CDCB Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Purpose and Mission

Support, strive for, and enact foundational changes in CDCB and beyond to bring about greater diversity, equity, inclusion and tolerance to the academic scientific arena.

Support and encourage all faculty, staff and trainees to embrace the responsibility required to bring change.

Support an inclusive work environment that provides an atmosphere that allows all individuals to attain their greatest potential.

Recruit and embrace faculty, staff, and trainees that will broaden the diversity and support inclusion and tolerance in our scientific community.


Karen Morris and Luca Sax hosting OnTrack table at youth outreach event
Karen Morris (left) and Luca Sax (right) staffing OnTrack table at outreach event. April 2023

On behalf of the CDCB-DOS DEI Joint CommitteeDr. Josh Walker and Karen Morris (1st year PBMS graduate student) led outreach efforts to teach middle school students from Warm Springs and Klamath Falls about heme malignancy and what basic science researchers do. Pictured above are Karen Morris and Luca Sax who volunteered an hour with the OnTrack team at OHSU at the outreach event in April 2023.


May 9: Brenda Martinez – Critical Mentorship: How CRT Can Inform our Mentorship Approaches 

June 13: Sarah Walker, Faculty Wellness Center, Wellbeing in times of crisis: Caring for ourselves and others 

July 11: Hiatus 

August 8: Sud Anand, panel – DEI directed research funding mechanisms 

September 12:  Tova Johnson and Laura Zeigen(BICC) - Equity in Data/publications 

October 10: TBD - Erin Hoover-Barnett – Inclusive Language Program 

November 14: Dr. Megan Furnari – Wellness for Students

Contact Rebecca Ruhl for CDCB DEI Seminar details

Complete list of CDCB DEI events
Past faculty and staff DEI efforts

Programs and Initiatives across OHSU

Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science

Alliance for Visible Diversity in Science is a group of grad students/admin/faculty at OHSU that has been engaged in gender and racial equity programs/initiatives. The goal of the collective is to increase participation of diverse voices in scientific research.

Learn more about AVDS

Knight Scholars

The Knight Scholars program offers high school students whose communities are underrepresented in cancer research, healthcare and public health—including those of diverse races and ethnicities and those from rural areas—an opportunity to explore careers in the fields of cancer research, treatment and prevention. Students are paid a stipend and housed in residence halls while at OHSU each summer.

Learn more about the Knight Scholars program

On Track OHSU!

On Track OHSU! is a centrally staffed program which performs outreach to Oregon high schools and middle schools with the specific goal of increasing the numbers of underrepresented minority students in scientific research and medical careers. This program provides opportunity for students and faculty at OHSU to engage with students across the state of Oregon.

Learn more about On Track OHSU!

StemPrep (Distance Learning Program)

The non-profit Distance Learning Program Center (DLPC) and its Alliance partners believe that change in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) developmental initiatives is needed to diversify the next generations of STEM doctoral degree holders, by supporting the training of underrepresented minority (URM) populations, including students of African American, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans & Native Hawaiian descent. During the second half of the 20th century, we have failed to invest in developmental initiatives designed to produce a significant STEM workforce from an economically/educationally disadvantaged student pipeline, of which underrepresented minorities are the highest percentage. While URM groups make up 38% of the population, they earned only 18.6% of total undergraduate degrees, and only 16.9% of STEM degrees—further, only 8% of URM trainees graduate with a STEM doctoral degree. Unfortunately, these numbers are even more accented in the state of Oregon.

To address the critical need of expanding a diverse and representative workforce in STEM fields, the Departments of Cell, Developmental and Cancer, and Surgery at OHSU established a partnership with the Distance Learning Center (DLC) as one of seven universities to host and nurture students from the STEMPREP Project, whose mission is to foster sustained interest and engagement URM students in STEM-related activities, and ultimate success in STEM-related careers. The STEMPREP Project assembles a national cohort of 7th grade URM high-achieving students who have interest in STEM careers. The program nurtures students in basic science areas across a continuous ten-year pipeline, following a commonsense approach of find the national STEM talent early, nurturing scientific interest, and aiding in achieving a doctoral degree. This longitudinal developmental paradigm utilizes a multi-institutional mentorship approach and exposes participants to science through annual summer basic science internships at Alliance institutions in the U.S. and Canada, and provides a supplemental academic-year support “platform” through the precollege and college years. The STEMPREP Project strives to make a broader impact and profound change in the production of URM doctoral degree holders in STEM (

OHSU participates in the STEMPREP Program as a hosting scientific institution and will host 20 11th-grade URM trainees for an 8-week basic science research internship from June 18, 2022 – August 12, 2022. Students will be matched with basic research laboratories to conduct a productive hypothesis-driven research project mentored by OHSU faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students. Students will engage in a weekly didactic, science-focused curriculum, ACT test prep, weekly career seminars, and weekend Oregon college campus-state landmark fieldtrips. Students will be housed at Portland State University and commute to OHSU via trolley.

This program offers many innovative aspects for the OHSU and Oregon community:

  • This program has a strong track record and is established.  Further, Dr. Brody and Dr. Moses (the director of the DLPC) have worked together for several years and have established a strong program in Philadelphia at Jefferson University.
  • Students will come from all over the country, and in many instances have their first Oregon experiences during this program. Again, the long term objective here is to recruit STEM students to OHSU and our state. 
  • Students will come in being “trained” in the science and laboratory settings.  These students are integrated into this program in 7th grade and thus have been fostered and mentored for years prior to their arrival in Portland.
  • Because of the programs other connections with UPENN, UWASH, and Jefferson, these students from other institutions will learn about what the OHSU students are doing and will have an opportunity to engage with them.
  • This program will provide a unique opportunity for the students to understand an appropriate work-life balance, between being in cutting-edge research laboratories and seeing the vast, diverse beauty of the Pacific Northwest. 

To complement the cutting-edge basic science research, OHSU trainee curriculum includes:

  • (a) RCR Course/Lab Safety Class. Directed workshop on how to generate testable hypotheses and experimental design. Journal review including novel cutting-edge technology, and use of model systems.
  • (b) Weekly Career Seminars. Friday lunch and learn, and career seminars to expose trainees to myriad career paths in science and medicine fun by OHSU faculty, residents, post-doctoral fellows, students. These sessions will include career path guidance for graduate and medical school and the MD/PhD program.
  • (c) Culminating Oral Research Presentations. OHSU STEMPREP trainees will participate in the summer internship research symposium to disseminate their scientific findings to the scientific community. Further, after trainees return home, they are required to submit an application to a Poster Session of the national scientific meeting, the March Minority Trainee Research Forum (MTRF).
  • (d) American College Testing (ACT) prep course.
  • (e) Scientific “buddies”. Pair each trainee with a graduate student or post-doc host.
  • (f) DEVELOPING. Saturday Field Trips. We are developing weekend day trip to explore sites of natural history and culture in Oregon and to visit Oregon college campuses. The purpose of these OHSU-funded activities is to highlight our state and provide opportunities for Oregon Universities to recruit and retain outstanding and highly talented STEMPREP trainees in Oregon for higher education and ultimately to OHSU for graduate school or medical school.

History of success

The innovation of the STEMPREP Project lies within its longitudinal research training paradigm at Alliance partnering institutions. By focusing on building research skills during the precollege summers, URM high achievers who would not normally receive this type of training are better prepared to enroll in full credit-bearing STEM courses at the start of college. Hence, STEMPREP students intending to major in STEM avoid falling into a remediation cycle upon entering college, which deters minorities from pursing majors in STEM. During college, the STEMPREP summer training and academic year “enrichment platform” prepares our trainees for entry into elite post-baccalaureate STEM educational programs. The 2012 External Evaluation Study of STEMPREP college graduating classes (1998 – 2011), commissioned by the United Health Foundation, found the STEMPREP Project to be one of the most successful training initiatives in U.S. history: 100% of our trainees attended college, 99% graduated from college, 92% completed the 10-year regimen (Retention) and 83% of our college seniors matriculated into post-baccalaureate educational programs in STEM and/or Medicine (Yield). The next External Evaluation is slated for fifteen years later, in 2026. The relevance of this new 21st century training paradigm is that it efficiently produces significant numbers of STEM terminal degree holders from a small national pool of URM high achievers who have participated in a longitudinal STEM training continuum.

Learn more about the STEMPREP Distance Learning Center program


The BUILD-EXITO program is run collaboratively through OHSU/PSU that is designed to give underrepresented minority students from PSU access to mentored research opportunities within PSU and OHSU. Several OHSU/CDCB faculty serve as community research mentors within this program. The mentor-mentee relationships are designed to put students into a lab for 2 full years while they are in undergraduate school to build lasting relationships with the mentors and allow students time to contribute to research projects.

Learn more about the BUILD-EXITO program

OHSU Equity Scholars

The OHSU Equity Scholars program provides research opportunities for diverse undergraduate students each summer at OHSU. This program has individual tracks for biomedical sciences, health policy, dentistry, medicine, nursing, and public health. The program typically occurs over 8 weeks each summer. CDCB faculty have served as mentors for students within this program.

Learn more about the OHSU Equity Scholars program


The mission of U-RISE (Undergraduate Research Training Initiative for Student Enhancement) at PSU is to recruit, train, and mentor students from historically underrepresented groups to continue biomedical research training. U-RISE Trainees are undergraduates who are committed to pursuing advanced education, research training, and a research career in a biomedical, behavioral, social, clinical, or translational field. 

Learn more about U-RISE

Portland Oral Health Research Training program

The OHSU School of Dentistry has received a $3.8 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health in order to recruit, train and mentor the next generation of scientists in oral health.

The funding, from the NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, will support a new comprehensive dentistry research training program that will build on a decade of growth in basic, translational and clinical research conducted by the school’s faculty. In the last ten years, the school has risen to 12th from 41st in NIDCR funding to U.S. dental schools.

The grant will fund the Portland Oral Health Research Training (PORT) program, which will fill an important gap among training programs at OHSU and will strengthen cross-school, -institutional research, particularly in microbe-host interactions, biomaterials and tissue engineering, and clinical and translational research in TMJ and pain modulation.

Learn more about PORT


The OHSU Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) is supported by the National Institute of General Medical SciencesOHSU Research & Innovation, and the Vollum Institute. The focus of OHSU PREP is to recruit and train Persons Excluded because of their Ethnicity or Race (PEER) postbacs for an intensive, mentored research experience with the goal to prepare them for pursuing a graduate degree in biomedical research. In addition to a year-long sustained research experience, OHSU PREP scholars will receive individualized competency-based professional and career skill development and opportunities that allow for cultural immersion through interactions with near-peer mentors (i.e. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) and OHSU faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.  

Learn more about PREP

Wy’east Post-Baccalaureate Pathway

Wy’east is the traditional Multnomah name for Mount Hood, a prominent feature of the Columbia River region. The Wy’east Post-Baccalaureate Pathway is a cornerstone of the Center to develop AI/AN physicians. Wy’East Post-Baccalaureate Pathway prepares American Indian and Alaska Native students to excel as medical students and physicians.

There are three major components to the pathway:

  • Academic preparation for medical school
  • Professional training for the rigor of medical school
  • Culturally-relevant experiential learning

Learn more about the Wy’east Post-Baccalaureate Pathway

OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research

The goal of the OHSU Fellowship for Diversity in Research (OFDIR) is to address the need for increased representation of minoritized races/ethnicities in STEM at the postdoctoral level. Fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all scientific areas of study at OHSU. OFDIR Fellows will receive mentored research training and opportunities to build community with and receive support from other scientists who identify as members of a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in STEM. Explore the tabs above to learn more about the benefits of the OFDIR program, how to apply, and to meet current and former OFDIR fellows. 

Learn more about OFDIR