The I-HELP Liberia delegation from the United States arrived in Liberia to conduct series of teachers and students training workshops aimed at improving the skills Liberian teachers and students learning skills.
According to a dispatch from the US, while in the country they will conduct two teacher training workshops, a junior high school workshop, and will also oversee STEM competitions in two locations. The first teacher training workshop is in Sacelepea from June 26th – June 30th. The second is at Paynesville High School from July 2nd through July 6th.
One of the visiting scholars, Lisa Wilson is a practicing patent attorney and works with inventors of biotech and pharmaceutical products to help them obtain patents on an enormous variety of scientific innovations benefitting health, medicine and agriculture.
Lisa began her scientific career with a BA in Chemistry and German from the University of Oregon, gained extensive laboratory experience while studying abroad at the Universitat Konstanz, Germany, and earned a Ph.D. from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, focusing on the proteins involved in driving the bacterial flagellar motor.
She recently completed a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with the U.S. Agency for International Development working on food security issues and research practices relating to sharing and moving plant genetic resources between countries.
Stephen Kaminsky is a Professor of Research in Genetic Medicine at Cornell and does research across many areas including infectious disease, genetic-based neurological disorders, coronary artery disease and in the recent past vaccines and therapeutics for HIV.
All of his projects are designed to transition through clinical studies and he is currently conducting a human trial to test a vaccine for treating cocaine addiction. Stephen’s undergraduate education was at Cornell in Applied and Engineering Physics and his PhD at Yale was in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.
When he isn’t doing science he enjoys volunteering for an organization seeking to protect the Hudson River environment, biking, rock and roll and reading.
Gil Rivera is a Registrar and Administrative Assistant at Hunter College High School and oversees the day-to-day logistics from Student Orientation to Commencement and everything in between. Gil’s undergraduate education was at Hunter College with a BA in Environmental Science with a concentration in Earth Science, focusing on the integration of geospatial technologies in geological/ecological fieldwork.
He has been involved with I-HELP Liberia since 2016. When he isn’t working he enjoys rockhounding on the outskirts of the tri-state area.
Sophia Li is a junior at Hunter College High School. She has been involved with the I-HELP Liberia project since 9th grade and served as treasurer and is the current club president. She is the president of the Hunter Science Journal Club, where students discuss current breakthrough research in all fields of research. She is also the Co-Build president of the Hunter Science Olympiad Team. She enjoys being a part of the school math team and writing for the science and math magazines: Radicals and The Leading Strand respectively.
Sophia is interested in cancer research, specifically immunotherapy. She has conducted research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in the Morgan Huse laboratory, investigating the membrane behavior of stimulated Natural Killer cells, and will be continuing research at the CAR-T cell facility under the guidance of Michel Sadelain also at MSKCC.
Ryan Wu is a junior at Hunter College High School, and a member of the school’s Science Bowl team, Co-Build president of the Science Olympiad team, as well as captain of the Ocean Bowl team. He is specifically interested in chemistry and earth science, and plans to do research on forests and the carbon cycle in the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center later in the summer. He is a new recruit to I-Help Liberia, and hopes to help in the improvement of STEM literacy in Margibi County and Saclepea.