BLACKSBURG, Va., February 7, 2006 – Two groups of high school students recently visited the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech to learn more about ongoing work at the institute and tour the facilities.

Korea Science Academy On February 2, students from Montgomery County Schools’ High School/High Tech program took a tour of the institute. VBI is an active program sponsor and has provided summer internships for several of the program’s students in the past. The tour gave the students an opportunity to learn more about the research at VBI and identify possible areas of interest for summer work. High School/High Tech is a community-based partnership designed to encourage students with physical, sensory, and learning disabilities to explore career opportunities in the fields of science, engineering, and technology. Julie Ligon, special education supervisor for Montgomery County Schools, organized the visit for the students.

Students from the Korea Science Academy participating in an exchange program with the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School of Science and Technology visited VBI on February 3. The students were given a tour of the institute and VBI Research Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher gave a presentation on the role of mathematics in biology. Laubenbacher introduced the students to VBI’s PathSim project. PathSim is a computer simulation of the body’s immune response to infection that is based on a mathematical specification and which can be applied to the study of pathogens such as the Epstein-Barr Virus. The Roanoke Valley Governor’s School of Science and Technology is a regional public school composed of students from seven local school districts around the Roanoke Valley in grades nine through twelve. The focus of the school’s curriculum is on science, mathematics, and computer applications and technologies. Dr. Evan Glaser, director of the school, accompanied the students on their visit.

Susan Bland
(540) 231-7912;

Published by Susan Bland, February 06, 2006