Integrating Teaching and Research
To encourage a relevant and exciting learning environment, I seek to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of modern science in my introductory courses, and incorporate original research into the classroom in my upper-level classes.
Incorporating original research in the classroom
What could be a better way to introduce students to real chemistry than to turn the classroom into an original research experience? Through incorporating projects such as “The Fungal Challenge” in upper-level seminar classes, and tackling cutting edge research questions in junior-level Superlab courses, our students develop their skills at the chemistry-biology interface while making meaningful contributions to the natural products community. We asked our Biochemistry Superlab students to reflect on their experience two years after completing the course, and here is what they had to say!
Designing Convergent Chemistry Curricula
Scientific convergence is a common theme in modern research, yet undergraduate chemistry is commonly taught as an isolated discipline. We strive to increase scientific convergence in introductory chemistry courses. In collaboration with Dr. Joshua Kritzer, Dr. Krishna Kumar, and Dr. Nicole Sampson, we have created a web-based resource to compile details of curricular changes in college-level general chemistry and organic chemistry sequences.
At http://sites.tufts.edu/ConvergentChemistry, you can view curricular innovations from a large variety of colleges and universities. We encourage new submissions, and the site will be continuously curated with additions and updates! You can also read our commentary “Designing covergent chemistry curricula” in Nature Chemical Biology.
Publications originating from research in the classroom:
- Rivas, M. A., Courouble, V. C., Baker, M. C., Cookmeyer, D. L., Fiore, K. E., Frost, A. J., Godbe, K. N., Jordan, M. R., Krasnow, E. N., Mollo, A., Nawal, S., Ridings, S. T., Keisuke, S., Shroff, K. D., Studnitzer, B., Thiele, G. A. R., Sisto, A. C., Huff, A. R., Fairman, R., Beld, J., Kokona, B.*, Charkoudian, L. K.* “Type II Polyketide Acyl Carrier Protein Thermostability and Interactions with a Fatty Acid Ketoacyl Synthase.” AIChE Journal. Accepted.
- Haas, K. L.,* Heemstra, J. M., Medema, M. H., Charkoudian, L. K.* “Collaborating with Undergraduates to Contribute to Biochemistry Community Resources.” Biochemistry, 2018, 57, 383-389.
- Cookmeyer, D. L., Winesett, S. E., Kokona, B., Huff, A. R., Aliev, S., Bloch, N. B., Bulos, J. A., Evans, I. L., Farge, C. R., Godbe, K. N., Khromava, M., Konstantinovsky, D. M., Lafrance, A., Lamacki, A. J., Parry, R. C., Quinn, J. M., Thurston, A. M., Tsai, K. J. S., Mollo, A., Cryle, M. J., Fairman, R.*, Charkoudian, L. K.* “Uncovering Protein-Protein Interactions through a Team-based Undergraduate Biochemistry Course.” PLoS Biology, 2017, In Press.
- Fuga Li, Y., Tsai, K., Harvey, C., Ary, B., Berlew, E., Boehman, B., Findley, D., Friant, A., Gardner, C., Gould, M., Ha, J.H., Lilley, B., McKinstry, E., Nawal, S., Parry, R., Rothchild, K., Silbert, S., Tentilucci, M., Thurston, A., Wai, R., Yoon, Y., Aiyar, R., Medema, M. H., Hillenmeyer, M. E.,* and Charkoudian, L. K. “Comprehensive Curation and Analysis of Fungal Biosynthetic Gene Clusters of Published Natural Products.” Fungal Genet. & Biol., 2016. 89, 18-28.
- Kokona, B., Winesett, E. S., von Krusenstiern, A. N., Cryle, M. J., Fairman, R., Charkoudian, L. K. “Probing the Selectivity of Beta-hydroxylation Reactions in Non-ribosomal Peptide Synthesis using Analytical Ultracentrifugation.” Anal. Biochem. 2016, 495, 42-51.