Center for Public Health Genomics Celebrates National DNA Day with Local High School Students

May 1, 2024 by

National DNA DayNational DNA Day. is celebrated annually on April 25. It commemorates the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953 and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

To celebrate DNA Day, a group of six Center for Public Health Genomics (CPHG) faculty, one faculty guest, and eight trainees traveled to the Albemarle County Public Schools Community Lab School to host multiple educational activities, listed below, for 90 middle and 40 high school students. The event was a huge success; the students from the Community Lab School were highly engaged, asking insightful questions throughout the sessions. It was also incredibly rewarding for all the faculty and trainees involved.

Middle School Activities:
  • What are chromosomes? (presenters: Nathan Sheffield and Shane Chambers)
  • Strawberry DNA extraction (presenters: Keith Keene and Dominika Michalek)
  • Genetics and Medicine (presenters: Charles Farber and Lucia Wagner)
  • History of Genomics (presenters: Ani Manichaikul and Brody Receveur)
  • Traits, biodiversity, and conservation genetics (presenters: Karen Holm and Aakrosh Ratan)
  • Genetic variation wheel (presenters: Clint Miller and Claude Hu)
High School Activities:
  • What are chromosomes? (presenters: Nathan Sheffield, Shane Chambers, and Alip Arslan)
  • Careers in genomics (presenter: Keith Keene)
  • History of genomics (presenters: Ani Manichaikul and Xiaowei Hu)

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved for dedicating their time and effort to these activities and for their outstanding representation of CPHG, the School of Medicine, and University of Virgina in our community. Special appreciation goes to Nathan Sheffield, whose exceptional organization and coordination made the entire event possible,” stated Charles Farber, PhD, director of CPHG and professor of the Department of Public Health Sciences.

The department is also grateful to the Community Lab School faculty, school administration, and students for opening their doors and allowing them to spend nearly the whole day learning about Genomics and much more.


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