University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Biochemistry


Department of Biochemistry, in collaboration with Vermont Cancer Center, actively participates in educational outreach to schools throughout the state of Vermont. Below are a few highlights.

Colchester High School students visited the Vermont Cancer Center labs on April 1, 2013. Members of our Educational Outreach team and their colleagues facilitated a cancer research experience that included pathology, microscopy and state of the art genomic analysis. Several faculty and staff from several departments worked together in developing and providing the students with this outstanding opportunity. We thank Doug Taatjes, Jan Schwartz, Tim Hunter, Scott Tighe, Shirwin Pockwinse, Terri Messier, Arti Shukula, Andy Goodwin, Michele VonTurkovich and Stacie Beuschel for their commitment to student outreach.

Terri Messier and Tim Hunter traveled to Enosburg High School to present advances in the rapidly evolving fields of genetics and epigenetics. Students in two of Greg Tefft's College Prep Biology classes participated in the program. The students were quick to grasp the importance of genetics and epigenetics for understanding the complexities of biological control and the growing contributions of genetic and epigenetic analysis for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

An Essex High School student gained experience in Dr. Lounsbury's laboratory. Her research is focused on understanding mechanisms whereby signals generated at the plasma membrane are communicated to the nucleus to mediate vascular remodeling and tumor angiogenesis. Signaling pathways of current interest include protein kinase cascades, hypoxia signaling and mechanisms of calcium-regulated gene transcription in arterial smooth muscle cells and ovarian tumor cells. The laboratory uses a multidiscipline approach to study these pathways using techniques from biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology.

Students from both Mount Mansfield Union High School and Bellows Free Academy -St. Albans have gained valuable hands-on experience working with Research Scientist in Stein/Lian Laboratory. These students have been exposed to cutting-edge cellular, molecular, and biochemical approaches used to address biological questions related to the molecular etiology of cancer, the basic biology of stem cells as it relates to regenerative medicine, and the biology of bone development and skeletal disorders.

Students enrolled in the Upward Bound program at Johnson State College visited the Vermont Cancer Center on Tuesday June 25th. The students were from several area high schools including Enosburg Falls High School, Peoples Academy High School, Missisquoi Valley Union, Bellows Free Academy-St. Albans, and Lamoille Union High.

Mount Mansfield Union High School visited the Vermont Cancer Center on April 25, 2013. Members of the educational outreach team and their colleagues graciously facilitated a cancer research experience that included biology, microscopy, and a research lab visit and state-of-the-art genomic analysis. The students had the opportunity to the experience approaches used by our scientists and physicians to investigate changes that occur in cancer cells allowing discrimination between normal and tumor cells. Vermont Cancer Center participants included Nicole Bouffard, Katherine Devitt, Rodrigo Grandy, Tim Hunter, Terri Messier, Dan Olsen, Meghann Palermo, Shirwin Pockwinse, Jan Swartz, Doug Taatjes, Scott Tighe, Michelle Von-Turkovich, Darcy Wagner and Jessica Wood who were instrumental in developing a unique opportunity for the Mount Mansfield Union High School students.

Members of our Educational Outreach team and their colleagues facilitated a cancer research experience that included:

  • Hands-on interactions in the Pathology Teaching Lab (Jan Schwarz and Dr. Sharon Mount)
  • Hands-on exposure to state-of-the-art microscopy in the Microscopy Core (Doug Taatjes, Jan Schwarz, Nicole Bouffard and MicheleVonTurkovich)
  • A tour of the Advanced Genome Technology Core (Scott Tighe and Meghann Palermo)
  • A tour of Arti Shukla's research laboratory (Arti Shukla and Stacie Beuschel)
  • Completing a hands-on macro-array experiment led by Meghann Palermo, Scott Tighe, Shirwin Pockwinse, and Terri Messier
There was an expressed appreciation from the students of the opportunity for the hands-on experience and interaction with science at the forefront within the Vermont Cancer Center. High school Students gain experience working with scientists in several Vermont Cancer Center research labs.

Last modified November 06 2014 11:12 AM