DNA Day 2024 celebrations led by JAX Genomic Education

National DNA Day occurs annually on April 25 and commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953. DNA Day is a time to celebrate how these achievements have served as catalysts to drive the future of genomics.

As a nonprofit biomedical research institution focused on genetics and genomics research, JAX honors DNA Day every day in the work we do, the employees who make us who we are, and the people in our community who we serve. What better place to celebrate DNA Day than at JAX, where genetics is in our mission and even in our logo!

This year, JAX Genomic Education and others at JAX led festivities across our campuses, online, and in our local communities. Here are the highlights from DNA Day 2024!

DNA Day at the Connecticut State Capitol

Alexa Wnorowski, Ph.D., genomics education and bioinformatics program manager at JAX doing a pipette demonstration.

JAX was thrilled to team up with State Representative Mike Demicco to host DNA Day 2024 at the CT State Capitol.

More than 185 visitors stopped by to meet JAX scientists, genetic counselors and team members from JAX Genomic Education, EndoRISE, Scientific Services, Genome Technologies and more. Attendees learned about the value of genetics and genomics research, participated in interactive activities, and enjoyed science-themed snacks. A special thank you to the Connecticut Science Center and the Connecticut Department of Public Health for their participation in this inaugural and collaborative event.

Sarah Wojiski, Ph.D., director of education and external programs, was interviewed by NBC Connecticut. Wojiski spoke about the significance of DNA Day, the growing field of genetics and genomics, and the Laboratory’s mission to harness the power of DNA to conduct research and improve human health.

Essay Contest: Genetics, Environment and Human Health

Our Teaching the Genome Generation™ (TtGG) program educates both students and teachers in New England and beyond in genetics and genomics. Each year, the TtGG™ program runs an essay contest, encouraging today’s youth to think like a scientist and research relevant topics in human genetics. Following the prompt from the ASHG annual contest, high school students from the TtGG™ program were asked to reflect on the interplay between genetics and the environment and the impacts on human health.

We are proud to celebrate the 27 students who participated in our TtGG™ DNA Day essay contest. Congratulations to all students for their thoughtful submissions!

Special congratulations to the winners:

  • Feyza Horuz, Cheshire Academy, Cheshire, CT
  • Sriharan Lakshmanaprasath, Cheshire Academy, Cheshire, CT

DNA Day Q&A with JAX Genetic Counselors

Genetic counselors at JAX hosted an “Ask Me Anything” live webinar, during which they discussed the intersection between genetics and health. Topics included the latest advancements in genomic testing, genetic counseling practices and ethical considerations in genetics.

Emily Edelman, M.S., CGC, director of clinical education at JAX, moderated the session. Becky Smith, M.S. CGC, clinical research project manager; Linda Steinmark, M.S., CGC, clinical education project manager; and Alex McClellan, M.S., CGC, clinical research project manager, shared their expertise as panelists.

JAX Employees Celebrate DNA Day

Across our campuses, we also found time to gather and celebrate DNA Day, recognizing the important work the JAX community contributes to the field of genetics. From DNA origami to candy DNA models to coloring DNA worksheets, JAX staff and community members found several ways to celebrate.

As a nonprofit research institute with a focus on genetics research, we honor DNA Day every day in the work we do, the employees who make us who we are, and the people in our community who we serve. These annual celebrations remind us of the meaning behind our mission. We couldn’t pick a better day than DNA Day if we tried!

Did you miss out on the DNA Day fun, or want to continue the celebration?

Check out these freely available DNA Extraction and Gel Electrophoresis virtual laboratory simulations and interactive PCR scrollable developed by JAX on LabXchange.