Skip to main content


Events, Programming & Spotlights

  • Torrell Foree, new director of diversity initiatives for the School of Biological Sciences

    Making Connections: Introducing Biological Sciences’ New Diversity Initiatives Director

    Torrell Foree strives for inclusivity and connectivity in tandem with academic and research achievement

    UC San Diego’s School of Biological Sciences has hired Torrell Foree as its first director of diversity initiatives. Foree’s arrival will help the school re-examine its culture and ensure that EDI is woven into the community’s fabric.

  • Ugbad Farah

    Leaders in Their Fields

    Five graduate students were recently inducted into the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society.

    Five UC San Diego graduate students, including BioSci's Ugbad Farah, recently joined the ranks of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, a prestigious national organization committed to social justice, diversity, leadership and academic excellence.

  • Andrea Sama head shot

    HHMI Gilliam Fellowship to Andrea Sama and Jazz Dickinson Supports New EDI Initiative

    Fellowship funding paves the way for a May 10 keynote address on issues of health equity in the Latinx community

    Graduate Student Andrea Sama and Assistant Professor Jazz Dickinson have been awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship, which is awarded to graduate student-advisor pairs in recognition of outstanding research and a commitment to build a more inclusive scientific ecosystem.

  • Versa program students

    How Do We Teach Science? UC San Diego Launches STEM Education Research Program

    Three-year diversity-focused initiative furthers UC San Diego’s emergence as a hub for discipline-based education research

    As a premier public institution of higher learning, the University of California San Diego is a leader in research, student experience and pedagogy. Now, a new program combines all three by providing a hybrid in-person and virtual academy that gives undergraduate students coveted research experience while also asking them to think critically about how science is taught and to whom.

  • UC San Diego queer professors

    Queer Identity Empowers UC San Diego Scientists to Challenge Norms, Chart New Discoveries

    Whether they're engineers, climate scientists or neurobiologists, researchers at UC San Diego say their LGBTQ+ identity makes them better scientists

    Scientists, at their core, are questioners. They look beyond accepted norms, to what could be. For the five UC San Diego scientists in this feature, queer identity is a major factor in why they push against assumptions and dogma.

  • Sonya Neal

    Sonya Neal Named Inaugural HHMI Freeman Hrabowski Scholar

    Biologist selected for the first cohort of a new program that supports diversity and inclusion in science.

  • Sonya Neal

    Sonya Neal Receives New EDI Award from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

    Drawing from her personal experiences, Neal’s initiative opens unprecedented access to hands-on research and mentorship for underrepresented science students.

  • Lennice Castro

    Lennice Castro and Matt Daugherty Awarded HHMI Gilliam Fellowship for EDI Initiatives

    Third-year UC San Diego School of Biological Sciences graduate student Lennice Castro and her advisor Matt Daugherty have been selected to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Study.

  • Stanely Lo

    New UC Alliance Aims to Boost Latinx STEM Teaching Professors

    Stanley Lo leads four-campus initiative striving to diversify faculty and inspire a new generation of leaders

  • Fourth-year human biology major Siara Magee is one of the first students taking part in a new UC San Diego Co-Op Program that offers an immersive work and training experience in an industrial life sciences setting.

    Biological Sciences Launches Immersive Work Experience and Corporate Affiliates Programs

    Initiatives designed to cultivate a diverse talent pipeline of competitively trained biology students for the biotechnology and life sciences industries

  • Ashley Juavinett

    Ashley Juavinett Shares Her Story as a Queer Person in Academia

    Ashley Juavinett, assistant teaching professor at UC San Diego's Division of Biological Sciences, presented her journey through academia as a queer person in the August installment of the SQUAD series.

  • A photo of Gentry Patrick

    Social Justice as Part of the Remedy for What Ails Us

    New center in Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion focuses on issues in health care

    Eliminating racial inequity demands empathy and compassion, but also social justice. The newest center within the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion at UC San Diego will have that focus, created to identify, understand and resolve social justice issues in health care that primarily affect racial and ethnic minorities, women, LGBTQ and underserved communities.

  • Transfer students from the 2015 START (Summer Transfer Ahead Research Training) program, which preceded STARTneuro in efforts to broaden diversity in UC San Diego neurobiology students.

    NIH Funds New Program to Broaden Diversity in Neurobiology

    STARTneuro designed to support and mentor transfer students from underrepresented backgrounds

  • An image of Donté Alexander Stevens

    Donté Alexander Stevens Inducted into Bouchet Honors Society

    Five graduate students inducted into Bouchet Honors Society for efforts to improve access and belonging

  • graphic of Stu Brody, Willie Brown, Sonya Neal, and Don Helinski

    BioSci at 60: Mentorship, Then & Now

    A look back, and ahead, at student support.

  • researcher in a lab

    NIH Awards UC San Diego $8.7M to Train a New Generation of Biological Sciences Graduate Students

    Preparing a diverse pool of biologists for a new age requires emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion, communication and leadership

  • Professor Patrick and Professor Brian Keating

    Professor Brian Keating’s Into the Impossible podcast featuring Biological Sciences Professor Gentry Patrick.

    They discuss the importance of diversity in science and academia and the unfair burden placed on people of color in those spaces. They also talk about failures, storytelling and what Professor Patrick looks for in a graduate student.

  • Daniel Zarate

    Daniela Zárate Named 2020 Bouchet Scholar

    Society promotes scholarly achievements, diversity and excellence in doctoral education

    Daniela Zárate, a graduate student in UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences, has been inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Zárate is one of five UC San Diego graduate students named as 2020 Bouchet Scholars.

  • Tracy Johnson

    BioSci Alumna Tracy Johnson Named Dean of UCLA’s Division of Life Sciences

    Tracy Johnson, a UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences alumna and former faculty member, has been named dean of the division of life sciences in the UCLA College, effective Sept. 1.

  • headshot of Samara Reck-Peterson and Adam Stevens for the 2019 HHMI Gilliam Fellowship Award

    Reck-Peterson and Stevens Awarded HHMI Gilliam Fellowship

    According to Division of Biological Sciences Professor Samara Reck-Peterson, a good scientific mentor can help students navigate different career paths and plug them into new networks. A mentor can be a sounding board and an advocate—and they can also make the experience of being a scientist more fun.

  • Kim Cooper speaking into a small microphone

    Diversity Committee Launches Inaugural Connections Event

    On December 12, 2019, the Division of Biological Science’s Diversity Committee held its first “Connections” event. A mix of faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars and staff gathered together at the inaugural event, which was designed as a new opportunity to bring together community members and bridge inclusivity gaps.

  • Chandler Puritty

    Black Student Union Honors Campus EDI Champion

    With PhD in hand, Chandler Puritty reflects on her UC San Diego experiences and new models of success for underrepresented students

    Inward and outward. Looking back upon the keys to her success, Chandler Puritty looks inward. Now, the newly minted Biological Sciences PhD looks outward in the hopes that future students, and in particular those who come from underrepresented sectors of society, can similarly find success and thrive in academia.

  • Eduardo Macagno standing next to Stephanie Mel

    Biology Class Addresses Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through a Scientific Framework

    Prior to a handful of years ago, UC San Diego science students seeking to fulfill their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) graduation requirement looked to the catalog of social sciences and humanities offerings. Now, Biological Sciences undergraduates have been increasingly turning to BILD 60, a course that examines DEI issues under a biological science framework.

  • Patrick sitting down at a table and speaking to a group of students

    Widening the Pathway to a STEM Career

    Drawing from an impoverished upbringing, neurobiologist Gentry Patrick launches an innovative STEM program for students from historically underresourced communities

    At the moment he was born, the odds already tilted against Gentry Patrick. The percentages said an African-American from South Central Los Angeles was not likely to become a tenured neuroscience professor at a major research university… Not likely, having been born to a mother who was 16 years old ... Not likely, having grown up in Compton and attended high school in Watts.

  • Students in the XULA-UCSD program posing for a photo in front of the King Triton fountain

    Student Research Experiences in the UCSD-Xavier Program

    The goal of the UCSD-Xavier program is to provide summer research experiences and graduate prep for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree (MS or PhD). We immerse students in scientific training and offer them a taste of life as a graduate student.
  • Professor Zuniga with students

    Biology Professor Delivers Minority Scientist Lecture at Global Conference

    At a recent global scientific conference, UC San Diego Biological Sciences Professor Elina Zúñiga delivered a featured lecture as part of a series highlighting underrepresented scientists.

  • Chandler Puritty posing with Chancellor Khosla, Becky Petitt and Elizabeth Simmons

    Biology Graduate Student Honored for EDI Leadership

    UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences graduate student Chandler Puritty was honored on March 1 at a ceremony recognizing university leaders who are making a difference in improving equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

  • UC Funds New Pathway for Graduate Diversity

    Program aimed at attracting underrepresented students to research in biological sciences

    This three-year initiative combines diversity outreach and mentorship programs at UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences and Scripps Institution of Oceanography with students from Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), which leads the nation in African-American biology graduates

    The new “ UC San Diego/Xavier University of Louisiana Graduate Pathways Partnership” immerses students in scientific training and offers them a taste of life as a graduate student.

    Each summer for three years the program will bring at least six students to UC San Diego to participate in the Summer Training Academy for Research in the Sciences (STARS) program and partner them with Biological Sciences and Scripps faculty and graduate student mentors. Building upon the successful model of STARS, the new program will include eight weeks of daily lab research, student development workshops, graduate record exam (GRE) training, teambuilding physical exercises, career workshops and social activities. The program culminates with each student giving a presentation at a summer research symposium.

  • Shara Fisler in a meeting with Khosla and Patrick and other leaders

    A Living Science Lab for a Diverse Future

    UC San Diego forges links with innovative City Heights science incubator for underrepresented students

    A team of UC San Diego representatives recently got a glimpse of the future of science education during a tour of the Ocean Discovery Institute’s “Living Lab,” an immersive new facility that will engage thousands of students and their families in City Heights, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the country.

  • Biology professors and DEI directors with Shirley Malcolm

    Challenging Norms and Making a Difference in STEM Education

    AAAS leader visits UC San Diego to help ‘move the needle’ for underrepresented students

    “Nothing will change until the incentives change… Start challenging everything.”

    Those were a few of the charges implored by Shirley Malcom, director of education and human resources programs for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    Malcom visited UC San Diego on June 26 for a stimulating roundtable discussion with UC San Diego diversity leaders on the responsibility of higher education institutions to improve the numbers of underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

  • CBS8: A mentor for future innovators

    Director of Mentorship and Diversity, Gentry Patrick, was featured on the local CBS8 news regarding the educational outreach and research being supported by the division's partnership with the Seau Foundation.

  • Pre-Triton Day Black Student Union Overnight Program

    April 8, 2016
    Prospective Students

    This 3 day/2 night program for admitted students allows participants to connect with current students, interact with faculty and staff members, and connect with San Diego community leaders.

  • Museum School Visit

    April 18, 2016
    K-12 Students

    Thanks to the generosity of the Kavli Institute of Brain and Mind at UC San Diego, as well as a couple of anonymous donors, a middle school science classroom at the Museum School in downtown San Diego was gifted with a collection of new microscopes. UC San Diego faculty and staff paid a visit to the classroom to see students in action learning how to use their new equipment.

  • Gentry Patrick

    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 about Gentry Patrick background.

  • 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.

  • EIS students engaging in lab

    Biology labs host K-12 students through the Elementary Institute for Science

    A group of 70 excited and inquisitive youngsters had an opportunity to explore laboratory environments recently at the University of California, San Diego as part of the campus’s outreach efforts to encourage K-12 students to pursue careers in STEM fields. Read more about the student's experience.

  • Triton STEM Academy students - group photo on Triton steps

    Southern California high school students learn about climate change through the Triton STEM Academy

    Thirty students from three Los Angeles High Schools (Bravo High, King Drew High and the California Academy for Math and Sciences) came to UCSD August 6-10 where they learned about California plant communities are responding to climate change. The students participated in lecture, lab and field exercises, and analyzed data that they collected at the Scripps Coastal Reserve (one of the 36 reserves in the University of California Natural Reserve System). Associate Dean for Education Gabriele Wienhausen spearheaded this event, the first of its kind at UCSD. In future years the program will expand to 60 students and target high performing high schools across Southern California with a high proportion of underrepresented minority students.

  • 2012 participants in STARS program standing on Triton steps

    Biology hosts undergraduate researchers through a partnership with Howard University

    UC San Diego and Howard University are forming a partnership program aimed at increasing the number of African-American applicants to UC San Diego graduate programs, particularly in the fields of science and engineering. Read more about the newly established partnership.

  • 2014 SACNAS National Conference

    Society for the Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

    Biology faculty contribute to graduate student recruitment at SACNAS.

  • High Tech High Students - group shot on the grass.

    High School Students Present Their Research

    High Tech High Students presented their research at UCSD on November 11, 2011 at a special meeting of James C. Nieh’s laboratory. The 45 11th grade biology students presented their results from a three-month research experience studying bee behavior in Dr. Nieh’s lab. The students worked on a project, entitled “Pollinators and Predators” in which they investigated whether bees would avoid foraging when presented with some cue that a predator was present. Students chose their own experiment to complete, with some students presenting the bees with live spiders, others spider webs, or the scent of a dead spider. The group that chose webs found the most dramatic results, with most bees avoiding the webs; bees’ reaction to spiders was less clear. Regardless, their teacher, Jesse Wade-Robinson, and Eben Goodale, a postdoctoral fellow in the Nieh lab who worked with them closely, were delighted at their performance, and overall at the opportunity to work together and have the students experience the research environment up close.

  • Gabriele Wienhausen Gentry Patrick

    Biology Associate Dean and Assistant Professor named Diversity Champions at 2010 Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards Program

    Associate Dean for Education, Gabriele Wienhausen, and Assistant Professor Gentry Patrick have both been chosen by the campus for Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action and Diversity Awards. This awards program recognizes those individuals, departments and organizational units who have made outstanding contributions in support of UC San Diego's commitment to diversity. A review committee composed of representatives from each vice chancellor area evaluated the nominations and recommended them to the Chancellor for her approval. This award recognizes the hard work and innovation that Gabriele and Gentry, together with faculty and staff partners, have employed to improve the diversity climate of our Division. They received their awards at a special ceremony that took place on Tuesday, Feb 8 in the Price Center Ballroom West.