Diversity And Inclusion

The Department of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics recognizes that the diversity of its community – including faculty, trainees, staff, and students – is an essential component of our mission to improve biomedical research and human health through the application of quantitative science and the incorporation of innovative technologies. With leadership from the Committee on Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion, we are committed to proactively fostering an inclusive environment in which diverse perspectives and backgrounds are welcome and thrive. Specifically, we recognize and embrace our shared humanity, strive to see each of us live up to our full potential as scientists, as educators, as trainees, as managers, as administrators, as members of society and our community. We celebrate each other's successes, strengthen each other in adversity, and recognize our independent as well as shared ambitions.

In our effort to support diversity and inclusion, we recognize that the ongoing injustice of implicit and structural racism, particularly against Black and Indigenous people of color, must be proactively addressed. In addition, Latinx, Asian and Asian-American colleagues and students have also faced bias and discrimination. We are committed to taking action to dismantle racism in all forms. Our faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to speak openly, honestly, and without retribution about experience with racism and necessary improvements. We will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, nationality, language, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. 

Departmental commitments to support this statement include: 

  • Conduct open searches for faculty and staff. 
  • Annually review and strengthen the statement of support for diversity and inclusion within all job postings.
  • Have a diverse set of speakers for events and speaker series hosted by the department with nominations accepted by all members of the department.
  • Provide implicit bias and anti-racism training for the department.
  • Maintain and disseminate resources for self-education on structural racism and anti-racism.
  • Provide transparency through our Departmental Faculty Handbook regarding the process of hiring, mentoring and promotion.
  • Provide formal mentoring to all junior faculty through a committee with 3 mentors.
  • Maintain funding (10% effort) for the role of Associate Chair for Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Engage with faculty, staff and students directly and through the Committee on Culture, Diversity and Inclusion to identify new areas for progress.
  • Help underrepresented students in the department find communities to support them across Duke. 

Guiding values for our culture

  • Create a safe, inclusive environment for all our faculty, trainees, staff, and students.
  • Recognize and reinforce ethical behavior and science.
  • Recognize and reward contributions that enrich each other, our department, our institution, our communities.
  • Reaffirm our common humanity and celebrate our differences.

Who is Accountable?

Our Chair Dr. David Page and leadership team (Warren Kibbe, Laine Thomas, Huiman Barnhart, Steven Grambow, Andrew Allen, Kevin Anstrom, and Susan Halabi) are committed to the preceding statements and to facilitating a diverse and inclusive culture in their own actions. 

Dr. Laine Thomas was named Associate Chair for Diversity and Inclusion in September 2019. Dr. Thomas leads the departmental Committee on Culture, Diversity and Inclusion and serves as a liaison to Duke Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) and School of Medicine Inclusion Council. Detailed information, expectations, current goals and progress for this role are linked here. Feedback is always welcome. 

Committee on Culture, Diversity and Inclusion – Priorities for 2021

The following initiatives were prioritized by a process of engagement with all members of the Committee, first to brainstorm initiatives of potential interest and then an anonymous survey gauged level of interest and willingness to lead and/or participate.  Additional details can be found here.  

  • Student sub-committee: work with students to address student needs 
  • Work with Education Program to develop strategies and resources for recruitment of under-represented minority students.  Multiple scholarship funds have been created and current work seeks external funding to expand.
  • Community Outreach working group: provide exposure and experience to Durham high school students
  • Survey/Focus groups: how to better support the department?


Laine Thomas (Chair), Ama Aidoo, Sophia Anderson, Joshua Granek, Tanya Exum Coston, Alyssa Platt, Oana Enache, Tingxuan Li, Ying Sun, Janice McCarthy, Sharon Updike, Shannon Clarke, Carrie Holbert, Hussein Al-Khalidi, Frank W. Rockhold, Congwen Zhao, Roland Matsouaka, Terry Hyslop, Andrzej Kosinski, Alejandro Ochoa, Yunji Zhou, Jessie Tenenbaum, Ben Goldstein, James Herndon II, Susan Halabi, Liz Nichols, Steven Grambow, David Page


      Campus Resources for Students to find Communities of Support

  • SACNAS Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanos and Native Americans in Science
  • Bouchet Society The Duke University Bouchet Society primarily supports graduate students from underrepresented groups in the pursuit of scholarly excellence in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and math
  • oSTEM (“out” STEM) Dedicated to educating and fostering leadership for LGBTQ communities in the STEM fields
  • International House Our Mission is to provide educational programs, services and advocacy to Duke global community
  • DukeF1RSTS First Generation Graduate School Network
  • Duke Disability Alliance The mission of Duke Disability Alliance (DDA) is to promote advocacy and awareness of issues concerning students with disabilities, physical or otherwise
  • Asian Students Association (ASA): ASA serves as a lobbying voice and support for the political, cultural and social interests of students of Asian Pacific heritage at Duke
  • Student Affairs Website includes links to approximately 400 student groups.

The section below will be updated periodically to include articles, books, movies, and websites that members of our departments have found helpful to learning about discrimination and anti-racism. Suggestions are welcome. Many more are available here from the Duke School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  

Resources for Institutional Efforts

Anti-Racist Reading (and Listening) Material


Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Duke University School of Medicine

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion works to build a climate where all members of our faculty, students, and staff experience a true sense of belonging and feel that they matter, can thrive and contribute their best work. Working and learning in environments where people experience these qualities help us attract and retain a diverse cadre of outstanding talent who are fully engaged and positively impact how we teach, work, learn and serve in an increasingly diverse world.

Office for Institutional Equity, Duke University

Under the auspices of the president, the Office for Institutional Equity provides institutional leadership in enhancing respectful, diverse, and inclusive work and learning environments for the Duke community.  We offer a range of services that uphold values of equity and diversity as well as support compliance efforts in the areas of equal opportunity, affirmative action, and harassment prevention.

Updated January 29, 2021