Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis Receives Double Recognition for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In recognition of his commitment to sleep medicine and 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 two distinguished awards for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field.

Girardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D.
(From left) Sara Nowakowski, Ph.D.; Girardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D.; and Michael Grandner, Ph.D.

The Society for Behavioral Sleep Medicine (BSM) awarded Dr. Jean-Louis the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in BSM Award. 

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Jean-Louis, who is also a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Miller School. “I accept this honor on behalf of all the students and fellows, whom I have had the privilege to train and mentor over the last 20 years. I also accept this award on behalf of all the stakeholders (community health champions, patients, and physicians) who have made our community-engagement sleep and circadian work possible. These are the unsung heroes of sleep health equity in minoritized communities.” 

Earlier this year, Dr. Jean-Louis was also recognized by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society, which honored him with its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Award.

“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,” Dr. Jean-Louis said.

Diversity in Sleep
Man presents other man with award
Girardin Jean-Louis, Ph.D., and Kannan Ramar, M.D., president of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies Board of Directors

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 continue 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.

Future Implementations
Man speaking at podium
Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis

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.”

Tags: Center for Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences, Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis