Dr. Sengupta Published in “American Biology Teacher”
November 26, 2013
Congratulations to Dr. Sibani Sengupta, Science Department Chair! Dr. Sengupta’s article, Bringing RNA Interference (RNAi) into the High School Classroom, is published in the “How To Do It” section of American Biology Teacher, November/December 2013 issue.
The article focuses on RNA interference (abbreviated RNAi), a relatively new discovery in the field of mechanisms that serve to regulate gene expression (a.k.a. protein production). RNAi, used by many organisms from nematodes to humans, acts in a gene-specific manner and degrades the specific message (mRNA) to lower mRNA stability and, in the process, decreases protein production. The RNAi mechanism thus acts as a negative regulator of gene expression and undoubtedly has been one of the most significant developments in genetics and molecular biology in recent years. In Dr. Sengupta’s article a teaching module is presented that can help high school students experience this unique regulatory mechanism. This module was implemented and successfully tested by the Sacred Heart Academy Honors Biology Class of 2013.
Dr. Sengupta acknowledged the following at Sacred Heart for their help: The Honors Biology freshmen that graduated in 2013 for their willingness to explore; Roberta Delvy ’10 for helping with experimentation; Sr. Mary Jane Paolella, ASCJ, ’65, science faculty, for her constant encouragement; and Susan Nelson, science faculty, for her advice on handling nematodes.
In 2010 Dr. Sengupta was chosen as the recipient of the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) in Connecticut. Also honored by The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain as the recipient of the Alma Exley Scholarship Award which recognizes Connecticut teachers of color that show strong classroom teaching dedication, Dr. Sengupta earned BS and MS degrees from the University of Calcutta, India and a Ph.D. from UConn. She has served as chair of the science department since 2008.
Above: Dr. Sengupta with graduates from the Class of 2013 that were in her Freshman Honors Biology Class