Chemistry 511: Chemistry of Biomolecular Interactions: Chemistry of noncovalent interactions governing biological systems. Topics include: review of biomacromolecules, chemical principles of non-covalent interactions and the use of model systems; experimental methods to determine binding interactions; interactions responsible for molecular recognition in biological systems; and applications in signal regulation.
This course was designed by Prof. Hargrove and further incorporates in depth literature reading and discussion as well as proposal writing and presentations.
The Hargrove lab is dedicated to STEM education, with a goal of using the most advanced pedagogical techniques available to make molecular concepts, particularly organic and biological structures, as accessible as possible to students at all levels.
Through a grant from the Duke Digital Initiative, we are currently pursuing the implementation of portable virtual reality (VR) technology, namely the Oculus Rift, into the chemistry graduate and undergraduate curriculum. Students will be able to completely immerse themselves in the macromolecules they study, allowing them to experience an atom’s eye view of molecular motion, reactions, and catalysis. Such immersive learning is invaluable for retention and application of material, particularly, for example, in the teaching of reactions that occur with specific regard to the surrounding three-dimensional space, such as substitution reactions. Upon completion of the first activities, demonstrations of the Oculus Rift will be available at the lab’s YouTube channel, and the source code can be downloaded from GitHub (links to follow).
Future work will expand these activities to the broader community of students and life-long learners in collaboration with local Durham educators, including:
Duke Action Science Camp for Young Women
Oculus Rift view of Aquaporin, exterior
Oculus Rift view of Aquaporin, interior
Kindergarten students participate in the Molecules in Motion interactive demonstration using the Oculus Rift virtual reality interface.