Get to know our BP-ENDURE Virtual Seminar Series: Champions for Diversity in the Neurosciences’ speakers that shared their investigation with our students and community.

Speaker: Santos Franco, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Boettcher Investigator
University of Colorado
School of Medicine

Title: “Spatial and Temporal Control of Neural Stem Cell Fate in the Developing Brain”
Date: March 3, 2021

Biography: Santos earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Colorado State University in 2000. He obtained his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2005, where he studied cell motility in the laboratory of Anna Huttenlocher, M.D. Santos then performed his postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute – La Jolla, in the laboratory of Ulrich Müller, Ph.D. In the Müller lab, Santos studied development of the cerebral cortex, focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal migration and cell fate specification. Santos started his own lab in 2013 at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Developmental Biology. He is also an investigator in the Program of Pediatric Stem Cell Biology at Children’s Hospital Colorado and serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator for the Section of Developmental Biology and for the graduate program in Cell Biology, Stem Cell and Development  Santos was promoted to Associate Professor in July 2020.

Speaker: Mary Kay Lobo, Ph.D.
Dept. Of Anatomy and Neurobiology
University of Maryland
School of Medicine

Title: The impact of stress and opioids on brain molecular mechanisms
Date: March 10, 2021

Biography: Mary Kay Lobo is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) in Baltimore in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  She is the co-Director for the UMSOM Center for Substance Use in Pregnancy. She received a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Lobo’s research focuses on the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate maladaptive behavior including those related to substance use disorders and mood disorders. Her lab employs a multitude of genetic and cell subtype specific tools to probe cell-type specific adaptations in the brain in disruptive behavior. Dr. Lobo is a Reviewing editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and eLife. She is a recipient of a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) awarded from the Obama administration. Dr. Lobo’s laboratory is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation.

Speaker: Oliver Rollins, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
University of Louisville

Title: The Taboo of Race: “Color-blind” Racism and the “Violent Brain”
Date: March 17, 2021

Biography: Oliver Rollins is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville. His research focuses on the ways sociocultural dynamics inform the production, use, and anticipated value of neuroscientific knowledge.  Currently, he’s conducting a project that examines the social and bioethical implications of neuroscience research on implicit bias, which uses qualitative sociological methods to explore the potential challenges, consequences, and promises of operationalizing racial prejudice and identity as neurobiological processes. Rollins’s forthcoming book, Conviction: The Making and Unmaking of The Violent Brain (Stanford University Press, 2021), traces the development and use of neuroimaging research on anti-social behaviors and crime, with special attention to the limits of this controversial brain model when dealing with aspects of social difference, power, and inequality. Previously, Rollins was a postdoctoral researcher at University of Pennsylvania in the Program on Race, Science & Society (2014-2018) and the Center for Africana Studies and Center for Neuroscience and Society (2016-2018). Rollins received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).