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Research Skills Course

MARC students who have not already completed the X-Lab program courses will be expected to complete a GatorSTAR research skills course. This course differs from the X-Lab courses in having a primary focus on biomedical and behavioral research skills and research ethics without the additional focus on biology, chemistry and physics content knowledge. However, research skills course still reinforces and integrates quantitative and natural science concepts and competencies. A representative schedule is shown below. Upon completion, Trainees will have received training in the central biomedical and behavioral research skills, along with an introduction to their underlying theory. As a result, they will still understand many of the techniques better than the graduate students and postdocs in their mentor’s research program.

Week 1

DayActivity
MIntroduction: RCR + pipetting and mass measurement, std deviation, Excel
TMaking electrolyte solutions
WMass density and conductivity measurement, graphical analysis, ExceL
RMaking buffer solutions, pH measurement
FTitration, basic quantitative skills, Excel

Week 2

DayActivity
MIntro to centrifugation
TIntro to gel electrophoresis: AGE
WIntro to gel electrophoresis: SDS PAGE
RGel analysis
FGraphical analysis

Week 3

DayActivity
MPlant leaf microscopy, including epi-fluorescence
TTLC and column chromatography of plant pigments
WChloroplast isolation (centrifugation and more microscopy)
RAbsorption spectrometry, calibration curve
FSpectrophotometric kinetics measurement

Week 4

DayActivity
MIntroduction to cell culture: sterile technique, culture media
TIntroduction to cell culture: cell counting, microscopy
WIntroduction to cell culture: statistical techniques
RIntroduction to cell culture: staining, epi-fluorescence microscopy
FIntroduction to cell culture: identifying contamination

Week 5

DayActivity
MBacterial transformation
TBacterial culture, OD measurement, microscopy
WBacterial culture, statistical analysis
RRNA isolation
FPCR

Week 6

DayActivity
MAgarose gel electrophoresis + RCR
TqPCR
WGFP Extraction–hydrophobic interaction chromatography
REnzyme kinetics
FEnzyme kinetics

Week 7

DayActivity
MAnalysis of enzyme kinetics data
TBioinformatics 1
WBioinformatics 2
RStatistical analysis of experimental results + RCR
FGraphical analysis of experimental results

Week 8

DayActivity
MBehavior research techniques + RCR
TBehavior research techniques
WStatistical and graphical analysis of experimental results
RFinal Presentations + RCR
FFinal Presentations + RCR