The ALBA diversity podcast, an initiative by the ALBA Promotion of Diversity Task Force, highlights diverse profiles of neuroscientists, to showcase the grit and determination it takes to overcome hurdles as part of underrepresented groups in brain research. ALBA's podcaster, Dr. Shruti Muralidhar, talks to researchers across positions, career paths and backgrounds, to better understand their personal journeys, and what keeps them going as individuals and as neuroscientists in today’s world.
Episode 1: Ibukun Akinrinade - Pursuing your dreams: a career in neuroscience
"The beauty of science is having people from various background and field come together to create something beautiful: scientific research, ideas and innovation."
Dr. Ibukun Akinrinade just concluded her PhD with Prof. Rui Oliviera at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, trying to understand the role of oxytocin in social behaviour in Zebrafish. She talks about being an African woman neuroscientist and a mother. Ibukun credits her mother-in-law as her personal mentor, who constantly champions her work and efforts to become a scientist. She also tells us about TReND in Africa, a charity organization that gave her the exposure and skills she needed to become the neuroscientist she is today.
Originally from Nigeria, Ibukun has a background in Anatomy from the University of Ilorin. Before starting her PhD, she did a one-year training at the University of Bordeaux in France where she studied the role of stress systems in addiction focusing on corticotropin receptors, opiate reward and social behaviour in mice.
More information about Ibukun:
Episode 2: José Zepeda - Academia needs a culture change
"Diversity is necessary, it is just not communicated properly."
José Zepeda is a poet-scientist hybrid and originates from San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora in México. He talks about his experiences as a first generation immigrant making his way in academia. As a DREAMer, he recounts incidents of his life when he first recognized racism and racist attitudes. During the conversation, he shares poignant insights on how academic institutions need to change their power structures to better reflect the diversity of today’s society.
During the day, he is interested in how neural circuits within the brain can rewire themselves within the context of experience, both during regular development and pathologically. Whenever he gets a break from the lab, José is intent on crafting prose and poetry centered around the contemporary Xicano experience. José currently resides in Nashville, TN where he is pursuing a PhD in neuropharmacology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
More information about José - www.jczepeda.com
More information about racism in higher education: