The UNC Department of Neurology is pleased to announce that Dr. Monica Diaz has been named as a UNC School of Medicine Simmons Scholar. Since its launch in 1994, the Simmons Scholars Program has offered support to faculty members from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine, while also placing an emphasis on building a community of scholars that spans multiple disciplines. The program provides three to five years of salary support, structured mentorship, and career and leadership development opportunities.
Dr. Diaz completed medical school at the State University of New York Downstate, followed by a residency in neurology at Yale University and a fellowship in neurological infections and neuroimmunology/multiple sclerosis at University of California, San Diego. She then completed an NIH Fogarty Global Health fellowship based in Lima, Peru where she developed an interest in global neurology and HIV-associated neurological complications in resource-limited settings. She joined the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology within the UNC Department of Neurology as an assistant professor in early January 2021.
The Simmons Scholarship award will help support Dr. Diaz’s continued research in Peru where she leads several studies on cognitive impairment among people with HIV, post-COVID neurological sequalae and risk factors for mild cognitive impairment and dementia.