Diversity & Inclusion Committee

On this page you will find: What is the role of the iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee? and Meet the D&I Committee Members!.

Members of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at the 2019 Giant Jamboree

What is the role of the iGEM Diversity & Inclusion Committee?

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee works with the iGEM Foundation to promote diversity and foster inclusion within the iGEM community.

Inspired by the 2013 Paris Bettencourt iGEM team’s extensive evaluation of gender diversity within iGEM, the committee was initially formed to focus on improving gender inclusivity.

  • Over the following years, the committee used targeted initiatives such as active recruitment and an open application process to improve gender diversity among iGEM judges (i.e. 50% female and non-binary judges in 2018).
  • We provided accommodations and created a more inclusive environment for participants at the annual iGEM Giant Jamboree, for example, through designating gender-neutral restrooms and lactation rooms and offering childcare services. We have also worked with iGEM HQ to clarify and distribute anti-harassment policies at the jamboree.
  • We have consulted with iGEM teams to discuss and improve gender-sensitive issues in their projects, for example, through using representative and inclusive language in their surveys.

Motivated by the positive impact of these successful efforts, the mission of our committee has expanded to address diversity and inclusion in iGEM across all contexts. These contexts include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, disability, gender, religion, and economic status.

New and upcoming efforts led by the D&I Committee reflect this broader mission.

  • We have continued to support the diverse iGEM population and promote the inclusion of underrepresented communities. At the 2019 Giant Jamboree, we hosted an LGBTQ+ Meetup, ran an “LGBTQ+ in STEM” panel and workshop, and encouraged the use of inclusive language through a “make your own pronoun badge” station.
  • Our committee and iGEM Headquarters have worked to provide suitable accommodations for special requests during the Giant Jamboree. Visit the Giant Jamboree website for a full list of available accessibility accommodations (coming soon); if you or your team has any needs beyond these, please contact iGEM diversity AT igem DOT org.
  • We are working to better understand diversity and representation in iGEM through collection and analysis of annual iGEM-wide participation surveys. You can view current diversity-related statistics from 2019 here.
  • We are showcasing and recognizing iGEM teams that do exceptional work to increase diversity and promote inclusivity through their own efforts. You can read inspirational highlights about a few previous teams here.

We welcome all feedback from you - the iGEM community - about how we can continue to improve diversity and help make iGEM as inclusive as possible. Please contact us at diversity [AT] igem [DOT] org.

Meet the Diversity & Inclusion Committee Members

The Diversity & Inclusion Committee works with the iGEM Foundation to provide guidance on gender issues and other areas related to inclusivity. Our members are a diverse group of people who are interested in diversity in synthetic biology and beyond.

Anne Meyer

Committee Chair

Associate Professor, University of Rochester


Divya Israni

Committee Co-Chair

Scientist, Satellite Biosciences

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Alan Pacheco

Postdoctoral fellow, ETH Zürich

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Alyssa Henning

Arizona State University

Armando Cortez Resendiz

BS Biotechnology Engineering, Tecnologico de Monterret


Asal Golshaie

Editorial Assistant in medical publishing

Part time masters student in genomic medicine (QMUL)


Avi Patel

Sample Preparation Scientist, Charles River Laboratories


Charlotte de Ceuninck van Capelle

Graduate student, Leiden University


Christina Clodomir

Georgia State University

Cibele Zolnier S. do Nascimento

Coordinator, After iGEM

Undergraduate student, University of São Paulo

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Darren Nesbeth

University College London

Divya Ail

Postdoc, Vision Institute (INSERM)

Sorbonne University, Paris, France


Harkirat Singh Arora

Undergraduate student, IIT Roorkee

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Helen Shammas

Undergraduate student, University of Rochester


Hina Bandukwala

Bioinformatician, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI)

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Maria Jose Ugarte Orozco

BS Biotechnology Engineering, Tecnologico de Monterret


Nsikak-Abasi Etim

Senior Lecturer, University of Uyo, Nigeria


Rene Melendez

BS Biotechnology Engineering, Tecnologico de Monterrey

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V. Anne Smith

Senior Lecturer, St Andrews University

Alan Kim

Junnis Hugger

Laura (Lore) Leclerc

M.Sc Biology, B.Sc Cell & Molecular, Québec, Canada

Manasi Raje

Nanna Heinz

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Rita Hasse Ferreira

Rohan Dandavate

B.S - M.S Biology, IISER Bhopal

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Stephen Mukuze

Yangyang (Kimmy) Kong

Deputy Director of Innovation Lab, SubCat Academy