Team-Based Undergraduate Research on Stem Cells

Posted on 4/19/2016 8:48:40 AM

A laboratory section of Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology and Organic Chemistry participated in undergraduate research in spring 2016. Students from each section were paired with one another and asked to plan experiments that would probe potential small molecules to effect stem cell regeneration.

Coupling of coursework will link chemical synthesis and small molecule characterization with genomics to better understand molecular and cellular processes in fields such as regenerative medicine and cancer biology.

posterEach organic subgroup planned the synthesis of primary, secondary, and tertiary alcohols using the sodium borohydride and Grignard reactions. All synthetic products were analyzed for yield and purity using the spectroscopic techniques of NMR, GC/MS and IR. Members of the biology subgroups carried out an investigation on the effects of each alcohol in the small molecule library on aspects of stem-cell-based tissue regeneration in planarian flatworms.

The section group pairs met often outside of their laboratory periods to elucidate and discuss their findings. Members of each subgroup have produced a poster detailing their results which they will present. Intra- and interdisciplinary group member interactions were enhanced with teamwork modules completed at the start of the spring semester. 

The poster session detailing the outcomes of the research will be held on Wednesday, April 20, from 6:00–7:00 p.m. in the hallway of the first floor of Weyandt Hall. All are welcome to stop by!

The goals of this interdisciplinary undergraduate research project were to:

  1. Relate course material from each discipline making it more relevant to each major enrolled in each course;
  2. Educate team members on the principles of high functioning teams;
  3. Introduce students to the nature of how real-world, team-based projects are solved in industry and government;
  4. Foster excitement for undergraduate research.  

The integrated, interdisciplinary laboratory periods were designed by the research groups of Justin Fair and Robert Major. Theresa Ruffner designed, taught, and evaluated the teamwork learning modules. Anne Kondo was essential with the logistics and evaluation of the experiments. 

BIOL 202 Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology Students:

Maggie Progin  
Maggie Blaetz
Priya Soundararajan
Stacey Nicodemus
Angie Johnson
Gerneleh Paye
Kayla Gabany
Denali Davis
Brandon Weller
Olivia Leitzel
Markia Gordon
Kalyn Lundberg
Anthony Lewis
Nicole Venuti
Bryana Mitchell
Derek Rocks
Tashi Bharathan
Hannah Phar
Sam Pavolko
Alexiss Price
Alex LaBue
Anissa Delfonso
Nicole Kinjerski
Tierra Williams

CHEM 232 Organic Chemistry Laboratory Students:

Vanessa Bouch
Brooke Brocious
Brandon Cox
Deanne Cuda
Jennifer Dodd
Kayla Ferrell
Carrie Gleason
Chasity Hankinson
Matthew Janosko
Allison Kick
Alayna Mellott
John Miller
Cristina Nieves
MacKenzie Race
Leah Taylor
Michelle Williams
Michael Zacur

Department of Chemistry