Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Mission Statement for Baltimore
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology conducts research to discover and characterize the fundamental biological processes relevant to health and disease. The Department seeks to support Baltimore organizations that introduce city students to the biomedical sciences and public health.
The Department offered its first community-based service-learning course in the 2015-2016 academic year, called "Applying Reproductive Biology Literacy Through Service-Learning" (120.720). Students in this course apply what they learned in the 1st term course "Fundamentals of Reproductive Biology” in projects with community-based organizations.
In collaboration with SOURCE projects were arranged with three different organizations. One project was with Mi Espacio, the after-school program sponsored by CASA de Maryland. Mi Espacio mostly serves Hispanic youth, many of them recent immigrants with limited English proficiency. Students in this course volunteered at Mi Espacio, and also developed sexual education modules for students participating in programs at Mi Espacio, and taught two of these at the culmination of the term. Another project was with Youth Opportunity (YO!) Baltimore (a program of the Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition), which provides comprehensive services for Baltimore City youth ages 17-24 not enrolled in Baltimore City Public Schools. Students in this course worked with staff and peer leaders at YO! to develop a reproductive/sexual health curriculum, which was then taught by these peer leaders. The third project was with Community Adolescent Sex Education (CASE), a JHU-associated organization that places students in middle schools to teach sex education. Students in the course working on the CASE project in taught the full eight-week curriculum, and also developed modules for a continuation of the basic sex ed course for more advanced students. Projects for the 2016-2017 offering of this course will be defined around September 2016.
As part of the Department's Centennial Celebration month, BMB students organized our Centennial 100 Kilos of Food and Hygiene Products Challenge. In total, BMB collected 397.51 Kg of food and hygiene products of food and supplies from departments and offices throughout the School, which then were donated to Episcopal Community Services of Maryland, a Baltimore organization that serves people who are homeless, working in substance abuse recovery programs, or dealing with domestic partner violence. The Department’s master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral trainees volunteer in a variety of community-based organizations, including Thread, which provides support for Baltimore City high school students, and Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT). Doctoral and postdoctoral trainees also have served as judges for the Annual Science Fair at Randallstown High School, a predominantly minority high school in Baltimore County, and several Department students and faculty have spoken to high school classes.
BMB Baltimore Project: Engagement with Local High School and College Students
The departments of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will partner to expand offering research opportunities for Baltimore city students. This has kicked off with involvement in MERIT by hosting Baltimore city students to work in our labs during the summer months. Two students were placed in two different labs in summer 2016.