Dr. Jennifer Villani

About Dr. Jennifer Villani

Trained in epidemiology and health services research, Jen contributes her expertise in program planning, management and evaluation to scientific programs in bioinformatics and computational biology.

Web Chat to Stimulate Student Interest in Cell Biology and Research Careers

Cell Day 2014: Web Chat with NIH Scientists. February 28, 2014. 10a.m. to 3 p.m. ESTWe’re hosting another Cell Day interactive Web chat on Friday, February 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. During this time, members of the NIGMS scientific staff, including our director Jon Lorsch, will answer questions from students, teachers and the public about cell biology and research careers.

You can follow the chat live from the Cell Day Web site or read the transcript, which will be posted there shortly after the event. The site also includes registration information, the transcript from the 2012 event and classroom resources about the cell.

Please let people in your local schools and community know about Cell Day.

This event is just one example of the Institute’s commitment to encouraging and preparing future generations of scientists via formal research training and informal learning opportunities.

Web Chat Stimulates Student Interest in Cells, Research Careers

Joe Gindhart, Sirisha Kumpatla, Judith Greenberg, Jen Villani, Ward Smith, John Laffan, Shari Tutt and Brian Pike (pictured left to right) were among many NIGMS staff members who participated in Cell Day. Courtesy of Peter Rice.Last Friday, we hosted Cell Day–an extremely exciting online interactive chat about the cell. During the event, many members of our scientific staff, including our Acting Director, Judith Greenberg, fielded more than 140 questions from mostly 5th through 12th grade students and teachers across the country.

We anticipated some of the questions we’d be asked, but many surprised and impressed us. Some questions got us thinking about how we know what we know and let us share why we became scientists. Here are a few examples:

  • Do my cells think?
  • Which living organism has the most cells?
  • Why have plants not evolved to be black in color in order to maximize light absorption?
  • What inspired you to take an interest in biology and its beautiful diversity?

Read the transcript to view more questions and our answers.

While Cell Day was developed as an NIGMS 50th anniversary activity, we enjoyed it so much that we plan to do it again next year as part of our continued commitment to science education.

Anniversary Event “Cell”ebrates the Cell

Cell Day 2012

To help increase student interest in cell biology and research careers—as well as to mark our 50th anniversary—we’re hosting an online interactive chat about the cell on Friday, November 2. Middle and high school students, teachers and interested members of the public can submit questions to be answered by NIGMS scientific staff from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EDT. The “Cell Day” Web site includes registration information and classroom resources.

You can view the chat live or read the transcript, which we plan to post shortly after the chat ends. And please help us get the word out by letting people in your local schools and community know about Cell Day.

This event is just one example of the Institute’s commitment to science education and to encouraging future generations of scientists via formal research training and informal learning opportunities.