Academy students interested in conducting authentic research that could contribute to finding cures for diseases like pancreatic cancer and diabetes will have the opportunity next year through a new course offering: Advanced Research in Molecular Genetics.
The new course will be part of the Stan-X program, a partnership between the fruit fly lab of Professor Seung Kim at Stanford University School of Medicine and a growing network of high schools and universities in the U.S. and abroad.
Students taking this new course will learn current techniques in molecular biology as they use transposons to create transgenic flies and then characterize the genetic modifications with molecular analysis. In addition to developing extensive laboratory skills, they will gain a deep understanding of fly biology by reading primary literature. If time permits, students will also learn techniques in larval fly dissection as well as fluorescence microscopy.
“Our department is excited to provide this amazing opportunity,” says Science Department Chair Stephanie Good. “Most scientists are not exposed to this type of work until they are in college or graduate school. We feel fortunate that we can give our students the chance to practice genuine, unscripted scientific inquiry.”
The unique fly lines that are produced in this class will become part of a fly repository used by Dr. Kim and other professionals around the world to conduct groundbreaking research. This course is open primarily to juniors and seniors who have successfully completed advanced science courses.