MCW Researchers Put the “PhUn” in Science

Two scientists from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) are taking their research on the road for Physiology Understanding (PhUn) Week. The scientists will spend a day with fourth grade students at Honey Creek School in Milwaukee, teaching them about DNA, proteins and health.

This is the second year that Diane Munzenmaier, PhD, assistant professor of physiology; and Duska J. Sidjanin, PhD, associate professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy, have participated in PhUn Week.

Students in the classroom will learn about DNA, the building blocks of life, and will then get hands-on experience making models of DNA. Then in spring, the students will visit MCW to learn how to isolate their own DNA in a lab setting, and to learn about genomic sequencing and protein mass spectrometry.

“Bringing the students to MCW for a real laboratory experience helps demystify science and definitely sparks their interest. The program gives students a chance to meet and learn from research scientists, learn about science in their daily lives, and explore physiology as a possible career,” said Dr. Munzenmaier, who is also the director of education for the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at MCW.

PhUn Week is the annual K-12 outreach program coordinated by the American Physiological Society. Last year, more than 500 scientists and 10,000 students in the U.S. and Puerto Rico participated in the event.

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