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Diversity at the Division of Biological Sciences

Diversity in the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences

Achieving a culture of inclusion

We seek outreach, introspection, and community discussion in order to create a culturally welcoming and professionally enriching environment.

This mandate cannot be relegated to just a few. All faculty, staff and students in the Division of Biological Sciences must work to develop and implement programs as well as embody principles that create and sustain a culture of inclusion.


A Mentor for Success

Biology professor strives to serve as example for students from diverse backgrounds

Like many faculty members at UC San Diego, Gentry Patrick arrived on campus with sterling academic credentials: An undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a postdoctoral fellowship from Caltech. 

But his rapid success as an up-and-coming neurobiologist would not have been possible, he concedes, without the help of mentors who noticed his passion for research at a young age and then took the time to guide him in the right direction. Read more.

Burbank Elementary School: Exposure to experimental science

The UCSD Division of Biological Sciences Diversity Committee has collaborated with Burbank Elementary School to create a program where 3rd to 5th grade students learn scientific principles through fun hands on experimental work. Through this outreach program, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students and undergraduates will work with schoolteachers and grade school students to find opportunities within their curriculum for inquiry-based learning. This year, postdocs Renee Higgins and Davide Povero, graduate student Lianne Cohen along with professor Lakshmi Chilukuri will be working with 4th and 5th grade students on experiments involving magnetism, and mixtures and solutions. We are currently looking for 3-4 more students or postdocs interested in participating in this program. The Exposure to Experimental Science program will take place on February 18th, February 25th, March 4th and March 11th of this year. 

Learn more about our contributions through past events and spotlights.


Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)

November 11-14, Seattle, Washington
Each year the Division of Biological Sciences has students, post-doctoral scholars and faculty that attend. Travel awards are available for both students and post-doctoral researchers. 


  • Pamela Reinagels

    "The environment at UCSD is exceptionally collegial, collaborative, and supportive."

    Pamela Reinagel
    Associate Professor, Neurobiology

  • Jim Kadonagas

    "At UCSD, every person is just a person - not any particular kind of person. There is a nice positive environment."

    Jim Kadonaga
    Professor, Molecular Biology

  • Susan Cohen

    "I am very encouraged by the division’s commitment to including postdocs as a part of the scientific community and to providing career development opportunities for both academic and non-academic careers. Such efforts have already proven extremely valuable and will allow postdocs at UCSD every opportunity to succeed."

    Susan Cohen
    Ph.D. Postdoc, Golden Lab

  • Chris Palmer

    "I truly value the commitment that UCSD has made to inclusiveness, and in its ongoing efforts to provide training to faculty, postdocs, staff and students in increasing diversity throughout all levels of our community. The integration of the diverse insights and points of view that UCSD encourages has greatly enhanced my experience as a postdoc."

    Chris Palmer
    Ph.D. Postdoc, Neurobiology

  • Suzanne Lee

    "The Division builds an inclusive environment through its support of career development opportunities for post-docs, including faculty-postdoc mentoring events, involvement in Divisional committees, and teaching at UCSD and elsewhere in San Diego. I have felt encouraged to establish a learning community centered on STEM education and diversity issues, which is invaluable to my development as a scientist and future mentor."

    Suzanne Lee
    Ph.D. Postdoc

  • Gentry Patrick

    "Maintaining a diverse faculty is a major challenge in any institution. UCSD Biology has attempted to face this challenge head on by actively recruiting top-notch diverse faculty as well as creating an infrastructure to attract and train excellent graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from diverse backgrounds."

    Gentry Patrick
    Associate Professor, Neurobiology

  • Debbie Yelon

    "Of the three major universities where I have been a faculty member, I have felt most valued at UCSD. The Division of Biological Sciences is a great place for women scientists at any stage of their career."

    Teresa Markow
    Professor, Cell & Developmental Biology

  • Yishi Jin

    "I truly value the opportunity to interact with diverse members of our faculty both scientifically and socially. I particularly enjoy learning about the life experience behind the success and struggle of individual colleagues. I feel grateful to be a member of a world-class academic community with strong effort to increase the representation of our society."

    Yishi Jin
    Professor, Neurobiology

  • Elsa Cleland

    "I am continually impressed and inspired by both my fellow faculty and the students... I appreciate the recognition among my colleagues that work-life balance is essential, and I feel supported as I navigate the challenges of being a mother to two children while maintaining the rigorous research program required of an Assistant Professor."

    Else Cleland
    Associate Professor, Ecology, Behavior & Evolution