Student Programs
MAPS Teams
Modeling a Protein Story
Science Olympiad
Protien Modeling Event
Teacher Programs
Summer Professional
Development Courses
Regional Workshops
Learning Resources
Lending Library Modeling Resources 3D Molecular Designs

About the CBM

The MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling

A video introduction to the MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling

The MSOE Center for BioMolecular Modeling (CBM) develops materials that bridge the gap between the research laboratory and the educational classroom. We believe that the invisible world of molecules becomes real when students have an opportunity to hold physical models in their hands. The physical models function as thinking tools that stimulate questions that are then addressed using computer visualization tools and activities.

Visit Our Lab

The CBM is located on the 2nd floor of the Campus Center Building at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Our lab has both a teaching space and a 3D printing lab space. Come and visit us!

1025 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53207 - (414)277-7529

Meet Our Team

We are a group of teachers, scientists and artists working together to create revolutionary educational materials and outreach programs.

Tim Herman, PhD

CBM Director

Dr. Herman received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Nebraska in 1972 and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oregon State University in 1976. He pursued post-doctoral studies in molecular biology at Harvard Medical School from 1977-1980. He joined the biochemistry faculty at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1980, and for the next 18 years, taught graduate and medical students while directing research programs in areas ranging from the synthesis of chemically cleavable biotin-labeled nucleotide analogs to the development of novel approaches to structure-based drug design. In 1997, he began working with the MSOE Rapid Prototyping Center to apply this additive manufacturing technology to the production of physical models of proteins. He officially joined the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1998, as Director of the newly-created Center for BioMolecular Modeling. Dr. Herman's current research interests are focused in two areas: the application of rapid prototyping technology to the production of physical models of molecular structures, and science education research projects designed to measure the impact of physical and computer-based models of molecular structures on student learning.

Mark Hoelzer, MFA

Director of Digital Media

Mark Hoelzer started working at the Center For BioMolecular Modeling in 2003 during his senior year at Kettle Moraine High School. In 2007 Mark earned his BFA with honors from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a major in Illustration and a Minor in Painting. After graduation, he took the position as Lead Designer for the CBM while working towards his MFA with an emphasis on New Media from the Academy of Art University, which was earned in 2014. With help from the CBM's undergraduate interns, Mark is responsible for the graphic design, model and activity design, animation design, Jmol development, illustration design, video/audio design and web design for the Center for BioMolecular Modeling.

Diane Munzenmaier, PhD

Program Director

Diane Munzenmaier received her B.S. in Biology in 1984 from Marquette University in 1984 and then spent 6 years as a research technologist in a cardiothoracic surgery research lab at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She went on to earn her PhD in Physiology in 1995 studying the role of the renin-angiotensin system on skeletal muscle angiogenesis. This was followed by postdoctoral study of the role of astrocytes in stroke-induced cerebral angiogenesis. She joined the faculty of the Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1999 and the Human and Molecular Genetics Center in 2008. As Director of Education in the HMGC, Dr. Munzenmaier lectured and developed curriculum for medical and graduate school physiology and genetics courses. She developed an ACGME-accredited medical residency curriculum and Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses for physician education. She also enjoyed performing educational outreach to K-12 classrooms and the lay public. She is passionate about education and career mentoring for students of all levels. Her specific interests in biomedical science education are finding engaging ways to help clarify the link between structure and (dys)function in health and disease.

Mike Warden

Lab Technician

Learn About Our Programs

We work closely with talented science educators and students from across the US as part of our Student and Teacher Programs.

What Teachers and Students are Saying About the CBM

"Models give the students an opportunity to discover on their own, rather than having you tell it to them."

"These curriculum modules tie what seems like a really abstract idea--some little change in a molecule you can’t even see—to their own health. That’s really compelling. This stuff isn’t in any textbook."

"The fact that they were so teacher-focused was refreshing."

"The CBM staff let us be learners, and they respected us."

"Watching the CBM staff, who are masters, and being given these models is wonderful. Now we have powerful knowledge and powerful examples that we can put in our kids’ heads. I’m so excited for the school year to start, I don’t want to have to wait two months!"

"It was an amazing workshop. Foundational pieces of biology are woven through these stories."

"It really opened up science to me as a student. Science isn't sitting in a classroom learning about rocks its about being in a lab doing research alongside your mentor."

The [MAPS] Team program has taught me the importance of actively participating in the scientific community, being professional, and having the ability to take something complex and put it into simpler yet accurate terms."

"This program has opened my eyes to an entirely new career field. I have learned so much through this experience and I am extremely grateful that I have experienced this."

Selected Publications

Baeten, J., Munzenmaier, D., Vogt, G., Hoelzer, M. and Herman, T (2020) A Strategy for Sustained Outreach in the Molecular Biosciences. J. STEM Outreach Vol 3, Issue 3

Goodsell, D., Franzen, M. and Herman, T. (2018) From Atoms to Cells: Using Mesoscale Landscapes to Construct Visual Narratives. J. Mol. Biol. 430(21): 3954-3968

Harris, Michelle A., Peck, Ronald E., Colton, Shannon, Morris, Jennifer, Neto, Elias Chaibub and Kallio, Julie. 2009. A combination of hand-held models and computer imaging programs helps students answer oral questions about molecular structure and function: a controlled investigation of student learning. Cell Biol. Ed. 8(1):29-43

Herman, Tim, Colton, Shannon and Franzen, Margaret. 2008. Rethinking Outreach: Teaching the Process of Science through Modeling. PLoS Biology 6(4):e86

Herman, T., Morris, J., Colton, S. Batiza, A., Patrick, M., Franzen, M. and Goodsell, D.S. 2006. Tactile Teaching: Exploring Protein Structure/Function using Physical Models. Biochem. Molec. Biol. Educ. 34:247-254.

Bain, G., Yi, J., Beikmohamadi, M., Herman, T. and Patrick, M. 2006. Using physical models to teach concepts of biochemical structure and structure depiction in the introductory chemistry laboratory. J. Chem. Educ. 83(9):1322-1324. Supplements.

Roberts, J.R., Hagedorn, E., Dillenburg, P., Patrick, M. and Herman, T. Physical models enhance molecular three-dimensional literacy in an introductory biochemistry course. Biochem. Molec. Biol. Educ. 33(2):105-110. 2005

Put Your Lab in a Different Class. Sally Goodman, Nature 420, 12-14 (2002)

Images of Anthrax: A Team Approach. Jon Knopp, Chem Matters, December 2002, pages 4-6

Models of Excitement: Teachers use rapid prototyping to build protein structures. Toni Shears, HHMI Bulletin June 2002, pages 46-47

Photos from the CBM