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Naomi Onsongo

Columbia University , Kenya, Class of (2008)


BA Biology, MSc. Bioethics

Current Occupation

Clinical Trials Program Manager at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM)


Fields of Study
Undergraduate: BA in Biology,with Chemistry Minor,Bachelor’s Degree,Oberlin College
Graduate: MS in Bioethics,Master’s Degree,Columbia University

Volunteer work
Mentor at Imentor,leadership committee volunteer at the Oberlin Club of Metropolitan NY,guest speakers for Oberlin College International Students Organization and Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation Youth Programs.

Naomi is a clinical trials professional, bioethicist and feminist. She currently holds a position mediating between the Infectious Diseases Unit and Joint Clinical Trials Office at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her interest in health care began in Oberlin after volunteering to work in a retirement home as a Creative Arts Therapy Assistant. Working with patients suffering from dementia inspired her to explore the broad field.Naomi’s occupational roles in the field began in social science and benchwork research, and then focused on clinical research. Working for WCM’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) as a regulatory associate sparked her interest in the ethical issues that arise from advances in medicine and biotechnology, leading her to a master’s degree in Bioethics.As an IRB regulatory associate, Naomi reviewed clinical trial proposals and participated in discussions of their ethicality. Naomi also has experience working for a center that specializes in assisted reproductive technologies,which gave her the opportunity to examine bioethical issues ranging from embryo disposition, egg and sperm donation,embryonic stem cell research and their intersection with the law. This focus on reproduction built on Naomi’s previous research of abortion in Kenya,and again highlighted the issues of autonomy and personhood.

Throughout her career in clinical trials, Naomi has had practical bioethical experience in areas such as autonomy via informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, utilitarianism, conflicts of interest and the rights of research participants. A firm believer in life-long learning,Naomi continuously seeks opportunities to grow professionally and also learns through service to the community by mentoring young women of color.

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