Deborah is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and affiliated with the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. She uses DNA from ancient and contemporary Native American populations, in conjunction with other lines of evidence, to help reconstruct population histories in the Americas. As part of this research, she works closely with indigenous partners affiliated with communities in the southern United States. Deborah is also interested in genetic ancestry testing, and how it both influences and is influenced by American understandings of race, ethnicity, and identity. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Davis.
Katrina G. Claw (Diné)
Katrina is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington in the Department of Pharmaceutics. Dr. Claw also works with the Northwest-Alaska Pharmacogenomics Research Network. She is a 2015 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) last year. She obtained her BS in biology and BA in anthropology at Arizona State University; her PhD in genome sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2013, where she was also a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow. Her research interests include human genetics and genomics, pharmacogenomics, health disparities, and the ethical and social implications of genomic research relating to Native American and other indigenous populations around the world. She is Diné (Navajo) and grew up on the Navajo Nation in Many Farms, Arizona.
Francine C. Gachupin (Jemez Pueblo)
Francine C. Gachupin, PhD, MPH, is Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arizona (UA). Dr. Gachupin is a tribal member of the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. She studies primarily chronic diseases and related behavioral risk factors. She has worked at four separate tribal based epidemiology centers – Portland Area, Aberdeen Area, Albuquerque Area and Navajo Area. She is well known for her expertise in human subjects protection. She was former Chair of the Portland Area Indian Health Service (IHS) Institutional Review Board (IRB), former co-Chair of the National IHS IRB, former member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP), and former Manager of the University of New Mexico IRB. She currently serves on both the UA and Montana Wyoming Tribal Leaders IRBs.
Ripan S. Malhi
Ripan is an Associate Professor in Anthropology and Animal Biology, and is affiliated with the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign His research interests include using DNA analysis to infer the evolutionary history of Native Americans. Prior to his position at UIUC, he co-founded and served as the CEO of Trace Genetics, Inc., a biotechnology company located in the greater San Francisco area. Ripan received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Davis.
Matthew Z. Anderson (Cherokee)
Matt is an assistant professor at The Ohio State University with a joint appointment in the Microbiology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity in the College of Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. in the Genetics Department at Stanford University followed by postdoctoral positions in Judith Berman’s lab at the University of Minnesota and Richard Bennett’s lab at Brown University. His research interests center on how genetic variability contributes to phenotypic diversity in eukaryotes with a special focus on clinically relevant fungal pathogens and their hosts.
Jessi Bardill (Cherokee)
Jessi is an Assistant Professor at East Carolina University. Jessi earned her Ph.D. in 2011 from the Department of English, Duke University. She was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in American Indian Studies at UIUC in 2011-2012, a Lecturer at Stanford University in 2012-2013, and is affiliated with the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and Duke University’s Genome, Ethics, Law, and Policy Program. Her current research examines Native American literature, genetic testing, and queer kinship. She is also engaged in a tribally driven research project with an urban Native American community in the Triad region of North Carolina, documenting their history, presence, and continuance.
David Begay (Navajo)
David Begay, Ph.D. is currently Associate Research Professor with University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in the College of Pharmacy, Community Environmental Health Program. David is also adjunct faculty at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He is VP for the Indigenous Education Institute, Friday Habor, WA. He also works with NASA, JPL, and Goddard Space Flight Center on Heliophysics education. David is a cultural consultant to many organizations and corporations both in the United States and internationally. He is raised with the deep cultural knowledge, tradition, and language of Dine’ people. He is currently a member and adviser to the Dine’ Hataalii (Spiritual Healers) Association with the Navajo Nation. He is a member of the Navajo Nation Human Research Review Board.
Rene Begay (Navajo)
Rene is a Masters of Science student at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. She plans to continue her education after her master's by entering into an MD-PhD. program. Her current research focuses on seeking cardiomyopathy genes in large family cohorts, and using gene information to recreate the human phenotype in Zebrafish.
Margaret is a Professor of Pathology at the University of Arizona. She earned a Ph.D. in Cellular and Developmental Biology before completing postdoctoral research at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her research laboratory has investigated why cancers in some patients are resistant to treatment while other patients with the same cancer and treatment are cured. Since 2013, she has served as Vice Chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program. As a leader of the Training Core for the Partnership of the Native American Cancer Prevention, she directs programs aimed at reducing cancer health disparities by encouraging AIAN students to pursue biomedical careers that require advanced degrees.
Nathan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona and Director of the Cancer Biology Program in the Cancer Center. He received his PhD from the Department of Genetics in 1987 at the University of Washington and trained in human molecular genetics at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. He has previously held academic positions in New York and Chicago. His research has been dedicated to understanding the relationship between genetic variation and cancer susceptibility in humans. He is recognized for his work cloning the gene mutated in Bloom’s syndrome and he has recently been studying the genomics of colorectal cancers in diverse ethnic populations.
Keolu is a Ph.D. candidate and human geneticist at the University of Washington, School of Medicine (Department of Genome Sciences). His work focuses on health disparities, next-generation DNA sequencing, and indigenizing genomics technologies. Currently Keolu works with experts at Bloodworks Northwest, Seattle, WA. focusing on the implementation of next generation sequence (NGS) analysis of human blood group antigens to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation.
Karen Francis-Begay (Navajo)
Karen Francis-Begay is the Assistant Vice President of Tribal Relations at the University of Arizona (UA). Her primary role is to serve as a key representative and liaison between tribal leaders and the University in efforts to strengthen partnerships and advance mutual goals. Prior to serving as an Assistant Vice President, Karen served as the Director of Native American Student Affairs at the UA. Karen’s published work includes two chapters in the book, Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education (2013), about the first-year college experience for Native students and about her experiences of serving as a Special Advisor to the President on American Indian Affairs. Her professional service has been recognized by national and local organizations with her most recent being the “Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award” presented by the College Board. Karen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and a Master of Arts degree in American Indian Studies, and is now a Ph.D. candidate in Higher Education Administration at the UA. Born and raised on the Navajo Nation, she is of the Tábąąhá clan (Edge of Water) born for the Kiyaa’ áanii clan (Towering House).
Nanibaa’ Garrison (Diné)
Nanibaa’ is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Garrison earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University, before completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Biomedical Ethics and the Center for Integration of Research on Genetics & Ethics, both at Stanford University. Her research was on the impact of the Havasupai Tribe lawsuit on genetic research and Institutional Review Boards. Nanibaa’’s current research interests include genetic research on Native American communities, informed consent, and issues of privacy and confidentiality.
Maui Hudson (Whakatohea)
Maui Hudson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with extensive experience across a diverse range of research areas including traditional medicine, indigenous research ethics, interface between indigenous knowledge and science, Maori economic development and Maori health. Maui has been a member of a number of national and institutional ethics committees and was part of the team that developed Te Ara Tika: Guidelines on Maori Research Ethics – A framework for researchers and ethics committee members, Te Mata Ira Guidelines for Genomic Research with Maori, and He Tangata Kei Tua Model for Biobanking with Maori. Maui is one of the co-conveners of the SING-Aotearoa programme.
Emilia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at the University of California Merced. She received her PhD in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University under the supervision of Carlos Bustamante and Rick Durrett. During her PhD work, she modeled evolutionary processes using stochastic models. After her PhD, she was a VIGRE Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of California Berkeley for one year, and after that she joined the laboratory of Rasmus Nielsen as an NSF postdoctoral fellow. Her current research interests involve detecting and characterizing natural selection in human populations, estimating human demographic histories and improving methods for the analysis of next generation sequencing data.
Jennie R. Joe, PHD, MPH (Navajo)
Is currently a Professor Emerita in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona. Prior to her retirement from the University of Arizona, she directed the Native American Research and Training Center and was an affiliate faculty member in American Indian Studies. She received her doctorate degree jointly from the University of California Berkeley and San Francisco. In addition to teaching, Dr. Joe has had a long career as an advocate and researcher involved in Native American Health, including studies and program addressing health disparities, chronic diseases, disability, and health promotion. At the heart of much of her work has and continues to the focus on culture and its impact on health, especially for Native Americans.
Andrew S. Kraft
As Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC), Dr. Kraft oversees all major scientific, clinical, and administrative matters as they relate to cancer. He has ultimate management authority over membership, facilities, budget, clinical operations, and recruitment initiation, in addition to establishing relationships with other institutions and setting strategic direction for the Center. His priority is to ensure that the UACC directly serves the state of Arizona in its efforts to reduce the cancer burden for all its residents. As Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, he is working to strengthen collaborative team-oriented science, reach out to the diverse communities within the State, translate bench science to the clinic and grow the potential for personalized medicine. An accomplished prostate cancer researcher and developer of novel cancer drugs, Dr. Kraft is the principal investigator for numerous clinical trials aimed at finding new treatments and cures for cancer. His research has continuously been funded since 1990 by the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation. He has more than 130 publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Christina M. Laukaitis
Dr. Laukaitis is an associate professor in the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She also leads the clinical genetics efforts for the Department of Medicine and the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomics.
She earned her MD and PhD from the University of Illinois. She completed a medical genetics fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Laukaitis’ clinical training and research focus on patients at high risk of cancer and other diseases due to genetic syndromes. She cares for people who carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations and are at high risk of breast cancer and for people at risk of GI and endocrine cancers because of other gene changes. She works to prevent cancer through individual risk assessment, counseling and delivery of prevention strategies tailored to each patient’s specific risk level and concurrent health issues. Her research focuses identifying gene mutations associated breast cancer and with the complex genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
Naomi Lee (Seneca Nation)
Dr. Naomi Lee was awarded the NIH Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) at the University of New Mexico. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and is mentored by Dr. Bryce Chackerian. Her projects focus on the identification and development of potential vaccine candidates against gonorrhea and human papillomavirus (HPV) using virus-like particles (VLP). As an IRACDA fellow, Dr. Lee also teaches chemistry at a partnering tribal college, Southwestern Indian Polytech Institute.
Jeffrey C. Long is currently a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. He received a PhD in Human Genetics from the University Michigan in 1984. He trained as a post-doctoral fellow in Human Genetics at the Medical College of Virginia and in Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he was a Research Geneticist at the National Institutes of Health, and then a Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Long’s research interest include evolutionary genetics, statistical genetics, and the genetics of health and disease.
Myra L. Muramoto
Myra L. Muramoto, MD, MPH, is Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and Public Health. A native of Tucson, Arizona, she is board certified in Family Practice and has completed post-doctoral training in research, public health and integrative medicine. Her clinical interests include tobacco cessation, obesity treatment and integrative medicine approaches to chronic disease prevention and treatment. Dr. Muramoto is active in tobacco cessation research, working in a range of settings: healthcare systems, clinical research, community-based interventions, public health, e-health, and low and middle-income countries. Her tobacco cessation research has focused on special populations including: multiple medical co-morbidities; Latinos, American Indians, African Americans; adolescents; low-income pregnant women and families; military; and medically compromised populations in low and middle-income countries. Dr. Muramoto’s research sponsors include NIH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CDC foundation, and industry. Dr. Muramoto has extensive experience in curriculum development in tobacco cessation and substance abuse education for professional and lay audiences.
Claudia Nelson is currently the Director of the Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office at the University of Arizona. A division of the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research, the Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office (NPTAO) provides a comprehensive, collaborative program of university-based technical assistance in the areas of economic and community development, research and research capacity building, and educational resource development for Native peoples, Arizona's Native Nations, and tribal organizations. Claudia received her bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona College of Business Administration, and Master's degree from the University of Arizona American Indian Studies Program. As Director, Nelson brings over 25 years of experience in relationship-building with Native Nations, focused primarily across Arizona, complemented by over 20 years of administrative experience within the University of Arizona system.
Akinlolu O. Ojo, MD, MPH, PhD, MBA, is the associate vice president for clinical research and global health initiatives at the University of Arizona Health Sciences and a professor of medicine in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson with a joint appointment as professor of health promotion sciences in the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Dr. Ojo is an international leader in chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation research and clinical care with a focus on health disparities and an expert in global health research. Dr. Ojo previously served as professor of medicine and the Florence E. Bingham Research Professor in Nephrology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he also was director of clinical and translational research in the Comprehensive Kidney Center, and director of the Department of Medicine Global Health Research and Training Programs. In addition, he was an attending physician with the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. Dr. Ojo’s research and clinical interests include chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation and their complications, including cardiovascular disease; pharmacotherapy of hypertensive and diabetic renal disease; minority health and health disparities; global health (non-communicable diseases in low-resource settings); and global health capacity development. He has a particular clinical interest in chronic kidney disease in African Americans and blacks in developing nations.
Pilar is a Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin (UW), where she is on the faculties of the Law School and the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the Medical School. In 2011 she became the inaugural Ethics Scholar-in-Residence at the Morgridge Institute for Research, a private, nonprofit research institute that is part of the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery. Pilar serves as the co-director of UW's Law and Neuroscience Program, as well as a faculty member in the UW Masters in Biotechnology Studies program and the Graduate Program in Population Health. Prior to taking her position at UW, she was Director of the Genetics Section of the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association, and taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Chicago Law School.
Walter Phelps (Diné)
Navajo Nation Council Delegate Walter Phelps serves as member of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council representing Leupp Chapter, Tsidi To’ii Chapter, Cameron Chapter, Coalmine Chapter and Tolani Lake Chapter.After completing High School in Flagstaff, AZ, Phelps continued his studies at Northwest Indian Bible School College, Alberton, MT, Allegheny Wesleyan College, Salem, OH and finishing with Lamson Business College, Phoenix, Arizona in 1982. Following this Phelps worked 8 years with a Native Christian organization in South Dakota followed by three years in Yakima, Washington running a small residential construction business. In 1993 Mr. Phelps moved his family back to Navajo Nation near the Flagstaff area.
Mr. Phelps career includes work in fields of Agriculture, Social Work, Housing, Navajo Chapter leadership, and Congressional staff assistant with U.S. House of Representatives, Grants Administration for the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation and now serving his second term on the Navajo Nation Council.In 1999, Mr. Phelps began his political career by serving as Vice President of the Leupp Chapter for four years. In 2010, he joined the 22nd Navajo Nation Council serving on the Health, Education and Human Services Committee and the Navajo Hopi Land Commission. With the 23rd Navajo Nation Council he now serves as a member of the Resources and Development Committee and as Chairman of the Navajo Hopi Land Commission.
Anne Stone is Regents’ Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at the Arizona State University. Her specialization and main area of interest is anthropological genetics. Currently, her research focuses on population history and understanding how humans and the great apes have adapted to their environments, including their disease and dietary environments. This has three main strands: (a) human population history, currently focusing on east Africa, the Caribbean, and South America (b) the evolutionary history of the Great Apes, and (c) understanding the co-evolutionary history of mycobacteria (specifically Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. leprae, the causative agents of tuberculosis and leprosy, respectively) with human and non-human primates. Stone obtained her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1996 from the Pennsylvania State University.
Kim TallBear is Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment. She is the author of Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science. She is a regular commentator in US, Canadian, and UK media outlets on issues related to Indigenous peoples, science, technology, and decolonial sexualities. She has published research, policy, review, and opinion articles on a variety of issues related to science, technology, environment, and culture. She established the Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society (Indigenous STS) social science lab at the University of Alberta. She has also founded a research creation group in decolonial sexualities that produces the new Edmonton-based sexy storytelling show, Tipi Confessions. Building on lessons learned with geneticists about how race categories get settled, Dr. TallBear is working on a new book that interrogates settler-colonial commitments to private property, disciplinarity, monogamy, and state-sanctioned marriage. She is a tribal citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota, U.S.A. and is also descended from the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. She blogs at www.IndigenousSTS.com. You can also find her on Twitter @KimTallBear.
Monica Yellowhair (Navajo)
Dr. Yellowhair is of the Towering House people (Kinayaa’áanii), born for the Red House people (Kinlichii’nii); her maternal grandfather is represented by the Manygoats clan (Tł’izilání); and lastly, her paternal grandfather is the Reed people clan (Lók’aa’ Díne’é). Dr.Yellowhair began her involvement with The Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention (NACP) as an undergraduate student and has received her Bachelor’s and Masters degrees at Northern Arizona University in microbiology (2002) and chemistry (2005) respectively. Thereafter, she received her doctoral degree at the University of Arizona in Pharmacology & Toxicology in 2011. Monica’s current research project will be investigating the microbiome profiles in stool specimens from a group of healthy Native American volunteers living on the Reservation and those living in an urban setting. From these studies, we will learn crucial facts about what constitutes a “healthy” fecal colorectal environment and how it might be possible in future to sustain a healthy fecal environment in order to prevent colorectal cancer in Native communities. Monica credits the driving force in education and research has always been her family and people. She is very motivated about working on her research and having the opportunity to see the effects of this research on a personal level, knowing it will contribute in providing answers for the Díne people and other families affected by cancer.
Charlene Aqpik Apok (Iñupiaq)
Charlene is Iñupiaq with family from the Bering Straits region of Alaska. Charlene’s experience works closely in community healing and wellness in the circumpolar north with an interest on gender relations. In 2013 she received a BA in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington cum laude with her honors thesis Storytelling is Healing. In 2016 she received a MA in Rural Development with her capstone project, resilient spirits. Charlene joined the Southcentral Foundation Research Department in June 2016 where she leads a project on tobacco cessation and pharmacogenetics and is a clinical research navigator. She has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)/Arctic Council initiative RISING SUN, and completed the United Nation’s Indigenous Fellowship Programme. She and her son, Evan Lukluan, enjoy spending time with family, being outdoors, and traveling.
Nauvoo Begman (Ngati Hine Of Aotearoa / New Zealand)
Nauvoo is a BSc student at Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand, majoring in biochemistry. He intends to graduate in 2018 and pursue a Master of Arts degree at Waikato University or Auckland University. He is a participant in the Te Āhurutanga Waikato University Māori Student Leadership Programme and is a member of the Waikato Student Union and the Waikato Māori Student Association (Te Waiora o Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato). He plans to develop a career in human molecular genetics, more specifically in the identification of genetic changes that contribute to hereditary disorders common in Maori populations.
Aaron Bia (Navajo)
Aaron is an incoming first year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, AZ. He completed a Master’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Medicine from the University of Arizona in 2017 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Health from Arizona State University in 2016. Aaron is interested in the clinical and genetic cardiomyopathies in American Indians populations. As a future physician, Aaron wishes to pursue cardiology or family medicine as specialty to serve American Indian populations.
Ki-Taurangi Bradford (Ngapuhi)
Ki Taurangi obtained her BSc from Victoria University of Wellington in 2016 and majored in Ecology and Biodiversity. Her research interests are based around indigenous genomics of native/endemic plants in New Zealand, especially those that are sacred to her tribe. Ki Taurangi currently works in the Forest Genetics group as a Senior Technician at Scion Research Limited. She plans to pursue an MA at the University of Auckland in 2018 with a focus on genomics and gene expression.
Alec Calac (Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians)
Alec received a B.S. in Neuroscience & Cognitive Science and Molecular & Cellular Biology with a minor in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona. He is a Fellow in the Laboratory of Functional and Molecular Imaging at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, MD. His research interests include developing novel imaging techniques to study brain structure and function and understanding the social determinants of health. He recently started a fellowship in health policy granted by the National Indian Health Board. He is currently applying to medical school for Fall 2018 admission.
Alejandra Catalina Camacho (Mexican/ Paquime & Janos)
Catalina is currently a staff researcher at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In 2013 she completed a BS in microbiology from the University of Texas at El Paso and a MS in neuroscience from Texas A&M University in 2016. Catalina’s research has focused on molecular and cellular neuroscience of circadian rhythms and schizophrenia. She has also participated in diversity, inclusion and social justice conferences and organizations that help Mexican and Chicanx students continue a career in STEM. She hopes to one day obtain a PhD in sociology, to better study the indigenous genetic ancestry and history of her community and other border regions and how it connects to the health disparity that affects this population, specifically mental illness and brain health.
Jadyn Damon (Assiniboine/ Sioux, Fort Peck Tribes)
Jadyn graduated with a degree in Microbial Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004; she subsequently earned a PhD in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. Her graduate research explored the impact of tRNA modifications on cellular fitness and stress responses in the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Jadyn’s interests include host-pathogen interactions, science writing/ communication and the many ways in which science and technology intersect with society and culture.
Jennifer N. Daw (Diné/Navajo)
Jennifer is seeking a Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the U of A as well. Currently, she is conducting prostate cancer research at the Arizona Cancer Center in the Heimark lab where she focuses on a microRNA known as miR-27a, which has been reported to play a role in tumorigenesis. Her goals are to continue her education with a PhD in the biological science field while engaging in research involving indigenous communities.
Morgan Farley (Navajo)
Morgan is a member of the Navajo Nation, from Kirtland, NM. She is a junior at the University of Arizona majoring in Public Health and minoring in American Indian Studies. She is currently working with Dr. Gachupin helping with research on Native American youth’s health and wellness. Her career goal is to become a physician assistant and work in clinics/hospitals on the Navajo Reservation.
Steven earned his BA from Colgate University in 2015 where he majored in Molecular Biology. As an undergraduate, his thesis focused on mammalian Orthoreovirus inclusion formation and cellular responses to infection. He then went on to earn his master's degree in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo in 2017. His graduate work discussed Native American health disparities throughout the life course and sought to identify ways to improve the oral health of indigenous children in particular. Steven intends to enroll in a combined Doctor of Dental Surgery and Masters in Public Health program in order to improve the system by which Native American health concerns are documented and reported. His research interests include program planning among the underserved, issues regarding access to care, and how the microbiome informs oral and systemic health.
Detroit James (Navajo)
Detroit James is from the Deer Spring clan, born for the Big Water clan, and currently earning a Bachelors of Health Sciences and a Bachelors of Science in Education at the University of Arizona. He is currently employed under the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine’s Family and Community Medicine Department, and conducting research on Native Youth and Health. He is also participating in clinical rotations within the University Medical Center. Detroit plans to become a Trauma Surgeon or a Pediatric Surgeon, and return to the Navajo Nation to serve his people.
Temet Mcmichael (Luiseño And Wailaki)
Temet obtained his B.S. in biochemistry from California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) in 2012. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP) at The Ohio State University (Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity) and is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam fellowship. He works in the laboratory of Dr. Jacob Yount where his research focuses on an antiviral protein called the interferon induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) which restricts infection by a broad range of viruses. His goal is to mitigate the health burden faced by both indigenous and global populations as a result of infectious diseases, focusing primarily on viruses.
Kathryn (Kat) Milligan-Myhre (Inupiaq)
Kat, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, was raised in Kotzebue, Alaska. She earned her B.S. in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and PhD in Microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying microbes that cause disease. She was trained in host-microbe interactions, systems biology, and evolution as a postdoc at the University of Oregon with Drs. Karen Guillemin and William Cresko. She now uses stickleback fish, an evolutionary and biomedical host organism, to determine how the host genetic background contributes to the relationship between microbes and their host. When not teaching or researching, she runs, raises two rambunctious kids, and performs a lot of outreach.
Melanie Quiver (Diné/Navajo, San Felipe/Isleta Pueblo, Lakota)
Melanie is a Biology Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she studies human population genetics. As member of the Lachance Lab in the School of Biological Sciences, her research has focused on human demography, eQTLs, natural selection, and the genetics of liver metabolism. Prior to becoming a PhD student, Melanie studied white nose syndrome in the Foster Lab at the Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics and obtained a B.S in biology from Northern Arizona University in 2014.
Austen Rogers (Athabascan/Aleut)
Austen Rogers is an Athabascan/Aleut from Anchorage, Alaska. His academic interests include microbiology, pathology, and chemistry. Austen currently attends the University of Alaska Anchorage pursuing a bachelor of science in biology. He enjoys hiking the Chugach Mountain Range, science-fiction movies, and spending time with his sisters.
Corbin J. Schuster (Yakama)
Corbin is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and is pursuing his B.S. degree in biomedical science at Heritage University. Corbin will complete his degree in May 2018 and has aspirations to pursue a dual degree in medicine and human medical genetics. It is his desire to conduct research that investigates genetic factors within the Native American population that contribute to the complex traits and disease susceptibility of the native peoples. His past research experience includes evaluating molecular markers that indicate resistance to certain pathogens that cause root rot disease in pisum sativum (peas). This project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Washington State University. Corbin is currently an intern at the National Institute of Health (NIH) conducting research in neuroscience. He hopes to gain valuable knowledge from both SING and the NIH that he can one day in the near future use to conduct his research goals.
Aliassa Shane (Shoshone-Paiute And Aleut)
Aliassa earned a B.A. in American Indian Studies from San Diego State University in 2015. In February 2016 she accepted a position as a Program Coordinator in the Research Department at the Southcentral Foundation, a tribally owned and operated health facility in Anchorage, AK. Her primary role is to assist the manager by assembling, tracking, and updating all department grant budgets. In addition to her administrative duties, she has the opportunity to work on various department research projects that include a longitudinal cohort study and pharmacogenetic studies. Aliassa is beginning the Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice program at the University of Alaska, Anchorage this fall.
Keyah Stone (Sicangu Lakota)
Keyah Stone is entering her senior year at the University of Minnesota , Morris and will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Biology and American Indian Studies in the spring of 2018.
Victoria Thomas (Tohono O'odham/Navajo)
Victoria is in her third year of college studying Literacy, Learning, and Leadership with a minor in American Indian Studies for a Bachelors degree in Education at the University of Arizona. She is currently employed under the University of Arizona's College of Medicine's Family and Community Medicine Department. Once finished she plans to work for the Tohono O'odham community to better Indian Education.
Violet Walker- Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Currently completing Masters in Maori/Indigenous Studies with Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi. Thesis proposal is on Utilising Maori freehold land and changing Cultural Ideologies of Financial Institutions. Last employment of 5 years was teaching second chance learners Customary Fishing and Fresh Water Management to outreach rurally isolated communities. Currently I am employed with Education Unlimited teaching Adult Numeracy and Literacy. I am a member of Te Herenga which is a group of Maori cultural and environmental practioners giving cultural perspectives on Hazardous Substances and New Organism applications made to the Environmental Protection Authority in N.Z.
Charity Watchman (Navajo)
Member of the Dine’ (Navajo) Tribe, from small town of Newcomb, NM. Am Painted Cheeks Clan born for Bitterwater Clan, Maternal Grandfather is Tangle People and Paternal Grandfather is Salt Clan. Graduated from San Juan College in 2008 with an Associates in Liberal Arts then Graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in University Studies majoring in Health Education and Intercultural Communications. Working on Masters of Public Health degree at University of New Mexico but hopes to transfer to University of Montana. Traveled all across the states working with different tribes specializing in prevention services to tribal children to gain experience in order to come back to home tribe. Work for the Navajo Nation’s Department Health under the Healthy Hunger Kids Free Act as a Food Access Navigator/Research Assistant to bridge the gaps of nutritious food sources in selected communities especially in reservation schools.