Annual Meeting

Annual meeting workshops: Part 2

ASBMB Today Staff
By ASBMB Today Staff
January 21, 2020

We recently shared information about some of the programming and activities planned for the 2020 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting, to be held April 4-7 in San Diego. After publishing that roundup, we received information about three more great workshops on lab management, moving from academia to industry, and teaching biology with augmented reality and Lego bricks.


Improving visual literacy using augmented reality and Lego bricks in biology classrooms | 2 p.m. April 7

SAustin-Lego-crop.png
Swati Agrawal
Shane Austin holds a Lego model of ATP synthase during a visual literacy workshop at the 2019 Association for Biology Laboratory Education conference.

Participants in this interactive workshop will get hands-on experience in using augmented reality and Lego bricks to explain scientific course content.

Organizers Swati Agrawal, assistant professor of biology at the University of Mary Washington, and Shane Austin, a lecturer in biochemistry at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, have developed a series of lessons focused on DNA and protein structure, function and interaction. They use augmented reality and Lego bricks to make 3D interactive models that help students visualize these intricate structures and processes.

The workshop will cover concepts such as levels of organization in protein structure, domains in proteins involved in metabolic pathways and protein-DNA interaction during processes involved in transcription.

After a brief presentation, participants will use the organizers’ lessons to experience and assess the learning gains of this activity and will learn how to develop and generate augmented reality content suited for their own courses using free and easily available platforms. Suggestions for classroom assessments also will be shared.

This workshop will benefit instructors and students from two-year or four-year colleges. The organizers will emphasize examples relevant to biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology; however, these techniques also could be applied to wider biology educator audiences.


Lab management  | 1 p.m. April 4

Are you a new faculty member? Are you a postdoctoral fellow or senior graduate student interested in starting your own lab?

If so, you probably have lots of questions: How do you go about setting up a lab? How will you manage an initial budget? Who will you hire? How will you select your staff and mentor your trainees successfully? How will you communicate effectively with your staff and handle conflicts when they arise?

If you have considered any of these questions, sign up for this free, interactive, one-afternoon course on lab management.

The course will include four sessions presented by a panel of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology members with experience and expertise in addressing challenges you’ll face when setting up your own lab.
The sessions:

  • Setting up your lab, lab leadership and managing a startup budget, presented by Dave Pagliarnini, lead investigator and Arthur C. Nielson chair of metabolism, Morgridge Institute for Research and 2020 ASBMB Earl and Thressa Stadtman Young Scholar Awardee.
  • Staffing your lab, mentoring and being mentored, presented by Kayunta Johnson-Winters, associate professor of chemistry and biology, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Time management, presented by Suzanna Greer, director, clinical cancer research, nutrition and immunology, American Cancer Society.
  • Communication, equity and diversity, and conflict management, presented by Sonia Flores, vice chair for diversity and justice and professor of pulmonary sciences, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. These sessions will be followed by an interactive panel discussion with time for questions and perspectives from you and your colleagues.

Separate registration is required for this course. Sign up here. Priority will be given to new investigators setting up their first laboratory as well as postdoctoral fellows and senior graduate students.


The career journey from academia to industry and on to entrepreneurship: How to find a job and build a career and/or a company outside of the ivory tower | 5:45 p.m. April 6

This workshop aims to give participants take-home ideas for development of industry careers, whether it’s landing a first job, interviewing/networking skills, progressing in a company career or becoming an entrepreneur. Panelists will share their own stories of moving from academic scientist to industry scientist and company founder.

The workshop will be moderated by Dave Jensen, “Tooling Up” columnist for the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s ScienceCareers.org website for more than 20 years and founder and CEO of CareerTrax Inc., an executive search firm working in the life sciences.

Jensen will provide an overview and kick off the meeting with his presentation, “Street savvy sciences,” focusing on takeaways, tips and techniques featured in his monthly column on science career success.

Ryan Raver, managing director of CTI Executive Search, will discuss his career in the life sciences and his move from academic training at the University of Wisconsin to a business career, offering suggestions from his blog, “The grad student way.”

Chorom Pak, CEO and founder of Lynx Biosciences, will discuss the differences between academia and industry and the specifics of her career journey from new Ph.D. to research scientist to company founder.

Jerry Feitelson, CEO and co-founder of Agribody Technologies Inc., will discuss his move from academia to industry, from research scientist, to chief science officer, business development executive and finally company founder.

The 90-minute workshop will end with a Q&A session.

This workshop will benefit graduate students, postdocs or any job seeker interested in furthering a career outside academia.

ASBMB Today Staff
ASBMB Today Staff

This article was written by a member or members of the ASBMB Today staff.

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