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Join us for a virtual event designed exclusively for members of the Van Andel Institute Board of Governors and JBoard. Top scientists and educators at VAI will share exciting research initiatives and K–12 education programs that are making our world a healthier and more hopeful place. It’s a great chance to learn more about the great work taking place on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile — without leaving the comfort of your home!
Registration is easy — just click here. Once registered, attendees will receive an access link via email to use the day of the event.
Please note, this event is invitation only.
The deadline for registration is Friday, July 31 at 5:00 p.m.
Director & Chief Education Officer, Van Andel Institute for Education
Terra Tarango is an accomplished executive in the education industry with more than 15 years of experience in educational publishing and services. Prior to joining VAI, Tarango served as President of SDE, one of the largest providers of professional development for pre-K through 12th-grade educators in the U.S. Before that, she developed award-winning print and digital curriculum with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the largest educational publisher in the nation. She is an expert in instructional climate and culture and has devoted her career to increasing curiosity, creativity and critical thinking in the classroom.
As Director and Chief Education Officer, Tarango oversees Van Andel Institute for Education and its efforts to improve science and inquiry-based instruction in K12 education. She and her team provide innovative science programs for students and world-class professional development for educators.
Postdoctoral fellow, Shen Lab & Triche Lab
Dr. Ben Johnson earned his B.S. in biology from Calvin College and his Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Michigan State University. His graduate work focused on developing chemical probes to dissect molecular mechanisms of environmental sensing and adaptation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), with the ultimate goal of identifying new therapies against TB infections. The small molecules identified often would not directly kill TB in vitro and instead acted as anti-virulence compounds, disarming the pathogen during infection. Thus, computational biology approaches were used in conjunction with “wet” experiments to narrow down putative pathways altered in response to treatment with these experimental compounds to generate tractable hypotheses. Following graduate school, he worked as a bioinformatics research scientist in the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core at Van Andel Institute doing sequencing data analysis. In 2019, he joined the laboratories of Drs. Tim Triche and Hui Shen as a postdoctoral fellow.
Postdoctoral fellow, Laird Lab
Dr. Manpreet Kalkat completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at University of Toronto, where she earned a B.Sc. with distinction in human biology, an M.Sc. in physiology and a Ph.D. in medical biophysics with a focus on novel regulators of Myc activity. This work further elucidated Myc’s role in tumorigenesis and may lead to novel strategies for inhibiting Myc in cancer. Over the years, she has won numerous awards for research and scholarship, including the prestigious Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Doctoral Fellowship. In 2017, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Peter Laird at Van Andel Institute as a postdoctoral fellow.
Contact Madison Eaton at 616.234.5454 or via email for more information.