Biomedical Optics

*You can find details about the Summer Institute application on our admissions page.
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 10 weeks, working in one of the laboratories at the Wellman Center and MIT. In addition to research, students attend lectures and research seminars. All student participants are accommodated in a campus dormitory 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 founded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Additionally, it is supported by the Wellman Center. The Director of this program is Prof. S. H. Andy Yun at the Wellman Center and Harvard University.

Program Description

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. 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
  • Biomedical optics lectures taught by leaders in biomedical optics research
  • Weekly meetings of research groups
  • Social events