Dynamics in Biology: Points of Contact between LS30 and LS7
Presented by

Dr. Alan Garfinkel
Professor, Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology
University of California, Los Angeles

Friday, December 8, 2017 | 2:00-3:00pm
1100 Terasaki Life Sciences Building
(TLSB; 1st floor conference room)

There are several major points of contact between the quantitative concepts in LS30 and biological topics in LS7. In this talk, we will review the basic approach of LS30, demonstrate the relationship and show applications to three concepts in LS7:
(1)   Moving beyond the “central dogma of molecular biology”.  We teach that the one-way arrows that lead from DNA to RNA, and from RNA to protein, are only a third of the correct picture, and that critical feedback arrows from RNA to DNA (Barbara McClintock) and from protein to DNA (Monod et al.) make for a more complete picture. These feedback loops require mathematical modeling to understand their dynamics.
(2)   lac operon and positive feedback.  An excellent example of feedback loops requiring mathematical modeling is the lac operon, where positive feedback loops controlling gene expression make for a bistable “switch”.
(3)   Oscillations and negative feedback. Negative feedback from protein to gene expression can produce oscillatory gene expression, an important phenomenon (see, for example, 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology). We will review some oscillatory phenomena, and suggest important revisions of the doctrine of homeostasis.
UCLA Hosts 2018 Southern California PKAL Regional Network Annual Meeting
One Size Doesn't Fit All: Using Varied Instructional Approaches to Help All STEM Students Succeed

March 10, 2018
Hershey Hall, University of California, Los Angeles

Call for proposals! Workshop proposals due January 5th; Poster Abstracts due February 16th.

Students come into our STEM classrooms with different identities, life experiences, and levels of academic preparation. As our college classrooms become more diverse, it is crucial that we understand and address the impacts of identity and preparation on students’ college experience and success. Over the course of this one-day meeting, we will explore a variety of education research, evidence-based practices, and pedagogical innovations related to addressing the increasing diversity of our growing student body.

Please send questions to either or with subject line “SoCal PKAL 2018 annual meeting proposal.”
SABER West 2018
January 13-14, 2018
UC Irvine
Photo: UCLA participants and presenters at SABER West 2017

UCLA has been well represented at the SABER West conference in past years, and we plan to have a large representation this year as well - please join us! The goals of SABER West are to disseminate exciting STEM education research and to foster collaborations and connections with local colleagues. There will also be significant professional development opportunities related to conducting education research and implementing evidence-based teaching practices. This is a great opportunity to support several of your UCLA colleagues who are presenting this year!

Plenary talks will be given by Dr. Carl Wieman of Stanford University and Dr. Richard Arum of the University of California, Irvine.

Registration closes on December 15!

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Please email CEILS Media & Communication at if you are interested in attending or will be presenting at this conf erence so we can coordinate group transportation. Some resources are available to partially support attendees who present posters or talks and agree to carpool. So let us know if you’re planning to attend by completing this form:

CEILS Journal Club
CEILS Journal Club for STEM Education Research | Learning Community Meetings 

Fridays every Quarter from 2:00 – 3:00 PM
Location:  1100 TSLB 
About Journal Club: Participants explore relevant education literature in more depth and develop greater understanding of assessment techniques and data analysis methods. Presenters may select a paper and lead a discussion about how education researchers have documented the relationship between effective teaching practices and their impact on student learning, knowledge retention, and persistence in STEM majors. Alternatively, presenters describe classroom innovations and evidence-based instructional strategies they are trying in their own courses, soliciting feedback from participants while sharing their expertise in a variety of areas supporting instruction and assessment in STEM classrooms. Faculty, graduate students, and postdocs are welcome to participate!
 Journal Club will resume in Winter 2018!

View the STEM Education Research Journal Club event page for more details.
Resource: A favorite listserv for STEM education news: Subscribe  to STEM|PROF
Catalyzing Institutional Transformation: Insights from the AAU STEM Initiative | Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning

A new article about the AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative has been published in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. The article discusses the ap proach taken by AAU and identifies the cross-cutting implementation, dissemination, and institutionalization strategies from eight pilot projects and from a growing network of AAU research universities committed to improving undergraduate STEM teaching and learning. What AAU has learned from the Initiative can help us understand the process of systemic institution-wide educational reform, with emphasis on change being at the department level.
A Call to Reform Undergraduate Education | Inside Higher Ed
Delivering on educational quality and completion is a must -- not only for institutions but the country. This report proposes a collective, national approach to achieving educational quality. Specifically, the report urges a three-part “national strategy” ensuring that students have high-quality learning experiences, that institutions increase their overall completion rates and reduce inequities among student groups, and that college costs are controlled.

Major study by American Academy of Arts and Sciences seeks change in curriculum and assessment, commitment to funding public higher education, new ideas about the faculty role, and more.
Learning to Learn: Collaborative Learning Spaces | UA@Work
Compelled by research providing evidence that active engagement and collaboration improve student learning, many University of Arizona faculty members are redesigning their courses to move away from traditional lectures and toward more student-centered active learning in the classroom. To facilitate evidence-based collaborative active learning strategies, the University of Arizona has begun overhauling spaces across campus – big and small – to create environments that foster interaction, hands-on activities and small group exploration of the topics at hand.
A Life Sciences Journal Dissects an Education Research Study | American Society of Cell Biology Research

To help biologists learn more about education research, the journal  Life Sciences Education  is offering  annotated articles  that comment on study design, interpretation, and presentation.
Is STEM Leaving the LGBT Community Behind? | Boston University Research

Science prides itself on being apolitical, gender-neutral, and color-blind—open to all, focused only on finding truth. Many find these ideals of scientific inquiry refreshingly dispassionate. But these same ideals can also, paradoxically, stifle discussion of sexual identity, leading many gender and sexual minorities to feel unwelcome, or at least unsure, in science.

The Importance of Empathy in the Classroom | Inside Higher Ed

To be effective teachers, faculty members must care deeply about students and show it, writes a physics professor.
The Next 10 Years: Helping STEM Students Thrive

The Women in STEM Cooperative is proud to debut the The Next 10 Years: Helping STEM Students Thrive series, an original online collaboration between Cornell University and the University at Buffalo featuring the perspectives of national thought leaders and institutional representatives about expanding the participation of women in undergraduate STEM education at different scales as informed through the lens of higher education trends, institutional practices, learning spaces and introductory undergraduate courses in STEM.

Innovation in Higher Education (October 11, 2017)
Discussion recording can be viewed here .

Perspectives on Institutional Change (November 8, 2017)
Discussion recording can be viewed here .

► Learning Spaces
January 10, 2018 | 9-10:30a PST

If you are interested, please register to attend the upcoming sessions at the series website:
National Events & Conferences
10th Understanding Interventions Conference
March 2-4, 2018
Lord Baltimore Hotel, MD

Call for abstracts! (Submission Deadline: December 15, 2017)

Proposals are welcome for presentation on research projects and best practices highlighting all pathways to STEM careers. One page submissions can be submitted in the following formats: workshop, symposium, deeper dive, or poster.

The Understanding Interventions Conference was established to facilitate dissemination and exchange of hypothesis-based research on interventions and initiatives that broaden participation in science and engineering research careers. The conference is designed to create a dialogue among behavioral/social science and education researchers, evaluators, and faculty in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields who participate in intervention programs.
Gordon Research Conference | Novel Research in Energy Topics, and Transformative Methods for Teaching Undergraduate Students About Energy Concepts
June 10-15, 2018
Bryant University, Smithfield, RI

This Gordon Research Conference seeks to bring together physics research scientists and physics education researchers for discussions, talks and posters on how energy is taught within the undergraduate curriculum, and how cutting edge research is allowing educators to consider new methods and models for teaching energy concepts. This conference is especially looking for energy related applications that can be used as conceptual frameworks for students. College and university faculty, research associates (postdocs), governmental researchers, textbook authors, curriculum and educational software developers, industrial partners, and graduate and undergraduate students will participate in this conference.
2018 PKAL STEM Leadership Institute
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, MD

Institute I: July 10-15, 2018
Institute II: July 17-22, 2018

The Project Kaleidoscope STEM Leadership Institute is designed expressly for STEM faculty at the early to middle stages of their careers as educators, researchers, program directors, principal investigators, or department/college-level administrators. The five-day intensive professional development experience exposes participants to the theories and practices needed to effectively manage the politics of change and contribute to the national STEM higher education reform effort.
Postdoctoral Scholars & Graduate Students
CIRTL @ UCLA - Spring 2018 Programming

Graduate Students and Post Docs: CIRTL Spring Programming is here! For detailed information about CIRTL at UCLA, visit: If you have any questions, please contact our program coordinator Dr. Rachel Kennison at
UCLA Facilitated CIRTL Online Courses
and In-Person Learning Communities

Dr. Rachel Kennison will be facilitating several CIRTL events in the upcoming months. The " Diversity in the College Classroom" course will be taught by Dr. Kennison and offered online Monday’s 12-1:30 pm PST from Jan. 9-March 19 th . Registration open on 12/11- Sign up today at .

Dr. Kennison will be hosting an in-person learning community on Evidence Based Teaching 2.0 . Those who have already participated in the Introduction to Evidence-Based Teaching in STEM learning community in the past should join, however this is open to all. Dates/Times TBD - Contact Dr. Kennison if interested.

Currently there is not a learning community scheduled for the Advanced MOOC through CIRTL, however if you are interested in that please contact Dr. Kennison. If enough people are interested it can be offered.

“Exploring Career Options Inside and Outside the Academy” in-person course will be offered in Spring. Make effective career decisions by exploring a diversity of career options including but not limited to the academic track. Dates/Times TBD- Contact Dr. Kennison if interested.

If you plan on participating in any of the above or have questions about CIRTL and programming for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, please contact Dr. Rachel Kennison, at
Upcoming CIRTL Programming
See listings online for dates and times.
Some are pending so check back soon!


Spring Programming Page

Join the CIRTL community to access resources and events.
Create an account online:

UCLA Postdocs Longitudinal Investment in Faculty Training (UPLIFT)

The UPLIFT Program at UCLA supports postdoctoral scholars in the biological sciences who have a demonstrated interest in teaching, research, and supporting diversity in the STEM fields. UPLIFT combines a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience with an opportunity to develop academic skills, including teaching and mentoring undergraduate STEM students, through workshops, courses, and a faculty mentored mentored teaching practicum at our partner institution California State University Los Angeles 

For more program information, and how to apply for an UPLIFT fellowship, please visit the CEILS website at the following link:
Featured Job Opportunities


Postdoctoral Opportunities (Various Fields)
Vanderbilt University
► For more information and how to apply, see the current listings here .

Postdoctoral Scholar Position, Science Education Research
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
► Learn more and how to apply here .

Executive Director of APLU Center for Public University Transformation
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
► Learn more and how to apply here.

Assistant Director, Research Programs
Florida International University
►Learn more and how to apply here .

Assistant Professor of Practice, Biology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

(Two) Tenure-Track Assistant or Associate Professor Position
Department of Computer Science, San Francisco State University


Graduate Student Opportunities in Biology Education Research
University of New Hampshire Graduate School
[Apply by December 15, 2017 for full consideration]
► Learn more and how to apply here .

Director - Center for STEM Education and Outreach
James Madison University

Faculty-Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track), Biology
Utah Valley University

(Two) Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of DBER Position
College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Assistant/Associate Professor (Lecturer), Physics and Astronomy
University of Utah

Assistant Professor, Discipline Based Education Research
Auburn University
[Application Review begins December 1, 2017]

Contract/Grant Professor (Open Rank) of Science Education
Western Michigan University
► Visit to apply; Posting Number: 0604095
Connect with UCLA's Center for Education Innovation & Learning in the Sciences

For more information about CEILS events and resources, including a list of STEM education events from previous mailers, please visit the CEILS website at or stop by the CEILS office in Hershey Hall (Rooms 122, 16, 210 & 243).  If you wish to be added to the CEILS mailing list for future newsletters and special announcements, please send your request to .
Please note, this Bi-Monthly Newsletter is circulated through many departmental listservs. Most other CEILS correspondence, including special event announcements and reminders, are sent to CEILS mailing list recipients only. Thanks!