Stony Brook University Assistant Professor Adam Gonzalez,PhD, was among an elite group of faculty who received awards this year from SUNY’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for distinguished efforts to enhance the system’s diversity.
Gonzalez, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, received a highly competitive award from the SUNY Faculty Diversity Program. Only the most outstanding scholars earn these awards after attaining a record of distinction early in their academic careers, exhibiting promise for scholarly productivity of the highest quality, and demonstrating an ability to work in diverse learning environments. Gonzalez’s research focuses on understanding the psychosocial and neurobiological risk and resiliency factors at the intersection of mental and physical health conditions, and developing and evaluating treatments for mood, anxiety and behavioral health problems.
For the past two years, he has worked closely with Benajmin Luft, MD, Evelyn Bromet, PhD, and Roman Kotov, PhD, to build a clinical research program aimed at understanding and treating health conditions in responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) disaster. Gonzalez has published 30 manuscripts and is currently the principal investigator of four federally funded grants totaling more than $2.6 million. One of these projects is a three-year randomized clinical trial (RCT) evaluating the efficacy of a novel mind-body treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and respiratory symptoms in WTC responders. He received two awards to prospectively evaluate the health effects of exposure to Hurricane Sandy, and one award to conduct a RCT to evaluate a brief resilience-training program for Hurricane Sandy responders. As part of his new appointment, Gonzalez plans to continue this work and expand this line of inquiry and clinical services to other chronic health populations.
As a gay Hispanic clinical researcher, Gonzalez plans to promote diversity within the Stony Brook School of Medicine by serving as a role model for current and future scientists. His goal at Stony Brook is to build a Mind-Body Clinical Research Center in the Department of Psychiatry that incorporates clinical services, research and training. Gonzalez believes it is an essential responsibility to mentor and train clinical research leaders of the future, especially those from underrepresented communities. He is working to develop a mentoring program that will provide students from underrepresented backgrounds with both basic laboratory and applied clinical research opportunities.
“I would like to thank my mentors at Stony Brook University, Drs. Luft, Bromet and Kotov, and my chair Ramin Parsey, MD, PhD, for their support and guidance,” said Gonzalez.
“As New York’s public higher education system, it is imperative that SUNY’s student, faculty and administrative bodies – as well as our academic courses and programs – reflect the diversity of the population we serve,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Enhancing SUNY’s diversity is a cornerstone of our strategic plan and a consideration in all that we do. The students and faculty that we are honoring have gone above and beyond to help SUNY uphold its promise of diversity. Congratulations to all of those recognized.”