Alberto I. Roca, PhD

Executive Director, DiverseScholar, a project of Community Partners
Academic Background: Biochemistry, Bioinformatics

Alberto Roca


Work Experience


Selected Research Publications

News, Feature, and Policy Publications & Presentations

Topics for Invited Talks, Seminars, & Presentations

Career and Professional Development Advice

Policy Recommendations about Postdocs and Diversity

Selected Service Activities


Quotes Reflecting Diversity & Postdoctoral Expertise

Science Summary Biosketch

Dr. Roca was a Project Scientist in the Biochemistry Department at the University of California, Irvine where he was formerly a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. His research involves using biophysical and bioinformatic approaches to understand the molecular mechanism of recombinational DNA repair. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has received FASEB/MARC travel awards to present his work at the annual meetings of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB/ISMB), and the Biophysical Society. At the 2010 ISMB conference, his work received second place in the inaugural Killer App Award competition. The award recognized a novel bioinformatic method for visualizing large multiple sequence alignments.

Diversity Experience

Dr. Roca is a first-generation Peruvian-American born in Houston, Texas. He was principal investigator of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant that allowed him to organize postdoctoral activities at the SACNAS conference (including the Minority Postdoc Summit) and to create the web portal He founded the SACNAS Postdoc Committee (2005), served on the 2008 SACNAS Program Committee, and co-founded (in 2003 with Dr. Arti Patel) the Diversity Committee of the National Postdoctoral Association. Since 2003 Dr. Roca has organized many postdoc-related activities at the SACNAS and NPA conferences. He has also been an invited speaker on minority postdoctoral issues at the following conferences:

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Roca has received the UC-Irvine Chancellor’s Living Our Values Award as well as the SACNAS Presidential Service Award. In addition, Dr. Roca is a FASEB/MARC Peer Mentor allowing him to provide career advice to trainees at conferences such as FASEB Experimental Biology as well as at ABRCMS. Since 2010, he has been working full-time as a diversity career coach helping graduate students transition to postdoc training and helping grads/postdocs transition to professional positions. He accomplishes this by working with trainees directly as a career coach as well as by connecting institutional diversity stakeholders to job candidates. Since 2011, Dr. Roca is bridging the divide that exists between the minority and STEM blogging communities by profiling minority STEM bloggers on, by curating the Diversity in Science Blog Carnivals, and by organizing sessions at the SACNAS, ScienceOnline, and LATISM conferences. Beginning in 2012, Dr. Roca’s activities have been institutionalized as the new non-profit, DiverseScholar — a project of the Los Angeles-based fiscal sponsor Community Partners. This represents the non-profit’s targeted audience of doctoral graduate students, postdocs, and junior professionals as well as activities involving multiple areas of diversity.

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last updated 17-Oct-2017