Chemical Biology — The laboratory course

The goal of Chemical Biology Laboratory (Chem 427Lb) is to involve undergraduates enrolled in Chemical Biology I in the challenge and excitement of independent discovery at an early stage of their Yale experience, long before such research opportunities would usually be available to them. Each student will have an individual project that is a sub-project of a major funded investigation currently underway in a chemical biology research laboratory at Yale. Since the projects in this course represent discovery research, they differ from those in a traditional laboratory course which tend to have pre-determined outcomes. Students in Chemical Biology I will share the excitement — and perhaps the frustration — of hands-on experience with original research.

Sub-groups of four students working on related projects will be guided by a TA — a graduate student mentory — who is working on related research in his or her own lab. This feature fosters independence and communication, since the students within a particular sub-group will work on individual problems but may encounter similar challenges. There will be frequent mini-meetings of the research sub-groups for troubleshooting and discussion of results. The schedule is designed so that significant milestones can be reached by the end of each semester.

As students progress through the semester, they will gain experience performing a variety of indispensable laboratory techniques while they gain exposure to research methods. By the end of the semester, students will be expected to analyze their results and propose logically related future experiments. The ultimate goal is to have each sub-group submit a JACS communication by the semester’s end.