Jaya G Yodh

Jaya G Yodh
Jaya G Yodh
Course Director, Foundations; Synthesis & Summary
Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Teaching Professor
Biomedical and Translational Sciences
(217) 244-1155
237 Medical Sciences Building

For More Information


  • B.A. Biology, Concentration Biochemistry Cornell University 1987
  • Ph.D. Biochemistry, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health 1993


Professor Yodh is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Translational Sciences at Carle Illinois College of Medicine (Carle Illinois). Her professional experience encompasses medical education and interdisciplinary teaching, research, and administration bridging biological and quantitative sciences. Since joining Carle Illinois as an Inaugural Faculty in 2017, Dr. Yodh has held multiple educational roles as a Medical Education Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Facilitator, Co-Director for the Foundations and Synthesis and Summary preclerkship courses, Biochemistry Core Discipline Lead, and Life-Span Health Thread Co-Director.  Her scholarship focuses on integration of basic, clinical, and engineering sciences, and she is currently leading a multi-institutional collaboration with the Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE) to create a clinical-biochemistry thread mapping educational tool.  Dr. Yodh was the recipient of the 2022 International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation, the 2019 ABE Scholar Award, and the Winner of Best Faculty Presentation - Innovations in Medical Education at the 2021 AAMC Virtual Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) conference. She has recently published articles on holistic approaches to board exam preparation: "Improving Student Experiences During USMLE Step 1 “Dedicated Preparation Period” via a Course Designed to Holistically Support Academic and Wellness Needs (Yodh et. al., 2023 Med.Sci.Edu) and as well as online PBL: ‘How Covid-19 transformed online PBL at Carle Illinois College of Medicine (Coiado et. al., 2020 Med.Sci.Edu). Dr. Yodh currently serves as a member of the ABE Executive Board and ABE Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee, and as a Co-Convener for the AAMC Central GEA Basic Science Education special interest group (SIG). 

Prior to joining Carle Illinois, Professor Yodh held positions on the Biochemistry Faculty at Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale, Arizona from 1997-2006 where she taught students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Physician Assistant, and Biomedical Sciences programs. She joined the UIUC faculty in 2006 holding positions as Research Faculty in the School of MCB (2006-2008) / Department of Physics (2008-present (0% since 2017)) and as Director of Education and Outreach for the NSF Physics Frontiers Center for the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC, 2008-2017). At Illinois, she taught Introductory Biochemistry and Experimental Biophysics Lab courses, and with the CPLC she directed advanced interdisciplinary research-based courses in biological physics including the globally recognized Physics of Living Cells Summer School, training 263 early career researchers from 110 institutions worldwide at the Urbana campus from 2009-2017. Over the course of her career, Professor Yodh has published several studies investigating DNA repair enzymology and chromatin structural dynamics using ensemble biochemical and single-molecule biophysical approaches including a seminal paper in Cell (Ngo, et. al., 2015) revealing a novel mechanism of gene regulation via sequence-dependent DNA physics. Professor Yodh received her B.A. from Cornell University in 1987 and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1993. Her postdoctoral training, funded by an American Cancer Society Fellowship (1993-1997) was completed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Arizona State University.

Academic Positions

  • Teaching Professor, Medical Education Facilitator, Department of Biomedical and Translational Sciences, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, 2023-present
  • Affiliate Research Faculty, Department of Physics (0%) 2017-present
  • Director of Education and Outreach, National Science Foundation Physics Frontiers Center for the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC), Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, IL. 2008-2017

Teaching Statement

Areas of Expertise in Teaching

  • Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Team-Based Learning (TBL) in medical education
  • Teaching general and clinical biochemistry and nutrition, molecular and cellular biology to undergraduate, graduate, and health professional students.
  • Interdisciplinary research-based curriculum in biological physics for early career researchers and undergraduates in physics, biophysics, engineering, life sciences, chemistry disciplines.

Resident Instruction

  • BSE 632 Respiratory FA 2018-2020, 2022-2023
  • BSE 612 Foundations SU 2023
  • BSE 638 Endocrinology, Genitourinary, and Women's Health SU/FA 2020-2023
  • BSE 635 Musculoskeletal SP 2019-2023
  • BSE 645 Phase 1 Synthesis and Summary SP 2020-2023
  • BSE 642 Hematology, Oncology, Infection, and Immunity FA 2020-2022
  • BSE 655 Discovery Learning Research Elective SU 2021
  • BSE 612 Foundations: Molecules to Populations SU 2020-2022
  • BSE 643 Immunology & Infection FA 2020
  • BSE 642 Hematology & Oncology FA 2020
  • BSE 641 Obstetrics FA 2019
  • BSE 640 Women's Health FA 2019
  • BSE 639 Genitourinary SU 2019
  • BSE 638 Endocrinology SU 2019
  • BSE 636 Digestion, Nutrition, and Metabolism SP 2020
  • BSE 637 Nutrition and Metabolism SP 2019
  • BSE 636 Digestion SP 2019
  • BSE 634 Clinical Neuroscience SP 2019, 2020, 2021
  • BSE 633 Renal FA 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • BSE 631 Cardiovascular FA 2018, 2019, 2020
  • BSE 613 Population Health SU 2018
  • BSE 612 Foundational Elements SU 2021
  • PHY 598/498 Biophysics Lab SP 2017
  • MCB 450 Introductory Biochemistry SU 2008

Course Development

  • 2017-2019 Facilitator Point Person for Carle Illinois College of Medicine Courses: Foundational Elements, Renal, Nutrition and Metabolism Endocrinology, Hematology-Oncology

Research Interests

  • Curricular Innovations in Medical Education: Integration of Foundational Sciences with Clinical Sciences and Engineering; Problem-Based Learning (PBL)-based research; USMLE Step 1 Review Methods, Nutritional Health Sciences, Biophysics and Medicine
  • Application of single-molecule biophysical tools to investigate mechanism and regulation of genome maintenance and gene expression by DNA structural dynamics. Biological systems studied include human Bloom Syndrome DNA repair helicase, G-quadruplex structures, and chromatin structure & dynamics.

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Magazine Articles

Conferences Organized or Chaired

  • Yodh, J. (Lead), Spicer, D., Zaidi, A., Abali, E., Joshi, V., “Creating a Clinical-Biochemistry Thread Map Across Pre-Clerkship and Clerkship Curriculum.” Workshop B-02 Leader, May 3, 2021 at The Association of Biochemistry Educators/Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (ABE/APHMG) Joint Virtual Meeting, May 3-7, 2021.
  • Spicer, D (Lead)., Baleja, J., Binstock, J., Joshi, V., Zaidi, A., Abali, E., Sharkady, S., Manzerra, P., Yodh, J., “Finding the Clinical Relevance in the ABE Learning Objectives.” Workshop B-03 Facilitator, May 4, 2021 at The Association of Biochemistry Educators/Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (ABE/APHMG) Joint Virtual Meeting, May 3-7, 2021.

Professional Societies

  • Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE), 2019- present; Excecutive Board (2023-present); Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee 2022-present (Secretary 2022-2023); Virtual Summit Program Committee (2023-present); Educators Resource Development Committee 2020-2023,
  • International. Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE); 2023 Annual Program Committee 2022-2023
  • American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) 2019-present; Co-Convener Basic Science Education Special Interest Group (SIG) 2022-present
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
  • Biophysical Society (BPS)

Service on Department Committees

  • CI MED Biomedical and Translational Sciences (BTMS) Department Executive Committee 2022-present
  • CI MED BTMS Department, Academic, Promotion, and Tenure Committee 2022-present
  • CI MED BTMS Department, APT Promotion Policy Subcommittee. 2021
  • UIUC Physics Department Diversity Committee. 2015-2017

Service on College Committees

  • CI MED Principal Investigator for Medical Education Research (Umbrella IRB Protocol #18787), 2023-present
  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CI MED) Faculty Executive Committee, 2022-present
  • CI MED Curriculum Evaluation Committee. Aug. 2021-present
  • CI MED Student Progress and Promotions Committee. 2021-2023
  • CI MED Social Determinants of Health Task Force. 2020-2022
  • CI MED Curriculum Oversight Committee (COC). 2018-2021. Vice-Chair (2018-19); Chair (2019-2020); COC Pre-clerkship Curriculum Sub-Committee Feb.2018-Apr 2019
  • CI MED Health Innovation Research Day Awards Subcommittee, Co-Chair, 2020-2021
  • University of Illinois Colelge of Medicine (UICOM) Racial Reform and Social Justice Task Force and Curriculum Subcommittee. 2020-2021
  • CI MED Director of Program Evaluation and Student Assessment Search Committee. April-June 2020
  • CI MED Academic Promotion and Tenure (APT) Committee. 2018-2021. Clinical Faculty Recalibration Subcommittee 2019-2020.
  • CI MED Medical Education Department of Biomedical and Translational Sciences Head Search Committee. June – Dec 2019
  • CI MED Medical Education Facilitator Search Committee. Jan-May 2019
  • CI MED Academic Skills Specialist Search Committee. Jan.-June 2018

Service on Campus Committees

  • 2021-present Illinois Faculty Senate Representative for Carle Illinois College of Medicine; Member Educational Policy Subcommittee 2022-present
  • 2015-2017 Member, UIUC Gender Equity Council

Other Outside Service

  • Reviewer, Med-Ed Portal 2022-present
  • Reviewer, Medical Science Educator Journal 2022-present
  • 2021 Abstract Reviewer AAMC Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) 2022 Conference
  • 2020 Textbook Reviewer, Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishing.
  • 2020 Reviewer, FASEB Journal
  • 2020 Reviewer, Nucleic Acids Research Journal
  • From 2008 to 2017, Professor Yodh served as Director of Education and Outreach for The Center for the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC), an NSF-funded Physics Frontiers Center at the University of Illinois. In this position, she directed upper level outreach activities including the Physics of Living Cells (CPLC) Summer School, Junior Nanotech Network (JNN) International exchange program and was co-PI and lead administrator for the Illinois node of the NSF multi-institutional International Physics of Living Systems Collaborative Student Research Network (iPOLS-SRN). These efforts helped to establish Illinois as a global hub for training of next-generation scientists studying the physics of biological systems. Dr. Yodh also supervised Center K-12 and Diversity outreach efforts and served as the Center’s grant administrator and manager.


  • Carle Illinois College of Medicine Excellence in Service Award, 2023
  • International Association of Medical Educators Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation, 2022
  • American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) Best Faculty Oral Presentation - Innovations in Medical Education, 2021
  • Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE) Scholar Award, 2019

Recent Courses Taught

  • BSE 612 - Foundational Elements
  • BSE 633 - Renal