Message from the Director

Stanford Immunology condemns the senseless violence and acts of racism directed at Black people, and we stand in strong solidarity with our Black trainees and colleagues. We see the deep-rooted systemic racism and the pain that it brings to people of color. These injustices are not new but have festered in our society and academic institutions for far too long. We commit to work within our immediate community and beyond to create an environment of inclusion, tolerance, and equity for all.

These changes will surely require that we continue to have difficult conversations, to reach out to each other, to listen, but also to look inward and to take the initiative to self-educate on how we can each contribute to bringing about change. While we have made strides in improving the diversity of our trainees we recognize that is not enough. We pledge to work towards making Stanford Immunology a place where every person feels safe, supported, and thrives.

Black Lives Matter.

Olivia Martinez, PhD
Director of Stanford Immunology

Immunology Commitment to Justice and Action

Stanford Immunology is committed to urgent and sustained action to pursue a just and equitable community. 

Stanford Immunology is committed to action. The actions listed here represent a commitment by the Immunology faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff.  

The status of these commitments to action will be updated on a quarterly basis and additional commitments will be added as developed. This is just the beginning.

Community, Diversity and Inclusion In Immunology

CDIII (Community, Diversity and Inclusion In Immunology) is a recently formed committee that aims to promote a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Immunology Program through the identification and recommendation of long-lasting creative solutions that embrace anti-racism principles and eliminate systemic bias.

Committee Members

Faculty Olivia Martinez Director
  Prasanna Jagannathan Chair
  Holden Maecker Co-Chair
  Michael Howitt  
  Eric Meffre  
  Hawa Racine Thiam  
Graduate Students Anthony Francois  
  Xariana Vales Torres  
  Izumi de los Rios Kobara
  Evan Maestri Alternate
Postdocs Rebeca Casilda Arroyo Hornero
Kelly Bruton
  Stephan Ramos  


Upcoming Events

Please check back for updates.

Previous Events

Stanford Immunology is a proud sponsor of


This year's theme is "Immune systems in a changing environment" is designed for amplifying, celebrating, and supporting Black voices in Immunology.  There is a diverse program to look forward to featuring scientific talks, workshops, panel discussions, and networking sessions. Join this free event on November 9-11, 2023.

Check out more details here.


  • Scientific discoveries by faculty and trainees
  • Panel discussion by current Ph.D. students
  • Application and admissions process demystified
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion at Stanford Immunology
  • How to receive one-on-one feedback on personal statement (Introduction to the SIRPA program)



  • Prospective PhD students applying Fall 2023
  • Interested in the Immunology PhD program at Stanford
  • International students are welcome

All applicants are welcome to participate. We especially encourage students with the potential to enhance diversity (broadly defined) in the Immunology field.

Presented by Stanford Immunology Ph.D. Program and CDIII (Community, Diversity, and Inclusion in Immunology) Committee

Stanford Immunology is a proud sponsor of


This year, the theme "Immunology without Borders" will highlight Black scientists from around the world and showcase the truly global nature of scientific research. There is a diverse program to look forward to featuring scientific talks, workshops, panels, networking sessions, and two keynote lectures. There will also be social media events so participants can connect before, during and after the week of November 13-19, 2022.

Sign up for Part I and Part II to avoid missing out on any of the fun!

Check out more details here.

April 21, 2022 at 12:00-1:00 PM PT

Antiracism in Biomedical Research and Practice: A Conversation with Fatal Invention Author, Lawyer, and Law and Sociology Professor Dorothy E. Roberts

Please join our Stanford SoM Antiracist Virtual Community Conversation where we hope to learn how we can actively work together to overcome institutionalized racism in research and medical practice. JD/PhD Candidate, Olamide Abiose will moderate our discussion and Q&A with Dr. Dorothy E. Roberts.

Dorothy Roberts is the 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor and George A. Weiss University Professor of Law & Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, with joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School, where she is the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights. She is also the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society. An internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, she has written and lectured extensively on race, gender, and class inequities in U.S. institutions and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive freedom, child welfare, and bioethics. She is the author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997/Vintage, 2017), Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2001), and Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century (The New Press, 2011), as well as co-editor of six books. She has also published more than 100 articles and essays in books and scholarly journals, including the 2019 Foreword to Harvard Law Review’s Supreme Court issue, “Abolition Constitutionalism.”

Registration for Black In Immuno Week is now open! November 14-20, 2021

Stanford Immunology is a proud sponsor of Black in Immuno Week. We invite you to join both sessions of Black In Immuno Week: At the Bench and At the Bedside.

This year, the event will feature talks and panels by Black immunologists, clinicians, patients, and patient advocates. The program (attached) will include talks on basic and translational science and on the experiences of academics and patients.

Download the program flyer here.

#StopAsianHate StanfordMed LIVE Special Town Hall on March 26, 2021 

Stanford Medicine leaders and AAPI members talk candidly about anti-Asian hate.

Watch the recording (SUNet ID required) of the special #StopAsianHate StanfordMed LIVE Town Hall that raised awareness of anti-Asian hate and violence in our country and addressed the recent Atlanta shootings.  

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have reported increased experiences of discrimination, hate, and violence. This includes verbal harassment, unprovoked assaults, and being socially ostracized and antagonized. On March 16, a gunman targeted three spas and massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia, killing eight people, including six women of Asian descent. These acts of racism are directly linked to a long history of racializing Asians as “others” whose culture is unassimilable to the United States. 

Anti-Racist Community Conversation with Dr. Cornel West

In June 2021, BioAIMS, SBBO, SBSA, and Stanford BioSciences hosted Dr. Cornel West in an interview with Kenisha Puckett, president of SBBO! The event was fantastic and extremely important and impactful. If you missed it, or were hoping to re-watch the recording, you have the opportunity to watch the video until June 2022. To quote one attendee “it’s the best session that I have attended at Stanford these past five years”. 

We were thrilled to have Dr. Cornel West, one of America's most provocative public intellectuals and lifelong champion for racial justice join us in a conversation about how we can foster an antiracist community here at Stanford, School of Medicine. Dr. West is a Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and has written 20 books and edited 13. Dr. West has a passion for communicating to diverse audiences and for keeping Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy alive- a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice. 

Faculty Conversation with Dr. Terrance Mayes

What should we do to combat anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination in the Stanford Medicine community?

How can faculty create an environment of inclusion and better support our students and postdocs in their classroom and labs and in our institution?

On August 14, 2020, Terrance Mayes, Associate Dean for Equity and Strategic Initiatives and the Executive Director of the Commission on Justice and Equity at Stanford Medicine and former Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer for UC Irvine Health, reflects on his experience at Stanford and imparts best practices to move faculty forward from dialogue to action.

Letter from Sam Cheshier to Stanford

Sam Cheshier, MD, PhD completed the immunology program in 2005 and is currently the  Director of the Pediatric Surgical Neuro-Oncology at University of Utah Medical School. The events surrounding the murder of George Floyd prompted him to relate his thoughts on the issue. With a preface from Professor Irv Weissman, read Sam's letter here. 

"Promoting diversity and advancing racial equity in the biomedical sciences" by Kenneth Gibbs

Is a "committment to diversity" enough in biomedical sciences? Stanford Immunology alumnus Kenneth Gibbs, PhD '10 suggests ways to make substantive progress on issues of diversity and racial justice in science. Gibbs is Director of the Postdoctoral Research Associate Training Proram at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Read the article here.

Further Reading

– Nature

Equity, diversity and inclusion are foundational research skills

Failure to consider the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in biomedical and human behaviour research harms patients, trainees and scientists. On the basis of experience and evidence, we make actionable, specific recommendations on how equity, diversity and inclusion can be considered at each step of a research project.

– News Center

Stanford Medicine fellowship for postdoctoral scholars created to diversify faculty

Stanford’s Propel program helps postdoctoral scholars from groups underrepresented in the biomedical sciences prepare for academic careers. The goal is to diversify the profession.

– Scope

After George Floyd's death, a Black neurosurgeon discusses racism, despair and hope

For Black neurosurgeon Samuel Cheshier, George Floyd's killing confirmed that his country is racist; but the aftermath brought hope that change is possible. Cheshier, director of pediatric surgical neuro-oncology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, was an integral part of the Stanford Medicine community. He wrote a letter expressing his thoughts about anti-Black racism, which is published in Stanford Medicine magazine.

– Scope

From the heart: Stanford cardiology chief reflects on his experience as a Black physician

Eldrin Lewis, Stanford's chief of cardiovascular medicine, opens up about racism and his hopes for future generations of Black physicians and patients.

– Nature

Lab heads should learn to talk about racism

Senior academics must step up and take the lead in discussing intolerance, says Devang Mehta.

– Nature

Too many senior white academics still resist recognizing racism

As a Black woman who is the chair of a university science department, people have questioned my right to exist at every stage.