Welcome to the Ph.D. program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology (SSPB)
Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology (SSPB) is a new field that combines experimental and theoretical approaches to solve both fundamental and applied problems in the biosciences, biotechnology and medicine. SSPB is emerging as one of the most important areas of life sciences of this century. While the past several decades have been dubbed the Information Age, the coming era will likely be a biological one where organisms are engineered to produce new medicines, fuels and materials. In order to reach the potential of engineered biological systems, we must first understand the organizing principles of life. SSPB researchers operate at this interface, aiming to understand the molecular language of life, so that new biological functions can be reliably designed.
The inaugural 2013 SSPB class (from left to right, front row: Dongya Jia, Juexiao Wang, Felix Ekness, Brianna Kuypers, Qian Mei; from left to right, top row: Tyler McLaughlin, Josh Atkinson)
The SSPB Ph.D. program at Rice University trains students to combine principles from science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to make transformative discoveries and advances in biological engineering. SSPB students are highly interdisciplinary, with strong foundations in the quantitative and life sciences. SSPB faculty come from 8 different departments across the Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences. The curriculum is designed to provide students from diverse backgrounds exposure to a breadth of biological and quantitative topics. The curriculum includes three newly designed core courses in Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology, and Physical Biology, at least two advanced courses in computer science, physics, applied mathematics or statistics, and two courses focusing on a biological subject within the area of a student’s dissertation research. Students joining the SSPB program are expected to have prior training in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, or physics.
For more information regarding this program, click here.