Meet Our Team

Our interdisciplinary team is committed to enhancing the success and advancement of underrepresented faculty investigators in academic medicine.

Faculty and Staff

  • Jamilia Sly, PhD
    Director of Anti-Racist Partnerships and Community Outreach, Center for Scientific Diversity
  • Holden Kata
    Senior Program Manager, Center for Scientific Diversity

    Holden is the Senior Program Manager for the NIH FIRST Cohort Cluster Hiring Initiative at Icahn Mount Sinai and the Senior Program Manager for the Center for Scientific Diversity. As Senior Program Manager for NIH FIRST at Mount Sinai, Holden oversees all administrative and research-related aspects of this U54-funded initiative, which aims to transform academic culture to build a self-reinforcing community of investigators committed to diversity and inclusive excellence. In his role at the Center for Scientific Diversity, he supports all research activities, including assistance with federal grant applications and submissions to the medical school’s institutional review board (IRB). In addition to his roles at Mount Sinai, Holden is a current student in the Master of Applied Science (MAS) Program in Spatial Analysis for Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His long-term research objective is to apply geospatial and epidemiological methods in the fields of public health, environmental justice, and health disparities research.
  • Yvette Hutson, MS
    Program Manager, Center for Scientific Diversity

    Yvette works in the Center for Biostatistics and Department of Population Health Science and Policy at Icahn Mount Sinai. She received her BA in business administration in 2014 from Empire State College. She subsequently received her MS in Human Services in 2019 from Walden University. She is passionate about helping those in underserved communities. Yvette also volunteers her time helping others with the Sexual Assault and Intervention Program at Mount Sinai, providing crisis intervention to meet the needs of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence survivors.
  • Varuna Astha, MPH, MTech
    Senior Biostatistician, Center for Scientific Diversity

    Varuna joined Mount Sinai on March 2, 2020 as a biostatistician-II in the Center for Biostatistics and Department of Population Health Science and Policy at Icahn Mount Sinai (ISMMS). She provides statistical analysis expertise on various COVID-19- related research studies and is collaborating on the Disparities Analytics Project. Varuna possesses a diverse background in public health, involving more than five of work experience in data analysis, reporting and environmental health, and safety design engineering. She holds an MPH degree in biostatistics, an MTech in environmental health and safety and a BTech in computer science. She is very interested in complex statistical analysis including mixed modelling, survival analysis, and Bayesian data analysis. She wants to contribute to statistical science in order to answer questions regarding human health, disease, and mortality, with the ultimate goal of advancing public health. Outside her workspace, Varuna enjoys music, the company of family and friends, and plants. She is a plant mom of more than 25 indoor plants.
  • Steven Lawrence
    Graduate Research Assistant in Statistics and Data Science, Center for Scientific Diversity

    Steven is a graduate of Medgar Evers College, with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in mathematics and holds a master’s degree in biostatics from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is working toward his PhD in biostatistics at New York University in fall 2021. Being introduced to disparities analytics while volunteering at Mount Sinai, Steven has developed a passion for working with time series data, visualizations, and consulting. He represents students in a committee of academics at another medical school formed to analyze the departmental climate on racial discrimination. As part of the Center for Scientific Diversity, Steven functions as a graduate research assistant. His goal is to continue to make strides as a biostatistician and to contribute to diversity by helping educate the next generation of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Judy Chen
    Research Programmer Analyst

    Judy is an individual with a passion for creativity. She earned a BS with a double major in Computer Science and Studio Arts at Stony Brook University and has more than three years of experience in software development. Her role at the Center for Scientific Diversity is to build tools and websites to support research activities. She aspires to combine both fields of her study to create a world so realistic that you forget about technology.
  • Adrienne Lewis
    Program Coordinator

    Adrienne provides administrative, operational, and programmatic support to the NIH FIRST Cohort Cluster Hiring Initiative. They have worked in a range of fields including the culinary industry and adult education, where they have designed and implemented programs to increase the autonomy of people who are disadvantaged. They have served as a Fellow and Chair of the American Public Health Association’s Food and Nutrition section Mentoring Committee and hold an MPH in Public Health Nutrition.


The Center also works closely with a variety of outside consultants.

  • Sima Rabinowitz, MA
    Freelance Writer and Editor

    Sima is a writer and editor based in the Bronx, NY. She has 20 years of experience writing and editing materials and publications for research and educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, including federal grants to support biomedical research. She collaborates with scientists across many disciplines and areas of specialization on grant applications, publications, website copy, and other forms of science research communications. She earned a BA with a double major in French and Spanish at Binghamton University and an MA in Latin American Literature from the University of Maryland—College Park. She is committed to addressing the inequities and resulting disparities that impact health and wellbeing for diverse communities and to health care as a human right.

  • Marcia E. Wilson

    Born in London, England and raised by Jamaican parents, photographer Marcia moved to New York with her parents and two siblings in 1980. Her life in America began in Westbury, in Long Island, NY, where she attended high school. Soon after, she enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University and graduated with a bachelor of science in communications. After college, she moved to Brooklyn, where she took the opportunity to pursue the arts, by taking classes at the Arts Student League, Cooper Union, and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her brother gifted her with a camera, and photographing the arts, culture, and the politics of communities of the African diaspora became a part of her life. Since the mid 90’s, Marcia photographed for black literary magazines, including Quarterly Black Book Review and Mosaic Literary Magazine, focusing primarily on writers of the African diaspora. This gave her a wealth of images of writers, which enabled her to develop the Dripping Ink series. In 2016 and 2018, Marcia received a Brooklyn Arts Council grant to curate the Provocateur Series, a photography group exhibit mounted in conjunction with the National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College. Marcia’s images have appeared in numerous print and electronic media, books, and film including The Village Voice, The Boston Globe, Bust Magazine, MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora; the Misty Copeland film documentary A Ballerina Tale, and CBS Morning. Exhibits includes solo shows at Medgar Evers College, New Haven Public Library, and Flatbush Library as well as galleries in the Joloff Restaurant and the African American Literature Book Club, an online bookseller. Group shows include the Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn Arts Fellowship Gallery, and the Brooklyn Information and Culture Gallery. View Marcia’s portfolio