The Modules

MI DNA Day 2018 module list:

  • Forensics
  • Genomics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Microbiology and Immunology (New!)
  • Epigenetics (New!)


Students will learn how forensic scientists analyze DNA in order to link a DNA sample to a particular individual. Students will learn about powerful molecular biology techniques such as PCR, restriction digests, and gel electrophoresis. To learn more about DNA and how it is used by forensic scientists, students will isolate their own DNA from saliva! Using their newfound understanding of DNA and forensics techniques, students will help solve an interactive “Whodunit?” case.

PDF of Forensics module (2018)


Students will learn the ins and outs of the human genome – what makes us each unique, how traits are inherited, and how Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) help identify genes responsible for complex human disease. Hands on activities include the Genetic Wheel (which shows how inherited traits make each of us incredibly unique) and a GWAS activity where students get to identify a genetic marker contributing to human disease.

PDF of Genomics module (2018)


Students will learn about the concept of “personalized” medicine, like how differences in our genes affect whether a drug treatment will be successful or have serious side effects, and how we can use this information to customize treatments for individual patients. Students will participate in a hands-on activity to further demonstrate how subtle differences affect a patient’s response to medication.

PDF of Pharmacogenomics module (2018)

Microbiology and Immunology

Students will learn basic concepts in microbiology and immunology, including the difference between bacteria and viruses, and why treatments (such as antibiotics) work on one type of microbes, but not the other. Students will also learn about the immune system and be able to explain how vaccines work. Hands-on activities include an exercise to demonstrate how antibiotic resistance evolves.

PDF of Micro/Immuno module (2018)


Students will learn about epigenetics, or how the features of a person (phenotype) might be different even if their genome (genotype) is identical. Students will be presented with both mechanisms and real-world examples of epigenetics. Hands-on activities include following a set of twins through various life decisions and seeing how their phenotypes might differ from each other over time.

PDF of Epigenetics module (2018)

Our module team

Thanks to the graduate students, postdocs, and faculty who helped design the MI DNA Day modules!

  • Julie Philippe (Curriculum leader)
  • Leigh Baker
  • Katherine Bonefas
  • Susanna Campbell
  • Angela Guo
  • Sarah Hammoud
  • Jacqueline Mann
  • Gabriel Manske
  • Harihar Mohan
  • Barbara Nelson
  • Beatriz Otero Jimenez
  • Christie Rodriguez Ramirez
  • Samantha Saylor
  • Carolyn Serbinski
  • Adrienne Shami

Interested in designing a new module?

We are very interested in expanding our list of possible modules. If you have an idea, let us know! We can work with you to build an engaging and interactive module for an upcoming DNA Day.

Contact us here or by emailing us at