Macarius Donneyong selected for NIH AIM-AHEAD Fellowship Program in Leadership

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October 10, 2022

Dr. Donneyong
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Macarius Donneyong, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of outcomes and translational sciences at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, was selected as a Fellow for the inaugural National Institutes of Health (NIH) Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) Fellowship Program in Leadership.

The AIM-AHEAD Fellowship Program in Leadership’s goal is to engage a diverse group of participants from under-represented populations to actively participate in mentored activities to convey the leadership competencies necessary to promote and achieve its strategic goals.

According to its website, “AI/ML lacks diverse researchers and underrepresented communities of practice. The acquisition of AI/ML skills by individuals from these diverse backgrounds, that go beyond academic settings and into the community, promises to improve the science and increase the availability of relevant data. Yet technical competence alone does not guarantee the continued expansion and adoption of AI/ML among the populations of interest. It requires talented people of color and disadvantage from diverse settings sufficiently conversant in AI/ML to translate its promise for advancing health equity and who, in turn, can attract others to join in this common agenda.”

Additionally, AIM-AHEAD’s website mentions that fostering diversity of both data and researchers in the AI/ML field lowers the risk of creating and perpetuating harmful biases in its practices, algorithms and outcomes, which fosters continued health disparities and inequities.

Dr. Donneyong and other Fellows will receive mentorship on how to champion the use of AI/ML tools in a just and equitable manner. Leadership Fellows will be matched with mentors based on AI/ML expertise, leadership experience and sector. The Fellows will work with their mentors over a nine-month period to gain vital leadership skills in the application of AI/ML in diverse domains.

In addition to mentorship, Dr. Donneyong will have access to a variety of resources and opportunities to learn more about AI/ML and conduct research. Read more about the resources and the AIM-AHEAD program here.

“I currently apply AI/ML techniques in my research to generate real-world evidence on prescribed medication use and outcomes, especially among racial/ethnic minorities and older adults,” Dr. Donneyong said. “Thus, this leadership training is a natural fit and I am humbled by the opportunity to be trained as a leader to guide the application of AI/ML techniques as tools to address intractable health inequities especially as they pertain to prescribed medication use and outcomes.”