Outreach-National DNA Day

CANCELED 2020 - due to COVID-19

National DNA Day is an NIH sponsored initiative to raise awareness about genetics and genomics research. It commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of the DNA double helix in 1953. The Department of Immunobiology has initiated this outreach event to bring National DNA Day to local high school Biology students in Tucson, Arizona. 

Our National DNA Day 2020 outreach event will take place the week of April 20-24. If your High School is interested in participating, please fill out the following Google form: Participation Form

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Watch regarding last year's National DNA Day 2019 outreach event: News

​The Department of Immunobiology in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson hosted “National DNA Day” events at local high schools April 24-26, 2019, to highlight the importance of genomic research.

Nearly 700 high school students and eight teachers in biology classes at three Tucson Unified School District schools—Cholla, Catalina and Rincon high schools—participated in the events.

Events were held nationwide as part of “National DNA Day” on April 25, 2019, a national observance promoted by the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health. “National DNA Day” raises awareness about the discovery of DNA’s double helix by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, with significant contributions from Rosalind Franklin, and the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003. This annual celebration offers students and teachers many exciting opportunities to learn about the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances might impact their lives.

UA Health Sciences graduate and undergraduate students visited the Tucson high schools to teach 9th and 10th grade biology students about how our genetic makeup sculpts us into unique individuals. The events not only teaches important concepts about DNA, but also engages students with hands-on activities, including genetic wheels and extracting their DNA from saliva using common household items. 

“Our goal is to engage the local community and get them to understand and appreciate the importance of genomic research,” said UA immunobiologist Michael Johnson, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Immunobiology. “Most importantly, we want to get the kids excited about biology.”

“The National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health is proud to add Arizona to its list of states with active DNA Day outreach events courtesy of Dr. Michael Johnson at the University of Arizona. I think it is really exciting that the university is incorporating the topic of precision medicine through the inclusion of the All of Us Research Program into their classroom visits. Dr. Johnson has been a supporter of DNA Day since 2007 and has initiated DNA Day programming in three different states. He has not only been a supporter of DNA Day, but a true champion for science literacy,” said Carla L. Easter, PhD, chief, Education and Community Involvement Branch, NHGRI. 

“National DNA Day” has grown significantly each year, with the number of events more than doubling since 2011. For more information, or to see the complete list of “National DNA Day” events, please visit genome.gov/DNADay.