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The Genomics Education Partnership: Successful Integration of Research into Laboratory Classes at a Diverse Group of Undergraduate Institutions

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CBE - Life Sciences Education Volume 9, Number 1, ISSN 1931-7913


Genomics is not only essential for students to understand biology but also provides unprecedented opportunities for undergraduate research. The goal of the Genomics Education Partnership (GEP), a collaboration between a growing number of colleges and universities around the country and the Department of Biology and Genome Center of Washington University in St. Louis, is to provide such research opportunities. Using a versatile curriculum that has been adapted to many different class settings, GEP undergraduates undertake projects to bring draft-quality genomic sequence up to high quality and/or participate in the annotation of these sequences. GEP undergraduates have improved more than 2 million bases of draft genomic sequence from several species of "Drosophila" and have produced hundreds of gene models using evidence-based manual annotation. Students appreciate their ability to make a contribution to ongoing research, and report increased independence and a more active learning approach after participation in GEP projects. They show knowledge gains on pre- and postcourse quizzes about genes and genomes and in bioinformatic analysis. Participating faculty also report professional gains, increased access to genomics-related technology, and an overall positive experience. We have found that using a genomics research project as the core of a laboratory course is rewarding for both faculty and students. (Contains 10 figures and 2 tables.)


Shaffer, C.D., Alvarez, C., Bailey, C., Barnard, D., Bhalla, S., Chandrasekaran, C., Chandrasekaran, V., Chung, H.M., Dorer, D.R., Du, C., Eckdahl, T.T., Poet, J.L., Frohlich, D., Goodman, A.L., Gosser, Y., Hauser, C., Hoopes, L.L.M., Johnson, D., Jones, C.J., Kaehler, M., Kokan, N., Kopp, O.R., Kuleck, G.A., McNeil, G., Moss, R., Myka, J.L., Nagengast, A., Morris, R., Overvoorde, P.J., Shoop, E., Parrish, S., Reed, K., Regisford, E.G., Revie, D., Rosenwald, A.G., Saville, K., Schroeder, S., Shaw, M., Skuse, G., Smith, C., Smith, M., Spana, E.P., Spratt, M., Stamm, J., Thompson, J.S., Wawersik, M., Wilson, B.A., Youngblom, J., Leung, W., Buhler, J., Mardis, E.R., Lopatto, D. & Elgin, S.C.R. (2010). The Genomics Education Partnership: Successful Integration of Research into Laboratory Classes at a Diverse Group of Undergraduate Institutions. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 9(1), 55-69. Retrieved October 22, 2020 from .

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