Buffalo, New York, USA
January 01
Traveling through the universe.....just tarrying on this planet savoring life. I get the "Last Word" sometimes in "The Indian American' and relish the privilege to have a few Op-eds published in "News India Times". Niche 'n nice!


MARCH 15, 2011 11:40AM

My Contribution to High School Science Education

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My reality nearly always crystallizes from the crumbling ruins of normalcy. After decades in research, I spend the past five years working tirelessly to put together Proteomics Resources from scratch at the local Cancer Institute. It was thus a rude shock to  be marginalized in 2009 due to the shrinking economy and evaporating positions. I took it in stride. Maybe it was time to use what I had learnt in masspectrometry, proteomics, bioinformatics, in the past five years and get back to basic research.

              Deciding to re-make myself, I shook off the ill feelings and set forth searching out newer projects while conducting part-time research in pancreatic cancer at the Institute.  I started writing  here on Open Salon, The Indian American and News India Times and while doing so, tried to seek out  on-line bioinformatics courses to teach. Information technology towers in its scope and vitality. (See Google award this year of 2 million dollars to Khan Academy) I hit upon a research-based science program from Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in the Department of Energy (DOE) and recognized its potential as a dynamic research-based education program.

           After much searching, I finally connected with the University of Buffalo. They were interested and when they offered me a part-time clinical assistant professor position, I grabbed it. We applied and were one of twenty selected at JGI headquarters in Walnut Creek, Calif., where we received training in the computer-based Integrated Microbial Genome Annotation Collaboration Tool.


           Returned back to Buffalo after the whirlwind training to implement the program as a workshop for local high school teachers who would then take it to their schools. We obtained funding (WIB, DOL) and steamed ahead. Let me just say that it was one of the most satisfying projects I have ever undertaken. I interacted one-on-one at the schools troubleshooting and teaching the kids how to use cutting edge bioinformatics tools for research in genomic annotations.


Our efforts are being prominently showcased by the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from March 7, 2011 on the University of Buffalo website in Buffalo Physician


     The program ended on 18th December with a Capstone Symposium where 68 area high school science students and seven teachers filed into Farber Hall in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. The week before was spent in a flurry of critiquing posters, re-writing and editing. The kids were all humming with energy as they came in to UB that morning posters tucked under their arms protecting them from the snow and rain. Precious cargo indeed!


     One of the emails I was forwarded from Director of Planning Buffalo and Erie County WIB spoke of mothers who claimed this to be a life changing program for the kids that I worked with.

Epilogue (outdated) : Till date I do not have a full time affiliation with any institution. However, I refuse to sit still and wait. If we can get it introduced to enough teachers, maybe it will take hold and the students of Western New York will benefit and be as enthused about science! I realize that someday my clock will simply run out of time .......but in the meantime I intend to keep trying and will not allow them to “take that away from me!” No one said that the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness would be easy as well.

NOW 2014: FUNDED BY NSF 1.2 million $ for 3 years teaching the underrepresented and underprivileged schools around the counties of WNY!!!

         I am back in research full time ...with a path breaking paper last year in Pemphigus vulgaris, a prototypical autoimmune disease with a travel award representaing my lab, university and country in the last IID meeting in Scotland. Onto my third first author paper and several sundry others ......ONWARDS and UPWARDS !!!

         Today June 16th, 2014... I got word that my second paper (first author) got accepted without any revisions in Genomics!!! YES YES and yet again YES!!!!



Lon         lon3


                         Our second batch in the year 2014 just finished their training with us and have gone out into their world and I have HIGH hopes that the students who get to learn via them will be GREATLY enriched. 

 Our second batch of teachers in 2014 who finished trainig  this past week July 11, 2014. Well done and yes change the world!!!

The program has been funded YET again...NIH this time 

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Working hard to simply make a difference.......
What a perfect place to set up shop. Thanks.
Wow, your experience is impressive, and this project with high school students sounds very useful.

It sounds from your epilogue that your experience and talents aren't being fully utilized. I hope that this changes...and that this project and others help in encouraging students.
Myriad, I wish to contribute more. But that I am able to do research, publish, teach grad students, write aaaaand be able to live my dream of teaching high school kids is fantastic already! But my need to do more overtakes me sometimes and I am hoping to do wa-ay more. so many much energy!
What a great project! I hope all of your dreams to continue this teaching are realized.
reporting that i am back in research and teaching full time in a new project i like!! This time dermatology and cancer!
Several days ago I was searching for social justice masters programs for my son and I saw on the website of the University of Buffalo information about your program, everybody was saying it was great and interesting. Your contribution to High Schools is immense and I am glad you have enough powers to move on and make other beautiful things.
Chad kidding!!! I should hope so. I am still teaching the program but we have no funding except for the first two years. I keep hoping. all I know is we have to keep trying or else all will be lost! thanks for the visit! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thnks Dona.... one step at a time. They applied for a grant and btw I was left out of it...which is just what it is.... I will hopefully still be involved ....:) In Pancreatic cancer we have done a comprehensive study on xenografted tumors which show resistance or sensitivity to Apo2L TRAIL which is an inhibitor of cell death in many cancer cells. Hope to publish soon. In Dermatology am on the verge of publishing a comprehensive study on biomarker genes related to Pemphigus vulgaris which incidentally won me a travel award to present my data in Scotland 2013!!! All in all....still in the game with my hat definitely in the ring. let us see. Onwards and upwards then..............:)