DEI Committee Information


  • Create and foster a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming graduate program for students, staff, and faculty, which will enhance the quality of graduate studies and bolster scholarly work.
  • Provide support to GMB students from all walks of life throughout the duration of their graduate careers 


  • Embed DEI-promoting policies into our curriculum and operations in a way that is maximally responsive to the needs of all students, staff, and faculty.
  • Identify and correct policies and practices that are outmoded and have disproportionate impacts on specific groups or individuals
  • Enhance recruitment and retention of individuals from underrepresented groups to the GMB program.
  • Support diverse faculty hires by academic departments affiliated with GMB.
  • Ensure that invitations are made to a diverse set of speakers for the GMB seminar series.
  • Highlight the pioneering research being done by scientists from underrepresented groups


Michael P. Epstein, Ph.D. (he/him; Chair) is a Professor of Human Genetics in the Emory University School of Medicine and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics in the Rollins School of Public Health. His research focuses on development and application of statistical methods for human gene mapping of complex human traits and diseases. As Chair of the GMB DEI committee, Dr. Epstein’s broad goals are to implement policy and provide education that promote growth among all GMB members in topics inherent to DEI.

Roger Deal, Ph.D. (he/him) is an Associate Professor of Biology and the Director of Graduate Studies for the GMB program. His research investigates the gene regulatory mechanisms that underlie cell fate specification and stress responses in plants. Roger is highly committed to promoting the values of DEI within the GMB program and the University.

Adam Gracz, Ph.D. (he/him)  is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Digestive Diseases. His lab studies how transcriptional and chromatin regulation contribute to cellular identity, especially in the context of regenerative biology of the intestine and liver. He is the DEI liaison for the GMB Curriculum committee and is interested in building inclusive environments that improve research and training opportunities for all students.

Guy Benian, M.D. is a Professor of Pathology with a secondary appointment in the Department of Cell Biology. His lab primarily uses C. elegans to learn new aspects of muscle assembly, maintenance and aging. Guy chairs the Faculty Review Committee, and is a member of the recruitment (admissions) committee of the GMB program. He espouses the philosophy of respecting and valuing every person in the GMB program, the university and throughout our society.


Nic Janto (he/they) is a third-year graduate student in GMB. Nic works in the Gracz Lab (Department of Medicine, Digestive Diseases) where they study the role of chromatin in intestinal epithelial cell fate and plasticity. Nic enjoys participating in several queer groups and events on campus, including serving as Vice President and Treasurer for the LGBTQ+ Graduate Student Coalition. He is passionate about making science accessible and strives to empower and advocate for their GMB peers to ensure everyone has the support, resources, and environments they need to be most successful.

Kedam Tilahun (she/her) is a third-year graduate student in GMB. Kedam works in the Jiang Lab (Cell Bio Department) where she focuses on neurodegenerative diseases and specifically ALS. She is currently working on elucidating the role of TMEM106B, a lysosomal protein, in neurodegeneration in ALS. Kedam has served as a GMB executive committee student representative and has served both the Emory community and the communities in the surrounding ATL area. She is passionate about implementing programming in GMB that will help both students and faculty gain knowledge and understanding about people and issues within and outside of the academic setting.


Emory University School of Medicine DEI information


Bias Incident Report Portal ( for anonymously reporting incidents

Ombuds Office ( for conflict resolution


Office of DEI (
Office for Racial and Cultural Engagement (
LGBT Life (
Center for Women (
Center for Social Justice (
Department of Accessibility Services (
Campus Life (
Laney Graduate School Student Resources (