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The National Science Foundation has awarded Center of Evolution and Medicine researchers a $292,767 grant to establish the future of evolutionary medicine education.
The project began with the understanding that most universities lack the resources to effectively teach evolutionary medicine to undergraduate students. Assistant professor Sara Brownell, CEM director Randolph Nesse and postdoc Daniel Grunspan plan to create an evidence-based curriculum that will serve as the foundation for other the new, transdisciplinary field of study.
To begin, Brownell said they must first identify the core principles of evolutionary medicine. From there, the team will determine learning goals for courses. Next, they will assess how evolutionary medicine is currently being taught and identify what students are struggling to learn. Finally, they will develop a suite of resources that instructors can use to help them teach the material in a way that is more closely aligned what has proven to be important.
The project will be jointly funded by the Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, Division of Undergraduate Education as part of their efforts to address the challenges posed in Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action.