Skip to main content

Inclusive Excellence

The Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Microbiology and Immunology is committed to promoting diversity, equal opportunity and inclusion of students and learners at all levels, departmental staff, laboratory staff and faculty members. We are dedicated to providing a safe environment for learning, working and living in which all individuals can flourish and that will develop trust within and for our disciplines. We are devoted to treating all community members with respect and professionalism. We acknowledge that the hierarchy within academia results in power imbalances. Regardless of a community member’s status, we do not permit any unequal power dynamics to affect our commitment to these shared values. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment.

We acknowledge the biases and harms that the disciplines of microbiology and immunology have contributed to in the past, including but not limited to: eugenics, targeted experimentation on marginalized or under-represented populations; neglect of infections and immune disorders not deemed important to those in power; failures to acknowledge diverse contributions to research and discovery; and a lack of transparency with the public during the scientific process.

We are committed to training scientists who value collegiality and who work wisely, creatively, collaboratively and effectively for the betterment of humankind. We uphold the principles of the scientific method through our research, actions and communications. Diverse hypotheses, approaches and ideas are integral to the scientific method, which is indispensable to address vexing problems in microbiology and immunology that often disproportionately impact vulnerable communities. We offer open and inclusive work and learning spaces with accessibility. We are dedicated to removing barriers that are preventing any community member from achieving their goals and potential.

What is diversity?

Perceived human differences in appearance, thinking and actions, shaped by historical and social systems of advantage and disadvantage. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, intersectional identities formed around ideas and experiences related to race, ethnicity, class, color, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, size, disability, veteran status, national origin, religion, language and/or marital status.

What is equity?

The promotion of access, opportunity, justice and fairness through policies and practices that are appropriate for specific individuals and groups. While the term "equality" recognizes a common humanity, "equity" recognizes the distinct needs of individuals and groups, which cannot be addressed with generalized solutions that fail to acknowledge structural inequities.

What is inclusion?

An approach designed to ensure that the thoughts, opinions, perspectives and experiences of all individuals are valued, heard, encouraged, respected and considered. While "diversity" ensures adequate representation of human difference, "inclusion" solicits and centers diverse contributions.

Interested in joining a group of faculty, students and staff dedicated to promoting women in science? 

Female scientists have overcome many obstacles over the last century, and while progress has been made, it is vital to connect and empower these leading innovators to foster continued growth. The WISDOM+ (Women in Science in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology Plus) holds monthly meetings to meet with female leaders in science, provide networking opportunities and facilitate discussions about film and literature surrounding women in science. Further, to effect permanent change, all people should be aware, educated and empowered. The ultimate goal of our group is to provide a safe space for individuals to learn from and connect with others and for all to learn about potential academic and career opportunities.

To learn more please email our faculty mentor, Laura Snell, at or our student leader, Olivia Bednarski, at for more information.

Learn more about inclusion initiates at IU School of Medicine

Committee for Belonging

63342-Vornhagen, Jay

Jay C. Vornhagen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
IU School of Medicine - Indianapolis

Read Bio

47997-Lopez-Yglesias, Americo

Américo López-Yglesias, PhD

(he, him, él)

Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
IU School of Medicine–Terre Haute

22059-Capitano, Maegan

Maegan L. Capitano, PhD

(she, her, hers)

Assistant Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis

62491-Apetoh, Lionel

Lionel Apetoh, PhD

Director, Brown Center for Immunotherapy Immune Monitoring Core

Read Bio

5018-Nelson, David

David E. Nelson, PhD

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis

2787-Bauer, Margaret

Margaret E. Bauer, PhD

(she, her, hers)

Graduate Advisor & Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis

22223-Yen, Jui-Hung (Jimmy)

Jui-Hung (Jimmy) Yen

(he, him, his)

Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
IU School of Medicine–Fort Wayne

Post-Doc Representative

Wenxia Jiang, PhD (she, her, hers)

Graduate Student Representatives

Cheuk Lam Cheung (she, her, hers)

Staff Representatives

Katlyn S. Todd

Kelly K. Wyatt