Cases in Industry Practice in Biotechnology

Authors: V. Celeste Carter and Kristen Hershbell Charles

These instructional materials were developed in collaboration with industry partners and utilize a case-method approach with hands-on laboratory components. The case studies focus on promoting student understanding of and facility with workplace skills needed to function efficiently, effectively, and safely in entry-level biotechnology careers.The case studies allow students to read or view a real-life situation that models a dilemma faced by a technician in industry. These cases provide a forum for problem-based learning in which the dilemmas faced by the technician may not have a "right" or "wrong" solution. The students discuss the case and struggle with the issues themselves and then apply their knowledge in a hands-on laboratory exercise.

The case studies and laboratory procedures are appropriate for high school, community college, and university levels. They are primarily targeted at educational institutions with programs or course offerings in biotechnology. The case studies and labs assume a basic knowledge of laboratory skills (e.g., preparing molar solutions, general safety measures, how to operate standard laboratory equipment such as micropipettors and centrifuges). In addition, basic knowledge of general and molecular biology is helpful, although the cases and labs are accompanied by appendices that provide necessary information about the fundamental concepts presented in each case.The students read and discuss the case and struggle with the embedded issues themselves in this real-world context--thereby sharpening the students' own knowledge of and facility with similar issues that they will likely face once in the workforce. Instructors facilitate these discussions using a "KWL" approach (the KWL approach engages students in responding to the following series of questions: What do we Know? What do we Want to know? What have we Learned?). Most materials are available through the links below. Facilitators guides are provided with course-in-a-box access.

These cases were created with the help of the following industry partners:  the Stanford Human Genome Center, Kaiser Permanente, CV Therapeutics, Lifescan, Stratagene, Inc., Inhale, Inc., and Bio101.


*Course-in-a-Box access:  To view additional materials, log in to your InnovATEBIO account.  If you are a biotech faculty member at a college or high school, join InnovATEBIO to get an account.  Note - it may take a few days to verify your faculty position and set up the account.

Log in to view the following case studies:

I.  It's as Easy as Pulling a Hair

II.  Lighten Up

III.  Enzyme Endurance

IV.  Ultra Bad Hair Day

V.  Under Pressure

VI.  Exercise Your Options

Open Materials

The attachments can be downloaded without logging in.