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.

Wk Day Activity
1 M Introduction: RCR + pipetting and mass measurement, std deviation, Excel
T Making electrolyte solutions
W Mass density and conductivity measurement, graphical analysis, Excel
R Making buffer solutions, pH measurement
F Titration, basic quantitative skills, Excel
2 M Intro to centrifugation
T Intro to gel electrophoresis: AGE
W Intro to gel electrophoresis: SDS PAGE
R Gel analysis
F Graphical analysis
3 M Plant leaf microscopy, including epi-fluorescence
T TLC and column chromatography of plant pigments
W Chloroplast isolation (centrifugation and more microscopy)
R Absorption spectrometry, calibration curve
F Spectrophotometric kinetics measurement
4 M Introduction to cell culture: sterile technique, culture media
T Introduction to cell culture: cell counting, microscopy
W Introduction to cell culture: statistical techniques
R Introduction to cell culture: staining, epi-fluorescence microscopy
F Introduction to cell culture: identifying contamination
5 M Bacterial transformation
T Bacterial culture, OD measurement, microscopy
W Bacterial culture, statistical analysis
R RNA isolation
F PCR
6 M Agarose gel electrophoresis + RCR
T qPCR
W GFP Extraction–hydrophobic interaction chromatography
R Enzyme kinetics
F Enzyme kinetics
7 M Analysis of enzyme kinetics data
T Bioinformatics 1
W Bioinformatics 2
R Statistical analysis of experimental results + RCR
F Graphical analysis of experimental results
8 M Behavior research techniques + RCR
T Behavior research techniques
W Statistical and graphical analysis of experimental results
R Final Presentations + RCR
F Final Presentations + RCR