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Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration

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The Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration Assumes Management of the Small World Initiative as of July 1st, 2015


​As of July 1st, the Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration (ILSC) will manage and further develop the Small World Initiative (SWI). Conceived at Yale University in 2012, SWI is an innovative program that encourages students to pursue careers in science while addressing a worldwide health threat – the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics. To date, over 4,000 students have participated.

New Haven, CT, July 17, 2015 --(PR.com)-- The Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration (ILSC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, will manage and further develop the Small World Initiative (SWI), according to Rick Flath, ILSC’s President. Conceived at Yale University, SWI is an innovative program that encourages students to pursue careers in science while addressing a worldwide health threat – the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics. SWI allows for authentic scientific research in introductory science courses while crowdsourcing antibiotic discovery by tapping into the intellectual power of thousands of students focused on a single global challenge. This supports the national effort to encourage more students to enter into STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – programs. In taking over management of SWI, ILSC will continue the project piloted at Yale in 2012 and subsequently expanded to 90 college partners in nine countries with more than 4,100 students conducting research in the course.

“ILSC's proven ability to design, structure, and implement programs on a worldwide basis made it the right choice to take over SWI’s leadership,” according to Nichole Broderick at Yale’s Department of Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology. Erika Kurt, Managing Director at ILSC, has already adapted SWI’s biology course to pilot in a high school – The Hockaday School – this upcoming academic year and is focusing this initiative on girls to inspire a talent pool that is underrepresented in STEM fields.

ILSC aims to expand SWI thereby inspiring more students to be future leaders in science and helping to pave the path to antibiotic discovery. Additionally, ILSC is developing a relational database of chemical compounds to support SWI. ILSC has also begun early discussions with an active STEM program in Europe to exchange best practices on an international scale.

About the Small World Initiative

Research shows that when students participate in research early in college, they are more likely to persist in science majors. SWI engages students in active laboratory and field research that entails isolating new bacteria from soil collected from their local environment from which they hope to discover novel antibiotics. This unique class approach harnesses the power of active learning and achieves both educational and scientific goals.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Davis Educational Foundation have generously funded development of the college course. Professor Jo Handelsman, who pioneered this course along with her colleagues at Yale, is a strong voice for STEM programs as well as the antibiotic crisis and the need for strategies to combat resistance.

About the Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration

At ILSC, we believe that collaboration and innovation are the best ways to tackle the world’s most pressing health challenges. We strive to encourage and enhance the development of innovative initiatives and collaborative approaches. We have formed strong partnerships with leading experts, academic institutions, organizations, and key stakeholders, including Yale University, IBM, the United Nations Association of the USA, the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, and the Climate Remediation Foundation. Through our partnerships and collaborations, including the Small World Initiative, we make meaningful and measurable improvements in the global healthcare landscape.

Contact
To learn more about SWI and ILSC, please visit www.ilscollaboration.org and www.smallworldinitiative.org or contact:

Rick Flath, President at rcflath@ilscollaboration.org (203-605-9503) or Erika Kurt, Managing Director at erikakurt@ilscollaboration.org (347-762-4818)
Contact Information
Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration
Erika Kurt
347-762-4818
Contact
ilscollaboration.org

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