Director of Laboratories
This intensive laboratory course applies a through line to each learned technique, so that while the student learns pivotal hands on skills (and their scientific principles) to make them viable in the biotechnology workforce, they are performing hypothesis driven experiments which yield a final manuscript, in the style of a scientific journal. Techniques include, aseptic technique, microscopy, molecular cloning, PCR and western blot. Students become adept at interpreting data, troubleshooting and communicating findings in oral, poster, and manuscript form. The semester long project uses the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to answer questions of the evolutionary relatedness of various biochemical pathways across species.
Students learn the basic biochemical and genetic techniques pivotal in the study of bacteria. Techniques include basic microscopy through sequence-based genotyping.
The bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen commonly found in soil. Natural levels of antibiotic resistance make this organism a wonderful model for understanding the medically relevant issue of antibiotic resistance. In this course, students use bioinformatics to find uncharacterized genes in the genome of the organism, clone, mutate and overexpress the gene to characterize its contribution to antibiotic resistance and other pathogenic traits. The course is framed by this one-gene per student project to familiarize the student with methods of molecular genetics, particularly: bioinformatics, PCR design and troubleshooting, molecular cloning, microbiological culture techniques, and antibiotic susceptibility testing.