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Kynon Jade Benjamin

2024-03-25 @ 11:00 - 12:00 EDT

Please join us for a special Neuroscience Seminar on March 25, 2024.


Dr. Kynon Jade Benjamin
Associate Scientist
HEART-GeN Laboratory
Lieber Institute for Brain DevelopmentJohns Hopkins School of Medicine



Ancestral Echoes: Genetic and Environmental Contributions of Ancestry-Associated Expression in the Brain 

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the importance of including diverse ancestries in large-scale neuropsychiatric research in the pursuit of equitable, personalized medicine. This objective highlights the limitation of current large-scale neuropsychiatric research for diverse ancestries and the potential harm this causes.
  2. Understand the impact of genetic ancestry on gene expression in the human brain, specifically focusing on African/Black American individuals. This objective highlights the use of admixed Black American individuals to quantify the contribution of genetic variation and environment to genetic ancestry-specific effects in the brain.
  3. Understand the pathways and clinical associations related to ancestry-associated expression in the human brain. This objective emphasizes the pathways and potential clinical implications of ancestry-specific effects in the brain.

Speaker Biography

Born and raised in a large extended family from Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Kynon Jade Benjamin is proud to be the first doctor in his family. Dr. Benjamin earned his GED with the support of his mother before moving on to Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). At IUPUI, Dr. Benjamin completed his work study at a neuroscience research laboratory, which started his scientific research journey. In his predoctoral studies, Dr. Benjamin designed and implemented drug delivery and drug development assays as well as developed bioinformatic pipelines for differential expression analysis for Angelman syndrome – a neurodevelopmental disorder. In his subsequent postdoctoral fellowship at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he developed computational pipelines for large-scale transcriptional (bulk and single-cell), genetic, and functional associations analyses in postmortem brain and brain (i.e., cerebral and striatal) organoids. 

Throughout his research career, Dr. Benjamin’s experiences have reinforced the critical need for diversity and creating inclusive spaces. As such, he has worked to provide mentorship and representation as well as advocate for opportunities for other underrepresented minorities.


Event Poster


11:00 - 12:00 EDT
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Bowerman Room, Dobell Pavilion, Douglas Institute
6875 boul. LaSalle
Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3 Canada
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