ACA Election Candidate: Yinka Olatunji-Ojo


BSc in Chemistry (2009), Texas Southern University, Houston TX

PhD in Inorganic Chemistry (2013), University of North Texas, Denton TX

Professional Activities

Member of the American Crystallography Association, Member of the American Chemical Society, Member of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemist and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChe)


Yinka is a user support scientist and part of the education and outreach team at the CCDC. She received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Texas Southern University and her Ph.D. in Computational Inorganic Chemistry from the University of North Texas. After a couple of years of being a postdoc and a brief stint at a medical device startup, she joined the CCDC. Yinka is passionate about scientific education and outreach to the broader public.


I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Education Committee. Since becoming a member of the ACA, I have been involved in education by delivering workshops at summer schools and co-organizing the open exchanges in crystallographic education session at ACA22 in Portland. I have always been passionate about education and how to communicate tough scientific concepts to future scientists and the broader public. If elected to serve on this committee, I will continue my work of promoting structural chemistry and crystallography to the public and help inspire and foster future crystallographers. As someone who greatly benefitted from access to structures during my graduate research, I am acutely aware of the importance of structural chemistry education and resources. Since joining the CCDC, I have been a member of the education and outreach team, focusing on creating educational resources that explain structural chemistry concepts to scientists at different levels, from home learning activities for younger scientists (8 years old and above) to the protein-drug binding card game Bound! created in collaboration with the PDB. The popularity of these resources has proven that students are learning in different ways outside of the classroom, but also highlights the need for accurate, easily accessible materials to complement what is being taught in classrooms.

The crystallographic literacy project undertaken by the ACA education and literacy planning committee is an essential resource for students and especially for crystallographic education. The ability of students to find short videos that clearly explain concepts within a crystallographic context is important. If elected to the education committee, I plan to work with the team on increasing the resources created by the community. We can also expand the resources available, from videos to educational websites, and link existing materials to the ACA. Throughout my studies, I had very little experience relating structural chemistry concepts to crystallography, resources like these would have improved my understanding of structural chemistry concepts. From my experience, crystallography still feels like a niche area that is not being included enough either as a course on its own or even as part of instrumentation courses. Part of this is due to the lack of access to diffractometers, which leads to students being exposed to crystallography only through research or in graduate school. While the ACA may not have the resources to push for the inclusion of crystallography in undergraduate and graduate level courses, we can work with other organizations such as the ACS to promote the inclusion of X-ray diffraction methods as part of the curriculum for accredited institutions, increasing students’ exposure to crystallography earlier so that it is no longer a niche field.