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Teacher Program: Bioinformatics, Seattle, WA

Application deadline: January 12, 2010. Dates & Locations: Fri,, Feb. 5, 4-8 PM. Novo Nordisk, Seattle, WA; Sat., Feb. 6, 9 AM-4:30PM. Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA
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The Introduction to Bioinformatics professional development workshop, held by the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research in Seattle, Washington, is designed for teachers of high school biology, advanced biology, and biotechnology. Prior bioinformatics experience not required.

As part of this workshop highlighting the Introductory Strand, teachers will receive:

• Basic training in bioethics
• An introduction to the National Center for Biotechnology
• Information (NCBI) and the search engine Entrez
• Exposure to software for performing multiple sequence alignments
• Instruction on viewing macromolecules using Cn3D
• An opportunity to provide critical feedback on lesson drafts

The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) is excited to announce the introduction our new bioinformatics curriculum. Funded by our National Science Foundation grant, Bio-ITEST: New Frontiers in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, this curriculum is comprised of two different units.

The Introductory Strand, highlighted in this workshop, utilizes bioinformatics resources to teach basic concepts in molecular biology. Participants will have an opportunity to provide valuable feedback as we finalize our early drafts of the Introductory Strand. The Advanced Strand incorporates additional informatics resources and includes an authentic inquiry-based investigation specifically for advanced students.

Using the breast cancer susceptibility genes brca1 and brca2 as models, students explore the ethical issues surrounding genetic testing and are introduced to a collection of bioinformatics tools. As biomedical researchers discover an increasing number of genes associated with susceptibility to disease, the era of “personalized medicine” has become a reality. Students will need to understand disease risks and genetic penetrance, how genetic information is acquired, stored, and used, who has access to their information, and how genetic testing can influence personal and health decisions for themselves and their families. Empowering students to understand the science behind genetic testing also reinforces lessons in evolution, Central Dogma, and the relationship between protein structure and function.


Application Due: Jan. 12, 2010

Part 1: Online Contact Information Form; Parts 2 and 3: Application Questions and Statements of Support/Commitment (download) wordpdf

Qualified applicants will be accepted on a space-available basis. We especially encourage to apply those teachers who work with diverse populations of students. Acceptance notices will be mailed within 2 weeks of receipt or by Jan. 15, 2010.


Stipend, Credit, Clock Hours: Teachers will receive a $150 stipend for their participation in the two day professional development workshop. Those teachers wishing to provide feedback on the curriculum lessons will receive an additional $100. Eight clock hours will be provided free of charge. Dinner will be provided on Friday, February 5. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the Saturday session. Teachers will also receive access to specialized software and bioinformatics resources.

NWABR is a non-profit dedicated to promoting public understanding of the implications and applications of the process of biomedical research. The organization meets a fundamental need for materials that engage students in the scientific and ethical dimensions of topics such as embryonic stem cell research and human clinical trials. NWABR’s lesson materials promote discourse and decision-making based on thoughtful analysis and critical reasoning, and stress the importance of understanding the science behind bioethical issues.

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