Rayhaan: As STEM careers are becoming more available, the need for STEM education is becoming more vital. This episode, we look at a UB program coming to Sweet Home about bioinformatics. From The Panther Eye, this is Roar.
Dr. Rama: So, this is the Western New York, Genetics and Research Health Care Partnership, and I’m only talking about 2019 and 2020. Actually, we are in the last year of our grant and you can see that we have been granted by SEPA, which is a part of NIH, you know, National Institutes of Health.
So what we are involved is expanding exposure, career exploration, interactive projects and basic genome analysis and bioinformatics. Alright, and we describe all these terms as we go on because there will be several terms that you have never heard of or maybe you will have heard of and you don’t know much about or know much about. It will just be a reputation in all right, so the overview of the talk is that I’m going to describe to you the goals of the program, give you a little bit of the outline of what the program is all about what we have been funded for.
What is the question, what are the hypothesis that we have? And why are they in funding us? Right they’re giving us a million, dollars? Why? So how to test that hypothesis that’s one of the questions. What is genome sequencing? Next thing that I’m going to talk about is gene and genome annotation. what it is all about what is bioinformatics. What do we know by Geniac? What is this Geniac thing? Right, this is the tool. This is the suite of tools that we are going to teach you how to use so that you can now take out information, which is called bioinformatics and do these manual gene genome annotations. Each of these terms I will be explaining to you all as I go along.
The question is why we manually annotate genome,s alright microbial genomes are human genomes or any genes and then the past and the present and the future of this particular program.
The first thing that we say is that we stimulate the interest in new students to pursue careers in science and technology, that means STEM careers. So, what we provide is a pipeline for recruiting students to scientific and medical careers. What we are saying is our hypothesis, is that the students who go through our program are more likely to stay in these STEM careers than not, do you understand? Because whenever they find you, you have to have a hypothesis. If it was already a settled, then they wouldn’t find you. You have already done the work you’ve established the thing is going to go into the curriculum, etcetera, etcera. So, we are still in the hypothetical stage. So, we are providing this pipeline. We are saying that we advance high school students as well as teacher collaboration with active scientists in UB, University at Buffalo and around the world. So basically, you all become scientists if you take part in this program and you’ll go through these manual annotations. You are actually being scientists. You are actually doing research and I’ll show you all how it’s very exciting.
We also provide ongoing support as students pursue career plans. So, as you’ll mature and graduate from here and go into STEM careers, we will constantly be giving you support and I’ll show you an example of that, is that alright? So how do we do this? So, I’m going to lay it out to you. So what we do is this is, of course, funded by the National Institutes of health, Science Education Partnership Award, SEPA award, and I’m giving you an overview. So, what we do is we recruit 20 high school science teachers and they go ahead and recruit students. So, a total of about 140 students per year to be involved in these genome annotations. And by now, we have had about five years of funding, which was about 1.3 million dollars, which was very, very prestigious. It was written about in the newspapers we got a lot of exposure. I will show you how it’s my baby and I’m so happy to be here and telling it to you because this entire thing was my idea.
All right, so what we do is we recruit those twenty high school science teachers. They recruit the students from July to August in 2019 for example, what we did was, we taught the fundamentals of genome meditation to the high school teachers, your teacher and we discussed the four program which involved you students your students taking part in this. So, you’ll have already finished a few to build your interest in the project. And now what I’m going to do is introduce you to manual genome annotation.
So, this is the introductory class trying to give you an idea. An overview of why this is so exciting. Why should you be involved? Why should you tell your friends to be involved? All right, because it’s so exciting from January to May you’re actually going to work on manual genome agitation that means gene annotations. And in May of 2020, what you’ll be doing is to make posters of whatever work you’ve done, put out your results and come to the capstone symposium, which is to be held at UB, center of Arts, you have lunch. You present your posters. You talk to other schools who are doing the same thing. There will be hundreds of students of your age and you’ll see; you can actually go to each poster, you can ask questions you can see what they have done. You have done compare note, etcetera. because all of you will be learning the same thing, right? And this will give you an opportunity to mix and mingle with them. But most importantly, you will also be mingling and involving yourself with the scientists, mainly me. We will come to your posters and critique it.