Navigating a Neuroscience career for Scientists of Color

August 5, 2021

11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. ET

About the Webinar

As a funder and leader in mental health research, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recognizes its role and responsibilities in enhancing the diversity of the biomedical workforce. NIMH aims to support talented investigators from diverse backgrounds who contribute to the mission of transforming our understanding and treatment of mental illnesses. Young investigators must see successful role models in the field. To this end, this webinar will familiarize the audience with a rising star in neuroscience, Dr. Damien Fair, who has more than a dozen active grants, more than 80 peer-reviewed papers, and nearly two dozen awards and fellowships, including a 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Dr. Fair will describe his academic journey and the traits that have made him one of the most productive and sought-after collaborators in the field of brain imaging.


About the Speaker

Damien Fair

Damien Fair, Ph.D.
Professor, Institute of Child Development
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School
Redleaf Endowed Director, Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain

Dr. Damien Fair is originally from Winona, Minnesota. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1998 from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and his Master of Medical Science degree in 2001 from the Physician Assistant program at the Yale University School of Medicine. From 2001-2003, Dr. Fair practiced as a Physician Assistant in the neurology department at Yale-New Haven Hospital under the direction of Lawrence Brass, M.D. This led him to pursue further education in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis under the primary guidance of Bradley Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D. and Steven Petersen, Ph.D. Dr. Fair completed postdoctoral training at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) with Joel Nigg, Ph.D. and Bonnie Nagel, Ph.D., where he spent 10 years as the principal investigator of the Developmental Cognition and Neuroimaging Labs and a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Dr. Fair is currently a founding Co-Director of the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain (MIDB) and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dr. Fair’s research focuses on mechanisms and principles that underlie child and adolescent brain development. The majority of his work uses functional MRI and resting state functional connectivity MRI to assess typical and atypical populations. His research also focuses on testing the feasibility of various functional and structural MRI techniques for translational studies of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. Dr. Fair’s work cuts across both human and animal models, using non-invasive tools as a bridge between species. He has published more than 100 articles in high-impact research journals including Nature Neuroscience, Molecular Psychiatry, Neuron, PLoS, PNAS, Science, and Psychological Science. His research has been funded by grants from the Gates Foundation, McDonnell Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, and he has an extensive international network of collaborators. Dr. Fair has received many awards for his work, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers Issued by President Barack Obama and the White House.


About the Moderator

Ishmael Amarreh

Ishmael (Ish) Amarreh, Ph.D., M.P.A.
Chief, Minority Health and Workforce Diversity, Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity (ODWD), NIMH

Dr. Ishmael Amarreh is the Chief of Minority Health and Workforce Diversity, Office for Disparities Research and Workforce Diversity. Dr. Amarreh is responsible for the initiation, planning, execution, assessment, coordination, and promotion of research and scientist development activities within the ODWD and in conjunction with other NIH Institutes and Centers and governmental and international organizations as needed. In this capacity. Dr. Amarreh is responsible for the Workforce Diversity programs for ODWD. He works closely with ODWD Director and program chiefs and advises on policies, goals, and objectives for NIMH overall mental health disparities portfolio. In this capacity, he works with NIMH extramural and intramural program staff to develop research and training projects and provide technical consultation to the research community.

Before joining ODWD, Dr. Amarreh was the Chief Research Scientist Development for the Center for Global Mental Health (CGMH) at NIMH. Dr. Amarreh was responsible for the international research and scientist development activities within the CGMH. Additionally, Dr. Amarreh is the Project Officer for the international research portfolio at NIMH and provides technical consultation to the global mental health community. Dr. Amarreh worked with NIMH extramural and intramural program staff to develop global projects and provide technical consultation to the global mental health community. Dr. Amarreh has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, a master’s degree in International Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology.