Élyse Caron-Beaudoin, PhD
Assistant Professor, Environmental Health
University of Toronto Scarborough
Our lab culture and expectations are detailed in a document accessible to lab members. Here, you can find a shorter version of the values and culture (not the cell one!) our group strives to live and work by.
Statement and philosophy
The philosophy of our research group is that each member of our lab brings something important to the team. We believe that in order to achieve academic and research excellence, the individual perspectives of each lab member needs to be supported and expressed.
My hope is to create an environment in which every lab member feels supported in achieving their potential – which means that every voice should be heard, that we benefit from the inputs of all lab members who are informed by their own experiences and that diversity of thought and background are celebrated. To maintain this environment, respect for ourselves and mutual respect are a constant part of the theme for the lab culture, values, and policies.
We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion should be part of every lab's fundamental mission. Although academia can be challenging for everyone, this is especially true for women, LGBTQ+ community members, first-generations academics, Indigenous and People of Color, who may suffer from multiple social exclusions related to their sexuality, gender, class, and/or ethnicity.
The Bench to Communities Lab seeks to recruit, support and retain members from diverse backgrounds and groups historically underrepresented in the sciences. We are striving to lift the voices of marginalized communities and foster an environment where they are recognized, valued and supported.
Our lab highlights community knowledge as a valuable source of information in order to explore the relationships between environmental factors and health. As such, communities are partners in our research projects, and we believe that our science is better and more impactful when it can benefit from the wealth of community knowledge and experience.
Inspired by the Hammond Lab (https://hammondlab.mit.edu/labvalues/) and the Meren Lab (https://merenlab.org/culture/) who graciously accepted that I used their statements for inspiration.
HeLa Cells. HeLa is an immortal cell line used in scientific research. It is the oldest and most commonly used human cell line. The line is derived from cervical cancer cells taken on February 8, 1951, from Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old African-American mother of five, who died of cancer on October 4, 1951. The cell line was found to be remarkably durable and prolific, which allows it to be used extensively in scientific study. The cells from Lacks's cancerous cervical tumor were taken without her knowledge or consent, which was common practice at the time. The systemic racism that existed when Lacks’s cells were taken still exists today.
Source: National Institutes of Health
Creator: Tom Deerinck, NIGMS, NIH