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Students Conduct Cancer Research During Institute for Systems Biology Workshop

February 2017

GStem at Spelman CollegeTen Spelman students recently attended a workshop at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, where they interacted with scientists and worked with researchers on the identification of cancer biomarkers.

The three-day workshop featured talks by scholars, shadowing experiences for students, along with hands-on computational research at the nonprofit biomedical research organization’s facility. Students manipulated and analyzed large genomic datasets collected from cancer patients to identify biomarkers and discussed their usefulness for the development of cancer diagnostic tools. Also during the trip, they visited the Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.

“Students were appreciative of the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of the research needed to tackle the most challenging and current research questions,” said Mentewab Ayalew, Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair of the biology department.

Dr. Ayalew and Kimberly Jackson, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and Food Studies Program director, organized the trip. They are also co-directors of Spelman’s LINCS (Living and Learning in an Interdisciplinary Networked Community of STEM Scholars) program. The program provides STEM students with activities for intellectual engagement, mentoring, development, peer support and networking.

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