January 25, 2007
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
UMDNJ Physician and Researcher Connect
with Science at Liberty Science Center
JERSEY CITY — How can teachers help youth understand the connection between scientific research and medical diseases that affect children? A Liberty Science Center program called, Teacher Connection can help answer that question. On Sat., Feb. 3, between 9 a.m. and noon, a physician and a researcher from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey will discuss childhood diseases, brain injury and stem cells at Liberty Science Center’s offsite facility in the historic Central Railroad of N.J. building in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, New Jersey.
Fifty teachers are expected to attend the Teacher Connection program’s Cutting Edge Lecture Series. Teachers from kindergarten through high school participate in the Teacher Connection, a year-long professional development program that includes a series of eight workshops. Science experts conduct presentations on various topics to inform teachers and help them stay abreast of current research and trends in science so they can tailor the information from the lectures and implement age-appropriate lessons into their teaching plans.
Dr. Kendell Sprott, acting chair and assistant professor of the Department of Pediatrics at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, will describe trends in treatments and outcomes for pediatric patients who have been diagnosed with asthma, diabetes, and obesity. This information is important for teachers who must be aware of health conditions among their students and who must also develop lessons to encourage children to adopt healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Sprott, who has a pediatric health and wellness column in The Star-Ledger, will also answer questions about child health issues. He is a board member of the National Association of Council for Children, the Association of Children for New Jersey, and chairman on the Governor’s Council on Autism. In addition to being a pediatrician, Dr. Sprott also holds a law degree.
The second presenter, Nutley resident (Essex County) Jennifer Woodbury, had an interest in pediatric neurology which led her to research in perinatal brain injuries with her mentor, Dr. Steve Levison, director of neuroscience at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. Ms. Woodbury, a student in the joint M.D./Ph.D. program between the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and the UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, will facilitate a presentation called, “Perinatal Brain Injury and Stem Cells.” Basic stem cell education will be a discussed to help teachers explain this relevant issue to their students.
Ms. Woodbury also will explain why stroke in-utero is the major cause of neurological disabilities like cerebral palsy, epilepsy and other developmental disabilities. What are stem cells, where are they located, and how many types of stem cells exist are questions she will answer. She will share statistics from studies conducted by internationally recognized researchers and describe how the brain works to repair itself after injury.
Although the media is welcome to attend this program, it is a fee-based course that is only open to teachers who have previously registered. Members of the media seeking more information can call Kaylyn Kendall Dines at (973) 972-3000.
UMDNJ is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.