A range of options are available for undergraduates to get involved in SSPB-type research, including the Rice IGEM Team, Summer Undergraduate Programs, and Research for Credit.
Rice IGEM Team
Undergraduates can collaborate to develop synthetic biology projects for entry into the International Genetically Engineering Machine (IGEM) competition at MIT. A description of this years student-led synthetic biology project can be found at the 2019 Rice University IGEM Wiki Page. Links to past projects can be found online at: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2008, 2007, and 2006. Students interested in more information about participating should contact Dr. Beth Beason.
The Institute for Biosciences and Bioengineering coordinates multiple Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs during the summer at Rice University that provide paid opportunities for students to participate in Systems, Synthetic, and/or Physical Biology research. These programs are typically ten weeks in length, they provide a stipend, and they include a range of career development activities.
In the NSF Bionetworks REU program, students work on projects under faculty mentors that draw from a range of approaches (biochemical, genetic, computation) to study naturally-occurring genetic networks, artificial genetic and metabolic networks, and biomolecular structure, function, and evolution. This program provides a creative opportunity for students to develop innovative biotechnologies.
In the NSF Biology with X-ray Free Electron Lasers (BioXFEL) program, students are given the opportunity to engage in scientific research projects involving crystallography, biochemistry, protein chemistry and other XFEL-related topics. At the end of the 10 weeks, students have the chance to travel to the XFEL facility at the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory to present a poster on their summer research
Research for Credit
Rice undergraduates interested in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology research can also directly get involved by pursuing research for credit in SSPB faculty laboratories. Students should directly contact SSPB faculty to inquire about opportunities. Undergraduate majors and faculty department affiliations should be used to guide the course that students use to receive credit. For example, students pursuing a Biology or Biochemistry & Cell Biology major might take BIOC 310, while students pursuing a Bioengineering major might take BIOE 400 / BIOE 401.