Speakers List

A recurring issue at conferences and seminars is the underwhelming number of minority 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 underrepresented minority scientists across every field of STEM. 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 minorities 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 the sharing ideas and collaborating. See our “Best practices” page for tips on how to create an inclusive environment.


We are not the only resource out there! Check out these websites for other lists highlighting historically disenfranchised groups:
– General: International Forum for Cell Biology Speaker’s List
– Hispanics in STEM: National Hispanic Science Network
– LGBTQ+ in STEM: 500 Queer Scientists in STEM
– Women in neuroscience: Female Neuroscientists
– Diversity in Chemistry: Diversify Chemistry

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Field/SubfieldFull NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteWebsite 2Tags
Analytical Chemistry, Energy, Materials Chemistry Dr. Joaquín Rodríguez-López University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign Associate Professor Our research focuses on characterizing heterogeneous electrode materials and generating new strategies to advance electrochemical energy technologies and sensing. We aim to pioneer methods of analysis at the nano- and micro-scale for understanding how electrode structure, shape and size, as well as the formation of chemical intermediates, impact the performance of materials and interfaces for batteries, fuel cells, and solar technologies. Lab Website Twitter electrochemistry, batteries, imaging, electrocatalysis, fuel cell, photoelectrocatalysis
Genetics, Statistical Genetics Dr. Timothy Thornton University of Washington Associate Professor The Thornton lab develops and applies statistical methods and software for the analysis of large-scale genetic data to gain a better understanding of the genetic contributions to human health and diseases. His research largely focuses on genetic analyses in ancestrally diverse populations, and particularly U.S. minority populations who often bear a disproportionate burden for many diseases, including African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indian and Alaska Native populations. Faculty Page statistics, genetics, relatedness, ancestry admixture, population structure
Ecology, Microbiology Dr. Adriana Romero-Olivares University of New Hampshire Post-doc Dr. Romero-Olivares investigates how changes in the ecosystem (especially those pertaining to global climate change) affect microbial adaptation and evolution. Website climate change, global warming, microbiomes, fungi
Clinical - Obstetrics/gynecology, Neuroscience Dr. Kedra Wallace The University of Mississippi Associate Professor The Wallace Lab studies the relationship between hypertension and inflammation during pregnancy with post-partum depression, anxiety and cognitive decline through via basic science, translational and clinical research studies. The Wallace lab also looks at the effect of uterine fibroids on women's mental health while trying to understand the basic pathogenesis of uterine fibroids. Facebook Page preeclampsia, hypertension, pregnancy, HELLP syndrome, uterine fibroids, depression, anxiety
Theoretical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry Dr. Clyde A. Daly Jr. Johns Hopkins University Post-doc Dr. Daly works in the Hernandez Lab to investigate interactions between nanoparticles, cell membranes and proteins. Additionally, he is modeling nanoparticle toxicity using machine learning. Google Scholar Page nanoparticles, machine learning, cell membrane, protein
Photochemistry, Materials Chemistry Dr. Steven A. Lopez Northeastern University Assistant Professor The Lopez group uses modern computational methods to determine the mechanisms of organic photochemical reactions in collaboration with experimentalists. Lab Website Twitter photochemistry, photovoltaics (OPVs), sustainable energy, machine learning, Covalent organic frameworks (COFs)
Cancer Biology, Pharmacology Dr. Tamaro Hudson Howard University Assistant Professor The Hudson Lab evaluates biomarkers as a way to investigate the potential uses of conventional and natural compounds as cancer therapeutics, specifically looking at the effects to muscadine grape skin extract on prostate cancer. Faculty Page Prostate cancer, cancer therapeutics, androgens, heat shock proteins (HSP), phospholipids, protease Inhibitors
Combinatorics, Group Theory Dr. Lindsey-Kay Lauderdale Towson University Assistant Professor Dr. Lauderdale's research lies in an intersection of the areas of combinators and group theory. In particular, her research can be summarized by finding solutions to the following question. How can a given finite group be associated to the structure of a combinatorial object? Faculty Page group theory, automorphisms, permutations
Neuroscience, Clinical-Cardiology Dr. Olujimi A. Ajijola UCLA Assistant Professor The Ajijola Lab investigates neural regulation of the heart and cardiovascular system, and develops neuroscience-based therapies for cardiovascular diseases. Lab Website electrophysiology, arrhythmia, innervation, neurocardiology, autonomic nervous system (ANS), viral engineering, heart failure, myocardial infarction
Neuroscience, Pharmacology Dr. Elva Denise Diaz UC-Davis Professor The Diaz Lab investigates the role of transmembrane proteins (i.e. the AMPA receptor auxiliary factors SynDIG/Prrt and the trans-synaptic adhesion GPCR complex Bai2) at excitatory synapses in the brain using a combination of molecular, cellular, biochemical, and electrophysiology approaches. Faculty Page Twitter synapses, receptor trafficking, glutamate receptors, auxiliary transmembrane proteins, trans-synaptic adhesion complexes
Neuroscience, Psychology Dr. Arturo R. Zavala California State University-Long Beach Associate Professor The Zavala Lab investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), as well as determine the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life. Faculty Page neonatal, ADHD, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, serotonin, oxycodone, methamphetamine
Neuroscience, Physiology Dr. Lucas Albrechet-Souza Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans Instructor Dr. Albrechet-Souza’s research interest are broadly focused on understanding changes in brain mechanisms induced by traumatic stress in rodents, with emphasis in the involvement of corticotropin-releasing factor and endocannabinoids in discrete brain areas on stress-induced dysregulated behavior, including anxiety, avoidance and escalation of alcohol consumption. Faculty Page traumatic stress, PTSD, endocannabinoids, CRF, anxiety, avoidance, alcohol
Epidemiology, Genetics Dr. Candace Middlebrooks NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Post-doc Dr. Middlebrooks harnesses whole exome sequencing data to investigate the genetic underpinnings of leg ulcer development in sickle cell patients. Dr. Middlebrooks is a postdoctoral fellow in the Bailey Wilson Lab. Lab Page sickle cell, ulcers, whole exome sequencing, microbiome, computational biology, statistical genomics, epidemiology, genetics
Biochemistry, Neuroscience Dr. Tameka A. Clemons Spelman College Assistant Professor The Clemons Lab investigates the role of cell signaling molecules in the link between Type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, Dr. Clemons looks at the effects of uncoupling proteins and amylin in pancreatic beta cells, neuronal cells and brain tissue. Faculty Page Alzheimer's disease, Type II diabetes, uncoupling proteins, amylin, cell signaling, brain, pancreatic beta cells
Probability, Stochastics Dr. Moustapha Pemy Towson University Professor The Pemy Lab applies principles of stochastics, including Lévy processes and Markovian modeling, to financial analysis to optimize trading strategies. Faculty Page Markov modeling, financial analysis, applied mathematics, stochastics, Lévy processes
Immunology, Neuroscience Dr. Michael Burton The University of Texas at Dallas Assistant Professor The Burton lab investigates the role of the immune system in regulating pain and other signaling from the peripheral sensory neurons. Lab Website Peripheral nervous system (PNS), pain, depression, metabolism, immunology, inflammation, homeostasis
Genetics Dr. Tiffany Oliver Spelman College Associate Professor The Oliver Lab investigates recombination, meiosis nondisjunction and aneuploidy. Specifically, Dr. Oliver looks at the effects of these events on birth defects, pregnancy loss, etc. Faculty Page Recombination, meiosis, nondisjunction (NDJ), aneuploidy, chromosomal instability (CIN), Down Syndrome, Trisomy 21
Genetics Dr. Athena Starlard-Davenport The University of Tennessee Assistant Professor The Davenport lab investigates the mechanisms behind breast cancer and possible therapeutics for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Her lab also looks at how potential differences (i.e. in the microbiome, environment, immune system) between African American women and non-Hispanic white women may affect their cancer outcomes. Faculty Page environment, epigenetics, Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), cancer disparities, obesity, immunology, microbiome, miRNA, sickle cell disease
Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics Dr. Carla Figueira De Morisson Faria University College London Professor The Faria Group investigates phenomena that take place when matter interacts with strong laser fiels (i.e. high-order harmonic generation, above-thresshold ionization, and laser-induced nonsequential double and multiple ionization) and how they can be used to image and control processes at the attosecond and atomic scales. Lab Website Twitter ionization, attosecond, strong field, laser field, non-hermitian Hamiltonian Systems
Clinical-Radiation Oncology Dr. Chelsea C. Pinnix The University of Texas-MD Anderson Associate Professor Dr. Pinnix’s clinical and research interests lie in improving the outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies via minimization of normal tissue toxicity related to radiation therapy. Another interest lies in the identification of improved treatment strategies that incorporate radiation therapy in the management of aggressive and refractory lymphomas, including the combination of radiation therapy with immune based therapeutics. Faculty Page Twitter radiotherapy, Hodgkin’s/Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL), Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), multiple myeloma, leukemia, hematology