NRMN Announces New Principal Investigator/Executive Director

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Rafael E. Luna, Ph.D., received a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences from Southern University. During his junior year at Southern, he was one of six individuals selected from a nationwide competition to participate in the inaugural Minority Biomedical Research Training Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-NIH, that ignited his passion for biomedical research. During his senior year at Southern, he was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar through Louisiana State University. Luna continued doing biomedical research and earned his doctorate in biological sciences at Louisiana State University. He performed postdoctoral research at Morehouse School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. Luna currently holds the position of instructor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He is also a program director for senior faculty promotions in the Office of Faculty Affairs. He has extensive experience mentoring underrepresented minorities in biomedical sciences through his roles on the Board of the Biomedical Science Careers Program and the New England Science Symposium Planning Committee.

In addition to mentoring and doing biomedical research, Luna is the author of the book, "The Art of Scientific Storytelling." He has taught this narrative method for peer-reviewed publications throughout the United States and Europe, e.g., Harvard Medical School and Harvard Medical School-Affiliated institutions, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Tufts University, Boston University, Southern University, Louisiana State University, University of California-Santa Cruz, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Bergen (Norway), Saarland University (Germany), University of Graz (Austria), University College of London, London School of Economics (England), University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and many more. In 2015, Dr. Luna was selected as a Keystone Symposia Fellow on Molecular and Cellular Biology. Luna also believes in giving back to the next generation of underrepresented minority scholars by serving as a little league coach for nine years in inner city Boston and as the president of Mission Hill Little League.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.