Abdul-Rakeem Yakubu

University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2023

Major: Biological Mathematics and Computational Biology

Minor: Urban Education

Abdul-Rakeem Yakubu is a double major in Mathematical-Biology and Mathematics with a minor in Urban Education at The University of Pennsylvania. Originally from rural North Carolina, Yakubu attended a public boarding school, The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, where he identified his passion for health care, biology, and mathematics. At his school, he was able to join a project at the UNC-CH Dental School that identified disparities in oral health care and researched oral cancers caused by HPV-16. This made him realize a career in dentistry could help him put all three of his passions together by researching and solving health disparities with math and biology. He hopes to attend dental school and pursue a DMD-PhD program with a biology focus.

Yakubu is working on two SUMR projects: one with Dr. Fran Barg and the other with Dr. Blanca Himes. Dr. Fran Barg is a co-director of the Mixed Methods Research Lab in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Dr. Blanca Himes leads the Himes Lab, a computational group whose overarching goal is to use biomedical informatics approaches to better understand complex respiratory diseases. Yakubu is helping with qualitative and quantitative analysis in both projects, along with helping Dr. Himes develop a curriculum to teach biostatistics to k12 students. 

When he’s not researching or in school, Yakubu enjoys dancing on his Bollywood fusion team, Penn Masti, swimming laps in the pool, or watching his favorite movies. 

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