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

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Field/SubfieldPreferred NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteWebsite 2Tags
Materials Chemistry Dr. Rodrigo Noriega The University of Utah Assistant Professor The Noriega group investigates the dynamic properties of macromolecules in solution and at interfaces using a variety of ultrafast laser spectroscopy tools. We are interested in processes that involve charge, energy, and phase transfer as well as conformational transitions. Faculty Page spectroscopy, electronic materials, solvation, macromolecular conformation
Materials Chemistry Dr. Javier Vela Iowa State University Professor The Vela-Becerra Lab investigates new optical and low dimensional materials and heterostructures. Lab Website nanocrystal, nanotechnology, computational chemistry
Nanotechnology Dr. Esteban Ureña-Benavides The University of Mississippi Assistant Professor The Ureña-Benavides group investigates the colloidal properties of nanoparticles and how they can be used to develop sustainable chemical processes. Applications of interests include CO2 sequestration, purification of bioethanol, oil bioremediation and responsible use and extraction of oil/gas. Lab Website low energy separation, colloids, emulsions, sustainable energy
Combinatorics Dr. Opel Jones Towson University Assistant Professor The Jones Group investigates pattern avoidance in permutations, specifically looking at Dumont permutation avoidance. Faculty Page enumerative combinatorics, pattern avoidance, minimal occurrence, Dumont permutation, Genocchi numbers
Pharmacology Dr. Kimberlei A. Richardson Howard University Associate Professor The Richardson lab investigates the role of orexins - hypothalamic hormones implicated in the regulation of appetite and sleep - in binge eating and drug addiction. We are also interested in understanding how the microbiota-gut-brain axis influences foraging and food choice behaviors. Lab Website Twitter Orexins, endocrinology, signaling, substance abuse/addiction, maladaptive feeding, foraging
Neuroscience Dr. Steve Ramirez Boston University Assistant Professor The Ramirez Lab investigates the neural circuitry behind memory storage and retrieval and how memories can be artificially modulated in healthy and maladaptive states. Lab Page Twitter learning, memory, optogenetics, hippocampus, amygdala, memory disorders
Neuroscience Dr. Ian Mendez The University of Texas at El Paso Assistant Professor The primary aim of the Mendez Lab is to elucidate the signals and circuits of the brain that become dysregulated following repeated exposure to rewards, and how they ultimately contribute to changes in motivational, hedonic, and cognitive processes. These processes are relevant to a myriad of behaviors and psychiatric disorders, with particularly strong implications for addiction. LinkedIn opioids, nicotine, reward, cues, motivation, addiction, feeding, decision making, rodent models
Neuroscience Dr. Alicia Izquierdo University of California - Los Angeles Professor The Izquierdo Lab investigates the neural bases of cost-benefit calculations in value-based decision making and flexible reinforcement learning, and how these can go awry in behavioral and substance addictions. Lab Website decision, cost, reward, risk, learning, computational, reinforcement, uncertainty, substance abuse, addiction, in vivo imaging, pharmacology
Neuroscience Dr. Carlos A. Bolaños-Guzmán Texas A&M University Associate Professor The Bolaños-Guzmán lab investigates how various insults (i.e., drug exposure, stress, early-life experiences, etc) influence biochemical and behavioral functioning in adulthood. Faculty Page cellular neuroscience, biochemistry, psychotropic drugs, stress, behavior, motivation, emotion, development
Neuroscience Dr. Kevin Jones University of Michigan Assistant Professor The Jones lab investigates potential therapeutic targets for a number of mental health disorders, specifically focusing on schizophrenia, depression, and drug abuse which are all linked to dysfunctional GABAergic interneurons. Lab Page schizophrenia, depression, drug abuse, GABA, interneurons, transgenic animal models, optogenetics, ion channels
Neuroscience Dr. Richard De La Garza II Baylor College of Medicine Professor The De La Garza lab investigates possible pharmacological and behavioral interventions for drug addiction (specifically tobacco, cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders). Faculty Page drug abuse, addiction, electronic cigarettes, virtual reality, cue-reactivity, neuro-imaging, genetics
Neuroscience Dr. Stephanie Correa University of California - Los Angeles Assistant Professor The Correa lab investigates the effects of endocrine signaling on the neural control of metabolism, specifically focusing on reproductive hormones such as estrogen. Lab Website Twitter estrogen, metabolism, obesity, women's health
Neuroscience Dr. Sergio Iñiguez The University of Texas at El Paso Associate Professor The Iñiguez Lab investigates how early exposure to stress and/or medication can affect development and future susceptibility to drug abuse. Faculty Page developmental, mental illness, anxiety, stress, drug abuse, memory, ketamine
Neuroscience Dr. Kaliris Salas-Ramirez CUNY - School of Medicine Assistant Professor The Salas-Ramirez lab investigates the the impact of cocaine on neural plasticity in development and the downstream effects of this mechanism on behavior as well as the sex-specific efficacy of interventions. Faculty Page Twitter drug abuse, cocaine, developmental, steroids, sex/gender, aggression, prenatal, adolescence
Neuroscience Dr. Marisela Morales NIH - National Institute on Drug Abuse Principle Investigator The Morales lab investigates the neuronal pathways implicated in drug addiction and the neuroadaptations in circuitry that occur during the recreational to compulsive drug-taking transition. Faculty Page drug addiction, electrophysiology, glutamatergic, GABAergic, dopamine, reward
Neuroscience Dr. Joseph Cheer University of Maryland Full Professor The Cheer Lab investigates the neurochemistry of endogenous cannabinoid signaling and its effects on behavior and other functions. Lab Website Cannabinoids, dopamine, motivation, addiction, depression, electrophysiology, optogenetics
Neuroscience Dr. Corey Harwell Harvard University Assistant Professor The Harwell lab investigates the production and assembly of neural circuits in the brain. Lab Website development, epigenetics, glia, progenitor cells, cell lineage
Neuroscience Dr. Carlos Paladini The University of Texas at San Antonio Professor The Paladini lab investigates the regulation of dopamine neurons, specifically looking at the influence of ion channel proteins on these neurons. Faculty Page dopamine, ion channels, astrocytes, drug addiction, GABA
Neuroscience Dr. Nancy Padilla-Coreano Salk Institute of Biological Studies Post-doc Dr. Padilla-Coreano is a post-doctoral fellow in the Tye Lab investigating the neural circuitry underlying social dominance and social interactions. Lab Page Personal Website social hierarchy, autism, behavior, circuitry, prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, optogenetics
Neuroscience Dr. A. Denise Garcia Drexel University Assistant Professor The Garcia lab is interested in addressing fundamental questions about astrocyte biology. Work in the lab is focused on the roles of astrocytes in the development and maintenance of neural circuits in health and disease, as well as in astrocyte diversity. Lab Website neurodevelopment, circuitry, astrocytes, astroglia, plasticity, in vivo,