Chemistry and Physics Faculty Articles


Implementation of a Research-Based Curriculum in Student Biochemistry Labs: The BASIL Model

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The FASEB Journal






1 supplement


Recently there has been a lot of interest in incorporating and expanding authentic learning in the classroom. The benefits of providing a hands-on research experiences to undergraduate students has long been known. According to a recent NAS convocation “[Many] factors constrain participation, particularly by members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields, many of whom could benefit considerably from being involve in research. BASIL (Biochemistry Authentic Scientific Inquiry Lab) is a model for a discovery based biochemistry lab course. This model along with the associated student and instructor modules was developed as a collaboration of multiple professors working across the country with support from an NSF IUSE grant. This approach takes advantage of the over 3700 unannotated structures in the Protein Data Bank. Using a combination of computational and traditional wet lab skills, students propose and test the likely function of their target protein of interest. One the major goals of the BASIL project is to learn more about how we can help students can learn to conduct authentic scientific inquiry and to assess the roles of faculty members and teaching assistants in this process. This presentation will explain the decisions and steps that new institutions face during a shift from traditional cookbook biochemistry labs featuring predetermined answers to ones that focus on student discovery and highlight the scientific method. Towards the goal of wider adoption, implementation strategies at two separate primarily undergraduate institutions will be highlighted. Currently the BASIL initiative is working to optimize the curriculum and support potential adopters during their transition.


NSF grant #s: IUSE 1503811, IUSE 1709170

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This abstract is from the Experimental Biology 2019 Meeting. There is no full text article associated with this abstract published in The FASEB Journal.

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