Leslie Kate Wright Headshot

Leslie Kate Wright

Interim School Head

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
College of Science

585-475-4669
Office Location

Leslie Kate Wright

Interim School Head

Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
College of Science

Education

BS, Rochester Institute of Technology; MS, Ph.D., University of Rochester

Bio

My scholarship is focused on Biology Education Research, and my ongoing work investigates student understanding of genetic information flow, model-based reasoning, visual representations, and the development of concept assessment tools. I have many years of experience as an instructor in various college biology classrooms and have worked to bring curricular changes to the School of Life Sciences. As an educator, I am guided by the science education and cognitive sciences literature and bring research-based strategies into my classrooms, including many model-based activities.

 

Visit the Science and Mathematics Educational Research Collaborative (SMERC) website for more information. 

https://www.rit.edu/castle/research/reu

 

585-475-4669

Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Newman, Dina L., et al. "Punnett squares or protein production? The expert-novice divide for conceptions of genes and gene expression." CBE Life Sciences Education 20. 4 (2021): 10. Web.
Wright, Leslie Kate, et al. "Teaching Meiosis with the DNA Triangle Framework: A Classroom Activity that Changes How Students Think about Chromosomes." Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. (2021): 11. Web.
Cardinale, Jean A., Dina L. Newman, and L. Kate Wright. "An Online Interactive Video Vignette that Helps Students Learn Key Concepts of Fermentation and Respiration." Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education 21. 2 (2020): 1-8. Print.
Newman, Dina L, Jean Cardinale, and L. Kate Wright. "Interactive Video Vignettes (IVVs) to Help Students Learn Genetics Concepts." CourseSource 7. (2020): 1-8. Web.
Wright, L. Kate, Grace E. Dy, and Dina L. Newman. "Undergraduate Textbook Representations of Meiosis Neglect Essential Elements." The American Biology Teacher 82. 5 (2020): 296–305. Print.
Kim, Thomas, L. Kate Wright, and Kathryn Miller. "An Examination of Students’ Perceptions of the Kekule´ resonance representation using a perceptual learning theory lens." Chemistry Education Research and Practice 10.1039/C9RP00009G. (2019): 1-8. Web.
Donahue, Callie, et al. "A Close-up Look at PCR." CourseSource 6. (2019): 1-8. Web.
Wright, L. Kate, et al. "Arrows in Biology: Lack of Clarity and Consistency Points to Confusion for Learners." CBE Life Sciences Education Vol 17. 1 (2018): 1-13. Print.
Newman, Dina L., et al. "Physical Models can Provide Superior Learning Opportunities Beyond the Benefits of Active Engagements." Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 46. 5 (2018): 435-44. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, Christina M. Catavero, and Dina L. Newman. "The DNA Triangle and Its Application to Learning Meiosis." CBE Life Sciences Education 16. 3 (2017): 1-14. Print.
Newman, Dina L. and L. Kate Wright. "Meiosis: A Play in Three Acts, Starring DNA Sequence." CourseSource 4. (2017): 1-9. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, et al. "Arrows in Biology: Lack of Clarity and Consistency Points to Confusion for Learners." CBE Life Sciences Education. (2017): 1-13. Print.
Golshadi, Masoud, et al. "High Efficiency Gene Transfection of Cells through Carbon Nanotube Arrays." Small 12. 22 (2016): 3014-3020. Print.
Newman, Dina L., et al. "Development of the Central Dogma Concept Inventory (CDC) Assessment Tool." CBE Life Sciences Education 15. (2016): 1-14. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, et al. "Web-based Interactive Video Vignettes Create a Personalized Active Learning Classroom for Introducing Big Ideas in Introductory Biology." Bioscene 42. 2 (2016): 32-43. Web.
Wright, Leslie Kate. "Building a Model of Tumorigenesis: A small group activity for a cancer biology/cell biology course." CourseSource 2. (2015): 1-6. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, J. Nick Fisk, and Dina L Newman. "DNA → RNA: What Do Students Think the Arrow Means?" CBE-Life Sciences Education 13. 2 (2014): 338-348. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, et al. "Online Reading Informs Classroom Instruction and Promotes Collaborative Learning." Journal of College Science Teaching 43. 2 (2013): 44-53. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, et al. "Dual Orientation of the Outer Membrane Lipoprotein P6." Journal of Bacteriology 195. 14 (2013): 3252-9. Print.
Wright, L. Kate and Dina L. Newman. "A PCR-Based Laboratory Exercise That Increases Student Understanding of Central Dogma Concepts." Journal of Biology and Microbiology Education. 14. 1 (2013): 93-100. Print.
Wright, L. Kate, Christina Catavero, and Dina L. Newman. "Students Fail to Transfer Knowledge of Chromosome Structure to Topics Pertaining to Cell Division." CBE Life Sciences Education 11. 4 (2012): 425-436. Print.
Wright, Leslie Kate, et al. "Dimethyl Sulfoxide Exposure Modulates HL-60 Cell Rolling Interactions." Bioscience Reports 32. (2012): 375-82. Print.
Wright, L. Kate and Dina L. Newman. "An Interactive Modeling Lesson Increases Student Understanding of Ploidy During Meiosis." Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 39. 5 (2011): 344-51. Print.
Peer Reviewed/Juried Poster Presentation or Conference Paper
Wright, L. Kate and Dina L. Newman. "High School Teacher Conceptions and Lessons about Meiosis Reveal a Critical gap in Molecular level Knowledge." Proceedings of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research, 8th annual meeting. Ed. Mary Pat Wenderworth. Minneapolis, MN: n.p..
Newman, Dina L., L. Kate Wright, and Jean A. Cardinale. "An Interactive Video Vignette Successfully Teaches Pedigree Analysis to Undergraduates." Proceedings of the American Society of Human Genetics. Ed. American Society of Human Genetics. Orlanda, FL: American Society of Human Genetics.
Stefkovich, Meghan, et al. "3-D Physical Model-based Activities Benefit Student Learning in Multiple Ways." Proceedings of the 7th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). Ed. SABER. Minneapolis, MN: SABER.
Wright, L. Kate and Dina L. Newman. "Exploration of the DNA Triangle and its Application to Learning Molecular Biology." Proceedings of the 7th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). Ed. SABER. Minneapolis, MN: SABER.
Newman, Dina L. and L. Kate Wright. "Supporting Inclusivity and Improving Learning with Activities that Incorporate Physical Models of Molecular Biology Processes." Proceedings of the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research. Ed. Susan Elrod. Easton, MA: Gordon Research Conference.
Cardinale, Jean, Dina L. Newman, and Kate L. Wright. "Interactive Video Vignettes: Out-of-class Primers that Allow Personalized Active Learning for all Students." Proceedings of the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Research. Ed. Susan Elrod. Easton, MA: Gordon Research Conference.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Wright, L. Kate and Dina L. Newman. "Interactive Video Vignettes: Out-of-Class Priming Tools to Improve Student Learning of Biology Core Concepts." 24th Annual American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators. 24th Annual American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators. Denver, CO. 28 Jul. 2017. Conference Presentation.
Newman, Dina L. and L. Kate Wright. "Lack of Grounding in Molecular Understanding is a Barrier to Conceptual Understanding of Genetic Terminology." 7th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research. Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research. Minneapolis, MN. 22 Jul. 2017. Conference Presentation.
Wright, L.Kate and Dina L. Newman. "Confusion Surrounding the Synthesis of Macromolecules From Building Blocks: A Crucial Gap Revealed." 4th Annual Society for Advancement of Undergraduate Education Conference. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, MN. Minneapolis, MN. 17-20 Jul. 2014. Conference Presentation.
Wright, L. Kate, Chistina Catevaro, and Dina L. Newman. "Why Undergraduate Biology Majors Miss the Concept of Homologous Chromosomes." Society for Advancement of Undergraduate Education conference, 1st Annual Conference. Society for Advancement of Undergraduate Education (SABER). University of Minnesota East campus, Minneapolis, MN. 29-31 Jul. 2011. Conference Presentation.
Published Conference Proceedings
Wright, L. Kate, et al. "Lessons Learned from the First Year Implementation of a Two-Track Reformed Introductory Biology Course." Proceedings of the National Associations of Biology Teachers Research Symposium. Ed. Teddie Phillipson-Mower. Atlanta, GA: n.p., 2013. Web.
Published Article
Newman, D. L., L.K. Wright, and H.C. Sweet. “A structured undergraduate research program that trains and prepares students for post-graduate education and scientificcareers.” Proceedings of the International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 2010. 5010-5019. Print. *

Currently Teaching

BIOG-140
3 Credits
This is the first course of a two-course sequence designed to introduce biomedical engineering students to the molecular and cellular basis of life with a particular emphasis on the integration of molecular systems that underscore human physiology. This course will start with the basic chemistry of biological macromolecules and then explore the cell starting from the nucleus and moving outward. Major topics will include: DNA replication; molecular basis of inheritance; the biology of RNA; gene expression; protein synthesis; the secretory pathways; and enzyme kinetics.
BIOL-103
1 Credits
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
BIOL-206
3 Credits
This course will address the fundamental concepts of Molecular Biology. Class discussions, assignments, and projects will explore the structure and function of biologically important molecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) in a variety of cellular and molecular processes. Students in this course will explore the molecular interactions that facilitate the storage, maintenance and repair of DNA and processes that drive the flow of genetic information and evolution. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. The foundational molecular concepts in this course will be built upon in a variety of upper-level biology courses.
BIOL-216
1 Credits
This laboratory course will address the fundamental concepts of Molecular Biology. Students in this laboratory will complement their understanding of core concepts in Molecular Biology through the implementation and practice of laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists. Laboratory techniques and projects will focus on recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins.
BIOL-295
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their first three years of study.
BIOL-298
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their first three years of study.
BIOL-301
1 - 4 Credits
This course allows students to assist in a class or laboratory for which they have previously earned credit. The student will assist the instructor in the operation of the course. Assistance by the student may include fielding questions, helping in workshops, and assisting in review sessions. In the case of labs, students may also be asked to help with supervising safety practices, waste manifestation, and instrumentation.
BIOL-315
1 Credits
This course will address the fundamental skills and concepts required to culture and maintain mammalian cells in culture. Laboratory discussions, assignments and projects will allow students to develop basic eukaryotic tissue culture techniques and explore tissue culture techniques in modern research and medical applications.
BIOL-408
3 Credits
What are the differences between cancer and normal cells? What cellular pathways and molecular mechanisms do cancer cells exploit to gain proliferative advantage, circumvent programmed cell death pathways and evade the host surveillance system? In this course, students will answer these fundamental questions through activities, class discussion, readings and other assignments. Students will explore how the products of tumor suppressor genes, proto-oncogenes and oncogenes help or hinder the process of tumorigenesis in mammalian cells. Students will gain an understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern cancer cell growth, communication and organization. Students will become familiar with landmark findings and current research in the area of Cancer Biology and will use experimental data to formulate scientific conclusions. Students will participate in several writing assignments to practice scientific writing and learn how to clearly communicate ideas related to Cancer Biology.
BIOL-495
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory or field work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
BIOL-498
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study.
BIOL-500
0 Credits
The experiential learning (EL) requirement may be fulfilled through a variety of methods including co-op, undergraduate research, summer research experiences, study abroad relevant to the major, designated EL courses, etc. All experiences must be approved by the GSOLS EL Committee.
BIOL-798
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed, graduate level tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum.

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