Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis Receives Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Award
In recognition of his work fostering successful academic careers, Girardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D., director of the Center for Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received this year’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Award from the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society.
“This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of community health champions and stakeholders as well as underrepresented minority (URM) clinicians and scientists who have worked tirelessly with our Sleep Equity Workgroup to avail individuals in disadvantaged communities with adequate access to evidence-based sleep and circadian medicine,” said Dr. Jean-Louis, who is also a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Miller School.
Diversity in Sleep
One of the most notable programs Dr. Jean-Louis has led is the Program to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE) Institute, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Through the PRIDE Institute, Dr. Jean-Louis and his team have trained over 200 URM scholars, all of whom are established educators, clinicians, and innovative scientists.
“Creating opportunities to foster successful academic careers of URM investigators in a culture of inclusive excellence has been the thrust of my academic career,” Dr. Jean-Louis said. “I am proud to be a member of the AASM, which has done an amazing job training the next generation of sleep and circadian scientists to improve sleep health equity across all U.S. communities.”
- At the Miller School, Dr. Jean-Louis continues his research on sleep and circadian rhythms among diverse populations while helping to bring in new technologies. The Center for Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences continues to prioritize sleep research with a special focus on low-income and minority communities.
Dr. Jean-Louis’ collaboration with Miller School researchers in creating digital twins aims to virtually test and evaluate various treatment options before applying them in the physical world.
Dr. Jean-Louis looks forward to implementing stakeholder-engaged sleep and circadian health education initiatives to improve the well-being of minority communities. He plans to do so by focusing on two new projects involving obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): “Effectiveness of a Novel OSA Digital Navigation Platform in Optimizing OSA Care Among Blacks” and “Assessment of Our Novel Personalized OSA Treatment Adherence Model and Downstream Effects of OSA Treatment on Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Health Among Older Blacks.”
Another objective is to establish the Translational Sleep and Circadian Laboratory, which will enable studies addressing the effects of circadian dysfunctions and sleep deficiency on brain injury among Black patients, delineating the fundamental role of vascular burden, genetic ancestry, and social/environmental determinants of health.
“These initiatives align with my effort over the last 15 years to implement training and mentoring programs in a culture of inclusive excellence to increase academic workforce diversity in sleep and circadian medicine,” Dr. Jean-Louis said. “I will also continue my collaborative effort to promote the development of new training, mentoring, and coaching programs to increase workforce diversity in academic medicine.”
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