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In the latest “We Are Wistar” installment, we spoke with Unique Stephens, a soon-to-be graduate of Cheney University that will continue her work at Wistar as a participant in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. She talked about her path to science and why her experience at Wistar was transformational.

Congratulations to Wistar’s Dr. Jessie Villanueva for being a 2024 Diversity in Business Award honoree of the Philadelphia Business Journal! In her role as the associate director for DEI at Wistar, Dr. Villanueva relentlessly collaborates with her colleagues, championing a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all at Wistar.

W-IDE Travel Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the latest W-IDE Travel Award Winners! The Award, offered twice each year by The Wistar Institute Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (W-IDE) Council, provides scholarships or travel assistance to trainees and junior researchers interested in attending career development conferences and meetings. The latest winners are:

Ricky Braithwaite (Villanueva Lab) – 2023 Society for Melanoma Research Congress 
Brennah Britten (Zang Lab) – Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2023
Ebony Gary (Weiner Lab) – International Society for Vaccines (ISV 2023)

Three Wistar alumni returned to their research roots to participate in Wistar’s first Fireside Chat forum as part of the Institute’s Diversity in Science initiative. In front of a video projection of a crackling fire, the trio spoke with humor, thoughtfulness, and candor to Wistar trainees about their career paths and what they’ve learned since leaving their respective Wistar labs, including ways to tackle self-doubt and acquire “soft skills.”

Thank You for Participating in the Recent DEI/Culture Survey

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to the recent DEI/Culture Survey and provide meaningful feedback. The W-IDE council is analyzing your input and formulating a plan to address any concerns that we heard. In the coming months you’ll see more details about our findings and how we intend to address any areas with opportunities for improvement. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the W-IDE council at

As part of our commitment to foster diversity and inclusion at Wistar, the W-IDE (Wistar Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity) Council will provide scholarships/travel assistance to trainees and junior researchers from underrepresented groups (based on, but not limited to, the NIH definition, i.e., underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, first-generation college students, LGBTQIA+ individuals, individuals with disabilities, etc.). 

Trainees and researchers who are not from underrepresented groups but who have contributed to enhance Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) at Wistar are also eligible and encouraged to apply. Graduate and undergraduate students, postdocs, research assistants, and staff scientists may apply. Awards are intended to support networking, presenting posters or oral talks at scientific conferences, and career development/professional opportunities.

Meet our WIDE Travel Award Winners


In a conversation with Dr. Hao, Wistar discussed the journey to her current role at the Institute, being a researcher from a another country, and where her research will take her.


Dr. Deliard highlights her professional journey, biomedical research challenges, and the importance of investing in underrepresented groups to propel forward Wistar Science.


Dr. Giron discusses her scientific background, impacts of her research, and the persistence and drive it takes to pursue science.


Giselle Lopez Fernandez discusses her background as a biomedical researcher, hurdles in the lab, and the importance of teamwork to Wistar Science.


Dr. Richard’s early and deep interest in plants and their derivatives as medicines has taken him on a scientific journey from Botswana to Canada to Philadelphia.