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. If you find a speaker but are unable to find their contact information online, you can reach out to us at dscnatl@gmail.com. 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
– Black Mathematicians: Mathematically Gifted & Black

Sort by:
Field/SubfieldPreferred NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteWebsite 2TagsDate Updated
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 January 7, 2020
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 September 11, 2019
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 September 24, 2019
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 December 10, 2019
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 March 28, 2020
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 November 13, 2019
Developmental Biology Dr. Crystal Rogers University of California - Davis Assistant Professor The Rogers Lab investigates the mechanisms through which cranial neural crest cells form and undergo an epithelial to mesenchymal transition to migrate throughout developing vertebrate embryos. Lab Website Twitter neural crest cells, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), neurodevelopment, gastrulation, cell migration, vertebrate February 6, 2020
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 March 28, 2020
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 November 13, 2019
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 November 18, 2019
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 November 19, 2019
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 November 19, 2019
Earth Sciences Professor Christopher Jackson Imperial College London Professor The Basins Research Group (BRG) investigates the tectono-stratigraphic evolution of sedimentary basins. Faculty Page Twitter tectonics, sedimentology, structural geology, geophysics February 28, 2020
Cancer Biology Dr. Rosalind Gregory-Bass Spelman College Associate Professor, Program Director The Gregory-Bass lab investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying ovarian cancer growth and development. Faculty Page ovarian cancer, mitochondria, chemoresistance March 22, 2020
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 October 17, 2019
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 August 27, 2019
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 March 28, 2020
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 March 28, 2020
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 November 13, 2019
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 March 28, 2020