Outreach & Social Responsibility

Building trust through inclusion and community.

At the Gene Editing Institute, we seek to diversify the gene editing workforce and increase trust in the medical system. Having a diverse scientific community builds trust between researchers and patients who stand to benefit from their work. It also helps ensure that scientific advances are equitably available to and used by everyone.

The Gene Editing Institute builds diversity in the gene editing workforce by providing opportunities for all students to develop the skills they need to explore careers in this field.

For example, with support from the National Science Foundation, the Institute has partnered with high schools to introduce CRISPR education into their curricula and launched a CRISPR training program at Delaware Technical Community College. This “teach the teachers” approach has reached dozens of instructors across the country at community colleges, universities, and high schools. Our Learning Lab has also engaged with students from all walks of life in Delaware, providing a free experience where students can learn about gene editing and potential bioscience careers from a diverse pool of scientists.

Organizations We Support

Million Women Mentors

Million Women Mentors is a network dedicated to encouraging girls and women around the world to pursue, persist, and succeed in STEM careers. It connects local communities and girl-serving institutions to state leaders, corporations, and a national movement to build momentum and drive for local efforts to support and uplift women in STEM. The Delaware branch of Million Women mentors is supported in tandem by the Delaware STEM Council and the Delaware Foundation for Science & Math Education (DFSME). Our education program manager, Amanda Hewes, was honored in 2023 as an Outstanding Woman in STEM for her contributions to education across the state. We foster our partnership with Million Women Mentors to bring girls and women into the lab and create spaces where their perspectives are heard and encouraged.

Delaware BioScience Association

DelawareBio is a catalyst for bioscience innovation and community in the state of Delaware. They host events showcasing industry innovation, advocate for a creative and competitive environment for scientific growth, and foster collaboration between industry, academic and government partners to create a better whole from the sum of all parts of bioscience. The Gene Editing Institute regularly supports and collaborates on talks about the importance of gene editing in collaboration with DelawareBio, supports DelawareBio’s BioBreakfasts and networking events, and furthers the DBA’s goals with our continued research and innovation.

Junior Achievement

In Fall 2023, Gene Editing 360™, our education program, began a partnership with Junior Achievement, a national nonprofit that provides resources for young people to build their technical and professional skills as they move into the workforce. We brought JA of Delaware students into our lab, where they met with our research scientists to discuss their journeys and what resources they were glad to have as they advanced in their careers.

“Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed, so they become contributing members of society and achieve their goals,” said Denise Christiansen, work-based learning director of Junior Achievement. “Although Junior Achievement doesn’t focus only on STEM careers, we’re trying to help prepare all students for the future, and that includes new fields like gene editing. There’s a natural place where we connect, and our goals are very much in alignment: we want to help students.”

Inspiring Women in STEM

Inspiring Women in STEM is a conference series designed to deliver powerful professional development and leadership programs to encourage and support women working in science, technology, engineering, math, and related fields. The Gene Editing Institute is a proud supporter of the organization’s mission. We regularly send our scientists to their seminal yearly conference to present on their experiences in the lab, and we are a yearly donor.