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Mental health in academia – a Twitter discussion #TalkMentalHealthSTEM

In collaboration with Neuro Centralwe at BioTechniques are hosting a Twitter discussion surrounding mental health in academia to honor World Mental Health Day 2020.

We hope you will join us for an open and honest conversation surrounding mental health in academia. How can institutions, lab heads and lecturers promote mental wellbeing? What pressures do PhD students face? What impact has the COVID-19 pandemic had on mental health, and what can we take away from this?

Join our multidisciplinary panel as they discuss these questions and more on

Friday, October 9 at 7AM PDT | 10AM EDT | 3PM BST.

Meet our #TalkMentalHealthSTEM panelists:

Fay LinFay Lin | PhD candidate in Biochemistry at UCLA (CA, USA) | @xiaofei_lin

Lin’s research uses math models to simulate immune response and investigate how our immune system is able to distinguish different health threats. In addition to being a researcher, she is also an active mental health advocate in academia.

Dani BeckDani Beck | PhD candidate in Neuroscience at University of Oslo (Norway) | @_DaniBeck

Beck currently works in a center for mental disorders research and previous to this, worked in both forensic and clinical settings with patient groups. With a background in psychology and initial career ambitions to be a therapist, Beck has always been passionate about mental health. Wherever he has worked he has tried to find an avenue to invest in this.

Nathasia MuwanigwaNathasia Mudiwa Muwanigwa | PhD candidate in Neurobiology at the University of Luxembourg | @Tasia1409

Muwanigwa’s research is based on using advanced 3D stem cell models to find new molecular pathways to treat Parkinson’s disease. She is the co-founder of Visibility STEM Africa, a platform that provides the opportunity for Africans to tell their STEM stories and in the process change the narrative surrounding African contributions to the STEM fields. Through Visibility STEM Africa, she also aims to raise awareness about issues such as mental health within African communities.

Nii AddyDr Nii Addy | Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale School of Medicine (CT, USA) | @DrNiiAddy

Addy received his BS in biology from Duke University (NC, USA) and his PhD in neuroscience from Yale University. Addy directs a federally funded research program investigating the neurobiological bases of substance use disorders, depression and anxiety. He serves on the journal editorial board of Neuropsychopharmacology, Biological PsychiatryNicotine & Tobacco Research, and Neuropharmacology. Addy also contributes to graduate student and postdoctoral training, faculty mentoring, and diversity, equity and inclusion programs and initiatives through his work on campus and his work in professional scientific societies.

In addition, Addy has built unique partnerships between scientists, clinicians, churches, faith leaders, entertainers, professional athletes, and community groups to address issues at the intersection of neuroscience, mental health, faith, culture and social justice. As the creator and host of town hall community events, he encourages and equips audiences to embrace the use of holistic, integrated tools to address mental health challenges.

Jack GilbertDr Jack A Gilbert | Professor in Pediatrics and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD (CA, USA) | @gilbertjacka

Gilbert earned his PhD from Unilever and Nottingham University (UK) in 2002, and received his postdoctoral training at Queens University (ON, Canada). From 2005-2010 he was a senior scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK); and from 2010-2018 he was a Professor of Surgery and Director of The Microbiome Center at the University of Chicago and a group leader at Argonne National Laboratory (both IL, USA).

In 2019 he moved to University of California San Diego, where he is a Professor in Pediatrics and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Gilbert uses molecular analysis to test fundamental hypotheses in microbial ecology. He cofounded the Earth Microbiome Project and American Gut Project. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters on microbial ecology. Gilbert is the founding Editor-in-Chief of mSystems journal.

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