Biochemistry education

Training the next generation of biochemists and molecular biologists

Nobelist Sir William Lawrence Bragg once said, “The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.” This quote raises the question of how today’s educators should structure training programs so that students maintain their sense of wonder about the world both in and out of academia. The 2016 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting education and professional development symposium explores how programs can offer a deep and quantitative understanding of biochemistry and molecular biology, engage students on both a theoretical and an experiential level, and prepare them for a range of science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Leading the way in the undergraduate classroom: Depth, breath or a totally different approach?

Biochemistry can be daunting, and, while a thorough understanding of foundational principles is essential, concepts often are obscured by a thick layer of details and jargon. The first session will present some proven pedagogical strategies to stimulate student interest and meet the competencies of today’s biochemistry and molecular biology education. These include using threshold concepts to scaffold student learning, improving quantitative thinking about molecular dynamics and integrating research into BMB courses.

Graduate and postdoc training: Ensuring the attainment of rewarding STEM careers

The National Institutes of Health and other agencies are supporting programs that encourage a much broader definition of graduate student and postdoc training. The second session will discuss the importance of individual development plans, or IDPs, and examine how they enhance opportunities for both academic and nonacademic STEM careers while allowing participants to maintain the focus necessary to complete their dissertations or postdoc research commitments.

Prepping for the MCAT

The content and goals of the MCAT changed dramatically in 2015, with a renewed focus on biochemistry and the social sciences. This third session will examine the first year’s performance of the MCAT 2015, provide curriculum ideas on preparing for medical school and discuss the role of physicians in today’s biomedical health care system.

You’ve got to see it to believe it

The molecular world is too small for the naked eye to see. The last session will focus on how new tools in three-dimensional printing, animation software and social media are helping students to better see what’s going on in cellular biochemistry and molecular biology.

Organizers

Celeste Peterson

Celeste Peterson, Suffolk University

Margaret Carroll

Margaret Carroll, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York