BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, chair of the
University at Buffalo's Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
has been named the inaugural senior associate dean for inclusion
and cultural enhancement in the UB School of Medicine and
Biomedical Sciences. She will continue to serve as chair of the UB
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
In making the announcement, Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president
for health sciences at UB and dean of the medical school, said: "In
addition to being an outstanding scientist in molecular
pharmacology and drug discovery, Dr. Dubocovich has the expertise,
administrative leadership and visionary skills needed to develop
and implement through the new Office of Inclusion and Cultural
Enhancement innovative programs that insure the school and the
university are enriched through cultural enhancement."
Cain explains that the new post was established in line with the
school's diversity policy, which seeks inclusion and cultural
enhancement as a means toward achieving excellence for students and
faculty, enriching the learning environment, strengthening the
school's ties to nearby communities and contributing in measurable
ways to improving the health of the community.
"Diversity within medical school classes enhances the
educational environment," he said, "by helping students to break
down stereotypes and racial biases and challenge assumptions;
broadening students' understanding of how language and culture
affect medical care; teaching how embracing differences in race,
ethnicity and other cultural experiences can enhance interactions
between doctors, patients and their families; increasing students'
awareness of health and health care disparities in nearby
populations; and increasing students' interest in service to
underserved communities and overall civic commitment."
In 2008, Dubocovich was recruited to UB from Northwestern
University, where she had founded and directed a highly successful
professional development program for a diverse group of doctoral
students in the biosciences.
In her first full year in Buffalo, she established a similar
series of programs at UB, called Collaborative Learning and
Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences (CLIMB), which provides
mentoring experiences for biosciences students at the
undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels. The goal is to
provide students from diverse populations the support they need to
adapt and thrive in the biosciences, in college, graduate school
This year, the program for graduate students, led by Dubocovich,
was awarded a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health Initiative
for Maximizing Student Development grant.
Cain said that the CLIMB programs complement the medical
school's other innovative Post-Baccalaureate Program and Science
and Technology Entry Program (STEP) initiatives.