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American Society of Cell Biology

American Society of Cell Biology logo

The American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB), founded in 1960, is an inclusive, international community of biologists studying the cell, the fundamental unit of life. They are dedicated to advancing scientific discovery, advocating sound research policies, improving education, promoting professional development and increasing diversity in the scientific workforce.

Editor(s)

Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier
Editor Degrees: 

Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology from Harvard University

B.A. in Chemistry (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology concentration) from Williams College

About Teaching and Course Source: 

Although I began my academic journey in Chemistry, my research interests and experience place me firmly in the realm of Cell Biology. I have taught courses to all levels of undergraduate students (and some master's students) across the breadth of cell biology, including Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology, Cellular Physiology, Genetics, Biochemical Regulatory Mechanisms, Cancer Biology and Advanced Molecular Biology. My first goal in teaching is to get students excited about what they are learning. Cells and the molecules that make them are amazing things! I also want to equip them with the tools to gain new knowledge themselves, whether through searching the literature or conducting their own experiments. Finally, I want to help students become comfortable with not knowing the answer right away, but to have the confidence, patience, and perseverance to figure it out, often working collaboratively with their peers, with me as a facilitator rather than a leader.

Whenever I have the opportunity to talk about teaching with colleagues, I always learn something useful that I can apply in my own teaching. CourseSource provides a way to interact with a much larger group of colleagues and to pool our collective knowledge about what teaching methods work best. I am excited to be involved in disseminating this valuable resource to promote best practices in teaching to a wide audience in an open-access format.

Leocadia Paliulis
Leocadia Paliulis
Editor Degrees: 

Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Duke University

B.A. in Biology (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Concentration) from Williams College

About Teaching and Course Source: 

I am a Professor of Biology at Bucknell University.  I started studying chromosome movements during cell division when I was an undergraduate, and have continued to do so through my graduate program at Duke University and my postdoc at the University of North Carolina.  I began my commitment to undergraduate education as a SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow at UNC.  I continued that commitment as a faculty member at Bucknell University.  During my career I have taught undergraduate courses in a range of different areas of cell biology.

I want my students to know, understand, and apply the information they learn, and to be excited about what they are learning.  Beyond that, I want students to be able to think critically.  I want them to understand how to identify and judge the merits of different options.  Facts are an essential foundation for critical thinking, but one cannot stop construction when the foundation is complete.  Thinking critically means making strong, fact-based arguments or hypotheses and testing them.  In every class I teach, my aim is to help students become critical thinkers who can participate constructively in our society, whether it be by using the material we cover in class directly in a research or medical career or by using the information and critical thinking skills they get through my classes in their everyday lives.

I am very happy to join CourseSource, a journal that promotes scientific teaching and critical thinking among faculty and students.

Scott Gehler
Scott Gehler
Editor Degrees: 

Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

B.A. in Biology and Psychology, Cornell College

About Teaching and Course Source: 

During my time teaching, I have taught undergraduate students at all levels, including an introductory level cell biology course, Human Physiology, Cancer Biology, Nutrition, and various senior-level capstone experiences. Two general principles guide my approach to teaching. First, I challenge students to integrate seemingly disparate concepts by applying their understanding to real-life problems. By doing so, students work on questions and problems that are relevant to them as they ‘do’ the subject. Also, students learn to integrate information into a larger conceptual framework that is constantly being modified and expanded during the course in order to reinforce deep learning. Second, I attempt to help students develop interdisciplinary perspectives within and outside the boundaries of the biological sciences. Biology does not happen in a vacuum, so why should it be taught that way? Through forming connections across disciplines within and outside the sciences, students might better understand the ways disciplines influence and support each other. As a result, students can be equipped with the perspectives and skills necessary to be successful in a rapidly evolving and changing field.

There are so many ideas and options supported by the SOTL literature for instructors to actively engage their students in the learning process. However, it can be extremely daunting coming up with ways to transform and implement those ideas into a course. CourseSource provides intentional, innovative, and engaging activities that have been developed by a community of colleagues across institutions in order to promote active learning in the classroom and the laboratory.

Cell Biology