Transformative Research

Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Transformative Research Requires Insider Researchers

During this talk, Leticia Márquez-Magaña, Ph.D. will discuss the importance of insider researchers (researchers who are members of the populations being studied) in biomedical and behavioral research. Dr. Márquez-Magaña will cover health disparities in socially disadvantaged groups and how insider researchers can leverage their community’s cultural wealth to improve the inclusion of study participants, strengthen research methodology, and ultimately enhance the rigor and impact of studies.

About Dr. Márquez-Magaña

Dr. Márquez-Magaña is a professor of biology, a member of the founding faculty of the Health Equity Institute, and the director of the Health Equity Research Laboratory at San Francisco State University (SFSU). She is also the Lead Principal Investigator of the SF BUILD project, funded by the NIH Common Fund, and part of the Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce program initiative.

Dr. Márquez-Magaña is the eldest child of Mexican immigrants to the United States. She is a native-born American and began her education speaking only Spanish. She mastered English and became the first in her family to complete high school. She then attended Stanford University to earn B.S. and M.S. degrees in biological sciences and a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. She returned to Stanford for post-doctoral training in Molecular Pharmacology. Collectively, these experiences inform her views on science and her research on how systemic racism “gets under the skin.”

About the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) established the Director’s Innovation Speaker Series to encourage broad, interdisciplinary thinking in developing scientific initiatives and programs and to press for theoretical leaps in science over the continuation of incremental thought. Innovation speakers are encouraged to describe their work from the perspective of breaking through existing boundaries and developing successful new ideas, as well as working outside their primary area of expertise in ways that have pushed their fields forward. We encourage discussions of the meaning of innovation, creativity, breakthroughs, and paradigm-shifting.

Sponsored by

Division of Extramural Affairs


This event is free, but you must register to attend.


More Information

Closed captioning and a sign language interpreter will be provided for this event.