April 16, 2024

Episode 70 – “From Roots to Research” with Nii Addy

Did you know our hope in Jesus actually changes the way our brains work? Sit down with acclaimed neuroscientist Dr. Nii Addy as he shares how his familiarity with the unexpected continues to influence his work of bridging conversations surrounding neuroscience and faith.
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Show Notes


Guest Bio:

Dr. Nii Addy is the Albert E. Kent Associate Professor of Psychiatry and an Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Addy directs a federally funded research program investigating the neurobiological basis of substance use disorders, depression, and anxiety. His team also studies the ability of tobacco product flavor additives to alter nicotine use behavior and addiction. 

Dr. Addy is the inaugural Director of Scientist Diversity and Inclusion at the Yale School of Medicine, focusing on supporting the faculty development of basic scientists from underrepresented groups at the School of Medicine. He also contributes to graduate student and postdoctoral training and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and initiatives through his efforts on campus and in professional scientific societies. 

In addition to his campus work, Dr. Addy hosts the Addy Hour podcast, discussing topics at the intersection of neuroscience, mental health, faith, culture, and social justice. His research and community work have been featured by National Public Radio (NPR), Newsday, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), The Source Magazine, Chuck Norris, BoldTV, Legitimate Matters, and Relevant Magazine. He has presented scientific lectures at universities throughout the United States and Europe, and he serves on the Board of Trustees for The Carver Project, aimed at empowering and connecting individuals across university, church, and society.

Dr. Addy is also a contributor to The Whole Man Project, a book and video series provided by VOICES from Our Daily Bread Ministries. You can learn more about The Whole Man Project—and preorder the book—here!


Summary of EPISODE:

Has it ever felt like you could only choose faith or fact—not both? Well, acclaimed Yale neuroscientist Dr. Nii Addy invites you to see another option, one that connects our brains with our faith. Growing up in the United States with parents who immigrated from Ghana, Dr. Addy has always preferred the unexpected . . . even when living out his relationship with Jesus in a scientific community that—on the surface—seems polar opposite to faith. Hear Dr. Addy’s journey of learning about the connection between Scripture and science, and his open invitation for others to experience it too.


    Notes and Quotes:

    • “I’ve also noticed over the years that as I’ve been in different environments, there are lots of people who’ve had intellectual or scientific oppositions to faith. But getting back to the relationship, whenever I get to know those folks more, every single time, there’s always something deeper.”
    • “God has opened opportunities where I’ve been able to bring people back into relationship with God because they were able to watch me as a scientist operate in both places, and [they] have enough curiosity where before they were told that their faith and their science were in opposition, and [now] have realized that’s actually not the case.”
    • “We keep setting up these different dichotomies. Like, either it’s science or it’s God as if the two don’t meet.”
    • “God has given us different tools where we can use our faith and spiritual practices—prayer, meditation, being in community. All those things can help people navigate through addiction. All those things also impact the brain.” 
    • “If we do [think about ourselves and situations] from a perspective that God has given us through the Scripture, that’s going to change how we actually approach those situations. If we do that long enough, it’s actually going to change aspects of our brain as well.”


    Links Mentioned In Show:

    • Learn more about Dr.Nii Addy’s involvement in the upcoming The Whole Man project, provided by VOICES from Our Daily Bread Ministries.
    • Explore all the powerful topics and guests featured on Dr. Addy’s video and audio podcast, Addy Hour, here.
    • Visit the VOICES website to sign up for emails. Get new episodes sent straight to your email. 
    • Tell us how much you love Where Ya From? by rating us five stars and leaving us a review
    • Check out VOICES from Our Daily Bread Ministries.
    • Follow VOICES on Instagram.


        Verses Mentioned In Show:

        • Philippians 4:6-8
        • Mark 14:32-36
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