Putting a spotlight on microscopy outreach

Scientists use microscopes to see things that are normally hidden. But how can these tools be used to show people the world of science and discovery?

Recently, Development featured the voices of 5 science educators who use microscopes to “reveal new worlds,” “improve our communication and understanding of developmental biology,” and “break down barriers and promote diversity for future generations of scientific researchers.” Among these voices was the IRM’s Jamie Shuda, a veteran of science outreach and education. As a founder of Project BioEYES, Dr. Shuda knows how hands-on experience looking at the little things can draw new people to STEM careers.

“With over 85% of our student population being from communities of color and qualifying for free and reduced lunch, providing simple scientific equipment, like dissecting or stereomicroscopes, along with grade-appropriate curricula and personnel support helps fill in the science educational gaps that inhibit many of these students from seeing themselves as capable of a career in the science field.”

You can read more about Jamie and her colleagues experiences in the Development spotlight.

 

New Program Exposes Underrepresented Young Women to Careers in Cancer

For two weeks in July, a computer screen gave 18-year-old Bintou Samassa glimpses of what she wants her future to look like.

She watched and listened to Yehoda M. Martei, MD, an assistant professor of Hematology-Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, talk about health disparities one day, while Armenta Washington, a senior research coordinator at the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC), discussed community engagement on another. Before that, Donita C. Brady, PhD, a Presidential professor of Cancer Biology at Penn, had walked through what it’s like to work in a lab.

Enrolling in the ACC’s Summer Health Experience, or SHE, program that introduces young women to careers in cancer, had placed her virtually in front of a group she doesn’t often see: Black women in medicine.

“The goal is simple: to engage and support underserved students,” said Jamie Shuda, EdD, the director of outreach, education, and research at the Perelman School of Medicine, and one of the leaders of the SHE Program at Penn. “An impactful outcome of this virtual program has been the exposure of SHE participants to each other. These students were eager to learn about and explore cancer care in geographic locations outside of their own. Their own scientific literacy has grown alongside the opportunity for them to find STEM mentors and a new peer network.”

Read more about the ACC Summer Health Experience in Penn Medicine News.

Ruth Gottlieb Research Opportunity Fund established to support PARS & PASH programs

The Penn Academy for Reproductive Sciences (PARS) and Penn Academy for Skin Health (PASH) programs are thrilled to announce the creation of the Ruth Gottlieb Research Opportunity Fund.

Named in memory of University of Pennsylvania undergraduate and School of Medicine alumna Dr. Ruth Gottlieb, this generous endowment will support stipends for Philadelphia city high school students enrolled in the PARS and PASH programs to gain additional laboratory research experience through summer internships with faculty and trainees. For over a decade, the PARS and PASH programs have collectively educated hundreds of Philadelphia area high school students about reproductive sciences and skin health. The workshops introduce local students to hands-on laboratory experience and provide access to expert clinicians and scientists in these fields. Each year, students who have successfully completed the PARS and PASH programs have the opportunity to apply for an additional summer internship. The Ruth Gottlieb awards will enable many deserving young scholars from underrepresented backgrounds and within our city schools to deeply explore the world of science and medicine at a pivotal moment in their lives.

Dr. Gottlieb graduated from medical school in 1954, as one of only four women in her medical school class. Throughout her career as a pediatric nephrologist, Dr. Gottlieb was known for her dedication to the training and mentoring of residents and medical students. She was passionate about providing opportunities that would inspire young people to become the next generation of medical professionals. We are very grateful to the entire Gottlieb family for choosing to partner with PARS & PASH to honor Dr. Gottlieb’s legacy. The awards from the Ruth Gottlieb Research Opportunity Fund will enrich the PARS & PASH missions of fostering enthusiasm for science and medicine in Philadelphia students and empowering them to consider future careers in these fields.

You can support the Ruth Gottlieb Research Opportunity Fund directly here.

Jamie Shuda

Jamie Shuda presents at ACS ResearcHERS Women in Leadership event

Have you thought about the importance of a mentor in your education and career? Would you like to know more about how to find a mentor, what to expect from a mentor, or how to break up with a bad mentor?

Dr. Shuda helps answer these questions and a few others as part of the Women in Leadership: A Conversation In and Out of the Lab web series by the American Cancer Society. This is a great resource– regardless of gender and if you are in HS or college. 

You can click here to watch the recording