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BTI Hosts Visit from My Brother’s Keeper Group

MBK GreenhouseBoyce Thompson Institute welcomed a group of students from Rochester, New York, to the Institute last week, as part of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, a White House effort aimed at improving career opportunities for young men of color.

The group received a tour of the greenhouse from Director of Education and Outreach Tiffany Fleming and Professor Georg Jander, and spoke with Cornell University sophomore Felix Fernandez Penny about working in a lab. Jander also described his research to identify useful plant chemicals in corn, milkweed and other species.

Felix, Georg and Tiffany

Ted Thannhauser, a protein chemist of the USDA’s R.W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health organized the group’s visit to BTI,, the Cornell Institute of Biotechnology and to USDA labs. The young men had many questions about the plants grown in the greenhouse and the use of plant biotechnology to improve human health

The group represented Team I.M.P.A.C.T., which stands for Inspiring Male Participants who ACknowledge their need to Transform. The mentoring group is run through a community center in Rochester where students and mentors get together to take field trips, and discuss local issues and the challenges facing young black men in society.

The visit also coincided with the White House #WeekAtTheLabs, an effort to bring together science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders with students through the White House Council on Women and Girls and the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

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