Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01 Introduces Cancer Research into the Undergraduate Laboratory, Publishes Novel Approach for Undergraduate Investigation of Gene Expression

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kristian M. Hargadon ’01 recently published an article in the journal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education highlighting a novel laboratory module that he developed for improving undergraduate student learning of gene expression.  This module, which is based on Dr. Hargadon’s research interests relating to melanoma, is currently used in his Biology 201 Genetics and Cell Biology course and teaches students several cutting edge techniques for investigating gene expression.  Specifically, over a 6-week period, students are exposed to both traditional and quantitative polymerase chain reaction technologies as well as flow cytometric assays as they investigate expression of the Tgfb1 gene in highly versus poorly tumorigenic melanomas at both the population and single-cell levels.  In the recently published study, Dr. Hargadon demonstrates the utility of this module in improving student learning of not only the process of gene expression but also of research techniques that may be employed for the experimental analysis of gene expression.  Since publication of this article, Dr. Hargadon has extended this laboratory exercise in his class such that upon completion of the module, students then develop their own cancer research projects in which they assess expression of a unique gene of interest that they hypothesize might contribute to melanoma progression through altered expression patterns.  Also since its publication, Dr. Hargadon’s laboratory module has also been implemented in a 300-level Biochemical Methods course at Bucknell University.

Dr. Hargadon’s article in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education can be accessed at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bmb.20958/abstract

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