasing colorectal cancer mortality through increased screening in medically underserved populations. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Dr. Issaka has contributed to national medical practice guidelines for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT).

Dr. Issaka completed her gastroenterology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco where she also earned a master’s in clinical research. She completed her internal medicine residency at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she served as chief resident and obtained her medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School.


Dr. Akinyemi Oni-Orisan is a pharmacist-scientist and Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco with expertise in applied pharmacology, clinical lipidology, and pharmacogenomics. Dr. Oni-Orisan’s long-term research goal is to advance precision medicine in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy for individuals from diverse backgrounds. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Dr. Oni-Orisan teaches pharmacy students in the Discovery Projects research program including spearheading the inaugural Health Disparities Discovery Group and serving as a primary mentor for students in the Pharmacogenomics Discovery Group.

Dr. Oni-Orisan completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Clinical Pharmacology Training Program at UCSF. He received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of North Carolina. He earned both his BS in biology and PharmD degrees at the University of Michigan.


Dr Tagrid Ruiz-Maldonado is a third-year Child Abuse Pediatrics fellow at the University of Utah. She completed her BSc, MD & General Pediatrics residency at the University of Puerto. Rico Upon completion of her fellowship training, she will become the first formally-trained Child Abuse Pediatrician from Puerto Rico.

In her Rising Stars talk, Dr Ruiz-Maldonado will discuss ongoing collaborations with multiple departments, including the Divisions of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Furthermore, drawing from her experience as a Boricua in Utah, she will address her goals to continue fostering intercultural literary and promoting diversity within medicine and academia.


Dr. Roman Johnson is a postdoctoral fellow in the Cancer Prevention Program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His scholarly interests lie at the intersection of early detection and screening of cancer in racial/ethnic minorities, neighborhood quality, and co-morbidity. His work can be found in Cancer, The Journal of Cancer Education, and elsewhere. He strives to become a tenure-track assistant professor at a top-tier R01 university focusing most of his effort on research.


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