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AAAS SEA Change Biomedicine and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine were joined by experts for a conversation about SEA Change Biomedicine as an initiative that offers an opportunity for systemic transformation on the journey to dismantling racism and sexism, addressing health inequities amplified by COVID-19, as well as serving as the infrastructure for supporting diverse and inclusive leadership in academic medicine.


Dr. Laurencin is the 8th designated University Professor in the 135 year history of the University of Connecticut. He is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is the Chief Executive Officer of The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering and the Director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin earned a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School, and received the Robinson Award for Surgery. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was named a Hugh Hampton Young Fellow. A practicing sports medicine and shoulder surgeon, Dr. Laurencin has been named to America’s Top Doctors for over fifteen years. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Orthopaedic Association, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Surgical Association. He received the Nicolas Andry Award, the highest honor of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. Dr. Laurencin served as Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin is a pioneer of the new field, Regenerative Engineering. He is an expert in biomaterials science, stem cell technology and nanotechnology and was named one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and received the Founder’s Award from the Society for Biomaterials. He received the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, NIH’s highest and most prestigious research award, for his new field of Regenerative Engineering and the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Grant Award. Dr. Laurencin is the Editor-in-Chief of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine, published by Springer Nature, and is the Founder of the Regenerative Engineering Society. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a Fellow of the Materials Research Society and a AAAS Fellow. The American Association for the Advancement of Science awarded Dr. Laurencin the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize given ‘for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States’. Dr. Laurencin is active in mentoring, especially underrepresented minority students. He received the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mentor Award, the Beckman Award for Mentoring, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math and Engineering Mentoring in ceremonies at the White House. The Society for Biomaterials established The Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship in his honor, awarded to underrepresented minority students pursuing research. Dr. Laurencin is also active in addressing Health Disparities. Dr. Laurencin completed the Program in African-American Studies at Princeton University. He is a core faculty member of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, published by Springer Nature. He co-Founded the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute, dedicated to addressing Health Disparities, and served as its Founding Chair. The W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute and the National Medical Association established the Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award, given during the opening ceremonies of the National Medical Association Meeting. Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Active internationally, he is an elected fellow of the Indian National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the African Academy of Sciences, The World Academy of Sciences, and is an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Bright, physician and patient advocate, is the Associate Dean for Admissions, Professor of Internal Medicine, and the interim Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at the Brody School of Medicine in Greenville NC. Previously, he served as the Associated Dean of Inclusive Excellence, the Director of the Office Special Programs and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medical Education at the UNC School of Medicine. He served as the 112th President of the National Medical Association from 2011 to 2012 during which time he advocated in the White House for health equity, increased diversity in clinical trials, and increasing the pipeline of students of color into health careers. He was previously an Associate Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine and Community and Family Medicine at Duke University and a staff physician at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He started his career as a Clinical instructor at Brown University as the site director of the Notre Dame Ambulatory Center. Dr. Bright has served as a mentor for premedical and medical students and was featured in a U tube video developed by Diverse Medicine Inc. entitled “Black Male in a White Coat”. He was featured in the AAMC publication “Altering the Course; Black Males in Medicine”. He has spoken at the Congressional Black Caucus Health brain trust before on topics related to Veterans health, disparities within the VA system, and how to strengthen the pipeline of black males. Recently, Dr. Bright was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the highest honor bestowed to UNC Alumni. Dr. Bright serves as a board member for the National Medical Fellowships Org. and on the W. Montague Cobb/ NMA Health Institute. He served as the chair for the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties and the Lincoln Community Health Center. He is a dedicated clinician, community servant leader, husband and father, as well as a mentor to many.

Dr. Jones is the 2019-2020 Evelyn Green Davis Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the 144th President of the American Public Health Association (2016). She is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism). Dr. Jones is a public health leader valued for her creativity and intellectual agility. As a methodologist, she has developed new methods for comparing full distributions of data, rather than simply comparing means or proportions, in order to investigate population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. As a social epidemiologist, her work on "race"-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond simply documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on "race" and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. She aims through her work to catalyze a National Campaign Against Racism that will mobilize and engage all Americans. Dr. Jones was an Assistant Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (1994 to 2000) before being recruited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000 to 2014), where she served as a Medical Officer and Research Director on Social Determinants of Health and Equity. Most recently, she was a Senior Fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine (2013 to 2019). She has been elected to service on many professional boards, including her current service on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb County (Georgia) Board of Health and the National Board of Public Health Examiners. She is also actively sought as a contributor to national efforts to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity, including as a faculty member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Pursuing Excellence in the Clinical Learning Environment collaborative addressing Health Care Disparities, as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and as a Project Advisor and on-screen expert for the groundbreaking film series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Highly valued as a mentor and teacher, she is also an Adjunct Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Her honors include the Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award (Wellesley College’s highest alumnae honor, 2018), the John Snow Award (given in recognition of “enduring contributions to public health through epidemiologic methods and practice” by the American Public Health Association’s Epidemiology Section, 2011), and awards named after luminaries David Satcher (2003), Hildrus A. Poindexter (2009), Paul Cornely (2016), Shirley Nathan Pulliam (2016), Louis Stokes (2018), Frances Borden-Hubbard (2018), and Cato T. Laurencin (2018). Dr. Jones earned her BA in Molecular Biology from Wellesley College, her MD from the Stanford University School of Medicine, and both her Master of Public Health and her PhD in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She also completed residency training in General Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins and in Family Practice at the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.

Dr. Malcom is the Director of SEA Change and a Senior Advisor to the CEO at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In this position she works to improve the quality of and increase access to education and careers in STEMM. Dr. Malcom is a co-author of the landmark report, The Double Bind: The Price of Being a Minority Woman in Science (1976). She is a trustee of Caltech, a regent of Morgan State University and a former member of the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation. Dr. Malcom chaired the NASEM Committee on Barriers and Opportunities to 2-Year and 4-Year STEM Degree Completion. She serves on the boards of the Heinz Endowments, Public Agenda, the National Math-Science Initiative and Digital Promise. Internationally, she is a leader in efforts to improve access of girls and women to education and careers in science and engineering and to increase use of S&T to empower women and address problems they face in their daily lives, serving as co-chair of the Gender Advisory Board of the UN Commission on S&T for Development and Gender InSITE, a global campaign to deploy S&T to help improve the lives and status of girls and women. In 2003, she received the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, the highest award given by the Academy.

Dr. Pinn was the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she worked to ensure the inclusion of women and minorities in NIH-funded research; to educate and impress upon the scientific community the importance of sex differences in research and health care; and to develop programs and policies to advance women in biomedical careers. Dr. Pinn served as director from 1991 until her retirement in August 2011. She also was NIH’s associate director for research on women’s health from 1994-2011. She served as an NAM (IOM) representative on the National Academies Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine from 2012-2017. Before the NIH, Dr. Pinn was professor and chair of the Department of Pathology at Howard University. Previously, she held teaching appointments at Tufts University and Harvard Medical School. At Tufts she was assistant dean for student affairs and an advocate for minority students. Dr. Pinn earned a scholarship to Wellesley College, graduated in 1962, and enrolled in medical school at the University of Virginia. As the only African-American and only woman in her class, she was doubly distinguished. While Dr. Pinn intended to become a pediatrician, she developed a passion for research during a summer internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Pinn is past president of the National Medical Association. She received the Elizabeth Blackwell Award from the American Medical Women’s Association in 1995, the year she was elected to the National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Brittanie D. Hazzard Bigby is a fourth-year medical student, and Chairperson of the Board at Student National Medical Association (SNMA), a 501c3 nonprofit headquartered in Washington, D.C. SNMA is the oldest and largest student organization for underrepresented students in medicine. As the Chair, Ms. Hazzard-Bigby oversees the governing body and works with the Executive Director to manage the organization’s operations. Ms. Hazzard- Bigby has held several leadership positions within the SNMA before serving as Chair. She is an entrepreneur, a mentor, and an advocate. When she isn’t engulfed in her academic coursework or advocating for clean beauty as a Beautycounter consultant, Brittanie enjoys creating memories with her husband, Justin; learning a new skill, with guitar being her favorite, or indulging in self-care. Ms. Hazzard-Bigby’s motto is “Delay is not denial; each step is a necessary part of the amazingly beautiful adventure we call life.”A native Houstonian, Ms. Hazzard-Bigby earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Baylor University and her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion and Behavior Science from the University of Texas School of Public Health. She will earn her Doctor of Medicine in 2021.

Dr. Garvey is a first-year radiology resident at the Emory University School of Medicine and a national working group member of White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL), an organization dedicated to dismantling racism in medicine. Since beginning her medical training, Dr. Garvey has been developing and teaching courses for medical trainees and faculty around anti-Black racism, capitalism, and health inequities in the United States. She dreams of a world where we are all free, and the health of our society is rooted in the well-being of those most marginalized.

Howard University College of Medicine