Irene Eckstrand

Program Officer, Models of Infectious Disease

National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Irene Eckstrand specializes in evolutionary biology, genetics, and computational biology. As a program director at National Institute of General Medical Sciences, she manages grants that promote research in these areas and directs a program that promotes computational and mathematical research to detect, control, and prevent emerging infectious diseases. The program, called MIDAS (for Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study), was founded in 2004 with the aim of improving the nation’s ability to respond to biological threats promptly and effectively. Dr. Eckstrand also manages a new consortium to develop models of the dynamics of the scientific workforce and handles NIGMS research focused on evolutionary biology, including how pathogens and hosts evolve together; speciation; and the evolution of complex biological systems.

From 1999-2004, Dr. Eckstrand directed the Bridges to the Future Program, part of the NIGMS Minority Opportunities in Research Division. The program assists minority students in making the transition to baccalaureate and doctoral programs and prepares them for careers in biomedical research. In the mid 1990s, Dr. Eckstrand directed NIH’s Office of Science Education and has worked with professional societies, including the Society for the Study of Evolution and other groups to promote effective biology and mathematics education.

Dr. Eckstrand received a bachelor’s degree from Earlham College, a master’s degree from Wright State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kristin Jenkins

Education and Outreach, National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Kristin Jenkins works with the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) and the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to pursue her interests in biology education. Her experience includes teaching at the high school and college levels, professional development for K-14 faculty, curriculum development, and development of outreach programs. Currently, she is part of the Education and Outreach group at NESCent, where she has participated in various working groups focused on enhancing evolution education including Evolution Across the Curriculum, Tree Thinking in Evolution Education, and Communicating Human Evolution. As a member of the BioQUEST staff, she is part of the Cyberlearning for Community Colleges project and other BioQUEST projects. Dr. Jenkins

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