Two PhD students at the University of Virginia School of Medicine recently established a pioneering organization called the Society for Black Biomedical Scientists and Engineers. Born from the imperative necessity to foster a cohesive and supportive network for Black graduate students and professionals in the biomedical field, this distinguished society serves as a platform for Black individuals to unite and thrive at UVA.
The Society for Black Biomedical Scientists and Engineers is driven by a resolute mission: to cultivate and advance a profound sense of belonging among students of the Black Diaspora within the esteemed Biomedical Science Graduate Program (BIMS) and Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Virginia. This influential society achieves its purpose through a multifaceted approach, encompassing conscientious events and opportunities that foster social, academic, and professional growth. By orchestrating these transformative experiences, the society empowers its members and enhances their personal and collective journey towards Black excellence.
Synphane Gibbs-Shelton is the co-founder and co-president of the society. She is a rising fourth-year BIMS PhD candidate in the Pharmacology Department. As a researcher in the Eyo Lab, she focuses on the roles of microglia in seizure severity and strives to establish inclusive and nurturing environments for Black individuals in the field of biomedical science.
Bryana Harris is also the co-founder and co-president of the society. She is a rising fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She is a member of Cardiac Systems Biology Group, led by Principal Investigator Jeff Saucerman, PhD, where her work focuses on developing computational models to study cardiac regeneration. Harris prioritizes creation of an inclusive environment for black students and postdocs in biomedical engineering.
If you are interested in being part of the Society for Black Biomedical Scientists and Engineers, please fill out this form.