The Program for Diversity and Graduate Recruitment

At Princeton University and the Lewis-Sigler Institute, we believe that the highest levels of research, scholarship, and teaching are obtained only through the combined participation of people with a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and experiences; see the Lewis-Sigler Institute community values statement. For this reason, the University welcomes under-represented and socio-economically disadvantaged students and faculty and provides an environment that embraces all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and physical abilities. In 2007 President Shirley Tilghman provided her enthusiastic support for the creation of the Programs of Diversity and Graduate Recruitment. The Program is supported by a collaboration between the Department of Molecular Biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. The goal of the program is to increase diversity among the graduate student population in the life sciences. Through outreach, recruitment, and mentoring, we aim to ensure the success and maximize the potential of all of our students, regardless of background. The Program for Diversity and Graduate Recruitment is comprised of a dedicated team of faculty and staff members with decades of experience as scientists and mentors.

Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez

Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez joined the staff of the Graduate School as the Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives in the Natural Sciences in 2016. Among her primary responsibilities are the recruitment, retention, support of developmental programming and the mentoring of students underrepresented in the life and other natural sciences (e.g., students of color, women, low income and first generation college students, LGBT students).

Previous to Princeton, Vanessa served as an Assistant Research Professor at the College of Pharmacy, Washington State University (WSU) and as the Manager of the Pharmacology Core for the newly established Center for the Study of Natural Product-Drug Interactions, she was involved in the design and execution of statements of work and research strategies. Vanessa has received a number of distinctions and served on numerous boards and committees. She is currently a diversity officer for the National Postdoctoral Association and a virtual mentor for the National Mentoring Research Network.

Vanessa received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico in 2003. She earned her Ph.D. in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Gonzalez-Perez truly enjoys providing advice and mentoring to graduate students and postdocs and is looking forward to provide resources and tools to make your training experience complete and enjoyable.

To find out more about Dr. Gonzalez-Perez, please visit the NSF-MCB blog

Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez
Assistant Dean, Diversity Initiatives in the Natural Science