In collaboration with the NYUAD Research Outreach and Communication team, the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology led the first NYUAD Citizen Researcher Project, 'Bug Fighter.' This project helped train approximately 50 high school students from Al Hunain International School. It stimulated their curiosity about different tools and experiments used in drug discovery – from collecting natural bacteria to evaluating their potential as a source of biopesticides.
The students collected soil samples to isolate UAE 'Bacillus thuringiensis' bacterial strains and helped to analyze the phenotypes in treated worms. This activity underpins the public to explore how research is done in the laboratory and how to find answers to real scientific questions.