Primer: Molecular Biology for Students
Thanks to the support and backing of our generous donors, we’ve reached past our goal of $2500!! Further donations will help Primer better streamline our research experience day with more pipettes for students and increase our ability to purchase laboratory consumables. If you share our passion for the field of molecular biology and increasing student access to doing science in a research setting, then please consider making a gift today and sharing our story. Thank you so much, and Go Bears!!
A Primer on Molecular Biology is a student-run course whose goal is to enable undergraduates to succeed in research by providing insight into the basic techniques utilized in any molecular biology lab. Primer is open to all students at Cal, and is targeted toward those who intend to do biology research during their time here. Please help us create the best research experience for other students by making a gift today!
Undergraduate research can prove to be a valuable and rewarding journey that inspires future career decisions and leads to lifelong relationships. However, the transition from lower-division coursework to research in the biomedical sciences requires a steep learning curve. The knowledge needed to succeed in a research environment is often not explicitly taught in any lower division course, and synthesizing it on one’s own can be daunting - leaving many undergraduates with little idea of how their research really works.
What differentiates the Primer course from lower-division laboratory courses is our commitment to democratizing education: the instructors of Primer are undergraduate researchers themselves, and are thus in a prime position to enable the students of the course to do their best in a research environment. They do this by imparting general lessons from their own experience at Cal, as well as their specific expertise with molecular biology techniques. Through a combination of lectures, homework, guest speaker panels, and workshops, our students learn about the theory and science behind the most common techniques undergraduates encounter in research labs. The goal of Primer is to facilitate students’ transition into the research laboratory, providing them with the foundation to make the most out of their research experiences.
Every semester, the Primer team hosts a full-day hands-on lab experience for its students, as well as demonstrations throughout the semester. This experience is the most essential part of the course for students because it guides them through a real research experiment and supplies them the tools to carry it out. Students who attempt these labs consistently report that they feel better prepared than their peers upon entering a lab. From our personal experiences in the laboratory, we strongly believe that the best way for our students to apply the research techniques they have learned throughout the course is through practicing those same techniques using the same equipment and procedures that they will encounter once they join a lab. Funding this DeCal goes a long way to ensuring this lab experience can be conducted every semester, giving students of the course the ability to hit the ground running and take control of their research projects faster than most undergraduates.
Please make a gift today and help us spread the word! Supporting this crowdfunding project puts students of the course in the best position to succeed in a research lab, and thus increases the effectiveness of research done at the university. Your contributions will fund demonstrations and hands-on workshops in class, allowing students to practice important skills using the same equipment they will encounter in a research lab. The combination of theory and practice will supply a vital foundation to students in the field of molecular biology that empowers them to succeed in the research environment. By funding this “by students, for students” experience, you can spark a student’s passion for research and help them advance a field that is revolutionizing our world today.
You can find us on our Facebook page: A Primer on Molecular Biology
Thank you so much for your support!