Disciplines: Medicine, Neuroscience / Cognitive Science, and Psychology
As the first African American to complete a PhD in Neurobiology at Duke University, psychiatrist Kafui Dzirasa is pushing the limits in more ways than one. His research is focused on rethinking the framework that currently dictates the way we diagnose, view, and treat mental illness. Through his work, Kafui hopes to reveal links between brain circuit malfunction and symptoms of mental illness, with the ultimate goal of producing neuroelectrical stimulation remedies for these diseases. Kafui is currently an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Duke University School of Medicine. In 2008, he was recognized as one of Ebony Magazine’s 30 Young Leaders of the Future and his laboratory has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes. Kafui has served as an Associate Scientific Advisor for the journal Science Translational Medicine, and he was a member of the Congressional-mandated Next Generation Research Initiative. He currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for TEDMED, and the Advisory committee for the NIH Director for the BRAIN Initiative. Kafui has served on the Board of Directors of the Student National Medical Association: a national organization dedicated to the eradication of health care disparities. Through his service as Chapter President, Region IV Director and National Internal Affairs Committee Chair, Kafui has participated in numerous programs geared towards exposing youth to science and technology, providing health education for underserved communities, and organizing clinics to screen for chronic diseases.