Our Team


Dr. Fatimah Jackson, Director

Dr. Fatimah Jackson (fatimah.jackson@howard.edu) received her Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. (cum laude with Distinction in all Subjects) from Cornell University. Her doctoral dissertation research was on The Relationship of Certain Genetic Traits to the Incidence and Intensity of Malaria in Liberia, West Africa. She has conducted research on (and is particularly interested in): 1.) Human-plant coevolution, particularly the influence of phytochemicals on human metabolic effects and evolutionary processes and 2.) Population substructure in peoples of African descent, developing Ethnogenetic Layering as a computational tool to identify human microethnic groups and differential expressions of health disparities. Trained as a human biologist, Dr. Jackson has published extensively in such journals as Human Biology, Biochemical Medicine and Metabolic Biology, Journal of the National Medical Association, American Journal of Human Biology, Annals of Human Biology, BMC Biology, and most recently the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Jackson’s research has been funded by: USAID, Ford Foundation, Huber Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, NIH (NIMHD and NHGRI), Wenner-Gren Foundation, and EPA. Dr. Jackson has taught at Cornell University, University of California – Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Maryland – College Park (where she is Distinguished Scholar Teacher and Professor Emerita), University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and now at Howard University. She has been a Visiting Scholar at University of Georgia and University of Khartoum in Sudan and she was a Senior Fulbright Fellow in Egypt. She has been awarded the Nick Norgan Award for 2009 Best Article Published in Annals of Human Biology. In 2012 she was the first recipient of the Ernest E. Just Prize in Medical and Public Health Research, Avery Research Institute, College of Charleston and Medical University of South Carolina (University of South Carolina). In 2012, she was also Coined by Rear Admiral Dr. Helena Mishoe, National Institutes of Health, NHLBI and US Public Health Service.


Christopher Cross

Assistant Curator

Mr. Christopher Cross  (christopher.cross@bison.howard.edu) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anatomy  at Howard University studying Translational Genomics.  In 2014, Mr. Cross was named the Assistant Curator for the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory, where he aids the Director in conducting the business of the lab, research initiatives, and fundraising. In addition, PBS Newshour named him the STEM Superstar of 2015, and the same year he was elected to serve as the 2015-2016 Graduate Trustee of Howard University. He also worked in the 113th Congress as a Science Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee of Science, Space, and Technology. He is a recent inductee into Sigma Xi, and a lifetime member of the Bouchet Yale Graduate Honor Society, a member of the Howard University Graduate Student Council & Assembly, the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and recently named to the National Board of oSTEM, Inc. as the Vice President of Operations.
Mr. Cross received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. He completed his M.S. in Neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy at Howard University in May 2014. Since 2007, he has received training from the National University of Ireland Galway, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory Healthcare, Harvard University, NIH, and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Mr. Cross brings a well honed interdisciplinary skill set to the lab and, as a Howard graduate and former Trustee, he is very familiar with the university’s organization structure.  

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Whitney Griffith

Webmaster, Undergraduate Researcher

Ms. Whitney Griffith (whitney.griffith@bison.howard.edu) is currently a Junior, Computer Science major, concentration in Computational Biology at Howard University. She has done research on "The Correlation Between African-American Life Experiences and Type 2 Diabetes" based on the Cobb Collection. Also, she is currently working on "The Establishment of the Cobb Research Lab's Information System", a project geared towards optimizing the research done within the lab through bar coding technology, cloud solutions and graphic user interfaces. The Comprehensive Information System will be packaged in the form of a mobile application, available in the App Store and Google Playstore. She is a recent inductee in Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the only Computing and Information International Honor Society, where, she will be serving as the 2017-2018 Treasurer. She is passionate about combining medicine and technology. Aside from this, her other passion is soccer and the steel pan, the national musical instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.

Carter Clinton

Doctoral Student

Mr. Carter Clinton is a third-year doctoral student in the department of Biology and a graduate researcher in the W. Montague Cobb Research Lab. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in biology research from Benedict College looking at genetic engineering in medicine and the pharmacodynamics of traditional medicine on humans. Currently at Howard, Carter’s research focuses on the retrieval of human aDNA and bacterial DNA of the New York African Burial Ground to understand the genomic variation and evolutionary processes of these peoples. The outcome of this research will lead to the creation of a reference genomic database for this historic population to be available for data mining and expand the presence of African descended peoples in genome-wide association studies. Ultimately, Carter’s interests include tracing the evolutionary history of populations of African descent to better observe disease susceptibility.





Nicholas Guthrie

Graduate Researcher, Former Webmaster

Mr. Nicholas Guthrie  (nicholasguthrie@outlook.com) is currently a MS2 at Howard University College of Medicine, who received his B.S. in Biology from Howard University from Silver Spring, Maryland. His research work includes; studies in bacterial viruses with PHAGES at Howard University, novel drug delivery systems using Zeolites at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and most recently enzymatic studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. He was a Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Program Scholar and is listed as a co-Author on ‘Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity,’ published in eLife.  Nicholas served 2 years as a teaching assistant for the honors biology classes (PHAGES) and a research mentor for those undergraduate students. He also served as the webmaster on the staff of the CRL for the past 4 years, building and updating their site frequently. Furthermore, he is the producer of The Backbone, a scholarly journal published from the Cobb Lab twice each year. Outside of academia, he enjoys both theater production and the discus throw, previously a track and field coach for Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland and a technical director with Act Two @ Levine School of Music at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland.

Learn about the many others who work with the CRL at our Collaborators page!