Michael Boyce, PhD, to co-direct national program charged with enhancing diversity among biomedical research faculty

Monday, August 24, 2020
Michael Boyce, PhD

Michael Boyce, PhD

Michael Boyce, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry in the School of Medicine, will co-direct a national program to enhance faculty diversity at research universities, organized by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH recently launched a new Maximizing Opportunities for Scientific and Academic Independent Careers (MOSAIC) program, with the goal to facilitate the transition of scientists from diverse backgrounds into tenure-track research faculty jobs. ASCB will receive $1.3 million from the NIH to create a program to build on the strengths of promising K99/R00 postdoctoral fellows through skills development workshops, mentor training opportunities, and institutional culture-changing initiatives at universities.

Boyce will co-direct the five-year program with ASCB CEO Erika Shugart; ASCB Director of Professional Development Ashanti Edwards; and Professor Mary Munson of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Boyce has been very active in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine and Graduate School levels at Duke, and believes these experiences will help him in his new role as MOSAIC co-director.

“I’m proud to be able to contribute to this important work for so many reasons, but two things stand out to me about MOSAIC in particular,” said Boyce. “First, excellent research by Kenny Gibbs and colleagues at NIH has shown that the postdoc-to-faculty transition is a major attrition point for scientists from historically excluded groups, and so MOSAIC represents a targeted, evidence-based intervention to enhance faculty diversity. Second, a major focus of our ASCB MOSAIC program will be convening leaders, like deans and provosts, from universities that host MOSAIC K99/R00 scholars, to promote a more equitable culture in their STEM departments. We hope this aspect of the program will catalyze institutional changes that help broaden participation and enhance inclusion and success for all research faculty at these universities for years to come.”

ASCB is one of first three organizations to receive funding from the MOSAIC program. The other recipients are the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Association of American Medical Colleges.