The Molecular Genetics and Protein Structure and Function workshop is one of a series of workshops offered by the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Workshops in the Chemical Sciences. The workshop provides a hands-on introduction to current topics and techniques in molecular genetics and protein structure/function as applied to undergraduate education. This article describes a unique method for planning such a workshop, namely a participant-oriented approach including research-based lectures and experiments. This approach gives faculty from undergraduate institutions a rich perspective and practical experience in this interdisciplinary field of science, integrating aspects of both molecular biology and biochemistry. An outlook on current cutting edge techniques and the direction of future research in this field may enable the faculty participants to better prepare undergraduate students for careers in the workforce or graduate or professional programs.