The HST-Wellman Summer Institute for Biomedical Optics provides undergraduate student participants with research experience in the field of biomedical optics. The program objective is to inspire talented students to pursue advanced research, education, and careers in science and engineering. Faculty mentors offer interdisciplinary cutting-edge research projects in diverse, yet cohesive, themes in biomedical optics.
Eight to twelve undergraduate students admitted each summer pursue full-time laboratory research for nine weeks, working in one of the laboratories at the Wellman Center and MIT. In addition to research, students attend lectures and research seminars, as well as professional development workshops on scientific writing, presentation and research ethics. All student participants are accommodated in the dormitory at the MIT campus and participate in various peer group activities, making their summer experience go much beyond what could be provided by a typical summer research experience in a single lab.
Research experience in this program is focused on engineering--from discovery of new transformative approaches to development of cutting-edge technologies. Innovation in biomedical optics requires understanding of physical and engineering principles, as well as biological and medical insights, to define important challenges and to understand how new technologies must perform. This program takes a coherent and interdisciplinary approach to introducing students to the full spectrum of biomedical optics and will help to realize the promise of biomedical optics by attracting talented students to pursue careers in this area at the graduate level and beyond.
This program is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Wellman Center. The Director of this program is Prof. S. H. Andy Yun at the Wellman Center and Harvard University.
Through hands-on research experience, the program trains participants in the study and innovation of biomedical optics for improving human health and advancing biological sciences. Through living arrangements and a variety of activities, Summer Institute students develop a network of peers. They also receive guidance from course instructors and lab mentors. Students are challenged to explore ways to conduct research responsibly and to achieve the skills to communicate their research findings effectively. Individual tutorials and workshops also help students practice their research writing and presentation skills. At the end of the summer, students present their work to the Biomedical Optics mentors at a conference.
A partial list of program elements includes:
Participation in exciting research projects
A biomedical optics course taught by leaders in biomedical optics research
A research skills module designed to help students plan and communicate their research orally and in writing
Weekly meetings of research groups