While, I am still in the process of choosing the most appropriate four paper series for this unit, below are the list of characteristics I am considering for choosing the papers in the order of priority:
Since the main content goal of this course is to introduce the students to the molecular basis of the four major biomolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and lipids), the papers I choose must differentially focus on these different biomolecules within the framework of the influenza virus and its entry to the host cell.
Since the second content goal of this course is to familiarize students with several basic biophysical and biochemical experimental techniques (many of which we also use in the lab section of the course), the papers I choose must represent a wide variety of such techniques: X-ray Crystallography, NMR, Circular Dichroism, Chromatography, Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Since the main skill goal of this course is prepare the students for the upper level courses by helping them learn on their own and navigate through primary literature in a meaningful way, the papers should include a variety of figures (in terms of data presentation and molecular visualization) and data analysis as well as basic quantitative chemistry.
Additional considerations are ensuring gradual exposure to biochemistry jargon, as well as increasingly complex quantitative techniques. One of the main laboratories that worked on this system since early 1980s was Don Wiley’s lab at Harvard. Although he died in 2001 some of his work is carried forward in Steve Harrison’s lab at Harvard Medical School. So I would like to have one of my last papers be a recent paper in that field be from this laboratory with the intention of offering the students an opportunity to perhaps go and visit the lab and talk to some current lab members and/or email them.

The paper series will start on Week 5 and continue for seven weeks. Introductory elements of CREATE will be introduced through some general articles (like the baby faces) in the first week and then one or two popular magazine articles matched with the real article on the protein folding topic will be covered in the second week to serve both as a review and extended introduction to amino acids and protein structure as well as transitioning CREATE skills to more challenging primary literature. On the third and fourth weeks, students will be introduced to bioinformatics, basics of chromatography and molecular visualization tools through several student centered activities since they will be expected to use these tools in their analysis of the upcoming papers. The last two weeks will be used to highlight and review the most important concepts for fundamental biochemistry content and for final presentations.


Applicable for Courses:

Fundamentals of Biochemistry

Educational Level:


Roadmap Objectives:

    • Article: Article
    • Content area/major concepts:
    • Methods or technology used to obtain data:
    • How the CREATE strategy was used:
    • Biggest teaching challenge:

Advice for Using Module/Activity:

« Back to Roadmaps

Leave a Comment/Response


Please enter the CAPTCHA text