We believe that championing diversity and fostering inclusion do more than just make us a better Institute – they contribute to a world where people are empowered to be their very best. When everyone’s unique story is celebrated, we’re able to connect, create, and innovate in real and meaningful ways.


At La Jolla Institute for Immunology, we are committed to promoting a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity, and advocacy.

People are the most valuable asset we have. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, and unique capabilities that our employees and volunteers invest in their work represents a significant part of our culture, our credibility, and the Institute’s achievements.

We embrace and encourage differences in ancestry, age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, language, medical condition, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion or creed, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, military or veteran status, and other characteristics that make our team members unique.

Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion applies—but is not limited—to our practices and policies on: recruitment and selection; compensation and benefits; professional development and training; promotions; transfers; social and recreational programs; layoffs; terminations; and the ongoing development of a work environment built on the premise of these values that encourages and enforces:

  • Respectful communication and cooperation between all employees, volunteers, and stakeholders.
  • Teamwork and engagement opportunities that foster the representation of all groups and perspectives.
  • Contributions to the communities we serve to promote a greater understanding and respect for diversity.
  • Training and outreach efforts to enhance diversity, free from bias and discrimination.
  • Advocacy for groups, causes, and ideas that support the efforts listed above.


After its inception in mid-2021, La Jolla Institute’s committee for inclusion, diversity, equity & advocacy, now known as LJIdea, made its Institute-wide debut. While we still have more work to do, we are proud of what we have accomplished together.

We are comprised of LJI researchers and staff, volunteering our time to champion the LJIdea effort. More information about the LJIdea subcommittees are listed below.

  • Strategic Plan Oversight
  • Education/Training & Resources
  • Communications
  • Recruitment/Board Diversity
  • Career Path
  • Mentorships/Internships/Strategic Partnerships
  • Since 2021, LJI has performed an annual employee demographic survey to identify areas of improvement in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • LJIdea held an Ethics Conference in September 2022 to celebrate minorities in science.
  • RISE training: LJIdea deployed an internal training module called RISE to educate LJI employees and board members on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
  • San Diego Pride 5K: In 2022, LJI employees participated in the San Diego Pride 5K to support the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Youth Housing Project and San Diego Pride.
  • Pride themed happy hour: LJI organized a LGBTQAI+ themed happy hour in July of 2022 for all employees.
  • In 2023, LJI employees celebrated the LGBTQIA+ communities through a Pride “Crafternoon,” and through participation in the San Diego Pride 5K and the San Diego Pride Parade.
  • LJIdea Internship Program: In 2022, LJI established a summer internship program for high school and undergraduate students. The goal of the program is to improve the future of scientific research and level the playing field by introducing the field of immunology to students who otherwise may not have that opportunity. In 2023, LJI expanded this program to serve more interns and to offer summer workshops on science communications and other professional skills.
  • Creating Opportunities through Mentorship and Partnership across Stem Cell Science (COMPASS) Program: This grant-funded program supports 30 undergraduate students for two years with the goal of training a diverse cohort of undergrads in regenerative medicine.
  • LJI hired an ombudsperson as a resource for LJI employees. The ombudsperson has presented a seminar series on covering the topics of empathy, conflict resolution strategies, imposter syndrome, and intracultural communications.
  • LJIdea actively participates in various local outreach endeavors, such as the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering, to expose future scientists to the many possibilities within STEM. The Institute has also hosted visits from middle and high school students at the Institute to encourage the notion that science is accessible to all.
  • LJIdea has established an internal resource page for employees to access diversity, equity, and inclusion-related books and articles.
  • LJIdea and Institute leadership have established a lending library of books that offer diverse perspectives on scientific research and key DEI topics. This library is located in LJI’s atrium and is available to all employees.
  • In 2023, LJI hired a full-time DEI and Mentorship Coordinator to expand these programs and increase DEI efforts across the Institute.