Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

There are a number of initiatives in PCB to build an inclusive and diverse scientific community. Here are some of the ways you can be a part of these efforts:


    The PCB Diversity & Inclusion Committee is made up of students, staff, postdocs and faculty from across PCB laboratories. The purpose of the committee is to develop and implement ideas for making our department more inclusive, more diverse, and more welcoming. Some ongoing endeavors include:

    • Development of mentoring compacts that students and faculty can use to improve communication
    • Creation of a Postdoc Working Group to address the scientific and professional development needs of our postdoctoral fellows
    • Together with the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PSTP), implementation of mandatory mentorship training for all training grant faculty

    The Women in Science group is for women/female identified trainees in the PCB department – either in departmental training programs or in the labs of PCB faculty. This is a trainee-led group dedicated to community-building and discussion of issues affecting female grad students and postdocs. Topics will cover a range of areas, including career development, effective communication, and dealing with discrimination and harassment. Topics and themes are chosen by trainee coordinators with support of faculty in the department. Current student coordinators are Blair Willette, Paige Burrell, and Andrea Ludwig, and faculty advisors are Sarah Goetz and Jessica Sawyer.

    The Duke University School of Medicine’s Inclusion Council is made of faculty, staff, and trainees from all Departments within the School of Medicine. All members of the Duke University School of Medicine are welcome to join the General Body of the Inclusion Council to learn more about diversity and inclusion and meet colleagues involved in D&I efforts

    The Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Advancement, and Leadership in the Sciences​ (IDEALS) Office was created to promote a diverse scientific climate within the Biomedical Graduate Programs in the School of Medicine. Led by Dr. Johnna Frierson, Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Diversity & Inclusion, the IDEALS Office “works to bring talented underrepresented graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to the Duke University School of Medicine and to enrich their experiences over the course of their training and studies.”

    The Duke BioCoRE (Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement) Program was designed to foster a strong biological sciences community from students and faculty across the entire Duke campus. As the signature diversity initiative for graduate trainees, BioCoRE provides opportunities for student research and career development for all participants. A diverse pool of BioCoRE Scholars is selected annually from a competitive pool of applicants. Prospective students from underrepresented and/or marginalized communities within the biosciences are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Duke offers a number of summer research opportunities for undergraduates, including students from underrepresented communities. The Duke Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) is a 10-week training program that provides motivated undergraduate students experience conducting graduate-level biomedical research at Duke. The PCB department offers the SURPH program (Summer Undergraduate Research in Pharmacology & Cancer Biology), a ten-week summer research experience for talented undergraduates who are planning to attend graduate school.

    A vibrant and diverse environment

    We are proud of our diverse community of faculty, postdocs, and students. Information about the demographic makeup of our graduate programs can be found through the Graduate School. Duke University has been named one of the “Best Employers for Diversity” in 2020, the second consecutive year.

    Did you know? Ida Stephens Owens was the first Black woman to receive her Ph.D. from Duke University. She was a student in the Department of Physiology, which was a precursor to the current Pharmacology and Cancer Biology Department.