Know Your DNA: Genesee Community College Hosts Biotechnology Workshop for Teachers

Genesee Community College is hosting a DNA microarray workshop on Friday, September 21, 2007 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Conable Technology Building at the Batavia campus. The conference, which highlights this new and fast growing field within the biotechnology sector, is sponsored by the Conversations in the Disciplines Programs of the State University of New York.

What is DNA microarray technology? Although all of the cells in the human body contain identical genetic material, the same genes are not active in every cell. Studying which genes are active and which are inactive in different cell types helps scientists understand both how these cells function normally and how they are affected when various genes do not perform properly.

“In the past, scientists have only been able to conduct these genetic analyses on a few genes at once,” said Tong Cheng, Instructor of Biology and Biotechnology at Genesee Community College. “With the development of DNA microarray technology, however, scientists can now examine how active thousands of genes are at any given time. Microarray technology will help researchers to learn more about many different diseases, including heart disease, mental illness and infectious diseases, to name only a few.”

The DNA microarray workshop begins at 9:00 am with registration and breakfast. Dr. Craig Jordan, Director of the Hematological Malignancies Translational Research program in the James P. Wilmore Cancer Center at the University of Rochester, will begin his presentation at 9:30 am. Dr. Jordan will discuss the use of DNA microarray derived gene expression signature for discovery of drugs that target leukemia stem cells. Dr. Jordan has lectured and conducted workshops about DNA microarray throughout the country; his session will introduce this fascinating technology and its application to clinical research.

Following this presentation, an open discussion about the implications of DNA microarray, impact on classroom instruction, and assessment of articulation agreements will take place between the presenters and participants.

After lunch, Susan Holt, consultant and coordinating mentor with the New York State Biology-Chemistry Professional Development Network in Rochester, NY, will lead several hands-on and minds-on activities. Her session will send participants home with materials and ideas about how to teach biotechnology in the classroom. Participation in the hands-on session is limited to the first 20 registrants. A wrap-up session will take place at 3:00 pm to conclude the day-long workshop.
The DNA microarray workshop registration deadline is Friday, September 14, 2007. College faculty and staff may register for $20. Students are invited to attend the lectures free of charge; to participate in the full day they must pay a $10 registration fee. Please send application and registration fee to:

Genesee Community College
Math/Science Division
One College Road
Batavia, NY 14020
Attn: Tong Cheng, PhD

For more information, please contact Tong Cheng at 585-343-0055 x6392 or by email at tcheng@genesee.edu.

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