FAU Broward Campuses - Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Saheed Oluwasina Oseni

Monday, Nov 01, 2021
Dr. Saheed Oluwasina Oseni

Integrative Biology | Class of 2021

Dr. Saheed Oluwasina Oseni recently graduated from the Integrative Biology doctoral program, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, with a focus in Oncology and Immunology. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, ranked as the number one cancer center in Florida and eleventh nationally. "I am conducting investigative research to understand the reason why some racial or ethnic populations develop aggressive forms of cancer and also respond differently to chemotherapy and immunotherapy," Oseni said. "Previous studies have shown that African Americans and people of African ancestry usually develop aggressive forms of cancer and are twice as likely to die from the disease compared to other races or ethnic groups. My goal is to decipher the molecular mechanisms behind this phenomenon and also develop novel immunotherapeutic strategies that could benefit these patients by understanding the immunological landscape of tumors in these patients."

While at FAU, Oseni’s dissertation focused on understanding the role of chronic inflammation in prostate carcinogenesis and applied cutting-edge bioinformatics and CRISPR gene-editing techniques, as well as mechanism-based small molecule drug screening and pharmacogenomics to achieve his research objectives. "When Oseni was here, outstanding does not adequately describe my impression of him. Everyone, including students and staff, speak well of him," said Dr. James Kumi Diaka, Oseni’s Ph.D Advisor. "He was an excellent role model to many of our students and instrumental in the training of many undergraduate and graduate students in my Oncopathology research lab."

Oseni is a four-time winner of the annual FAU Broward Research Symposium for his research on prostate cancer cells. He was also a Student Government leader and a highly praised peer-mentor through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI) as well as the FAU Mentoring Project. "I cannot overemphasize the benefits I have received through my participation in these events, such as funding for my research, collaborations with other scientists, opportunities to peer-mentor undergraduate students who learned about my research during these symposiums, were inspired by my stories," said Oseni, who received numerous awards during his graduate and doctoral student years at FAU. "I also learned how to become a better scientist and communicator through my interactions with other scientists and participants."

Dr. Saheed Oluwasina Oseni

Prior to starting at FAU in 2013, Osei received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M.) from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Agriculture, in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He practiced as a Veterinary Doctor/Clinician for two years before enrolling for his Master of Science (MS) degree at FAU in 2013. "I believe strongly in One Health, meaning we can transfer lessons learned from animal health to help humans and vice versa," Oseni said. As a veterinary doctor, I witnessed many animals with cancer similar to those observed in humans. Moreover, many of the anticancer therapies available today were first tested in animals before being approved for use in humans. My veterinary medicine skills made me a unique scientist in the oncology and immunology niche and have been one of my selling points."

Oseni said his goal is to become a well-known cancer scientist doing ground-breaking research in a research-based academic institution or as a lead scientist or project manager in a biopharmaceutical company. "I would love to have contributed to the development of affordable therapies that would help cure or prevent cancer in high-risk individuals." His advice for FAU students working towards a doctorate in biology? "The Ph.D. is not just about research. There are so many career-enhancing opportunities attached to it such as leadership, mentoring, and networking skills," Oseni said. "I took advantage of the opportunities offered to me at FAU and the United States of America through the various organizations and student government. Collaboration with other scientists is also a very great tool to embrace."

During his free time, Oseni likes to do volunteer work in his community and mentoring students. "I also enjoy church activities, playing chess, and hanging out with friends whenever possible."