Bio-Link Community News October 2019

Welcome to Bio-Link Community News October 2019

Hi everyone,

I'm happy to announce that InnovATEBIO, the new National Center for Biotechnology Education began operations on October 1st.  The center is based at Austin Community College and is funded by the National Science Foundation's ATE program, with Dr. Linnea Fletcher as the PI.  The Co-PIs are Dr. James Hewlett (Finger Lakes Community College), Russ Read (Forsyth Technical and Community College), and Dr. Thomas Tubon (Madison College). Partners on the grant include BABEC, Baltimore City Community College, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center, and Digital World Biology.

InnovATEBIO has big goals! The center will work towards:  (1) developing a collaborative infrastructure that supports innovation, and promptly addresses the changing needs of the biotechnology community; (2) coordinating and leveraging outputs from ATE-funded biotechnology projects; (3) identifying opportunities to generate partnerships and collaborations that accelerate innovation in biotechnology education; (4) monitoring and addressing emerging biotechnology industry and technician workforce trends; and (5) developing a regional outreach and mentoring infrastructure to broadly engage underserved populations in biotechnology labs and related emerging technologies.

By 2024, we expect to have Bio-Link programs in every state at either the college or high school level and hubs throughout the US, linking K12 schools with college programs and sharing their expertise with other faculty and programs. 

Be sure to check out the InnovATEBIO website and learn more!

Sandra Porter, PhD
PI, A Bridge to Bio-Link's Future, DUE 1764225

President, Digital World Biology (
News from the Bio-Link Community
Participants in the June MiraCosta College workshop on design of experiments. 

MiniBioman Report--Design of Experiments

Contributed by Mike Fino, Dean of Math and Sciences, MiraCosta College

Last June, STEM educators from across the country a MiniBioman meeting at MiraCosta College to discuss a widely-misunderstood approach to laboratory work: design of experiments (DOE). DOE is a system that optimizes processes through the methodical varying of key parameters and a formalized statistical approach to analyzing and interpreting data and applying the results. 
Learn where you can find DOE workshop materials and more!
Lil Bub and Danny.  Both cats' microbiomes were sequenced by Phase Genomics 

Caturday Microbiomes at NABT

Would you like to learn how to analyze microbiome data? 

Dr. Sandra Porter (Digital World Biology & InnovATEBIO) will be giving a workshop on microbiome analysis Saturday afternoon at the NABT conference. We will be using microbiome sequence data from the YouTube star, Lil Bub and Danny, a normal cat. The data are available at

During the session, we'll walk through ways to analyze the data with NCBI BLAST, use LifeMap to see where microbes fit in the tree of life, and see what we can learn about bacterial species, viruses, antibiotic resistance genes (AMRs), and virulence factors from with the free Edge Bioinformatics system, developed by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Even if you can't make it to the session, be sure to come find members of the Bio-Link community at the AC2 Bio-Link Regional Center and InnovATEBIO  (Booth 713)!


Caturday Microbiomes - Thinking Outside the Litter Box With Danny and Lil Bub

Saturday, 11/16/2019, 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm in Michigan A
Learn about the NABT conference
Opportunities for Faculty & Students

NIH Community College Day

The NIH Community College Day 2019 is a great opportunity for community college students and faculty to visit the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, and learn about careers and internship opportunities in biomedical and health care fields.

Last year several Bio-Link members from Maryland community colleges attended this event along with students. Check out the article from Dr. Amrita Madabushi (Baltimore City Community College, InnovATEBIO) to learn about the 2018 NIH Community College Day and then come see for yourself what happens in 2019! 

If you want to attend, register soon!  The NIH asks all faculty and students to register by November 1st.

Learn More about NIH Community College Day

Student Internships at National Laboratories

Many national laboratories offer summer internships for community college students and other undergraduates. Fifteen national labs have internships specifically for community college students and seventeen labs have internships for other undergraduates.

Community College students: apply for the CCI program and learn more at Community College Internship Application.  

Other undergraduates:  apply for SULI and learn more at Science Laboratory Undergraduate Internship Application.

Applications are due by January 9th, 2020.

Learn about National Lab Summer Internships
  • Obtain an industry-recognized workforce credential!
  • Credential earners receive access to Badgr, for current or future employers to verify online.
  • Leads to post-secondary credit in Florida's A.S. Biotechnology programs.
Next Scheduled Testing Date: November 20, 2019
Fee: $150 (includes online knowledge, and hands-on practical exam)

Register Now

Important Dates 

Oct 23-25 ATE PI Conference 2019
Washington, DC
Nov 13-16 NABT Conference 2019
Washington, DC
Nov 26 NIH Community College Day
Bethesda, MD
Jan 9 Applications are due for College Student Internships at National Labs
Jun 9-12 ASM Conference on Undergraduate Education
Bellevue, WA
Jul 27-30 HI-TEC conference
Portland, OR
Funding for this project has been provided through the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technology Education Program, DUE 1901984.   Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, or its partners.
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Copyright © 2019 InnovATEBIO c/o Digital World Biology, All rights reserved.

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