As part of The Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center (STC), CEMB graduate fellows participate in intensive “Boot Camp” experience, held every other summer. Fellows usually participate within the first two years of joining the CEMB.
The CEMB Boot Camp includes lectures in cell biology, bioengineering, matrix biology, and plant biology and mechanics; wet and dry lab experiences in rheometry, basic cell and molecular biology techniques, basics plant biology techniques, and computational modeling; small group tutorials; journal clubs; and ethics and knowledge transfer training.
Boot Camp is a 2-week summer program that provides graduate students with a foundation in integrative plant and animal mechanobiology. CEMB faculty gave Boot Camp lectures, and senior trainees were lab teaching assistants.
This programs brings early CEMB graduate students from plant and animal labs, in both biological and physical sciences, to a common knowledge base and vocabulary facilitating collaboration.
Week 1 features morning lectures on basic topics of mechanobiology given by CEMB faculty. Afternoons consist of small group (2-4 students) lab sessions with postdoctoral TAs, with the goal of increasing the cross-disciplinary and cross-kingdom knowledge of individual students. For example, cell biology students with little math background take Matlab tutorials, while students from theory labs learned how to run western blots and did tissue culture. Week 1 also includes a variety of enrichment and social activities; as CEMB has matured and commercialization and entrepreneurship became more important, sessions on these topics were added to the enrichment series.
Week 2 is devoted to carrying out final projects planned during week 1 by teams of 4-5 students. All projects include both experimental and theory components; in each previous Boot Camp, one project is on plant mechanobiology and one on animal mechanobiology.
At the conclusion of the course, participants present on their research experience.
See details on past programs on the right.