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 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 this database for more lists of underrepresented researchers.

1) Please see here for the Speakers List in spreadsheet format (useful for more complicated searches), an explanation of all of the fields, 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).

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Type of Research
Field (see Notes for sorted subfields)
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Field (see Notes for sorted subfields)Preferred NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteTagsDate Updated
Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics, Computational Chemistry, Energy, Materials Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry Dr. Jose Mendoza-Cortes Florida State University Assistant Professor The Mendoza-Cortes lab studies a wide array of topics lying at the intersection of machine learning, condensed matter physics and materials chemistry. Lab Website quantum simulations, condensed matter theory, energy, statistical mechanics, big data October 29, 2019
Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics, Electrochemistry, Engineering, Materials Chemistry, Nanotechnology Dr. Zakaria Y. Al Balushi University of California - Berkeley 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 July 2, 2020
Biomedical Engineering, Imaging, Materials Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Neuroscience Dr. Abraham Beyene HHMI - Janelia Research Campus Principal Investigator The Beyene lab harnesses the short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectrum to develop new imaging tools for neuroscience. Additionally, they are working to develop new reagents for imaging including biogenic amines and neuropeptides. Lab Website neurochemistry, neuroimaging, short-wave infrared, near-infrared, neuropeptides, neuromodulators, biogenic amines, toolmaking March 25, 2020
Clinical - Neurology, Clinical - Psychology, Health Equity, Neuroscience, Psychology Dr. Jorge Llibre-Guerra Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis Post-doc Dr. Llibre investigates health disparities in dementia as well as the neuropsychology and biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease. Recent work focuses on the influence of life course behavioral risk/protective factors on AD pathogenesis, cognitive decline, and biomarker rate of change. Research Page dementia, biomarkers, Alzheimer's disease, cognition, health equity March 25, 2020
Applied Mathematics, Health Equity, Industrial/Manufacturing Engineer, Stochastics, Systems Engineering Dr. Jessye Leigh Bemley Talley Morgan State University Assistant Professor The Talley group investigates problems that identify vulnerabilities and disruptions that occur within supply chains to develop intervention or mitigation strategies that optimize the total system. Lab Website supply chain, cost analysis, Markov chains, queueing theory, port disruption, humanitarian relief, healthcare, Operations Research October 7, 2020
Cellular Biology, Genetics, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology Dr. Igor Cestari McGill University Assistant Professor The Cestari Lab investigates the infectious pathogenic family of Kinetoplastics, specifically focusing on their genetic and antigenic diversity as well as their mechanisms of signal transduction. Faculty Page kinetoplastids, allelic diversity, antigen, gene regulation, signaling, parasitology, immune evasion February 23, 2020
Bioinformatics, Cancer Biology, Cellular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology Dr. Carlos S. Moreno Emory College Associate Professor My main research interests are in translational cancer bioinformatics, to identify diagnostic markers for more effective and refined therapies, to identify new potential therapeutic targets, and to better understand the biology of tumor progression. My lab has identified several genes that are strongly correlated with prostate cancer progression. Faculty Page Cancer Genomics, Cancer Bioinformatics, Biomarkers, Transcriptional Regulation, Prostate Cancer August 4, 2020
Epidemiology, Immunology, Infectious Disease, Microbiology, Virology Dr. Marcos Ramos-Benitez NIH - National Institute of General Medicine Post-doc Dr. Ramos-Benitez investigates the pathophysiology and molecular pathogenesis of severe emerging viral infections. Currently, he is leading a project to evaluate the role of Neutrophils Extracellular Traps in COVID-19 severity. Also, he is the principal investigator in a project aiming to elucidate the mechanisms of gastrointestinal fluid loss in Ebola virus disease. Dr. Ramos-Benitez is also the founder and president of “Ciencia en Tus Manos” a non-profit organization that uses social media to create innovative online programs to promote STEM within Hispanics communities. Google Scholar COVID-19, Ebola, virus, molecular pathogenesis, emergent pathogens October 22, 2020
Biochemistry, Cellular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, RNA splicing Dr. Tracy Johnson University of California - Los Angeles Professor The Johnson Lab investigates the mechanisms underlying gene regulation. They are particularly interested in the process of RNA splicing and how spliceosomes recognize splice sites cotranscriptionally, in the context of a chromatin environment and in response to changes in the cell’s environment. Lab Website spliceosome, SWI/SNF complex, transcription, RNA processing, chromatin remodeling March 6, 2019
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cellular Biology, Immunology, Molecular Biology Dr. Rogelio A. Hernandez-Lopez University of California - San Francisco Post-doc Dr. Hernandez-Lopez combines protein-, cell- and tissue engineering to develop the next generation of cell therapies. His current research focuses on designing new immunotherapies that specifically attack cancer cells. Research Page biochemistry, structural biology, cancer immunotherapy, antigen density sensors September 15, 2020
Biomedical Engineering, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Nanotechnology Dr. Jaimie Marie Stewart California Institute of Technology Post-doc Dr. Stewart studies the self-assembly principles of nucleic acids to build DNA and RNA nanostructures for applications such as cellular regulation and biomolecular detection. LinkedIn RNA, DNA, self-assembly, biomolecular detection, DNA/RNA Nanotechnology July 24, 2020
Clinical - Neurology, Gerontology/Geroscience, Health Equity, Nursing Andrea Gilmore-Bykovskyi University of Wisconsin-Madison Assistant Professor Dr. Gilmore-Bykovskyi studies care delivery and disparities among persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Major areas of foci in her research program include: treatment and utilization disparities, symptom management and caregiver support, and issues in research ethics and equity. Faculty Page Alzheimer's disease, dementia, nursing, geriatrics, symptom management, research ethics September 1, 2020
Education/Pedagogy, Health Equity, Psychology, Public Health Dr. Sinead Younge Morehouse College Professor The Project Ujima Lab investigates sexual health practices amongst college students, HIV+ adults and Black men, amongst other underserved communities. Dr. Younge and her lab also examine prison reform issues. Faculty Page Sexual health, HIV/AIDS, health equity, Prison, carceral system May 27, 2020
Cellular Biology, Genetics, Health Equity, Molecular Biology Dr. Archie Taylor Alcorn State University 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 July 7, 2020
Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology Dr. Elva Denise Diaz University of California - 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 synapses, receptor trafficking, glutamate receptors, auxiliary transmembrane proteins, trans-synaptic adhesion complexes October 18, 2019
Cellular Biology, Medical Mycology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology Dr. José Vargas-Muñiz Southern Illinois University Carbondale 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 July 1, 2020
Cellular Biology, Endocrinology, Metabolism, Molecular Biology Dr. Antentor Othrell Hinton Jr. (A.J.) University of Iowa - Carver College of Medicine Post-doc Dr. Hinton, Jr. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa. In the laboratory of E. Dale Abel, we have found that reduction in OPA1 (Optic Atrophy 1, a mitochondrial dynamin-like GTPase) expression in skeletal muscle results in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and FGF21 secretion. We predicted that there was an association between the loss of OPA1, an increase in ER-Mitochondrial Contact sites, and prevalence of diabetes. Mitochondrial endoplasmic reticulum contact sites (MERCs) are specialized membranes that are enriched with specific proteins believed to be important for calcium flux, lipid transfer, and mitochondria morphology. This observation provides a plausible mechanism linking altered mitochondrial dynamics with the activation of the ER stress response pathway and may give novel insight into how some patients develop insulin resistance. We propose to use this information to provide the foundation for future research that will lead to the discovery of more effective biomarkers that identify insulin resistance in skeletal muscle. Research Page Diabetes, mitochondria, insulin, oxidation, nutrition, stress induced-hypertension, mitochondrial and metabolic adaptations in skeletal muscle, heart, brain April 24, 2020
Cellular Biology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Virology Dr. Peter Ramirez California State University - Long Beach Assistant Professor The Ramirez lab investigates how retroviral gene products affect host cell pathways and immune response. Faculty Page retroviruses, HIV, lncRNAs, cell signaling August 12, 2020
Cellular Biology, Embryology, Genetics, Molecular Biology Dr. Anita Quintana The University of Texas at El Paso Assistant Professor The Quintana lab investigates the cellular mechanisms underlying congenital human disorders by using developing zebrafish embryo as a model. Faculty Page genetics, multiple congenital anomaly syndromes (MCAs), craniofacial abnormalities, learning ability August 31, 2020
Cancer Biology, Cellular Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology Dr. Claudia Benavente University of California - Irvine Assistant Professor The Benavente Lab is focused on understanding the chromatin remodeling processes that establish the normal epigenetic landscape in developing tissue, how it can be perturbed to promote carcinogenesis, and provide insight for the development of new therapies. Special focus on pediatric solid tumors, specifically retinoblastoma and osteosarcoma. Lab Website pediatric oncology, genetic regulation, epigenetics, retinoblastoma, osteosarcoma, RB1 April 2, 2020