There is an increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary training of students and engagement with a team approach to research problems. The nature of the Advanced Biomanufacturing Initiative fits into this theme and is a valuable component. The initiative promotes focused modules connecting computational and experimental approaches across traditional fields of study. Connections with entrepreneurial activities and leadership programs give our technically trained students a step-up as they prepare for leadership roles in the biotech industry.

These efforts are supported at Rice University through a number of departments, organizations, and programs which provide students and researchers opportunities to cultivate the essential skills and foster ideas needed for long-term success across numerous disciplines:

Graduate and undergraduate programs from the Departments of Bioengineering, Biosciences, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, as well as the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology (SSPB) expose students to a wide-range of biological and applied topics from a number of different perspectives. These educational efforts integrate the disciplines and enable students gain the foundational knowledge required to become the innovators of tomorrow.

The Rice University Academy of Fellows (RUAF) is a vibrant interdisciplinary community composed of Rice Academy Postdoctoral Fellows and Rice Academy Faculty Fellows. RUAF fosters intellectual exchange and advancement of research through the creation of an interdisciplinary community, with the professional development of fellows a central focus.

The Rice University Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) seeks to promote cross-disciplinary research and education encompassing the biological, chemical, and engineering disciplines. Included in these efforts are many educational programs, ranging from high school (IBB Summer Academy and Girls STEM Initiative) to undergraduate summer internships (NSF REU in Multi-Scale Biomolecular Networks), as well as helping establish a network of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research collaborations.

Rice 360˚ Institute for Global Health brings together an international group of faculty, students, clinicians, and partners to design innovative health technologies. This includes numerous educational efforts from undergraduate and graduate programs in Global Health Technologies and Global Medical Innovation as well as collaboration with global institutions to improve healthcare through invention.

The Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) was established in 2009 with the mission to prepare engineers to become inspiring leaders, exceptional team members, effective communicators, and bold entrepreneurs. RCEL’s programing enhances a traditional engineering education by providing skills not typically covered in the Rice engineering curriculum. Through a series of curricular and co-curricular learning experiences, RCEL students learn to create and communicate a vision, build a high-performing team, form and execute collaborative plans, and create innovations that endure.

The Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) brings together the strengths of its member institutions to build interdisciplinary collaborative research teams and training programs in biological sciences at their intersection with the computational, chemical, mathematical, and physical sciences. GCC is comprised of seven prominent and geographically proximate Houston-Galveston area institutions, including Rice University. Its mission is to train the next generation of biomedical scientists and to enable scientists to ask and answer questions that cross scientific disciplines to address the challenging biological issues of our time and, ultimately, to apply the resulting expertise and knowledge to the treatment and prevention of disease.

Professional Masters Programs offered by the Weiss School of Natural Sciences and the George R. Brown School of Engineering provide students with the opportunity to add depth to their areas of interest, round out training, and prepare them for success in a business environment.

While the breadth and depth of educational, entrepreneurial, and leadership programs at Rice provides students wide-ranging foundational and technical training, gaining real-world experience is another essential component for training the leaders of tomorrow. The George R. Brown School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Biosciences, and Baker Institute for Public Policy are just some of the many organizations at Rice providing students the resources needed gain additional valuable experience from research and internship opportunities in both the public and private sector.