Diversity and Inclusion at MNI

The Michigan Neuroscience Institute (MNI) values diversity and strives to enhance the representation of those historically underrepresented in the sciences. We aim to foster an equitable and inclusive environment for all members of our community and acknowledge this as an ongoing process. We commit to individual and collective education, discussion, and action among our community to meet these goals.


MNI's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts are led by a volunteer committee of faculty, leadership, administrative staff, postdocs, and students known as DEI@MNI. The committee brings social and educational DEI offerings to the U-M neuroscience community, promotes DEI efforts within our community and the university, and coordinates opportunities to volunteer to help those in need. Please click the links below to view photos of some of the committee's past events. If you would like to become part of the committee, please send an email to [email protected].  

  • Audrey Seasholtz, Co-Chair, and MNI Research Professor
  • Cortney Turner, Co-Chair, and MNI Associate Research Scientist
  • Elena Frank, Co-Chair and MNI Assistant Research Scientist
  • Rama Alsakaji, Research Laboratory Tech Sr
  • Julie Gales, MNI Administrative Director 
  • Tanya Garay, Staff Member
  • Traci Grenier, Staff Member
  • Huzefa Khalil, Research Investigator
  • Jonathan Morrow, Associate Professor
  • Geoffrey Murphy, MNI Research Professor
  • Parag Patil, Associate Professor
  • Steve Stinnett, Staff Member
  • Mike Sutton, MNI Research Professor
  • Christopher Turner, Graduate Student Instructor
  • Mike Uhler, MNI Research Professor
  • Isha Verma, Research Fellow
  • Mark Zuppichini, Research Fellow

MNI Involvement in University of Michigan Initiatives

Members of MNI support and participate in DEI-related task forces and programs put forth by the Neuroscience Graduate Program, surrounding our educational mission at the graduate level: https://neuroscience.med.umich.edu/diversity-equity-and-inclusion

MNI faculty also support and participate in seminars, workshops, and trainings offered by Michigan Medicine Office for Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) 

In addition, many of our laboratories host undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students through the following programs that are aimed at enhancing diversity in neuroscience.

MNI Involvement in Global Initiatives

The MNI is proud to be one of the early organizational signatories on the ALBA Declaration for Equity and Inclusion, reflective of our shared beliefs that “diversity is a fundamental component of excellence in brain sciences, and that access to education, training, resources, mentorship, and jobs should be based on an individual’s potential, not on their sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, or culture.”

Alba means sunrise in several languages (e.g., Spanish, Italian), and the ALBA network was named accordingly as it represents an emerging energy to help catalyze movement towards a definitive change that will allow all brain scientists an equal opportunity to thrive and contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge. The ALBA Network was founded by a group of leading scientists across the globe with the goals of 1) promoting best practices and counteracting bias, 2) recognizing outstanding contributions to science and diversity, and 3) providing networking and mentoring opportunities to promote careers for members of underrepresented groups.

The ALBA Network officially launched in January 2021 with the Society for Neuroscience virtual meeting (SfN Connectome). We recognize this as one of many steps in declaring our commitment, as an Institute, to improve and enhance our culture surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. We know that many additional steps are needed to achieve this goal, and we look forward to learning from our colleagues across the globe via the ALBA Network as we identify and prioritize action items.