This project was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Chautauqua Short Course -- Bioinformatics Education Dissemination: Reaching Out, Connecting, and Knitting-together at Grand Valley State University in August 2006. 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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HIV Evolution During Infection
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Mark Christensen
Georgetown College

Caroline St. Clair
North Central College

Jay Kirchner
University of the Cumberlands


Possible Audiences:

Upper level students taking a genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry or bioinformatics course.  


Brief Overview:

  • Introduction to HIV Biology Students will learn:
    • how the virus gets into the cell (importance of GP120)
    • that mutations occur quickly
    • that HIV infection leads to eventual CD4 decline and AIDS
  • Approach: students will use HIV dataset to determine if specific gp120 mutations are associated with the onset of AIDS over a 3-step process.
    • Step 1: students will discover whether an evolutionary relationship exists between HIV clones pre and post T-cell decline using dendograms.
    • Step 2: using results from step 1, students will look at relationships among interesting clones to determine whether a correlation exists between specific sequences and CD4 T-cell decline.
    • Step 3: map specific amino acid changes onto the tertiary structure of the gp120 protein.


Project Materials:

  • Dataset
    • understand data acquisition methodology
    • interpret what the data represents
  • Biology Workbench:
    • learn how to navigate the workbench
    • discover what information is displayed



- Subject15_aa.txt