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Design of a Lyme Disease Vaccine as an Active Learning Approach in a Novel Interdisciplinary Graduate-Level Course

    Authors: Danielle L. Jessen Condry1, David S. Bradley1, Catherine A. Brissette1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Forks, ND 58203
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 31 January 2017 Accepted 05 August 2017 Published 04 October 2017
    • ©2017 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Neuroscience Building, Room 118, 504 Hamline Street, Stop 9061, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9061. Phone: 701-777-6412. Fax: 701-777-0387. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2017 vol. 18 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1304
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    Abstract:

    A biomedical sciences graduate program needed an introductory class that would develop skills for students interested in a wide variety of disciplines, such as microbiology or cancer biology, and a diverse array of biomedical careers. Faculty created a year-long student-centered course, Scientific Discovery, to serve this need. The course was divided into four modules with progressive skill outcomes. Each module had a focus related to each of the major research areas of the collective faculty: molecular biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, and infectious disease. First-year graduate students enter the program with relevant college-level biology and chemistry coursework but not in-depth content knowledge of any of the focus areas. Each module features a biomedical problem for the students to gain specific content knowledge while developing skills outcomes, such as the ability to conduct scholarly inquiry. In 2015, the theme of the infectious disease module was to create an effective human vaccine to prevent Lyme disease. The module required students to learn fundamental concepts of microbiology and immunology and then apply that knowledge to design their own Lyme disease vaccine. The class culminated with students communicating their creative designs in the form of a “white paper” and a pitch to “potential investors.” By the end of the module, students had developed fundamental knowledge, applied that knowledge with great creativity, and met the skills learning outcomes, as evidenced by their ability to conduct scholarly inquiry and apply knowledge gained during this module to a novel problem, as part of their final exam.

Key Concept Ranking

Lyme Disease Vaccine
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References & Citations

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2017-10-04
2019-04-21

Abstract:

A biomedical sciences graduate program needed an introductory class that would develop skills for students interested in a wide variety of disciplines, such as microbiology or cancer biology, and a diverse array of biomedical careers. Faculty created a year-long student-centered course, Scientific Discovery, to serve this need. The course was divided into four modules with progressive skill outcomes. Each module had a focus related to each of the major research areas of the collective faculty: molecular biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, and infectious disease. First-year graduate students enter the program with relevant college-level biology and chemistry coursework but not in-depth content knowledge of any of the focus areas. Each module features a biomedical problem for the students to gain specific content knowledge while developing skills outcomes, such as the ability to conduct scholarly inquiry. In 2015, the theme of the infectious disease module was to create an effective human vaccine to prevent Lyme disease. The module required students to learn fundamental concepts of microbiology and immunology and then apply that knowledge to design their own Lyme disease vaccine. The class culminated with students communicating their creative designs in the form of a “white paper” and a pitch to “potential investors.” By the end of the module, students had developed fundamental knowledge, applied that knowledge with great creativity, and met the skills learning outcomes, as evidenced by their ability to conduct scholarly inquiry and apply knowledge gained during this module to a novel problem, as part of their final exam.

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