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PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
BS, University of Illinois

Pronouns: he/him/his



Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

Following the murder of George Floyd in June 2020, I like many others, felt an extreme urgency to get more involved in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) in all aspects of life. I marched for BLM in Boston. I began educating myself on how to be actively anti-racist. I learned more about institutional racism and realized how under-utilized my power and privilege were in disassembling it. I have always supported, cultivated, and appreciated the immense value of a diverse lab environment, not just because it is the righteous thing to do but because it brings new perspectives, a wider range of ideas, and begets a more interesting and welcoming work environment and yes, better science. Like many others, the “EIJ” of DEIJ has been a knowledge gap for me as I continue to learn how to provide an environment that is not just more diverse, but also more Equitable, Inclusive, and Just. There is a useful analogy from one of the DEIJ workshops I recently attended: “’Diversity’ is being invited to the party, ‘Inclusion’ is being asked to dance at the party and choose the music; ‘Equity’ is getting equal time and space in the DJ booth or on the dance floor”. I think about this analogy frequently as I strive to make an inclusive work environment. We need to be vigilant and INTENTIONAL (not passive) in fostering equity and inclusion. I place an extremely high value on JUSTICE part of DEIJ and is a major motivator for me in my efforts. I want trainees at all levels and in every program to know that I am an active, approachable, and dedicated ally who will take them seriously and who will act when necessary and do all I can to see that barriers are removed for creating a safer, positive, and thriving environment. Doing the right thing at the right time in the face of risk (retribution, retaliation) is incredibly difficult but is absolutely necessary to produce measurable, persistent change from top-down. There must be consequences for those in power whose actions and environment they cultivate work against a more DEIJ environment. I have the utmost respect for faculty and administrators who dedicate their invisible, unmeasured time to DEIJ efforts, many of whom are people of color and from underrepresented backgrounds. I also have the utmost respect for the brave trainees who risk their careers to call out bad behaviors, e.g., racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying, psychological abuse, microaggressions, and sexual misconduct. I will continue to listen to their voices and I will continue to act on their concerns with swiftness and intention.

I joined Graduate Program for Neuroscience (GPN) DEIJ committee in June 2020 and remain an active faculty member. We have accomplished several goals over the past two years, including a seminar series “Stress, Resilience, and Society”, where we hosted neuroscientist speakers whose talks addressed behavioral and neurological correlates of stress and its transmission across generations. A GPN student would host each speaker and helped lead post-seminar discussions between the speakers and the PhD students on research in the context of DEIJ and society. During the second year, we organized a symposium on Neuroscience and Society and had a panel of speakers who covered topics such as empathy and sex differences in neuroscience research and an engaging panel discussion. We also applied for the opportunity to offer a merit-based endowed scholarship for an Emerging Scholars award for GPN (we are resubmitting this year). The goal of the scholarship is to recruit exceptional students coming from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background and who might not otherwise enroll in GPN (moving to Boston is very expensive) by providing financial support to offset prohibitive moving and living expenses, facilitate professional development, and ease funding barriers for lab entry. Student members successfully installed a local chapter for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans (SACNAS). GPN DEIJ members like myself serve on the Admissions Committee and have created a general trajectory of increasing diversity with each new cohort of trainees.

Promoting DEIJ must begin early within the educational system. As a faculty member at a major R1 research university, I participate in training at multiple levels of education, including high school summer trainees, undergraduate researchers, graduate students (masters and PhD), and medical students. I prioritize supporting work-study undergraduates as they are frequently from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds and receive monetary compensation for their work. I also mentor students from a variety of programs that support diversity, including BU Research In Science and Engineering (RISE) program for high school students, BU Summer Training As Research Scholars (STARS) program (NIH/NHLBI), and BU Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) program (NIH/NIGMS). I meet formally with trainees, discuss journal articles, review/advise on presentations, and review PhD application materials. I invite trainees to attend scientific meetings where I introduce them to my colleagues and encourage them to network and participate in career development workshops. I strive to provide as many opportunities as possible and to advocate for trainees at local, national, and international scientific meetings. I also participate in the national NIH/NIDA Summer Scholars program for undergraduate researchers from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds, most of whom have earned authorship on published scientific papers.

I am a member of the Admissions Committee for the PhD program in Biomolecular Pharmacology and the Graduate Program for Neuroscience at Boston University. I also serve on the Selection Committee for the T32 Biomolecular Pharmacology PhD program where we prioritize diversity and look for students who are actively involved in outreach, DEIJ activities, and show genuine interest in helping their colleagues succeed. I attended a workshop on developing a rubric for assessment of applications, with the goal of minimizing selection bias that works against DEIJ efforts. In addition to considering defined rubrics and procedures, we pay special attention to students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds. We read personal statements carefully and do not go by rigid, arbitrary cut-offs such as GPA in making invitation decisions. We identify applicants who have overcome adversity and struggles in challenging situations and environments outside of their academic experience that has impeded their ability to otherwise flourish. We look for signs of improvement over time. We look closely at letters of recommendation that often add a different perspective and enrich our understanding of the applicant’s circumstances. This more careful, tedious approach has led us to consistently recruit a diverse lot of highly successful students.

Institutional racism directly impedes DEIJ and combating it from top-down can lead to substantial improvements in the work environment; however, there must be increased effort from the bottom-up early on to provide advantages and opportunities to level the playing field. I will continue to promote diversity in student and faculty recruitment in the committees on which I serve. I will continue to promote equity and inclusion and advocate for my trainees in my laboratory environment, at scientific conferences, meetings, and local events. I will continue to be actively involved in outreach, including visiting and speaking with students at HBUs and participating in career development workshops at NIH and scientific meetings. I chair multiple thesis committees for PhD students from underrepresented backgrounds and tend to their individual circumstances to make sure they succeed at the highest level. Actively promoting a DEIJ environment requires a constant self-awareness and re-evaluation, vigilance across all academic settings, and continual self-education and training. I will continue to educate myself and provide a DEIJ environment that is safe and welcoming. I will support and advocate for my students and others whom I serve so they can thrive at their full potential in their PhD programs and will arm trainees with the skills and opportunities needed to realize their most aspirational career goals.


Systems genetics of premorbid and cocaine use traits in a rat reduced complexity cross
05/01/2022 - 02/28/2027 (Multi-PI)
PI: Camron D. Bryant, PhD
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
5U01DA055299-02

The role of Zhx2 in CYP2D regulation, oxycodone metabolism, and opioid addiction model behaviors
08/08/2023 - 07/31/2026 (Key Person / Mentor)
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
1F31DA056217-01

A Reduced Complexity Cross in BALB/c substrains to identify the genetic basis of oxycodone dependence phenotypes
09/01/2020 - 06/30/2025 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
5U01DA050243-04

Genetic Basis of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy in a Reduced Complexity Cross
02/07/2018 - 01/31/2023 (Multi-PI)
PI: Camron D. Bryant, PhD
Virginia Commonwealth University NIH NCI
5R01CA221260-04

Bridging genetic variation with behavior: Molecular and functional mechanisms of quantitative trait gene regulation of the stimulant and addictive properties of methamphetamine in mice
07/01/2015 - 06/30/2022 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
5R01DA039168-05

Overall NIDA Core "Center of Excellence" in Transcriptomics, Systems Genetics and the Addictome
08/01/2019 - 10/31/2020 (Subcontract PI)
The University of Tennessee on behalf of its Health Science Center NIH NIDA
5P30DA044223-03

Big Data Computational Methods for Analysis of Drugs of Abuse
09/01/2017 - 06/30/2020 (Subcontract PI)
The Leland Stanford Junior University NIH NIDA
5U01DA044399-03

Genetic basis of binge eating and its motivational components in a reduced complexity cross
09/15/2015 - 08/31/2018 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
5R21DA038738-02

Mapping G x E Interactions for Addiction Traits in a Reduced Complexity Cross
07/01/2014 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
5R03DA038287-02

Bridging Genetic Variation with Behavior: Molecular and Functional Mechanisms.
05/01/2015 - 04/30/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
3R00DA029635-05S2

Showing 10 of 11 results. Show All Results


Title


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2023 Systems genetics of premorbid and cocaine use traits in a rat reduced complexity cross 5U01DA055299-02
2023 A Reduced Complexity Cross in BALB/c substrains to identify the genetic basis of oxycodone dependence phenotypes 5U01DA050243-04
2022 Systems genetics of premorbid and cocaine use traits in a rat reduced complexity cross 1U01DA055299-01
2022 A Reduced Complexity Cross in BALB/c substrains to identify the genetic basis of oxycodone dependence phenotypes 5U01DA050243-03
2021 A Reduced Complexity Cross in BALB/c substrains to identify the genetic basis of oxycodone dependence phenotypes 5U01DA050243-02
2021 Genetic basis of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in a reduced complexity cross 5R01CA221260-04 2
2020 A Reduced Complexity Cross in BALB/c substrains to identify the genetic basis of oxycodone dependence phenotypes 1U01DA050243-01
2020 Genetic basis of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in a reduced complexity cross 5R01CA221260-03 2
2019 Genetic basis of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy in a reduced complexity cross 5R01CA221260-02 2
2019 Bridging genetic variation with behavior: Molecular and functional mechanisms of quantitative trait gene regulation of the stimulant and addictive properties of methamphetamine in mice 3R01DA039168-04S1 9
Showing 10 of 30 results. Show All Results

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Borrelli KN, Wingfield KK, Yao EJ, Zamorano CA, Sena KD, Beierle JA, Roos MA, Zhang H, Wachman EM, Bryant CD. Decreased myelin-related gene expression in the nucleus accumbens during spontaneous neonatal opioid withdrawal in the absence of long-term behavioral effects in adult outbred CFW mice. Neuropharmacology. 2023 Dec 01; 240:109732.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37774943; PMCID: PMC10598517; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2023.109732;
     
  2. Borrelli KN, Wingfield KK, Yao EJ, Zamorano CA, Sena KD, Beierle JA, Roos MA, Zhang H, Wachman EM, Bryant CD. Decreased myelin-related gene expression in the nucleus accumbens during spontaneous neonatal opioid withdrawal in the absence of long-term behavioral effects in adult outbred CFW mice. bioRxiv. 2023 Aug 07.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37609129; PMCID: PMC10441327; DOI: 10.1101/2023.08.04.552033;
     
  3. Parisien M, van Reij RRI, Khoury S, Koseli E, Karaky M, van den Hoogen NJ, Peng G, Allegri M, de Gregori M, Chelly JE, Rakel BA, Aasvang EK, Kehlet H, Buhre WFFA, Bryant CD, Damaj MI, King IL, Mogil JS, Joosten EAJ, Diatchenko L. Genome-wide association study suggests a critical contribution of the adaptive immune system to chronic post-surgical pain. medRxiv. 2023 Mar 10. PMID: 36945481; PMCID: PMC10029026; DOI: 10.1101/2023.01.24.23284520;
     
  4. Parisien M, van Reij RRI, Khoury S, Koseli E, Karaky M, van den Hoogen NJ, Peng G, Allegri M, de Gregori M, Chelly JE, Rakel BA, Aasvang EK, Kehlet H, Buhre WFFA, Bryant CD, Damaj MI, King IL, Mogil JS, Joosten EAJ, Diatchenko L. Genome-wide association study suggests a critical contribution of the adaptive immune system to chronic post-surgical pain. medRxiv. 2023 Mar 10. PMID: 36945481; PMCID: PMC10029026; DOI: 10.1101/2023.01.24.23284520;
     
  5. Ulker E, Caillaud M, Koseli E, Contreras K, Alkhlaif Y, Lindley E, Barik M, Ghani S, Bryant CD, Imad Damaj M. Comparison of Pain-Like behaviors in two surgical incision animal models in C57BL/6J mice. Neurobiol Pain. 2022; 12:100103. PMID: 36531613; PMCID: PMC9755018; DOI: 10.1016/j.ynpai.2022.100103;
     
  6. Sena KD, Beierle JA, Richardson KT, Kantak KM, Bryant CD. Assessment of Binge-Like Eating of Unsweetened vs. Sweetened Chow Pellets in BALB/c Substrains. Front Behav Neurosci. 2022; 16:944890.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35910681; PMCID: PMC9337213; DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2022.944890;
     
  7. Beierle JA, Yao EJ, Goldstein SI, Lynch WB, Scotellaro JL, Shah AA, Sena KD, Wong AL, Linnertz CL, Averin O, Moody DE, Reilly CA, Peltz G, Emili A, Ferris MT, Bryant CD. Zhx2 Is a Candidate Gene Underlying Oxymorphone Metabolite Brain Concentration Associated with State-Dependent Oxycodone Reward. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2022 Aug; 382(2):167-180.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35688478; PMCID: PMC9341249; DOI: 10.1124/jpet.122.001217;
     
  8. Ray MH, Williams BR, Kuppe MK, Bryant CD, Logan RW. A Glitch in the Matrix: The Role of Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Opioid Use Disorder. Front Integr Neurosci. 2022; 16:899637.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35757099; PMCID: PMC9218427; DOI: 10.3389/fnint.2022.899637;
     
  9. Borrelli KN, Wachman EM, Beierle JA, Taglauer ES, Jain M, Bryant CD, Zhang H. Effect of Prenatal Opioid Exposure on the Human Placental Methylome. Biomedicines. 2022 May 17; 10(5).View Related Profiles. PMID: 35625888; PMCID: PMC9138340; DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines10051150;
     
  10. Bulik CM, Coleman JRI, Hardaway JA, Breithaupt L, Watson HJ, Bryant CD, Breen G. Genetics and neurobiology of eating disorders. Nat Neurosci. 2022 May; 25(5):543-554. PMID: 35524137; PMCID: PMC9744360; DOI: 10.1038/s41593-022-01071-z;
     
Showing 10 of 64 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 2 publications over 2 distinct years, with a maximum of 1 publications in 2005 and 2014

YearPublications
20051
20141

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