CSHL genetics education pioneer David Micklos wins Genetics Society of America award

Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.David A. Micklos, the founder and executive director of the DNA Learning Center (DNALC) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), has been named the recipient of the 2012 Elizabeth W. Jones Award for Excellence in Education by the Genetics Society of America (GSA).

Micklos was honored for his innovations in science education, including his establishment of the DNALC in 1987 as the nation’s first science center solely devoted to public education in genetics. “Through this center, Mr. Micklos has brought the excitement of DNA science into the educational curriculum for thousands of students, high school teachers, and undergraduate faculty,” the GSA noted.David-Micklos-2 Under Micklos’ direction, the DNALC  has in fact provided education in genetics to over 400,000 students since its founding.  Annually, the staff supervises hands-on laboratory experiences for over 30,000 middle- and high-school students and separately trains teachers in K-12 educational systems to enhance their biological science curricula.

Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., the President of CSHL, said that “All at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are very proud of David Micklos, who is very appropriately recognized for his outstanding achievements in the education of molecular biology and genetics. For more than two decades he and his team have performed the great service of increasing understanding of science among members of the rising generation, their teachers and parents.”

In December, Micklos and the DNALC were awarded the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) for their creation of an online science education portal at www.dnalc.org that attracts more than 7 million online visitors annually.   An essay on their achievement penned by Micklos and two DNALC colleagues appeared in Science December 23, 2011.

Launched in 1996 to educate students and teachers about the theory and practice of DNA science, the DNALC’s website mushroomed into 18 different sites over the next 15 years. The sites serve either as virtual, multimedia-rich “textbooks” on core concepts in genetics and biotechnology or as platforms for online lab notebooks, and bioinformatics tools and workflows. The sites feature video interviews, 2-D animations, and interactive learning activities, and some even include “real-time” 3-D animations of cellular processes ranging from DNA replication to signal transduction.

Micklos is also lead author of a highly successful textbook, DNA Science: A First Course, written for secondary and post-secondary students and now in its second edition.  In 1990 Micklos received the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education. 

About CSHL’s DNA Learning Center:

The DNA Learning Center (DNALC) is the world's first science center devoted entirely to genetics education and is an operating unit of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an important center for molecular genetics research. The Dolan DNALC, DNALC West, and Harlem DNA Lab extend the Laboratory's traditional research and postgraduate education mission to the college, precollege, and public levels.

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. CSHL is ranked number one in the world by Thomson Reuters for impact of its research in molecular biology and genetics. The Laboratory has been home to eight Nobel Prize winners. Today, CSHL's multidisciplinary scientific community is more than 360 scientists strong and its Meetings & Courses program hosts more than 12,500 scientists from around the world each year to its Long Island campus and its China center. Tens of thousands more benefit from the research, reviews, and ideas published in journals and books distributed internationally by CSHL Press. The Laboratory's education arm also includes a graduate school and programs for undergraduates as well as middle and high school students and teachers. CSHL is a private, not-for-profit institution on the north shore of Long Island. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu.