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Summer Scholars Program in Systems Biology

The HHMI Summer Scholars Program at VCU provides undergraduate scholars with a systems view of the life sciences experience. Scholars enter a ten-week residential research fellowship program comprised of four complementary activities outlined below:

Systems biology and biological complexity lectures: Scholars meet at least twice per week for lectures/labs and discussion in systems approaches to biological and biomedical problems. Interactive lectures range in topic from a general overview of systems biology and biological complexity to discussing specific applications to biological and biomedical research.

Seminars and lectures in systems biology: Scholars attend and participate in seminars presented by experts in systems biology. Following an hour-long general seminar, HHMI scholars interact with visiting speakers during lunch, where speakers will discuss career decision-making options and opportunities.

Intensive summer research experience: Scholars pair with research faculty from across the university in an intensive summer research experience in the general area of systems biology. Faculty offering summer research experiences are drawn from the more than 200 faculty that participate in VCU Life Sciences. These faculty are among our best funded researchers and are fellows of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity (CSBC). They reside in more than 16 different departments in the the Colleges of Humanities and Sciences, Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Engineering. Each scholar will have a realistic opportunity to experience the challenges and rewards of contemporary systems-based biological and biomedical research.

Opportunities include:

  • Learning the application of the scientific method;
  • Attending relevant scientific meetings;
  • Preparing reports for experiments; and
  • Presenting results of experiments to peers and advisors.

Scholars present the results of their research at a Closing Symposium in the final week of the summer session. Scholars are encouraged to continue and publish results of their projects.

Exposure to diverse research environments: The HHMI Summer Scholars Program includes visits to academic, government, industrial and commercial labs, such as NIH, NSF, TIGR, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Philip Morris USA and biotechnology companies in the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park.



The Center for the Study of Biological Complexity | VCU Life Sciences
Virginia Commonwealth University
1000 West Cary Street, Suite 111 | Richmond, Virginia 23284
Phone: (804) 827-0026 | Fax: 828-1961 | Email:
View text version Updated: April 22, 2010