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Hands-on genetics for K-12 students comes to Notre Dame, via licensing agreement with CSHL

Cold Spring Harbor, NY --
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) today announced an agreement with the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame that will bring DNA Learning Center educational experiences to the Notre Dame community.  A dedication ceremony of the newly established DNA Learning Center at Notre Dame was held at the University on September 28, 2013. 

“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is pleased to partner with Notre Dame in a licensing agreement that shares the original mission of our DNA Learning Center (DNALC),” said CSHL President and CEO Bruce Stillman. “We fully support the spread of hands-on science centers like the one at Notre Dame, which is devoted to modern biology education and preparing students and families to thrive in the gene age.” 

notredame_dedicationDr. John Passarelli, a member of CSHL's Corporate Advisory Board, with Notre Dame Dean Greg Crawford and Heidi Passarelli at the opening of the DNA Learning Center at Notre Dame. (click to enlarge) The DNA Learning Center at Notre Dame is designed to inspire young students to pursue careers in science and to build a knowledge base that will extend into their educational and post-educational careers.

The newly created advanced science education center in South Bend, Indiana will fulfill the vision of Notre Dame benefactors John and Heidi Passarelli, who saw how CSHL’s DNALC was providing hands-on genetics education to children across the New York metro area.  They envisioned partnering the research expertise of the University of Notre Dame with the teaching methods of DNALC to bring the same opportunity to K-12 students in the South Bend community. 

Dr. John Passarelli, of Notre Dame’s College of Science advisory council and a member of CSHL's Corporate Advisory Board, said: “The collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will bring significant benefits to the University and the local community. The new center will bring a synergy between research, education and outreach that will impact the local community and strengthen the Notre Dame community.”

“We are pleased to help this great university expand its outreach to local schools and provide advanced lab experiences to large numbers of pre-college students,” said David Micklos, DNALC executive director.  Over its 25-year history, CSHL’s DNA Learning Center has successfully collaborated with public school districts, private schools, departments of education, and universities, including the Republic of Singapore and Clemson University.

As a licensee of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Notre Dame DNA Learning Center will utilize teaching methods, Internet technology and intellectual property of DNALC such as specialized DNA learning kits that include reagents, supplies, equipment checklists, lab instructions and manuals for learning modern biology.  Leveraging Notre Dame’s strength in molecular biology, the center plans to offer two-day workshops and resources for K-12 educators, one-week summer camps for high school students, DNA workshops for the general public, and laboratory field trips for K-12 students.

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 the 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 600 researchers and technicians strong and its Meetings & Courses program hosts more than 12,000 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 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

Written by: Dagnia Zeidlickis, VP of Communications | | 516-367-8455

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