Research Deconstruction Symposium

Join Us!

You're invited to a free, one-day symposium which will overview “Research Deconstruction” as a partnership between MCW and Wisconsin Higher Ed Institutions.

Research Deconstruction is a novel pedagogy to teach the scientific process, increase retention in STEM, and engage students with research experiences.

“Deconstructing” Scientific Research: A Practical and Scalable Pedagogical Tool to Provide Evidence-Based Science Instruction
Faculty Students Lesson

Symposium Goals

  • Learn about the pedagogy and its utility from the designer, Dr. Ira Clark
  • Learn how the Medical College of Wisconsin wants to partner with your institution
  • Hear about two successful implementations of Research Deconstruction
  • Group discussions on:
    • alternative strategies to fit the needs of your institution
    • multi-institutional funding to create research experiences for undergrads

Symposium Details & Registration

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2023

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; light breakfast and lunch will be served

Medical College of Wisconsin, Alumni Center
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Free Parking – in lot on 87th Street

Accommodations: Need a hotel for the night? Please contact Michaela Patterson as soon as possible.

Registration deadline: January 31, 2023

CBNA Research Deconstruction Symposium Register Button

Keynote Speaker | Ira Clark, PhD

Ira Clark, PhDAssociate Director, UCLA Minor in Biomedical Research
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Clark is Assistant Adjunct Professor with the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA. Since 2007, he has served as the Associate Director of the UCLA Minor in Biomedical Research, a vertically integrated undergraduate research training program, developed by HHMI Professor Dr. Utpal Banerjee, that has trained over 1,000 students to date. Together with Dr. Banerjee and Dr. Rafael Romero, Dr. Clark is a co-developer of “research deconstruction,” a pedagogical strategy that leverages in-depth analysis of current, cutting-edge research projects to teach undergraduate students fundamental scientific concepts and the process of scientific inquiry. He is currently partnered with the California State University and community college systems to implement research deconstruction in introductory biology and chemistry courses that typically serve as gateway courses for STEM majors.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Clark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at Harvard University, and his PhD from University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Clark’s scientific interests have included molecular characterization of gene structure, cytoskeletal polarity in RNA localization, and translational regulation of mRNA using Drosophila and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Tentative Symposium Agenda

9:30: Arrive for coffee and light breakfast

10:00: Introduction (Michaela Patterson, PhD)

10:15: Keynote Address, Dr. Ira Clark, Co-creator of Research Deconstruction

11:15: Vision for Wisconsin as a partnership with MCW (Michaela Patterson, PhD)

  • Implementation at Mount Mary University (Kathleen Boyle, PhD)
  • Implementation at Wisconsin Lutheran College (Rob Balza, PhD)

12:00: Lunch, small group discussions for alternative strategies to implement at other institutions

1:00: Large group discussion – implementation across Wisconsin

1:30: Overview of research experiences and multi-institutional funding opportunities (Kathleen Boyle, PhD; Michele Battle, PhD)

2:30: Large group discussion – funding and interest

3:30: Convene or optional lab tours

Symposium Hosts

Michaela Patterson, PhD

Assistant Professor, Cell Biology Neurobiology and Anatomy
Medical College of Wisconsin

Michaela Patterson, PhDDr. Patterson received her BS from Bates College in Lewiston, ME and her PhD from UCLA. She runs an NIH-funded lab at MCW where she explores the genetic contributions to heart failure and regeneration.

Since her graduate days, Michaela has always been inspired by Research Deconstruction’s utility. She is eager to bring the pedagogy to Wisconsin, build partnerships between MCW and neighboring institutions, and create new research experiences for undergrads and graduate students alike.

Kathleen Boyle, PhD

Chair, Sciences Department; Assistant Professor of Biology
Mount Mary University

Kathleen Boyle, PhDDr. Boyle received her BS from University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and her PhD from University of Wisconsin, Madison. After 20 years as a Research Scientist working on virology and novel treatments towards Pancreatic Cancer at the MCW, she moved to Mount Mary to share her love, passion, and enthusiasm for science to an all-female undergraduate student population.

She is currently a PI and co-PI on separate NSF S-STEM (National Science Foundation Scholarships in STEM) proposals and is eager to create a collaborative STEM culture amongst Milwaukee’s higher education partners.

Contact Us

Dr. Michaela Patterson
Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy


This symposium was made possible by an MCW Community of Innovators Award and the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy.

Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

Medical College of Wisconsin Google map location