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!
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.
Margaret Franzen earned a B.A. with honors in biology from Bryn Mawr College in 1978 and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Northern Illinois University in 1987, with an emphasis in molecular genetics. She pursued a post-doctoral study of ribozymes in 1987-1988 at the Plant Molecular Biology Center of Northern Illinois University before delving into a teaching career. She served as Assistant Professor of Biology at David Lipscomb University from 1989-1992, then was a guest lecturer at the University of Bucharest and the Romanian American University while serving as a missionary in Romania. She joined the faculty at Pellissippi State Technical Community College in 1997, where she became interested in teaching to multiple learning styles. Her teaching innovations have won both local and national recognition. She participated in the summer professional development program at the CBM in 2003, beginning a long and rewarding relationship with CBM staff in curriculum development and educator training. She joined the CBM staff fulltime in 2006 and currently devotes her efforts to the Proteins in Active Learning Modules (PALM) project, developing materials and assessing their impact in undergraduate classrooms, as well as maintaining and expanding the MSOE Model Lending Library.
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 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.
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."