Barry Aprison

Education & Outreach Director,
- Sr. Lecturer, Biological Sciences Collegiate Division
- Education & Outreach Director, GGSB, CCSB, and Conte Center

Contact Information

Institute for Genomics & Systems Biology
Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery
900 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Phone: (773) 834-2787
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


The IGSB Education & Outreach Director is Dr. Barry Aprison who develops and oversees academic training programs through the auspices of the P50 NIH Conte Center for Computational Neuropsychiatric Genomics, the P50 NIH NIDA Center of Excellence, and the Ph.D. program in Genetics, Genomics, & Systems Biology (GGSB). Dr. Aprison’s biomedical research areas of interest are developmental genetics, molecular evolution, genomics, systems biology, and neurogenetics behavior. His education research areas of interest are cognitive science, interactive learning, and scientific teaching. 


Dr. Aprison designs and produces a portfolio of education and training programs for high school students, teachers, undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty.  He has partnerships with scholars at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Field Museum, the Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago-area K-12 schools, the Collegiate Scholars Program, Urban Teacher Education Program, Research in the Biological Sciences, and  Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program.  As a Senior Lecturer in the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division of the College, Dr. Aprison produces courses and lectures. They include classes for Systems Biology & Disease (MD-Ph.D. students), Systems & Networks in Cancer (grad students), Synthetic Biology & Regulation of Genes (undergrad students), and Topics in Immunology, Cancer, and Systems Biology (MD-Ph.D. students), and a system biology Journal Club and grant writing course (M.D. Ph. D. students..  Dr. Aprison works on campus-wide initiatives as a member of the Graduate Minority Committee.  He assists in the development of underrepresented minority (URM) recruitment and training programs. Dr. Aprison helps manage the applicant recruitment and course development of the Committee on Genetics, Genomics, & Systems Biology's Ph.D. program in coordination with the Chair.  Dr. Aprison leads a program he designed to support Molecular Biosciences graduate students to teach science in high schools and science museum exhibitions. They receive TA credit for 1-quarter's worth of planning, formative development, and teaching.

Prior to his coming to the University of Chicago in 2008, Dr. Aprison was Associate Professor of Education and Director of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Initiatives in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.  He joined the Hopkins faculty in 2007.  Dr. Aprison worked with teachers, principals, superintendents, curriculum specialists, engineers, scientists, evaluators, and designers to produce STEM education projects for Maryland schools.  His areas of specialization in education are:
a) designing, formatively developing, and implementing integrated STEM (iSTEM) K-16 education experiences;
b) producing narrative-based, goal-based learning STEM experiments;
c) generating elegant engineering challenges in classrooms and museum exhibitions;
d) producing phenomena-based interactives in classrooms and science exhibitions; and
e) designing, formatively developing, and producing education outreach program and hands-on exhibitions for science museums and centers.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Aprison was Director of Science and Technology at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry for nineteen years (1988-2007). His leadership resulted in the production of award-winning exhibitions and education programs for millions of visitors, students, teachers and parents. Dr. Aprison led project teams to design, fabricate, and install highly successful interactive exhibitions (i.e., Imaging: The Tools of Science, Advanced Photon Source, AIDS: The War Within, NetWorld: The Internet, Genetics: Decoding Life, & Science Storms; total >27,000-sq. ft.; >$13-million).  He also designed and implemented high school outreach education programs linked to these exhibitions.  Dr Aprison received NSF, NIH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHMI, and other organization's support through competitive grant awards and funding programs. Three of Dr. Aprison's permanent exhibitions (Imaging: The Tools of Science, AIDS: The War Within, and Science Storms) won national award recognitions from the Curators' Committee of the American Association of Museums.

Dr. Aprison joined the Museum of Science and Industry in 1988 after being an NIH post-doctoral specific in the Indiana University Department of Biology.  As an NIH Postdoctral specific review studied the molecular genetics of sex-specific regulation of gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster.  Dr. Aprison also taught undergraduates genetics and developmental biology.  At Brandeis University he investigated the regulation of yolk protein gene expression and DNA synthesis in fully-defined, serum-free cultures of Xenopus laevis parenchymal liver cells.  Dr. Aprison taught undergraduates biology and received his Ph.D. in biology at Brandeis in 1984.

Research Papers