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Wistar’s Jessie Villanueva, Ph.D., Receives ‘Diversity in Business’ Award

The Philadelphia Business Journal recognizes cancer scientist’s leadership in DEI

PHILADELPHIA—(Feb. 12, 2024)—Jessie Villanueva, Ph.D. — associate professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program and associate director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center is one of the recipients of the 2024 Diversity in Business Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The Diversity in Business Award is an annual distinction presented to select honorees from the Greater Philadelphia area who “are making strides in their own ways toward greater inclusion within the Philadelphia region’s workplaces.” Dr. Villanueva and her fellow honorees will be celebrated at a February 15th event at the Fitler Club in Center City, Philadelphia, and with a special February 16 issue commemorating their achievements in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be among this year’s Diversity in Business Award winners,” said Dr. Villanueva. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished at The Wistar Institute — Building on our culture of inclusive excellence, we are committed to shaping a biomedical research environment that incorporates diversity and inclusion across every facet, from the laboratory to the boardroom. Embracing an array of experiences ensures that diverse individuals contribute a myriad of perspectives, positioning us at the forefront of biomedical research. Together with every member of the Institute, we are shaping a future where diversity and inclusion fuel innovation.”

Since late 2019, Dr. Villanueva has served as the associate director of The Wistar Institute’s Inclusion Diversity, and Equity initiative. With staff from more than 20 countries from around the world, Wistar is building upon a foundational commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.

“Jessie’s efforts are truly inspirational,” said Dario C. Altieri, M.D., Wistar president & CEO, director of the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center and the Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor. “We do not make scientific progress unless we have everyone at the table, and Jessie works to make sure both early-career and seasoned researchers from underrepresented groups can come to Wistar and make an impact. Jessie leads by example; she is a respected melanoma researcher with a research lab comprised of a diverse group of staff. We are very proud to see Dr. Villanueva receive this honor.”

The Wistar Institute, the first independent, nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, marshals the talents of an international team of outstanding scientists through a culture of biomedical collaboration and innovation. Wistar scientists are focused on solving some of the world’s most challenging and important problems in the field of cancer, infectious disease, and immunology. Wistar has been producing groundbreaking advances in world health for more than a century, consistent with its legacy of leadership in biomedical research and a track record of life-saving contributions in immunology and cell biology.

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