It is my pleasure to welcome you to the graduate program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology (SSPB) at Rice University. Systems Biology is the study of the emergence of functional properties that are present in a biological system but not in its individual components. Synthetic Biology is the purposeful construction of novel cellular pathways to elicit engineered behaviors. Physical Biology is an integration of biology with chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science to provide a highly quantitative approach to problems in biology, biomedicine and biotechnology. Each of these fields is represented by faculty within the SSPB program, and together they represent a paradigm shift in biology and a wonderful intellectual environment for graduate students. The SSPB program at Rice University awards a standalone Ph.D. degree.
SSPB students are highly interdisciplinary, with a strong foundation in life sciences such as biochemistry and cell biology as well as a rigorous, quantitative mathematics and physics. Students develop an understanding of past and current research accomplishments in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology. Students acquire professional skills in oral and written communication. And, most importantly, students contribute to the intellectual framework of SSPB through their graduate research discoveries.
I encourage you to review the research projects of the faculty associated with the SSPB program. We interact closely with departments in the Schools of Natural Science and Engineering at Rice University. In addition, we have numerous collaborations with the Texas Medical Center. Good luck in your research!
Hasselmann Professor of Bioengineering
Director, Center for Theoretical Biological Physics
Director, Graduate Program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology