JCVI: J. Craig Venter Institute Launches New Genomics Education Program in California
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Press Release 31-Jul-2008



J. Craig Venter Institute Launches New Genomics Education Program in California

Program will give San Diego area teachers in-depth information about exciting advances in genomics

LA JOLLA, CA — July 31, 2008 — The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) announced today the launch of their genomics education program in California. This comprehensive Genomics Course for Educators, to be held at JCVI's La Jolla, California facility on July 29 through August 1, 2008, is designed for San Diego area teachers who want to become knowledgeable about the rapidly evolving field of genomics.

JCVI received a private donation to provide stipends to each of the participating teachers, along with a generous award from the San Diego Foundation.  This award provides each participating teacher with a classroom set of laboratory equipment which includes: six electrophoresis apparatus, two four-way power supplies, six variable micropipets (5-50 uL), a white light box and two personal centrifuges.

The JCVI has been conducting courses for educators in their Rockville, Maryland headquarters since 1998. Based on that success, and with a JCVI laboratory now also located in La Jolla, CA, the Institute's Education Group sought to offer these important courses to teachers in California. The course is designed to impart a thorough understanding of genomics to middle and high school teachers who can then use this information to develop comprehensive genomic lesson plans for their students. Topics covered in this course include:

  • The biological process by which cells read and follow genetic instructions
  • Techniques in molecular biology for manipulating and studying DNA
  • Overview of whole genome shotgun sequencing and all the processes involved in sequencing the human and other genomes
  • Overview of related genomic topics and societal issues surrounding genomics such as gene therapy, personalized medicine, the Human Genome Project, privacy of individual genetic information, and genetically altered crops

As J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., President and Founder of the JCVI stated, "I believe that our society is totally dependent on advances in science, and in particular those in my field of genomics. If we are to fully realize the benefits from genomics, we need a science literate society which will only be possible by educating kids and their teachers about the latest techniques and advances in genomics. We are proud of our contributions to this through our mobile genomics laboratory and through the vital programs like our genomics courses for educators. We look forward to bringing our expertise to the kids and teachers of California and are grateful to the San Diego Foundation and our other donors for their help in making this possible."

About the J. Craig Venter Institute and the Education Group

The JCVI is a not-for-profit research institute in Rockville, MD and La Jolla, CA dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the JCVI is home to approximately 400 scientists and staff with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. The legacy organizations of the JCVI are: The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG), the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives (IBEA), the Joint Technology Center (JTC), and the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation. The JCVI is a 501 (c) (3) organization. For additional information, please visit http://www.JCVI.org.

The JCVI Education Group has designed the DiscoverGenomics! Science Education Program as a science enrichment program taught in formal and informal learning settings to reach students throughout their academic career. DiscoverGenomics! staff works closely with classroom teachers or coordinators to ensure each experience achieves the team's goals and objectives, reinforces specific school standards and gives maximum exposure to science careers. The DiscoverGenomics! staff has over 10 years experience working with young students and adults. The program began by offering internships and simple tours of the Maryland facility, and has expanded over the years to include exciting components like the DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Lab Program. DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Equipment Program, Professional Development and the Visiting Student Program.  To learn how you can support science and technology advancement in your community contact Selina Hudgins at 858-200-1821 or shudgins(AT)jcvi.org.

About the San Diego Foundation

Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation is a broad-purpose community foundation helping individuals, families and organizations carry out their charitable plans, with the common goal of improving the quality of life in the greater San Diego region.  The Foundation evaluates and helps coordinate needs with resources, so that charitable gifts are used effectively to address our community's most critical needs, now and for generations to come.



Heather Kowalski