ABI staff recently joined ACC faculty and local high school teachers in The Stem Cell Academy, a 5 day intensive course on the culturing, preservation, maintenance, extraction and differentiation of stem cells. Dr. Tom Tubon, from Madison College, shared his vast wealth of knowledge, as well as a huge trove of resource files with the attendees. The high school and community college faculty benefited from informative, detailed lectures, as well as valuable time in the lab. In addition to both mouse and human embryonic stem cells, the group worked with cells that were reverted back to their pluripotent state via chemical manipulation. They used cellular factors to differentiate pluripotent cells into microtubules, neurons and beating heart cells. Additionally the group explored the use of Crispr-CAS9 gene editing and that of making our differentiation factors in house to reduce costs. Dr. Tubon has developed curriculum for stem cell education for both the high school and college level utilizing these numerous routes to pluripotency and spelled out how to make implementation an attainable goal; regardless of the sensitivities and regulations educators might face.

The discussion on the last day featured the participants communicating the specific aspects of the course they plan to implement into their coursework. Everyone, including ABI staff, gained a great deal of inspiration, in addition to useful information.