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Biochem Mol Biol Educ. 2015 Nov-Dec;43(6):417-27. doi: 10.1002/bmb.20915. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Bringing research into a first semester organic chemistry laboratory with the multistep synthesis of carbohydrate-based HIV inhibitor mimics.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, 02454.

Abstract

Benefits of incorporating research experiences into laboratory courses have been well documented, yet examples of research projects designed for the first semester introductory organic chemistry lab course are extremely rare. To address this deficiency, a Carbohydrate-Based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Inhibitor project consisting of a synthetic scheme of four reactions was developed for and implemented in the first semester organic lab. Students carried out the synthetic reactions during the last 6 of 10 total labs in the course, generating carbohydrate-based dimeric target molecules modeled after published dimers with application in HIV therapy. The project was designed to provide a research experience through use of literature procedures for reactions performed, exploration of variation in linker length in the target structure, and synthesis of compounds not previously reported in the scientific literature. Project assessment revealed strong student support, indicating enhanced engagement and interest in the course as a direct result of the use of scientific literature and the applications of the synthesized carbohydrate-based molecules. Regardless of discussed challenges in designing a research project for the first semester lab course, the finding from data analysis that a project implemented in the first semester lab had significantly greater student impact than a second semester project should provide motivation for development of additional research projects for a first semester organic course.

KEYWORDS:

HIV biochemistry; curriculum design development and implementation; glycobiology; integration of research into undergraduate teaching; laboratory exercises; molecular medicine

PMID:
26449849
DOI:
10.1002/bmb.20915
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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