On Saturday, December 10th, local Vermont youths were treated to a presentation and hands-on activities in which they were introduced to insulin resistance, drug discovery, and bioactive natural products in agricultural sources. Dr. Chris Dieni delivered a presentation entitled “Insulin Resistance: A Global Health Problem with a Backyard Solution?” Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder which can manifest as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s dementiae, and is also linked to cancers such as leukemia and pancreatic cancer — and the discovery of novel bioactive agents capable of reversing insulin resistance is one of LEoPARD’s mean research foci.

The presentation and activities were part of a monthly event known as the VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Cafés, organized and offered by the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension.

The event was featured on social media:

Youths who were interested in the presentation and activities are strongly encouraged to contact us directly! There are many local, regional, and national STEM competitions that allow youths to perform and present research on an elevated stage long before they attend college.

From the UVM Extension website: For more than 100 years, University of Vermont (UVM) Extension has delivered education tailored to local needs. Our faculty and staff, located in 12 offices around the state, help improve the quality of life of Vermonters through research-based educational programs and practical information. UVM Extension integrates higher education, research and outreach to help individuals and communities put knowledge to work in their families and homes, farms, businesses, towns and the natural environment.

From the 4-H website: 4‑H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. For more than 100 years, 4‑H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving kids a voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better. Through life-changing 4‑H programs, nearly six million kids and teens have taken on critical societal issues, such as addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all.


Laboratory for Evaluation of Pharmacological Agents in Remediation of Disease (LEoPARD) is a biochemistry-focused undergraduate research group at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT (Burlington metro area). We offer transformative, real-world laboratory experiences to ensure that our hard-working students evolve into our successful alumni! Interested students are invited to read about our research, and consider applying to be a member of our group.


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