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1 August 2015 Using a Simulation to Illustrate Crosscutting Concepts Through a Disease Model
Julie Bokor, Houda Darwiche, Drew Joseph
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Using Pompe disease as a context affords the opportunity for students to consider multiple biological concepts and embraces the Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas Structure and Function (LS1.A) and Inheritance of Traits (LS3.A) as well as Crosscutting Concepts Structure and Function and Cause and Effect. These crosscutting concepts are very much interrelated as we consider progression of disease from the molecular to the organismal level. The concepts are repeatedly emphasized, providing “explicit instructional support” for students to “develop a cumulative, coherent, and usable understanding of science and engineering.” DNA, proteins, enzymes, genetics, and human disease are taught together through the story of patients with Pompe disease as students engage in a simulated clinical assay and genetic analysis and present their findings in grand rounds. The activity is one of multiple lessons sequenced to scaffold student understanding of clinical and translational science, starting with a first-person perspective of a father who loses his infant son to Pompe and concluding with a role play based on actual events surrounding approval of human clinical trials of gene therapy for Pompe disease.

© 2015 by National Association of Biology Teachers. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page,
Julie Bokor, Houda Darwiche, and Drew Joseph "Using a Simulation to Illustrate Crosscutting Concepts Through a Disease Model," The American Biology Teacher 77(6), 445-451, (1 August 2015).
Published: 1 August 2015

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Central Dogma
patient case studies
Pompe disease
Structure and function
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