Biochemistry, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Trends in Molecular Medicine, February 2021, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp 100-103.



Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic not only challenged deeply-rooted daily patterns but also put a spotlight on the role of computational modeling in science and society. Amid the impromptu upheaval of in-person education across the world, this article aims to articulate the need to train students in computational and systems biology using research-grade technologies. ...

Life sciences education needs multiple technical infrastructures explicitly designed to support this field’s vast computational needs. Developing and sustaining effective, scientifically authentic educational technologies is not easy. It requires expertise in software development and the scientific domain as well as in education and education research. Discipline-based education research (DBER) is an emerging field defined as ‘an empirical approach to investigating learning and teaching that is informed by an expert understanding of (STEM) disciplinary knowledge and practice’ [14]. In life sciences education, DBER scientists, in particular, are focused on the integration of systems thinking concepts, computational modeling, and the use of new technologies. DBER scientists are exquisitely positioned to partner with computational systems biologists to increase the ease-of-use of existing, scientifically authentic technologies for postsecondary, secondary, and even primary educational purposes. They are also well-placed to design new research-grade technologies for life sciences education, and thus should be tasked with not only the intersection of deep disciplinary expertise and education but also codeveloping new technologies using the same tools and approaches as scientists to foster authentic competencies.