Dr. Prima R. Tatum is a native of Beaumont, Texas. She started her academic career at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where she majored in Chemical Engineering before transferring to Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas; where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry. Dr. Tatum decided to continue her education in chemistry and she earned a M.S. in Analytical Chemistry, also from Texas Southern University. Her research involved the use of Rhodium as a matrix modifier for the determination of lead concentrations in both biological and aqueous systems using Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption techniques. While Prima was matriculating through the master’s program at TSU, she discovered her interest in organic chemistry. After graduating from Texas Southern University and working for NASA – Johnson Space Center and Pfizer, she was awarded the GEM Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D.
Dr. Tatum decided to return to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at The Howard University in Washington, DC. Her research involved the synthesis of silylated calixarenes in the 1,3 – alternate confirmation. After earning her doctorate, Prima left the United States for Nagoya, Japan where she conducted her post-doctoral research studies in drug discovery for the treatment of cancer. Upon returning to the United States, Prima focus has shifted to helping prepare the next generation of students/leaders to pursue their academic goals and careers.
On a personal note, Prima likes to volunteer and give back to her community through her philanthropic organizations and on her own. She volunteers for Meals on Wheels, food banks and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Drifters, Inc. and the Junior League, Inc.