Iowa Biosciences Academy participates in Project HOPE

May 6, 2016 - 12:00am

The Iowa Biosciences Academy (IBA) participated in Project HOPE (Healthcare Occupations Preparation and Exploration), a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)-based career education program designed to connect minority and low socioeconomic middle school students to health science careers early in their education. On Thursday, May 5, 2016, 6th grade students from McKinley Middle School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, visited the University of Iowa campus to experience career simulations of various health care and research occupations.  

One such research career simulation conducted in the Department of Biology and led by IBA Assistant Director, Meaghan Rowe-Johnson, involved a DNA extraction activity where students created a wearable “DNA necklace” through the extraction of their own cheek cells. Rowe-Johnson was assisted by IBA students Jordan Perez, Alexis Miller, and Brittany Williams.  

The mission of the IBA program, which is housed in the University of Iowa Department of Biology, is to identify academically talented undergraduate underrepresented students with aspirations for a research career and provide them with first-rate training that will facilitate their entry into Ph.D. programs in the biomedical, behavioral, and biophysical sciences. Further information about the program is available at

For more information about Project HOPE, please visit