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2011.08.19 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Pauley Wins National Science Foundation Award

Omaha - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dr. Mark Pauley, senior research fellow and associate director of the Undergraduate Bioinformatics Program in the School of Interdisciplinary Informatics at the University of Nebraska (UNO) College of Information Science and Technology, a four-year, $567,000 grant to assist in the development and integration of bioinformatics-focused laboratory exercises across the life sciences curriculum.

This specific project is considered Phase 2 as it builds on previous NSF-funded work to add bioinformatics content to lecture courses.

Through the NSF’s Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), Pauley and a leadership team of researchers from three Nebraska institutions – UNO, University of Nebraska at Kearney and Nebraska Wesleyan University – are working to develop a new curriculum to enable students at all levels to unlock the potential of bioinformatics as a discipline.

Broader impacts lie in the collaboration created by adding inquiry-based laboratories to previously developed lecture content to provide a foundation of bioinformatics education at all levels in the life sciences and a dissemination plan that includes partnering with publishers to include versions of the modules as supplementary materials in their textbooks.

"This award firmly establishes UNO as a leader in the development of bioinformatics curriculum and recognizes the Peter Kiewit Institute as an organization devoted to advancing research in the growing field of bioinformatics," Pauley said.

The lecture material, the student laboratory modules and the tools developed to help students use bioinformatics databases are available at http://ccli.ist.unomaha.edu.

The leadership team assembled to develop the new curriculum includes:

• Dr. Mark Pauley, Senior Research Follow and Associate Director of the Undergraduate Bioinformatics Program in the UNO School of Interdisciplinary Informatics
• Dr. Garry Duncan, Professor of Biology at Nebraska Wesleyan
• Dr. Letitia Reichart, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney
• Dr. William Tapprich, Professor and Chair of Biology at UNO
• Carol Engelman, assistance evaluator – facilitates Michigan Technological University’s Teacher Excellence Program
• Dr. Neal Grandgenett, lead evaluator, Dr. George and Sally Haddix Chair of STEM Education at UNO
• Dr. Mike Timms, assistant evaluator, Managing Director of the Center for the Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning with the National Science Foundation

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