Daubner awarded $25,000 grant to enhance curriculum

St. Mary’s University Biological Sciences professor Colette Daubner, Ph.D., received a $25,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to redesign her biochemistry lab curriculum.

Starting in spring 2016, “the new curriculum will entail actual research, with totally new knowledge gained,” Daubner said.

Colette Daubner in her research lab

Students will have access to global databases, allowing them to discover new functions of unidentified proteins, which are essential to all living organisms.

Traditionally, “my current lab curriculum involved repeating a series of procedures that I use in my own personal research and have used for years,” Daubner said. “It (taught) students how traditional biochemical techniques can be used in the pursuit of new biochemical knowledge, but it does not ask any new questions, at least in the first semester.”

Now, the new curriculum will “teach the skills needed to be a modern biochemist, but in the application of fresh discovery,” she added.

In addition to new software and supplies, the NSF grant will help pay for Daubner’s first teaching assistant.

St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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