Hometown:

Chicago, Illinois; Grand Prairie, Texas

Education:

  • B.S. Biological Chemistry, Biology, cum Laude, 2014
  • Ronal E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Program, 2014
  • Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program, 2016
  • M.S. Nutrition Sciences (Research Track), UAB, 2018

Research:

Valene investigates methods for early detection of disease risk and the association between body composition and risk for cardiometabolic disease in women. Her research suggests that bioimpedance methods may non-invasively detect insulin resistance before diabetes onset. Given that bioimpedance devices are cost-effective, easily accessible, and clinically accepted they may be a valuable tool for early detection of insulin resistance and play a valuable role in the improvement of diabetes and women’s health outcomes, especially for those in challenging settings such as rural, low access, and undeveloped areas.

Why did you choose UAB?

She chose UAB because it presented her with an opportunity to do phenomenal research towards cardiometabolic diseases and has a strong infrastructure and appropriate setting to study minority health disparities.

Any special interests, hobbies, or fun facts?

Valene was awarded the 2019 Diversity Champion Award for her work advocacy and mentorship work with the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), as director of the BGSA’s BLUEprint Connect program, as the graduate student representative for UAB’s School of Health Professions Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, and a student representative for SHP’s Student Affairs Committee. As the 2019- 2020 BGSA President, her goal is to productively contribute to UAB's efforts to increase diversity and promote inclusive mentoring and support for diverse students.