Observing health disparities as a child aided his interest to pursue a career in the biomedical sciences. Yet, it is how our brain steadily processes our everyday experiences that consistently motivates Tony in this pursuit as a neuroscientist. As a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, Tony seeks to understand how the human brain changes with chronic pain and consciousness through neuroimaging analyses (e.g. fMRI and EEG). As one of increasing few, he also designed and facilitated peer-led workshops to address preparedness, social support and self-agency/cultural identity. Through introducing a more inclusive graduate school experience among neuroscience graduate students, he showed the importance and need to change the culture of graduate education, with increasing diversity. “Although there may not be a direct link between increasing the diversity in STEM and alleviating health disparities, it is clear that by increasing the number of diverse perspectives in graduate school we introduce new perspectives needed to help alleviate the health disparities through research.” To this end Tony recently co-founded an organization to support HBCU students for the graduate school application process and transition into a research-intensive doctoral program. As he continues to pursue his interests and studies of the brain, he continues to hope that many of his peers and colleagues include more black and brown faces in the future.
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