Mission Statement

Illuminating the cell

A fundamental understanding of the cell is key to solving many issues surrounding human health and wellbeing. We believe that through exciting, rigorous, and high-quality research we can broaden our understanding of how the cell works, with a focus on cellular metabolism. Essential to our success is a supportive and equitable research environment, where scientists from all backgrounds can thrive, experience excellent mentorship, and develop fantastic research projects investigating cellular metabolism.

Core Values

The mission of Schmitt Lab is to understand the basic biochemistry of the cell. Our Core Lab Values are focused on ensuring our scientific research is done in a rigorous, ethical manner, and maintaining the Schmitt Lab as an inclusive, supportive, and equitable environment to do science.

Ethical Research

As scientists, we make new discoveries and inventions to learn more about and/or improve our world. It is critical that we conduct our research in an ethical manner. This means honestly and objectively conducting experiments, sharing our data, and avoiding the temptation to falsify or misrepresent our data. Each member of the Schmitt Lab must take training in the Responsible Conduct of Research. Our data is collected and stored in a manner that allows for easy access and sharing. We strive to share our discoveries and inventions in open-access journals, and openly share our code and plasmids on widely accessible repositories.

Lab Environment

Science is a global enterprise, but has historically excluded women, people of color, people from marginalized communities, and those belonging to the queer community. Diverse and creative thinking allows for exciting advances in the scientific endeavor, and the Schmitt Lab fosters a community where budding young scientists from all backgrounds can do excellent research and make significant contributions to our understanding of the cell. Each member of the lab is treated with respect and is expected to treat others with respect. We work to be aware of our inherent biases and understand the unique perspective of each person such that we create an environment that is respectful, collegial, welcoming, and supportive. This includes attending seminars and workshops on diversity, equity, inclusion, training in effective mentorship, supporting organizations and efforts to advocate for and support historically excluded groups in science, and providing all necessary resources to lab members to ensure their continued success.     

Effective Mentorship

In the Schmitt Lab, trainees are just that—being trained. Schmitt Lab members will go on to careers in the pharmaceutical industry, government, biotech sector, academia, and elsewhere. It is Dr. Schmitt’s job to ensure each member receives the mentorship and support needed to complete their degree and/or training and prepare for the next stage of their career. Within the lab will be formal mentorship between each lab member and Dr. Schmitt, as well as informal mentorship (peer mentorship) between lab members. Lab members are also encouraged and supported in seeking mentorship outside the lab that will be beneficial to their continued success. Communication is central to effective mentorship. Each lab member will meet at least yearly with Dr. Schmitt to review an individual development plan, discuss progress in the lab, and adjust expectations of the mentoring experience. Furthermore, Dr. Schmitt will continue to attend and participate in seminars and workshops on mentorship to ensure continued effective mentoring in the Schmitt Lab. 

Land Acknowledgment

The Schmitt Lab at UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a lab working at a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.