NCI-Designated Cancer Center

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Fabiana Izidro Layng, M.D., M.P.H. working in the lab

Our mission is to foster an inclusive workplace culture that sustains enhanced creativity and innovation through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) best practices.

To support our mission, the Cancer Center DEI Team collaborates with the Institutional DEI Council and committees to identify, recommend, implement and evaluate strategies that promote a safe, inclusive environment in which all feel appreciated.

We endeavor to advance and integrate DEI by:
  • Increasing diversity in faculty and cancer center leadership through recruitment and career development opportunities
  • Making recommendations to leadership regarding DEI best practices to support, retain and advance diverse faculty, trainees and research staff
  • Fostering community engagement by providing educational and training opportunities for underrepresented groups (URGs) in STEM to expand and maintain a diverse, multicultural cancer research workforce
  • Creating, identifying and disseminating funding opportunities that support underrepresented trainees in STEM
  • Promoting DEI-focused learning opportunities
  • Establishing criteria for tracking and evaluating progress to sustain DEI best practices

We are committed to integrating DEI best practices to cultivate an environment that promotes inclusive excellence. Therefore, the Cancer Center DEI Team collaborates with other Institutional DEI Committees to identify and implement strategies that foster an inclusive working culture aligned with our research training opportunities. We recognize the importance of a diverse and multicultural workforce in the future of cancer research, and we are working to enhance diversity among our faculty, leadership, and trainees in our research programs. Additionally, through community outreach initiatives, the Cancer Center offers cancer research educational opportunities to historically underrepresented persons in STEM. DEI is a priority for the Cancer Center, and we continually work to maintain a supportive and inclusive environment.

Ani Deshpande, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion


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Meet the team

Ani Deshpande, Ph.D. (he/him/his)
Associate Professor, Cancer Genome & Epigenetics Program
Associate Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
NCI-Designated Cancer Center

Tja Owens (she/her/hers)
Associate Director, Administration
NCI-Designated Cancer Center

Fabiana Izidro Layng, M.D., M.P.H. (she/her/hers)
Staff Scientist, Cancer Molecular Therapeutics Program
NCI-Designated Cancer Center