Bass Connections Team on Epigenetics

A team of researchers will discuss their project on environmental effects on cognitive development

In January, Duke announced the Bass Connections initiative to encourage students and faculty to collaborate across traditional academic boundaries and to develop the broad expertise and perspective needed to tackle complex societal problems. The effort now has 37 teams of students, faculty and partners outside the university working in areas such as energy, global health and brain and society.

Members from one of the teams will participate in a live "Office Hours" webcast conversation 2 p.m. Dec. 10, to discuss their project, as well as their experience with the Bass Connections approach to education and research.

Watch the live video stream on the Duke YouTube channel. Questions for the team are invited, before or during the webcast, via email to or on Twitter @DukeOfficeHours.

Participating in the webcast will be Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, a professor of pharmacology and cancer biology at Duke's School of Medicine; Craig Dane Roberts, assistant director of education at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; and Rachel James, a senior neuroscience major.

The three are part of a Bass Connections cross-disciplinary team exploring how best to convey recent scientific discoveries on environmental effects on cognitive development. For their project, they are developing educational materials that explain how smoking during pregnancy not only harms a woman’s baby but also her future grandchildren. In doing so the team is translating insights from the emerging field of epigenetics into language and graphics that are accessible to a lay audience.

"Office Hours" is a live webcast series for the university community and others to engage with Duke scholars and their research.