Fantastic Molecules and Where to Find Them: The Search for New Drugs to Treat Type II Diabetes

Kari Rhoades, Biomedical Sciences, Mallard Creek HS

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


Diabetes is one of the greatest health concerns in the United States. This disease robs people of their vision, healthy organ function, emotional health, and overall quality of life. Although there are lifestyle modifications that can alleviate or reverse type 2 diabetes, there are some patients that are unresponsive to traditional treatments. The purpose of this curriculum unit is to teach students how type 2 diabetes is clinically diagnosed, what is occurring at the cellular level, and how novel medications can be investigated. Students will learn about the phases of a clinical trial by reading about current pharmaceutical research, and model a clinical trial with a fictional drug. Students will be presented with fictional patients, and investigate the root causes of the signs and symptoms of diabetes. They model glucose tolerance testing and blood-insulin level testing to diagnose these patients, track the lifestyles of these individuals to determine environmental impact, and investigate types of treatment.