ACD Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce

Mission and Charge

Achieving diversity in the biomedical research workforce is critical to the full realization of our national research goals and is in the best interest of our country. Despite numerous efforts over many years to develop the biomedical science workforce pipeline, encompassing efforts from K thru 12 education to preserving academic tenure, for underrepresented minorities, the results remain suboptimal. In response to the unacceptable status quo and given the mission driven priorities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Director of the NIH has charged The Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) to form a special Diversity in Biomedical Research Working Group (DBRWG). Its charge will focus on five key transition points in the pipeline: (i) entry into graduate degree programs; (ii) the transition from graduate degree to post-doctoral fellowship; (iii) the appointment from a post-doctoral position to the first independent scientific position; (iv) the award of the first independent research grant from NIH or equivalent in industry; and (v) award of tenure in an academic position or equivalent in an industrial setting. The Committee will provide concrete recommendations to the NIH Director on ways to improve the retention of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and persons from disadvantaged backgrounds through these critical periods. The DBRWG's analysis will include both the NIH intramural research community and the NIH extramural research community.

The DBRWG is charged with producing interim recommendations by December 2011 and final recommendations by June 2012. In recognition of related tasks within the NIH campus, the DBRWG is expected to collaborate and coordinate with the ACD Biomedical Workforce Working Group, the NIH Diversity Task Force, and the NIH Women in Biomedical Research Careers Working Group.

Working Group Reports

Related Resources


  • Reed Tuckson, M.D. (co-chair)
    Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs
    UnitedHealth Group
  • John Ruffin, Ph.D. (co-chair)
    National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
    Acting Director NIH
  • Ann Bonham, Ph.D.
    Chief Scientific Officer
    Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Jordan Cohen, M.D.
    President Emeritus
    Association of American Medical Colleges
  • José Florez, M.D., Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Medicine
    Harvard Medical School
  • Gary Gibbons, M.D.
    Cardiovascular Research Institute and Chair
    Department of Physiology
    Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Renee Jenkins, M.D.
    Department of Pediatrics and Child Health
    Howard University
  • Tuajuanda Jordan, Ph.D.
    College of Arts and Sciences
    Lewis and Clark College
  • Wayne Riley, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Meharry Medical College; Chair
    National Advisory Council on Minority Health & Health Disparities
    National Institutes of Health; Chairman
    Board of Directors
    Association of Minority Health Professions Schools
  • Samuel Silverstein, M.D.
    John C. Dalton Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics, and Professor of Medicine
    Columbia University Medical Center
  • Dana Yasu Takagi, Ph.D.
    Professor of Sociology
  • Maria Teresa Velez, Ph.D.
    Associate Dean of the Graduate College
    Professor in Psychology
    University of Arizona
  • M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S.
    Board of Trustees
    Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D.
    Executive Vice Dean
    School of Medicine
    Professor Departments of Cellular/Molecular Pharmacology and Biochemistry/Biophysics
  • Clyde Yancy, M.D.
    Magerstadt Professor and Chief
    Division of Medicine-Cardiology
    Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

This page last reviewed on February 12, 2011