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ERIC Number: EJ1094471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Incorporating Modeling and Simulations in Undergraduate Biophysical Chemistry Course to Promote Understanding of Structure-Dynamics-Function Relationships in Proteins
Hati, Sanchita; Bhattacharyya, Sudeep
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v44 n2 p140-159 Mar-Apr 2016
A project-based biophysical chemistry laboratory course, which is offered to the biochemistry and molecular biology majors in their senior year, is described. In this course, the classroom study of the structure-function of biomolecules is integrated with the discovery-guided laboratory study of these molecules using computer modeling and simulations. In particular, modern computational tools are employed to elucidate the relationship between structure, dynamics, and function in proteins. Computer-based laboratory protocols that we introduced in three modules allow students to visualize the secondary, super-secondary, and tertiary structures of proteins, analyze non-covalent interactions in protein-ligand complexes, develop three-dimensional structural models (homology model) for new protein sequences and evaluate their structural qualities, and study proteins' intrinsic dynamics to understand their functions. In the fourth module, students are assigned to an authentic research problem, where they apply their laboratory skills (acquired in modules 1-3) to answer conceptual biophysical questions. Through this process, students gain in-depth understanding of protein dynamics--the missing link between structure and function. Additionally, the requirement of term papers sharpens students' writing and communication skills. Finally, these projects result in new findings that are communicated in peer-reviewed journals.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A