New Approaches in Cancer Biology Can Inform the Biology Curriculum

Lynda Jones, Diana Gordon, Mary Zelinski

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Students tend to be very interested in medical issues that affect them and their friends and family. Using cancer as a hook, the ART of Reproductive Medicine: Oncofertility curriculum (free, online, and NIH sponsored) has been developed to supplement the teaching of basic biological concepts and to connect biology and biomedical research. This approach allows integration of up-to-date information on cancer and cancer treatment, cell division, male and female reproductive anatomy and physiology, cryopreservation, fertility preservation, stem cells, ethics, and epigenetics into an existing biology curriculum. Many of the topics covered in the curriculum relate to other scientific disciplines, such as the latest developments in stem cell research including tissue bioengineering and gene therapy for inherited mitochondrial disease, how epigenetics occurs chemically to affect gene expression or suppression and how it can be passed down through the generations, and the variety of biomedical careers students could pursue. The labs are designed to be open-ended and inquiry-based, and extensions to the experiments are provided so that students can explore questions further. Case studies and ethical dilemmas are provided to encourage thoughtful discussion. In addition, each chapter of the curriculum includes links to scientific papers, additional resources on each topic, and NGSS alignment.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)168-174
    Number of pages7
    JournalAmerican Biology Teacher
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2018


    • Curriculum
    • bioengineering
    • biomedical research
    • cancer
    • cryopreservation
    • ethics
    • medicine
    • oncofertility
    • reproduction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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