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NHGRI Researchers Go Back to School for National DNA Day

BETHESDA, Md., April 22, 2003 - On April 25, dozens of researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will head back to schools in their hometowns - from Newtonville, Mass. to Newport Beach, Calif. - and speak to students about the genome revolution and genetic research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The presentations are timed to coincide with National DNA Day, a day set aside by Congress to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the landmark paper by Drs. James Watson and Francis Crick, which described the double helix structure of DNA and to also offer educational opportunities to teachers and students. To do this, NHGRI has developed educational tools on genetics and genomics that are freely available to teachers and students to help them make the most of National DNA Day. (National DNA Day)

Alan Guttmacher, M.D., NHGRI's deputy director, and Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of NIH, will go to their hometown of Baltimore, Md. to talk to students at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute where Dr. Kington attended high school.

In another historic moment earlier this month, NHGRI, the Department of Energy (DOE) and their international partners announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project, the effort to sequence the 3 billion DNA letters in the human genetic instruction book. Many of the genetic pioneers from the past 50 years spoke at the April events to celebrate the occasion.

"The completion of the Human Genome Project is a monumental achievement, but it's only the beginning." said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "We are depending on the next generation of scientists to translate the human genome sequence and use it to prevent, treat and eventually cure the common diseases that afflict families around the globe. National DNA Day is a wonderful opportunity for NHGRI researchers to make personal contact with students and get them excited about the 'era of the genome'."

The astronomer Carl Sagan once said, "Everybody starts out as a scientist. Every child has the scientist's sense of wonder and awe." By making a presentation on National DNA day, NHGRI researchers hope to encourage this sense of wonder and awe and act as a catalyst for students pursuing careers in science.

NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

To arrange an interview with a scientist visiting your area, please contact Geoff Spencer, (301) 402-0911.

NHGRI Researcher High School City State
Ponciano, Davaris Bell HS Bell CA
Prasad, Arjun Newport Harbor HS Newport Beach CA
Chines, Peter Windsor High School Windsor CT
Sapp, Julie Gulliver Preparatory Campus Miami FL
Wetterstrand, Kris Jupiter HS
Suncoast Community HS
Riviera Beach
Lalor, Molly Paideia School Atlanta GA
Lucas, Melinda L. Lowndes High School Valdosta GA
Robbins, Christiane Kahuku HS
University of Hawaii
Waggoner, Brooke Springfield HS Springfield IL
Giannetti, Margot Trinity HS Chicago IL
Crawford, Gregory Stevenson HS
Deerfield HS
Antonellis, Tony Newton North HS
Welesley HS
Klein, Alison Needham HS Needham MA
Lamarca, Mary E. Natick HS Natick MA
Biesecker, Barbara North Bethesda Middle School Bethesda MD
Cudoc, Marie Bonnie Branch MS Ellicott City MD
Bailey-Wilson, Joan Hereford HS Parkton MD
Novotny, Elizabeth Crossland High School Temple Hills MD
Mendoza, Martin Eleanor Roosevelt Greenbelt MD
Weeraratna, Ashani Dunbar HS Baltimore MD
McInerney-Leo Northwest HS Germantown MD
Gollust, Sarah Walt Whitman HS Bethesda MD
Tam, Karen Roland Park Country School Baltimore MD
Schueler, Mary G. Bethesda Chevy Chase HS
Academy of the Holy Cross
Egloff, Anne Marie Swartz Creek Hs Swartz Creek MI
Duggal Priya Cranbrook Kingswood Bloomfield Hills MI
Hurle, Belen Vashon HS St. Louis MO
Anzick, Sarah Park Senior HS Livingston MT
Claassen, David Beatrice HS Beatrice NB
Hardison, Amada Pamlico County HS Bayboro NC
Blake, Trevor Plymouth High School Plymouth NC
Dong, Danielle Broughton HS Raleigh NC
Burgess, Shawn Concord HS
St. Paul's School
Sinesky, Shawn The Peddie School Hightstown NJ
Scacheri, Peter Sachem HS Lake Ronkonkoma NY
Bovee, Alissa Waterloo HS Waterloo NY
English, Milton Samuel J. Tilden HS Brooklyn NY
Smith, Sarah Granville HS Granville NY
Gasser, Tricia Worthington HS Worthington OH
Crabtree, Judy Newkirk HS
Blackwell HS
Portnoy, Matthew William Tennent High School Warminster PA
Peck, Erin Mt. Lebanon HS Pittsburg PA
Stoos, Karen Hoven HS Hoven SD
Paguirigan, Carmen S.H.Rider HS Wichita Falls TX
Erdos, Mike Antilles School St. Thomas US VirIs
Idol, Jackie Pulaski Cnty.Governor's HS Dublin VA
Bouffard, Gerard Rice Memorial HS
Colchester HS
S. Burlington
Gillanders, Elizabeth Saint Mary's Springs High School Fond du lac, WI
Prentice, Reid Natrona County HS Casper WY

Educational resources and events for National DNA Day include:

  • DNA - The Next Generation
    An Educational Videocast
    Nobel laureate James Watson and NHGRI Director Francis Collins discuss with high school students the past, present and future of DNA. A webcast of the event will be available starting on April 25. The 30-minute program also will be fed via satellite at two different times on April 25: 9:00 a.m.Eastern and 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

  • Genetics Education Modules
    A series of educationmodules, including specific teaching plans, that present the history, facts and genetic terminology behind the Human Genome Project, as well as the ethical, legal and social questions surrounding this research.

  • Exploring Our Molecular Selves
    An online, multimedia education kit on the Human Genome Project.

  • Genetics Mentorship Program
    A new, nationwide program created to provide genetics experts for the classroom.

  • Human Genetic Variation
    An online curriculum supplement on the basics of human genetics.

  • Joint Genome Institute from the Department of Energy
    This full-color educational poster, entitled "Genomics: The Human Genome and Beyond," is available free to teachers and genomics professionals. The placemat-sized poster features basic information on DNA, protein synthesis, the genome sequencing process, comparative genomics, human differences and mutations, and genomics applications. Visit: www.jgi.doe.gov.

NHGRI's Web site

Geoff Spencer
Phone: (301) 402-0911

Last updated: April 17, 2012