The program, Molecular Medicine in Action for Teaching Professionals, will enable the teachers to learn from and work with IU scientists who are at the leading edge of research in such areas as cancer, stem cells and molecular biology.
“We believe it’s incredibly important to get more of our young people excited about science, so we want to give teachers tools to help make science come alive for their students,” said Mark R. Kelley, Ph.D., program chair and associate director of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, which hosts the program.
Dr. Kelley, Betty and Earl Herr Professor in Pediatric Oncology Research, will talk about cancer research and Mervin C. Yoder Jr., director of the Wells Center and Richard and Pauline Klingler Professor of Pediatrics, will discuss stem cells. However, the meat of the day will be spent doing hands-on learning in laboratory workstations covering such topics as “RNA silencing” to block gene activity, the role of blood vessel development (angiogenesis) in cancer and other diseases, and the use of zebrafish in diabetes research.
The program for teachers was developed in conjunction with a similar annual program for high school students that has been hosted by the Wells Center for the past 12 years. Approximately 50 of the state’s top high school science students gather each March for a two-day hands-on program covering the latest biomedical research techniques and discoveries.
“Teachers who have worked as chaperones in the student molecular medicine program have long asked for a similar program targeted to their needs and we’re excited about the opportunity to do so,” said Dr. Kelley.
In order to ensure a high-quality experience, participation was limited to 36 teachers selected from 65 applicants.
With support from the Riley Children’s Foundation, the Wells Center and the IU School of Medicine both teacher and student programs are free for the participants, other than the costs to travel to Indianapolis.
The Wells Center for Pediatric Research is a leading research institute at IU whose scientists conduct research into the causes, improved diagnoses and potential treatments for a broad range of pediatric diseases.
Teachers participating in the program on Oct. 1 are:
Marcia Arnt, Thea Bowman Leadership Academy
Robb Awe, Pike High School
Pam Bell, Carroll High School
Peter Berg, Decatur Central High School
Mike Burdsall, Danville Community High School
Valerie Clarke, Washington High School
Chelsey Click, Caston Jr-Sr High School
Andrea Clinkenbeard, Kouts Middle/High School
Sandy Cronier, South Dearborn High School
Carrie DeGroff, Bellmont Senior High School
Richard Eldridge, Shelbyville High School
Kay Freehauf, John Glenn High School
Cresta Hancock, Muncie Southside High School
Sharon Harrison, George Washington Community High School
Michele Herr, Carroll High School
Kathryn Holmstrom, Cloverdale High School
David Inskeep, Northwestern High School
Christine Johnson, Lake Central High School
Cheryl Kellogg, Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities
Cynthia King, Zionsville Community High School
Theresa Knipe, Hammond High School
Barbara Kruszynski-Rea, Washington Township Middle/High School
Phil Leonard, Northview High School
A.J. McAdams, Warren Central High School
Audrey Norris, North Newton Jr-Sr High School
Kurt Olsan, Sheridan High School
Lynda O’Neal, Madison Consolidated High School
Deborah Price, Rensselaer Central High School
Bradley Purlee, Mitchell High School
Kenneth Reising, Waldo J. Wood Memorial High School