July 2020 Updates from MRRI

Last month, MRRI scientists continued to make progress remotely on a variety of research projects and to engage virtually with the broader community. We published a blog article highlighting newly published criteria to care for patients with disorders of consciousness, as well as an article shining the spotlight on the generations of Klein family members who have supported MRRI, MossRehab, and the Einstein Healthcare Network.

In addition to being sought-after experts in their respective research areas, our scientists are also important contributors at a national level in advocating for science and medicine. MRRI Director and Director of the Human Motor Recovery Laboratory, Dylan Edwards, PhD, was recently featured in an article in Philadelphia Magazine discussing the challenges that Black scientists continue to face in securing funding from organizations like the National Institutes for Health (NIH). In this article Dr. Edwards describes potential factors that may contribute to a lower likelihood of funding success in Black or other minority applicants and important steps that should be taken to remedy these disparities.

Further, John Whyte, MD, PhD, Former MRRI Director and Founding Director of the TBI Rehabilitation Research Laboratory was interviewed by the Association of Academic Physiatrists about his dedication to advocacy throughout his career. Dr. Whyte shares what motivated him to become involved in advocacy efforts, challenges he has encountered, and why he believes it is important for physicians to take an active role in these national conversations that impact the patients they serve.

In some cases, the perception that scientists are somehow different from others may be a barrier in fostering connections and conversations between researchers and our communities. To help overcome this barrier, Dr. Umesh Venkatesan, PhD, Institute Scientist and Director of the Brain Trauma and Behavior Laboratory, was recently featured on the People Behind the Science podcast. Through this program, Dr. Venkatesan shares his research on aging with moderate-to-severe TBI in a way that is interesting and accessible to a wide audience, and he gives the public insight into what life is like as a scientist.

We feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to continue to dedicate our voices to reducing disparities, promoting equity, and fostering connections between scientists and the people within our own communities and around the world.

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