Taking a Leading Role in Promoting Excellence and Diversity in Neuroscience

Taking a Leading Role in Promoting Excellence and Diversity in Neuroscience

A NEW INITIATIVE known as Black In Neuro continues to energize scientists across the world who have committed to come together to support and encourage Blacks in the field of neuroscience, an effort swiftly supported by Mount Sinai through The Friedman Brain Institute.

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The inaugural event, #BlackInNeuroWeek, a seven-day summer 2020 global get-together via Zoom, Skype, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, celebrated Black excellence in neuroscience-related fields. The effort continued with an inaugural Black In Neuro virtual conference in the fall, which allowed for more amplification of Black voices on numerous topics: pathway to careers, mentorship, and finding fulfillment—and the struggles they have overcome, the challenges they face, and the effects of racism on neuroscientists. In January 2021, The Friedman Brain Institute and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion launched a new lecture series with a program on The Impact of Racism on Mental Health. Mount Sinai neuroscience graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and clinicians have had national leadership roles in shaping this discussion. Additional events are planned for 2021.

The Friedman Brain Institute has long been committed to the goals of diversity in neuroscience, having launched a robust #DiverseBrains initiative five years ago.

“We are extremely proud of the leadership role played by Mount Sinai trainees nationally in launching and sustaining Black In Neuro as a crucial new resource for our field,” says Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD.

Those playing leading roles at Mount Sinai include: postdoctoral fellow Aya Osman, PhD; neuroscience PhD students Ashley Cunningham, Joseph Simon, IV, and Faith Adams; and neurosurgery resident Ernest J. Barthélemy, MD, MPH.

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Faith Adams

Faith Adams

Neuroscience PhD student

Ernest Barthélemy, MD, MPH

Ernest Barthélemy, MD, MPH

Co-Chief Resident, Neurosurgery

Ashley Cunningham

Ashley Cunningham

Neuroscience PhD student

Aya Osman, PhD

Aya Osman, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Joseph Simon, IV

Joseph Simon, IV

Neuroscience PhD student