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.
To learn more, visit http://ibb.rice.edu/medintogradhome.aspx.
Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training
(IGERT) in Nanophotonics
Rice University has established a unique interdisciplinary program in Nanophotonics funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that provides science and engineering students with the educational and research training to develop new tools for generating, controlling and manipulating light at nanoscale dimensions. This rapidly emerging field spans the traditional disciplines of physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and bioengineering, and promises important advances in an even wider arena.
A major focus of the program is graduate training in the design, fabrication, and use of nanoscale optical components that are compatible with living systems. Key program elements include a core curriculum for all trainees, including research methodology and scientific ethics, the opportunity for participants to work with dual advisors from different departments, internship options at a range of industrial and national laboratories, and a seminar series featuring internationally renowned visiting speakers.
To learn more, visit http://nanoigert.rice.edu/.
Nanobiology Interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program (NIGTP)
The intersection of nanotechnology with biology promises to yield significant advances for diagnostics and therapeutics. Conventional approaches from the molecular level or the more macroscale level do not extrapolate well to the nanoscale, where unique phenomena are frequently encountered. Thus, to capitalize on the promises from these new technologies, unique interdisciplinary graduate training is needed.
The purpose of this training program is to develop a new type of experienced interdisciplinary scientist in the field of nanobiology, combining the tools, ideas and materials of nanoscience with biology to enable new approaches to research problems and develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Trainees from this program will be uniquely prepared to explore the interplay between current nanoscience applications in high technology and biotechnology, and biomedical applications for clinical and research medicine.
Trainees will be required to have mentors from two different disciplines, with a 2-6 month mini-sabbatical period in the co-mentor’s laboratory, as an essential part of the multi-disciplinary training experience. Trainees will participate in a highly interdisciplinary curriculum to provide deep knowledge and also the connections between the disciplines. They will also participate in weekly seminars and journal club and will present their research at an annual retreat.
The NIGTP is managed through the W.M. Keck Center. To learn more and apply, visit the NIGTP home page.
Biotechnology Training Program
The Biotechnology Training Program was established in 1991 by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB), and is in its last year of funding. The goal of the program is to train second and third-year Ph.D. graduate students from various disciplines in the broad aspects of biotechnology and in the industrial application of these techniques. The program provides stipends and research support for graduate students interested in a research career in biotechnology. It allows students access to the tools of biotechnology while specializing in a particular research area. Students receive training in broad areas of biotechnology that relate to commercial application of these techniques. A core of interdisciplinary courses is offered and includes a three- to six-month internship in an industrial setting.
Major Research Efforts
NIH Biotechnology graduate students conduct research in the following diverse areas:
To learn more and apply, visit http://www.nihbiotech.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.
GCC/Keck Center training programs, which include more than 75 trainees and 400 faculty from the six GCC member institutions, include:
To learn more, visit http://cohesion.rice.edu/centersandinst/gcc/keck.cfm.