Training Grants and Internships
The Department of Bioengineering collaborates with research centers and institutes at Rice University and the Texas Medical Center to provide a number of training grants that offer unique opportunities, interdisciplinary seminars, lab resources, and professional development opportunities.
Translational Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics Research
for Bioengineers and Biophysicists
Since 2006, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has supported this unique training program. It is one of 23 programs across the U.S. under HHMI's Med Into Grad initiative. Rice University's and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Med Into Grad (MIG) program concentrates on translational cancer diagnostics and therapeutics research for bioengineers and biophysicists.
The Rice-UT MD Anderson MIG program is designed to train Ph.D. graduate students to work in highly collaborative environments and apply their expertise in engineering and natural sciences so that they can make the breakthroughs needed to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer. The program integrates:
- Three UTMDACC transfer courses: 1. Oncology for Bioengineers: Molecules to Organs; 2. Cancer Biology; and 3. Mechanisms in Cancer Therapeutics. The courses are applicable to the Rice graduate program in bioengineering, and earned credit for each course is factored into students' accumulative GPA;
- An intensive internship in clinical cancer care and translational research; and
- Jointly mentored inter-disciplinary Ph.D. projects.
The program builds on the strong base of joint translational research between bioengineers, basic scientists and clinicians in four areas:
- Computational bioengineering for the design of cancer inhibiting drugs and vaccines;
- Molecular imaging for early cancer detection;
- Nanobiotechnology to design new cancer imaging and therapeutic agents; and
- Cell and tissue engineering to develop effective reconstructive procedures following tumor resection.
In their first summer, MIG fellows complete an intensive cancer internship, that includes curricula in gross anatomy, cancer pathology, cancer biology, and cancer medicine integrated with clinical rotations in diagnostic imaging, medical oncology, surgical oncology, and oncologic radiotherapy.
Rice University/Baylor College of Medicine Neuroengineering IGERT
Neuroengineering is a rapidly emerging field that spans the traditional disciplines of neuroscience, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and bioengineering. Current efforts in neuroengineering are typically based on neuronal models that reduce cellular activity to an action potential, or “spike.” The spike then becomes the input to higher-order models of neuronal circuits. Therefore, the major scientific challenge is to record and analyze spike data from large numbers of neurons, and to understand how activity within these neural circuits characterizes neurophysiological substrates. Traditionally, this problem has been considered to belong in the domain of systems neuroscience, where experimental recording methods developed over the last decade have laid a foundation for the exciting development of brain-machine interfaces that can decode user intentions.
The goal of this jointly run program in Neuroengineering: from Cells to Systems is to provide students with the educational and research training needed to develop new tools to understand, interface with, model, and manipulate the nervous system.
Students in this program obtain an interdisciplinary understanding of the nervous system from the level of molecular and cellular processes to the level of information processing within neural circuits composed of millions of cells. The long term goal of this research is to develop innovative approaches to the complex challenges of restoring function to individuals suffering from disorders of the nervous system.
To apply: visit neuroengineeringigert.rice.edu
W.M. Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience Training
The Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience Training is part of the Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC). This training arm of the GCC brings together computational, physical, mathematical, engineering, biological, and biomedical scientists in a stimulating and nurturing environment for the development and training of a new type of scientist - one who can incorporate theory, simulation, and experiment to expand our understanding of modern biological problems. Partner institutions include: Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, The University of Houston, The University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and The University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston.
The Keck Center offers several avenues for training, mentorship, and interaction with faculty leaders and training program participants working on interdisciplinary bioscience research problems.