OFDIR Program Directors
The OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research was started by Dr. Damien Fair and Dr. Marguerite Matthews in 2014 and is now administrated by Dr. Letisha Wyatt. Our programming is guided by a committee of individuals from various departments across OHSU who are dedicated to advancing a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion at OHSU. Read on to meet our Research Diversity Advisory Committee.
Letisha Wyatt, Ph.D. is the Co-Director of the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research. She is faculty in the Department of Neurology and the Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research (CEDAR) Center at Oregon Health & Science University. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Southern California (2013). Her research focuses on mechanisms for regulation of the brain’s response to drugs. Letisha is a former NIH predoctoral fellow and has strong record of mentorship in the laboratory and classroom. She works together with CEDAR Scientists and Staff to plan for current and future information and data management needs. Letisha also works in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research as the Director of Diversity in Research to support campus-wide efforts for diversity and inclusion in laboratories and graduate education. Read more about Letisha’s role on her personal website and view her work on ORCID.
Angela Ozburn, Ph.D., is a Native American neuroscientist and the Co-Director of the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research. As a first generation college student, she found support in structured mentoring and research experiences that were pivotal for advancement in her academic research career and now dedicates a significant portion of her time to training underrepresented individuals to become the next generation of scientists and physicians. Dr. Ozburn earned a her PhD in Neuroscience (2009) from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ozburn is a member of the NIH-funded Integrative Neuroscience Initiative on Alcoholism-Neuroimmune Consortium, where her lab collaborates with others in the consortium to use novel approaches in bioinformatics to identify and test therapeutic compounds that oppose drug-induced molecular signatures. Her VA-funded project focuses on identifying the brain circuitry and neural substrates involved in binge-like alcohol drinking. Visit Dr. Ozburn’s website to learn more her research: https://ozburna.wixsite.com/boutique-rec-lightbo.
Damien Fair, P.A.-C., Ph.D. is a co-founder of the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research. He is the principal investigator of the Developmental Cognition and Neuroimaging Lab and has also been a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at OHSU for the past ten years. Damien Fair directs the Developmental Cognition & Neuroimaging (DCAN) Lab, is principal investigator of the Typical and Atypical Brain Development project and co-principal investigator of the Longitudinal Imaging Study of ADHD Brain Development project. His research interests focus on Cognitive Brain Development, ADHD, Autism, and neuroimaging. The DCAN Lab focuses on mechanisms and principles that underlie the developing brain. The majority of their work uses functional MRI and resting state functional connectivity MRI to assess typical and atypical populations. They also focus on testing the feasibility of using various functional and structural MRI techniques in translational studies of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders. Damien obtained his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, under Dr. Bradley Schlaggar and Dr. Steven Petersen.
Nadia Busekrus is a part-time administrative assistant for the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research program. She also does administrative work for the DCAN Labs and the Youth Engaged in Science (YES!) Initiative. Nadia received her B.S. in Community Health from George Mason University in 2018 and is currently pursuing an M.S.W. degree at Portland State University. She is interested in the intersection of justice and the social determinants of health for communities’ mental health.
Research Diversity Advisory Commitee
The Research Diversity Advisory Committee supports the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research program by advising on and overseeing changes to the program as well as helping in the process of selecting new Fellows.
Binyam Nardos, Ph.D. is an active mentor of diverse trainees in various OHSU programs and advises the Program Directors on programmatic activities and professional development needs of near-peer mentors.
Charles R. Thomas, Jr., M.D. actively mentors diverse trainees within his field and provides guidance on aspects of the program relevant to research mentors.
Nicole Bowles, Ph.D. provides guidance to the advisory committee on matters related to supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Mary Heinrecher, Ph.D. advises on programmatic goals, and her office provides funding for this and other diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus.
Rachel Dresbeck, Ph.D. advises on aspects of the program related to trainee mentorship on scholarly writing and grantsmanship.