Research Interests and Accomplishments
The Director of the Education Group, Lisa McDonald, has substantial experience developing course materials and content to present complex scientific methods and theories to groups of various educational backgrounds in an age-appropriate manner, including K-12 student groups and adults. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the Catholic University of America and her M.B.A. from Mount St. Mary's University.
Ms. McDonald was a founding employee (1992) at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) where she concentrated on polymer chemistry and prokaryotic closure of some of the first genomes. She was responsible for the development and implementation of training new employees in the newly created sequencing facility. Ms. McDonald was then integral in the creation and development of the Education and Training department in the late 90's which she also led. TIGR's Education and Training Department, was committed to providing education and professional development courses in the field of genomics. Building upon TIGR's expertise in genomics, professional development and education courses were designed to expose participants to hands-on applications and to disseminate current genomic knowledge. These programs included several technical training courses for internal employees, external participants, TIGR's Summer Fellowship Program, teacher education and student education.
Ms. McDonald was a central member of the team that helped to pioneer the MdBioLab through a partnership with MdBio, Inc. and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI). MdBioLab, which began visiting students February 2003, is a mobile laboratory designed to enhance bioscience curricula for high school students and their teachers throughout the state of Maryland. At the Venter Institute, Ms. McDonald developed the DISCOVER GENOMICS! Science Education Programs from inceptions and now oversees all aspects of them including summer internship programs, organizational collaborations, and grant development. She also serves on many local and state science education committees.