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ERIC Number: EJ918549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
"Design Your Own Disease" Assignment: Teaching Students to Apply Metabolic Pathways
Flynn, Nick
Journal of Chemical Education, v87 n8 p799-802 Aug 2010
One of the major focuses of biochemistry courses is metabolic pathways. Although certain aspects of this content may require a rote approach, more applied techniques make these subject areas more interesting. This article describes the use of an assignment, "Design Your Own Disease" to teach students metabolic regulation and biosignaling mechanisms. Concepts related to peer review and scientific literacy are emphasized in the context of disease processes. There are three phases that are associated with this assignment. In the first phase, students choose a biosignaling mechanism from the textbook. In the second phase, the students use this mechanism to propose a new disease process that is associated with one of the regulatory steps of a metabolic pathway and present the information as a paper. Finally in the third stage, the students peer review three student papers using three biosignaling mechanisms that they did not use in their own paper. Possible modifications to the assignment include the use of guest speakers, refinement of the peer-review process, and removal of the biosignaling mechanism requirement. A grading rubric makes assigning grades more straightforward and helps students conduct their peer reviews. Student comments and interest concerning the assignment and areas related to the assignment are positive and reflect its applied nature. (Contains 3 tables.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A