Comments from our most recent professional molecular biology workshop (June 2017)
“This was a great course for getting a broad overview of many of the major strategies used in modern molecular biology. In particular, it is a great way to get over the energy barrier of using these techniques. It was a nice balance of theory and practical application of techniques.”
John Hanson, Professor of Chemistry, University of Puget Sound.
“Great workshop for scientist with little to no experience with molecular work. Fast paced, but very well designed so that it is easy to learn and follow.”
Kent Lamaster, PhD Candidate, University of Western Ontario.
“Amazing class. Lecture is nicely spaced out with hands on lab work. Instead of following protocols blindly and just accepting that it works, the lectures really focused on helping us understand why it works and why we use certain reagents. Definitely going to help my confidence in my Master’s program (and in the lab).”
Madeline Angus, Graduate Student, Simon Fraser University.
“Fantastic opportunity to learn foundational theory and immediately put it to into practice at the bench. Most loved the chance to ask questions and probe deeply, on-the-fly, about what things are used for, and why, and how they work (or not).”
Julia Boughner, Associated Professor. Dept. Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
“This comprehensive workshop does an excellent job in describing the key tools used in molecular biology studies today. The course is exceptional in that Dave describes the key trouble shooting for a given experiment, the major variables, and the variety of options that are available to address a given interest for DNA, RNA, or protein.”
Cindy Ewald-Smidt, Clinical Oncology Specialist
“I really enjoyed the style of the course with lectures and “hands on” being interspersed. Appreciated the candid discussions around troubleshooting and data interpretation when things are not clear cut.”
Sarah Fandrich, Lab Technician, Trinity Western University.
“The workshop was a succinct overview of the salient methodologies relevant to genomics research. I found it immensely beneficial to conduct the wide array of experiments and become familiar with trouble shooting strategies. Dave did a fantastic job of marrying theoretical knowledge with practical experience.”
Virginia Pichler, Student
“It was a very good workshop for me and helped me to understand what is going on. Practically in all the techniques covered, I have always heard about them during my experience as a member of the scientific community. As a polymer scientist, I found the workshop very helpful for switching my field of study towards more bio-related topics.”
Laleh Solhi, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia.
“Class was awesome, lectures were clear, and concise. Couldn’t believe how much I learned in a week.”
Gunnar Smidt, Student, Cal State San Marcos.
Comments from previous professional molecular biology workshops
“I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop. I learned lots and brushed up on my knowledge and techniques. I also learned “how to teach” and look forward to better communicating how these techniques work. Dave made it fun and and engaging! The week was intense but went by really quickly.”
Nikita Burke, Postdoctoral Fellow, The Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary
“Excellent! For someone with very little background in molecular biology, I was able to follow everything in this workshop. Techniques that were a mystery to me were made clear. Now I understand why people use these techniques and what these outputs mean.”
Christine Weilhoefer, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Portland.
“This is a great course on molecular biology! I feel more confident about my knowledge of different techniques and ability to troubleshoot. It solidified a lot of my theoretical understanding.”
Jessica Lu, Research Program Manager, GenomeBC.
“Very useful, organized, and well explained. David did a great job answering all of my silly questions patiently and made sure everybody followed both theory and experiments.”
Dr Nandhitha Subramania, Postdoctoral Fellow, Biocomputing Group, University of Calgary.
“The course was great! Dave’s teaching style was amazing for conveying the concepts behind the steps in kits and methods. As a result of this course, I feel my understanding of these molecular techniques has been greatly deepened.”
Alex Montgomery, Microbiologist, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“An outstanding course (from someone who normally thinks most courses and workshops are a waste of time). Excellent for someone moving from physics or chemistry into molecular biology who wants hands on laboratory technique familiarity. Excellent teaching, great lab support, and good content.”
Thomas Clark, Ph.D Student, Department of Biochemistry, University of British Columbia.
“Instructors demonstrated a real passion for teaching. A great class with thorough, well paced experiments. The information is explained in such a way as to effectively convey complex information in a clear, easy to understand fashion. I wish my university professors were all this good!”
Kenji Hara, Microbiologist, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
“Excellent, comprehensive course. Lots of excellent hands on lab work combined with relevant lecture material. Very fast paced. Dave is an excellent instructor.”
Peggy Clarke, Research Technician, Biocontrol Lab Manager, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
“Well paced, engaging, fun and informative. Great variety of techniques and procedures presented, both low tech and high tech. Lots of hands on work to allow you to get familiar with the protocols. David is a fantastic instructor, and I can’t recommend this course enough.”
Yi Yang, Research Technician, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, UBC
“This workshop was very thorough and covered an incredibly large amount of topics in a very short time. The information gathered from this workshop will certainly be beneficial in both research and teaching.”
Dr. Dewayne Stennett, Lecturer, Biochemistry, University of the West Indies, Jamaica
“Fabulous! There’s a reason why people come from as far as Toronto (or farther) to take this course.”
Steven Plotkin, Professor, Department of Physics, University of British Columbia.
“The best class I’ve taken so far! Entertaining 5 days of intensive learning, in a supportive, friendly, and positive atmosphere. Definitely would recommend it to a friend. Thank you, Dave!”
Andriy Sheremet, Grad Student, Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
“Excellent workshop!! Great balance between lecture and lab, and I was very impressed on the volume of content squeezed into the five days. Dave’s delivery was very good, nice amount of light hearted humour mixed in. Highly recommended!”
David Dunn, Head, Chemistry Services Laboratory, Pacific Forestry Centre, NRC
“Great bootcamp format! I enjoyed the vast range of topics and the balance of lecture and practical hands-on techniques”
Robert Kowbel, Scientific Support Technician, Pacific Forestry Centre, NRC
“This workshop is perfect for both scientists who are new to molecular biology, as well as scientists who want a refresher. Dave has a unique ability to explain every method in a logical way. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing in the workshop. I strongly recommend this course.”
Søs Skovsø, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, University of British Columbia.
“An excellent course that came highly recommended. David is a highly engaging teacher who has taken the time and effort to use all of those teaching engagement techniques that we know are good practice, but are rarely able to accommodate. It is a high intensity course, but I was engaged for the entire length!”
Anthony Fairbanks, Professor and Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Canterbury, NZ
“Excellent workshop with a phenomenal teacher. Dave’s enthusiam for science is evident and his unique teaching methods made for an intense yet enjoyable relaxed atmosphere for learning molecular biology concepts. Good balance of theory and practical hands-on exposure.”
Cheryl Zurowski, Research Technician, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
“Amazing course, thanks for condensing so much information in so little time. Good review of general concepts and techniques and nice introduction to more advanced/modern methods. Very useful for people getting into the biotechnology area and not a biologist by training. David is really good at creating a nice and amusing atmosphere for learning. Thanks again.”
Jannu Casanova, Postdoctoral Fellow, Spectroelectrochemistry Lab, University of British Columbia.
“Really good workshop!! Dave really does an amazing job explaining all different laboratory experiments and the theories behind them. The workshop gives a very good overview from both a theoretical and practical point of view of the main molecular biology protocols and procedures. Very good to refresh general concepts if you have experience, or to gain exposure if you are not familiar with molecular biology.”
Jose Damon Urbez Torres, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
“It is a very informative workshop with balanced theoretical and practical sections. The environment is a great combination of serious/fun/relax which suited me very well. GREAT JOB!”
Silvia Heredia, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Botany, University of British Columbia.
“Loved this workshop! I came with very little background and experience with these technologies, and found myself gaining a thorough and comprehensive understanding of key methods that are 100% relevant to my current field of research. The instruction was engaging and digestable. Lectures were provided in an efficient manner. Dave Ng makes molecular methods…magical (I was going for alliteration)!”
Kaylee Byers, Ph.D. Student, Vancouver Rat Project, University of British Columbia
“Good review of the basic chemistries of molecular techniques and why they work. Great enthusiasm and entertaining instruction by Dave. An ‘A’ Grade for the workshop.”
Emily Fuerst, Scientist, Kemin Life Science
“Excellent workshop! Very good review of the molecular biology techniques. Dave makes the theory very clear and interesting. Also takes time to answer specific questions/issues regarding personal ongoing projects. The workshop will definitely help for future troubleshooting. Thanks!”
Chantale André, Environment Canada
“Fabulous teacher, well organized, gives a good introduction into the field. I enjoyed it! Thanks!”
Michael Fischer, Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia.
“I found it to be a nice combination of review and new material. It was well paced, with each day balanced with lecture and hands-on work. Dave does a great job with getting the information across in an easy to understand manner, and was energetic and entertaining to boot.”
Jeremy Johnson, Okanagan Specialty Fruits
“Excellent workshop. Got lots of information. Activities were great. After this workshop, I got a direction for my acquisition of knowledge to proceed in my area of specialization. This workshop has benefited me extremely.”
Poonam Singh, School of Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
“Great Course. Good Introduction to working with DNA, RNA, and protein. Excellent balance of lecture and hands-on exercises (and games too).”
Dr. Kiran Soma, Psychology, University of British Columbia.
“Excellent review of the pertinent techniques. Easy way to conceptualize my readings and correlate with clinical use. Dr. Ng is extremely knowledgable, entertaining, and provides useful tips on how to use techniques in real-life situations.”
Dr, Edward Lum, M.D. Vancouver.
“Overall, the amount of material covered was impressive for the course. The level was very good for both beginners and advanced level students.”
Dr Pavel Gershkovich, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia.
“An excellent review/refresher of techniques. Well taught: interesting, understandable explanations of techniques and theory involved. Very useful, especially detailed workflows, and some discussion of alternative methodologies/reagents.”
Steven McArthur, Microbiology, University of British Columbia.
“I found this course extremely useful, right as I plan to start using these techniques in my own lab. Instruction was great, troubleshooting tips especially.”
Matt Taves, Zoology, University of British Columbia.”
“Awesome! Excellent mix of theory and practice. Dave keeps it interesting, well-paced and fun. Great for people new to molecular biology techniques, or people needing a quick refresher and updating to current methods.”
Dr. Ann Marie Davison, Biology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
“Excellent. Very organized. Nice pace. Able to reach out to both basic and advanced level scientists. Interactive and fun. Didactics was everything. Congrats and many thanks.”
Ariadne Letra, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh
“In general, this class focused on all the right things: not only how to physically perform the techniques, but also why the techniques (especially useful: the chemicals) were used in the first place. Understanding the use of buffers, reagents, and all the little details makes me believe that I will be able to troubleshoot the inevitable problems we’ll face in the lab.”
Jay Hosking, PhD Graduate student in Neuroscience, University of British Columbia.
“This workshop was great. It goes over the basics as well as more complex theories of molecular biology. The hands on lab work would be great to recent graduates looking to improve their lab skills or anyone who has been out of the loop for a while. Thanks!”
Korri Thorlacius, Biology Lab Instructor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
“I think this workshop was superb. In the 5 days, Dave took us through a whole range of molecular biology experiments, coupled with a theory backdrop. I really found the lectures very informative, and Dave is an excellent instructor.”
Dr. Bindu Pillai, Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta
“I don’t think this much info could be done any better in this timeframe!”
Keith Turner, Program Head, BCIT Biotechnology, British Columbia Institute of Technology
“This is an excellent overview of molecular biology tcehniques aimed at the adult learner. Instructors are very knowledgeable, organized, and patient.”
Adrienne Ettinger, ScD, MPH, Research Scientist, Harvard School of Public Health.
“Superb! Perfect combination of theory and hands-on practice. Level was just right. Clone Dave.”
Robert Ungar, MD, Los Angeles
“I highly recommend this course to researchers who are aiming to incorporate standard molecular biology techniques into their program. The quality of teaching is very high, and the interaction of lab and lecture material is excellent.”
Dr. Alexander Scott, Cellular and Physiological Sciences, University of British Columbia
“Excellent workshop. Very well presented in an informative, engaged and easy to understand manner. I have no background in genetics or molecular techniques, and feel that I have come away with a basic understanding that will greatly help me in my research.”
Dan S. Luciani, Ph.D. Cellular and Physiological Sciences, University of British Columbia
“A very well crafted molecular biology workshop. The activities were engaging, the blend of lecture and hands-on molecular biology techniques perfectly balanced. Dave is a very skilled lecturer. Li-Juan (technician) made sure all the prepatory work was completedm allowing me to focus on learning at a fast pace. I learned so much! Thank you.”
Andony Melathopoulos, Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada.
“Overall – Excellent! David took care to explain very difficult concepts and fundamental chemical/physical interactions clearly. I would recommend this course to anyone wishing to refresh or learn molecular biology regardless of background.”
Dwayne N. Jackson, Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario
“The workshop went far beyond my expectations. I now feel ready to introduce several new techniques to my lab, but beyond that, I will now be better able to teach my class in September. Dave is a fantastic teacher, and I can only hope that some of that will have rubbed off.”
Matt S. Ramer, Asoociate Professor Department of Zoology/Neuroscience, British Columbia Neurotrauma Fund Chair
“Excellent! So easy to follow, even an economist can do it!”
Joseph Jackson, Economist, Network for Open Science Innovation
“Great workshop, very interactive and hands on. Provide a good overview of the major molecular biology techniques. I feel a lot more confident with things like PAGE or PCR now.”
Vincent Tabard-Cossa, Post-Doctorate, Department of Physics.
“This workshop was pretty much a “well-oiled machine.” Despite the massive amount of information contained and the diverse backgrounds of the people taking it, an amazing job of teaching was done.”
Lily Khadempour, Forintek Canada Corp
“Thanks for the great job! I would definitely advise other scientists to take this workshop, especially those who want to refresh their molecular biology material, and get a lot of useful and practical information quickly.”
Joanna Sliwowska, Dept. of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, UBC.
“The course was great and it exceeded my expectations! I liked the mix of lab work, lecture, and I enjoyed the fun activities that were mixed in. I really appreciate the time and effort in designing the course.”
Robyn Wood, Vancouver Community College.
“Theory was explained very clearly and I appreciated the freedom to ask as many questions as you wanted. I really enjoyed listening to the lectures, since they were interspersed with much humour.”
Debbie Wong, BC BioLabs.
“Greater than A+! Given a taste of this stuff, now I want more!”
Victor Viau, Dept. of Cellular and Physiological Sciences, UBC.