Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH is the Niess-Gain Professor and Chief of the Division of Public Health Sciences (DPHS), Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine. He is Associate Director for Prevention and Control at Siteman Cancer Center and has led the Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities since 2006. Dr. Colditz is a world-renowned epidemiologist and public health expert whose research focuses on addressing the biologic, social, and behavioral determinants of cancer disparities, and developing interventions to reduce disparities among African Americans. Key to this proposal, Dr. Colditz worked with Brown School and WashU School of Medicine to change the P&T process to reflect transdisciplinary and team science contributions. He has led transdisciplinary cross-campus research programs to cultivate the professional and scientific development of postdoctoral fellows and faculty in the DPHS and NCI-funded centers. He has been instrumental in recruiting, hiring, mentoring, and establishing a diverse and inclusive environment in DPHS, hiring 33 faculty since 2007, of whom 29 are women. Of the 23 investigator-track (tenure track at WashU) faculty, 12 were promoted with tenure (2 subsequently departed), 5 departed in the first four years on faculty, 1 is being reviewed for promotion this fall, and 4 of the 5 who are still in their first 3 years on faculty have NIH funding as PI or are project leader of supplement awards to NCI grants. Three of five Black faculty recruits remain on faculty, and two are already tenured. He also mentors faculty pursuing population health and outcomes research on K awards in the Departments of Orthopaedics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Otolaryngology, and Medicine. He brings this experience to advocate for sustainable changes at WashU.
Kia Caldwell, PhD is the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Diversity and Professor of African and African-American Studies. She joined WashU in 2021 from University of North Carolina, where she was in the office of the provost overseeing faculty mentoring programs across departments and schools. She was co-PI for Team Advance, an NSF grant focused on mentoring women in STEM, especially women of color. As Vice Provost, she is a member of the University Council alongside senior institutional leaders and advises the provost and other WashU leaders on faculty matters regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. She collaborates with the Deans of the six Danforth campus schools to support faculty hiring, development, and retention. She also oversees innovative programming across the Danforth Campus that supports underrepresented faculty and women faculty and collaborates on policies to enhance institutional equity.
Sherree Wilson, PhD is Associate Vice Chancellor and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Washington University School of Medicine and a member of thetheir executive leadership team. She leads, develops, and implements innovative and comprehensive plans to foster a welcoming and inclusive climate for all who learn in, teach at, and visit Washington University School of Medicine. Her team has developed an extensive, school-wide Understanding Systemic Racism (USR) curriculum for faculty, staff and trainees, rolled out in 2021. Dr. Wilson has successfully led pipeline and faculty development initiatives with a particular emphasis on increasing workforce diversity, including; a faculty cohort recruitment and retention program, Faculty Writing Success Program, leadership development program, early college program, an HBCU STEM Summer Scholars Program, and serving as co-Director of an NIH-funded R25 post-baccalaureate program. She has expertise in culturally responsive mentoring, inclusive search practices and mitigating bias. Her research focuses on the experiences of faculty of color in academia and specifically academic medicine While at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, she directed the Support for Recruiting Underrepresented Faculty program, which successfully recruited 42 faculty members over three years.
Benjamin Garcia, PhD is the Raymond H. Wittcoff Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BMB). He is a full voting member of the Executive Faculty, which is the main decision-making body of Washington University School of Medicine. His research focuses on understanding epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression in human diseases. He has been continuously funded by NIH since 2010 and has served on numerous study section committees (including being Chair) for the NIH, NSF and multiple other funding agencies. As a Mexican-American researcher, Dr. Garcia is highly committed to the success of underrepresented researchers and has directed multiple educational and scientific initiatives as the Chair of the University Council for Diversity and Equity at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (UPenn), Founding Faculty of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter at UPenn, creator of the Diversity and Inclusion committee for the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Mentor for the American Chemical Society (ACS) Connects Program, Mentor/Coach for the ASBMB’s NIH K99/R00 MOSAIC (Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers) scholars program, Chair of the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect committee, and as the Director for Diversity Graduate Recruitment at UPenn. He has mentored many junior faculty including underrepresented scientists. As Head of the BMB Department at WashU, he continues to develop new programs to enhance and support un scientists at all levels. This includes initiating a new Biochemistry/Biophysics Summer Undergraduate Research program to build a pipeline of underrepresented scientists, and the creation of a new independent fellows program (the Cori Fellows Program) to recruit recent PhD graduates to independent research positions with aims to boost the number of women and underrepresented scientists in the department.