Development of a biochemistry laboratory course with a project-oriented goal

Robert V. Stahelin, Raymond E. Forslund, Donald J. Wink, Wonhwa Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


A new course for undergraduate biochemistry laboratory has been developed in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The course is innovative pedagogically by giving students a set of relevant skills for biochemical research and then allowing them to apply those skills in designing and performing the procedures for a research-like project. The course content focuses on the pharmacologically important enzyme β-lactamase, which is involved in the hydrolysis of antibiotics such as penicillins and cephalosporins. Specifically, each student designs and performs site-directed mutagenesis of the enzyme β-lactamase and analyzes the effect of mutation on the catalytic function of the enzyme by an enzyme assay. This unique and valuable research experience greatly enhances their understanding of scientific reasoning and the research process. Evaluation of the progress also indicates successful linkage of skill-building and student-directed activities even for students with no prior experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Laboratory instruction
  • Problem-based learning
  • β-lactamase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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