Sanjeevi Sivasankar Appointed Faculty Advisor to the Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Sanjeevi Sivasankar, professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been appointed the College of Engineering’s faculty advisor to the dean for diversity and inclusion, effective September 1. In this role, Sivasankar will champion initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and support Dean Richard Corsi in attracting and retaining a diverse and inclusive college community.
“I am excited to empower marginalized voices within the College of Engineering and promote an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated,” said Sivasankar. “My goal is to develop activities that promote diversity, equity and inclusion values within the college.”
A long-time advocate for diversity and inclusion, Sivasankar is the inaugural chair of the Health, Wellness and Equity (HEW) Committee in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and an inaugural member of the college-wide DEI Committee. Under his leadership, the HEW committee performed in-depth climate surveys of faculty, staff and students and developed activities that promote DEI values within the biomedical engineering department. Sivasankar is also slated to serve on the campus-wide Strength through Equity and Diversity (STEAD) Committee, which provides information and advice about practices for achieving excellence, equity and diversity in faculty recruitment at UC Davis.
Sivasankar joined the college in 2018 after starting his career as a faculty member at Iowa State University. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then did postdoctoral training at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Sivasankar’s earlier schooling was completed in India, and he traveled abroad for the first time to pursue his doctoral degree. He credits his experience as an international student as a key contributor to his deep commitment to DEI.
Sivasankar’s research focuses on understanding how cells stick to each other to form tissue. His lab group is a leader in studying how “adhesion” proteins respond to mechanical forces, and they have invented new bioengineering methods for ultrasensitive-measurements of adhesive protein interactions in cells. Research in Sivasankar’s lab is funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association and the March of Dimes Foundation.