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 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/Subfield (see Notes for sorted subfields)
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Field/Subfield (see Notes for sorted subfields)Preferred NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteWebsite 2TagsDate 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 Twitter quantum simulations, condensed matter theory, energy, statistical mechanics, big data November 13, 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 28, 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 Profile dementia, biomarkers, Alzheimer's disease, cognition, health equity March 25, 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
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 Twitter spliceosome, SWI/SNF complex, transcription, RNA processing, chromatin remodeling November 13, 2019
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 29, 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 Twitter 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 Twitter synapses, receptor trafficking, glutamate receptors, auxiliary transmembrane proteins, trans-synaptic adhesion complexes January 22, 2020
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 Twitter basic research, fungi, proteomics, stress, morphology, cytoskeleton, septin, fungal pathogens August 4, 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 28, 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
Cancer Biology, Cellular Biology, Health Equity, Molecular Biology Dr. Glenn Simmons Jr University of Minnesota Assistant Professor A broadly trained molecular biologist whose lab studies cancer biology and health disparities using community-based participatory research. Lab Website Cancer immunology, health disparities, STEM training July 7, 2020
Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Genetics, Health Equity Krystal Tsosie Vanderbilt University Ph.D. Candidate, Co-Principal Investigator Krystal investigates the underlying genetic determinants of pre-eclampsia in a US American Indian population. She also has co-founded the first Indigenous-led biobank for tribes in the US, and studies community engagement and ethics related to genomics research in Indigenous populations. Lab Website Twitter health equity, Indigenous, ethics, community engagement, data science, Women's Health, biobanking February 10, 2020
Epidemiology, Health Equity, Public Health, Research Ethics Dr. Francine C. Gachupin The University of Arizona Associate Professor The Gachupin group investigates chronic disease and related behavioral risk factors within Native American/American Indian communities. (https://www.facebook.com/francine.gachupin) Faculty Page Program Page health equity, epidemiology, cancer, diet, hepatitis, diabetes, cognitive impairment, Indigenous, chronic disease, health promotion, human subjects protection May 13, 2020
Epidemiology, Metabolism, Nutrition, Reproduction/Fertility Dr. Jorge Chavarro Harvard University Associate Professor The Chavarro group investigates how nutrition impacts reproduction throughout the life course with a focus on fertility in males (semen quality) and females (ovulation, implantation, embryonic survival, etc) and common complications of pregnancy (hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, gestational diabetes). Faculty Page obesity, fertility, pregnancy, diet January 13, 2020
Biochemistry, Gerontology/Geroscience, Health Equity, Proteomics Dr. Christina King Vanderbilt University Post-doc Dr. King investigates racial disparities in hypertension and Alzheimer's disease using plasma proteomics. Research Page basic research, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, aging June 29, 2020
Biochemistry, Biophysics, Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology Dr. Denise Okafor Penn State University 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 July 7, 2020