Polypilot product mascot

Introducing PolyPilot:

Our AI-Powered Mentorship Program

Start your trial today

Learn More
profile picture

Termara P

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at Yale University


Autism, fNIRS, EEG, Neurotechnology, Mental Health, Neuroethics


Hey everyone! My name is Termara Parker and I am a Research Grants & Contracts Administrator at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. I am recent graduate of Yale University's Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, where I studied the neural mechanisms of social interaction in autistic individuals using neuroimaging. I was born to a Haitian mother and African American father who worked hard to instill a sense of responsibility in me at a young age. Being the oldest child, I helped take care of my three sisters, one of whom was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at the age of nine. As an individual of Haitian descent, I believe that it is essential to educate the public about the scientific basis of the typical and atypical brain as this will lead to a better quality of life and medical care for autistic individuals. Outside of research, I enjoy going to brunch with friends and dancing to songs by Megan Thee Stallion. I do believe it is important to love science, but it is also important to dedicate time to hanging out with the people you love. In March, after defending my thesis, I went to Costa Rica to relax in the sun and catch up with old friends. I had a blast!

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Underrepresentation of African-American Communities in Autism Research

Advanced Research Paper: This project focuses on the factors contributing to the underrepresentation of African-American communities in autism research studies as well as the under diagnosis of autism in African-American communities. Here, we strategize ways to mitigate this racial disparity.

Biomedical Therapies for Autism

Beginner Research Paper: This project explores the biomedical interventions used to reduce challenging behavioral symptoms associated with autism by targeting specific physiological functions. We explore interventions such as special diets, probiotics, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

The Effects of Positive Affirmation on the Brain

In this project, we explore how positive affirmation activates certain brain systems and how we can use positive affirmation practices to improve future outcomes.

Coding skills

MATLAB, Python, and R

Languages I know

Spanish, intermediate

Teaching experience

My matriculation to Yale University’s Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program provided the tools necessary for me to be engaged in pedagogy in both the undergraduate and graduate level. Traditional lecturing, irrespective if it is in-person or online, is often a passive experience that may not foster optimal student learning. Learning is boosted when students are active participants in the discussion. Active learning can build community and a sense of belonging. As a Teaching Fellow for a 15-person graduate-level course (NSCI 580b: Bioethics in Neuroscience), I had the opportunity to prepare a syllabus that included diverse topics and diverse guest speakers for two semesters. I saw how engaged Ph.D. students were when they were encouraged to teach each other and participate in the discussion. As a teacher, I was very receptive to students’ feedback to improve my teaching. I also had the opportunity to be a Teaching Fellow for a 70-person undergraduate-level lecture course (CGSC 175: Mystery of Sleep) at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. I continuously encouraged students to ask questions. I even welcomed a safe space in Breakout Sessions for students to express concerns about anything. I made sure that students’ well-being during the pandemic was treated as a priority first before teaching. With all of these teaching experiences, I adopted a pedagogy that strives to serve the needs of all students and support student engagement. Outside of the classroom, I engaged in other forms of teaching and mentorship at Yale. My leadership experience as the Deputy Editor of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine of the Medical Education Issue enabled me to use my scientific knowledge to plan, direct, and assess current medical practices and health policies. I also spoke as a colloquium speaker for the Preventative Medicine Issue to spread knowledge about how childhood racism can affect neurodevelopment. Additionally, I spent the last two years as the Graduate Director of Yale BBS Diversity and Inclusion Collective, serving as a liaison among 150+ graduate students, 50+ program faculty, and 10+ graduate school administrators to foster the intellectual and personal growth of underrepresented minorities at Yale. The primary goal of this organization is to develop events that empower, advance, and engage underrepresented students in the Yale Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program. In particular, I promoted institutional inclusion by engaging the entire neuroscience student population in activities that foster more cross-cultural conversations. Black representation in neuroscience has been sparse, and I have been committed to changing the demographics of my program since I started. My team and I created personalized recruitment for underrepresented minority (URM) applicants to foster the next generation of minority scientists. We collected a list of URM applicants that had been extended an offer for the interview weekends and individually contacted these students to congratulate them on their interview offer. My team then asked them if they would like to be connected with a current URM graduate student in BBS to hear more about the minority experience at Yale. These efforts fostered an environment where students can have honest conversations about their recruitment experience. My efforts in mentorship and outreach did not go unnoticed when I won the Annie Le Fellowship and was inducted into the National Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.



Howard University
BS Bachelor of Science (2017)
Yale University
MS Master of Science (2020)
Yale University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy

Interested in working with expert mentors like Termara?

Apply now