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Development And Assessment Of A Novel Systems Bioengineering Course Integrating Modeling And Experimentation

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Conference

2009 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

BME Laboratory Courses and Experiences

Tagged Division

Biomedical

Page Count

20

Page Numbers

14.462.1 - 14.462.20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/5659

Download Count

110

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Paper Authors

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Timothy Allen University of Virginia

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Dr. Timothy E. Allen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received a B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Allen's teaching activities include coordinating the undergraduate teaching labs and the Capstone Design sequence in the BME department at the University of Virginia, and his research interests are in the fields of computational systems biology and bioinformatics.

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Jeffrey Saucerman University of Virginia

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Dr. Jeffrey J. Saucerman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received a B.S. in Engineering Science at Penn State, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Saucerman has developed and taught an undergraduate course in linear signals and systems. His research interests include modeling cardiac signaling networks and live cell imaging.

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Jason Papin University of Virginia

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Dr. Jason A. Papin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Papin has developed and taught an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods and Biological Modeling and a graduate course in Computational Systems Biology in collaboration with Dr. Peirce-Cottler. His research interests include systems biology in infectious disease and cancer.

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Shayn Peirce-Cottler University of Virginia

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Dr. Shayn Peirce-Cottler is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. She received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. Dr. Peirce-Cottler's teaching activities have focused on developing and teaching the undergraduate Capstone Design course in the BME department at the University of Virginia, and her research is focused on using in vivo and computational models to elucidate the mechanisms of vascular differentiation and the efficacy of stem cell-based therapies for wound repair.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development and Assessment of a Novel Systems Bioengineering Course Integrating Modeling and Experimentation

Abstract

Advances in the biomedical sciences are becoming increasingly dependent upon the application of rigorous engineering principles to the study of biological systems. Most existing bioengineering curricula lack integrative courses that combine systems modeling approaches with biological “wet-lab” experimentation. We have thus developed an undergraduate senior elective course entitled “Systems Bioengineering Modeling and Experimentation” in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. The goal of this integrative course is to enhance undergraduate preparedness for industry and graduate study in the emerging field of Systems Biology by teaching systems concepts and methods in the context of experimental techniques. The course covers modeling and experimental approaches spanning multiple scales in biology, including subcellular dynamics, cellular networks, and multicellular patterning. Modern experimental approaches include live-cell imaging, gene microarrays, and in vitro angiogenesis assays. Since the field of Systems Biology is still rapidly evolving and currently ill defined, the particular educational benefits gained from the integrative pedagogical approach we have taken have not been established previously. To determine the efficacy of this course for achieving depth of knowledge and cognitive skills in the systems approach to biomedical engineering, we administered a summative assessment instrument to all senior undergraduates in the year the course was offered, both who were in enrolled in the course and who were not, with time points before and after the course was offered. In this paper, we describe the course structure and preliminary assessment from the first offering of this course. We also review the educational benefits and challenges associated with teaching systems biology concepts: e.g. complexity and simplification strategies, integration of biological information across spatial and temporal scales, resolving literature discrepancies in the context of a model, and parameter estimation and model validation. Initial assessment results indicate that this course provides a successful model for introducing undergraduates both to state-of-the-art techniques and to the central systems biology paradigm of iterative cycling between models and experiments.

Introduction

The field of biomedical engineering (BME), which is still a young field relative to the more “traditional” engineering disciplines, has been responsible for many high-impact biomedical advances (both clinically and in basic research) over the past 50-60 years1. However, over the last decade the field of BME has been significantly transformed by far-reaching new scientific and technological developments. The human genome has been sequenced2,3, the field of bioinformatics has generated powerful data annotation and database management tools4, diagnostic and imaging approaches are evolving at a rapid pace due to advances in molecular nanotechnology5, and computational power and capabilities are increasing exponentially every year. But the faster the pace of biomedical discovery, the more an integrated “systems approach” is needed to provide an accurate and useful context for those discoveries. It is now clear that taking such a “systems approach”—viewing not just the parts, but also the interactions

Allen, T., & Saucerman, J., & Papin, J., & Peirce-Cottler, S. (2009, June), Development And Assessment Of A Novel Systems Bioengineering Course Integrating Modeling And Experimentation Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5659

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