Bio-Link

Timeline of the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technology Education program

Last week I attended my first NSF ATE PI meeting. As a contributing member of Digital World Biology's ATE project entitled " A Bridge to Bio-Link's Future ," I participated in the conference by preparing and staffing our booth in the first evening's showcase.

As a brief background, the NSF (National Science Foundation) ATE (Advanced Technology Eduction) program celebrated its 25 th anniversary this year. ATE's mission is to support innovations in technical education at two-year colleges. These colleges, ... Read more

"It's all about saving Aunt Millie" – Bob Swanson Co-Founder of Genentech.

Jim DeKloe wrote this post as a guest author a few years ago. Jim is one of the most inspirational educators I know and he's the sort of person that reminds you why educating students about biotechnology careers is important. His moving story is one that always reminds me that there's more to biotechnology than just the science.  A long-time instructor at Solano Community College, Jim is an amazing individual and an accomplished educator. Full of humor and energy, when I first met him, it was shock to see ... Read more

It only takes a quick trip to the grocery store to see that familiar jobs are vanishing. Unless you're in Oregon, grocery store checkers are going the way of gas station attendants, travel agents, and secretaries. Jobs are changing, new jobs require different skills, and even those jobs will be obsolete within a short time. Community colleges can cushion the blow by developing education programs in response to the needs of their local communities. Not only do these programs help displaced workers, they help their communities attract new businesses and support economic growth. Georgia's ... Read more
Last summer, I had the good fortune to attend a conference in Washington D.C. on Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology education. There were lots of inspiring speeches, cool videos, and talks about building more student-centered classrooms and strategies for change. Surprisingly, many of the attendees seemed unaware that there is a group of instructors, and educational programs who embody this vision, albeit with a bit of twist. These are the biotech instructors and biotech education programs at the community colleges. Many of the ideas ... Read more
Every June, an incredible event takes place. Biotechnology educators gather in Berkeley, California, from across the US, to discuss new trends in biotechnology education, learn from each other and share information about educating students for the biotechnology workforce. There are tours of local biotech companies like Genentech and local research institutes like the cancer center at UCSF. New kits and techniques can be tried and practiced in hands-on workshops. And instructors get to practice new bioinformatics techniques like analyzing Next Generation DNA sequencing data or working with ... Read more
I'm in Berkeley right now at the annual Bio-Link Summer Fellows forum. We're getting to hear talks from people in the biotech industry, listen to enthusiastic instructors describe their biotech programs and ideas, and try out new educational materials. Yesterday, two speakers (Damon Tighe and Jason Baumohl) from the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA, gave a fun talk about DNA sequencing and sequence assembly. They also showed some very nice Flash animations, made by Damon Tighe, at the JGI, that illustrate how DNA sequencing is done ... Read more
Bio-Link is accepting applications for this year's National Summer Fellows forum, June 2-6th, in Berkeley, CA. You can get an application at www.bio-link.org I'll be there, doing some kind of bioinformatics workshop. I'll probably be talking about either metagenomics or comparing protein structures and drug resistance, but if you have topic requests, feel free to submit them in the comments. Read more

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