Half of US adults 40 to 75 eligible for statins

A report in today’s Seattle Times suggests that cholesterol lowering statins will be in most of your futures.  Based on research from Duke University (which surveyed 4,000 people) it is now estimated that half of US adults between the ages of 40 to 75, and nearly all men over the age of 70 meet recently changed criteria for the use of statins. 

The guidelines for the use of statins were devised by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.  The Duke study estimates that half a million strokes and heart attacks over a ten year period could be prevented if the new guidelines were followed. 

There is some criticism of the new guidelines which favor the use of statins over other lifestyle changes (such as not smoking or working to reduce stress).

Ken Gordon

Executive Director

Community Conversation – 23andMe – What Can Your Genes Tell You

Last evening (Tuesday March 18, 2014) the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) hosted a Community Conversation that explored the issues around Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing.

These Community Conversations are a partnership between NWABR and the Institute for Translational Health Sciences at the University of Washington.  The purpose of these Community Conversations is to enable members of the public to become engaged with emerging issues in the bioscience realm.  Our hope is that an engaged public will be better placed to think through complex scientific and ethical issues, make informed contributions, build relations with experts in the field – and most importantly – provide those same experts with feedback from a community perspective on these issues.

At the Community Conversation hosted yesterday evening around 35 people gathered to discuss direct-to-consumer genetic testing services.  The company 23andMe has been providing this service to customers and approximately 650,000 people have both had their DNA tested and agreed to share their records to help build a DNA database that will, hopefully, in the future improve the accuracy of the findings that 23andMe can report to their customers.

The FDA has asked 23andMe to stop marketing the health benefits of this testing service and to no longer provide direct findings to customers about any health implications arising from the genetic tests that they perform.  The FDA is concerned that a consumer may misinterpret the results that they receive from 23andMe and subsequently make poorly informed health care decisions.

Yesterday’s Community Conversation was held at Kakao Chocolate + Coffee in Westlake.  The Conversation was facilitated by Sarah Nelson and Lorelei Walker, who are MPH and PhD candidates in Public Health Genetics at the University of Washington.  Following the presentations from Ms. Nelson and Ms. Walker the participants had a wide ranging discussion that touched on: privacy, trust, potential commercializing of DNA, the need for access to this information. the need for help in interpreting the information, resistance from some members of the medical community, the current lack of diversity in the 23andMe database, support for and frustration with the FDA and much more.

As we the staff at NWABR watched the conversation progress we were amazed that such a great group had come out on a Tuesday evening, given up their own time, and dived so eagerly into this complex area.  We were again reminded of just how rich discussions can be when these two sometimes diverse worlds come together.

Regards

Ken Gordon

Executive Director

Northwest Association for Biomedical Research

Registration Opens for NWABR’s Camp BIOmed, a new summer camp for high school students

Students entering 9th-12th grade can now sign-up for three of the four exciting summer camp sessions organized by Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR).  Each of the four camp tracks for Camp BIOmed are a week long and will be repeated for seven weeks, starting July 7 through August 23.

Students and parents can register and find additional information about the programs at www.nwabr.org/campbiomed.

The four summer camp programs focus on various topics relating to biomedical research and its ethical conduct, which include:

Bioethics thru Gaming
Protein Foldit! Be a Citizen Scientist
Hive Bio (Do it Yourself) Lab with Neuroscience
Lab Intensive Experience

Throughout the summer camps, students will take part in hands-on experiments at local biomedical businesses and research facilities, track their own findings as part of these experiments in lab journals, and tour local Seattle biomedical organizations. Each week of the summer camp will conclude with a culminating expo where campers will share all group and individual projects and contributions.

Early bird registration is open now for members for $450-$525 depending on track.  Non-members can begin registering on January 29 by signing up as a member ($25, plus the camp fee).  The price for camp for all will increase after March 31 by $90 for all tracks.  Financial assistance for partial camperships are available for students to attend the program.  The financial assistance application is available in the camp registration at http://www.nwabr.org/campbiomed

To register for Camp BIOmed check out www.nwabr.org/campbiomed

For more information, contact camp@nwabr.org

About NWABR

NWABRs mission is to promote the understanding of biomedical research and its ethical conduct. NWABR is dedicated to strengthening public trust in biomedical research, through education and dialogue. Through our diverse membership of academic organizations, biotech industry, non-profit research institutes, health care, and voluntary health organizations, along with extensive education programs, we foster a shared commitment to the ethical conduct of research and ensure the vitality of the life sciences community.

NIH Science Education Programs at Risk

YESBioEsquare.jpg

Proposed Reorganization of STEM Programs Threatens Funding for Health and Biomedical Education

Click HERE for the photobook of programs that will be impacted by the proposed reorganization.

On April 10, 2013, the White House submitted a FY14 budget request to Congress that radically reorganizes federally-funded Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education (STEM) programs across multiple agencies, particularly the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and NASA.  In the proposal, 266 programs across 13 agencies would be consolidated into 122 programs. The budget proposal identifies the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, and the Smithsonian as the primary agencies to organize and oversee future federally-funded STEM education efforts.

The following day, NIH held a conference call for all NIH grantees with funding for K-12 and informal science and health education projects. Dr. Larry Tabak, principal deputy director at NIH, announced that NIH is “pausing” funding for these programs. No new grants will be awarded. Non-competing renewals will be funded in FY 2013, but funding after that is uncertain. While increased coordination of STEM education across federal agencies is a laudable goal, several consequences of the proposed changes have profound implications for health and biomedical education in the US.  In particular, the elimination of the Office of Science Education at the National Institutes of Health and the Science Education Partnership Award  (SEPA) and similar science education programs at individual NIH institutes would threaten our national competitiveness, security, public health, and broader understanding of, and support for, science.

The NIH Office of Science Education (OSE) is scheduled to close at the end of September, 2013.  The OSE has had a tremendous impact on health science education through its many programs.  For example, OSE staff have distributed 450,000 Curriculum Supplements to approximately 100,000 educators across the U.S.  Their website receives over one million hits/year. If you are interested in receiving hard copies of their popular Curriculum Supplement series, please contact them at oseATscience.education.nih.gov.

The journal Science, in Wild Cards Remain After Proposed Reshuffle of STEM Education (April 19, 2013; vol 340, p. 258-259), notes the following:

Many science educators say that the proposed cuts would scrap effective programs just as the country needs to be doing more.  ‘”The SEPA program is the face of the NIH to the country,” says a grantee on one of the programs facing the chopping block. “It’s a vehicle for telling the public how NIH is translating science into practice,” says the grantee, who requested anonymity (p. 258).

The Co-STEM Committee at the Office of Science and Technology Policy is scheduled to release a strategic plan in mid-May with additional information.

The following link provides the complete list of programs under consideration to be paused/consolidated/eliminated:

Proposed STEM Education Reorganization Contained in the President’s FY14 Budget Request
Note especially the following list relative to health and biomedical education:

  • 30 Clinical Research Training Program HHS
  • 31 Curriculum Supplement Series HHS
  • 32 NIAID Science Education Awards HHS
  • 33 NINDS Diversity Research Education Grants in Neuroscience HHS
  • 34 NLM Institutional Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics HHS
  • 35 OD Science Education Partnership Award HHS (SEPA)
  • 36 Office of Science Education K-12 Program HHS (NIH Office of Science Education)
  • 37 Public Health Traineeship HHS
  • 38 Science Education Drug Abuse Partnership Award HHS
  • 39 Short Term Educational Experiences for Research (STEER) in the Environmental health Sciences for Undergraduates and High School Students HHS

The following are points raised by the SEPA community in response to this development:

The Need for Health and Biomedical Science Education Programs Aimed at Grades K–12 and the Broader Public at the NIH

Health and biomedical sciences for grades K-12 are critical components of STEM education that help to ensure the nation’s capability to prevent disease and improve health. The proposed 2014 STEM education consolidation plan, however, eliminates K-12 and informal health and biomedical science education from its traditional place in the portfolio of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and, by default, from the national STEM education agenda. No other federal agency supports programs comparable to those that would be lost.

More than 65 NIH-funded, K-12 health and biomedical science education projects currently operate in 40 states. These include “in-person” programs for more than 82,500 K-12 students and 5,750 K-12 teachers each year, and online programs that reach more than 20 million K-12 students and educators annually. NIH-funded exhibitions at some of the nation’s largest museums and science centers reach millions more students, teachers and families. With emphasis on engaging underserved populations, K-12 educational initiatives supported by NIH create thoroughly evaluated, science-rich interactive exhibits, curriculum materials, teacher professional development programs, student and teacher research experiences, and out-of-school learning opportunities. Ongoing NIH-funded K-12 educational programs benefit the nation in the following ways.

  • Improve preparation for, and access to careers in medicine, healthcare, biotechnology and biomedical research, with a focus on students from under-represented groups.Address health disparities by increasing access to college and health professions careers for under-served students, who are more likely than their peers to practice in medically underserved areas.
  • Build public understanding and support of biomedical research and clinical trials through educational programs that emphasize the relationship between NIH discoveries and their translation into positive health outcomes.
  • Encourage and facilitate involvement of biomedical research scientists in K-12 STEM education, and engage the resources of colleges, universities, medical schools and science museums in supporting K-12 STEM education.
  • Promote health literacy and better decision-making to address preventable health problems among America’s youth, reduce the burdens of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases, and enable consumers to make sense of genetic and other newly available health information.
  • Increase students’ interest in STEM topics through personally relevant examples from health and biomedicine that are aligned with recommendations of the Next Generation Science Standards.
For more than two decades, NIH has invested in the development of human capital and a unique infrastructure that is meeting our nation’s K-12 health and biomedical science education needs. These investments have produced significant, demonstrable outcomes that would not have been possible otherwise. Current K-12 programs sponsored by NIH, including the Office of Science Education, employ rigorous, results-oriented and cost-effective approaches to tackle major national issues, as listed below.
  • Jobs: Healthcare and biomedical science are crucial elements of the economy. The US Department of Commerce estimates that healthcare accounts for $1.75 trillion in revenues and employs more than 14 million people (nine percent of the US workforce).
  • Provider Shortages: The nation faces an acute shortage of healthcare workers in all areas, and the problem is expected to grow. The American Association of Medical Colleges projects that there will be a shortage of more than 90,000 physicians—including 45,000 primary care physicians—by the end of the decade. About 55 million people already lack access to a physician.
  • Wellness and Disease Prevention: According to the Milken Institute, more than half of all Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases, many of which are preventable. Healthcare spending is projected to reach almost 20% of the US gross domestic product by 2021. Racial and ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately from diseases such as cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS, but participate less frequently in programs that could help to reduce disparities.

Without K-12 health and biomedical science education initiatives, our nation will be unable to solve many of its most pressing workforce, economic and healthcare problems.

Download points above as a PDF: NIH-K12
Sources: Fixing the Doctor Shortage (AAMC) – Health Economic Fact Sheet – The Health and Medical Technology Industry in the United States  – Next Generation Science Standards – Milken Institute Center for Health Economics

Fig. 1. Distribution of 2012 Science Education Partnership Awards by State.
Nearly every state will be impacted by these changes.

SEPA MAP

Taking action:

Additional Resources
Please contact us at jchowningATnwabr.org with suggestions and corrections

Youth Ethics Summit: Science Saturday for Students

NWABR, University of Washington (UW) Department of Bioengineering, and UW Microfabrication Facility hosted 51 high school students (one made a special trip from Idaho) from 22 schools at the University of Washington on Saturday, March 2. Featuring laboratory tours, UW student showcase, liquid nitrogen ice cream, and breakout sessions on global health, artificial organs, computer science and nanotechnology, the day was full of hands-on activities and interactions with bioengineering students and professionals.

These are a few statements from our participants that demonstrate the impact of this day-long event:

“The demonstrations were the best, I thought, but the explanations taught me how everything ties together. The science is cool, the outfits were wacky and the whole thing was very well-done and enjoyable.”

“It showed me that I can incorporate my love for biology, genetics, and problem-solving into one field.”

“I loved [the Artificial Organs] breakout session. The need for bioengineering in the artificial organ area was not one that had previously occurred to me. I can see myself working in that field.”

“I am interested in medicine or sciences and this field works on technology and methods to improve health of people around the world.”

“I learned a lot and enjoyed every moment. It was highly interesting and involving. I am now more interested in bioengineering than I ever thought I’d be.”

BioEcollage

2013 NWABR Programs Are Looking for Motivated High School Students

RESEARCH FELLOWS
2-week summer program (June 21-July 3)

NWABR proudly announces that the application for the 2013 Student Research Fellows is now available. Student Research Fellows supports 10-12 students (especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in science) in a 2-week paid summer fellowship. Students visit a broad variety of research institutions throughout the Seattle area, learn how new medical treatments are developed, and discuss ethical issues in biomedical research. Eligible students are those who will be high school sophomores or juniors in the 2013-2014 school year. Students will receive $350 upon completion of the summer program and $50 upon completion of the school year follow-up project. This program is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

YOUTH ETHICS SUMMIT: BIOENGINEERING (Saturday, March 2)

In addition, NWABR is now registering high school students for this year’s Youth Ethics Summit, which features a partnership with University of Washington’s Department of Bioengineering. Showcasing lab tours, hands-on activities, lunch, and interactive breakout sessions, the 2013 Youth Ethics Summit will be held at the William H Foege Building North at the University of Washington on Saturday, March 2. Space is limited to only 50 students, so please register early.

Please direct questions about the Students Research Fellows to Joan Griswold at jgriswold@nwabr.org.

Please email questions concerning the Youth Ethics Summit to Dr. Jenn Pang at jpang@nwabr.org.

CURE 2011 Research Fellow Jessica Andrade @ FHCRC

Falling Off the “Fiscal Cliff”: As Funding Cuts Loom, Americans Are Willing to Pay for Biomedical Research

As pundits project and partisans dig in on Capitol Hill, Americans remain committed to investing in biomedical research, and are even willing to spend more of their tax dollars to advance science in their communities. According to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America:

  • More than 50% say they would be willing to pay $1 more per week if the dollars would go to medical research – even in these tough fiscal times.
  • More than three-quarters (78%) say that it is important that the U.S. work to improve health globally through research and innovation.
  • Nearly 70% believe that the federal government should increase support for programs and policies that would increase the number of young Americans who pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • 68% say it’s important that the federal research and development tax credit is made permanent.

How might falling off the “fiscal cliff” affect biomedical research in Washington State? The biomedical research sector provides thousands of jobs in Washington: pharmaceutical (2,490); medical device (7,760); research, testing, and laboratories (15,088); and overall private sector (2,429,884).  Further reduction in NIH and NSF funding to biomedical research could affect this sector and reduce employment opportunities nation-wide, forcing job-seekers to relocate or potentially discourage students from pursuing scientific careers.

Current NIH funding has designated Seattle as the hub for comparative-effectiveness research in cancer. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Group Health Research Institute, and the University of Washington School of Public Health are leading projects in cancer genomics, cancer diagnostics, breast imaging, and cancer screening. Results from these projects will provide vital information in diagnosis, treating, and communicating information about cancer to medical professionals, patients and their families, and health insurance companies. The threatened reduction in funding could impact these critical programs and may delay evaluations of testing and treatments for cancer patients. Without continued biomedical research funding in Washington—and across the U.S.—we compromise our ability to evaluate cancer diagnostic tools, screening tests, treatments, and a balanced assessment of cost and benefit.

Time is running out on Capitol Hill. While it’s absolutely necessary to reduce the deficit, more spending cuts that hinder medical progress are harmful to public health, the economy, and global innovation. The Northwest is a national leader in biomedical research and innovation, and our representatives can still save thousands of jobs, and $70 million in grant funding in Washington alone. Reach out to our lawmakers today—before they adjourn for the holiday—and count yourself among the majority of Americans who take action to preserve and advance biomedical research funding.

NWABR at 2012 National Science Teachers Association Conference

Join NWABR at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Indianapolis this week!

NWABR and Science Education Partners at NSTA Seattle 2011

Come join Jeanne Chowning, NWABR Director of Education, and Joan Griswold, Curriculum Design Lead, at NSTA Indianapolis 2012! We will present several hands-on lessons from our popular high school curriculum units.  These resources are designed to introduce teachers and students to cutting-edge science topics and to provide educators with structured frameworks for discussing related ethical issues.  Click on the links below to view our curricular materials on our website!

Sessions include:

The Science and Ethics of Animal Research
Thursday, March 29, 8am-9am
JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom 4

Integrating Bioinformatics into Introductory Biology Courses
Thursday, March 29, 2pm-3pm
JW Marriott, Grand Ballroom 4

Stem Cells: Science and Ethics
Friday, March 30
12:30pm-1:30pm
Indiana Convention Center, 204

We hope to see you there!

Support for NWABR’s curriculum development is provided by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Center for Research Resources and the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives of the National Institutes of Health through Grant Number R25OD011138 and by an Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers award from the National Science Foundation, DRL 0833779.

Student Bio Expo seeks creative and curious minds…

… with scientific savvy to judge unique projects on May 24th! Judge registration is now open. Please check out the Expo Judge page for more information (http://nwabr.org/community/student-bio-expo/judges). We not only invite members of the community with a science background, but also those who are creative and have a curious mind.

We have 13 categories that need judges (Art, Career and Industry, Drama and Dance, Lab Research, Molecular Modeling, Music, Multimedia, Teaching, Website Design, Creative Writing, Journalism, SeaVuria (formerly Global Health), and SMART Teams (advanced molecular modeling)), so there’s something for everyone. Join us for a unique science fair experience!!!

Feel free to contact Jenn Pang (jpang@nwabr.org) for more information.  See you there!!!

Biology in the Age of Computing

Biology in the Age of Computing: Online Resources for Teachers and Students

As part of NWABR’s ongoing commitment to inspiring students in science, we are excited to announce an upcoming webinar featuring NWABR program staff and partner scientists. The webinar is geared towards teachers and students, as well as formal and informal educators and will be archived for future viewing. We hope to see you online!

Wednesday, February 8th from 11:00am to 12:00pm PST
If you’d like to register for the event, click here.

Join us as we share curricula, online resources, teacher experiences and research findings from Bio-ITEST: New Frontiers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, a program funded by the National Science Foundation that brings the exciting field of bioinformatics to high school teachers and students. Bioinformatics is the application of computer science and information technology to the field of biology and medicine. With a strong emphasis on increasing student awareness of STEM careers, each Bio-ITEST lesson features an individual who uses bioinformatics in their work, or whose work is made possible by bioinformatics. The presentation will include an overview of curricular units, including introductory lessons on genetic testing and advanced lessons on genetic research, as well as an exploration of the online resources. Presenters will share lessons learned about increasing student STEM career awareness and engagement in the context of the Bio-ITEST project.

Biology in the Age of Computing: Online Resources for High School Teachers and Students is presented in partnership with the National Girls Collaborative Project and EdLab Group.

The National Girls Collaborative Project is partially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, GSE/EXT: National Girls Collaborative Project: Building the Capacity of STEM Practitioners to Develop a Diverse Workforce, Grant No.HRD-1103073. The Bio-ITEST program is made possible by an Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers grant award from the National Science Foundation, DRL-0833779.

NWABR Middle School Essay Contest is back!

NWABR is pleased to continue our popular middle school essay contest, “Biomedical Breakthroughs and My Life” through funding from the Knossos Foundation.  This contest is open to 7th and 8th grade students (individuals or entire classes) in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho.

Students have the opportunity to explore the process of biomedical research and its relevance to themselves, their family or their pets.  They may choose topics that allow them to investigate the development of medications that they are taking, the medical device implants received by relatives, or the shots given to their pets.  They must include evidence of how the use of animals or humans in clinical trials have advanced research and medical treatments.

Students will strengthen their writing, research and interviewing skills while discovering the role of scientists in biomedical research that really does impact their lives.  In addition to the essay, students must include a reflective paragraph about what they have learned.

Every student will receive comments about their essay from the researchers serving as judges.  Winning students in the general category and English as a Second Language category will receive a cash prize and be invited to an Awards Day at a research facility.  Teachers and parents of winning students are also invited to the Awards Day to meet scientists and engage in tours and hands-on activities.

Contest Timeline:

December 9, 2011     Register intent to participate with NWABR
March 9, 2012            Submit essays
April 13, 2012             Winners announced
May 2012                     Awards Day events

NWABR can provide resources and speakers from our Speakers Bureau to engage the students in the project.
For more information, visit NWABR’s website, http://nwabr.org/students/essay-contest, or contact Reitha Weeks at rweeks@nwbr.org or 206-957-3337 x305.

Join us for Life Sciences Research Weekend — Nov 4 – 6

Experience science at its finest – hands-on, exploratory, and just plain fun!

NWABR and Pacific Science Center invite you to the 5th annual

Nov. 4-6 – Friday through Sunday at Pacific Science Center

Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm.

Life sciences companies and research institutions from around the state will host interactive exhibits that reflect the cutting edge research that is taking place in our state.

If you want to meet scientists that have great passion for the work they do, plan to attend! Life Science Research Weekend events are included with regular Pacific Science Center admission.

For more information, visit http://www.nwabr.org/community/life-sciences-research-weekend

This program is made possible by a SEPA grant to Pacific Science Center from NCRR at National Institutes of Health.

We are hoping that our students…

We are hoping that our students will come away with a better understanding of how drugs and treatments are developed, an appreciation of the value of research for health, and with opportunity to learn about the broad range of career possibilities in biomedical research-related fields. It is very important to us that our students learn how ethics intersects with biomedical research, especially in how research is conducted. They learn about ethical guidelines for research and how those guidelines have been developed. By meeting and interacting with individuals who care for animals needed for research, or who conduct clinical trials of new vaccines, they not only put a human face on research, but they perhaps take one step closer to imagining themselves conducting research.

— Jeanne Ting Chowning, NWABR Director of Education

Student Research Fellows in the Media

News media, NWABR members, and social media have taken note of our Summer Student Research Fellows in recent days. Below are a series of Twitter updates linking to blog posts and articles — read all about it!

Thanks everyone! Connect with us on Twitter @NWABR and click here for much more information about NWABR Student Research Fellows.

Science and the Human Heart

This video features three recent NWABR events: Youth Ethics Summit 2011, hosted at the University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, then Life Sciences Research Weekend 2010, where hundreds of biomedical researchers met thousands of students, children, and families at Pacific Science Center, and finally Student Bio Expo 2011, where high school students presented art and science projects in categories ranging from music to molecular modeling to global health.

These educational programs and more are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), our members, and contributors like you. Donate to support science outreach and education at http://nwabr.org.

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Sylvia Law of Woodinville High School created this brilliant video at our May 24 Student Bio Expo.

Check out the video and below that, photos of Woodinville HS at the Expo. We have many more Expo photos to share, so come back for more!

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Woodinville High School Rocks NWABR Student Bio Expo

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 2011 Student Bio Expo! Photographs by Mohini Patel Glanz.

Photos from our 2011 Bio-ITEST Teacher Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISBWe recently enjoyed a reunion of teachers participating in our Bioinformatics, “Bio-ITEST” program — short for Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). more about Bio-ITEST

The three-year NSF grant provides funding for education outreach programs that help secondary school teachers and their students learn about how information technology is used in biological research. Major collaborators include Digital World Biology, EdLab Group, and Shoreline Community College.

Teachers Said about Bio-ITEST at NWABR

“At the end of this course, I feel like I could create my own lesson if I needed to.”

“This was an excellent professional development opportunity!  It brought an emerging field of life science to my classroom that was not there before.  I look forward to using this material for many years to come!”

“I enjoyed learning how to use the technology tools Cn3D, Jalview, and FinchTV. The Socratic seminar was excellent also and I now have an effective way to teach students about STEM careers.”

“Having specific activities in the curriculum that asked them to use Cn3D was much better than a simple demonstration of the program. The students really liked using Cn3D … A lot of my kids also downloaded it at home. They’d come in early to school.”

“To be honest, I didn’t even know what bioinformatics was when I signed up for the class, yet was able to implement the curriculum and teach my students the material the first time I tried it.”

Professional Development in Systems Biology

The reunion was generously hosted by the Institute for Systems Biology (an NWABR member) in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle, at the global headquarters they opened just this month, May 2011. Below photos of everyone at the reunion are a few photos of ISB’s new headquarters and neighborhood.

ISB also provided professional development for teachers with Education Program Coordinator Claudia Ludwig, using their systems biology module, Environmental Impacts on Gene Networks. All teachers who attended received the Environmental Impacts on Gene Networks kit to use in their classroom!

We began with a reception and discussion of teachers’ experiences with the Bio-ITEST program:

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

Then, Education Program Coordinator Claudia Ludwig presented ISB’s systems biology module, Environmental Impacts on Gene Networks:

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

and teachers received the Environmental Impacts on Gene Networks kit to use in their classroom!

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

The new ISB global headquarters are beautiful, of course. Here are a few snaps of  ISB and the neighborhood:

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

Brian Glanz from NWABR, reflected in a hallway at ISB.

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

Not ISB -- Across the street from ISB in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle

NWABR 2011 Bio-ITEST Teachers' Reunion at ISB

ISB lab coats hang inside a window, and Seattle rain keeps outdoor table tennis interesting.

blogged by Brian Glanz for NWABR

blogged by Brian Glanz for NWABR

The Bio-ITEST program at NWABR is made possible by an Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers grant award from the National Science Foundation, DRL-0833779. 

Please reuse and remix! We share with a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Jeanne Chowning Presents an NSTA Webinar on Teaching About Stem Cells

Today at 3:30 pm PST, 6:30 pm EST, Jeanne Chowning presents a webinar on teaching “The Science and Ethics of Stem Cell Research” at the high school level.

Click here for more information and to register for the webinar.

This seminar will explore the science behind stem cells as well as ethical implications of embryonic stem cell research. Teachers will be provided with an overview of the popular resource on stem cell science and ethics geared towards secondary science classrooms, developed by NWABR.

The unit begins with a laboratory examination of planaria as a model organism for understanding stem cell biology. It provides engaging activities that highlight early embryonic development and compare and contrast different types of stem cells. Additional activities focus on the bioethical dimensions of stem cell research, including the variety of positions held by different stakeholders in the stem cell debate.

A Socratic Seminar allows students to discuss the role of public funding for stem cell research. The culminating assessment provides an opportunity for students to either prepare a letter to the President’s Bioethics Commission or propose a grant to fund research for a specific disease or disorder.

Click here to download a copy of the PowerPoint presentation for the webinar.

Jeanne Ting Chowning, MS is Director of Education at NWABR. The text of this blog post is based on the webinar description published at the page this link points to, by The NSTA Learning Center.

Today is our 11th Student Bio Expo!

The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research announces our 11th Student Bio Expo, the culminating event of a year-long science education outreach program. The Expo engages over 300 area high school students from 22 schools in real-world applications of new frontiers in biology and builds connections between students, teachers, and scientists!

Our agenda in brief:
— 9:00-11:45 Student Presentations/Judging
— 12:30-1:00 Special Performances
— 1:00-2:00 Awards Ceremony

Clic here to download an Expo program or here to go to our Expo web site for directions and more or here to download our full press release for Student Bio Expo 2011.

Our Student Bio Expo provides the Seattle area with one of its few competitive high school science fairs. However, the Expo is not your usual science fair! It differs from regular fairs in two main ways. 1) Students develop projects with the assistance of a mentor scientist over the course of the school year. 2) Students can enter life-science themed projects in categories as diverse as art, music, drama, writing, and traditional scientific research. By applying their own talents to their projects, students are motivated to see the connection between science and their own lives and interests.
SEAVURIA

This year, we are excited to introduce a new Global Health collaboration with students in Kenya. The SEAVURIA (sea-vuh-REE-uh) project pairs students in the rural area of Vuria, Kenya with Seattle-area students and scientists. International teams of students collaborate on global health related research while being mentored by scientists from the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle University, and the University of Washington. Students in Kenya present their findings at the Kenyan Science Congress, while Seattle students present at the Student Bio Expo.