The MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM) has received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program (IUSE). The CBM will use the funds to implement a collaborative project with the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) that will connect students with educators and researchers in the biomolecular sciences.

With the help of the CBM, undergraduate members of ASBMB student chapters will create physical models of a protein that plays a key role in the research of a scientist who will be honored at the annual ASBMB meeting. Students then will bring their protein models to that meeting where they will attend the researcher’s award lecture, and meet him or her during an informal teaching session.

Following the teaching session at the annual meeting, faculty advisors of the ASBMB student chapters will attend a summer workshop on the Milwaukee School of Engineering campus to work with CBM staff to create student-centered instructional materials that will allow this topic to be introduced to other students in undergraduate bioscience classrooms.

This is the third NSF award to the CBM in support of projects like this. Previous projects by the CBM have shown that physical protein models stimulate meaningful conversations between experts (researchers) and novices (students).

Tim Herman, Ph.D., founder and director of the CBM, is principal investigator for this three-year, $600,000 award. Co-investigators include Margaret Franzen, Ph.D., and Diane Munzenmaier, Ph.D., both CBM program directors; and Cheryl Bailey, Ph.D., dean of Mount Mary University’s School of Natural and Health Sciences. Kim Cortes, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at Kennesaw State University, will provide external evaluation for this project.