Diversity Spotlight

In a “Faculty-Student Meet and Greet” event hosted by UCSF’s Women in Life Sciences group, I was inspired by Carol Gross’s perspective towards participating in efforts to safeguard ideals in our community, especially those associated with promoting diversity. In her opinion when people have persevered for change, some change has followed. It hasn’t been easy. But voices make a difference. Then, why should it be different this time?

Two faculty members shared their respective career paths and experiences as academic scientists of diverse backgrounds during an April 19 event hosted by Scientists 4 Diversity (S4D), an event attended by UCSF students, postdocs, and employees.

Dr. Martin Kampmann joined the faculty at UCSF in 2015 as the first openly LGBT professor at Mission Bay campus, established in 2003.

Dr. Kaveh Ashrafi started his life under circumstances many might think of as extremely challenging. Separated from his family at an early age because of the political circumstances in his native Iran, Ashrafi lived on his own in a previously unknown country for 18 months when he was just 13 years old.

Dr. Diane Barber is an Endowed Professor and Chair in the UCSF Department of Cell and Tissue Biology. Students in a number of graduate programs know Diane as the Director of the BMS260 Cell Biology core course.

“How do you make a movement sustainable with drastic change?”

“What is the campus climate like?” posed Peter Crougan, the president of UCSF’s Graduate Professional Student Association (GPSA) at a recent GPSA meeting that focused discussion on diversity across campus.

Have you ever wondered, what culture truly means? More importantly, how does an individual’s culture and diverse experiences contribute to their identity?

Before I first stumbled into a research laboratory in college, I never imagined that I could or would end up pursuing a career in academic research. During the six years since I was captivated by the life sciences, I have taken an interest in how other researchers like me found themselves in this wonderful and challenging field. Diversity Spotlight is a new quarterly column where I will highlight the journeys of UCSF faculty who come from backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in academia.