IBBR at Maryland Day!

Tue, May 3, 2022
David Bloodgood, Graduate Student, Xiao Lab interacting with visitors.

On Saturday, April 30th Maryland Day returned to College Park with 65,000 visitors! Thanks to the wonderful efforts of our faculty, postdocs, and staff (and a dose of beautiful weather!) IBBR’s presence was a huge success with a steady flow of visitors of all ages!

Our booth was located inside the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building in the Science and Tech Way “Learning Neighborhood.”  Our first display, organized by Dr. Travis Gallagher, IBBR Fellow and NIST Research Chemist, featured a protein matching game based on protein structures solved at the institute. Visitors tried their skill at matching up six 3D printed protein models with onscreen images of the same proteins shown on ipads. The game encouraged the user to rotate or zoom in or out of the image and with each correct match, a pop up box provided information about the protein and how it relates to research being done at IBBR.

Visitors playing the protein matching game.

Dr. Shunyuan Xiao, IBBR Fellow and Professor, UMCP Department of PSLA, organized our second display. His lab was on site discussing GM (genetically modified) plants and how transgenic plants are created and why this research is so important. Visitors viewed fungus infected and fungus resistant plants and learned how bacteria can be used to introduce modified DNA into plants to enable them to fight fungal disease and other pathogens. 

Rob Harrell, Director of IBBR’s Insect Transformation Facility was also on site discussing their expertise in insect genetic technologies including videos of microinjection services and CRISPR techniques. 

Giveaways included spider plants, coffee mugs, coasters, frisbees, and candy!