The Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) hosted a reception for the newest cohort of six trainees participating in the National Science Foundation-supported Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program awarded to principal investigator Kelvin Lee, Gore Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD) and director of DBI, on Jan. 27.
This is the fourth year of the five-year, $3 million dollar grant for the NSF IGERT program titled Systems Biology of Cells in Engineered Environments (SBE2).
SBE2 is an interdisciplinary doctoral traineeship program that engages faculty from five colleges with expertise in complementary research areas that intersect with the theme of systems biology and cells in engineered environments.
SBE2 teaches the IGERT trainees critical skills related to science and engineering, as well as bioethics, research ethics, business innovation, communications and outreach. They are trained through a multidisciplinary curriculum to become world leaders in industry, government and academia. The goal is to help students develop the breadth required to work on multidisciplinary problems while still maintaining the depth of knowledge characteristic of a doctoral degree.
This grant brings together experts in UD’s College of Engineering, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics for a comprehensive, intense work/study program designed to create the science leaders of tomorrow.
The reception was an opportunity for all the IGERT cohort members to meet and mingle with the previous cohorts as well as the faculty who are helping shape their program.
Members of the newest cohort are doctoral students Kamil Charubin, chemical engineering; Thomas Dewar, biological sciences; Michael Gallucci, chemical engineering; Olivia George, materials science and engineering; Rachel Lieser, chemical engineering; and Jasmine Shirazi, biomedical engineering. For details on all four cohorts, see the website.
Co-principal investigators include Cathy Wu, Unidel Edward G. Jefferson Chair of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology; Kristi Kiick, deputy dean and professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and biomedical engineering; Thomas Hanson, associate professor of marine biosciences and biological sciences; and Jia Song, assistant professor of biological sciences.
Each new cohort of students will embark on their SBE2 IGERT curriculum this month, and for two years will conduct rotations in faculty laboratories, participate in industry internships and complete work in laboratories in Delaware and around the country, as well as design and implement solutions to important industry problems.
The program awards each trainee a generous stipend and the opportunity to work with similarly minded students in different disciplines, and provides the diverse curriculum that is the basis for the SBE2 IGERT program.