MCB Diversity

For general inquiries, please contact the MCB Equity Committee at mcb_diversity@berkeley.edu


The Dr. David Weisblat Lab

MCB Equity Committee

As a department, we are committed to increasing the representation of historically under-represented groups among our undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students and researchers, staff and faculty:

  • because evidence shows that increasing diversity leads to increased creativity and innovation;
  • to ensure that sufficient numbers of biomedical scientists are recruited and trained from a population in which no group is a majority;
  • to produce maximally effective, culturally sensitive biomedical researchers and health care professionals attuned to challenges affecting all components of our increasingly diverse population;
  • to ensure that scholars at all levels are provided with role models for training and advancement, thereby recruiting the next generations of scientists.

Stress is known to be a negative effector of academic and intellectual achievement. Thus, we also seek to establish and maintain a climate within MCB that is supportive and inclusive independent of one’s beliefs, disabilities, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic background.


The Dr. Susan Marqusee Lab graduation 2014

Even with the best of conscious intentions, our evaluations and interactions with others can be affected by unconscious biases; even members of a given group may hold a bias against hiring or recruiting individuals those from their own group. Think this doesn't apply to you? Take an "implicit association test".

Whether you are a prospective or current member of MCB, you are encouraged to contact the MCB Equity Advisor or others on the MCB Equity Committee with any questions or concerns. Links to other diversity-related resources and programs at Berkeley are provided below.


Biochemistry Lab

UCB Biochemistry Lab. Photo credit: Elena Zhukova

Students currently at Chabot and Merritt Community Colleges can pursue involvement in the Bridges to Baccalaureate Program. The purpose of the program is to increase the pool of community college students from underrepresented backgrounds who go on to research careers in the biomedical sciences and will be available to participate in NIH-funded research. Interested students can contact Dr. Gary Firestone, glfire@berkeley.edu, for more information.

The Center for Educational Partnership's Transfer Alliance Project is a highly successful academic advising and enrichment program that prepares under-served community college students throughout California to be competitive transfer applicants to UC Berkeley and other four year colleges. For more information, please contact schoon@berkeley.edu.

The NSF Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) is a summer research opportunity open to undergraduates who are attending a 4 year college or university. This program is designed to expose participating students to core Molecular, Cell, Developmental, Evolutionary, and Ecosystem Biology. This program is aimed at promoting diversity in the national biosciences workforce.

Graduate Students:
The annual Berkeley Edge Conference brings underrepresented students who are competitively eligible for our Ph.D. programs to the Berkeley campus. The conference introduces prospective students to faculty in the science, mathematics, and engineering departments. For more information, please contact berkeleyedge@berkeley.edu.

The Berkeley Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers postdoctoral research fellowships, faculty mentoring, and eligibility for a hiring incentive to outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at the University of California.

Student Groups and Programs

Nogales Lab

The Dr. Eva Nogales Lab

SACNAS fosters the success of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists.

The Amgen Scholars Program is a national program to increase research opportunities for students committed to pursuing careers in the sciences. Learn more and submit and application here.

The Biology Scholars Program (BSP) at UC Berkeley is a program that supports underrepresented students pursuing degrees and careers in the biological sciences. It challenges the "by the numbers" popular view (e.g., SATs and high school GPAs as good predictors of success) about who can and should do science. Over the past 20 years, of the 2080 BSP graduates, 60% have been underrepresented minorities (African American, Hispanic, and American Indian), 70% women, and 80% from low-income backgrounds and/or the first in their family to attend college.

California Alliance For Graduate Education & The Professoriate is a partnership between four leading California universities to ensure that underrepresented minority (URM) PhD graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from our alliance institutions aspire to and populate the ranks of the postdoctoral population, the faculty at competitive research and teaching institutions, the federally funded national laboratories, and scientific think tanks.

SynBerc is now offering a Certificate in Synthetic Biology for undergraduates. It's for students who have an interest in synthetic biology and want to meet like-minded undergraduates and graduate students and learn from leading researchers in the field. They also have great diversity related resources.

Bustamante Lab

The Dr. Carlos Bustamante Lab

The Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) is one of the largest, professional conferences for underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities to pursue advanced training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), attracting approximately 3,600 individuals, including 1,900 undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students, 400 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists and 1,300 faculty, program directors and administrators.

The department of MCB also supports two separate undergraduate clubs: MCBcDNA: http://mcb.berkeley.edu/groups/mcbcdna/ and MCBUSA: http://mcbusa.berkeley.edu. These are great ways to connect with other MCB students and get involved in academic and social activities.

The MCB Grad Network
A new group that provides peer support and guidance for MCB graduate students. Members are 5th and 6th year students who span all five divisions and who have been trained in peer support by Counseling and Psychological Services. The group holds events, and is constructing a website for MCB graduate students with peer-reviewed campus and community resources geared toward cultivating emotional, physical, and mental well-being. For more information, contact mcb.grad.network@gmail.com.

MCB Grad Network

MCB Grad Network core members, from left to right: Jaclyn Ho, Jennifer Cisson, Drew Friedmann, Wendy Ingram, Christopher Alvaro and Rebecca Lu.

MCB Student Services Contacts

Graduate Affairs Office:
Our mission is to provide excellent support to graduate students, faculty and the University in its mission of research, education and public service. Conact mcbgao@berkeley.edu with questions.

Undergraduate Affairs Office:
Check out the resources for our undergraduates on our website or on Facebook, or email mcbuao@berkeley.edu with questions.

Campus Resources