Dr. Fatimah Jackson becomes the first African American woman ever to receive the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award


WASHINGTON - Fatimah Jackson, Ph.D., a professor of biology and the director of the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory at Howard University, is the recipient of the 2020 Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the first woman of African descent to receive this prestigious award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA).

“It is a great privilege to receive the news about being awarded the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Jackson.

Each year, AAPA presents the achievement award to a scholar who has demonstrated a lifetime of contributions and distinguished service to the field of Physical Anthropology. Jackson will receive the award in April at AAPA’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Jackson received her bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees with distinction in all subjects from Cornell University. She focuses her studies in the study of African human genetics, human-plant coevolution, particularly the influence of phytochemicals on human metabolic effects and evolutionary processes, and in population biological substructures in peoples of African descent.

“Scholars and scientists often work in semi-isolated environments and we are unaware of the impact our research can have on the public. I am extremely honored to have my lifelong dedication to the advancement of the African American community through anthropological and biological research receive profound recognition,” said Jackson.

She is recognized for developing ethnogenetic layering as a computational tool to identify human micro ethnic groups in complex heterogeneous populations and their differential expressions of health disparities. Trained as a human biologist, Jackson has published extensively in such journals as “Human Biology, Biochemical Medicine and Metabolic Biology,” the “American Journal of Human Biology,” and the “Journal of the National Medical Association,” among others.



(Headshot of Dr. Fatimah Jackson - courtesy of Howard University)

About Howard University Graduate School

Howard University offered its first master’s degree in 1867—the same year it was established. In 1934, the Graduate School was formally established and reorganized to its current structure with divisions in the arts and humanities, biological and life sciences, engineering and physical sciences, and social sciences. The school awarded its first doctorate degree in 1958 in the field of chemistry. The school offers 24 master’s, 31 Ph.D. and 7 M.D./Ph.D. Programs. The Graduate School has consistently issued on average over 100 doctoral degrees per year for the last three years.  For more information, visit, www.gs.howard.edu 

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu

Media Contact: Imani Pope-Johns, Imani.popejohns@howard.edu


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