Researchers gather at Smith College for science 'boot camps'

ogy center in the biological sciences department. This cutting-edge facility is currently being developed as a world-class center for molecular biology research and for the training of both students and faculty at the college. The center will also have as one of its major goals the training of students for future careers in emerging infectious diseases -- such as, SARS, West Nile virus, etc, -- and the study of agents that could be used in bioterrorism.

Begun by Williams in 1986, the summer workshops have been adjusted over the years to address new techniques and equipment, incorporating, for example, the automated DNA sequencers and PCR technology. This year, the program will help establish a facility for using microarray -- or gene chip -- technology, an important new strategy for approaching problems in molecular biology.

When he started the program, Williams says he thought it might be useful for only a few years. Now, he can't imagine discontinuing it and, despite minimal advertising, struggles to accommodate a long waiting list of applicants each year.

"We see these workshops as an important service to the scientific community," he explains. "We train scientists from so many fields, people who have a broad impact on a wide range of disciplines." The 2003 sessions begin on June 1 and end on July 26.


Contact: Laurie Fenlason
Smith College

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