This course wAS offered on-line: how did it go?

This course was offered on-line July 13-17, 2020. As part of an effort to continue to offer high quality training to graduate students and professionals, we implemented this course via UW-Madison’s Black Board Collaborate platform. Students attended lectures in a synchronous and asynchronous format as well as followed along with lab demonstrations. Students who were able to use their own laboratory space received reagents and supplies from the BTC Institute that allow them to conduct some of the experiments on their own.

Student learning was assessed using quizzes, discussion, and data analysis. Instructors were available to answer questions and to take part in discussions.


Offered with generous support from Promega Corporation
comments from participants:
  • I am very glad the course was synchronous. This gave me the opportunity to ask questions in real time and kept me accountable for the material presented in the course. I also liked that the lectures were recorded so I could go back and listen to them if I wished. I thought the quizzes also worked well as a good check point to make sure I was understanding the material correctly.
  • The lectures AND the lecturers were very engaging and knowledgeable about the subjects we discussed. I learned a lot about core techniques I was unfamiliar with, and these also solidified a lot of the foundational workings besides techniques I have used in the past.

BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute
Neuroscience Training Program, UW-Madison
Research & Development and Technical Support Services, Promega Corporation

  • UW-Madison students and special students admitted to the course and who wished to receive 2 credits enrolled through the University registration system and remitted tuition fees directly to the University.
  • For students who do not wish to receive university credits, a special rate of $1600 was offered. (Documentation of current enrollment in an academic institution was required for confirmation of this special rate.)
  • For company employees, faculty and all others, the fee was $1800.
Requirements for 2021 (Date tbd)
  • Eligibility: Graduate students, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry employees, secondary and post-secondary teachers, with a B.S. in either biology or chemistry and a minimum of one advanced course in molecular biology. Course enrollment is limited to 20 participants.
  • Application:  Submit a registration form.
    If you wish to receive graduate credit through UW-Madison
    , please be sure to use the comment section included in this form to detail your prior experiences using molecular biology and your learning goals for the week, as instructed on the form.

    If you do not wish to receive graduate credit through UW-Madison
    , please also share that information with us. Your enrollment in the course will be verified upon receipt of payment. Payment options are included in the registration form.
  • NOTE: UW-Madison Graduate Students wishing to receive credit: Please submit your registration form before [TBD]. We will review this document and let you know of your acceptance to the course.
  • Dr. Richard Burgess (Professor, Department of Oncology, UW-Madison)
  • Amy Prevost, Ph.D. (Director, Scientific Courses, BTC Institute)

Topics covered during this week included: nucleic acid isolation from tissues and/or cells, amplification via PCR and qPCR, molecular cloning – from amplification to checking orientation of the insert, plasmid purification, basics of Western blot, ICC and ELISA, purification of mammalian proteins using tags. Talks included protein characterization, epigenetics, and approaches to studying miRNAs, among others.