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. Also, please email nominations for scientists to be on our list to DSCnatl@gmail.com!


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: Anne’s List
– Women & URM scientists: Keystone Symposia
– Diversity in Chemistry: Diversify Chemistry
– Latinx Scientists in STEM: NIH List

Sort by:
Field/SubfieldPreferred NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteWebsite 2Tags
Neuroscience, Psychology Dr. Edmarie Guzmán-Vélez Harvard Medical School Instructor Dr. Guzmán-Vélez investigates the protective benefits of cardiorespiratory fitness on aging and Alzheimer's disease, as well as biomarkers for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. LinkedIn Twitter Alzheimer's Disease, cognition, memory, exercise
Neuroscience, Psychology Dr. Nicole Y.Y. Wicha The University of Texas at San Antonio Associate Professor The Wicha lab investigates how the brain processes language, especially in cases of bilingualism, and how language experience affects other cognitive processes, like arithmetic. Lab Website cognition, language, learning, child development, neurodevelopment, math cognition, bilingualism
Neuroscience, Psychiatry Dr. Luis E. Rosas-Vidal Vanderbilt University Resident Dr. Rosas Vidal's lab investigates neural circuits of fear and avoidance extinction and fear generalization. Faculty Page fear, avoidance, extinction, physiology, endocannabinoids, BDNF
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
Microbiology, Neuroscience Dr. Santiago Cuesta The University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center Post-doc Dr. Cuesta researches the effects of psychoactive substances on gut microbiota dynamics, while also investigating how psychostimulant-induced changes to the microbiota alter the brain’s response to these substances. Research Gate amphetamine, cocaine, substance abuse, dopamine, gut microbiota
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
Biochemistry, Neuroscience Dr. Tanea Reed Eastern Kentucky University Professor, Department Chair The Reed lab investigates post therapeutic strategies and proteomic changes associated with traumatic brain injury (i.e. concussions). They have previously worked in the field of oxidative stress and Alzheimer’s Disease. Faculty Page Alzheimer's Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, gamma glutamylcysteine ethyl ester, oxidative stress
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
Metabolism, Microbiology Dr. Juliana Vasco Correa The Ohio State University Post-doc Dr. Vasco Correa works in the Shah Lab to investigate how we can harness anaerobic digestion in bacteria to generate renewable energy. LinkedIn anaerobic digestion, metabolism, renewable energy
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
Biophysics, Physiology Dr. Valeria Vásquez The University of Tennessee Assistant Professor The Vásquez Lab investigates and characterizes the interactions between proteins and lipids involved in mechanoreceptor channel complexes. Lab Website Twitter sensation, perception, pain, proprioception, C. elegans, protein channels, lipids
Virology Dr. Sam Díaz-Muñoz University of California - Davis Assistant Professor The Díaz-Muñoz lab investigates the mechanisms that viruses have adapted to co-infect and co-exist within the same host. Lab Website Twitter RNA virus, Cystovirus, influenza, Recombination
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
Genetics Dr. Paola Giusti-Rodríguez University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Assistant Professor The Giusti-Rodríguez lab investigates the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Faculty Page mental illness, schizophrenia, fragile X syndrome, functional genomics
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
Analytical Chemistry Dr. Raychelle Burks St. Edward's University Assistant Professor The Burks Lab focuses on designing and producing field portable colorimetry sensors, including utilizing smart phones as analytical devices. Faculty Page Twitter forensics, analytics, drugs, explosives, chemical and biological weapons
Materials Chemistry Dr. Efrain Rodriguez University of Maryland Associate Professor The Rodriguez group is working to discover new materials to be used in superconductors as well as the magnetic properties of transition metal oxides and their use in energy conversion. Faculty Page transition metals, super conductors, chalcogenides, solid state, magnetics, hollandites, ferrotorodic materials, energy conversion, oxygen storage materials