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The Summer Institute at Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology

Application Deadline Web Site
Application Deadline: January 31, 2010
Applications for summer 2010 available November 1, 2009.
The Summer Institute at HST []


The Summer Institute at Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology offers a unique opportunity for outstanding students considering a career in biomedical engineering and medical science. Program participants gain hands-on research experience working alongside members of an internationally recognized scientific community. The program is designed to help participants explore career options or prepare for graduate level research. Our partner for the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics track is i2b2 National Center for Biomedical Computing.

The HST and i2b2 Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics program (BIG) introduces students to the intersection of quantitative and biomedical sciences, providing them with broad knowledge of clinical relevancy as well as specific skills in the information science of genomics. BIG brings together nationally recognized leaders from the basic biological sciences, computer science, genomics, bioinformatics and epidemiology. Undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in bioinformatics and genomics are eligible to participate in the nine week Summer Institute in Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics.


The HST Summer Institute is part of an effort at MIT to help facilitate the involvement of talented students in engineering and science research, in particular underrepresented minorities, first-generation college students, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Applicants must be sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduates in September 2009. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent residence status.

Stipend and Housing

Students receive a stipend, and housing is provided on the MIT campus. In addition, some meals are provided.

Research Opportunities

BIG Laboratories Participating in HST Summer Institute in 2007

Bonnie A Berger, Ph.D., HST Affiliated Faculty: Dr. Berger is head of the Computation and Biology group and a member of the Theory of Computation group at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Her laboratory's major areas of research are in applying computational and mathematical techniques to problems in molecular biology. In particular, the focus has been on the following four core problem areas: protein structural motif recognition and discovery, molecular self-assembly and misassembly (e.g., virus shells, prions, amyloids), and comparative genomics. More recently, we have also investigated problems in systems biology (e.g., designing expression experiments, inferring regulatory networks).

George McDonald Church, Ph.D., HST Affiliated Faculty: George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for Computational Genetics. With degrees from Duke University in Chemistry and Zoology, he co-authored research on 3D-software & RNA structure with Sung-Hou Kim. His PhD from Harvard in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with Wally Gilbert included the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984; initiating the Human Genome Project then as a Research Scientist at newly-formed Biogen Inc. and a Monsanto Life Sciences Research Fellow at UCSF. He invented the broadly-applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. Technology transfer of automated sequencing & software to Genome Therapeutics Corp. resulted in the first commercial genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori, 1994). He has served in advisory roles for 12 journals, five granting agencies and 22 biotech companies. Current research focuses on integrating biosystems-modeling with personal genomics & synthetic biology.

Elizabeth Engle, M.D.: Elizabeth Engle's research focuses on uncovering the genetic causes of common and complex strabismus. In particular, the lab's primary goal has been to understand the molecular basis of a group of pediatric eye movement disorders referred to as the congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders (CCDDs). To that end, research projects in the Engle laboratory include family studies to locate and identify the genes mutated in the various forms of these disorders. Once a gene is identified, they study its normal and abnormal protein product to determine the role of the gene in health and disease.

Mary Elizabeth Patti, M.D.: The overall goal of my laboratory investigation is to understand the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, with a particular emphasis on defining linkages between classical metabolic/nutritional pathways and insulin signal transduction cascades which ultimately lead to alterations in gene expression and diabetes risk.

Dennis Wall, Ph.D.: Dr. Wall is at the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School as Director of the Computational Biology Initiative (CBI). CBI is building novel tools for biological data interrogation, including using natural language processing to mine medical text, as well as Bayesian networks and graph theory to find structure in biological networks, to support research at the whole of HMS.

Principal Investigators (PI)

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Last Reviewed: May 7, 2012