Lead gift from Tucker Taft ’69 and Phyllis Yale will support programming to build a diverse scientific community and foster inclusive culture at JAX
The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has elevated its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through the establishment of The JAX Endowment for Diversity Initiatives, a new fund created to advance JAX’s reputation as a place where individuals across the organization—trainees, faculty, researchers and staff—feel valued, included and empowered to do their best work.
The new fund, established with a gift from Tucker Taft, Summer Student Program Class of 1969 and his wife Phyllis Yale, will support diversity initiatives at JAX by providing access to specialized mentorship for trainees from communities and populations that are underrepresented in science, and by helping to create an inclusive culture that embraces and celebrates each person’s unique contribution to JAX’s institutional mission.
“It is our pleasure to help initiate this fund in support of diversity initiatives at JAX,” say Taft and Yale. “JAX’s mission to change the future of human health has always included a broader responsibility to help research laboratories around the world in striving toward these same challenging goals. We hope this fund will enhance that work by increasing support for diversity, equity and inclusion for scientists from underrepresented populations, both at JAX and within the wider community of researchers. We would be delighted and honored for other JAX community members to join us in supporting this fund.”
After completing the JAX Summer Student Program, Tucker pursued a career as a computer scientist. He currently serves as Director of Programming Language Research at AdaCore in Lexington, Mass. Phyllis currently serves as an Advisory Partner at Bain & Company, Inc.
The JAX Endowment for Diversity Initiatives marks the latest in a series of programs designed to promote a culture of inclusion within the JAX community. Last spring, Moses Davis joined JAX as the Inaugural Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a role in which he leads the development and implementation of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in support of JAX values, culture and strategic priorities.
“This new endowment will play a key role in ensuring that all members of our community feel they belong, that they have a voice and that they matter,” Davis says. “I am proud to be leading JAX’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at this pivotal time.”
To help build a pipeline of diverse scientists, The JAX Endowment for Diversity Initiatives will also provide resources for key programs including:
- The Summer Student Program (SSP), in which each year 40-50% of trainees identify as a member of a minority population.
- The Postbaccalaureate Fellows Program established in 2017 to offer mentored research experiences for underrepresented college graduates who aspire to pursue their M.D./Ph.D.
- JAX’s Postdoctoral Associates training program, with the goal of increasing the number of postdoctoral-level researchers from diverse backgrounds and identities.
- An upcoming pilot program that will bring visiting scientists from underrepresented populations to JAX for collaborative research opportunities.