inclusive MCB


We are all model organisms.

Mission and goals.

Mission & Goals


To promote an academically enriching and supportive climate that allows all graduate students of our community to become influential, inspiring future scientists.

  • Introduce new students to the diversity and inclusion resources.
  • Create and train teams of faculty and students committed to creating a safe, supportive, and inclusive space.
  • Support advancement of first-year students.
  • Open iMCB to all departments via iMCB(+).

Interested in Getting Involved?

Interested in Getting Involved?

Faculty Sponsor
Become a Faculty Sponsor
  • Mentor a first-year graduate student. Sponsors check in with their students at least twice during their first semester. Additional meetings beyond the first semester are encouraged but not required.
  • Participate in at least one workshop activity during the pre-orientation.
  • Serve as a positive role model: be accepting, supportive, and encouraging of your mentee during their transition into graduate school.
Graduate Student Liason
Serve as a Graduate Student Liason (GSL)
  • Open to third-year graduate students and above from MCB, Biophysics, Computational Biology, IB, Helen Willis and Comparative Biology.
  • Co-teach at least 2 sections within your MCB divisions (BBS, CDB, GGD, NEU, IMP) during MCB 200AB.
  • Provide a network of support for mentees through their first year and beyond during the exciting and challenging times in graduate school, like choosing a lab, departmental or divisional retreats, and the qualifying exam season.
  • To reward GSLs for their time and efforts, the Dean's office will grant each participant a $500 stipend per semester.
Postdoc Liason
Be a Postdoc Liason
  • Co-teach at least 2 sections within your MCB divisions (BBS, CDB, GGD, NEU, IMP) during MCB 200AB.
  • Participate in at least one workshop activity during pre-orientation.
  • Gain teaching experience and build community here at UC Berkeley!
iMCB Ally
Don't have that much time on your hands?
Consider becoming an iMCB Ally!
  • Open to anyone in the Berkeley community.
  • Volunteer and/or participate in as many or as few workshops and activities as you wish.
  • Build community among faculty, postdocs, and students across departments. Celebrate diversity and inclusion across campus!
Lisa Eshun Wilson
For more information or to get involved contact:
Lisa Eshun-Wilson
iMCB Program Director

Interested in Getting Involved?

Program Details

Part 1: Summer Bridge Program

Welcome Weekend Activities

Friday, August 17, 2018 | Student Panels and Peer-to-Peer Networking Event

Saturday, August 18, 2018 | Team-building Activity for iMCBers and Student Mentors
  • Fieldtrip to Dynamicland
  • An engaging, inclusive computational medium accessible to all people with diverse backgrounds and learning styles

  • Dynamicland will demonstrate to our group how clear communication, cultural competency, and interpersonal skills will be crucial skills for our generation of scientists. This medium captures the value of working effectively with others, being transparent about one's goals and work processes, and creating a caring and supporting environment to drive the development of innovative, robust code.

Sunday, August 19, 2018 | Day Off
  • Relax, Rest, Recoup.

Monday, August 20, 2018 | Student Panels and Peer-to-Peer Networking Event
  • Overcoming Stereotype Threat and Unconscious Bias: The Student Perspective
  • Affirmation and Empowerment Workshop 2: Power and Privilege at Play in Academia

  • We will address how negative stereotypes, low expectations and systemic bias feed into the underperformance of Underrepresented Minority (URM) students in a non-competitive, safe and inclusive space. Using psychologist Dr. Claude Steele’s prominent works as a reference and framework, we will discuss how stereotype threat and attritional ambiguity play into imposter syndrome during the graduate experience.

  • iMCB will proudly serve as the first initiative of its kind within our department to create a space to critically discuss these issues and provide concrete exercises to help students overcome feelings of uncertainty, isolation, and fear.

  • Dinner and Keynote Speaker: TBD

    • Stereotype Threat: the act of using a negative threat to drive how you characterize others or yourself.
    • Attritional Ambiguity: the process of accrediting feedback to racial discrimination rather than a sincere suggestion to make constructive change.

Part 2: Academic Mentoring & Professional Development Opportunities

  • MCB 200AB Course
  • MCB 200AB is a required introductory course for first-year MCB students and does not currently have Graduate Student Instructors. iMCB GSLs and PLs will co-host weekly study sections to ensure first-year students are mastering the material. Mentors will also meet one-on-one with their mentees at least once per semester to provide a safe space for students to practice articulating their scientific projects.
Diverse Cartoon People
In the News

In the News

See our recent features in:
  • Berkeley Science Review: link coming soon!
  • MCB Transcript Newsletter: link coming soon!


Program Acknowledgments

A special thank you to the following for their valuable support, ideas, and feedback in making this program a reality:
  • Mike Eisen, Rebecca Heald, Susan Marqusee, Eva Nogales, David Weisblat, Matt Welch

Another special thank you to the following for providing funding sources and administrative support:
  • Michael Botchan, David Drubin, Mark Jenkinson, Audrey Knowlton, Nipam Patel, Ann Trapaga