- Fellow in Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Genetics and Genomics
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PhD, Human Development and Family Studies
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MCP, Urban Planning & Studies
- North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, BS, Construction Management
LaKisha David successfully defended her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She studies human development and family aspects of genetic genealogy. Her research examines processes of family identity development and ethnic identity development among African American adults who use direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy testing services to engage in social interactions with genetic relatives from Africa. Her research also examines the perceptions of Ghanaians interacting with African Americans identified as the genetic descendants of their ancestors who were taken away during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. From 2013 to 2016, she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focusing on international development in Ghana. As an ELSI post-doctoral fellow at Penn, she plans to explore ethical, legal, social, and technical implications of genetic relatedness among Ghanaian and African American families separated during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.