Students in the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciencesʻ Animal Science program are generally positioned toward a career working with, well, animals.
But to encourage our students to think about biomedical research and (the many) options for careers out there, we paid an eye-opening visit on October 27 to JABSOMʻs Institute of Biogenesis Research laboratory.
With students from ANSC446/Genes and Animal Biology in tow, host Dr. Stefan Moisyadi, a research scientist and principal investigator of IBR (and host for the visit) started with a brief history of the laboratory. Formed in the wake of the first cloned mouse in the world bt Dr. Ryuzo Yanagimachi in 1999, the IBR was formed the following September with the goal of establishing a research center of excellence for reproductive biology. Today, the IBR holds more than $12M in grants.
Dr. Jinzeng Yang accompanied the excited CTAHR students as they toured the transgenic animal core facility and observed animal handling, one cell-stage fertilized eggs and pronuclear microinjection, and micromanipulation setups, as well as the green, or GFP transgenic, mice. All were thrilled to see the delicate and experienced movement of mouse embryos under microscope.
Dr. Jinzeng Yang, the instructor of ANSC446/Genes and Animal Biology, is very excited about the visiting.
"I lecture about DNA to mRNA and genetic manipulations, and itʻs all in their textbooks, but I donʻt think students actually gain job-related science and technical skills from my lectures until they had seen and experienced the technicals themselves,” he says. “Because these can be done and effectively in a nearby laboratory, students will be less wondering whether what they read in a textbook is "predictable."
The group also learned more about how animal models, such as mice and rats, are very useful and widely developed by genetic manipulations for biomedical research and biotechnology industry.
Biomedical research in animal care, and the development of animal models from rodents to large animals like pigs, is a growing career track for students majoring in animal sciences.
“At UHM, we do have a decent research community of biomedical research, laboratory and human resources and offer great training opportunities for our undergraduate students, which can be the first step to getting animal science graduates to this career track,” says Jinzeng.