Our People

Antoinette Foster, PhD

Antoinette Foster head shot

As the Director of Community Transformation, Dr. Foster co-founded and currently co-directs the Racial Equity and Inclusion Center at Oregon Health and Science University, where she aims to directly impact personal and interpersonal racism by empowering community members to become leaders of change. This position focuses on creating culture shifts by using a racial equity principles to assess the current institutional culture, determine cultural values and processes incongruent with racial equity, and develop strategic pathways to align cultural norms and practices with a racially inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty. Her career aspiration is to radically shift scientific research culture towards establishing and practicing inclusive values and actions required to drive racial equity overall. 

Letisha Wyatt, PhD

Letisha Wyatt, PhD

Letisha R. Wyatt is faculty in the Department of Neurology. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology &Toxicology from the University of Southern California (2013). Her graduate and postdoctoral research focused on purinergic signaling in the central nervous system as a molecular target for new treatments for alcohol abuse and stroke. Letisha is a former NIH predoctoral fellow and has a strong record of mentorship in the laboratory and classroom. As the Director of Diversity in Research in the Office of Research and Innovation Office, part of her work involves supporting campus-wide efforts for enhancing inclusivity in laboratories and graduate education. More recently, Letisha has taken on the role of Director of Innovative Policy at the Racial Equity and Inclusion Center in the Vollum Institute where she focuses on building operational plans and internal systems to achieve organizational effectiveness in progressive workplace policies that advance racial equity. A major goal of her effort in this area is to engage with institutional leadership so that they may be empowered to identify structural racism and actively participate in the work to dismantle it. Read more about Letisha’s role on her personal website and view her work on ORCID: 0000-0003-1026-5232.

Sarah Kissiwaa, PhD

Photo of Sarah Kissiwaa

Dr. Sarah Kissiwaa is postdoctoral fellow at the Racial Equity and Inclusion (REI) Center within the Vollum Institute of OHSU. Dr. Kissiwaa received her PhD from the University of Sydney, Australia. Her PhD and postdoctoral work investigated how synaptic proteins affect synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in the brain. Dr. Kissiwaa currently works with the Director of Innovative Policy to identify and correct equity gaps within the Vollum Institute policies through data collection and community engagement. She also works with the Director of Community Transformation to develop and deliver racial equity course content, assess, and shift cultural values towards an equitable and inclusive environment. Dr. Kissiwaa seeks to embody equity principles such as inclusion, transparency, accountability, flexibility, power-sharing, and harm reduction in all aspects of her work and life and hopes to empower others to do the same.