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Niyi Fadeyi

Merck Exploratory Science Center

Niyi Fadeyi traces his interest in chemistry in part to when, as a high school student, a science teacher showed the class the chemical structure of garri, a food staple in his native Nigeria.

From there, Fadeyi worked on synthesizing new compounds as an undergraduate, and then moved to Tennessee for graduate school. Now, he works as a chemical biologist at Merck Exploratory Science Center in Cambridge, Mass., studying how immune cells interact with other cells, including cancer cells, and pathogens. It’s a process he undertakes by coming up with new chemical methods to understand the underlying biology.

“We need to develop tools to profile that,” he said.

Fadeyi is particularly interested in learning more about the immune system as a way to unlock new ways to fight disease.

Working in science and drug discovery is “an opportunity to be able to invest in the future.”

Working in science and drug discovery, said the father of three (his wife is a scientist as well), is “an opportunity to be able to invest in the future.”

Andrew Joseph