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Sleister and Honts earn NASA ISGC grant for synthetic biology project

February 27, 2014

Synthetic Bio J-term classHeidi Sleister, associate professor of genetics, and Jerry Honts, associate professor of cell and molecular biology, recently received a NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC) Curriculum Development Grant in the amount of $5,000.

Sleister and Honts received the grant for their project titled, “Curriculum Development: Synthetic Biology Project-Based Laboratory Course.” The funding was used to develop a curriculum for a 3-week intensive project-based synthetic biology course for undergraduate students.

"Synthetic biology gives students the opportunity to think and work as engineers in the bimolecular realm,” says Honts. “It integrates critical thinking and creativity in solving problems.”

The NASA ISGC grant provides funds to improve STEM learning and instruction in a university or community college setting through project based course development, capstone courses, curriculum, or course redesign.

For more information, contact Heidi Sleister at 515-271-3765 or, or Jerry Honts at 515-271-3927 or