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Showing high-schoolers their own genotype


Felicia Gomez, a trainee in GWU’s Brains, Bodies, and Ecology IGERT, has been spending some of her free time teaching genetics to high school students. Gomez and her colleague Charla Lambert at the University of Pennsylvania designed an allele specific PCR assay for students in the biotechnology enrichment program at Ballou High School, Washington, D.C. Using this assay, students were able to test for their own FY (Duffy antigen) genotype. During their visit with the students, Gomez and Lambert also discussed life as a graduate student and post-doctoral fellow and spoke about opportunities for students to become successful laboratory scientists.

With Dr. Sarah Tishkoff at the University of Pennsylvania, Gomez currently researches the nucleotide variation of malaria resistance candidate genes (ICAM-1 and CD36) in African and non-African human populations. Her research will address key questions concerning how natural selection and demography have affected the variability of these genes.