Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics

DEI Committee

Our mission is to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture that fosters a sense of belonging and allows for creativity by all. From diversifying recruitment to creating a sense of community we are committed to developing an actively anti-racist Department. We will cultivate and honor the voices of our students, staff, and faculty. We seek to end the social injustices that have plagued our field since its inception, and will hold all members of our Department accountable, to ensure not mere equality but authentic inclusion.

As a Department, our goal is that this committee not simply facilitate specific programs, but rather that the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion permeate all aspects of our programs, our science and our interactions as a community.

group photo of DEI committee members at the Bio Pond

Committee Members

Leon Palao III | PhD Candidate | Chair

Sanjukta Banerjee | Academic Administrator 

Briana Cruga | PhD Candidate 

Kushol Gupta, PhD | Faculty

Morgan Kelly | Special Programs Coordinator

Ronen Marmorstein, PhD | Faculty

Linamarie Miller, PhD | Postdoctoral Fellow

Vera Moiseenkova-Bell, PhD | Faculty 

Zarin Tabassum | PhD Candidate

Sarah True | Department Communications Coordinator


Outreach Opportunities

BioEYEs: Mentoring K-12 students and assisting with in-class lab experiments

Road2Research: Student-run organization that aims to foster interest in research and build network of mentors for underserved high school students in Philadelphia. High school students from our partner school, Vaux Big Picture High School, will come to campus once a week for lessons and hands-on labs.

EEJust: Outreach opportunities are sent out via email and listed on BGS newsletter.

Pharm4Good: BGS Pharm students partnered with Upward Bound to teach and mentor high school students. Opportunities are updated on the BGS newsletter. 


PennFERBS (Freshman Exposure to Research in Biological Sciences)

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics has joined with the Department of Biology to mentor undergraduate students traditionally underrepresented in the biological sciences. The program provides early exposure to research through structured mentorship, financial support, and career development. As of Spring 2023, we have 15 FERBS scholars within the program. This program was highlighted in online newsletter, PennToday.


Book Club

The DEI Committee hosts a department-wide book club to encourage community gathering and discussions on DEI-related issues. Book club dates will be determined and announced by the committee as they are scheduled. Book suggestions are welcome and encouraged! Please submit your book suggestions here. 


DEI Resources

Feedback & Reporting Form

Campus Resources

African American Resource Center

Greenfield Intercultural Center

La Casa Latina

The LGBT Center

Makuu, The Black Cultural Center

Pan-Asian American Community House

Penn Women's Center

IDEAL Research