Founded in 2008, Cell Motion Laboratories is a non-profit organization working towards a future in which the beauty and power of science is broadly embraced by society. We cultivate this vision by creating immersive laboratory environments which take scientists outside their labs, take everyday students and people outside their daily environment, and bring them together in collaborative, hands-on explorations of the natural world. Because this new kind of laboratory space is accessible and un-intimidating, it facilitates scientific engagement amongst populations historically underrepresented in science professions, while the scientists working with these populations broaden their view of who can successfully practice science. Ultimately, we envision a future in which civic engagement between the general public and scientists is the norm, not the exception.
To learn more about the BioBus, see our 2012 Annual Report.
Ben Dubin-Thaler created the BioBus in 2008 after completing his BA in Physics and Mathematics as well as his Ph.D. in Biology from Columbia University. “Dr. Ben,” as he is known to students aboard the BioBus, started the BioBus as an experiment to test his hypothesis that, given the opportunity to use research-microscopes to perform live experiments, anyone would be excited about science and want to do more. Dr. Dubin-Thaler and his team create a new kind of laboratory space that is empowering, accessible, un-intimidating, and that facilitates scientific engagement amongst populations historically underrepresented in science professions. Dr. Dubin-Thaler hopes to create a future in which people from all cultures and backgrounds have equal opportunities to practice and understand science.
Latasha Wright received her Ph.D. from NYU Langone Medical Center in cell and molecular biology. She went on to continue her scientific training at Johns Hopkins University and Weill Cornell Medical Center. She has co-authored numerous publications and presented her work at international and national conferences. She is an experienced grant writer. She received her training in development at the Park Avenue Armory under the direction of the Manager of Institutional Giving. The BioBus enables her to share her love of science with a new generation of potential scientists. The BioBus creates a setting that fosters innovation and creativity. Students are encouraged to ask questions, formulate hypotheses, and design experiments. Everyday that she spends teaching students about science in this transformative environment helps her remember that science is fun. She loves sharing the journey of discovery with students of all ages.
Sarah Weisberg climbed on board the BioBus in 2010 after completing a Master’s of Science degree in Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. There, she was trained as an independent research scientist; her work has been presented at a number of scientific conferences and published in several journals. Prior to moving to Israel, Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College with a degree in Biology and Linguistics. Sarah has been a teacher and social justice advocate since her youth, working at food pantries and tutoring programs from elementary school and running an in-prison education program in college. Sarah believes wholly in the BioBus mission and works on all aspects of the program — from teaching and writing curricula to strategic planning and fundraising to learning how to drive and maintain a 1974 diesel bus (with no power steering).
Danny Valdes has been on the BioBus team since late 2011. He is an experienced educator and is certified as a public school teacher in the states of Florida and New York. He has also taught in the private sector. Danny graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Philosophy in 2008. Like Dr. Ben, Danny was wary of getting ‘trapped’ in the world of academia and so moved to New York City in 2009 hoping to make a difference in the field of education. Danny is dedicated to spreading the BioBus’ mission of making education a fun and interactive experience accessible to all students. He handles logistics for the BioBus and is the main point of contact for schools and communities that are interested in having the bus visit.
Matt Weisberg joined the BioBus team as a staff teacher in September 2012. He graduated Brown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computational Biology. After a few years of scientific study and research, Matt decided it was time to share the insights and skills he had developed through his own education. Having volunteered many times in the past, Matt knew the BioBus was a perfect fit for his love of biology and people. He strives to constantly improve his technique and approach in order to best serve the BioBus mission of creating approachable, enjoyable science education experiences. He teaches three days a week and develops curriculum, tools and teaching strategies.