Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) will be visiting residents and secondary students in Cranbrook and surrounding communities over the next couple of weeks as they bring their community engagement and student outreach programs to the area.
This week over 750 secondary students in Cranbrook, Fernie, Kimberley and Jaffray are getting a unique and rare experience inside the world of genomics and genetics. Genome BC’s Geneskool will be running 32 hour-long classroom workshops at five secondary schools where students will be introduced to realms of science not currently encompassed in their ongoing curriculum. Scientists will lead students through hands-on, tailor-made experiments and activities exploring genetics, inheritance, mutations, DNA structure, function and extraction and DNA gel electrophoresis.
Students will learn what a genome is: an organism’s complete set of DNA – basically a blueprint for an organism’s structure and function. They will also learn what genomics is: the science that aims to decipher and understand the entire genetic information of an organism (i.e. plants, animals, humans, viruses and microorganisms) encoded in DNA. The Genome BC Geneskool volunteers, scientist presenters from UBC’s Let’s Talk Science program, are often MSc and PhD candidates who share their motivation and passion for science with the students.
“Molecular biology is an integral part of our natural world,” says Sally Greenwood, Vice President, Communications and Education at Genome BC. “The Genome BC Geneskool program offers students a chance to use advanced laboratory technology and techniques to see the tiny world that exists at the molecular level while learning, having fun and garnering a greater appreciation of the world around us.”
Bringing Genomics Home Public Talk
On March 2nd beginning at 6:00pm, Genome BC will be back in Cranbrook to host a public talk “Your DNA: A blueprint for better health” part of the Bringing Genomics Home series. Returning for its sixth consecutive year at the College of the Rockies, community members are invited to attend this free and informative talk on the role of genomics in medical diagnosis and treatment.
Topics and speakers are:
A Wave of Change: Implementing precision medicine in BC
Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Genome BC
Curbing Infections: How drugs and virus genetics have drastically improved treatment in HIV and Hepatitis C
Dr. Richard Harrigan, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
Direct-to-Consumer Genomic Testing: All it’s cracked up to be?
Dr. William Gibson, UBC Child and Family Research Institute
“Genomics is going to transform healthcare over the next 20 years, particularly how we monitor and treat disease”, says Dr. Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC. “This exciting area of medicine is still in its early stages but we are delighted to be bringing these experts together in Cranbrook to share their significant insight and knowledge of the opportunity for genomics and precision medicine.”
For more information and to register please visit: www.genomebc.ca/bghcranbrook.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, MD, PhD
Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa joined Genome BC as Vice President, Sector Development and CSO in January 2016. With over 18 years of international experience in both the academic and private sectors, Catalina brings her deep understanding of genomics to the Genome BC leadership team. Catalina holds an MD from UPB University in Colombia, a Masters in Genetics from Paris VII/Pasteur Institute and a PhD in Medical Biosciences-Genetics from KULeuven in Belgium. Most recently she was the Vice-President and CSO, Scientific Affairs, at Genome Quebec where she was instrumental in developing competitive teams for national and provincial research projects, and raising the profile of Genome Quebec on the global stage.
Dr. Richard Harrigan, PhD
Dr. Richard Harrigan is the Director of Research Laboratories at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. For more than a decade, Dr. Harrigan has worked on the development of cutting-edge translational research with important implications for the clinical management of HIV. He has contributed extensively to our understanding of HIV drug efficacy and resistance, as well as the human and viral parameters that influence HIV disease progression. Dr. Harrigan is a Professor in the Division of AIDS (Faculty of Medicine) at the University of British Columbia and holds the CIHR-GSK Research Chair in HIV/AIDS. He is also the Glen Hillson Professor in Clinical HIV Virology.
Dr. William Gibson, PhD
Dr. William Gibson is a Senior Clinician Scientist at the Child and Family Research Institute, affiliated with British Columbia Children’s Hospital. He is best known for his team’s discovery of the gene for Weaver syndrome in late 2011. Dr. Gibson did his MD at University of Western Onatio, residency in Medical Genetics in Calgary and PhD at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Sir Stephen O’Rahilly. As an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of Medical Genetics, his team solves genetic disorders, with a focus on rare obesity and overgrowth syndromes. With funding from the CIHR, his group is actively recruiting patients with severe, early-onset obesity, tall stature, lipodystrophy and/or brain aneurysms. They welcome contact and referrals from colleagues and trainees at every stage of their careers.