When Ripan Malhi started graduate school in anthropology in 1996, his lab at the University of California (UC), Davis, housed what he saw as a valuable scientific resource: a freezer of Native American blood samples. Burgeoning genetic tools offered a chance to study the population history of these groups, especially the still-mysterious timing of their ancestors’ arrival on the continent. Malhi began to extract and sequence DNA from the samples, which his adviser had collected over many years. As his research went on, however, Malhi realized there were few other Native American samples to compare with those on hand. So, he decided to collect more.
Many people from diverse backgrounds are underrepresented in genetic research.
Genetic research and disease treatments are being misled by the data of well-studied populations such as Caucasians, creating an emerging problem for many underrepresented populations.
“The festival is an annual event but this year, in particular, what we’re interested in is the mini-symposium on broadening participation in STEM,” Laura Heisler, Director of Programming for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation told Madison365. “It’s something that came up because we had research that showed women and people of color as underrepresented. So we wanted to broaden that study.”
We often do not seize the numerous opportunities we are afforded to shape the learning experiences of our mentees, let alone influence the environments in which those experiences transpire. We do not frequently enough embrace the art of mentoring.
As universities and colleges across the world prepare for another new academic year, campuses are beginning to buzz with families making their way to dorms with extra-long twin sheets and doe-eyed freshman. Course syllabi are frantically being updated and uploaded and staff do their best to keep chaos to a minimum while, maintaining a welcoming smile. I am one of those procrastinating professors bracing themselves for the new school year, my seventh, and my first as a tenured Associate Professor.
For those of you not in the academic world, tenure is glorious not so much because it means a permanent position, but because it ends the multi-year (usually about six) probationary period, in which we must justify to the university why they should not let us go before we are reviewed for tenure. So, in other words, I’m not unfire-able once I have tenure, I was just super fire-able beforehand.