She received a BS in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology, from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County in 2008, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and NIH undergraduate scholar. She obtained her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lisa P. Jackson
Lisa Perez Jackson is a chemical engineer who served as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2009 to 2013. She was the first African American to hold that position. During her term, she focused on improving air and water quality, eliminating greenhouse gases, and expanding outreach to communities on environmental issues. Her passion, for environmental protection in helping vulnerable groups like children, the elderly, and residents of low-income areas who face threats and health issues caused by environmental risks. As head of the EPA, Jackson also championed the rights of stakeholders in decision-making processes for their communities. She is currently the Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives at Apple. Her responsibilities include minimizing Apple’s impact on the environment by addressing climate change through renewable energy and energy efficiency, using greener materials, and inventing new ways to conserve resources. She also leads Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative focused on education, economic opportunity, and criminal justice reform – and is responsible for Apple’s education policy programs its product accessibility work, and its worldwide government affair function. She was named as one of Newsweek’s “Most Important People in 2010” and featured on Time magazine’s 2010 and 2011 lists of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Dr. Philip Gardiner, PhD and Carol McGruder
Dr. Gardiner is a public health activist, administrator, evaluator, and researcher. Throughout his research career, Dr. Gardiner has maintained his community activism to address racial disparities in health, through writing, organizing, evaluating, and public speaking. For the past 20 years, Dr. Gardiner has lectured around the country on African American health disparities generally and menthol smoking in the Black community, particularly. Dr. Gardiner has been instrumental in shaping many local e-cigarette regulatory policies around the country. In 2013, he worked with the Chicago Department of Health to help pass a local ordinance to restrict the seeing of menthol and other flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of city schools. This was the first ordinance of this kind in the country.
Ms. McGruder is a highly respected trainer, presenter, community advocate, program designer, researcher and writer experienced in the fields of tobacco control, transnational tobacco issues, public policy, social marketing, media advocacy, parent training, health education, and community capacity building. She is a seasoned veteran of California’s tobacco control experience and has served as an advisor in many capacities. In 2017, Ms. McGruder was honored for her community activism by the San Francisco National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 2010, she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Engagement Award for her tobacco control work in San Francisco. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Award for community activism in tobacco control, and in 2007 she was the American Legacy Foundation honoree for “Community Activist of the Year.”
Dr. Ozuru Ukoha, MD, MSc, FACS
Dr. Ozuru is a cardiothoracic surgeon who serves as a National Spokesperson and subject matter expert for the American Lung Association with expertise in the areas of thoracic and cardiac surgery. He was born and raised in Nigeria, immigrating to the U.S. after high school. He obtained a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Missouri-Kanas City and his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia Medical School. He trained in general surgery in New York and Connecticut and completed a Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at Yale University. He also earned a master’s degree in Clinical Research at Rush University.
City of Hope
City of Hope's mission is to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today. Founded in 1913, City of Hope has grown into one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and one of the leading research centers for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. As an independent, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope brings a uniquely integrated model to patients, spanning cancer care, research and development, academics and training, and innovation initiatives.
Page last updated: January 31, 2023