Dr. Monique Mendes

Monique Mendes Photo

Dr. Monique Mendes is a Jamaican born neuroscientist whose research currently focuses on the self-renewal process of microglial brain cells and their response to injury. She was born in Kingston, Jamaica and moved to South Florida in the United States as a teenager. As a child , she always had a love for science.

She obtained her BS in Biology at the University of Florida, and during her time she worked in the neuroscience lab of Dr. Sylvain Doré studying phytochemicals and stroke. This experience led her to that path of a neuroscience career. She also was a participant in the McNair Scholars Program, which is a federal TRIO program that works with first-generation college students with financial needs or those from underrepresented groups in STEM, and provides mentorship, training, and support to enter PhD programs.

She obtained her PhD (2020) from the University of Rochester in Neuroscience studying microglia. She became the first Black woman with a Neuroscience PhD from the University of Rochester. During her doctoral studies she was awarded the Edward Curtis Peck Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Outstanding Student Mentor award.

She is now at Stanford University doing a Postdoctoral Fellowship on a F99/K00 NIH award where she is studying astrocytes. She is also a 2022 Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Hanna Gray Fellow. In addition to being a neuroscientist, she also has musical aptitude and played the violin with the Florida Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Brighton Symphony Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Her work with the #BlackinNeuro showcases her desire to educate other young Black children on their possibilities in STEM.

For more information on her and her work please see her page in one of the links below:


  1. https://scisub.com/2022/03/07/dr-monique-mendes/
  2. https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/digital-exclusives/1-on-1-with-monique-mendes-the-first-black-woman-to-graduate-ur-with-a-neuroscience-phd/
  3. https://www.rochester.edu/adv/alumni-news-media/2020/09/29/monique-mendes-18m-ms-20m-phd/ 
  4. https://www.moniquemendes.com/