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Founders' Day Convocation Speaker

Dr. Russell J. Ledet

Dr. Russell J. Ledet (pronounced “Leh-day”) is a native of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Before his education journey, he was enlisted in the U.S. Navy, both on active and reserve duty. His first assignment was as a U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guardsman in the Nation’s Capital from 2004 to early 2007. He subsequently completed Navy cryptology training in Pensacola, Florida, and was later assigned to the USS John L. Hall (FFG-32), based in Mayport, Florida. Dr. Ledet has been awarded multiple Navy Achievement Medals for his leadership and tenacious work ethic.

After five years of active duty service, Ledet transitioned to the USN Reserves, based in Corey Station, Pensacola, Florida, while also attending Southern University and A&M College, where he completed his bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology. Het then went on to obtain his Ph.D. in molecular oncology and tumor immunology from the NYU School of Medicine. His scientific work focused on prostate cancer biology and therapeutic development utilizing proteomics and bioinformatics. This work was recognized for funding by the Ford Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, as well as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His thesis work was most recently published in Nature Communications, titled, “Identification of PIM1 substrates reveals a role for NDRG1 phosphorylation in prostate cancer cellular migration and invasion.”

Upon completing his Ph.D., Ledet then began his medical training journey at the Tulane School of Medicine and Freeman School of Business. During medical school, Ledet co-founded The 15 White Coats, a world-renowned organization that helps to propel underrepresented minority students to the next levels of education by providing inspiration and economic support. Ledet has been featured on major media platforms such as CNN, MSNBC, People Magazine, NPR, Washington Post, The Steve Harvey Show, Good Morning America, and The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Following his Triple Board Residency program at Indiana University (pediatrics/general psych/child and adolescent psychiatry), he plans to focus on mental health accessibility for marginalized communities. 

Ledet is married to Mallory Alise, and the father of two little girls, Maleah Ann and Mahlina Abri.