I will establish the Quantitative Biology Research Community (QBReC) at Brandeis University that will consist of undergraduate researchers who, while majoring in different fields of science, will conduct collaborative research on specific biological problems and function as a single interdisciplinary research group. A key goal of the QBReC program will be maintaining student interest in all the sciences and mathematics despite the grind of large lecture courses they are all subjected to in the first two years, and the specialization that ensues in the later years. Another key goal will be to generate excitement for scientific inquiry in emerging fields of physical and systems biology that combine ideas and methods from diverse sciences.
The QBReC program will consist of a lab and lecture course in the first year that introduces students to science in an integrated fashion, combining physics, chemistry, and biology as well as mathematics to describe fundamental problems posed by living systems. In later years, students will engage in collaborative research that transcends the boundaries between the science departments at Brandeis.
In addition to interdisciplinary training at the undergraduate level, the QBREC program will also provide graduate students and postdocs with opportunities to develop their teaching and mentoring skills. These QBReC Instructors will help develop and teach the laboratory course which all QBReC students take in their first year, and serve as their mentors in research. Priority is given to those graduate students and postdocs who are planning on pursuing an academic career at a four-year college. The goal is to give them practical preparation for teaching interdisciplinary courses and for supervising interdisciplinary teams of student-researchers at the college level.
As of March 10, 2015