A revolution in biochemistry and molecular biology education informed by basic research to meet the demands of 21st century career paths

Paul N. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of the jobs available during the next decade will require math and science skills, dictating that programs in biochemistry and molecular biology must be transformative and use new pedagogical approaches and experiential learning for careers in industry, research, education, engineering, health-care professions, and other interdisciplinary fields. These efforts require an environment that values the individual student and integrates recent advances from the primary literature in the discipline, experimentally directed research, data collection and analysis, and scientific writing. Current trends shaping these efforts must include critical thinking, experimental testing, computational modeling, and inferential logic. In essence, modern biochemistry and molecular biology education must be informed by, and integrated with, cutting-edge research. This environment relies on sustained research support, commitment to providing the requisite mentoring, access to instrumentation, and state-of-the- art facilities. The academic environment must establish a culture of excellence and faculty engagement, leading to innovation in the classroom and laboratory. These efforts must not lose sight of the importance of multidimensional programs that enrich science literacy in all facets of the population, students and teachers in K-12 schools, nonbiochemistry and molecular biology students, and other stakeholders. As biochemistry and molecular biology educators, we have an obligation to provide students with the skills that allow them to be innovative and self-reliant. The next generation of biochemistry and molecular biology students must be taught proficiencies in scientific and technological literacy, the importance of the scientific discourse, and skills required for problem solvers of the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10653-10661
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number31
StatePublished - Jul 31 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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