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Group 1: Cell and Development A. Participants: Kostia Bergman, Erin Cram, Wendy Smith (Northeastern) Scott Dobrin, Rachael Hannah, Judith Roe (University of Maine, Presque Isle) Facilitators: Tamara Brenner (Harvard University) Maurice Kernan (Stony Brook University). Context.

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Group 1 cell and development a
Group 1: Cell and Development A


Kostia Bergman, Erin Cram, Wendy Smith (Northeastern)

Scott Dobrin, Rachael Hannah, Judith Roe (University of Maine, Presque Isle)


Tamara Brenner

(Harvard University)

Maurice Kernan

(Stony Brook University)


  • Unit for an intermediate Cell Biology course

  • Placed near the start of the course as a springboard for further learning

  • Students will be expected to know or review:

    • Basic parts of the cell including plasma membrane, cytoskeletal proteins, major organelles including transport vesicles

    • Tools for studying cells

    • Requirement of energy for cellular processes

  • Students will have had previous experience reading primary literature

Learning goals for the unit
Learning Goals for the Unit

Students will understand:

  • Tissues are composed of specialized cells

  • Structures and functions of cells within tissues are interrelated

  • Cellular specialization depends upon adjacent cells and matrix

  • Maintenance of cellular structure involves dynamic processes

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

4a. Compare cells and buildings with regard to processes required for maintenance and repair

4b. Identify at least 2 dynamic processes required to maintain and repair non-motile, non-dividing cells

4c. Design an experiment to visualize dynamic maintenance processes in cells


  • Formative assessments, of increasingly higher-order:

    • Pair brainstorming

    • Jigsaw pair-shares

    • 1-minute paper

    • Homework

  • Summative assessment

    • Homework could be graded

    • Creation of exam question similar to homework that interprets a dynamic cell process shown in a primary literature paper

    • Creation of take home exam question that students must design a series of experiments to test hypotheses related to unit

Inclusive teaching
Inclusive Teaching

  • Students bring diverse perspectives to the concept of building maintenance and repair

  • Activities accommodate multiple learning styles

  • Activities promote participation by different personality types

  • Minimal cost

Cells vs buildings maintenance and repair
Cells vs. Buildingsmaintenance and repair

Partner Brainstorm

  • Pair up by color

    Yellow: cells


    Blue: this building

  • List or sketch dynamic processes needed to maintain non-motile cells or buildings

    Make sure each person has a list or sketch to take with them for the next step!

Cells vs buildings maintenance and repair1
Cells vs. Buildingsmaintenance and repair

Jigsaw Pair-Share

  • Find a partner of the opposite color (Cell x Building)

  • Share your drawing or list with your new partner

  • Compile one shared cellular maintenance and repair list, inspired by discussion

  • Report to the class one dynamic process needed for cellularmaintenance or repair

1 minute paper cells
1-Minute Paper: Cells

Write a 1 minute paper articulating the strongest analogy between dynamic processes in cells and buildings, and your reasons for choosing it.

Hand in paper at the end of class.

Vesicle trafficking: a dynamic cell process


This cell is expressing a GFP-tagged membrane protein

This allows us to watch vesicles moving to the cell membrane and delivering their cargo of lipids and proteins.

Modified from: Kreitzer et al., 2003. Three-dimensional analysis of post-Golgi carrier exocytosis in epithelial cells. Nature Cell Biology 5: 126-136.


Investigate dynamic cell processes
Investigate Dynamic Cell Processes

Homework– On Your Own (OYO)

  • Read the assigned paper investigating a dynamic cellular process, focusing on Figure 1.

  • Write a 1-page synopsis of Figure 1 which includes the following: hypothesis, methods, controls, variables, results, conclusion.

  • Outline an experiment using a GFP-labeled protein to study a different process identified by the class.

  • Bring typed 1 page synopsis and outline to next class.