CytoBeaker: Teaching cell biology using simulated experiments

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0944281
Agency Tracking Number: 0944281
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
SimBiotic Software
148 Grandview Ct, Ithaca, NY, 14850
DUNS: 198592078
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Eli Meir
 (617) 285-2583
Business Contact
 Eli Meir
Title: PhD
Phone: (617) 285-2583
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project will attempt to take agent-based simulation models being written for cell biology research and write a new cell biology modeling framework to be used for teaching cell biology at the undergraduate and high school level. Research models in cell biology are too complex and computationally intensive for use in education below the graduate level. However, the visualization and ability to perform realistic experiments inherent in the agent-based modeling approach is ideal for educational uses. This project will combine the scientific expertise of one of the leading centers for cellular models with the educational expertise of one of the leading companies producing biology education software to create a series of simulation-based online teaching modules for undergraduate cell biology classes. Cell and molecular biology are core topics in biology classes at both high school and college levels and are some of the most active fields of biological research, as well as being important for medical fields. Although the topics covered in cell biology are fascinating, they are currently often taught in very passive ways. Active learning approaches are now widely acknowledged to improve students understanding and retention of many scientific concepts. This project will produce a set of active teaching materials for cell biology students, improving their understanding of cellular processes, and thus improving their ability to become our countries future researchers and medical personnel. The materials should be very attractive to an $18 million/year market in cell biology teaching materials.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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