Lee Academy faculty selected for opportunity at Jackson Labs this summer

Biology teacher and educational technician to receive advanced training in genetics

By Bethany Beverly

April 29, 2016

Lee, ME – Lee Academy biology teacher Brian Davis and educational technician Moses Karikala have been awarded the honor of advanced training in genetics at Jackson Labs (JAX) in Mount Desert Island, Maine. Out of more than 2,000 high school teachers from around the world who applied for the JAX course entitled Teaching the Genome Generation, Davis and Karikala have been selected to participate in this competitive opportunity in July.

Brian Davis.
Brian Davis

In this course, Davis and Karikala will receive training through world-renowned Jackson Labs faculty in the most current “content knowledge, teaching strategies, and resources… that can be implemented in biology classes” (www.jax.org). Davis explained, “Technology in genetics is accelerating at lightning speed… teachers need to keep abreast of new developments in order to stay current in biology and provide the utmost exposure to our students in cutting-edge practices.” Karikala added, “Not only will our students develop deeper interest in genetic studies, but these studies will also benefit the lives of other people.” Through genetic studies, Lee Academy students will discover the most up-to-date data about genetics and DNA in order to better understand how diseases affect specific populations and how cures are developed.

Moses Karikala
Moses Karikala

Davis said he is excited to “bring this experience back to Lee Academy and open students’ eyes to new career path possibilities in science.” He plans to implement inquiry-based lessons in his classroom that will have “transformative effects” in training young scientists for future careers in biology. “Viable economic opportunities exist in this field for students… we will give our students tools to go where they want to go… toward career paths in medicine, physiology, forest biology, and marine biology, if they so choose,” he said. Lee Academy graduate Kelly Phong ’04 recently completed her Ph. D. in the field of Immunology and Endocrinology through the University of Pittsburgh. Phong returned to Lee Academy this year to share some of her experiences with current LA students. The possibilities are indeed endless for students at Lee Academy, just as developments in the field of genetics are endless. “We can help discover strategies for curing diseases,” said Karikala, “and in the process, our students will grow into scientists themselves.”

Lee Academy is a fully accredited, co-educational secondary school, located in beautiful, rural eastern Maine and serving grades 9 – 13. Since 1845, Lee Academy has continued to embody 170 years of quality education to students from Lee and surrounding towns, as well as to a diverse population of international students from more than 20 countries. Caring, knowledgeable faculty help to prepare students for life, career, and continuing education.

For more information about Lee Academy and its unique student programs, please visit www.leeacademy.org.

This article also appeared in the Bangor Daily News. View it on their website here.