Congratulations Leanne Dumeny! Inducted into Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

Leanne Dumeny, a fourth-year PhD student in the UF Genetics and Genomics Graduate program, was recently inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. The society was named after Dr. Edward A. Bouchet, the first African American to receive a PhD and the sixth person in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded the PhD in physics. The society recognizes “scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.” Graduate trainees who have completed candidacy exams, first apply through UF and then applications are reviewed first at UF, then next at the national society.

Dumeny expressed that earning this achievement has been a humbling experience.

“Being inducted into Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society is an absolute honor for me,” Dumeny said. “I’m extremely humbled to be recognized in the same organization with other students, postdocs, and faculty who are incredible scholars and leaders in their respective universities and communities. Hearing about the story of Dr. Bouchet, I was inspired by his pursuit of higher learning and excellence even in a time where there were so many obstacles and barriers for him. It was a reminder of how blessed I am to train at UF in such a supportive environment with people who push me to be at my best and with several resources and opportunities to achieve success.”

Dumeny spends much of her time in the Center for Pharmacogenomics and Precision Medicine, where she works under Dr. Larisa Cavallari and Dr. Julio Duarte. She stated that her mentors are some of the world’s leaders in pharmacogenomics, that they have made some of the key discoveries in this field and are currently working on innovatively implementing precision medicine into medical practice.

Dumeny’s love for genetics began when she first learned about precision medicine.

“I wanted to pursue research that helps to make the practice of medicine safer and more efficient, and precision medicine has the goal of delivering the right treatments, at the right time, every time to the right person,” Dumeny said.

Dumeny is passionate about her research and believes it will change the field of medicine for the better.

“Precision medicine is an improved approach for preventing, diagnosing, and treating a wide range of diseases by taking into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person,” Dumeny said. “This contrasts with "one-size-fits-all" approach to medicine that is based on general population averages. By progressing in our understanding of human genetics and implementation science, healthcare providers can provide more precise, predictable care, improving the quality and efficiency of medicine.”

With four years of experience in the G&G program, Dumeny stated that this program has both challenged her and strengthened her skillset.

“The program has contributed to my development as a scientist by challenging me to obtain breadth in my knowledge of genomics, Dumeny said. “Through the diverse rotations, events, and seminars, I have had the opportunity get exposed to different techniques and different areas of research helping me to become a well-rounded researcher. I think this is a skill needed to be able to interpret any new project that I encounter in my career.”

Upon graduation, Dumeny plans to become a physician-scientist.

“Once I complete the last years of medical school, I plan to pursue a residency in preventive medicine so that I can learn how to integrate genomics with improvements to public health,” Dumeny said. “I have really enjoyed getting to know my lab members over the last few years and I am extremely blessed to have a great and comprehensive network of colleagues to collaborate with after I graduate.”