Christopher K. Pierret, Ph.D., and his colleagues are interested in many areas of science as they directly relate to their local and global community. The highest priority in Dr. Pierret's current work is the coordination of Integrated Science Education Outreach (InSciEd Out).
InSciEd Out is a collaborative partnership committed to rebuilding K-12 science education curricula for the 21st century. The organization began in the spring of 2009 and presently represents a tripartite partnership among Mayo Clinic (life science expertise), Winona State University (teacher education expertise) and Rochester Public Schools (teaching excellence).
The purpose of InSciEd Out is to share the culture, language and practice of science excellence with all students in our local, national and global communities.
- Facilitates partnerships among scientists, educators, industry and other community partners to rebuild science education practices for the 21st century and bring available technology and mentorship to the community
- Empowers the development of a diverse group of learners who are ready for college and workplace success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields
- Creates a conduit for science literacy that results in improved health outcomes for communities
- 'Prescription Education.' Dr. Pierret and his colleagues hypothesize that active student inquiry of relevant health concerns will empower behaviors that improve life-long personal and community health. InSciEd Out's "Prescription Education" promises to bridge the gap between education and science as mechanisms of disease prevention.
- Science pipeline. Through InSciEd Out, Dr. Pierret and his team are working to bring science education reform and a culture change to K-12 schools, with a goal of returning the focus in science classrooms to the process — rather than the content alone — of science.
- Metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Pierret's scientific interest continues to support research in the metastasis of cancers. He is primarily interested in the process of homing of tumor-initiating cells and the role of the premetastatic niche.
Significance to patient care
The word "translation" is often thrown around clinical circles to indicate the process of taking scientific research from bench to bedside — in other words, taking laboratory research and applying it in a therapeutic, clinical setting.
Dr. Pierret and his colleagues hope to broaden the scope of translation to include any end user of scientific research. Their work, through the focus of "Prescription Education," applies scientific and education research in an effort to improve the health of the community.
This work is performed in school and community settings, not the clinic, so they define this translation as "bench to curbside."
- Named Chair of the Board for InSciEd Out Foundation, 2012
- Joined the Board of Directors for Seeds of Wisdom, South Sudan, an organization that will build new schools and look toward improving the health of communities in the South Sudan, 2012