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) At this point in time, we don’t post our speakers’ emails publicly. If you find a speaker but are unable to find their contact information online, you can reach out to us at dscnatl@gmail.com.
2) Please see here for a list of sorted subfields.

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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
Neuroscience Dr. Fabricio H. Do Monte, DVM, PhD The University of Texas - Health Science Center at Houston Assistant Professor The Do Monte Lab focuses on understanding the neural circuits and mechanisms underlying emotional memories. We are particularly interested in elucidating how fear- and reward-associated memories interact to generate the most adaptive behavioral responses. Lab Website neural circuits, emotion, behavior, optogenetics, in vivo electrophysiological recordings, fear, reward, memory, substance abuse. November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Benjamin Suarez-Jimenez Columbia University Assistant Professor The Suarez-Jimenez lab uses virtual reality and multimodal MRI to investigate neural signatures of anxiety and PTSD as well as location-specific contextual learning and overgeneralization. Faculty Page ResearchGate learning, mental illness, PTSD, anxiety, MRI, Conditioning, virtual reality November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Francisco Sotres-Bayón Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Associate Professor The Sotres-Bayon lab investigates how the brain uses previous emotional experiences to guide survival decisions in rats. Faculty Page GoogleScholar motivation, behavior, fear, safety, reward, emotion, prefrontal, amygdala November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Irving E. Vega Michigan State University Associate Professor The Vega lab investigates the proteome changes associated with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. They are also interested in developing evidence-based strategies to promote health equity. Lab Website Twitter tau filaments, neurodegeneration, health equity, tauopathy, Alzheimer’s disease, proteomics, biomarkers November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Freddyson J. Martinez-Rivera Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Post-doc Dr. Martinez-Rivera works in the Nestler Lab to investigate the impact of extinction-based therapy (model) on the addictive transcriptome. Previously, he worked (postdoc) in the Quirk lab studying the neural correlates of translational models for OCD and PTSD. Lab Page Twitter substance abuse, addiction, depression, extinction, OCD, PTSD, stress November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Anthony Burgos-Robles The University of Texas at San Antonio Assistant Professor The Burgos-Robles Lab investigates how chronic stress can alter neural pathways and increase risk for mental disorders. Faculty Page stress, mental illness, reward, amygdala, cognition, emotion, motivation, optogenetics, neurophysiology November 19, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Mario Penzo NIH - National Institute of Mental Health Principal Investigator The Penzo lab investigates the neuronal circuitry underlying formation/regulation of affective memories and susceptibility to stress. Faculty Page memory, emotion, stress, optogenetics, electrophysiology November 18, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Yarimar Carrasquillo NIH - Intramural Research Program Principal Investigator The Carrasquillo lab investigates mechanisms in the amygdala underlying pathological pain states. Faculty Page Twitter pain, amygdala, limbic system, tactile hypersensitivity, ion channels, neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission November 19, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Tahra Eissa University of Colorado - Boulder Research Associate Dr. Eissa works to develop new models of decision making in dynamic environments. Her previous work has focused on neural activity during seizures using electrophysiological recordings and computational models. Research Page seizure, decision making, epilepsy, plasticity, learning November 21, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Angélica Torres-Berrío Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Post-doc Dr. Torres-Berrío is a post-doc in the Nestler Lab investigating the epigenetic mechanisms underlying depression and early life stress. ResearchGate Twitter stress, depression, miRNAs, prefrontal cortex, biomarkers November 26, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Christian Bravo-Rivera Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Post-doc Dr. Bravo-Rivera is a post-doc in the Li lab where he investigates how communication between the ventral pallidum and the lateral habenula affect reward-seeking and punishment-avoiding behavior. Profile Page reward, punishment, motivation, retrieval, extinction December 3, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Alberto Cruz-Martín Boston University Assistant Professor The Cruz-Martín lab investigates what guides the development of synaptic connections in the neocortex and how these processes malfunction in neurodevelopmental disorders. Lab Website neocortex, motor control, sensory processing, neural networks, cognition, optogenetics, fragile X, plasticity December 5, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Fidel Santamaria The University of Texas at San Antonio Professor The Santamaria lab investigates how Purkinje cells in the cerebellum help process and store information. Additionally, he is working to model neural networks using fractional order differential equations. Lab Website computational neuroscience, cerebellum, Purkinje, engram, memory, neural networks December 17, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Natalia De Marco García Weill Cornell Medicine Associate Professor The De Marco García lab investigates how electrical activity mediated by inhibitory neurons affects the development of cortical networks. Lab Website development, neurodevelopment, neural regulation, neurotransmitters, glutamate, GABA January 13, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. Luis de la Torre-Ubieta University of California - Los Angeles Assistant Professor The De La Torre-Ubieta group investigates the genetic underpinnings regulating neurodevelopment in the neocortex. Lab Website Development, stem cells, organoids, gene regulation, non-coding regions, autism, schizophrenia, Mental Health January 6, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. Lillian Brady Vanderbilt University Post-doc Dr. Brady is a post-doc in the Calipari lab where she investigates the physiological mechanisms underlying learning. ResearchGate learning, behavior, substance use, reward, dopamine February 4, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. Alberto Lopez Vanderbilt University Post-doc Dr. Lopez is a post-doc in the Calipari lab where he investigates the neural and epigenetic mechanisms underlying drug-seeking behavior. GoogleScholar Twitter substance use, relapse, reward, motivation, epigenetics, nicotine, cocaine February 6, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. Shawn Bates Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Post-doc Dr. Bates works in the Bhatnagar Lab where he investigates how biological sex is related to chronic stress management and cognition. Profile Page stress, cognition, sex/gender, mental health February 16, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. Nahid Zokaei University of Oxford - Medical Sciences Division Fellow Dr Zokaei investigates the neuromodulation of short- and long-term memories and attention and how these mechanisms are affected by disorders of old-age such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Faculty Page Twitter memory, attention, neurodegeneration, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, cognition February 22, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. John Bryce Ortiz The University of Arizona Post-doc Dr. J. Bryce Ortiz is a post-doc studying the effects of traumatic brain injury-induced endocrine dysfunction and sleep disorders in the pediatric population. ResearchGate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), stress, gender/sex, hippocampus, memory, hormones, endocrine, sleep February 27, 2020