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J. Peter Gergen, Ph.D.J. Peter Gergen
Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Director, Center for Developmental Genetics
Director, Undergraduate Biology
NIH IMSD-MERGE, Principal Investigator and Program Director

J. Peter Gergen is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and Director of the Center for Developmental Genetics at Stony Brook University. His research utilizes the Drosophila model system to investigate the developmental regulation of gene expression with a focus on Runt, the founding member of a family of conserved DNA-binding proteins with pivotal regulatory functions in human development and disease. He has previously served as a Director of the tri-institutional (Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and Brookhaven National Laboratory) Graduate Program in Genetics and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Graduate School. Since 2010, he has served as the Director of Undergraduate Biology Program, which is the largest undergraduate major at Stony Brook, encompassing 3 different departments that offer over 70 different biology courses to over 13,000 students annually. His role as Director of the Undergraduate Biology Program has involved him in the national movement to transform undergraduate science education.


Jennie Williams, Ph.D.J. Peter Gergen
Associate Professor, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine
Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
NIH IMSD-MERGE, Principal Investigator

Jennie Williams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine. Her research addresses the underlying genetic/regulatory causes associated with cancer racial health disparity, a major health concern in this nation. Her group is assessing the dysregulation of  miRNAs (which represent emerging major regulators of gene expression)  and aberrant DNA methylation as factors influencing racial health disparity in the incidence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer. 




Karian WrightKarian Wright

Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, The Graduate School
Director, Center for Inclusive Education

Karian Wright joined the Center for Inclusive Education in 2013 as the program manager for the NSF-funded Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program titled "The Stony Brook-Brookhaven AGEP Frontiers of Research and Academic Models of Excellence (FRAME) Alliance for Transformation. Since then, Karian has also served as the program manager for the NIH-funded Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) New York Consortium for the Advancement of Postdoctoral Scholars (NY-CAPS) program and the AGEP Alliance Model to Advance Underrepresented Minority STEM Faculty at Predominately Undergraduate Institutions. Prior to Stony Brook University, Karian served as Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Adjunct Faculty of Information Technology at Monroe College in New Rochelle, NY. Karian has over 20 years of experience in higher education including admissions, recruitment, student advising, and retention. She also managed a College Jumpstart program serving over 500 high school students annually and developed a female empowerment program for over 300 young women, most of whom were first-generation college students from minoritized backgrounds. Karian has a firm commitment to the advancement of students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Monroe College and is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State University.


Rosalia DaviRosalia Davi 
Program Manager, Center of Inclusive Education 

Rosalia Davi joined the CIE in March 2016 as the CIE Diversity Outreach Coordinator, where her primary focus was to grow the successful recruitment of underrepresented scholars for graduate and postdoctoral study across the STEM disciplines, and for the CIE's suite of externally funded programs. Rosalia is now the Program Manager for the NIH IMSD MERGE T32, Dr. W. Burghardt Turner, and GEM Fellowship programs. Prior to her time in higher education, Rosalia worked for a college access non-profit helping to bridge the opportunity gap for underresourced students at Let's Get Ready. With over 15 years of experience in higher education and non-profit management, specifically in experiential education, diversity graduate and postdoctoral recruitment, and program management, Rosalia has a demonstrated committment to supporting scholars from historically marginalized communities. She has a dual master’s degree in Gender and Cultural Studies and Communications Management from Simmons College, and is a Stony Brook University alumna.



Elizanne Warren-RussellElizanne Warren-Russell
Program Coordinator, Center of Inclusive Education 

Elizanne joined the Center for Inclusive Education in September 2021 as program coordinator for the NIH IMSD MERGE T32, Dr. W. Burghardt Turner, and GEM Fellowship programs. Prior to joining the CIE, Elizanne served as the administrative assistant for the Center for Criminal Justice Studies at SUNY Farmingdale and continues there as an Adjunct Professor.  Elizanne has a bachelor’s degree in Community & Human Services from SUNY Empire and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Molloy College. She is a strong advocate  for the education of single and teen mothers to gain sustainable careers.