FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Date: September 14, 2001

Contact: Donna McCracken

UIS professor is co-director of national biology institute

SPRINGFIELD -- Michael Lemke, assistant professor of Biology at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was co-director and science adviser for the Woodrow Wilson Biology Institute on Genomics, Genetics, and “Genethics,” held in July at The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, New Jersey. This is the third year Lemke has co-directed one of the institutes run by the Leadership Program for Teachers of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the month-long program gathered 42 teachers, selected from across the country, to experience recent research and teaching approaches in genetics and genomics. Scientists from the American Museum of Natural History, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, National Academy of Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Union of Concerned Scientists, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and several leading research universities served as lecturers.

In addition to lectures, institute participants also took part in labs and “working groups” that developed and carried out unique research projects.

Joining Lemke on the institute faculty was Springfield native Rob DeSalle, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and designer of the recently opened exhibit “Genomic Revolution.” DeSalle visited the UIS campus in April to deliver a lecture, meet with students in the Biology program, and to continue collaborative research in microbial ecology with Lemke.

Lemke returned the favor as he delivered opening remarks for the symposium "Teaching in the Genome Age" at the museum on July 19. This symposium included key figures in education and science such as Barbara Fuller, National Human Genome Research Institute; Georgia Dunston, Howard University; Dennis Liu, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Joseph McInerney, director of the Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics; and David Micklos, director of the DNA Learning Lab at Cold Spring Harbor. Discussions focused on the implications of education, direction of genome research, and ethics. Dr. Arnold Levine, president of Rockefeller University, delivered the plenary address.

Participants in the Wilson leadership program are committed to sharing what they learn with their colleagues and agree to lead a minimum of 20 hours of professional development activities.  The Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program for Teachers, nationally recognized since 1982, is dedicated to the idea that teachers themselves develop the most exciting learning strategies for their peers. More than 2,000 teachers have been involved in institutes of various disciplines in the past 18 years. Work from this summer’s institute is available online at www.woodrow.org/teachers .