CHS’ Genes in Diseases and Symptoms (GIDAS) club is fundraising for opioid addiction research. With the pandemic and opioid addiction on the rise, they see this research as more crucial than ever.
Each year, the club votes on a topic to fundraise and research for.
“This year it [the topic] is COVID-19, but we’re still wrapping up our fundraiser from last year because of the pandemic,” said club president and CHS senior Mori Ono.
All of the donations go to support Dr. Shelly Flagel, a researcher at the University of Michigan. Flagel studies neuro-biological factors in addiction and has been a guest speaker for the club.
GIDAS, a chapter of miRcore’s high school branch, works to spread awareness about and fundraise for disease research. They study diseases by inviting guest speakers and conducting research.
Typically, GIDAS fundraises in person by selling baked goods, awareness ribbons and other items outside stores and at school, but the pandemic has changed that. This year, they’re selling stickers with original art and informational pamphlets to raise money. Everything will be mailed to donors to maintain distancing and safety. The club’s goal is to raise $10,000 dollars for Dr. Flagel.
The virtual year has also forced the club to focus more on its social media platforms.
“I think making more use of social media will be important to get people to know about the club and be aware of what it is that we’re doing,” Ono said. “Social media will play a much larger role moving on… We’ve also started to think about how we might be able to reach people outside of the school as well.”
For the rest of the year, GIDAS will be continuing to fundraise and research. They are planning to research how COVID-19 affects gene expression and write a summary of their research to present. They also want to plan another fundraising event and participate in contests and talent shows.
Ono sees the club’s role as crucial during the pandemic.
“Opioid addiction and COVID-19 are both very urgent topics right now, especially with the opioid epidemic, because it has gotten considerably worse as a result of the pandemic,” Ono said “And that’s not something that really makes the news, but it is a very serious effect of the pandemic.”
To join GIDAS, contact Ono or their Instagram.