Big changes coming to growing biolab
September 10, 2013
Three years after opening the first-ever biotech community laboratory in Downtown Brooklyn, Genspace is a model example for the future of science and community education. This fall, the leadership behind Genspace is making big changes to the growing organization in order to better serve the neighborhood and the scientific community around the world.
“We’re starting to look for new executive board members, and we’re growing the board. Originally there were four of us. We would like to bring that number up to ten,” said Daniel Grushkin, Genspace’s Vice President. “We’re doing it because we’ve been getting so much attention and so much opportunity to collaborate with other organizations. And now the way to deal with that community love is to organize into a traditional non-profit.”
Genspace prides itself on its efforts of serving the community, until now from an entirely volunteer staff. From offering classes that are open to anyone and everyone, to a recent post on the company’s Twitter asking the community what programs they would like to see at the space, the organization aims to engage with those who have helped it to build and grow.
“There are basically two ways you can shape what comes out of Genspace: one is to join and become a member and get a group of people to work with you on a project. And the second is we’re open to all suggestions. If people are interested in anything related to biology, we’re game. We’ll find the person to teach it,” Grushkin said. “The next class we have coming down the pipe is an ecology class. The question we’re looking to answer is what happens to a natural environment when a foreign organism is introduced. We’re going to make our own little ecosystems and use paramecium. It’s like a little world in a bottle.”
The new changes being made within the organization will allow for Genspace to expand its community reach. The lab has many projects in the works, some of which they are just beginning to and others that are finally being fully realized. One of the current projects Genspace is working on is doing DNA barcoding on plants in Alaska. The process allows for the quick identification of plants as well as the ability to observe changes in the ecosystem due to climate change. Genspace is currently seeking donations to help fund this project. For a break down of the budget and information on how to donate, click here.