Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

The Pollard Lab and Gladstone Bioinformatics Core are committed to dismantling structural racism in the sciences and sustaining an inclusive environment for each team member to thrive.

Our core values are equity, innovation and open science principles.

Equity depends on just and fair access to opportunities and resources. We acknowledge that educational and research environments are often unwelcoming, unfair and inequitable. We are committed to doing better by maintaining a climate of mutual respect and fostering independence within the context of an interactive and supportive team. We have mentored 78 scientists over the past 15 years, 60% women and 12% from underrepresented groups. As mentors, we are committed to learning what each team member needs to succeed and teaching scientific leadership skills to carry forward.

Innovation requires curiosity, creativity and diversity of thought. We practice “design for inference”, meaning computational thinking drives scientific inquiry. Our team has produced first-in-class scientific databases, novel statistical models, and bioinformatics algorithms. We collaborate proactively with technology builders and disease experts to maximize the breadth and depth of expertise applied in our bioinformatics approaches. We seek creative problem solvers pulling on diverse experiences to complement and invigorate our team. All team members enjoy opportunities to learn more statistics, increase the scale and types of data used in analyses, develop open-source software, and to develop communication and collaboration skills.

Open science encompasses open-source code and open access data sharing, as well as active participation in changing stale paradigms in education, research and publishing. The goal is to promote greater efficiency and reproducibility in scientific research. Our team has a strong track record for open source software development that promotes inclusive, international collaboration and teaching opportunities. We write code and develop statistical models that integrate data from the public domain and emerging technologies. We see open science practices as a critical means to increasing access and participation in academic research and discovery.

We participate in training programs that aim to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in science.

We hold a bi-monthly Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) meeting focused on learning, open discussion, and implementation of JEDI principles in our scientific and local communities.

We established a Diversity Library in our institute common space. People suggest books that have been important to their JEDI development, and these are purchased and made available for folks to check out. We discuss the books through happy hours and a Slack channel.