Minority Affairs Committee

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The nine members of the committee are appointed by Council on staggered three-year terms. The committee is responsible for generating and developing programs that ensure equal treatment of all professional immunologists on the basis of merit.


The mission of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) is to generate and develop programs that promote equal treatment of all professional immunologists on the basis of merit. The MAC focuses on activities that enhance opportunities for the scientific and career development of underrepresented minority (URM) scientists. URM scientists are those from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research careers nationally, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands (Hawaii, Guam).

To help advance its mission, the MAC maintains a List of AAI Underrepresented Scientist Members, comprised of AAI regular members in good standing who are URM scientists. In addition to fostering a networking and mentoring community to advance URM participation in immunology, the list serves as a resource for immunologists and scientists in other disciplines when considering individuals for selection as speakers at meetings and seminars, to serve on review panels and editorial boards, and to participate in other professional service activities. Inclusion on the list is voluntary. Given the importance of successful role models and networking in attracting and sustaining minority participation in immunology, the MAC invites all eligible AAI members to consider adding their names to the list. Please contact mwcuddy@aai.org if you would like to be included on it.

The MAC also maintains the AAI Minority Affairs Committee Career Resources page, featuring links to immunology-related training programs, funding, and support for trainees at every stage and early-career investigators. The page also features links to career-development programs and resources from current and past MAC members, MAC Roundtable table leaders, and others, and includes opportunities offered by AAI, NIH, and other organizations.

Minority Participation at the AAI Annual Meeting

To enhance URM participation and career development in immunology, AAI offers the following activities in conjunction with the AAI annual meeting:

  • AAI Minority Scientist Travel Awards provide travel support to eligible underrepresented minority (URM) scientists, including trainees and early career faculty members.
  • AAI MAC Careers Roundtable and Speed Networking Session attendees engage in small-group discussions led by established immunologists addressing a variety of early investigator career challenges, including those unique to groups traditionally under-represented in biomedical research. The session incorporates informal networking time and a structured “speed networking” exercise affording participants personalized feedback on communicating their scientific interests/objectives most effectively. Attendees of all backgrounds are welcome.
  • The AAI Vanguard Award Lecture was established by the MAC in 2003 to feature an AAI member who is an underrepresented minority investigator noted for scientific achievement and exemplary career success. The scientific lecture is intended to inspire meeting participants of every career stage and background, and all meeting attendees are welcome to attend.
  • Dedicated Mentoring of Minority Travel Awardees takes place in conjunction with the annual meeting. MAC members engage in one-on-one mentoring of designated minority travel awardees to assist them in optimizing their meeting experience to best serve their scientific interests and career objectives. Specific mentoring activities are carried out in conjunction with awardees’ required attendance at the Opening Night Reception, MAC Careers Roundtable, and Speed Networking Session, and AAI Vanguard Lecture. Additionally, awardee poster presentations are attended by MAC members, who provide specific feedback on the awardees’ research and presentation.

Considering that the issue of minority representation in science is of paramount importance and reaches across all disciplines, the MAC is dedicated to liaising with other AAI committees, as well as other societies to develop programs aimed at ameliorating the persistent underrepresentation of minority scientists in the biomedical sciences. The MAC establishes subcommittees as needed to develop goals and to select potential minority guest speakers at AAI meetings.


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