Public Programs

Seminar Series for High School Teachers

Attendees at the High School Teachers Program.

Whitehead Institute’s Seminar Series for High School Teachers offers educators the opportunity to explore topics at the forefront of biomedical research and incorporate new ideas into their classrooms.

The series, which attracts 60-80 high school teachers each year, begins in October of each academic year. Seminars are conducted on the first Monday of each month through June. Sessions begin with a scientific lecture and conclude with a working dinner, allowing participants and Whitehead scientists to share ideas and discuss a range of issues affecting science education.

Integral to the success of the program is the teacher-scientist partnership in which interested teachers are paired with Whitehead partners—scientists who attend each session and serve as a resource for the teacher throughout the academic year. Partners answer questions, share their expertise, and even visit schools to meet with students. Over the years, participating teachers have found these partnerships to be invaluable relationships.

Please join us back in-person for the 2022-2023 Whitehead Institute Seminar Series for High School Teachers, Conquering Cancer, as we explore the novel research and development efforts that researchers are using to decipher and combat cancer.

The first seminar of the season will be held on Monday, November 7 (in Whitehead Institute’s McGovern Auditorium at 455 Main Street, Cambridge). Subsequent sessions will be held the first Monday of every month through June 2023 (with the exception of the January session, which will be held on Monday, January 9). All sessions begin at 4:15 pm and dinner is over by approximately 6:30 p.m. 

*Please note: All registrants eligible for vaccination must be up to date with their Covid vaccinations or have a medical or religious exemption in order to participate in this program. Proof of vaccination will need to be sent via email to our Human Resources department prior to the start of the first session.

Participating teachers may be eligible to earn up to 24 Professional Development Points toward recertification. 

Registration is now closed.

For questions please contact Amy Tremblay at


This year's speakers will be added here as they are announced. Below are the dates for the entire program:

  • Monday, November 7
  • Monday, December 5
  • Monday, January 9*
  • Monday, February 6
  • Monday, March 6
  • Monday, April 3
  • Monday, May 1
  • Monday, June 5

*This session will be held the second Monday of the month (1/9/23)

RAGE against the cancer machine

Tobiloba Oni, Valhalla Fellow, Whitehead Institute

How cancers become malignant

Bob Weinberg, Whitehead Institute Member, Professor of Biology at MIT, and Director, MIT Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology

How BMI and obesity affect T-cell response in cancer

Alison Ringel, Assistant Professor of Biology, Core Member, Ragon Institute

Ovarian cancer therapies

Ursula Matulonis, Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Molecular engineering and discovery of novel immune-based therapies for cancer

Kipp Weiskopf, Valhalla Fellow, Whitehead Institute

Unraveling mysteries about cancer and cancer treatments with condensates

Alessandra Dall’Agnese, Postdoctoral Associate in the lab of Dr. Richard Young at Whitehead Institute

Immunoengineering: Biomaterials and mRNA delivery to fight cancer

Padmini Pillai, Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Robert Langer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The genetic basis for cancer therapeutics

William Sellers, Core Institute Member and Director of the Cancer Program, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

What is involved in participating in the seminar series for high school teachers?

The series is usually held the first Monday of every month from October through June in McGovern Auditorium at the Whitehead Institute. The first seminar of the 2022-2023 season will be held on Monday, November 7 in Whitehead Institute’s McGovern Auditorium at 455 Main Street, Cambridge. Subsequent virtual sessions will be held the first Monday of every month through June 2023. Each session begins promptly at 4:15 p.m. and includes a lecture and working dinner, ending by approximately 6:15/6:30 p.m. 

What Is a Whitehead partner?

Each teacher is assigned a Whitehead Partner—a young, enthusiastic scientist who will attend each session with you and serve as a resource to you throughout the school year. In the past, Whitehead Partners have visited their teachers' classrooms to lead labs, give talks on career opportunities in science, or do a presentation on their research. Whitehead Partners have also hosted class visits to the Institute, providing students a glimpse into a working laboratory.

Who can register for the seminar series?

Any high school teacher can register for the Seminar Series. However, space is limited so registrants must apply early. To participate, teachers must commit to attending as many sessions as possible. Teachers who miss more than three sessions will be dropped from the program.

How many teachers participate in the program?

About 60-80 teachers participate in the program each year.

What If I can’t make a session?

When registering for the program, teachers make the commitment to miss no more than three sessions of the series. Naturally we understand that there will occasionally be conflicts. When you will be unable to attend a session, it is very important to let us know in advance so we can plan for an accurate attendance. We rely on your input when planning dinner, and your Whitehead Partner counts on you being at the session unless he or she hears otherwise.


Registration is now open online here.

Participating teachers may be eligible to earn up to 24 Professional Development Points toward recertification. For questions please contact Amy Tremblay at

Past programs

For close to 30 years, Whitehead Institute’s Seminar Series for High School Teachers has been sharing cutting-edge discoveries with high school and community college educators.

2018-2019: Advances in Neurodegenerative Disease
2017-2018: How Technology Drives Biology
2016-2017: Gut Feelings: Your microbiome, in Sickness and in Health
2015-2016: Precision Medicine
2014-2015: The Science behind Biotech Breakthroughs

Contact & Directions

For more information on the teacher program, please contact Amy Tremblay at or 617-258-7270.

All lectures are held in the McGovern Auditorium in the Whitehead Building at 455 Main Street, which is accessible by public transportation. Metered street parking is available but limited. Hourly garage parking is also nearby.