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20.109(S14): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering

Feliks signaling-network-crop.jpg

Home        Schedule Spring 2014        Assignments       
Module 1        Module 2        Module 3              

Welcome and Details for Spring 2014

Lecture: T/R 11-12 (16-220)
Lab: T/R 1-5 or W/F 1-5 (56-322)
People: Instructor and student web pages may be found at the linked People page.

Welcome to 20.109! For some of you this will be the first time in a research lab and for others it will not; either way, it is our goal to make this class a useful and fun introduction to experiments and techniques in biological engineering. There is not time enough to show you everything you’ll need to know if you go on to do research, but after taking this class you should feel confident and familiar with some fundamental experimental approaches and lab protocols. You will develop good habits at the bench, ones that will increase the likelihood of success in your work and ensure the health and safety of you and those around you. By the end of the semester, you should also be aware of good scientific practice, having had some experience with report writing, notebook keeping, and publicly presenting data and your ideas. All of us involved in teaching 20.109 hope you will find it a satisfying challenge and an exciting experience that has lasting value.

Cover image: Is it a biological signaling network or a toddler's whiteboard scrawlings?

Orientation and Safety Material

On the first day of 20.109, you will take an interactive tour to get up to speed on the basics of working in a lab. The lab tour is linked here. You should also carefully read the general lab policy, which broadly covers dos and don'ts specific to our class.

Later in the semester, you will want to read guidelines for working in the tissue culture facility. Stay tuned!

At any time you can refer the guidelines on using personal protective equipment developed by the Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS) at MIT: one on eye protection (PDF download) and one on wearing lab coats (PDF download).

Finally, you can learn how to best contribute to the class wiki at the linked OWW in 20.109 page.

Office Hours Schedule

  • Ongoing:
    • Shannon: Monday 12pm (16-429b) and Monday 9pm (lab, 56-322)
    • Agi: Monday 1:30-2:30 pm (16-319)
  • Additional:
    • Module 1 data summary
      • Agi: Sunday 1:30-3pm (56-322); Monday 1-2:30 pm (56-322)


  • Hi folks! The M1D6 FNT has been revised to include some reminders (reflections and notebooks). Relatedly, M1D7 Part 1 is now fully revised. AgiStachowiak 11:05, 1 March 2014 (EST)
  • Prof. Runstadler has graciously shared his outlines/notes for the lecture parts done on the blackboard. These are available as DOC/DOCX on the Schedule page, so you can add your own annotations. If you would like a PDF copy, please email an instructor. AgiStachowiak 09:17, 24 February 2014 (EST)
  • M1D4 announcements for W/F section:
    • You may retrieve your digital gel images on the M1D4 Talk page.
    • All the plates grew colonies!
    • All groups (except Pink) were plated between 6:25-6:35 pm on Friday, in the order: red, ylw, whi, sil, grn ,prp, org, blu.
  • The lab quiz dates are now all posted on the Schedule page. Please also see the lab notebook link for the possible notebooks that may be collected and their associated due dates. Thanks! -Agi
  • You can find old announcements here