Speakers List

A recurring issue at conferences and seminars is the underwhelming number of URM speakers giving talks. A commonly cited reason for this is not knowing who to invite. To that end, we’ve begun compiling a list of prominent URM researchers across every field of STEM and Medicine. We hope that conference organizers can use this list as a resource when inviting speakers. However we hope that organizers use this list conscientiously. There is a well-known, and well-documented, issue of “tokenism”, i.e. the idea that women and underrepresented minority researchers are included to give an appearance of diversity. We would like to stress that a diverse conference is not just about representation of minority speakers but also about creating an environment that is conducive to sharing ideas and collaborating. See our “Best practices” page for tips on how to create an inclusive environment.

Finally, we would like to stress that: 
(i) Speakers on our list should be compensated properly for their time.
(ii) We are not the only resource out there! Check out this database for more lists of underrepresented researchers.
(iii) Our list is mainly nomination based (we then reach out to the researchers for their consent to be featured on the list). Please consider nominating yourself or others to be on the list! You can do so here or by emailing us at dscnatl@gmail.com.

1) Please see here for the Speakers List in spreadsheet format (useful for more complicated searches), an explanation of all of the fields (and how to search them), and a list of sorted subfields.
2) Our website saves your previous search for future reference!
If you would like to clear your search, press the “Clear” button (next to the “Submit” button).

Type of Research
Use Command (or Shift) + Click to select multiple Fields
Sort by:
Field (see Notes for sorted subfields)Preferred NamePositionDescriptionWebsiteTags
Cellular Biology, Medical Mycology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology Dr. José Vargas-Muñiz Assistant Professor The Vargas-Muñiz lab investigates how fungi regulate their morphology and adapt to different stresses, specifically focusing on septin proteins and the cytoskeleton. Lab Website basic research, fungi, proteomics, stress, morphology, cytoskeleton, septin, fungal pathogens
Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Materials Chemistry, Nanotechnology Dr. Zakaria Y. Al Balushi Assistant Professor The Al Balushi group develops electronic and photonic low-dimensional materials for use in optoelectronics and quantum technologies. Faculty Page graphene, semiconductors, chemical vapor deposition, crystal growth, optoelectronics, nanowire growth, Materials Science, materials engineering, electronic materials
Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Proteomics Dr. Gustavo M. Silva Assistant Professor The Silva lab investigates molecular and systems mechanisms by which cells use ubiquitin-mediated processes to control protein synthesis and degradation further supporting cellular resistance to stresses. Lab Website oxidative stress, ubiquitin, translation, proteasome, proteomics, s. cerevisiae, yeast
Cellular Biology, Genetics, Health Equity, Molecular Biology Dr. Archie Taylor Assistant Professor The Taylor lab investigates the genetics underlying cancer, with a focus on the health disparities within the field. Contact Page cancer, health equity, genetics
Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology Dr. Quinton Smith Post-doc Dr. Smith is interested in engineering the cellular microenvironment to direct patient-derived stem cells towards functional tissues, with the long-term goal of developing regenerative cell-based therapies to combat liver and vascular disease. Google Scholar organoids, liver, hepatology, biliary tree, tissue regeneration
Chemical Engineering, Ecology Dr. A-Andrew Jones Assistant Professor The Jones lab investigates how how engineered and environmental stressors impact the bacterial life cycle with the goal of improving water quality and wastewater treatment. Faculty Page stress, environment, biofilms, water, biomaterials
Neuroscience Dr. Kafui Dzirasa Associate Professor The Dzirasa lab investigates the interplay between the environment and genes implicated in psychiatric disorders, specifically looking at the impact the two have on emotion and cognition. Lab Website psychiatry, environment, emotion, cognition, electrophysiology, optogenetics, DREADDs
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology Dr. Denise Okafor Assistant Professor The Okafor lab investigates the structural and mechanistic underpinnings of protein regulation using molecular dynamics simulations. Lab Website allosteric regulation, protein structure and function, functional evolution, molecular dynamics simulations
Biochemistry, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology Dr. Jarrett Smith Post-doc Dr. Smith investigates the function of stress granules - collections of RNA and RNA-binding proteins that form when the cell is exposed to stress. He aims to uncover their role in the pathology of diseases including cancer, viral infections, and neurodegenerative diseases. LinkedIn stress, mRNA, stress granules, neurodegeneration, translation
Neuroscience Dr. Armando Salinas Post-doc I am interested in interrogating the role of neuromodulators like dopamine and acetylcholine in motivated behaviors and basal ganglia disorders. ResearchGate dopamine, acetylcholine, basal ganglia, addiction, alcohol, biosensors, motivated behavior, basal ganglia