IPERT

MBLEMs: Our goal is to create and disseminate Molecular Biotechnology Education Laboratory Modules (MBLEMs).

The BIT Program is dedicated to the implementation and expansion of hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory exercises for the education of future STEM professionals. Our instructors, including teaching postdocs, design novel laboratory courses based on current scientific inquiries in their respective fields. We bring together a variety of areas of expertise, including biochemistry, microbiology, plant biology, bioinformatics, and more to educate students from equally diverse backgrounds across campus.

Diagram with several courses and their activities.
Outline of Developed MBLEMs.

These novel inquiry-based lab courses, or MBLEMs (Molecular Biotechnology Laboratory Education Modules), teach fundamental and cutting-edge biotechnology techniques and are the backbone of our BIT minor and certificate programs. Many of our MBLEMs have been published in peer-reviewed education journals with the goal of dissemination to the higher education STEM community. These include our core molecular biology techniques course and courses on Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA interactions. Protocols and syllabi from the MBLEMs are also available on our QUBES collaborative site.

QUBES MBLEM site

In order to facilitate the dissemination of these MBLEMs, the BIT Program has obtained an NIH IPERT grant to partner with five institutions in order to streamline the process of adapting lab modules across diverse settings. Our partners currently include Alamance Community College, Centre College, Emory University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina – Pembroke, with the goal of adding additional partner institutions. 

Despite the accelerating expansion of online resources for modern life science education and training, the reality is that development of molecular biology laboratory-based skills requires “hands-on” instruction, preferably in a research-oriented context. Educational strategies that rely on lecture alone or traditional, but outdated, laboratory experiences ineffectively prepare the current and future generations of the US biomedical workforce. New paradigms are needed for molecular biology lab training that are flexible, inclusive, broadly applicable and supportive of inter-institutional cooperation, all of which is addressed in the proposed project.

NIH: 1R25GM130528-01A1

IPERT News 

  • BIT Faculty Dr. Melissa Srougi receives an exploratory grant from NC State’s DELTA to develop a series of virtual reality-based student-driven training videos on biotechnology laboratory techniques.
  • BIT Teaching Postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Leigh Ann Samsa, and BIT graduate teaching assistants Adam Groth and Linnea Andersen publish CRISPR lesson.
  • New BIT Teaching Postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Drew Hasley publishes an article on cultivating inclusive instructional and research environments.