HHMI Awards 51 New Gilliam Fellowships to Advance Diversity and Inclusion in Science

Summary

Fifty-one graduate students and their advisers are joining the thriving community supported by the HHMI Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study.

At the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the waning days of July have become synonymous with one of the Institute’s most popular announcements – what some have come to call “Gilliam Day.” It’s the day when a cadre of graduate students and their advisers from universities dotting the country join the thriving community supported by the HHMI Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study.

Today, HHMI is announcing the largest-ever group of Gilliam Fellows – 51 graduate students conducting outstanding research in their respective scientific fields and their advisers who are committed to building a more inclusive scientific ecosystem. Each adviser-student pair will receive an annual award totaling $53,000 for up to three years.

The Gilliam Program invests in graduate students from populations historically excluded and underrepresented in science so that they are prepared to become scientific leaders. “To support the development of these students as future scientific leaders, it’s crucial to provide high-quality mentoring, financial support, an inclusive lab environment, and a supportive community,” says David Asai, senior director for science education. “True change will not happen on campuses without the support and commitment of faculty and institutional leaders,” Asai says.

Gilliam Fellows at their 2019 annual meeting at HHMI headquarters. Credit: Hadar Goren

HHMI recognizes that the advisers of Gilliam Fellows play an important role in helping the students realize their high potential. Since 2015, more than 200 Gilliam advisers have successfully completed a year-long course in culturally aware mentorship, developed and led by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). Through the CIMER mentorship development course, advisers engage in activities that emphasize cultural awareness, including monthly online interactive webinars and two in-person workshops. The activities help advisers learn how to listen and engage with their students. These efforts are paying off – the advisers report significant gains in their understanding and practice of culturally aware mentorship, according to a recently published article by Pfund et al. in the journal CBE-Life Sciences Education.

Now, HHMI and CIMER have partnered to create the Scientific Mentorship Initiative which will design and deliver mentorship development opportunities to all HHMI scientists, including Investigators, Janelia Research Campus Group Leaders, Hanna Gray Fellows, and awardees of the recently announced Freeman Hrabowski Scholars Program. By encouraging scientists to learn how to be better mentors, the Gilliam Program aims to make the academic environment more inclusive so that students see themselves in science.

Eventually, Asai hopes, these intertwined efforts will help increase the diversity of scientists at the faculty level. “Diversity in science should be the norm,” he says. “We should expect to see talented students and scientists from underrepresented groups on college campuses and across all of science.”

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HHMI created the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study in 2004 in honor of the late James H. Gilliam, Jr. A charter Trustee of HHMI, Gilliam was a respected business and civic leader who spent his life nurturing excellence and diversity in science and education.

2022 Gilliam Fellows and Advisers

Karim Abdelaal

Karim Abdelaal

Duke University

Thesis Adviser: Kafui Dzirasa

Jaquesta Adams

Jaquesta Adams

University of California, Berkeley

Thesis Adviser: Markita Landry

Joseph Aguilera

Joseph Aguilera

Brown University

Thesis Adviser: Erica Larschan

Ifeh Akano

Ifeh Akano

Weill Cornell Medicine

Thesis Adviser: Yael David

Aura Alonso-Rodriguez

Aura Alonso-Rodriguez

University of Vermont

Thesis Adviser: Taylor Ricketts

Natasha Baas-Thomas

Natasha Baas-Thomas

Brandeis University

Thesis Adviser: Donald Katz

Laymon Ball

Laymon Ball

Louisiana State University

Thesis Adviser: Laura Lagomarsino

Myles Bartholomew

Myles Bartholomew

Brown University

Thesis Adviser: Richard Freiman

Albit Caban

Albit Caban

Boston University

Thesis Adviser: Steve Ramirez

Jose Campos Duran

Jose Campos Duran

University of Pennsylvania

Thesis Adviser: Sarah Henrickson

Alexis Carey

Alexis Carey

The Johns Hopkins University

Thesis Adviser: Ashani Weeraratna

Jesus Castor-Macias

Jesus Castor-Macias

University of Michigan

Thesis Adviser: Carlos Aguilar

Lennice Castro

Lennice Castro

University of California, San Diego

Thesis Adviser: Matthew Daugherty

Carlene Chinn

Carlene Chinn

University of California, Irvine

Thesis Adviser: Marcelo Wood

Elaida Dimwamwa

Elaida Dimwamwa

Georgia Institute of Technology

Thesis Adviser: Garrett Stanley

Ryan Elbashir

Ryan Elbashir

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thesis Adviser: Matthew Vander Heiden

Yesenia Garcia

Yesenia Garcia

Emory University

Thesis Adviser: Shannon Gourley

Melanie Gil

Melanie Gil

Vanderbilt University

Thesis Adviser: Vivian Gama

Tania Gonzalez-Robles

Tania Gonzalez-Robles

New York University Grossman School of Medicine

Thesis Adviser: Kelly Ruggles

Billie Goolsby

Billie Goolsby

Stanford University

Thesis Adviser: Lauren O’Connell

Ayress Grinage

Ayress Grinage

Cornell University

Thesis Adviser: Chelsea Specht

Miguel Guardado

Miguel Guardado

University of California, San Francisco

Thesis Adviser: Ryan Hernandez

Nadia Holness

Nadia Holness

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Thesis Adviser: Sarah Ewald

Yanabah Jaques

Yanabah Jaques

University of California, Berkeley

Thesis Adviser: Daniela Kaufer

Jarildy Javier

Jarildy Javier

Emory University

Thesis Advisers: Larry Young and Malavika Murugan

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

University of Washington

Thesis Adviser: John Tuthill

Krisangel López

Krisangel López

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Thesis Adviser: Albert Auguste

Maya Lopez-Ichikawa

Maya Lopez-Ichikawa

University of California, San Francisco

Thesis Adviser: Matthew Spitzer

Peter Lotfy

Peter Lotfy

Harvard Medical School

Thesis Adviser: Jose Ordovas-Montanes

Ricardo Lozoya

Ricardo Lozoya

University of California, San Diego

Thesis Adviser: Richard Daneman

Kimberly Lukasik

Kimberly Lukasik

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Adviser: Stephanie Gupton

Ahmed Mahmoud

Ahmed Mahmoud

Weill Cornell Medicine

Thesis Adviser: Karuna Ganesh

Vanessa Mariscal

Vanessa Mariscal

University of California, Santa Cruz

Thesis Advisers: Fitnat Yildiz and Seth Rubin

Reo Maynard

Reo Maynard

University of California, Merced

Thesis Adviser: Gordon Bennett

Daniel Mendez

Daniel Mendez

University of Minnesota Medical School

Thesis Advisers: Thomas Bastian and Michael Georgieff

Katherine Morillo

Katherine Morillo

Princeton University

Thesis Adviser: Coleen Murphy

Lauren Neal

Lauren Neal

The Rockefeller University

Thesis Adviser: Leslie Vosshall

Katia Niño

Katia Niño

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Thesis Adviser: Eric Pietras

Maria Ortiz-Juza

Maria Ortiz-Juza

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Adviser: Jose Rodriguez-Romaguera

Alexander Paredes

Alexander Paredes

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Thesis Adviser: Aaron Smith

Leila May Pascual

Leila May Pascual

Emory University

Thesis Adviser: Sam Sober

Zeena Rivera

Zeena Rivera

University of California, Los Angeles

Thesis Advisers: Alicia Izquierdo and Andrew Wikenheiser

Cristina Rivera Quiles

Cristina Rivera Quiles

Michigan State University

Thesis Adviser: Michelle Mazei-Robison

Leeza Santiago Millan

Leeza Santiago Millan

Harvard Medical School

Thesis Adviser: Fred Winston

Franklin Staback Rodriguez

Franklin Staback Rodriguez

University of Pennsylvania

Thesis Adviser: Janis Burkhardt

Eric Stokes

Eric Stokes

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Thesis Adviser: Jason Aoto

Héctor Torres Vera

Héctor Torres Vera

University of California, Berkeley

Thesis Adviser: Alanna Schepartz

Axel Vera

Axel Vera

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Thesis Adviser: Ronald Raines

Jillian Walton

Jillian Walton

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Thesis Adviser: Alison Buchan

Franceine Welcome

Franceine Welcome

Stony Brook University

Thesis Adviser: Michael Airola

Maya Woolfolk

Maya Woolfolk

Harvard University

Thesis Adviser: Hopi Hoekstra

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