The SSPB Graduate Program, housed in the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB), is designed to provide students the knowledge and tools that they will need to solve hard biological questions and to apply their discoveries to the development of biotechnologies that transform agriculture, electronics, energy, the environment, information storage, medicine, and manufacturing.
The SSPB Graduate Program was established collaboratively by faculty in Natural Sciences and Engineering. This interdisciplinary program now includes 40 faculty from 10 departments, with more than 40 students enrolled in the program. SSPB continues to grow as Rice University invests in faculty growth in this research topic.
Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology is a rapidly growing field that has the potential to transform every aspect of society. Rice University has been investing in these areas for over a decade by hiring faculty, establishing the NSF Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, and building core infrastructure that enables SSPB-type of research.
The SSPB curriculum is designed to provide students a strong foundation in the life sciences and the skills needed to integrate biological inquiry with rigorous, quantitative mathematics and physics. To support training across these topics, our students take three Core Courses, at least three Advanced Elective Courses, and two Open Elective Courses.
Undergraduates can get involved in SSPB research through summer undergraduate programs, research for credit in faculty labs, and the Rice IGEM team. Exceptional Postdoctoral Scholars can apply to train with SSPB faculty through the prestigious Rice University Academy Fellows program, which supports creative research endeavors.
Rice ecologists see a sharp reduction in insect ‘engineers’ when elephants and other large animals disappear in African rainforests.