This presentation will discuss one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of this or any century: The completion and consequences of the Human Genome project. With the publication of the sequence of the Human Genome, the scientific community has been propelled into a new era of post-genomic science. This is both an exciting and challenging advancement. The Human Genome project has forever changed the way that science is approached. The technological advances coupled with the vast amount of information that the Genome project has produced sets the stage for the examination of other areas of biology to be analyzed using a similar "Big Science" approach. Thus, several new fields of molecular and cellular biology have been born, including proteomics, the study of a complete complement of proteins, their interactions and functions within a cell or organism. This presentation will describe how a scientist can use information obtained by the Genome Project to understand how a cell functions. We will discuss how we obtain information from genes to make proteins and how we can use these proteins in the laboratory. We will also discuss career opportunities in science and where the next scientific hot spots are to be found!

Today you will learn

  • What is the "Human Genome Project?
  • How does a cell make a protein?
  • How does a scientist make a protein?
  • Why do scientist want to have proteins?
  • Can we see proteins?

Speaker Bios

Dr. Joanna Albala

Dr. Albala is a Senior Biomedical Scientist in the Biology and Biotechnology Research Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Dr. Albala has extensive training in molecular and cellular biology having a strong background in protein biochemistry and recombinant protein expression. Dr. Albala obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from Bucknell University in Lewsiburg, PA and her Ph.D. in the Department of Pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Her graduate studies focused on gaining a greater understanding of a neuronal cytoskeletal protein, MAP-2. Her postdoctoral work at LLNL included extensive genomic analysis and the study of proteins involved in the repair of damaged DNA. Currently, Dr. Albala’s laboratory focuses on mechanisms of DNA repair, cancer biology, and proteomics.

Dr. Albala has been involved in several community education programs. These include the Expanding Your Horizons series and Agricultural/Scientific Academy workshops at Tracy High School. Dr. Albala has served as a mentor to students in her laboratory through the Student Education Research Series, Undergraduate Research Series, and summer student programs at LLNL. Dr. Albala has received multiple awards to foster her research including a Shannon Award from the National Cancer Institute and a BioStar Award from the University of California.

Kirk Brown

Biology Teacher
Tracy High School

Kirk Brown teaches International Baccalaureate Biology at Tracy High School in Tracy, California. He has 15 years of experience as a teacher and has served as a Mentor Teacher for Tracy Unified School District. He founded the Agricultural/Scientific Academy at Tracy High School, and has worked on science education projects with the California Department of Education, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), San Joaquin County Office of Education, Access Excellence (Genentech), and the Exploratorium and has an on-going partnership with Biorad Laboratories. Kirk is also an adjunct faculty member of San Joaquin Delta College. He has his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biological Science with a concentration in Entomology from California State University Stanislaus and his Master of Arts Degree in Education from the University of the Pacific. While working with LLNL, Kirk worked with other teachers to co-author the Biotechnology Education Program, Laser Science & Optics for the Classroom, and Past Director of the Student Research Academy, and Teacher Research Academy. These programs focus on teacher or student development and training, with a strong focus on integrated instruction. More recently, he has been involved in the development and implementation of a summer research program for high school students at LLNL. Currently, Kirk is the Director of the Biotechnology Pillar at the Edward Teller Education Center. Kirk has worked at the District level writing new K-12 goals, desired learning_s and benchmarks that integrate the National and State standards. Kirk has been named teacher of the year and has won numerous awards including the Milken National Educator Award and most recently, California_s Outstanding Biology Teacher for 2003 by the National Association of Biology Teachers.