This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Investigating Interdisciplinary Interactions: The Annual BioQUEST Summer Workshop at Beloit College in June 2005. The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Exploring Cancer Incidence Rates: Creating the Multi-hit Model of Cancer in STELLA.
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Kam Dahlquist
Loyola Marymount University

Seamus Lagan
Whittier College

Jeff Lutgen
Whittier College


Possible Audiences:

Non-science students, biology students (introductory, bioinformatics, cell biology, genetics), math students (math modeling).  


Brief Overview:

Random mutations of nucleotides in genes during cell division can lead to cancer. Given a criterion for the onset of cancer we can create data for the length of time needed to produce cancer. This can lead to a frequency distribution of cancer cases as a function of age.  


Project Materials:

There are three different models constructed in STELLA included here. To run the models you will require STELLA8. You can download a demo version for free from If you are using a Mac then you will have to convert the models after you have downloaded them. There is a PC Model Conversion Utility in the Tools folder of the STELLA8 demo.