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Learning from an Expert

Matt Moore’s biology class enjoyed a rare opportunity, made a bit less difficult due to our state-wide quarantine. They learned about the coronavirus from a local scientist who has recently been noticed nationally.

Dr. Erin Bromage, an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology and researches infectious diseases and host immune response in animals. Luckily for us, Bromage happens to be a family friend of one of Moore’s students. After a quick introduction, Bromage offered to share some class time on Zoom to answer questions and share his view of the virus situation and how best to protect oneself from infection. While he doesn’t claim to be an expert on Covid-19, his generosity allowed our students to have some one-on-one time with a working scientist, something we work hard to make happen for our students regularly, most often through our Science@Work Lecture Series. 

The students, as they always do, took good advantage of the session, asking some great questions and gaining a better handle on our current situation and how scientists in different fields study these types of outbreaks. Grace Ward ’23 shared, “It was fascinating to receive knowledge from someone who is studying this outbreak so closely and working with other scientists to gain the facts, instead of relying on all the news we are constantly bombarded with on television or social media.”

Moore said, “Having a nationally recognized scientist present to my Tabor biology students was an amazing experience. Dr. Bromage was able to provide a depth of knowledge to our students by distilling complex concepts with understandable analogies and examples. He is a top tier researcher, but also an excellent teacher!”

Bromage has become famous in the last several weeks due to a recent blog he wrote about the risks of the Coronavirus. According to the Southcoast Almanac, in their advertising for a live-stream discussion with Dr. Bromage, his blog recently went viral worldwide. The Almanac reported that Dr. Bromage said, “This past semester, I taught a class on Ecology of Infectious Disease to undergraduate students. I always like to have a current disease example as a common thread throughout the course. So in January, when I was putting the syllabus for my course together, I saw a pathogen emerging in China and decided to incorporate it. Since early January my students and I have been developing and updating a huge notice board of information outside my laboratory on the new research findings to track the pathogen’s progression.”

It was exciting for our students to have access to this creative teacher and research scientist and we are grateful he was willing to give our students some of his time to gain a better understanding of the virus that is shaping our current reality. 
 
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