It was the one of the very few moments in his life when he was truly speechless, says Malcolm Campbell. He was at the 2013 ASCB spring Council meeting in Washington, DC, seated next to fellow ASCB councilor David Botstein who had just won one of the new $3 million Breakthrough Awards in Life Sciences. Waiting for the meeting to come to order, Campbell, a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina and a leading proponent of research-driven reform in undergraduate biology education, congratulated Botstein on the award. Campbell recalls, "David said, 'I want to give some money to MIT, Cold Spring Harbor, UCSF, and to you.
"Active-learning interventions," in which passive lectures are replaced with interactive activities, moving lecture materials to homework and outside readings, have been shown by STEM education researchers in recent years to be strikingly effective, but a new study published on September 2 in CBE—Life Sciences Education, published by ASCB, reveals that this strategy is especially powerful for black and first-generation college students. An active-learning strategy in an introductory biology course halved the black-white achievement gap and significantly improved the outcome for first-generation college students compared with students in a lecture-based class.
Throughout my PhD years, I have worked passionately on the issue of "Women in Science." Becoming the president of the Graduate Women in Science Organization (GWIS) at Florida State University gave me an opportunity to work on building connections between young professional women and those who were already well advanced in their careers. During GWIS meetings, we discuss the challenges faced by women in science and talk about personal experiences.
Chaperones aren't just for high-school homecoming dances. Cells have chaperones as well, chaperone proteins that ensure newly made proteins are properly folded. If protein folding goes awry, diseases associated with misfolded proteins such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's can arise. But if one set of chaperones can throw a wet blanket on a school dance, imagine a second set of co-chaperones just to keep the chaperones in check. That's the growing picture in cellular chaperoning as folding guardians of the cell turn out to have guardians of their own.