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

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Field/SubfieldPreferred NameInstitutionPositionDescriptionWebsiteWebsite 2TagsDate Updated
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 March 28, 2020
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 March 28, 2020
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 November 13, 2019
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 June 2, 2019
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 November 13, 2019
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 November 13, 2019
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 March 28, 2020
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 June 1, 2019
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 June 1, 2019
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 March 28, 2020
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, March 28, 2020
Neuroscience Dr. Nathan Anthony Smith The Children's Research Institute Assistant Professor The Smith lab investigates the mechanisms through which neuromodulators mediate the interactions between neurons, astrocytes and microglia in normal and diseased states. Lab Website Twitter neuromodulators, neurons, astrocytes, microglia, ADHD, depression, epilepsy, electrophysiology, pharmacology, in vivo calcium imaging June 17, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Dionna Whitney Williams Johns Hopkins University Assistant Professor The Williams lab investigates the impact of HIV infection on the brain that result in cognitive and psychiatric dysfunction. Currently, the major focus is to examine mechanisms through which antiretroviral therapy (ART) crosses the blood-brain barrier as well as the effects and localization of ART once in the brain. Dr. Williams also investigates the mechanisms behind inflammation during viral infection and the mechanisms that contribute to the brain as a reservoir for HIV. Faculty Page neuroHIV, antiretroviral therapy, HIV, blood-brain barrier (BBB), substance abuse, neuroinflammation, arrestin, disparity June 17, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Jose Rodrígeuz-Romaguera University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Assistant Professor The Rodríguez-Romaguera lab investigates the neural mechanisms that mediate the hyperarousal states that emerge in many psychiatric disorders. They use a combination of in vivo optical tools that allow for single cell dissection in mice as a model system. Lab Website Twitter anxiety, autism, hyperarousal, emotion, motivation, amygdala, single-cell, calcium imaging, optogenetics November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Maria Diehl Kansas State University Assistant Professor The Diehl Faryna Lab investigates the changes in neural circuitry that accompany fear- and anxiety-inducing stimuli with the goal of understanding why some individuals recover from trauma while others develop neuropsychiatric diseases (i.e. PTSD). Lab Website trauma, fear, anxiety, resilience, post-traumatic stress disorder, optogenetics November 13, 2019
Neuroscience Dr. Marcelo Febo University of Florida - College of Medicine Assistant Professor, Program Director of Translational Imaging The Febo Lab uses fMRIs to longitudinally investigates drug response in the cognitive and emotional centers of rats’ brains. Faculty Page brain imaging, neuroimaging, fMRI, cognition, emotion, drug addiction, cocaine, dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, prefrontal cortex, motivation November 13, 2019
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