LINKS

    mburns16@luc.edu

    Tel: 773-508-3637

    @karabekian

    Loyola University Chicago photos by Natalie Battaglia

    Metagenomics - (BIOL 392 / COMP 384 / BIOL 488)

    What

    If you don't know what Metagenomics is, that's perfectly fine. It's an emerging field. As always, Wikipedia is a great place to start collecting information on a new topic. You can also check out this TED Talk. Metagenomics is exploring new niches (check out yet another TED Talk). As I am a cancer biologist, I'm interested in researching the interaction between the microbial communities found in and on us and how these communities interact with cancer.

    Where

    On the Loyola University Chicago Lakeshore Campus

    When

    Yearly, during the Fall Semester

    What can I expect in the course?

    This course is not your typical lecture-style course. It is an interdisciplinary research-intensive course. The students in the course will have complementary but not identical skill-sets and backgrounds, ensuring that the students can collectively perform research. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the class, students will be expected to collaborate, akin to interdisciplinary research in the real-world. This is not a class you can be a passive member. Enrollment presupposes a commitment to your fellow classmates that you will be an active member of the group, pull your weight and contribute.

    Does this sound interesting?

    If you've seen the TED Talks, done some Googling on the cancer microbiome, and think this may be a course for you...

    Do you have the prerequisite knowledge/experience, namely does research excite you?


        > If you're a biology major, have you completed Genetics? Did you do well in Genetics?
        > If you're a computer science major, have you completed a 100+ programming course? Did you do well in it?
        > If you're a bioinformatics major, have you taken Genetics and/or programming?
        > If you're a statistics major, have you taken a biostatistics course? Have you ever heard of the language R?

    ‚Äč

    Most importantly, does the unknown excite you? Do you enjoy figuring things out for yourself?
     

    Cell Biology - (BIOL 251)

    What

    My Cell Bio course is designed as an active learning classroom. What does this mean? It means that the course is a mixture of in-class activities, case studies, thought problems, a little bit of lecture, and lots and lots of quizzes. If this sounds intimidating, don't worry, you'll have your group mates to help out. Nearly all classroom work is done in the context of assigned group tasks.  

    Where

    On the Loyola University Chicago Lakeshore Campus

    When

    Yearly, during the Spring Semester

    What can I expect in the course?

    The first thing to note is that this course involves a lot of reading. Seriously. You will get your money's worth out of the textbook. Why is this? Well, this is because we always start each week with a quiz on over the material in the textbook that we will then be covering later on in the week (i.e. the only way to study for the quizzes is to read the textbook). Each quiz is split into two different segments: an individual section and a group section. Your final quiz score is a combination of these two segments. 

    Why is the course structured this way?

    The main reason the course is structured the way it is is because there is scientific evidence that shows that this style of teaching is more effective at getting students to learn and retain the material. It also has the side-benefit of increasing student grades by decreasing the number of Ds, Fs, and drops. [Here's a link to one meta-analysis on the topic, if you're skeptical http://www.pnas.org/content/111/23/8410.full]

    If you have questions about the class structure or materials, please feel free to contact Dr. Burns by email.