Teaching, Research and Community Service Statement
Khalid Al-Batayneh, Ph.D
Molecular Cell Biologist
As a Science instructor, my philosophy of teaching is to provide a classroom environment where students are encouraged to express their viewpoint about the subject and whether they have absorbed the concept, and further, its applications. However; this will be in addition to expressing their own ideas and participate in their education experience. Although I stress individual responsibility for learning in the class, I also provide explanation and assistance regarding the course materials and subject matter. I want my students to enjoy the interaction in my classroom and outside, through the variable categories of learning strategies that one might use in an active learning classroom like,(1) individual and/or paired activities, (2) cooperative student assignments and, if the classroom setting allows, (3) informal small groups. Fortunately, in Biotecnology, active learning is applicable and positively contributes for concept retention dilemma. For example, in a Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics courses, I launch the lectures with an important group assignment, where each group will embark on a search and data collection journey for different sequenced genome projects. Besides the tremendous amount of knowledge students would attain, this assignment is an opportunity to get to know where they are coming from (personal distinction, background, etc.). Most importantly, the students will have to use the World Wide Web resources related to genome databases and their analysis.
I have always believed that a good researcher is a successful teacher, hence; I have been consistently raising the research ideas for students in the classroom. The field of molecular cell biology research is key for fundamental aspects of cell function and their links to human diseases. Probably for egocentric reasons, we, human beings, are interested in understanding the essentials that underlie any of those diseases to share our views with doctors, family and the society. This, in fact, has affected my research theme to focus on applicable missions of research with great benefit for human health. All along my research experience with the variable projects I worked with, I found myself in the center of the one-carbon transfer cycle of metabolism, looking for answers to questions related to human cancer, development of resistance to chemotherapy and, most recently, answering questions related to genetic variability and vitamin B12 deficiency. These areas of research are of eminent importance for human health. Being expert in these fields, one can bring so many related examples to fuel the enthusiasm of student’s learning in class on one side and, to serve the community craves for simple information disseminated through public seminars and social interaction. This area of research is also significant for partnering with pharmaceutical R&D endeavors, with enormous potential for establishing start –up business models that are still absent around Middle east university campuses.