Bridging Disciplines is a three-week hybrid course for Maine undergraduates interested in gaining biomedical research experience and learning about interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex environmental health problems. This year the focus will be on toxicology and regeneration. What are the biological impacts of exposure to toxic substances in the environment? How do these exposures affect regenerative capacities and the aging process?
Students will be introduced to fundamental research concepts, methodology, tools, and conducting in vivo based-bioassays using Planaria as an animal model. Student-generated data will be collected, analyzed, and discussed in order to understand how animal responses to toxic exposure relates to human health.
The curriculum will span an array of interdisciplinary topics including toxicology, regenerative biology, bioinformatics, research ethics, communication, research translation, toxic chemical regulations, and public health policies. Students will be able to interact with professionals and experts who can provide insights on the interdisciplinary connections between their fields.
The course includes lectures or presentations covering conceptualization of a research study, designing, planning, and conducting experiments, analyzing data, and interpretation via on-line modalities. The experimental materials will be delivered to students to conduct the research at home or their home institutions. Students will be required to participate in at least 2 synchronous Zoom meetings with course faculty; most course materials will be accessible asynchronously as well. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in forum discussions related to course content to build a community of learners working together to understand topics in environmental toxicology and public health.
Undergraduates are not charged a fee for this program.
Registration is by invitation through course faculty or Maine INBRE partner.
- Frederic Bonnet, Ph.D.Senior Staff Scientist, Microscopy CoreMDI Biological Laboratory
- Elisabeth Marnik, Ph.D.ResearcherMDI Biological Laboratory
- Douglas Currie, Ph.D.Associate Professor of Biology and Graduate CoordinatorUniversity of Southern Maine
- Jane E. Disney, Ph.D.Senior Staff Scientist; Director of Research Training; Director, Community Environmental Health LaboratoryMDI Biological Laboratory
- Abby J. RocheDoctoral StudentUniversity of Maine
- Juyoung Shim, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorUniversity of Maine at Augusts