Dr. Joseph Ayoob, Associate Professor, Department of Computational and Systems Biology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; and Dr. Joshua Kangas, Assistant Teaching Professor, Computational Biology Department, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University have published “10 Simple Rules for Teaching Wet-Lab Experimentation to Computational Biology Students (aka, turning computer mice into lab rats)” in PLoS Computational Biology.
Joe and Josh first became involved with the Lab Methods for Computational Biology class, which is part of the Carnegie-Mellon University of Pittsburgh Computational Biology Ph.D. program, over ten years ago – with Josh as a student and then teaching assistant and Joe as a new instructor. For the past three years they have been teaching the course together and wanted to share their years of expertise with the broader computational biology community.
Abstract: “Graduate students in Computational Biology typically have strong computational backgrounds but are frequently limited in their understanding of the theory, approach, and practice of biological experimentation used to generate data. A thorough understanding of the techniques used to generate biological data is essential for computational biologists to effectively critique and incorporate data into their research efforts. Furthermore, students are more frequently generating their own data in their PhD research making this background knowledge crucial for their success. To give students this knowledge, insight, and experience, the ‘Laboratory Methods for Computational Biologists’ (LMCB) course was established as a core course in the CPCB curriculum to provide a hands-on, research-oriented laboratory experience in four major areas: genomics, microscopy and bioimaging, high content screening, and X-ray crystallography. The LMCB course provides foundational and experiential wet-lab training for the benefit of nascent computational scientists. In this article, we provide some of the guiding principles and approaches that we have used to establish, evolve, and shape the LMCB course.”
Congratulations Drs. Ayoob and Kangas on your publication and thank you for your continued dedication to education!
Ayoob JC, Kangas JD. (2020) 10 simple rules for teaching wet-lab experimentation to computational biology students, i.e., turning computer mice into lab rats. PLoS Comput Biol 16(6): e1007911. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007911