Designed and presented by scientists and science educators, workshops at #DiscoverBMB will complement the meeting's scientific sessions with opportunities to learn and collaborate on topics related to career development, outreach and DEI.


Lab management

Are you a new faculty member or PI? Are you a postdoctoral fellow or senior graduate student who is interested in starting your own lab? How do you go about setting up your lab? How will you manage an initial budget to get off to a great start? Whom will you hire? What criteria will you use to select your staff and how will you mentor your trainees successfully? Will you be able to communicate effectively with your staff, and how will you handle any conflicts when they arise?

If you have considered any of these questions, then sign up for this free interactive session. We'll cover lab setup and budget management, staffing, time management, and communication, diversity and conflict management. Hear from, and ask questions of, a panel of ASBMB experts with significant experience and expertise in addressing the challenges you'll face in setting up your own lab.

Advance registration required — sign up when you register for the meeting.

Undergraduate student workshop: Exploring careers speed networking

This event introduces undergraduates to a variety of potential career paths in biochemistry, molecular biology and related majors. During this fast-paced networking session, attendees meet with a new speaker every few minutes. Speakers will share their career journeys and showcase how they use their common scientific training in the pursuit of many different career paths. Connect with scientists and discover what career paths fit your interests.

Advance registration required — sign up when you register for the meeting.


Advocacy Town Hall

Come to the Advocacy Town Hall to learn how the ASBMB public affairs department and the Public Affairs Advisory Committee advocate for ASBMB members to policymakers at federal agencies and on Capitol Hill. In the second half of the event, committee members and staff will help you craft an email talking about the importance of basic scientific research to send to your U.S. representatives and senators.

How to engage in advocacy as a scientist

There are many avenues to advocate for sound science policy; come and learn how at this panel discussion featuring ASBMB Public Affairs Advisory Committee members, Advocacy Training Program delegates, and science and technology fellows. We’ll talk about how you can spend a little or a lot of time to advocate for the scientific community, and you’ll learn how ASBMB advocates for you.


Building professional relationships


Erica Gobrogge, Van Andel Institute
Scott Rothbart, Van Andel Institute

Building and maintaining professional relationships is critical to success as a scientist — from landing a job to establishing collaborations. This workshop will focus on effective strategies for developing professional relationships and networking. Participants will identify their goals for networking and ways in which they can meet new contacts over the next year, learn how to initiate and maintain professional relationships and create a networking action plan. Participants will leave the workshop with increased confidence in their networking and relationship-building abilities.

Topics covered:

  1. What is networking and why is it useful?
  2. Identify participants' goals for networking
  3. How do you meet people?
  4. How do you continue the conversation?
  5. How do you maintain your contacts?
  6. Next steps

Seconds to impress: CV workshop


Kimberly E. Beatty, Oregon Health & Science University

A curriculum vitae, or CV, is used by job applicants to highlight their accomplishments and qualifications. Hiring managers spend an average of seven seconds reviewing CVs. This workshop will discuss ways to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd. Participants will learn tips for formatting and highlighting their accomplishments and have the chance to review sample CVs in real time.

Diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion

Anti-racist classroom practices


Neena Grover, Colorado College

This workshop will allow participants to examine their own classrooms from an equity point of view. Various examples of inclusive, anti-racist teaching will be presented. It will allow participants to actively ask and respond to the challenges of teaching from a learner-centered viewpoint that is inclusive and active.

Incorporating anti-racism, social justice and equity themes into biochemistry courses


Rou-Jia Sung, Carleton College

Biochemistry represents a unique opportunity to engage students in discussions on the historical, racial and social impacts of science that are highly relevant to the communities with which they will interact through future careers in public health, healthcare and research, to name a few. However, traditional biochemistry courses do not typically integrate such discussions in the sustained manner needed to highlight the importance and complexities of these topics. This workshop will provide participants with both a framework for incorporating these discussions into their classes and examples of evidence-based discussion activities. The workshop will build a cohort of interested individuals who can be a source of community and support when implementing this new material.

Upon completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe examples of discussion activities and how discussions could be implemented in their courses.
  • Identify integration points for these discussions in attendee course curricula/syllabi.
  • Adapt and/or modify existing activities to fit their specific curricular needs.


National Science Foundation funding opportunities for research and broader impacts


Manju Hingorani, National Science Foundation

Program directors from the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Division of the National Science Foundation will highlight funding opportunities relevant to the ASBMB community, provide information and advice on proposal submission and the review process, address questions and, if time permits, be available for individual/small group discussions with researchers on their project ideas.


Your data, magnified — success in scientific publishing

The ASBMB Publications editorial team works with researchers to disseminate their newest findings pretty much all day every day. Editors, reviewers, writers and others on the team know the ins and outs of data acquisition and presentation, wordsmithing and promoting findings to the scientific community and beyond. This 60-minute workshop is designed to give authors a competitive advantage — and preserve the integrity of the scientific record. Scientific and technical editors, and other staffers who support the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Journal of Lipid Research, and Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, will offer advice for collecting, storing and presenting data; editing text for clarity and reach; and sharing your work.

Science communication

Building science communication training into your classrooms, training programs and large-scale grants


Melissa Rowland–Goldsmith, Chapman University
Nicole Woitowich, Northwestern University

The ASBMB Art of Science Communication course helps scientists communicate their work effectively with nonexpert audiences, and its format is easily adaptable to meet the training needs of individuals, research teams, academic departments and research institutions. In this workshop, Art of Science Communication course directors will provide an overview of the curriculum and discuss how it can be built into existing courses, training programs and large-scale research endeavors supported by NSF and NIH-specific funding mechanisms. They will also review course outcomes related to professional development and public engagement with science. Attendees will engage in a facilitated discussion with individuals who have successfully integrated the Art of Science Communication at their home institution and will develop customized science communication training plans to meet their individual, team, departmental or institutional needs.

Developing scientific writing courses for different stages of STEM training


Karin Musier–Forsyth, Ohio State University

This workshop will describe the development of a scientific writing course using a model that is predicated on collaboration between subject matter experts in science and in writing in all aspects of course design, implementation and evaluation. We will explain the course-development process, what we have learned in four years of implementing and improving the course design, and the challenges and limitations that remain. Course topics, assignments and resources will be emphasized. Interactive sessions to discuss course content and provide examples of real “workshop” sessions used in the class are planned.

Participants will:

  • Understand the benefits and process for developing a course involving both science and writing experts.
  • Develop a syllabus for a scientific writing course that includes topics in a wide range of writing genres.
  • Develop assignments and workshop sessions for students to hone their writing skills.

Science outreach

Building partnerships to bridge STEM outreach to the real world


Shyretha Brown, Building Bridges Inc.
TaAqua Campbell, Building Bridges Inc.
Christina Swords, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Scientists often have great ideas, inspiration and maybe even funding to design impactful science opportunities to share with the larger community. However, the most engaging events are often those both informed by and integrated with community partners and stakeholders. When creating STEM outreach opportunities for K–12 organizations, it is essential to showcase how STEM skills can translate to “real world” jobs. Experiencing STEM in action with a STEM professional adds inspiration that can have a long-lasting impression and benefits to the future generation. This workshop is designed to give attendees tools to identify K–12 organizations that are open to strategic partnerships for STEM outreach to build strong collaborations in communities. Participants will also engage in a hands-on experiment titled “Love the Skin You’re In” which will involve the biology of skin and making a personalized sugar scrub.

Participants will learn to:

  • Articulate the importance of, and identify strategic community partnerships for, impactful science outreach.
  • Describe the benefits of youth empowerment for STEM outreach.
  • Develop STEM experiments for outreach activities that translate to real world careers.
  • Create a plan for their own science outreach event that involves community stakeholders.

Outreach for all ages: How to build an outreach program targeted to an appropriate audience


Michael Wolyniak, Hampden–Sydney College

While outreach to our communities is needed more than ever, it is difficult to design and implement a science outreach program that is appropriately targeted to specific audiences, be it elementary school classrooms, adult programs, communities underrepresented in STEM, neurodiverse individuals, or anything in between. In this workshop, members of the ASBMB Science Outreach and Communication Committee will work with you to hone your outreach ideas, identify your target audience, consider the needs of that audience and develop ideas to effectively target your program to that audience. We will share efforts that have been successful for different audience types, use small-group discussions to develop and refine ideas as well as facilitate the design of an outreach roadmap, and provide advice about how to get started or enhance your outreach journey.

Participants will:

  • Discern an appropriate target audience for their outreach.
  • Outline ideas for their outreach initiative and how they will be specifically targeted to their audience.
  • Learn about the ASBMB outreach community and how it can support their outreach journey.

Tips, tools and resources for educators

Basics of the iCn3D program, a user-friendly tool for biomolecular modeling


Kristen Procko, University of Texas at Austin

Structure–function relationships are broadly recognized as a foundational concept in biochemistry and molecular biology education, and biomolecular modeling provides a bridge to build that understanding. In this hands-on workshop, participants will first learn the basics of iCn3D (I-see-in-3D), a web-based molecular modeling program from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. iCn3D is arguably the easiest modeling program to learn, yet it is powerful, integrating structural data from the NCBI, which allows the user to quickly model information-rich biological structures. Participants will apply the modeling skills they learn in the first part of the workshop to an assessment item that could be used in a classroom.

Workshop participants are encouraged to bring a laptop computer.

Capturing student attention by escaping traditional pedagogy


Antonio Mele, University of Central Florida

Traditional pedagogy places the student in a passive position rather than actively participating in the learning process. To capture student interest, encourage diversity and nurture deeper learning, an “escape room” was created for a Molecular Biology I classroom. In the escape room, clues included in the background storyline are deciphered by students to answer a series of questions, each increasing in difficulty to represent more challenging locks. Utilizing this popular form of entertainment as a game-based learning tool facilitates student engagement in a novel manner and improves learning outcomes.

Attendees will learn what an escape room is, how to create one and how to implement their creation in the physical or virtual classroom to capture students' attention and interest. Attendees will experience the joy of active learning firsthand by participating in the example escape room.

Using open-source molecular docking and visualization tools to explore protein–ligand interaction in the undergraduate classroom


Roderico Acevedo, Westfield State University

Biochemistry laboratory courses often focus on protein biochemistry, with an emphasis on wet lab techniques. Visualization of a protein's structure can add excitement and deepen understanding of protein structure–function relationships. Using approaches developed as part of the BASIL (Biochemistry Authentic Science Inquiry Laboratory) curriculum to integrate discovery of proteins into the teaching laboratory, participants of this workshop will learn the basic tools to perform molecular docking and explore structure. The tools are free/open-source software packages and websites, and the techniques are broadly accessible. The skills participants will take away from the workshop can be readily adapted to most instructional settings, from introductory level chemistry and biology courses to junior/senior level courses, and even high school curricula.

Participants will:

  • Use modeling programs visualize a protein active site
  • Select small-molecule ligands or substrates for these proteins
  • Use docking software to make predictions about protein–ligand binding and binding strength.
  • Use visualization software to generate images of results