Posted by | October 19, 2007 | AMBL PROJECT DETAILS | No Comments

DATE: OCT 19TH, 2007
LOCATION: Michael Smith Building, 2185 East Mall, University of British Columbia. Directions can be found at: http://www.michaelsmith.ubc.ca/about/where_to_find_us/

9:30 – 9:45: Welcoming remarks, and overview of programs available at the Michael Smith Labs, as well as introduction to the day’s activities. Coffee and snacks will be made available in the foyer of the Michael Smith Building


9:45 – 10:15: Dr. Phil Hieter, Director of the Michael Smith Laboratories. Phil is a celebrated yeast geneticist widely known for his work on the molecular workings of the centromere. His talk will be on the use of model organisms generally, and his yeast research specifically, in the advancement of life science research. (Phil’s Lab website – http://www.hieterlab.msl.ubc.ca/)

10:15 – 10:45: Dr. Don Riddle: Don’s research focuses on the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, particularly as it relates to a stage of development known as the dauer larvae. This stage is a crucial decision point in the life cycle of the worm, especially under conditions of stress. As well, much of his work has had major implications in areas such as senescence, the study of longevity. Don plans to talk about life as an academic scientist in general and in doing so, will attempt to paint a realistic portrait of lab life. (Don’s website – http://www.riddlelab.msl.ubc.ca/)

10:45 – 11:00: COFFEE BREAK

11:00 – 12:00: LAB EXERCISE: The group will be divided into two smaller groups, who will attend one of two lab sessions provided for the day, during this time period.


ACTIVITY ONE: Dr. Joanne Fox. “Bioinformatics 101 – The Human Genome Project”
In this interactive session, we’ll cover the question, “What is Bioinformatics” and use free tools on the internet to visualize data from the human genome project. We’ll discuss the relevancy of bioinformatics in your classroom, for your students, and in your own life.


ACTIVITY TWO: Dr. David Ng. “DIY Polymerase Chain Reaction on the cheap”
This one hour will be spent performing a straightforward human genomic isolation using kitchen supplies, as well as discuss how one can introduce this technique into your classroom setting within a reasonable budget.

12:00 – 1:30: LUNCH BREAK


1:30 – 2:00: Dr. Eric Lagally. Eric’s research focuses on integrated microsystems, which can be thought of as “Labs on a chip.” This field has wide ranging applications, especially from improving the analytical capabilities of existing technologies. His talk will discuss his work in general, and also on some his projects, which currently aim to use the technology for the easy and transportable detection of bacterial pathogens. (Eric’s website – http://www.lagallylab.msl.ubc.ca/)

2:00 – 3:00: LAB EXERCISE: The group will again be divided into the same two smaller groups, and you will now attend the alternate activity.

3:00 – 3:30+ We’d like to invite all teachers to help discuss future plans for the activities that the Michael Smith Labs can strive to offer, both in the context as a fully functional molecular biology lab, but also in the context of being a facility well connected to other outreach initiatives in other scientific disciplines. In particular, we would like to see this conference expanded next year to include elements where teacher attendees can work towards the design and delivery of teaching resources. Anyway, ideas are appreciated at this session.