Community outreach is a critical component of our overall Center goals: The Center's location on the South Side of Chicago provides a special responsibility, but also unique opportunities, to interact with and respond to the needs of our inner city community. Our outreach activities will specifically focus on the involvement of underrepresented minorities and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in our neighborhood. In partnership with the Field Museum, the Center will establish an Education Institute offering K-12 student enrichment courses, and middle/high school teacher training and certification in biology programs with an emphasis on systems-level understanding. During our pre-college internship program, talented students from Chicago Public Schools will be invited to experience a scientific research environment by working in Center laboratories as part of the Collegiate Scholars Program. Center faculty will also develop new systems biology-related modules for existing high school summer research programs involving computational and laboratory-based experiments. The Center will organize graduate student, postdoc and faculty participation in after-school science clubs and school visits in our neighborhood. Outreach programs to the general public will include a Saturday seminar series designed to illustrate Systems Biology and its biomedical relevance to a lay audience. Through these outreach and education activities the Center will reach hundreds of thousands of children and adults during the course of the granting period. The impact of the Center's outreach and training programs will be measured in consultation with specialists in education and community outreach evaluation, and their recommendations used to develop and improve these initiatives.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-CBCB-4)
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University of Chicago
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