P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Chidiebere Akusobi, 2016

PhD/MD, Harvard University

Chidiebere Akusobi is an immigrant from Nigeria

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD/MD in Infectious Disease and Infectious Disease at Harvard University

Chidi Akusobi was born in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States at the tender age of 2. His parents left Nigeria to build a better life for their families and together, they settled in the Bronx, NY, where they both worked multiple jobs while attending nursing school. As a child, Chidi dreamt of becoming a physician despite attending under-resourced inner-city public schools. He attributes the start of his academic journey to the Prep for Prep program, which prepared him to attend Horace Mann, a private school in The Bronx.

After graduating from Horace Mann, Chidi attended Yale University where he majored in Biology and graduated magna cum laude. While at Yale, Chidi developed a passion for infectious disease research and his senior thesis won the William R. Belknap prize for excellence in Biological Studies. After graduation, Chidi was awarded a Gates-Cambridge scholarship to pursue an MPhil in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.

In June, 2014 Chidi matriculated into the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School. For his PhD, Chidi worked with Dr. Eric Rubin studying essential genes in the pathogenic bacterium Mycobacterium abscessus. Chidi successfully defended his thesis in June, 2020 and graduated from the MD-PhD program in May, 2022. Chidi is now an Internal Medicine resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Outside of the hospital and lab, Chidi has been involved in several initiatives to increase the pipeline of underrepresented minority students in science and medicine. He has also been involved in COVID-19 vaccine education and outreach to minority communities. He has been featured on several panels, television programs, and podcasts including the New England Journal of Medicine podcast discussing the COVID-19 vaccines. As a future physician-scientist, Chidi hopes to combine clinical practice, teaching, and conducting pioneering research that advances the treatment of infectious diseases.

  • PhD Infectious Disease | Harvard University 2022
  • MD Infectious Disease | Harvard University 2022
  • MPhil | University of Cambridge 2013
  • BS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Yale University 2012
  • William R. Belknap Award for Excellence in Biology
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Work History
  • Working Group on New TB Drugs, Fellow | January 2014 - October 2014
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