Stephanie Bachas-Daunert, Shawna Follisand Soumaya Zlitni were recently awarded the JEDI Champion Awards at the 2nd Annual Stanford Postdoc JEDI Champion Awards held on September 20, 2022. The three DoM postdocs were among 16 Stanford postdocs recognized for their contributions to advancing justice, equity, diversity and inclusion at Stanford and beyond.

David Relman, MD, Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor of Medicine, praised Bachas-Daunert’s work. “Stephanie is one of the most determined positive forces I know. She faced adversity with unflinching optimism and focused her energy on helping those who otherwise have few advocates. She is empathetic, tireless and totally committed to creating opportunities, especially in STEM, for others. Bachas-Daunert incorporates DEI principles into her research on the effects of environmental contaminants on the human gut microbiome in underserved populations in Bangladesh. She also sits on the SURPAS JEDI committee and mentors graduate students from underrepresented groups.

Shawna Follis is an epidemiologist at the Stanford Center for Prevention Research and studies the social determinants of health, racial/ethnic health disparities, body composition, and aging. “As an epidemiologist, I work for equitable representation through mentorship and advocacy to improve research and science dissemination that rebuilds medical trust and improves vast racial disparities in health,” he said. she explains. Dr. Follis was nominated by Christopher GardnerPhD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center’s Clinical and Translational Nucleus.

Soumaya Zlitni is a Basic Research Scientist in the Division of Hematology who mentors STEM students from underrepresented communities, including women, first-generation college students, and economically disadvantaged students. “Soumaya is an exceptional scientist who has gone above and beyond to provide research opportunities to promising undergraduate students,” said her mentor professor, Friend Bhat, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Genetics and Director of Global Oncology at the Center for Global Health Innovation. Bhatt added: “Soumaya has opened up many opportunities for those who may otherwise have been unlucky and has worked diligently to ensure they are ideally prepared to succeed in their future careers.”

“Soumaya, Stephanie and Shawna have gone above and beyond as leaders in promoting justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.” – President Bob A. Harrington, MD

Director of the Department of Medicine, Bob HaringtonMD, congratulated the new JEDI Champions saying, “Soumaya, Stephanie and Shawna have gone above and beyond as leaders in promoting justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Stanford’s Office of Postgraduate Affairs holds the contest for the JEDI champions prizes each year, and winners are announced during National Postdoc Recognition Week.