September 2011-- As a physician researcher, my job is to treat patients and learn more about the fundamental mechanisms behind health and disease so that someday, someone will develop better therapies, or even prevent disease from starting. Is public outreach and education my job? Absolutely.
Every day we learn so much about human biology here at the IGM and I encourage all IGM members to get out there and share their knowledge with the public. We do this by reaching out to the press, spending extra time with our patients and their families, and on occasion, we have the opportunity to take part in something like the Molecular Biology and Genomics Research (MBGR) Summer Institute. Run by IGM faculty members Kirby Smith and Forrest Spencer, MBGR brings real science to high school teachers and students in the greater Baltimore area and provides hands-on, real-life experience. We need more programs, like this one, that pair experts in the field with teachers and students to make science more accessible and less abstract.
Read on. And as always, I welcome your feedback.
David Valle, M.D.
Henry J. Knott Professor and Director
McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine