Dr. Natalie Kuldell

President, The BioBuilder Educational Foundation
Instructor, MIT Department of Biological Engineering
A.B., Chemistry, Cornell University
Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, Harvard University

E-mail: info <at> biobuilder <dot> org

Dr. Natalie Kuldell teaches in the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She develops discovery-based curricula drawn from the current literature to engage undergraduate students in structured, reasonably authentic laboratory and project-based experiences. She completed her doctoral and post-doctoral work at Harvard Medical School, and taught at Wellesley College before joining the faculty at MIT.

Dr. Kuldell is the director of a web-based resource called BioBuilder to teach synthetic biology, as well as the president of an educational non-profit organization called the BioBuilder Educational Foundation that aims to convert current research into teachable form. She runs BioBuilder summer workshops to train teachers in the engineering of biology and ways to teach it.

Outside of her BioBuilder work, she is also a scientific adviser for two web-projects to teach the nature and process of science, namely Understanding Science and VisionLearning, and a regional hub coordinator and core member of COPUS, a grassroots organization to promote the public understanding of science. Her research examines gene expression in eukaryotic cells, focusing most recently on synthetic biology and redesign of the yeast mitochondria.

Related websites:

Watch a sample BioBuilder Animation: iGEM team member Izzy tells Dude how her team’s project to detect arsenic in well water used the process of abstraction

BioBuilder – A resource for hands-on activities and informative animations on synthetic biology
URL: http://www.biobuilder.org/

The BioBuilder Educational Foundation – A non-profit organization working to convert current research into teachable form
URL: http://biobuildereducationalfoundation.org/

Selected education-related publications & press:

Episode 18: MIT’s Natalie Kuldell on Synthetic Biology Tutorials. Nature EdCast: Listening to the Future of Science Education.  March 16, 2011. Podcast and full transcript available online at Scitable by Nature Education.

Dixon J and Kuldell N. Mendel’s Modern Legacy: How to incorporate engineering in the biology classroom. The Science Teacher. February 2012. Vol. 79, No. 2, pp. 52 – 57. View PDF

Kuldell N. Living Machines: Some Assembly Required. Kit-based competitions challenge teams of students to learn microbiology and design principles in the context of synthetic biology. Microbe. January 2012. Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 13 – 17. View PDF

Building biology, one cartoon at a time. October 27, 2011. MITNews article, by Monique Sager, about Dr. Kuldell’s 2011 BioBuilder Summer Workshop held at MIT.


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