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List of Past SCI Cafes

SCI Cafe

Click on the topics below for related stories and information.
Topic Date 
Lungs in Space  April 2018 

Topic  Date 
The State of Our Bay May 2017
Breathing or Wheezing: The Fight for Air When You Have Severe Asthma April 2017
From Air Quality to Zoning: Healthy Community Indicators March 2017
Can Meditation Have Long-Term Health Benefits? February 2017


Topic  Date 
Is it Really Just All in My Head? Balancing a Mental Health Condition and Daily Life December 2016
Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: The Race is On October 2016
Big Data (Big Brother) and the Future of Privacy: Benefit or Threat? September 2016
Burn Injuries May 2016
Zika Virus: Facts & Updates April 2016
Teen SCI Café; Bench Students Research Review  April 2016
Teen SCI Café: Scrub Typhus: A Neglected Tropical Disease April 2016
Brain Injury: From Concussion to Coma  March 2016
Protecting Muscle Health: Nutrition & Exercise Strategies February 2016


Topic  Date 
Brain-Gut Connections: Unruly Bowels from Inflammation and Stress November 2015
Consumer Product Chemicals that Impersonate Hormones – Yikes!!  October 2015
Respiratory Infections: New Ideas for Treatment and Prevention. What Did We Learn from RSV?  September 2015
Teen SCI Café: Bench Students Research Review May 2015
Pesticides & Impacts on Human Cognition  May 2015
Vaccination in the 21st Century: Victim of its Own Success?  April 2015
Teen SCI Café:  Investigating Chikungunya  March 2015


Topic  Date 
Growing a Human Lung: A Transnational Science Journey November 2014
Chikungunya, Ebola & Ongoing Outbreaks  October 2014
Diabetes & Its Impact September 2014
Environmental Health in a Disaster: Lessons from the Gulf Coast  July  2014
Teen SCI Café: Bench Students Research Review  June 2014
West Nile Virus  May 2014
BPA: Not Out of the Woods. Meet BPS April 2014
Stress Management through Exercise March 2014 
Obesity: Health, Treatment & Discovery February 2014 
Diet & Eating Healthily: How to Shop, Meal Planning, Label Reading & Healthy Snacking  February 2014



Topic  Date 
Health Research for AA: Beyond Tuskegee November 2013
Diabetes  October 2013



Science and Communities Interact (SCI) Café was established by Dr. Croisant in 2013 to allow community members to meet with UTMB scientists to engage in casual dialogs with respect to translational science.

Have you ever wondered if estrogens in drinking water can lead to things like feminizing male fish? Or have you ever wondered just how a disease like Zika spreads? Topics like these are just some of the many subjects that have been discussed since the introduction of SCI Café. While the discussions are typically scientific, the discussions also consider broader topics like environmental exposures related to flooding and storm surge, aging, and ethical issues.

In an effort to meet the needs of a large number of community groups, there are currently four series of SCI Cafés: one given by experts that occurs at MOD Coffeehouse in Galveston to provide information to the general public; one given by the Galveston Island Community Research Advisory Committee, which assists with increasing knowledge of and participation in research; one Teen SCI Café series, which educates and inspires young scientists; and one for the broader Galveston County community, occasionally held at the Texas City Library.

The program has continuously evolved to better suit the needs of our communities. For instance, one not-for-profit, faith-based group has become so engaged in the process that they are now carrying out SCI Café events independently, although we remain committed to supporting their needs by providing expertise or assistance as requested. 

The two most actively engaged audiences are the general public and teens interested in a career in science. The Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) is expanding the topics discussed at SCI Café to reflect the current and emerging research areas, specifically regarding asthma, bisphenol A and other potential endocrine disrupters and environmental exposures of concern impacting health, interactions between environmental exposures, immunological responses, and health outcomes.

SCI Cafés are supported by the Institute for Translational Sciences and are hosted by COEC staff and scientists involved in research projects at UTMB, resulting in a direct translation of research to the community while providing an opportunity for our scientists and trainees to increase their competency to convey the nature and importance of their work for the public. Most importantly, this enables the COEC to increase environmental health literacy in our community. We recently developed a new SCI Café survey and evaluation tool that captures audience demographic information; a self-evaluation of participants’ learning, understanding, and interest; and what prompted their attendance. This data allows us to determine topics to consider in future SCI Café events.
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