Dr. Kafui Dzirasa is the first African American to complete a PhD in Neurobiology at Duke University. His research interests focus on understanding how changes in the brain produce neurological and mental illness. Kafui obtained an MD from the Duke University School of Medicine in 2009 and completed residency training in General Psychiatry in 2016. Kafui was featured on CBS 60 Minutes and has been awarded the One Mind Rising Star Award and the Sydney Baer Prize for Schizophrenia Research. In 2017, he was recognized as 40 under 40 in Health by the National Minority Quality Forum, and the Engineering Alumni of the Year from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Kafui was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE): the nation’s highest award for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. He has also been recognized with the Alan Leshner Public Engagement Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award. He has served on the Editorial Advisory Board for TEDMED and currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director. Kafui is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator.