Columbia University Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

To introduce students to Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapy and to introduce students to the technique of creating literary research papers using library and computer resources

Dana J. Solecki

Saint Ann's School , Brooklyn, New York

Plan Objective: To introduce the students of Independent Science Research to Antisense Oligonucleotide Therapy; to             introduce the students to the technique of creating literary research papers using library and computer resources; to facilitate development of critical thinking and analysis skills, and to assist the students in the development of oral presentation skills.

Materials and Resources:

(1) Internet Access on classroom computers

(2) Scheduled library use during several class periods

(3) "The New Genetic Medicines," by Jack S. Cohen and Michael E. Hogan. Scientific American. December 1994.

(4) "Antisense Oligodeoxynucleotides as Therapeutic Agents," by C.A. Stein. Contemporary Oncology. September 1994. [Teaching Standard B- Focus and support inquiries]

Schedule of Lessons:

(1) Introduce students to the Watson and Crick model of DNA base pairing, mRNA synthesis and protein synthesis. Use lectures and students working cooperatively to design puzzles representing these processes. [Content Standard C- The cell]

(2) Assign the students to read and summarize "The New Genetic Medicines."

(3) Provide students with information on oligodeoxynucleotide therapy by presenting my summer research, "The Regulation of Oligodeoxynucleotide Uptake by am b2." [Teaching Standard E- Model the skills of scientific inquiry]

(4) Working cooperatively, students are assigned to research viruses or cancers that potentially may be treated using antisense therapy. Students will be provided with class time and computer usage as well as scheduled library research time.

(5) Working in self-selected groups, students must design a theoretical experimental procedure designed to determine and test the efficacy of antisense therapy on a specific virus or cancer. [Content Standard A - Design investigations]


Each group is responsible to write a scholarly research paper describing their theoretical experiment. The paper must be scientific in nature and contain all aspects of a formal research paper. Data should presented as theoretical and accompanied by graphs and charts of expected results.

Each group must make a short presentation to the Research Class describing their theoretical experiment and showing expected results. [Teaching Standard B- Orchestrate scientific discourse]Students must be able to offer support as to why they think antisense therapy would be effective in the treatment of their selected disease.

Each student group will receive a written evaluation and critique of the presentation and paper.


Students may be asked to present their research to the Genetics class to augment the course material on gene therapy. [Teaching Standard A- Work with colleagues]

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