It’s #BlackinNano Week!

December 7-12, 2020 is #BlackinNano week! This week-long celebration is just one facet of the Black in Nanotechnology organization, co-founded by Olivia Geneus, a Physical Chemistry Ph.D. Candidate, and Jarriaun D. Streets M.S., a Senior Biological Scientist.

Black in Nanotechnology aims to:

  • Highlight Black scientists advancing the field of nanotechnology
  • Build partnerships and networks to push innovative ideas that tackles challenging questions within the field
  • Advocate for Black voices while inspiring the next generation of nanoscientists

Keep reading for more about all the events planned for this week and profiles of our amazing team. You can also find all the information on our website,!

#BlackinNano Week Events & Activities

Monday December 7th, 2020

  • Tell us about yourself on social media! Use #BlackinNanoRollCall #BlackinNanoWeek
  • Hear from our Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kevin Sneed, 12:00 Eastern (register here)

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Use #BlackinNanoX #WhyNano #BlackinNanoWeek, and tag us @blackinnanotech (Twitter & IG)!

Instructions: Record a video (as edited or freely as you would like) that includes the following information: Please keep your video under 2 minutes long.

  • Who are you?
  • What is the primary application for your research?
  • How do you contribute to the advancement of this research area?

BONUSWhy Nanotechnology? #WhyNano

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Discover the enormous diversity and expertise of seasoned faculty members and learn from their research! Today’s three speakers are:

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Meet the experts in our featured Q&A session and Fireside Interview with Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green to hear unique perspectives from both academia and industry fields!

Q&A Panel  – 11:00 AM Eastern (register here)

Fireside Interview with Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green – 7:30pm Eastern (register here)

Friday, December 11, 2020

Hear from university and college admission representatives of various nanotechnology programs and degree options offered!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Share with us your self-care routine (videos also welcomed). Use #BlackinNanoSelfcare and tag us @blackinnanotech (Twitter & IG)! Yoga & Meditation with Symphonie Chanel  – 11:30 AM Eastern (register here)

Our Team

Olivia Geneus, Co-Founder, Ph.D. Candidate
Olivia Geneus (image used with permission from

Olivia Geneus is a Ph.D. Candidate in Physical Chemistry and an Arthur A. Schomburg Fellow at State University of New York, Buffalo. Her research focuses on using Nanotechnology for biological applications. She is working on a Nanomedicine theranostic agent that images and targets glioblastoma hypoxic tumors. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, and in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Olivia is a Partner & Chief Chemical Officer at Mergen Research, LLC; a scientific consulting firm. Olivia remains passionate in helping underrepresented high school and undergraduate students transition into their undergraduate and graduate academic careers. As a STEM diversity advocate, her goal is to reduce the cold climate that marginalized groups constantly face in scientific fields. As a graduate student, Olivia co-founded the Graduate Student of Color (GSC) graduate club; a sustainable institutional organization that supports graduate students of color throughout their academic and professional career. She also founded a research mentoring program for undergraduate students of color to gain laboratory and research experience at the graduate level. Furthermore, Olivia is an ambassador and a member of the planning council for STEMNoire; a research conference and holistic wellness retreat for Black Women in STEM. Olivia is from Boston, MA. She appreciates the outdoors, nature, and photography. Additionally, Olivia is a fitness coach and founder of OGANICS; a fitness and wellness program.

Jarriaun D. Streets, M.S, Co-Founder, Sr. Biological Scientist
Jarriaun Streets (image used with permission from

Jarriaun D. Streets was born in Fort Myers, FL where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2018. She is a recent graduate of the Masters in Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology program as of May 2020 at the University of South Florida. Currently, she is working as a Sr. Biological Scientist specializing in the field of nanotechnology for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USF. Her current work is focused on the use of solid lipid nanoparticles to address the bioavailability of hydrophobic drugs within Phase II Metabolism. Her initial exposure to nanotechnology began in 2017 during her undergraduate research with silver nanoparticles under the direction of her advisor Dr. Kerry J. Lee. However, her love for nanotechnology was strengthened during her master’s thesis research at the University of South Florida which prompted her to make the field of nanotechnology more accessible to underrepresented groups. Since the field of nanotechnology is projected to be the pillar of modern-day solutions, her initiative is to ensure that there is adequate representation and equal opportunity for people of color. Nanotechnology has allowed her to approach life with the notion that the smallest actions have the biggest impact.

Michael K. Riley II, Ph.D., Co-Organizer, Medical Writer
Michael Riley (image used with permission from

Dr. Michael K. Riley II is a cell biologist and scientific communication advocate. He earned his doctorate in Molecular Cellular Biology from the University of Florida. He is currently a medical writer at SciMentum, a division of Nucleus Global. His doctoral research centered around designing plant based nanoparticles, characterizing their physio-chemical properties and testing their utilization as non-viral gene delivery vectors. Michael’s research interests lie in the area of nanomedicine, specifically designing nanoparticles to be used in gene therapy applications. Beyond research, Michael is passionate about training and teaching the next generation of Black STEM students, and promoting both scientific literacy and transparency in the Black community.

Christian J. Geneus, Ph.D., Co-Organizer, Research Scientist, Statistician
Christian Geneus (image used with permission from

Dr. Christian J. Geneus, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at Procter and Gamble. Christian is a statistician for The Data and Modeling Sciences (D&MS) department for Research & Development Corporate Functions. He focuses on developing nonlinear models for exposure to safety/risk assessment. Christian has substantial experience in design of experiments and sample size estimation, along with a mastery of various statistical methodologies such as multivariate statistics, linear and mixed-effect linear models, survival analysis, data integration and data mining. Christian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and obtained his Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. His dedication to population health stems from his parents, whom are both physicians. He obtained a Master of Public Health in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness from Saint Louis University. Furthermore, Christian obtained his Master of Science in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biostatistics from Tulane University. Christian focuses on educating underrepresented and minority high school, undergraduate, and graduate students on the opportunities that statistics present. Christian is a co-founder of Cosine, an initiative celebrating Black scientists in the field of statistics. Aside from the scientific field, Christian enjoys fitness & wellness, drawing, and cooking.

Vladimir Geneus, Ph.D., Co-Organizer, Research Scientist
Vladimir Geneus (image used with permission from

Dr. Vladimir J. Geneus, Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at Eli Lilly Company. He has gained much experience in statistics through various fields such as industry (Pfizer, Inc.), government (Florida Department of Education), and academia (University of Arkansas Medical School). His interests include nonparametric statistics, design of experiments, and Bayesian designs. Vladimir graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, from Northeastern University with a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, and from Florida State University with Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Statistics. Vladimir remains passionate and optimistic as ever in helping undergraduate and graduate students, especially underrepresented students, transition into their post-academic careers.

Asha Rizor, Co-Organizer, Ph.D. Candidate
Asha Rizor (image used with permission from

Asha Rizor is a Ph.D. Candidate in Pharmacology/Toxicology, where her research examines the mechanisms of Parkinsonian syndromes and identifies therapeutic targets at the transcriptional level. She is passionate about improving college access and career readiness among underrepresented students.