Department Outreach Program rebranded as Molecular Biology Outreach Program
After over a year of science and medicine being at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, the need for scientists to engage with the community at large is greater than it ever has been. The Molecular Biology Outreach Program (MBOP, formerly known as GMOP), is back in action and we are excited to announce several changes to reflect this time we are living in! As an invitation for all members of the Molecular Biology Department (not just graduate students) to take part in our mission—to deliver accessible, inspiring, world-class science to our communities—we’ve changed our name from GMOP to MBOP and re-branded our outreach approach to educate a more diverse group of New Jerseyans across the state.
One of our most visible changes is a new logo, designed by our department’s very own Moamen Elmassry (post-doc, Donia Lab). This new logo elegantly ties together several of the elements that make MBOP the unique program that it is: the Princeton orange, black, and Gothic architecture; a nod to the molecule of life and cornerstone of biological research, DNA; and our New Jersey roots. Congratulations Moamen, for designing a beautiful logo that will grace all of our future booths, social media pages, and merchandise!
Another major change we are delighted to share is our new website, launched by Katelyn Cook (6th year PhD student, Cristea Lab) and Audrey Goh (3rd year PhD student, Devenport Lab). Here you will find all of our work in one place! This includes a calendar listing past and future events, public discussion forums (already being used!), links to all of our social media pages, and fun bios highlighting the diverse perspectives of our talented team. We envision this website to be a valuable resource for connecting Princeton researchers with our greater New Jersey communities for many years to come. As the website clearly states: “We want to get to know you, have fun discussions, and be your casual science-based resources”! Check it all out at https://mbop.princeton.edu/, and congratulations to Katelyn and Audrey for creating a beautiful online home for all things MBOP!
Our volunteers are also hard at work developing virtual programming! Tori Crans (3rd year PhD student, Jonikas Lab) and Brian Mahon (post-doc, Petry Lab) have recently posted their first video from our DIY: Discover It Yourself online learning series on YouTube: Paper Chromatography. Want to be transported back to a delightful 2002-era at-home science adventure? Watch Brian work with Venecia Valdez (4th year, Petry Lab) and Abby Stanton (2nd year, Hughson Lab) to uncover how something as simple as markers can reveal fundamental biochemical concepts. Kid viewers absolutely encouraged! Access the video here, share it with family and friends, and stay tuned for future editions (pumpkin-themed science already in the works as well as translations of the videos into different languages). Be sure to let the DIY team know how impressed you are with their theme song!
Finally, we are looking for additional contributions from you, our Mol Bio community. On our website, we would like to acknowledge our amazing former and current MBOP/GMOP volunteers, and are currently welcoming those who have previously worked with us to submit information we can highlight on the site; contact Katelyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Audrey (email@example.com). Next, as we are preparing for the eventual return to in-person outreach, we are putting together a great line-up of virtual programs, demonstrations, and educational material. We are currently inviting anyone in Mol Bio to submit short biographies to highlight on our social media pages. For more information and formatting instructions, please contact Alex Frese at firstname.lastname@example.org or use one of the channels available on our website to reach out to us. You can also contact Jorge Moreno (MBOP chair, email@example.com) for any event inquiries or brainstorming, as we’re always looking for new ideas. We look forward to connecting with you and connecting your science to the public!