Department of Biology participates in Project HOPE

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Steve Kehoe, Department of Biology
May 19, 2015 - 9:55am

The Department of Biology participated in Project HOPE (Healthcare Occupations Preparation and Exploration), a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)-based career education program designed to connect minority and low socioeconomic middle school students to health science careers early in their education. On Monday, May 18, 2015, 8th grade students from West Liberty, Iowa, visited the University of Iowa campus to experience career simulations of various health care and research occupations.  

One such research career simulation conducted in the Department of Biology and led by Meaghan Rowe-Johnson, Assistant Director of the Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA), involved an activity where students extracted their own DNA. Rowe-Johnson was assisted by Lori Adams, Co-Director of IBA and Director of the Biology Honors Program, along with IBA students Edwin Sagastume and Steven Dominguez, Jr., and Elizabeth Stroebele, an Integrated Biology (iBio) Graduate Program Ph.D. student.

Bryan Phillips, an Assistant Professor of Biology, led another session where the students learned about model organisms used by scientists to study cancer. One such model organism, c. elegans (roundworm), is used by the Phillips Lab in the Department of Biology. Students were able to view the roundworms under a microscope and had the opportunity to visit the Phillips Lab and Eberl Lab, where they learned about another model organism used in the department, the Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).

For more information about Project HOPE, please visit