Posts Tagged ‘Young scientists’

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD @StephenJWillia2

Science and technology bring tremendous value to society in years of life and quality of life, yet the public often perceives science as difficult, irrelevant or even threatening. Moreover, the inspirational and moving stories of scientists and innovators working around the world are often hidden or misrepresented in popular culture. Whose responsibility is it to communicate science and engage the public in supporting the scientific enterprise? Can everyone be a Champion of Science and what are the solutions to enlist and engage more champions of science across generations and geographies? How do we work together to enhance transparency, accessibility and relevance of science for everyone, everywhere? Can science become more inclusive and engage hearts and not only minds?

Join this exciting session as Johnson & Johnson announces the winners of the Champions of Science – BioGENEius Storytelling Challenge, and brings together other key stakeholders in a discussion about the importance of engaging the public to fall in love in science all over again.

Sponsored by: Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Seema: We need to solve the problem of the lack of trust in scientists.  Some of JNJ winners of their acheivement program went on to become Nobel Laureates.   Arthur Horwich and Hans Ullrich won the Jannsen Award for discovering compounds that could refold proteins, including protein chaperones.  Many diseases occur because of protein misfolding like neuro-degenerative diseases.
Seema:  Great science going on in Africa.  JNJ wanted to showcase the great science in Africa. they awarded four individuals with storytelling award (Emily).
Dr. Horwich: got interested in science early on.  Worked on N terminal mitochondrial signal peptides.  also then got interested in how proteins fold and unfold and refold since the 1950s.  He had changed the thinking of how proteins are processed within cells and over many years he had worked on this.
Emily Wang:  Parents and schoolteachers prodded her curiosity in biology. The impact of day to day work of scientists is arduous but the little things can lead to advances that may help people.  If passionate and have a great mentor then can get a foot in the door.  Worked at Stanford in the lab.
Dr. Mukherjee: He likes to cure diseases, physican first, scientist second, writer third but he doesn’t separate this.  In older times scientists wrote to think and true today. How we visualize the word, or use our hands, is similar.  He takes the word translational research very seriously.  Can you say in one sentence how this will help patients in three years?
There are multitude ways of love for science.
Dr. Pinela: loved asking big question and loved storytelling but asking bigger questions. Moved from Columbia and moved to US; loved the freedom and government funding situation at that time.  Need the training and mentorship so mentors are a very big aspect in innovation as it led her to entrepreneurship.  We need to use technology to disrupt and innovate.
Nsikin:  A lot of mentors nurture curiosity.  People like to see them in that story of curiosity.  That is how is bases the PBS science videos: did  a study on engagement and people wants a morality, and a science identity (an inner nerd in all of us i.e. spark the interest).  The feedback if they focus on this has been positive.

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Young Scientist Seminars

Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP


From sepsis to leopard sharks, five young scientists present their research and capture the imagination!

Apologies for sending the wrong link in a previous email. This email contains the correct link.

The Young Scientist Seminars is a new video series featuring talented PhD students and postdocs giving talks about their research and discoveries. From studying the genetic origins of melanoma to tracking leopard shark behavior off the California coast, these young scientists tell compelling research stories using narrative, analogies, and visuals. The five speakers were selected from a large pool of accomplished scientists from around the world in a competition held earlier this year. In preparation for recording their talks, they attended a science communication workshop at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. They incorporated what they learned from the workshop into their video presentations.

The 2015 Young Scientist Seminars (corrected link)

Access all of the talks and watch the trailer by visiting http://www.ibiology.org/ibioseminars/young-scientist-seminar-series.html (corrected link)
The Young Scientist Seminars is a collaboration between the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, and iBiology. If you are interested in applying for the 2016 Young Scientist Seminars, visit here for details. The deadline to apply is January 11, 2016.
 Students explore the brain with NIH scientists


Middle school students from the Washington, D.C., area will become brain scientists for a day when they visit the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland, on March 16 and 17, 2016.  Scientists from the National Institutes of Health will be at the museum to lead students through hands-on activities that explore the structure and function of the brain, and how alcohol and drugs can affect brain health.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to interact with NIH scientists…”

George F. Koob, Ph.D., Director, NIAAA

The NIH activities are part of the museum’s celebration of Brain Awareness Week (March 14-18), an annual global public outreach partnership of government agencies, universities, hospitals, patient advocacy groups, scientific societies, service organizations, and schools. The event was started nearly two decades ago by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, a nonprofit organization of over 300 leading neuroscientists, as a campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to interact with NIH scientists and gain a better understanding of how the human brain develops and how it functions, and how to keep their own brains healthy,” said George F. Koob, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).  “It’s also a great way for students to appreciate neuroscience as a potential career goal.”

NIH activities will include

  • National Institute on Aging (NIA): The Mysteries of the Brain
    Students explore how we learn about human brains and discover how former “couch potato” mice benefit from healthy diets, exercise and mental stimulation.
  • National Eye Institute ( NEI): More than Meets the Eye
    Students will learn how the brain and eyes work together during visual processing. Presenters will reveal how these complicated processes may at times cause optical illusions and affect perception.
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS): Brain Lobe-oratorium
    This interactive exhibit will teach students about the four lobes of the human brain, including how each lobe contributes to perception, thinking, personality and behavior. Students will also have the opportunity to observe, and if they desire, to touch and hold a real human brain.
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA): Cool Spot Carnival
    Students will learn how alcohol interferes with adolescent brain development, as well as sensory perception, movement and balance. Students will then have the opportunity to try their hand scoring in a football-toss game while wearing “fatal vision goggles” to simulate being under the influence of alcohol. They will learn that even though adolescents may not feel alcohol’s effects as immediately as older individuals do, they are being affected and must be alert to the dangers of alcohol for their age group.
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The Drunken Brain
    Students will step inside NICHD’s novel, multi-sensory exhibit and see the amazing “Drunken Brain,” pulsating with electricity and basking in a world of colored lights and eerie sounds.  They will learn about some of the unique effects of alcohol on the brain, and how alcohol exposure during pregnancy and adolescence can lead to possible brain damage and alcohol addiction later in life.
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): See YOUR BRAIN in Action
    Students will see how the brain and spinal cord work together to control emotions and physical well-being. They will observe the recordings of the electrical activity generated by muscles in their arms and fingers and gain a deeper understanding of the extent of the human nervous system.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA Brain Derby
    Students will play an interactive game called “Brain Derby.” They will be divided into two teams, each of which will have the opportunity to answer questions related to how abused drugs act in the brain and body. The winners will receive a “Brain Scientist” certificate.

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