J. Neil Henderson has been named a Medical Discovery Team (MDT) leader, focusing on health equity, rural health access, and American Indian health issues, beginning August 31, 2016. He will hold a professorship in the Department of Biobehavioral Health and Population Sciences within the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus.
A member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Henderson has a background in medical anthropology. In major research projects centered on Native American health, he has delved into the cultural and socio-behavioral aspects of illness as well as the biomedical and clinical aspects. His research has led to useful discoveries around diabetes, dementia, and facial paralysis among Native people.
The Medical School at UMD is nationally and internationally recognized as an emerging center of American Indian/Alaska Native and Indigenous health research. The school has one of the highest American Indian/Alaska Native faculty-to-student ratios of any U.S. medical school campus. One of its centers, the Center of American Indian and Minority Health (CAIMH), has made a tremendous impact in developing Native American physicians, pharmacists, and other health professionals.