Integrating Interdisciplinary Research-based Experiences in Biotechnology Laboratories

ABSTRACT

The increasingly interdisciplinary nature of today’s scientific research is leading to the transformation of undergraduate education. In addressing these needs, the University of Houston’s College of Technology has developed a new interdisciplinary research–based biotechnology laboratory curriculum. Using the pesticide degrading bacterium, Brevundimonas diminuta, as an anchor organism, the curriculum follows a logical progression starting with isolation and identification of pesticide-degrading soil microbes, gene cloning, gene expression, bioprocessing of the gene product, and commercial applications, thus demonstrating the life cycle of a typical biotechnology product. These series of laboratory protocols use a guided inquiry method to teach appropriate techniques and skills and help students build a bridge between materials presented in courses and applications in real life. Students then apply these concepts and techniques in independently designed investigations. The modular nature of this curriculum makes it flexible for integration into a variety of courses and could serve as a model for interdisciplinary education.

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Rupa S. Iyer Department of Engineering Technology University of Houston Houston, TX

Rupa S. Iyer
Department of Engineering Technology
University of Houston
Houston, TX

Melinda E. Wales Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Texas A & M University College Station, TX

Melinda E. Wales
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Texas A & M University
College Station, TX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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