November 3, 2009

NYSTEM grant awarded to University of Rochester for development of undergraduate education on stem cell science and related ethical, legal and societal implications.

It was announced today that one of five NYSTEM grants targeted towards the development of stem cell curricula for undergraduates has been awarded to the University of Rochester. The principal investigator on this application is Dr. Dina Markowitz, Professor of Environmental Medicine and Director of the Community Outreach and Education Programs and of U. of R. Center for Science Education and Outreach. Co-principal investigator is Dr. Richard Dees, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Rochester. Other members of the application include Shaw-Ree Chen (Assistant Director of the Life Science Learning Center of the University of Rochester), Cheeptip Benyajati (Department of Biology, University of Rochester) and Mark Noble (Director, University of Rochester Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute). In addition, this award will bridge curriculum development in stem cell sciences at the University of Rochester with Monroe Community College (in collaboration with Judy Kaufman, Professor of the Department of Biology at MCC).

The goal of this project is to create an undergraduate stem cell course that will provide students with an overview of stem cell science and an opportunity to explore related ethical, legal, and social implications using a case-study learning format. This project will provide other undergraduate faculty with models for presenting information on the science and societal issues of stem cell biology that also will help develop students’ skills for decision-making. Teachers at other colleges will be able to adopt these curriculum modules and adapt them for use in their own courses.