Congratulations to the incoming 2017 cohort of PFT fellows!


DeAnnah Byrd

Dr. DeAnnah Byrd received her Ph.D. from the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Her doctoral research focused on a longitudinal study of black-white disparities in cognitive aging.  She also has published in the areas of mental health of college students, infant mortality and discrimination and psychological distress.


Megan Hicks
Social Work

Dr. Megan Hicks earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Science from the University of Georgia. Her research broadly focuses on the social-ecological model in order to understand the factors that promote or exacerbate the well-being of vulnerable populations. She is primarily interested in community and contextual factors that influence sexual risk behaviors among minority adolescents, specifically looking at how high-quality relationships serve as protective processes. Dr. Hicks has secondary research interests in prevention/intervention programming and program evaluation. As a postdoctoral fellow, she plans to publish manuscripts from her dissertation exploring how risk and protective factors influence sexual risk behaviors among Black young men. She will also begin new collaborative projects examining violence prevention among adolescents."


Jennifer M. Gómez
Clinical Psychology

Dr. Jennifer M. Gómez, Ford Fellow, received her PhD from University of Oregon in the Department of Psychology. Her research interests lie in trauma psychology, specifically exploring how relational and sociocultural contexts affect trauma outcomes in diverse adolescents and emerging adults. Dr. Gómez developed cultural betrayal trauma theory (CBTT) to include interpersonal trauma in conjunction with oppression to examine mental health outcomes. As a postdoctoral fellow at Wayne State University, Dr. Gómez will focus her work on CBTT with Black adolescents and emerging adults, including developing and validating a measure of CBTT. Currently, Dr. Gómez is working on the publication of additional articles using CBTT and other theoretical frameworks to explore trauma and mental health in ethnically diverse emerging adults.


Amina S. Wofford
Microbiology and Cell Biology

Dr. Amina Wofford received her Ph.D. from Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama, in the Integrative Biosciences Program. Her research interests involve evaluating novel therapeutic strategies for viral infection, specifically Herpesviruses. As a post-doctoral fellow at Wayne State, Dr. Wofford will continue her research aimed at investigating and identifying novel strategies to combat viral infections and understanding the complex relationships that contribute to viral pathogenesis. As a Postdoctoral to Faculty Transition (PFT) Fellow, she aspires to ultimately transition to an independent researcher, a faculty position in which she can continue her research and contribute significantly to the growth and development of Wayne State students interested in science and/or research careers.


Joi-Sheree' Knighton
Counseling Psychology

Dr. Joi-Sheree' Knighton was born and raised in Detroit, MI and earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky. Her graduate research and training was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and focused on mental health, drug use, and HIV risk behaviors among criminal justice-involved populations. Dr. Knighton's research at Wayne State University will focus broadly on health-related outcomes and disparities among marginalized communities. She is particularly interested in using multilevel analyses to identify biopsychosocial correlates and predictors of nonmedical prescription opioid use and HIV risk behaviors among African Americans. Dr. Knighton is currently preparing submissions to peer-reviewed journals using chapters from her multiple-manuscript dissertation. She also plans to apply for extramural funding with hopes of becoming an independent scientist in substance use research.


Sidi Maiga

Dr. Sidi Maiga received his Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, D.C.  His research interests include collaborative and independent research in the field of computational condensed matter physics. His dissertation was entitled "Adsorption of Gases on Graphene and Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)" in which he investigated the capability of graphene and MOF-5 as materials for gas (Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Methane andCarbon Dioxide) adsorption, separation and storage.  At Howard, Dr. Maiga mentored undergraduate students in his research group and through summer research programs at the Center of Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) and the Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM).