MD/PhD program graduate receives Alumni Achievement Award
The Penn State Alumni Association presented Dr. Olivier Noel, a 2021 graduate of Penn State College of Medicine’s MD/PhD Program, with the Alumni Achievement Award on March 18. He is one of 11 recipients to receive the distinction, which recognizes alumni 35 years of age and younger for their extraordinary professional accomplishments.
Noel is a resident physician in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residency Program at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the founder and chief executive officer of DNAsimple, a startup company that helps accelerate genetics research by connecting DNA donors with research scientists.
In 2018, Noel was the inaugural Louise M. Slaughter National DNA Day keynote lecturer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2017, he was named a 30 Under 30 honoree in science by Forbes magazine, a Top 40 Healthcare Transformer by Medical, Marketing and Media magazine and one of the 10 Most Influential Haitians by MagHaiti, among dozens of other accolades. In addition to appearances on multiple news outlets, Noel was also featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” where he partnered with billionaire mogul Mark Cuban for DNAsimple.
Noel completed his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular genetics in 2018 in the laboratories of Dr. Glenn Gerhard, chair of medical genetics and biochemistry at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and James Broach, Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State College of Medicine and director of the Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine. His research thesis focused on characterizing the genetics behind the positive health effects in patients following bariatric surgery and developing novel therapies for diabetic patients.
Born in Haiti, Noel attended the Saint-Louis de Gonzague school before moving to Queens, New York City. He graduated from Queens College, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, with a concentration in biochemistry and honors in the mathematical and natural sciences in 2011. He conducted undergraduate research in the laboratory of Nathalia Holtzman and was an American Heart Association and NIH fellow.
Alumni Achievement Award winners are nominated by an academic college and invited by the president of Penn State to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty and administrators.
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