Lameese Akacem is a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow and currently serves as a health scientist in the Education Branch of NCATS’ Office of Policy, Communications and Education. In this capacity, she works on training and professional development activities for intramural trainees in the Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI).
Prior to joining NCATS, Akacem was a biology instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder), where she taught general biology and human anatomy at the Student Academic Success Center — a multicultural learning community that serves underrepresented, first-generation and low-income students by providing equal opportunity for academic, personal and career success. Additionally, she served as an academic coordinator for the McNeill Academic Program, supporting a caseload of students as they pursued their undergraduate degrees at CU Boulder. During her time in these positions, she developed curricula and programming to increase research participation among students in undergraduate research. Akacem is passionate about addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in both higher education and the biomedical research workforce.
Akacem received her doctorate in integrative physiology from CU Boulder. Her dissertation work focused on understanding the effects of light exposure in the evening on the circadian physiology of preschool-age children, and the work received recognition from the Colorado Senate for societal impact. Akacem later completed postdoctoral fellowships at Rush University Medical Center and CU Boulder.
Akacem is interested in diversifying the translational science workforce through expanded recruitment efforts and in fostering an inclusive and supportive training program to ensure retention and success for all trainees in DPI.