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Tiffany Oliver
Spelman College

Tiffany Oliver holds the distinction of Carnegie and Rockefeller Distinguished Research Scholar and serves as an Associate Professor and Chair of the Biology Department at Spelman College. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Tennessee State University and her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Oliver is a leader in the field of genetics; she has applied her skills in computer programming and bioinformatics to the understanding of mechanisms underlying meiotic nondisjunction. Her research has been instrumental in identifying genetic variation in the gene PRDM9 that is associated with both the altered number and placement recombinant events on chromosome 21, linking variation in PRDM9 with the risk for meiotic chromosome nondisjunction and diseases like Down Syndrome. Dr. Oliver’s research has also been instrumental in the identification of genetic variants underlying antibiotic resistance and virulence. Her research and programs have been supported by the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation, and her current research aims to identify biological pathways used by near-infrared light that prevent cell death. Dr. Oliver merges her passion for scientific research with her dedication to increasing diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by creating and/or directing several undergraduate research programs, including Spelman’s Inaugural Virtual Data Science Summer Research Program, which garnered much attention in her recent TEDTalk entitled "Creating Diverse and Equitable Initiatives in Data Science."