A momentous transformation in the science of genetics is generating an equally momentous shift in our understanding of the human condition. The UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics seeks to provide direction to this understanding by promoting innovative and socially relevant research and education.

The Institute’s unique mission of teaching and research focuses on issues arising at the intersections of biology and society. Some examples include genetic response to our living conditions; sex and gender; and the evolution of human populations.

The Institute has a cross-disciplinary collaborative culture, with faculty members drawn from divisions all across campus in Medicine, Life Sciences, Law, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Public Affairs. The Institute has become a valuable resource for policy leaders and journalists seeking information and advice on genetic and other biological developments.

How you can make a donation to the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics:

Donations to the Institute will ensure a strong future for our graduate and post-doctoral students, undergraduate education programs, and public outreach initiatives. You may direct your gift to a specific area or program, or make a gift that will be used toward the area of greatest need. Please click on Donate Now to make a donation to one of these programs:

We appreciate your support!
Your gift, large or small, will help us with our mission, and you should feel proud of supporting higher education. Cash donations or gifts of securities are tax deductible and will have an immediate impact. Pledges for future gifts are also welcome, and named endowments will ensure vital support for the Institute in perpetuity. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by the faculty, staff, and students in the Institute as well as by the University.

Donor Recognition
Your generosity is greatly appreciated by the faculty, staff, and students in the department as well as by the University. Donors at all levels should feel proud of supporting higher education and all donations help us with our mission. Cash donations or gifts of securities are tax deductible and will have an immediate impact. Pledges for future gifts are also welcomed. Named endowments or named faculty chairs are especially welcomed and can help secure our future. For more information, please contact Siana-Lea Valencia Gildard, Director of Development at (310) 206-0666 or slgildard@support.ucla.edu.

  • Directors’ Discretionary Fund:

Gifts to this fund will allow the Institute’s directors to allocate resources as needed to its various programs, to support post-doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students to achieve their goals, and to attract top faculty to the Institute. These resources also guarantee that unanticipated needs can be met without jeopardizing faculty, student or program activities. Because gifts to a discretionary fund afford financial flexibility and leveraging power for the department, they are a vital supplement to our targeted resources. [back to top]

  • Graduate Student/Post-doctoral Support Fund:

As one of the top research universities in the world, UCLA is a premier choice for many graduate student candidates and post-doctoral scholars. These world-class students need support to devote their full efforts to their dissertation research. Philanthropic investment in fellowships enables the Institute to attract and support the finest scholars in the world.
Some examples of graduate and post-doctoral research include:

  • the role of the womb environment in infant development
  • genetic risk for schizophrenia and ties between gene expression, behavior and neurobiology
  • population history in Western Africa, combining genetics and oral history [back to top]
  • Undergraduate Student Support Fund:

Undergraduates at UCLA experience a wide range of perspectives, inspiring debate, collaboration and innovation.  With your support, the Institute unique Human Biology and Society major will give students the tools to analyze complex issues related to genetics in society, by taking critical biological and social interactions into account.
The Institute also runs a program for undergraduate student researchers in which we match faculty with students, to give them hands-on experience in research and to form one-on-one collaborative relationships with professors.  One of our goals is to increase opportunities for a diverse student population who may be attempting applied research for the first time.  This kind of research experience is a requirement of the new major in Human Biology and Society.
Some examples of projects involving undergraduates:

  • Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing
  • Newborn Screening and its Impact Upon Families
  • The Biopsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Your donation will enhance the possibilities for student research at the intersection of biology and society.

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  • Public Outreach Fund:

The Institute’s mission extends beyond educating students at UCLA.  We hold many free educational public events in order to engage the greater Los Angeles community in current issues related to genetics in society. Your donation will help strengthen our public outreach in the Los Angeles area.
Some examples of recent public events sponsored by the Institute include:

  • 2011:  Made for Each Other? Dog and Human Co-Evolution
    2010:  Outlaw Biology:  Public Participation in the Age of Big Bio
    2009:  Guilt by Association: Searching for Suspects through Familial Forensic DNA
  • These talks are given by experts on a broad range of subjects, from race and genetics to ethical-legal aspects of the genetics of deafness.
  • This lecture series features external speakers from diverse fields including biological anthropology, archaeology, psychology, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience.

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