Diversity & Inclusion


The Department of Neurology is diligent in fostering excellence in teaching, research and clinical service. We recognize excellence is reached through the vibrant exchange of ideas, which thrives when people from a multitude of backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and viewpoints collaborate. We uphold an environment of inclusivity, equal opportunity and accessibility. We are committed to creating and maintaining an atmosphere where similarities and differences are celebrated, mutual respect is cultivated and intellectual growth is fueled.



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Sonya Wang, MD

As Division Chief of Pediatric Neurology, Sonya Wang has established an inclusive work environment where diversity is celebrated and equity is the norm. Her passion for DEI stems from the lived experience of an immigrant family and having practiced medicine previously in Boston and San Diego, understanding that diverse perspectives are critical to innovation and problem-solving in today's academic medicine environment. In the role of DEI Chair, Sonya aims to leverage her expertise to create impactful change, develop a continuous learning culture encompassing DEI topics, and foster an environment where every department member feels seen, heard, and empowered to achieve their full potential. Her leadership style is characterized by empathy, transparency, and a relentless pursuit of excellence—traits she believes are essential for a successful DEI chair. Most importantly, she invites the department to participate and engage in our DEI committee.

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Muna Irfan, MBBS

Dr. Irfan is an Associate Professor of Neurology, Program Director of Sleep Medicine Fellowship and Medical Director of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Minneapolis Sleep Services. She strongly believes in education being the essential tool to further the field of Healthcare and to improve trainee, individual & population sleep. She is involved in teaching endeavors across the spectrum of learners at University, VAMC, and affiliate academic institutions in her role as Site Director for Sleep Education and Program Director for Sleep Fellowship and has been recipient of Exceptional Affiliate Teaching Award at the University of Minnesota and prestigious Federal AMSUS award for Education and Training. Being a transplant into Minnesota, trained in our neurology program, changing roles from resident to program director, coming from a minority background and a mother of two boys, she’s a strong advocate for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in neurology and healthcare field. She has collaborated with with APPNA Merit to extend sleep education in Southeast Asian countries to expand the knowledge in areas of academic need. As a part of educational enhancement, she has successfully employed various teaching practices such as fellows boot camp, interactive module for interdepartmental teaching, Sleep workshops, and Tele-Sleep Education for international medical students.