Program Leadership

The Executive Committee oversees the running of the program as dictated by the BCDB Guidelines (PDF) which are written and updated by the Executive Committee. Apart from the responsibilities listed below, the Executive Committee also conducts oral retakes of the written Qualifying Exam Part I.

Program Director

Christine Dunham

The Director oversees the BCDB program. The Director manages the budget, serves as supervisor to program administrator, oversees all program faculty issues that arise (with aid of the Membership EC member if appropriate), and calls Executive Committee meetings and delegates tasks, as appropriate, to other members of the committee. Finally, the Director serves as the program representative to the GDBBS Executive Committee.

Director of Graduate Studies

Anita Corbett

The DGS is the contact for all student-related issues. DGS monitors student progress in courses and intervenes to provide help/guidance if required. DGS is involved in virtually all program decisions in consultation with the Director.

Student Progress

Homa Ghalei

This faculty member maintains a schedule of the committee meetings held by all BCDB students, and ensures that students are holding committee meetings in a timely manner and making good progress towards graduation.


Guy Benian

This faculty member oversees student rotations. They advise first year students with regard to selecting both rotation laboratories and final laboratory selections, as well as prepare the rotation schedule, evaluate the rotation reports with the help of a faculty and upper-level student committee, and assigning grades for the rotations.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Hyojung Choo

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Chair is responsible for activities that foster a more inclusive, more equitable environment for the BCDB program. This includes heading a BCDB Program DE&I Committee consisting of students and faculty. Among the duties of the DE&I Chair is organize student and faculty equity and inclusion awareness training sessions. The Chair also tracks success of the BCDB program in achieving goals related to DE&I, as well as serves as a primary contact to help students and faculty who have either been subject to or witnesses of discrimination.


Jennifer Kwong

These members organize and oversee all aspects of graduate student admissions. This includes not only the spring "recruiting season" but also contacts with interested students throughout the year, recruiting trips, etc. The Admissions Chair also helps design and create recruiting material such as program brochures. This can also extend to maintenance of the website and any other recruitment tools.


Paul Dawson

This member oversees all coursework in the program. A major responsibility is identifying appropriate course directors for required courses as well as the Ethics module. This member is also familiar with the content of each course and hence makes an effort to ensure minimal overlap and appropriate coverage of diiferent topics.



The primary responsibility of this member of the executive committee is to oversee the assembly and grading of the Part I written qualifying exam. The member solicits questions from the faculty, assembles viable questions, assures the breadth of the exam, meets with the executive committee to go over the exam, and ultimately administers the exam. This member is also responsible for recruiting faculty to grade the exam in a timely manner and then distributing those grades to the students. In addition, this member oversees the appropriate timing of the individual Part II oral exams.


Gregory Melikian

This member takes care of the annual faculty review to assure adequate contributions to the program. There is an annual report completed by each of the BCDB faculty each year to document these contributions. In the case of noncompliance this member serves notice to the offending faculty member. This member of the Executive committee also deals with application from faculty for new membership.

Training Grant

Larry Boise and Anita Corbett

This member is the principal investigator on the program's training grant and oversees the activities of the students directly funded by the grant, including the journal club and symposium series.

Student Representatives

Sarah Strassler | Courtney Christian

The student representatives serve as liaisons to and voice of the student body. The student reps are included in all discussions that relate to the program as a whole, although they are excluded from discussions relating to individuals or other sensitive matters. The student reps attend all executive committee meetings. One student is elected each year for a two-year term.