Teaching

  • ChE 351: Engineering Analysis of Chemical Systems (Course outline, announcements, and homeworks can be found on BlackBoard. Students need to login with your WUSTL Key, select and click FL2014.E63.ChE.351.01 on the right side of the window)

  • EECE 595C: Molecular Biochemical Engineering (We are using the BlackBoard system for this course. All the important information can be found there).

 

Training

  • NSF REU program: The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is a NSF-funded program to support undergraduate students to get involved in research. This program at our department (EECE) at Washington University in St. Louis (WU) is unique for its focus on "Energy Research with Global Reach". This program will provide undergraduate students an opportunity to work independently in research labs at WU and two weeks at one of the McDonnell Academy Global Energy and Environment Partnership partnering institutions (this year at the University of Queensland , Australia). In 2013, Sara Glade (REU student) has spent a great summer with us.

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  • Washington University iGEM team: We frequently participate in traing the WU iGEM team. In 2013, part of the WU iGEM team, Philip Sossenheimer and Jon Luskin, worked with us on a challenging but interesting synthetic biology project.

  • Rotation Students and undergraduate students: We are constantly training rotation students from DBBS and the engineering school of WU.

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  • 2015 Workshop “Hot Topics in Synthetic Biology”: As a part of the Broad Impacts Plan for a NSF-funded project, we hold a workshop titled "Hot Topics in Synthetic Biology" on Jun 27th, 2015. Totally twenty K-12 teachers from local public high schools attended this workshop. By educating high school teachers who will later teach multiple classes of students during the coming semester after the workshop, we expect to educate a total of 2000 students each year through this workshop.

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We received excellent feedback from the teachers based on our post-assessment. Post-workshop questionnaire, 1-5 scale, with 5 representing “strongly agree” and 1 representing “strongly disagree.”

 

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  • 2016 Workshop “Hot Topics in Synthetic Biology”: As a part of the Broad Impacts Plan for a NSF-funded project, we continued to hold this workshop on Jun 18th, 2016. Dr. Nathan Crook, from the Department of Pathology and Immunology in Washington University School of Medicine, was invited to present "Intro to Bioenergy and Synthetic Biology". Graduate students Gayle Bentley and Di Liu also presented topics on "Advanced Biofuels" and "Synthetic Biology Tools" respectively, followed by discussion related to their research work. Pre- and post-assessment were performed to evaluate the impact of our workshop. We received excellent feedback from the teachers based on our post-assessment. Post-workshop questionnaire, 1-5 scale, with 5 representing “strongly agree” and 1 representing “strongly disagree.”

  • Q1: I am more familiar with synthetic biology after this workshop and can explain to a student what synthetic biology means. Score: 4.4

  • Q2: I am aware of how ethanol and/or biodiesel fuels are generated now. Score: 4.3

  • Q3: I feel that my students have excellent access to cutting edge science, including the opportunity offered by the Zhang lab for students to participate in a 1-week research project. Score: 3.5

  • Q4: I am excited to share what I learned in the workshop with my students. Score: 4.75

  • Q5: This workshop made me more interested in science. Score: 4.6

  • Q6: This workshop helped me understand how basic science is applied to solve real world problems. Score: 4.2

  • Q7: What was the most interesting thing you learned today? (1. What synthetic biology is; 2. The advancements in regulating biological pathways; 3. Dynamic regulation of microbe metabolism; 4. Biofuel production process drawbacks of ethanol SynBio in a nutshell; 5. Hard to say… It was great to get updated about the state of technology of gene regulation and applications thereof; 6. All of it. Synthetic-, Bio-, ethanol is a savior for farmers – created a use for the glut of grain; 7. Tools – driven by application sensor mechanisms and controls for increasing productivity.)

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    • 2016 Lab Research Experience for high school students: We held a one-week Lab Research Experiences for 5 selected high school students in July 2016. The major goal of this training activity is to provide students an opportunity to be exposed to the scientific culture, to get-in-touch with real research, to interact with graduate students, postdcotoral fellows, and faculty members, and to see the career path as a scientist. During this week, students were trained by our postdoctoral researcher Dr. Jie Sun in basic molecular biology lab techniques related to proposed aims of our NSF Broad Impacts Plan project. These techniques include sterile culture, liquid handling, DNA purification, DNA transformation, cryopreservation, competent cells preparation, microscope usage, and lab safety. We expect the students to have an unforgettable and deep research experience and to develop strong interests in science.

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