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Episode #8: Resist the Urge to Silence Yourself

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Dr. LaRon Nelson

LaRon E. Nelson, PhD, RN, FNP,  joins us to discuss his journey into academia, his incredible involvement in research across three countries, the importance of standing up for what you believe in, and so much more!


Dr. LaRon Nelson is a public health nurse and family nurse practitioner. He is the Independence Foundation Associate Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean of Global Affairs and Planetary Health at Yale University. He is also co-director of the Research Education Initiative for Diverse Scholars (REIDS) Fellowship program in the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. 


In Canada, Dr. Nelson is the current holder of the O.H.T.N. Research Chair in Implementation Science with Black Communities based at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. He has received numerous honours including a Canadian Rising Star in Global Health, the Excellence in HIV Prevention Award by the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care and the President’s Trailblazer Award by the National Black Nurses Association. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Adolescent Health and an Associate Editor for the Global Health section of BMC Public Health. LaRon has active research projects in the United States, Canada and Ghana and his research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Canadian Institute for Health Research, Grand Challenges Canada and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network.



  • How Dr. Nelson went from the Navy to nursing and how it informs what he does now

  • LaRon’s current work in anti-black racism and whiteness

  • The “accidental” story of getting into academia

  • The beginning of Dr. Nelson’s career at the UofT and the expansion of his work back to the US and also to Ghana

  • How LaRon came to be involved in research across these three nations and the process of developing these collaboration

  • The importance of mentorship

  • The High Impact Field-based Interventions (HiFi) Lab: identifying intervention models that can reduce disparities related to HIV for black communities

  • Dr. Nelson’s advice for early career academics




Get the transcript of this episode HERE.