Raeka Aiyar “Advancing Stem Cell Technology and Precision Medicine with a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lens”
- Date: Dec 7, 2022
- Time: 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
- Speaker: Raeka Aiyar
- Vice President for Science & DEIB Outreach at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute
- Location: MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Freiburg, Germany
- Room: Main Lecture Hall & Online
- Host: Gender Equality Officer
- Contact: email@example.com
Raeka Aiyar (twitter) is the Vice President for Science & DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) Outreach at the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute,
an experienced geneticist and an excellent science communicator who
advocates for equal opportunities, diversity, inclusion and belonging.
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute is an
independent non-profit with the mission of applying stem cells to
accelerate treatments and cures for the major diseases of our time.
NYSCF applies a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to drive
innovation in our field, confronting several ways in which systemic
discrimination has significantly hindered progress. With scalable,
automated technology, we have established high-throughput reprogramming
methods to create large, ethnically diverse cohorts of patient-derived
iPSCs that are used in a variety of collaborative efforts worldwide. We
are continually increasing the diversity of our iPSC biobank as a
community resource to integrate minoritized populations into genetics
and disease research.
We have also pioneered protocols to differentiate iPSCs into disease-relevant cell types and organoids, enabling population-scale studies of neurological diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Integrating this approach with artificial intelligence, genomics, and high-content imaging is providing insights into disease heterogeneity across diverse patients that will ultimately fuel inclusive precision medicine. We also recognize that progress will be slowed until all talented scientists have equal opportunities to succeed, and thus consider it mission-critical to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the scientific community.
Our Initiative on Women in Science and Engineering quantifies the widespread gender disparities in our field, as well as the leaky pipeline through which women and other minoritized scientists are excluded from leadership positions. We spotlight these issues in our events and communications, address them in community-building efforts and internal affinity groups, and have embedded DEIB elements into the review process for our early career scientist grants. I will also present actionable strategies to create more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments where all scientists feel a sense of belonging and can thrive.
The lecture will take place in the MPI lecture hall and will be held in English. There will also be a Zoom streaming. The Gender Equality Officers look forward to a large attendance, observing Corona measures (FFP2 mask), and encourage Covid-19 self-testing on the day of the event. Participation is free of charge, but a registration for external guests is required. If you would like to attend (on-site or Zoom-link), please contact the hosts.