Aaron Streets, Associate Professor in the department of Bioengineering, is an award-winning bioengineer whose wide-ranging efforts to diversify engineering and the biosciences have been deeply transformative – not only to the Bioengineering department, but also to the College of Engineering, the campus as a whole, and the broader field of STEM scholarship and practice.
As a scholar, Streets’ groundbreaking research includes key contributions to the Human Cell Atlas, an international collaboration to map the types and properties of all cells found in the human body. The Atlas seeks to provide powerful new insights into how the human body functions across ages and diverse global populations, and to identify new pathways for monitoring health and treating disease. Beyond his own lab, Streets has a deep commitment to expanding diversity, equity and belonging at all levels of STEM – for undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and the field as a whole. Since 2017, he has served as director of Berkeley’s Bioengineering Scholars Program (BioESP), a research mentoring program focused on recruitment, support and thriving for first year undergraduates from historically underrepresented groups, first-generation college students, and students from low-income families. In 2020, Streets also co-founded the Berkeley.Stanford.UCSF Next Generation Faculty Symposium, a three-campus initiative for expanding faculty diversity and excellence in the quantitative biosciences. Each year, the Symposium selects a cohort of exceptional postdocs and advanced graduate students from diverse backgrounds, provides them with professional mentoring, and showcases their research widely through dynamic presentations and seminars.
In addition to his work within bioengineering, Streets recently served on the steering committee for the College of Engineering’s overall Advancing Faculty Diversity Initiative, where he helped develop processes to diversify applicant pools, reduce bias in the application review process, and promote holistic assessment of candidates. He also currently serves as inaugural faculty advisor for graduate diversity in the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society. Streets is highly regarded by both students and colleagues as a wise and thoughtful teacher, advisor, mentor and leader.In 2022, he received the prestigious Science Diversity Leadership Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in recognition of his many contributions toward DEIBJ in the sciences.
Please see the Berkeley News story, ”How does the universe work? Promoting diversity can help answer that." for additional highlights about this year's award recipient and his inspiring work.