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NIH News Release

NHGRI Scientists Return to the Classroom For Second Annual National DNA Day

DNA Day Ambassadors Will Encourage Students to Pursue Genomic Careers

BETHESDA, Md., April 21, 2004 - On April 30, dozens of researchers and staff from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will head back to high schools in rural and urban communities across the country to share with students some of the exciting research taking place at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The presentations by NHGRI's "DNA Day Ambassadors" will coincide with the second annual celebration of National DNA Day, which commemorates the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953.

Many of the ambassadors will return to high schools in their hometowns, while some will reach out to other schools that have expressed interest in expanding their students' knowledge of genomic science. NHGRI, in cooperation with the American Society of Human Genetics, the Genetic Alliance and the National Society of Genetic Counselors, hopes that the DNA Day experience will inspire more students, particularly those from underrepresented and disadvantaged populations, to consider careers in genetics and genomics.

"As we embark on the genome era, we face an urgent need for a new generation of young scientists trained in everything from computer science to bioethics. National DNA Day is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn from real-life genome researchers how they too can become scientists and join in our effort to use genomics to improve human health," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Below is a state-by-state list of DNA Day Ambassadors and their schools. To arrange an interview with an ambassador, contact Geoff Spencer, (301) 402-0911.

NHGRI Ambassador High School City State
Erin Tansey Luz Academy of Tucson Tuscon AZ
Joseph Ward Wilson HS Los Angeles CA
Kenneth Ow Oakland Technical HS Oakland CA
Laura Rodriguez Junipero Serra HS
Scripps Ranch HS
San Diego CA
Barbara Fuller School Without Walls HS Washington DC
Alyssa Kennedy Benjamin Banneker HS Washington DC
Tim Leshan Eastern Senior HS Washington DC
Aideen McInerney-Leo Eastern Senior HS Washington DC
Erin Peck Benjamin Banneker HS Washington DC
James Whittle Maret School Washington DC
Zhuang Hanyi Atlantic Community HS Delray Beach FL
Milton English W. J. Woodham HS Pensacola FL
Erica Sutton Woodward Academy College Park GA
Christina Strong Jasper County HS Monticello GA
Faith Pangilinan Columbus HS Waterloo IA
David Miller Curie Metropolitan HS Chicago IL
David Miller Northern Portage HS Portage IN
Meredith Weaver Scituate HS Scituate MA
Visiliki Tsipouri Southwestern HS Baltimore MD
Alan Guttmacher Park HS Brooklandville MD
JoAnne Mowczko Gaithersburg HS Gaithersburg MD
Martin Mendoza Eleanor Roosevelt HS Greenbelt MD
Mary Schueler Havre de Grace Havre de Grace MD
Barbara Biesecker Wheaton HS Silver Spring MD
Ashley Griffin Mounds View
St. Paul Central HS
Arden Hills St.Paul MN
Jarrod Heck Minneapolis South HS Minneapolis MN
Mary LaMarca John Marshall HS
Mayo HS
Rochester MN
Caroline Stuart Blaine HS Blaine MN
Belen Hurle St. Louis Career Academy St. Louis MO
Jim Swyers Roosevelt HS St. Louis MO
Sarah Anzick Browning HS
Park HS
Phyllis Frosst James B. Dudley HS
T. Wingate Andrews HS
High Point
Shawn Burgess Concord HS
St. Paul's School
Concord NH
Jonathon Witonsky Princeton HS Princeton NJ
Erin Tansey Santa Fe Indian School Sante Fe NM
Danielle Dong St. Ann Middle School Nyack NY
Sandra Kamholz Westlake HS Thornwood NY
Tricia Gasser Thomas Worthington HS Worthington OH
Matthew Portnoy Bensalem HS
William Tennent HS
Marie Cudoc Mars Area HS Mars PA
Timothy Day Fort LeBoeuf HS Waterford PA
Esther Warshauer-Baker Spring Valley HS Columbia SC
Renee Varga Lennox HS Lennox SD
Geoffroy Sisk Bennett County HS Martin SD
Kate Reed Oakridge HS Oakridge TN
Sarah Smith John B. Connally HS Austin TX
Carmen Paguirigan Iowa Park HS Iowa TX
Robert Cornelison E.C. Glass HS
Brookville HS
Lynchburg VA
Suzanna Schott Annandale HS Annandale VA
Lowell Umayam Fairfax HS Fairfax VA
Tess Yannucci St. Stephen and St. Agnes Alexandria VA
Emily Gottlieb The Bush School Cleveland HS Seattle WA
Erin Jones Garfield HS West Seattle HS Seattle WA
Elizabeth Gillanders St. Mary's Spring HS Fond du Lac WI
Reid Prentice Cheyenne Central HS
Cheyenne East HS
Cheyenne WY

To help teachers and students make the most of National DNA Day, NHGRI also has developed free, educational tools on genetics and genomics, which are available at

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). Additional information about NHGRI can be found at its Web site,

Geoff Spencer, NHGRI
Phone: (301) 402-0911

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Last Reviewed: March 27, 2012

See Also:

National DNA Day Activities