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WIB-RTP: Young Women In Bio RTP Visit to the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, June 12, 2019

Posted By Kaitlyn Bacon, Thursday, July 11, 2019

Young Women In Bio RTP visited the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on the afternoon of June 12, 2019, to learn more about how we can better treat or prevent human disease. Twenty girls and their guardians received a tour of the NIEHS lab areas and listened to a presentation to learn how environmental factors, like pollutants, can affect human health. The highlight of the afternoon was a panel discussion with female scientists that work at NIEHS. The girls asked lots of questions about the scientist’s daily work and how they became interested in working in STEM. The scientists’ work branched many fields, including immunohistochemistry, environmental epigenomics, toxicology, and clinical research, so the girls learned about many different biology and environmental science fields. 

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An ongoing NIEHS study that captivated the girls' interest was the Sister Study. From 2003-2009, more than 50,000 women from across the United States and Puerto Rico were recruited for this study to uncover the cause of breast cancer. All participants had a sister who previously had breast cancer. Researchers hypothesized that by studying sisters they had a higher probability of identifying risk factors of breast cancer as sisters will have had shared environments, genes, and experiences. The Sister Study continues to track the health and lifestyle of participants each year. The knowledge gained from the Sister Study will help people to better understand both the genetic and environmental causes of breast cancer and will be used in the future to develop recommendations for preventing breast cancer. 

Special thanks to John Schelp for coordinating our visit as well as Michelle Campbell, Cindy Innes, Yvette LeGrande, and Kyla Taylor for sharing their experiences as female scientists! 

Tags:  2019  RTP 

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Young Women In Bio at the WiSE Fair at the Athenian School in Danville, CA, May 24, 2019

Posted By Leah Makley, Sarah Odeh, and Barbara Troupin , Wednesday, June 5, 2019

On May 24th, YWIB-San Francisco Bay Area volunteers participated in the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Fair at the Athenian School in Danville, CA. This annual, student-organized event encourages students’ interest in STEM fields through a series of booths with hands-on science and engineering activities, a keynote speaker, and a panel discussion from women working in STEM fields.

 

YWIB had a hands-on activity booth with three different activities. Attendees worked with volunteers to build edible models of DNA, using different colors of candies to represent different nucleotide bases and licorice ropes to represent a double helical backbone. This activity was meant to illustrate base pairing and the structure of DNA, and it was a big hit with the younger attendees. A second activity illustrated chemical polymerization, using Borax and glue to create bouncy balls, which was fun for both the students and their parents. Lastly, students watched the change in color of solutions containing a pH-sensitive universal indicator as a response to their exhaled breaths. The exhaled carbon dioxide slightly lowers the pH of the solution, causing the color change. 

 

While making bouncy balls or models of DNA, several students also took the opportunity to interact with the YWIB volunteers and get to know them. The students asked thoughtful questions about careers in science, practiced their networking skills, and asked for advice on choosing college majors and even graduate degrees.

 

The hands-on activities were followed by a keynote address given by Bindu Garapaty of Gilead Sciences, and a panel discussion in which five Bay Area women, including Barbara Troupin, MD, MBA, CMO at ERX Pharmaceuticals and YWIB-SF co-chair, shared insights on their career trajectory and experiences. Both the keynote speaker and the panel members spoke to the importance of mentorship, challenges and disparities women may face in the workplace, and advice on how to navigate difficult situations.

 

YWIB looks forward to participating in the WiSE Fair again in future years!

Tags:  2019  San Francisco 

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WIB-San Francisco: Young Women In Bio - "How to Get into the Brain” - The Science behind Antibody Engineering and Design, April 18, 2019

Posted By Karen Ring and Jennifer Kim , Thursday, May 30, 2019

On April 18, 2019, the San Francisco Bay Area YWIB chapter (led by Jennifer Kim and Yasmin Chandrasekher) hosted an event at Genentech in South San Francisco titled “How to Get into the Brain - The Science Behind Antibody Engineering.” About 40 high school students from all over the Bay Area were in attendance. The event kicked off with an icebreaker where YWIB volunteers walked students through an exercise where they learned about bispecific antibodies and how scientists are using them to develop medicines that can cross the blood brain barrier and be delivered to the brain. The exercise was followed by two brief presentations by Genentech scientists on their protein purification protocols and the applications of these proteins in targeting neurodegenerative diseases. The students also got a tour of the pilot purification plant and the Genentech campus. The event concluded with a panel discussion featuring 10 Genentech employees. They discussed their career paths and gave students advice on how to pursue careers in STEM through internship opportunities, being persistent and staying curious.

“I really enjoyed the Q&A panel and hearing the panelists’ stories helped me realize that there’s not just one set path. I want to start exploring more while I’m still in high school.” - Tina

Tara, a high school senior interested and curious about different areas of science, especially enjoyed the lab tours and getting to learn about the different things that go on in a research lab.

Tags:  2019  San Francisco 

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WIB-Metro New York: A New Cohort of Eager Future MDs Begins the 5th annual Weill-Cornell Medicine Mentorship Program, May 21, 2019

Posted By Wendy Diller , Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Young Women In Bio-Metro New York's mentorship program with Weill Cornell Medicine, now in its fifth year, got off to a roaring start on 5/21, thanks to WCM medical school student-mentors, led by Emily Lang and Elora Busa. A new cohort of nearly 30 NYC high school girls interested in medicine as a career and a new group of WCM first-year medical school student-volunteers met for the first of three sessions, with two more to follow in Fall 2019 and Winter 2020. This month's meeting centered on case studies, similar to those provided to real-life medical school students. Several dozen girls applied to the program, which has a simple application process that is open to both public and private school students. New mentees come from a diverse group of schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and we encourage more to apply next year: The application process begins in March 2020.


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WIB-New York: Young Women In Bio - RockEDU's Science Outreach Lab Welcomes EastSide Community High Schoolers, May 14, 2019

Posted By Wendy Diller, Tuesday, May 28, 2019
May is AP exam and end-of-school-year activities for high schoolers in New York City and elsewhere, but that didn't stop about 25 girls interested in STEM careers from attending RockEDU's PCR Lab Experience on May 14. The girls attend the East Side Community High School in Manhattan. They participated in hands-on demos at Rockefeller University's state-of-the-art outreach labs, around lab methods for isolating DNA. Expert scientists from the outreach lab led discussions around the ethics of DNA testing. Huntington's disease was used as an example and the girls got to practice gel electrophoresis with Huntington's model gel. A very exciting program, at a busy time of year for high school students!

Tags:  2019  New York 

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WIB-Seattle: Young Women In Bio at Mount Vernon High School Science Night, April 25, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer, Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Young Women In Bio-Seattle participated in the Mount Vernon High School Science Night on April 25, 2019. YWIB-Seattle volunteers engaged parents and students with a hands-on Marshmallow DNA exhibit. Each student received different color marshmallows, representing the four DNA base pairs (Adenine = green, Thymine = pink, Cytosine  = yellow, and Guanine = orange), as well as Twizzlers that represented the sugar phosphate backbone.



After learning about the structure of DNA and the rules of DNA base pairing, the students were able to take home their edible DNA structure.

Tags:  2019  Seattle 

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WIB-Greater Montreal: Spring into STEM Festival, May 9, 2019

Posted By Ozlem Arat , Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Montreal Young Women In Bio successfully hosted the second “Spring into STEM Festival/ Fête du Printemps en STEM” event on May 9th with the sponsorship of Charles River Laboratories (CRL). CRL provided extensive opportunities to 63 Grade 9 students to learn about STEM careers, to gain extensive knowledge of clinical pathology and to meet very successful scientists who shared their experiences and knowledge.

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The event began with a lecture on toxicology followed by the playing of a short film made by Charles River Laboratories. Following the introduction, the girls were given laboratory coats and divided into three groups.

The groups rotated between three stations focusing on three separate specialties, being clinical pathology, toxicology, and laboratory sciences. The Clinical Pathology station involved a histology presentation, the toxicology station involved booths representing different departments to discuss the current toxicology studies undergone at CRL, and the laboratory sciences station involved a tour throughout the facility to discuss the various labs and the purpose they served in the drug development process.

Pizza was served for lunch and, while the students were eating, they were quizzed on how well they remembered certain details from the short film and activities. There was a lot of participation from students during this discussion and correct answers were rewarded with prizes.

We deeply appreciate the big CRL volunteer team who helped inform and inspire the students The names of the volunteering scientists, trainers, managers, supervisors, and technicians are as follows:

Carmela Parente, Aurore Varela, Agathe Bedard, Crystel Kiriakos, Pam Walker, Julien Jouniaux, Timothy McKinnon, Chantal Voyer, Kelly Tenneson, Mark Freke, Marilyne Boyer, Sylvie Wise, Dominic Poulin, Gabrielle Boyd, Natalie Chapados, Kristina Aurousseau Martinu, Corinne Waheed, Josée Comeau, Eric Theriault, Jean Bayol Parnell, Francine Deslippe, Danielle Chenail, Mélanie Bruxelle, Valerie Girard, Laurence Bonhomme, Samir Benmakrelouf, Dana Roman, Maxime Bouchard, Sabrina Lund, Beaufray Mvila, Charles Eliott Bourassa, Salpi Kasparian, Kate Chang, Stéphanie St-Jacques, Frédéric Sirois, Mélissa Desormeaux, Victoryia Klypa, Natalia Corsillo.

Tags:  2019  Montreal 

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WIB-Seattle: Young Women In Bio at Cascadia Elementary Science & Engineering Night, April 25, 2019

Posted By Lauren Metoyer, Friday, May 17, 2019
For the third consecutive year, Young Women In Bio–Seattle hosted a table at Cascadia Elementary Science & Engineering Night on April 25th, 2019. Cascadia Elementary Science & Engineering Night gives students the opportunity to present their science projects and allows students and their families to participate in hands-on science activities.
 
YWIB-Seattle used oobleck (a mixture of cornstarch and water) to demonstrate Non-Newtonian fluids. By making their own mixtures, students experienced first-hand that oobleck mimics a liquid when a weak force is applied, and it mimics a solid when a strong force is applied. Overall, this outreach event was a blast for all involved!

Tags:  2019  Seattle 

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WIB-Montreal: Young Women In Bio ​Spring into STEM Festival / Fête du Printemps en STEM, April 26, 2019

Posted By Ozlem Arat, Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Montreal Young Women In Bio successfully hosted “Spring into STEM Festival/ Fête du Printemps en STEM” on April 26 at Charles River Laboratories (CRL). CRL provided extensive opportunities to forty Grade 9 students.They learned about STEM careers and met very successful scientists who shared their experiences and knowledge.

Click here for more photos

The event began with a lecture on toxicology followed by a short film made by Charles River Laboratories, which described how their orphan drug (Strinseq) transformed a young girl's quality of life as a result of curing her condition (juvenile-onset hypophosphatasia). 

The students were split into three groups and a volunteer led each group between three separate "stations". One station involved presentations by researchers who used props and visuals to explain to students the various studies currently taking place at CRL. Students learned what equipment and animal models were used for infusion, parenteral and neurotoxicology studies, and for auditory studies (such as to study hearing loss as a potential side effect of oncologic drugs). The other two stations involved descriptive tours of laboratory spaces within the facility, an informative histopathology presentation with posters and tissue stain samples, and hands-on activity utilizing various types of pipettes. 

Special thanks to the women scientists who inspired the Grade 9 students:

Carmela Parente, B.Sc. (Director, Toxicology)

Kristina Martinu Aurousseau, P.h.D (Client Project Manager)

Julien Jouniaux, B.Sc. (Scientist, Musculoskeletal Research)

At the end of the event, pizza was served for lunch. While the students were eating, they were quizzed on how well they remembered certain details from the short film and activities. There was a lot of participation from students during this discussion and correct answers were rewarded with prizes. 

 

Tags:  2019  Montreal 

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WIB-RTP: Young Women In Bio Visits the Hub Farm, May 6, 2019

Posted By Katie Stember , Monday, May 13, 2019

YWIB-RTP participants visited the Durham County Public School System’s Hub Farm on the afternoon of May 6, 2019. The Hub Farm is a 30-acre farm, forest, and aquatic educational center that is used as an outdoor educational center. The farm relies on volunteers and students from the school system to help maintain all the different areas on the farm. During the event, the girls explored different areas of the farm with their first stop at the farm’s gardens.


At the gardens, the girls learned about sustainable agriculture as well as what makes produce organic. The garden contained a wide variety of plants ranging from kale to cabbage. The girls even had the opportunity to pick and eat strawberries and snap peas fresh from the garden. The food grown in the garden is either given back to the Durham community or sold at a produce stand at a nearby library. New baby chickens were just born at the farm, so the girls had fun getting to hold the chicks after visiting the garden.

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The next stop on the tour was the farm’s beehives. The Hub Farm had four different beehives, and the girls were able to look up close at one set of bees. The girls learned about the different types of bees in a hive, the queen, workers, and drone bees. The girls also learned about what makes a healthy beehive. The girls had lots of questions ranging from how long bees live and if there is such a thing as organic honey. The girls were even able to see a new bee hatching and see larvae.


The last stop on the tour was at the chicken and duck coop. During the day, the chickens and ducks live outside but at night they go inside in protected coop to be sheltered from potential predators. The girls were able to see the difference in eggs that are laid by different types of chickens. They were also given the opportunity to feed the chickens. Lastly, the highlight of the day was being able to corral the chickens and ducks into their nighttime homes by forming a circle around the animals and walking in towards the coops.


Special thanks to Ashley Meredith, Hannah Ball-Dambergy, and Frances Starn for sharing the farm with us!

Tags:  2019  RTP 

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