Higher education for community service is the central pillar of Jamaji Nwanaji-Enwerem’s immigration story.
Born in Nigeria, Jamaji immigrated to North Carolina with his parents when he was an infant. From watching his parents navigate a new country while pursuing their education, raising a family, and giving back, Jamaji learned the weight of the Igbo proverb “nwayo nwayo ka e ji eri ofe di oku” (moving steadily/purposefully is how to overcome a difficult task).
Jamaji’s interactions with people suffering from preventable illness in Nigerian and American communities coupled with early research experiences in industry, academia, and the clinic fueled his passion to become a physician scientist. After graduating as valedictorian with a BS in biology at Morehouse College, Jamaji enrolled at Harvard University to pursue an MD/PhD.
His continued commitment to servant leadership is manifest through his volunteering, teaching, and ongoing research aimed at better understanding how environmental pollutants impact vulnerable human populations like the elderly. From his dissertation work alone, Jamaji has authored five peer-reviewed first-author publications, earned a grant from the National Institute on Aging, and received research awards from reputable bodies like the International Society of Exposure Science.
As a future leader in medicine and environmental health, Jamaji aspires to make lasting contributions so that fewer people have to experience personal illness to appreciate the connection between the environment and their health.