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Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)


Welcome! Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is an incredibly diverse place to work, train, and conduct science, with employees who hail from more than sixty different countries throughout the world. Indeed, diversity is central to our mission of advancing discovery in biology research and education. From secondary education and enrichment programs run through the DNA Learning Center to the laboratories of our faculty and principal investigators, CSHL thrives by assembling a rich mix of people who are provided the resources and creative freedom to develop new ideas, solve problems, and advance science.

Historically CSHL’s research staff, like that of many other institutions, has not reflected the demographic diversity of the United States. We recognize this as both a social and scientific shortcoming, one we’ve been working hard to rectify. CSHL’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was set up to assess policies and procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure they best support all employees regardless of sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability status, veteran status, or age.

graphic of a map of the World with countries where CSHL is represented

Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Director: Charla Lambert, Ph.D., clambert@cshl.edu

Charla Lambert
Charla Lambert

CSHL’s Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) integrates and oversees efforts across multiple divisions to promote equitable and inclusive working environments on campus. The office is led by Charla Lambert, a staff member in the Meetings & Courses division who has a long history of DEI work and contributions. Nationally, Dr. Lambert has served on the SACNAS Board of Directors and reviewed applications for the HHMI Gilliam Fellowship program. Within CSHL, she is co-principal investigator on an NIH IPERT grant that is focused on scientific training, mentoring, outreach, and community building for CSHL’s postgraduate short course program. Dr. Lambert has a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington in Seattle, and postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania through the NIH IRACDA fellowship program.

Steering Committee

John P. Tuke
Chief Operating Officer

Katherine Raftery
Vice President of Human Resources

David L. Spector, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Robert B. Gardner, Jr. Professor

Sydney Gary, Ph.D.
Director of Research Operations

Alex Gann, Ph.D.
Lita Annenberg Hazen Dean of the Watson School of Biological Sciences

David J. Stewart, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Meetings & Courses Program

Rebecca Leshan, Ph.D.
Director of the Banbury Center

See all diversity-related articles going back multiple years on the CSHL Newsstand.


Faculty Diversity Committee

CSHL is committed to ensuring our faculty work in an environment that is equitable and inclusive regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or age. We continually assess and work to improve our faculty recruitment, promotion, and retention policies with this goal in mind. Current initiatives in this area include an internal review of faculty recruitment processes, and the development of a symposium that will bring young researchers from diverse backgrounds to Cold Spring Harbor annually to present their science and learn more about being on the faculty at CSHL.

photo of Bruce Stillman and Leemor Joshua-Tor

Leadership & Mentorship Training

As part of CSHL’s career and professional development efforts, we are currently implementing mentorship training for CSHL faculty, postdocs, and students based on curriculum from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research at the University of Wisconsin. Our goal is to foster a research training environment that is inclusive and supportive for all trainees.

photo of CSHL faculty member Florin Albeanu with trainees

Climate Assessments

Being a scientific institution, CSHL believes the first step in almost any project involves data collection and literature review. To wit, we conduct regular climate assessments to understand employees’ and trainees’ perceptions of the working environment on campus. With the help of Mercer|Sirota, we are currently conducting an assessment designed to learn whether our employees and trainees see CSHL as a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination.

In 2017, a survey on sexual violence and prevention was administered to current CSHL graduate students including WSBS students, students-in-residence, visiting students, and rotating students. Details and summaries of the outcomes are linked from this page.

photo of father holding baby daughter at CSHL

Action Collaborative

CSHL is a member of the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, a coalition formed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in response to the 2018 NASEM report on Sexual Harassment of Women. Through the Action Collaborative, research and training institutions collectively identify, develop, implement, and assess efforts to address and prevent all forms of sexual harassment while promoting campus climates of civility and respect. As a member of the Action Collaborative, CSHL has committed to implement and test new programs, policies, and practices and share the results with other member institutions.

photo of Dave Stewart, Dick McCombie, Elaine Mardis

Banbury Meeting on Increasing Gender Diversity in the Biosciences

A December 2018 meeting at CSHL’s Banbury Center convened experts to discuss “Increasing Gender Diversity in the Biosciences” (pdf). Organized by Carol Greider (Johns Hopkins University) and Jason Sheltzer (CSHL), the meeting identified concrete approaches for promoting and supporting the advancement of women in science. Leaders from diverse fields connected to brainstorm new approaches, inspire innovative new ideas, identify emerging issues, and ultimately develop recommendations and practical solutions for recruiting, supporting, and retaining more women in senior positions. The full meeting report and list of recommendations will be available soon.

photo of attendees at a December 2018 CSHL Banbury meeting where experts discussed Increasing Gender Diversity in the Biosciences

Affinity groups at CSHL are launched and led by students, postdocs, and research technicians, with financial and logistical support from faculty and the central administration. Currently, two affinity groups on campus are devoted to groups historically underrepresented or marginalized in biomedical and biological research.

Women in Science & Engineering (WiSE)

WiSE is a network of scientists building a more supportive, collaborative, and equal scientific community for all. They provide a platform for professional development and empowerment through mentorship, career planning, and educational opportunities tailored toward issues disproportionally affecting women. WiSE is open to all members of the CSHL community.

photo of participants from the 2018 WiSE retreat
Participants at the annual WiSE retreat, September 2018. Photo by Connie Brukin.

Diversity Initiative for the Advancement of STEM (DIAS)

DIAS aims to support, empower, and advocate for underrepresented (UR) scientists, in particular scientists from historically marginalized racial/ethnic groups (Black/African-American, Hispanic/LatinX, American Indian/Native American/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) as well as LGBTQIA scientists. They do this by raising awareness of issues that disproportionately affect these groups, hosting on-campus seminars by prominent UR speakers, and conducting outreach activities to nearby community colleges. DIAS is open to all members of the CSHL community.

photo of DIAS members with Joseph Graves Ph.D.
DIAS members with Joseph Graves Ph.D. (Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at the North Carolina A&T State University), May 2019

Campus-Wide Symposia

  • October 21, 2019: Effective allyship (co-organized by WiSE and DIAS)
    Invited speaker: Ushma Neill, Ph.D. (Vice President for Scientific Education & Training, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)

  • May 14, 2019: A community discussion on race and intelligence (co-organized by the DIAS group)
    Invited speakers: Joseph Graves, Ph.D. (Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Dean for Research at the North Carolina A&T State University) and Gilda Barabino, Ph.D. (Dean and Professor of Biomedical Engineering in The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering)

  • January 23-24, 2019: Campus-wide viewing of the Society for Neuroscience’s virtual conference on mitigating implicit bias

WiSE McClintock Lectures

As part of the weekly CSHL scientific seminar series, the WiSE group hosts prominent female scientists who have contributed to the advancement of women in science. Named for Barbara McClintock (1983 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine and CSHL principal investigator from 1942 until her death in 1992), the WiSE McClintock Lectures occur twice yearly and involve career and life discussions in addition to scientific talks. See a comprehensive list of McClintock speakers to date.

  • February 28, 2019: Ana Anderson, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School)

  • December 13, 2018: Elaine Fuchs, Ph.D. (Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology & Development at the Rockefeller University)

DIAS Seminar Series

Twice each year, the DIAS group also hosts prominent researchers for the weekly CSHL scientific seminar series. The designated DIAS speakers are from groups historically underrepresented or marginalized in science, and have contributed to the advancement of scientists from these UR groups.

  • December 12, 2019: Tracy Johnson, Ph.D. (Professor & Maria Rowena Ross Chair of Cell Biology & Biochemistry at the University of California Los Angeles, HHMI Professor, Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence)

  • January 3, 2019: Ian Mendez, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso)

From the Meetings & Courses Program

One of the benefits of working, training, and doing science at CSHL is the access it provides to the events organized by Meetings & Courses program. Within a given meeting or short course, there are often special talks and panel discussions in the area of diversity and inclusion. Such talks are announced to the wider CSHL community so everyone has the opportunity to attend, listen, educate themselves, and together discuss the ideas.

  • April 4, 2019: “The brilliance barrier—Stereotypes about brilliance are an obstacle to diversity in science and beyond”
    Special seminar as part of the biennial CSHL meeting on the Blood Brain Barrier
    Invited speaker: Andrei Cimpian, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University)

  • March 21, 2019: “Women in Network Science”
    Panel discussion at the biennial CSHL meeting on Network Biology
    Moderator: Jennifer Roecklein-Canfield, Ph.D. (Professor of Chemistry at Simmons College)
    Panelists: Lakshmi Devi, Ph.D. (Professor of Pharmacology & Systems Therapeutics and Dean for Academic Development & Enrichment at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine), Harvey Lodish, Ph.D. (Professor of Biology & Biological Engineering at MIT), and Zeba Wunderlich, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Developmental & Cell Biology at the University of California Irvine)

Interested in talking with CSHL in person? Come find us on the road during the 2019-2020 school year!

Email gradschool@cshl.edu for more information.