STEM : Texas Biomedical Research Akudo Anyanwu


Akudo Anyanwu



STEM : Texas Biomedical Research Akudo Anyanwu


Akudo Anyanwu, MD, MPH

Vice President, Development

Texas Biomedical Research Institute



Dr. Akudo Anyanwu has long had a passion for global health. Born in Philadelphia to Nigerian parents, she was introduced early to global perspectives and helping others by her father, a professor of international relations. When she was 11, she helped raise funds for and deliver donations to a leprosy camp in Nigeria.

“I love science, and I am a caregiver and problem solver, so medicine was always a natural fit for me,” said Dr. Anyanwu, who studied molecular biology at Lehigh University and medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

“But it was the era of the HIV epidemic, and I realized I wanted to impact the population level compared to the individual level,” she says. Following her medical training, Dr. Anyanwu earned a Master in Public Health from Harvard University, which helped open the door to working on the international stage. She worked on public health policy for HIV and malaria and developed programs to take treatment and prevention to scale in Rwanda and Nigeria.

She was particularly drawn to the power of nonprofits and social entrepreneurship to make a difference. Notably, as Country Director for Columbia University’s Access Program, she helped establish a mechanism for countries to receive millions of dollars from The Global Fund for public health programs.

“It’s exciting to grow something and see the impact you can have on people’s lives,” Dr. Anyanwu says. 

She has continued to combine her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for global health in leadership roles at Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, and Texas Biomed. As Vice President of Development, she helps raise critical funds to grow Texas Biomed’s innovative infectious disease research, global health portfolio, and education programs to train the next generation of scientists.

Dr. Anyanwu wants all young women and girls to feel empowered to follow their dreams. “Reach for the stars,” she says. “Especially in science, your perspectives are unique and needed.”

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