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Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institute

Primary Institution: Virginia Tech Wake Forest University & Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Affiliation: Virginia Tech
City: Blacksburg
State: VA
Job Duration: May 26 - July 31, 2009 (10 weeks)
Class Requirement: Completed Sophomore Year
Position Type: Research
Discipline(s): computational systems biology, computational bio-imaging, computational physiology, mathematics
Description: Be a part of this exciting state-of-the-art research experience. Bioengineering and Bioinformatics Summer Institute (BBSI) is a collaborative effort between the Virginia Tech -- Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES) and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI). Our intellectual focus -- integrated and quantitative bioengineering -- is a common thread throughout both biomedical engineering and bioinformatics.

The objectives for BBSI are to 1) provide targeted students with quantitative and integrated bioengineering/ bioinformatics related educational and research experiences to complement the students' existing single discipline programs, and 2) motivate and enable these students to pursue graduate degrees and careers in biomedical engineering and bioinformatics related fields.

What makes this research experience unique & exciting is the combination of hands-on state-of-the-art research, didactic coursework, technical workshops, and direct guidance & collaboration with exceptional faculty.

This experience provides the students an opportunity to work in small teams, with students of diverse backgrounds in engineering, bioinformatics & the life sciences, to address problems in each of the thrust areas. Students will work together in groups of 3-5 on their projects, with teams consisting of students from both engineering & biology related backgrounds. Each team will also work closely with graduate students and faculty mentors.
The research experience includes:

   1. Courses in quantitative & integrative analysis
   2. Interdisciplinary team projects with faculty mentors from SBES & VBI
   3. Workshops on interdisciplinary teams, professional development, & state-of-the-art computation issues
   4. Student seminar series & final presentation to all BBSI faculty & students.

The four research thrust areas:

    * Computational systems biology
    * Computational bio-imaging
    * Computational physiology
    * Mathematics

Computational Systems Biology:

The availability of high-throughput data sets has made it feasible to begin the study of cellular networks and their relationship to genomic information. Mathematical modeling is an indispensable tool in this endeavor. Knowledge of traditional as well as newly developed mathematical techniques and their software implementations is crucial in systems biology research.

Computational Bio-Imaging:

Imaging in the context of modern medical modalities and molecular/cellular imaging. This focus will have two components:

   1. general imaging science, and
   2. biomedical modalities.

The imaging science component covers general aspects of imaging that are relevant to all modalities and applications and are necessary to understand how images are used, interpreted, and manipulated. The modalities component is a high-level overview of modern modalities including x-ray, nuclear medicine, MRI, ultrasound, optical, tomography, etc.

Computational Physiology:

Focus on physiology using engineering methods, namely mathematical, computational, and systems analyses. In physiological modeling, specific areas include the heart and circulatory system, the respiratory system, the renal system, sensory physiology, and thermal regulation. Students will work on

   1. identifying governing physical laws for a given physiologic system, and create a mathematical model quantifying the function of that system; and,
   2. explain relevant features for a given mathematical model of a physiologic system, and perform parametric studies, and draw conclusions about influences of parameters in healthy and pathological situations.
Stipend: provided
Benefits: Housing
Meal Plan
library & local transportation use; laptops provided
Application Deadline: 02/06/2009
Job Website:
Additional Information:

Research/Internship Opportunity Contact Information

Primary Contact: BBSI Program Coordinator
114 Randolph Hall (0298)
School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
Blacksburg, VA 24061