Volume 1 (2013)
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Welcome to the first issue of the Journal of Toxicological Education.
Articles will be published immediately upon acceptance. Volume 1 will continue until December 31 of 2013. For more information on the journal, please visit our our website.
Table of Contents:
A Toxicologist's Perspective on Having and Doing it All: Teaching, Research, and Service at a Small Liberal Arts College by Larissa Williams. 1-9.
A Toxicological Study using Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a Model by Mindy Reynolds. 10-20.
Development of a Bachelors of Science in Toxicology Program at a Liberal Arts College by Stephanie Zamule. 21-30.
Agents of Bioterrorism: Curriculum and Pedagogy in an Online Masters Course by Eric Page and Joshua Gray. 31-53.
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ArticleAn Academic Service Learning (AS-L) Activity within an Undergraduate Course in Pharmacology(Journal of Toxicological Education, 2013) Billack, BlaseAcademic service learning (AS-L) is a type of active learning in which a student demonstrates knowledge and understanding through service to the community and reflection. The present report describes an activity in which AS-L was implemented as part of an undergraduate pharmacology course. The course is common to the curricula of the Doctor of Pharmacy, Physician Assistant and Toxicology programs at St. John’s University. In the AS-L project, students were charged to develop a presentation which they would then give to members of the community who were unfamiliar with the presentation topics. Students worked in teams and formed their presentations around discussion topics such as drugs versus natural substances, the medical benefits of drugs, the possible toxicities of drugs both legal and illegal, or the mechanisms by which drugs enter or leave our bodies. The student teams then traveled to various service sites throughout the greater university community with the goal of community outreach through education. In the present report, strengths and limitations of the AS-L project have been noted. The major strength of the project, as indicated from student reflection papers, was that each student in the team became an active learner and the otherwise “passive learning” environment of the classroom became an active one at the service site. All students in the team presented and answered questions. A major limitation of the activity was finding a suitable instrument for the assessment of student learning. Future AS-L courses of this type are anticipated to include pre and post surveys.
ArticleIntroducing Toxicology into the Biochemistry Curricula: Using Cytochrome c (Cytc) Functionalities as a Model(Journal of Toxicological Education, 2013) Borland, MichaelThe electron transport chain (ETC) is a keystone topic of all biochemistry courses at the undergraduate level. Many ETC components, especially cytochrome c (Cytc), are also important to the field of toxicology. Unfortunately, many primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs) are unable to offer dedicated toxicology courses and laboratories due to faculty expertise and/or enrollment requirements. In an effort to provide chemistry and biology undergraduates with toxicology perspective and experience, I have integrated Cytc toxicology, and its role in apoptosis, into my Biochemistry I and II curriculum. This approach fulfills two goals: 1) integration of toxicology concepts into the biochemistry curriculum and 2) validation of fundamental biochemistry principles through demonstration of “real world” relevance in the field of toxicology. These concepts include Cytc “leakage” to the cytosol, activation of the apoptotic signaling cascade, Cytc/membrane interactions, the modulation of apoptosis by Cytc phosphorylation, and chemical/environmental toxicants that activate this function of Cytc. I conclude with a discussion of student assessment in relation to this methodology. Overall, these materials provide biochemistry instructors with a primer to introduce toxicology concepts in the greater biochemistry curricula or a means for toxicology faculty to validate key biochemistry principles within their classroom.
ArticleAgents of Bioterrorism: Curriculum and Pedagogy in an Online Masters Program(Journal of Toxicological Education, 2013) Page, Eric ; Gray, Joshua P.The Agents of Bioterrorism course (BSBD 640, University of Maryland University College) is a graduate level course created in response to an elevated need for scientists working in the field of medical countermeasures to biological and chemical weapons in the years following 9/11. Students read and evaluate assigned current primary literature articles investigating medical countermeasures at each stage of development. In addition, students learn concepts of risk assessment, comparing and ranking several agents of terror. Student learning is assessed through a variety of assignments. A term paper focuses on a lesser known weapon of terror, with students recommending the best countermeasure in development and delivering a risk assessment comparing their agent to other major weapons of terror discussed throughout the semester. Similarly, a group project on an assigned major weapon of terror (anthrax, plague, smallpox, vesicants, or nerve agent) focuses more heavily on evaluating primary literature and concluding which countermeasure(s) in development are the best. Students complete the course with a fundamental understanding of the mechanism of action of many biological agents, information literacy for the medical literature available at PubMed and the primary scientific literature, and a basic understanding of the role of the government in biodefense research. This paper describes the pedagogical approaches used to teach this course and how they might be adopted for other courses.
ArticleA Toxicological Study using Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a Model(Journal of Toxicological Education, 2013) Reynolds, MindyOnly recently has it been adequately recognized that substances present in the environment can have adverse effects on developing organisms. Now, with environmental pollutants accumulating at an unprecedented rate, and with pharmaceuticals dominating western medicine, it is particularly important that we understand the effects of the substances to which we are exposed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a widely used model system for the study of vertebrate development. This system is particularly amenable for use in the undergraduate laboratories because of the ease of collection and manipulation and the rapid rate of development. In this lab, students use zebrafish to examine the effects of nicotine, ethanol, and retinoic acid on normal development. Students first examine normal development and compare it to overall growth, dry weight, and behavior of zebrafish exposed to these chemicals. The students may also collect data on LC50 and notochord length. The quantitative data is evaluated for statistically significant differences between treatments. Finally, students write a research proposal for an independent experiment in which they expose embryos to a toxicant of their choice, carry out the experiment, and present their findings. This lab introduces students to the use of animal models and incorporates experimental design and data analysis. More importantly, it introduces
ArticleDevelopment of a Bachelor of Science in Toxicology Program at a Liberal Arts College(Journal of Toxicological Education, 2013) Zamule, StephanieNazareth College, an independent, primarily undergraduate institution serving approximately 2,900 students, has recently developed a bachelor of science in toxicology program designed to prepare students for entry into careers in industry, government, or academia or for further study in graduate or health professional programs. The strong life sciences foundation courses and the variety of upper-level biology and chemistry electives already in existence at the College necessitated the development of only three new courses for the major – Principles of Toxicology, Ecotoxicology, and Cellular Toxicology. The program, including curriculum development, course design, and approval by both the College and New York State, took two years to develop. In its first year in existence, the program has attracted nine majors and the first course in the toxicology sequence, Principles of Toxicology, has become one of the most popular life sciences electives at the College.
ArticleA Toxicologist's Perspective on Having and Doing it All: Teaching, Research, and Service at a Small Liberal Arts College(Journal of Toxicological Education, 2013) Williams, Larissa M.In the United States, a small liberal arts college is loosely defined as an institution that provides a residential and comprehensive education to students seeking a bachelor’s degree. There are many challenges and opportunities that exist within this educational framework for faculty who engage as teacher-scholars. A primary challenge is making time for research, teaching, and service. However, this can become an opportunity when undergraduate research experiences are integrated into the curriculum. This approach benefits students, who report a gain in confidence, experience, and increased enrollment in advanced degrees. Developing collaborations with faculty at other colleges, especially R1 research institutions, can be extremely helpful in supporting and advancing ones research year-round. Furthermore, salary is often only required for three months, making a liberal arts faculty member less expensive (and more qualified) than a postdoc. A second challenge is how to balance and understand the expectations set forth for tenure and promotion. Productivity in the lab can be advanced during the school year through student independent studies or thesis work; this can serve both the student and the faculty. Scholarship in teaching and learning is very important to many liberal arts schools, thus time spent working on and publishing about these subjects may be an adequate alternative to a “traditional” research trajectory. Finally, toxicology’s interface of many scientific disciplines positions professionals in the field in a strong position to succeed as teacher-scholars in small liberal arts colleges.