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Research-based undergraduate course expands beyond Washington University
Date:11/25/2008

Washington University in St. Louis is in the spotlight for its pivotal role in the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), a collaborative effort to provide research experience in genomics to undergraduate classrooms across the country.

Genomics, the study of an organism's entire genome (collection of DNA), is an exciting area for students to get a taste of research.

The GEP currently consists of over 40 faculty members from a variety of schools, including a number of historically black and Hispanic-serving institutions as well as schools with a high proportion of first generation college students.

By making it easy for undergraduate institutions to incorporate research into their regular, academic-year curricula, the GEP can reach underserved students who otherwise have limited opportunities to learn to think like scientists.

At the helm of this mission is Sarah C.R. Elgin, Ph.D., Washington University Professor of Biology and Professor of Education in Arts & Sciences as well as Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics and Professor of Genetics in the School of Medicine.

In 2002, Elgin was one of twenty professors awarded $1 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to bring research into the undergraduate classroom. Over the next four years, Elgin and her colleagues developed and implemented a research-based genomics course for juniors and seniors at Washington University in which students polish and interpret their own portion of raw DNA sequence.

The course, Biology 4342, "Research Explorations in Genomics," is a collaborative effort. Elgin co-teaches with Dr. Elaine Mardis of Washington University's Genome Sequencing Center and Dr. Jeremy Buhler of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Several other members of the WUSTL community provide guest lectures to illustrate how they have used genomic approaches to answer diverse questions in their own research.'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Elgin
selgin@wustl.edu
314-935-5348
Washington University in St. Louis
Source:Eurekalert

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