Research Program for Undergraduates (RPU)
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The Columbia University IGERT on Optical Techniques for Actuation, Sensing, and Imaging of Biological Systems (BioIGERT), a National Science Foundation IGERT program, will support about ten outstanding undergraduates as Summer Research Fellows for the period from June 2 through August 3, 2013. This program provides a $4000 stipend for each successful candidate and free campus housing (worth $2700) in which you are expected to reside. Those selected will have an opportunity to participate fully in the interdisciplinary research activities of the BioIGERT faculty across the Departments of Physics, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, and includes collaborative research with industry including IBM Yorktown Heights.

Progress in the biological sciences and medicine relies increasingly on methods, approaches, and strategies derived from synergistic interactions with the physical sciences and engineering. A prominent example of this trend is the use of optical methods for biosensing and bioimaging. These advances have led to a myriad of biomedical diagnostic applications and tools for advances in fundamental understanding of biological systems. Going beyond imaging macroscopic phenomenological changes that typically occur when a disease is well developed, researchers are now beginning to detect pathological changes at the earliest possible moment, when tissue and cells undergo transformation on the molecular level. Furthermore, the tremendous nanoscale device fabrication capabilities built up in microelectronics and photonics furnish unparalleled opportunities for leveraging highly integrated platforms for on-chip biological sensor systems. These sophisticated optical probes, imaging and biosensor systems have already impacted many areas of the biological and medical sciences. By their nature, these applications cross through multiple disciplines and require a team with diverse expertise in the fundamental light/tissue interaction, complex optical instrumentation and imaging tools, and relevant biological systems. IGERT RPU students will have the opportunity to explore a diverse set of research topics in these areas under the guidance of distinguished faculty.

During the RPU, students will also be involved in workshops, seminars, visits to local industry, recreational activities, a symposium of presentations by RPU students, and other activities.

Prospective candidates should arrange to have an official transcript forwarded to the program administrator at the address below, along with the completed application form, which can be completed on-line. (The on-line application will be posted in December.) Two letters of recommendation (at least one of which should be from a math, science or engineering professor at their home institution) are required to be submitted on-line as well. The deadline for receipt of completed applications is February 14, 2013. Successful candidates will be notified by the end of March.

For additional information, please contact:

RPU c/o Jason Ray
Center for Integrated Science & Engineering
Columbia University
Schapiro/CEPSR, Room 1001
530 West 120th Street, MC 8903
New York, NY 10027
Tel: 646-205-0475