January 2022: How I teach life scientists… Not to be scared of image analysis

How I Teach Life Scientists Talk Series

The “How I Teach” talk series is an invitation for anyone delivering professional development to life scientists and educators to share their curriculum, tips, technologies, and approaches. Email info@lifescitrainers.org to participate or complete a submission form to sign up to give a short talk and/or demo of the teaching skill you want to share. See full blog post for details.

Time and Date for Talks

LifeSciTrainers Community Calls December 2021

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YouTube: Link

How I teach life scientists… Not to be Scared of Image Analysis

Beth Cimini, Broad Institute

Format: Short talk and demo

Key “take home” points

  1. Document, document, document
  2. Correcting something wrong can help connect theory to practice
  3. Show them how their knowledge of something they feel confident in(biology) is critical to success in a place where they are less confident (computer science)


As a molecular-biologist-turned-computational-biologist, I remember how difficult it was to start creating my own image analysis workflows. Now, as someone who maintains and develops a popular image analysis tool (CellProfiler) and teaches biologists how to use it, I’ve tried to incorporate many years of my own “aha, NOW I see what that parameter is for” moments into our standard 5 hour workshop for beginners. In this talk, I’ll walk through the software design decisions and the changes we’ve made to our educational materials along the way that we feel have led students to leaving our workshop more confident that this is something that they can try on their own.


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