The Outreach and Communications team works to engage the general public, stakeholder groups and students of all ages to inform them about the high impact of genomics research.

Recognizing Teaching Excellence
OGI awarded its fourth Genomics Teaching Prize this year to Glen Kim, who teaches Grade 11 and 12 biology at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga. The annual teaching prize recognizes the Ontario secondary school teacher whose teaching best exemplifies OGI's commitment to preparing Ontario's students for their future roles. The winning teacher receives $5,000 cash for themselves and $2,000 in new laboratory equipment and/or instructional materials for the classroom.

Preparing Tomorrow's Scientists
In its ninth year, the OGI Summer Research Fellowship Program offers undergraduate students at Ontario universities a unique opportunity to engage in leading edge genomics research, gain familiarity with associated enabling technologies and explore the social impacts of genomics research. This year, five students received a fellowship to undertake research in labs looking at microRNA in kidney cancer, metagenomics, the human immune system and its adaptive response to infection, epigenetics and DNA barcoding.

Talking Genomics to Government
With the support of the Ministry of Research and Innovation, OGI hosted its third annual Genomics in the Park event in November 2010, providing an opportunity for Ontario MPPs and Ministry staff to learn about the impact genomics research is having here in Ontario and further afield. Over 100 government representatives attended. Several leading genomics researchers were on hand to chat, including: Drs. Tak Mak, Jeff Wrana, Elizabeth Edwards, Aled Edwards and Paul Hebert.

Raising Awareness Nationally
OGI, along with several partners, launched National Biotechnology Week in Ontario in September 2010. The theme for the launch of the week, which features events held throughout the country to educate and inform high school students about biotechnology and careers in the sector, was From Genomics to Jobs. Attended by around 80 people from the life sciences sector and academia, Minister of Research and Innovation, the Honourable Glen Murray, provided opening remarks.

Genomics – in Lay Language
In early 2011, OGI launched a new website aimed at the non-scientist – www.WhyGenomics.ca. The website aims to demystify genetics and genomics, and help the general public understand more about the study of genes and why research in this area is important. It provides bite-sized information on how genomics is impacting health, the environment and agriculture. It also has an education section that details the educational programs OGI runs and provides various resources for teachers.