RESEARCHER · JOURNALIST & WRITER · ENTREPRENEUR · YOUTH IN STEM ADVOCATE · SUSTAINABILITY ACTIVIST · GLOBAL SPEAKER
Hi, I'm Okezue 👋🏾.
I am a lifelong student and innovator interested in using technology to create sociological and humanitarian impacts, from ensuring the welfare of underserved populations and minority groups to designing and distributing sustainable goods to slow global warming. I do so through three main channels: advocacy, building, and advisory, combining my skills as a researcher, writer, and speaker, and perspective as a young person of color to collaborate with companies to build a better and equitable future.
My current research revolves around the use of computational tools for applications in neurology and oncology. I'm also an avid writer and programmer, and have auxiliary interests in sustainability, social justice, and policy. I continue to innovate in a variety of areas, and allow the problems I am interested in to drive the solutions I build and the technology I work with. I frequently deliver talks on these topics around the world to over 300,000 people.
I have impacted over 50,000 students with my STEM outreach efforts to youth globally. In college, I hope to pursue a major combining STEM and policy, and minor in business.
Book Okezue for Speaking or Workshops
I designed and developed a prosthetic arm for transradial amputees capable of achieving performance that can restore ~72% of human arm and hand function while using minimal materials and cheap hardware. With help from Johnson & Johnson and Harvard, I am working on a pre-seed at $150,000 to further implementation.
I created a venture to finance the unbanked by providing bank accounts based on the blockchain and funded via a DAO. I am rolling out the solution in Allentown, Chicago, and New York, and hope to develop the application into a physical device as well. The application is supported by J.P. Morgan and led by a team of 5 youth.
At the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group, I worked on "Machinoia: Machine of Multiple Me" and "AI Generated Characters", designing a human-mimicking conversational GPT-3-based chat system and StyleGAN-based human avatar editing to build a platform that could create realistic job sentiment simulations.
My concern and activism for the climate led me to begin consulting in the sustainable tech scene, advising on and working with both the consumer and scientific aspects of sustainable product design in cellular agriculture. I have worked and communicated with government, alongside Leo DiCaprio, and with companies like Perfect Day.
Writer, Personal Blog, Magazines, and Publications | September 2020 - ∞
Written 80+ blogs on a variety of platforms from my personal blog on Medium to a Nigeria magazine in called Sundiata to Cell Agri! I also write poetry, short stories, academic and personal essays, and do digests on STEM, life analysis, and philosophy, which gets over 20,000 monthly views and the magazine I write for getting 1M+ views. I also do freelance journalism and documentation for a variety of outlets. Read, read, read↩
Founder and Director, Fidutam | January 2020 - Present
Developing a technological infrastructure product with Consensys, IBM Blockchain, Visa, and North American banks to bank the unbanked: immigrants, underserved populations, and marginalized communities. We are currently raising money for our DAO and working with advisors to scale our product and develop a physical prototype for use by underdeveloped areas. Check it out↩
Deputy Director of Research, Encode Justice | March 2022 - Present
Leading a team of 25+ research fellows on developing deepfake detection models and reducing algorithmic bias in image-based neural network models. Building a video series on advanced machine learning and differential equations topics including function convolution, 3D-CNN architectures, and image features. Work partially funded by a ~$35,000 grant from the Omidyar Network. Secured partnership with brilliant.org to enable less experienced fellows to progress through a structured and interactive AI curriculum.
Genetics Research Student, SickKids Hospital | May 2021 - August 2021
Researched/reviewed several experiments: improved CRISPR genome editing using small highly active and specific engineered RNA-guided nucleases, developing efficient C•G-to-G•C base editors using CRISPRi screens, target-library analysis, and machine learning, and saturation variant interpretation using CRISPR prime editing. I conducted dry lab (building genetic circuits and experimental design) in the Cohn Lab.
Cell Biology Intern, New Harvest and Tufts Allen Discovery Center | June 2019 - August 2019
Researched myosatellite cell isolations from immortalized cell line of the Drosophila melanogaster for in-vitro culture of biologically-identical muscle tissue for consumption and medical applications. Also constructed a population study (n = 200) looking at the scaling of insect-based meat in populations with varying levels of food insecurity. Learn more↩
Public Speaker and Media, 🗺 | February 2020 - ∞
Presented/Interviewed to over 70,000 people in various parts of Europe, (a little bit in) Asia, North America, and Zoom, including at Web Summit, SwissCognitive, Clubhouse, USNIIS, Evoke Canada, Accenture, gal-dem, WorldSummit AI, Yahoo News, Business Insider, WITI, and 10+ workshops & 20+ research gatherings on various topics such as innovation, technology, climate change, and finance. See my WDIY News Station interview and Forbes article on Tech Innovation and Community Outreach↩
Consultant, 5+ Companies | September 2019 - August 2021
I've been able to consult/advise with/for multiple companies, building decks, apps, and curricula/programs based on the internal problem at hand. Some of my favorite projects were working on making a consumer recommendation and RSS model with the granddaughter of the inventor of clean meat for KindEarth.tech, coding a biomedical assay search program using NLP for BenchSci, and increasing COVID tracing app adoption by 50% in LA and MN with the Pathcheck Foundation.