Spelman Launches Program To Boost Black Women In Biotech

Spelman College is partnering with IDEAYA Biosciences to boost the number of Black women working in the biotechnology industry. Through the IDEAYA Biosciences/Spelman College Health Science and Biotechnology Program, students will have the opportunity to study disease diagnosis and prevention. Students will also have access to internships and scholarship opportunities.

“Spelman has a long track record of graduating women who excel in various science disciplines,” Spelman College President Mary D. Schmidt said.

“Despite the increase of minorities in STEM fields, the number of African American women in the biotechnology industry has not kept pace with changing trends. We are excited to be a part of this partnership that will help shift the rate of women in the biotech industry, a field where they are traditionally underrepresented.”

Setting up this partnership will allow Spelman College to provide their students with a pathway to success in an industry that has often been difficult for Black women to break into. If successful, it will open the doors for historically Black colleges in years to come.

"IDEAYA Biosciences’ mission and strategic plan closely aligns with that of Spelman College,” Rosalind Gregory-Bass, M.D. of Spelman College said.

“Our students have diverse interests. This opportunity allows them to not only be future scientists and clinicians, but also leaders in the biotech arena. Their knowledge and understanding of precision medicine uniquely positions them to revolutionize medicine in the pursuit of better healthcare outcomes.”

Similarly, executives at IDEAYA believe that this partnership will further diversify their workforce. Only 3% of the biotech workforce is Black.

“We are ecstatic to partner with Spelman College in this scholarship program which we believe has the opportunity to identify and develop the next generation of female African American CEOs, entrepreneurs, and R&D executives and scientists in the biotechnology industry,” IDEAYA Biosciences President Yujiro S. Hata said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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