ASPIRE Teaching Internship at Fisk (Spring 2017): BIochemistry II

Ashley Brady
June 10, 2016
Posted in Announcements

ASPIRE Teaching Internship
Biochemistry II Course

Class Lecture/Discussion: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00- 2:30 pm
Course-associated laboratory: Wednesday’s from 3:30- 6:30 pm (or as late as it takes)

Fisk University
​1000 17th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37208

Fisk University is a small, historically black liberal arts university with a history of excellence in academics through teaching, research, and service.  It is Nashville’s oldest institution of higher education and conveniently located less than two miles from Vanderbilt.

This teaching internship will provide experience in teaching a more advanced Biochemistry (Biochemistry II) course and its course-associated laboratory.   The participant will be hosted by Dr. Lee E. Limbird, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Dean. Dr Limbird was formerly Professor of Pharmacology, Chair of Pharmacology and the first Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

The Biochemistry class seeks to take content on the major macromolecules in biological systems and integrate their molecular and biochemical understanding in the context of ‘systems’, including, but not limited to: cell surface to nuclear signaling pathways; ubiquitination pathways and their multiple functional consequences; the multiple molecular regulatory mechanisms that underly the cell cycle and cell cycle surveillance; apoptosis. Additional materials related to metabolic pathways for lipid, amino acid, and carbohydrate anabolism/catabolism will be developed for students to do ‘ self- learning’, of particular value to those headed to health professional or biomedical graduate training after Fisk University

  • Availability of all class discussion materials online in our course management system in advance ( sometimes called ‘flipping the classroom’, but done without videos, just PowerPoint presentations)
  • Guided reading questions for each class to help focus reading
  • Quiz (5 min) at the end of each class to foster student ongoing reading and learning in the course ( i.e. break bad habits of cramming and immediate forgetting of content)
  • Pretests and their post-submission discussion- so that students learn that the exam is not a regurgitation exercise, but rather an examination of a student’s ability to take content learned and apply it in a new context
  • Exams and exam review  – thinking exams; often take-home, open book
  • Course-associated laboratory to introduce commonly used biochemical methods, with an emphasis on experimental design, analysis and interpretation

The participant will:

  • Observe teaching at the undergraduate/Master’s level
  • Meet and interact with undergraduate and Master’s level students
  • Serve as the principal course lecturer after the first few mentored sessions with Dr. Limbird
  • Support teaching activities within an associated laboratory course (support for this new laboratory course development will involve partnership with Dr Steven Damo, another faculty member in Chemistry at Fisk University)
  • Meet and learn from other STEM faculty at Fisk
  • Develop a module for the laboratory for future use, or for exploration at the end of the semester


  • Funding: $3000.00 stipend for this learning opportunity.
  • Appointment as Adjunct Instructor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Fisk University
  • Eligibility: postdoctoral fellows only
  • This position will require full attention/commitment for all class and lab meetings (6 hours per week), plus preparation outside of instruction time. 

Applications due by midnight, October 1, 2016

Your information will then be passed along to the host who will contact you directly to schedule an interview.

Please review ASPIRE Internship FAQs: Found here

ASPIRE Internship eligibility requirements:

  • Applicants must be a current Vanderbilt University PhD student or a current postdoctoral fellow.
  • All PhD students must have completed all coursework for their degree prior to July 2016.
  • Biomedical PhD students must also have passed their qualifying exams before the application deadline.
  • If you are not in a department supported by the BRET office, we will also require that you complete a form guaranteeing PI approval to participate in this program.  Please contact Ashley Brady at for more information.
  • If you are an international student or postdoctoral fellow, your visa status may affect your work eligibility. Please contact Ashley Brady to discuss this further.

For further questions, please contact Ashley Brady (