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WASHINGTON (May 5th, 2017) – The Cobb Research Laboratory will host the 85th Anniversary of the lab’s inception dating back to 1932 with its founding by Dr. William Montague Cobb. In brief, Dr. Cobb was a re-naissance man. After attaining his MD from Howard University, he went on to become the first African Amer-ican to attain a PhD in biological anthropology, was elected president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, and wrote hundreds of articles and letters of influence. Dr. Cobb used his expertise to estab-lish the Cobb Collection through Howard University’s Department of Anatomy under Dean Numa Adams and then first African American President of Howard University, Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson

A key event to note during the mid-20th Century was the unethical collection and use of Ms. Henrietta Lack’s cells. Unlike this misappropriated use of her body, Dr. Cobb set an example of community sanctioned dona-tions of African American remains primarily from the DMV, for the betterment of science.

Currently, the Cobb Research Lab is thriving under the leadership of Dr. Fatimah L.C. Jackson as its Director and Chief Curator. She has stimulated diverse research and training on the two skeletal and dental collections of the Cobb Research Lab, the New York African Burial Ground and the Cobb Collection. Under her leader-ship, she has brought funding from the National Park Service and National Geographic Society into the lab and secured a new residence for the Cobb Research Laboratory DNA Lab in Howard University’s multimillion dollar state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Research Building.

On the evening of May 6th 2017, from 6:30-9pm, we invite you to commemorate the momentous occasion of our 85th Anniversary at the Louis Stokes Health Science Library. During this time, we will highlight the jour-ney of the lab’s development from its inception to its contemporary activities. In addition, we will emphasize the research that’s being done now and provide our guests an overview of future directions for the lab.

Attendance at the celebration is free and open to the public with online registration. Dress is business casual, black and white. The Cobb Research Laboratory is the humble beneficiary of Dr. Cobb’s groundbreaking work and vision. Over the past three years, we have expanded upon his legacy and hope to continue to do so in the future. Consistent with Dr. Jackson’s directorship, we have trained and provided research experiences for over 200 individuals including undergraduates, graduates, professional students, faculty and staff, and general com-munity members, including K-12 and Senior citizens. Researchers have come from across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East to study at the Cobb Research Laboratory. Along with our international newsletter (Cobb Research Lab News) and our online scientific journal (The Backbone), we are making positive impacts on our university and on the research community as a whole.

We implore all attendees to channel their interests in the Cobb Research Laboratory into investment in our fu-ture. It is our ultimate vision to transform the laboratory into a well-funded and sustainable resource to permit top tier science using the best technology to conduct historical research on the ancestors of African-descended peoples. For registration and more information please visit:

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