The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), founded in 1906, advances the science of biochemistry and molecular biology through publication of scientific and education journals, organizes scientific meetings, advocates for funding of basic research and education, supports science education at all levels and promotes the diversity of individuals entering the scientific workforce.
Ph.D., Biochemistry/Bioinorganic Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
M.S., Biophysical Chemistry, University of Illinois, Chicago
M.Sc., Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India
My teaching philosophy involves facilitating learning through careful organization of the material and activities that allow students to connect new information to their prior learning. By applying the newly learned concepts to real-life problems students’ build their foundational knowledge and begin recognizing the common patterns that drive molecular processes. Seventeen years of teaching have confirmed my belief that students in our classrooms can perform at higher level on Bloom’s taxonomy if we can model the right approaches to learning, set clear expectations and only grade things that we value. Students’ ability to ask good questions should be nurtured at every stage of learning so that they can integrate and critically evaluate new developments in the field. Students should also be provided with opportunities to use their scientific knowledge to make meaningful contributions to their community.
Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. from Oxford University, UK
After almost 40 years of teaching students everything from introductory biology and chemistry, to biochemistry, to advanced topics in protein structure, function and biophysics I have found that each year I lecture less and less and try to engage students in more active learning activities. I try to align my teaching with the concepts of “Vision and Change” with a focus on foundational concepts and the skills necessary to be a scientist. For me, the most effective scenarios involve interdisciplinary aspects of biochemistry and molecular biology, integrating meaningful research projects into a student's education via courses and independent research, and encouraging and enabling students to communicate science in a variety of ways to different audiences.
Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cornell University, New York
B.S. in Chemistry with Honors, Lafayette College, Pennsylvania
Over the last 15 years, I have continually shifted my biochemistry teaching from primarily lecture-based to more interactive modes of learning. We do a variety of activities, from students working in groups on questions related to the topic in class, to discussing papers, to using computers to visualize proteins. Over the last two years I have worked to make the last two weeks of class essentially lecture-free. When we reach this point in the term the students are comfortable with biochemical terminology and with my instructional style. This allows me the freedom to use more open-ended pedagogical techniques. The students work in groups to answer questions, then we share answers and I give a brief discussion of areas they have questions about. I am still honing these activities because teaching is always a work in progress.
Ph.D. in biochemistry, University of Kentucky
Paula Lemons is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia (UGA). She has a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Kentucky, where she investigated the molecular mechanisms controlling blood platelet exocytosis. She was a postdoctoral teaching fellow and Professor of the Practice at Duke University in the Department of Biology. At Duke, Paula conducted her first work in developing active learning materials with a focus on problem-based learning and case-based instruction. She also discovered education research while at Duke, collaborating with education researchers in mathematics to investigate the role of teaching assistants in facilitating small-group learning environments and biology education researchers to investigate critical thinking in the biology classroom. Paula became an Assistant Professor at the UGA in 2009. During her time at Georgia, Paula has developed a vibrant discipline-based education research group funded by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. Her group investigates the thinking and practices of college biology instructors who engage in professional development, seeking to determine better ways to support their use of evidence-based educational practices. Paula’s group also investigates biochemistry learning, focusing on learning and instruction about noncovalent interactions and metabolic pathway dynamics. Paula’s work has been published in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, CBE-Life Sciences Education, BioScience, and the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. She teaches Introductory Biochemistry for science and engineering majors. Paula promotes discipline-based education research and its applications through her leadership of the Scientists Engaged in Education Research Center and the Department and Leadership Teams for Action institutional transformation project, both at UGA. Given her extensive work in studying and promoting evidence-based practice in undergraduate education, Paula is eager to contribute to the publication of high-quality lessons through CourseSource.