Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURES) in BIO
There are several ways for first-year students to get involved in research. The Learning Objectives of the teaching labs include introducing the methods and processes used by biologists. Whether you are in BIO 1105 (BU-TREES), BIO 1106 (BIO-HEROES), or BIO 2106 (Genetics), you have the opportunity to learn to "act and think like a scientist". Take advantage of every opportunity to grow your understanding of how science is done.
In addition to the lab courses listed above, that all BIO majors are required to take, there are some lab sections that are designated "research-based". Our goal is to increase undergraduate interest and retention in the biological sciences through immediate immersion in authentic, valuable, yet accessible research. These sections are more time consuming, but they are designed to teach skills and knowledge that will best prepare you for future research opportunities. Enrollment is usually by permit only.
Below are some of the opportunities for early students:
BIO 1405/1406: Investigations of Modern Biology Concepts I and II
These courses are alternatives to the BIO 1305/1105 and 1306/1106 Modern Concepts of Bioscience courses. Students attend lecture and lab as one cohort. Students in these courses work on research-based projects and have ownership of the questions and results generated from their work. The learning goals focus on students experiencing an authentic scientific discovery and practicing the skills required for scientific communication. Students have a chance to publish and contribute to the scientific literature, and to present their work at Scholars Day or other scientific meetings. This early experience in research prepares students to be competitive for additional undergraduate research experiences. Currently we have two sections of these courses, Wetland Biology led by Dr. Marty Harvill, and BEARS in the SEA, led by Dr. Tamarah Adair.
(In some semesters, these labs may be offered as 1105-RES or 1106-RES.)
BIO 1406: Wetland Biology
This one semester course began in the spring 2009 as product of Robert Foster Cherry Award recipient Dr. Stephen D. Davis’ time in the Department of Biology. The goal of the course is allow students to experience a research project from the beginning to the end. During the course the students will complete laboratory safety training, write a simple grant proposal, and generate their own research question. Working in groups of three students they will develop a hypothesis and an experimental design to test their hypothesis. As a part of their final grade they will present their research poster and write a paper. In the spring of the next year they will present their poster at Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Scholars Week.
BIO 1405/1406: BEARS in the SEA: Biology Education and Research Students in the Science Education Alliance
This two-semester sequence began in the fall of 2010 as a SEA-PHAGE course funded by HHMI. The SEA Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science, or PHAGES, project is built around a national experiment in bacteriophage genomics. Students isolate, name, sequence, and analyze newly discovered bacteriophages. Students make significant contributions to the field of genomics as they learn how to think like scientists. Baylor freshmen have contributed nearly 200 phages to the Actinobacteria Database.
BIO 2106-RES: SEA-GENES: Science Education Alliance Gene-function Exploration by a Network of Emerging Scientists
The SEA-GENES lab is a second level of research that has developed based on discoveries made in the SEA-PHAGES courses. SEA-PHAGE genomic discoveries are made using bioinformatic tools and have resulted in the annotated genomes of thousands of phages. This has led to advances in our understanding of how genes are organized within phage genomes and distributed across phage populations. It has revealed that there are families of genes based on the sequence similarities of the proteins they encode. The large majority of these families do not resemble any previously characterized proteins. It is the aim of the SEA-GENES research project to experimentally explore this vast unknown, beginning with determining the cytotoxicity level of each gene in a genome through cloning and gene expression assays. For questions about SEA-GENES, contact Dr. Adair or Dr. Kebaara.
BIO 4108: Developmental Biology- RES - C. elegans research
This lab accompanies the lecture course in Cell and Developmental Biology taught by Dr. Myeongwoo Lee. Students use the model organism C. elegans as they study the effects of compounds on developmental pathways. Students present their findings and archive their results using the BEARCat system.
CURES in BIO Symposium
CURES in BIO is a Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience symposium. Students enrolled in these courses have the opportunity to present their research a number of times, including at the CURES in BIO Symposium that is held on the last class day of each spring semester. For more information, see Dr. Adair, Dr. Harvill, or Dr. Lee