UB Alumnus, Tonawanda Seneca Inspires Young Scientists

Published June 28, 2013

Biologist and national science diversity advocate Clifton A. Poodry, PhD, shared his inspirational success stories through two University at Buffalo forums on June 24.

“Hearing from such a role model could empower these students to reach for the unimaginable in science and beyond. ”
Margarita Dubocovich, PhD
CLIMB UP founder and chair of pharmacology and toxicology

He delivered the Third Annual CLIMB UP Lecture, “Anything’s Possible.”

Poodry also gave the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ inaugural Celebration of Inclusiveness in Medicine and Science lecture, “Strategies to Increase Workforce Diversity and Inclusiveness.”

Science Education Expert is UB Alumnus

A native of the Tonawanda Seneca Indian Reservation, Poodry holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological sciences, as well as an honorary doctorate of science, from UB. His PhD in biology is from Case Western Reserve University.

For 22 years, as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Poodry specialized in conducting research in cell biology and developmental genetics.

He has authored more than 40 scientific papers and book chapters.

Now a National Institutes of Health (NIH) administrator, Poodry is considered an expert in science education as well as issues pertaining to American Indian participation in genetic research.

Advice for Aspiring Scientists

Poodry advised young aspiring scientists about how to navigate their own career paths. His audience included participants in UB’s Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences Undergraduate Program (CLIMB UP).

“Hearing from such a role model could empower these students to reach for the unimaginable in science and beyond,” says Margarita Dubocovich, PhD, founder of CLIMB UP and chair of pharmacology and toxicology.

Diversity Advocate Heads NIH Division

The medical school’s Office of Inclusion and Cultural Enhancement, led by Dubocovich, sponsored the workforce diversity lecture.

Poodry leads a division of the National Institute of General Medical Science devoted to training, workforce development and diversity.

The same institute funds UB’s Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, which Dubocovich directs.

Recognized for Advancing Minority Scientists

Poodry has been honored for his work encouraging minority scientists.

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science granted Poodry its Ely S. Parker award for lifelong accomplishments in science as well as contributions to the American Indian community.

He was elected twice to the society’s board of directors.