Educational outreach program focused on students in grades K-12 or similar and in undergraduate research:
BioBITES Summer Internships
(Biosciences Basic Interdisciplinary Techniques Experience for Students :BioBITES)
This new peer-teaching program involving graduate students from Chakrabarti lab and high school students from local Charlotte high schools teaches basic bio-techniques and their underlying principles in interdisciplinary sciences: These are the current mentor-mentees in the program:
Mentor: Kaitlin Klotz (Ph.D student)
Mentees: Claire Ryu from Ardrey Kell High School, Rachna Sehgal from Marvin Ridge High School and Tyra Washington from Lake Norman Charter High School.
K-12 (STEM) Research Program
Prabuddha Ghosh Dastidar is a senior at The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM). He has conducted research at Chakrabarti Lab since 2017. His most notable project is entitled “Pre-mRNA Splicing Inhibition as a Potential Pancreatic Cancer Treatment: An Innovative Approach by Identifying Vulnerabilities in Pancreatic Cancer Cells Using Biflavonoid Isoginkgetin and Pladienolide B.” He presented the project at the NC Region 6 Science and Engineering Fair and received the top award that names him as a Finalist for the 2020 Regeneron international Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Cellular/Molecular Biology. You can check his project on the 2020 ISEF website: Full 2020 ISEF Abstract – Prabuddha Ghosh Dastidar
Prabuddha was also a Finalist and 2nd Place Grand Award recipient for the 2021 Regeneron international Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for building the ARTHETA-0, a portable and affordable vascular stent 3D printer with a peer from his school. You can check his project on the 2021 ISEF website: https://projectboard.world/isef/project/isef-booth-id-project-title-jegzo
Prabuddha has also presented his research at the 2021 Biomedical Engineering Society Meeting in Orlando, FL and the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston, MA.
BIOKEYS: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Program
Chakrabarti Lab developed an innovative interdisciplinary program to acquire expertise in ‘Key’ cutting-edge technologies from collaborators’ labs with the help of undergraduate interns. Often transferring key techniques from one lab to another are done by more experienced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. However, undergraduate research-intensive universities have a strong workforce of undergraduate researchers who could put their mind and efforts in this technology transfer process. Therefore, this lab implemented a collaborative undergraduate Training Program’, termed ‘BIOKEYS’, where the undergraduate trainee spends 12 weeks each summer for training in collaborator’s laboratory to learn techniques and later transfer it over to the lab and vice versa. This program allowed undergraduate students to develop high-end technical skills at an early stage of their career. A long-term plan is to expose these experienced undergraduates to teach group of fresh undergraduates in classroom settings, such as in special workshops or crash-courses. Our plan is to expand this model of teaching and learning from each other at the undergraduate level by expanding activities at local and national levels.