As a neuropharmacologist, my research interests involve investigating basic mechanisms of pharmacology and biochemistry as they relate to drug effects on the brain and the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. I hold a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology &Toxicology from the University of Southern California (2013) and have studied ethanol intake behaviors in transgenic mice lacking purinergic P2X4 receptors and the role of adenosine homeostasis in mouse models of Parkinson's Disease and Stroke. I am a former NIH predoctoral fellow, have authored several primary research articles, and instructed students (high school through graduate) in the laboratory and classroom on their academic and professional development.
I am currently an Associate Professor of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). I have also served as faculty in the OHSU Library and the Center for Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR), working together with researchers to support open science practices and data stewardship needs. See my recent publication on data licensing at PLOS ONE and you can check out more of my work via ORCID: 0000-0003-1026-5232.
As a Black woman, diversity, equity, and inclusion in science, engineering, technology, math, and medicine (STEMM) is very important to me. I work hard to engage trainees from underrepresented backgrounds throughout their undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, graduate, and postdoctoral career development. In my administrative role as the Director of Diversity in Research in the OHSU Office of Research and Innovation (reporting to the university's Chief Research Officer) allows me to develop and implement campus-wide initiatives for impacting the culture of inclusion in laboratories and graduate education (see postbac and postdoc programs. I am also the Director of Innovative Policy at the Racial Equity and Inclusion Center in the Vollum Institute where I focus on building operational plans and internal systems to achieve organizational effectiveness in progressive workplace polices to advance racial equity. I specifically work with institutional leadership so that they may be empowered to identify structural racism and actively participate in the work to dismantle it.
My ultimate goal in doing this work is to create a more equitable research ecosystem which will provide a true sense of belonging for everyone involved - a critical component for advancing science and bringing parity to the healthcare system. Read more about my roles on my academic webpage. I'm always looking to connect with new mentors, mentees, and collaborators. Drop me a line below!