2014 NSF-CMACS Workshop on Cellular Signaling Pathways
Workshop Dates: January 6, 2014 - January 24, 2014
Meeting Times: 10 am - 4 pm
Location: Carman Hall Media Center Room B-83, Lehman College
Are you interested in how cells work? Would you like to know how do they decide to grow. to move. to split. or to die? Do you like working with high-performance computers? Would you like a career in biology, medicine, computer science, or math, or even a career combining all of these fields? Does discovering new things excite you?
Every winter Lehman College holds an NSF-sponsored workshop on modeling complex systems, for undergraduate students. The students attending the workshop use and develop software and computational tools to learn about the behavior of biological systems. Each year, students work on a unique research project involving cutting-edge research. In the winters of 2010 and 2012, the students studied cellular signaling pathways (think of networks or circuits, but involving communication between cells instead of computers). In the winters of 2011 and 2013, the students studied how hearts behave (and misbehave, as in atrial fibrillation). In the upcoming winter workshop, we will return to the study of cellular signaling pathways, which are believed to be important in the development of cancer when mutations change their behavior.
The workshop is staffed by researchers (both faculty and doctoral students) actively researching the topics covered by the workshop. In addition to Nancy Griffeth of Lehman College, who is working in computational biology and is the director of the workshop, numerous distinguished faculty visit from other universities to work with the students. In 2010, James Faeder of the University of Pittsburgh, Chris Langmead of Carnegie Mellon University, and Bud Mishra of New York University gave presentations and worked with students on projects. In 2011, Flavio Fenton of Cornell University presented lectures and labs for a week, Ezio Bartocci of Stony Brook University helped the students work with a parallel simulation of a heart, and Scott Smolka and James Glimm of Stony Brook and Robert Gilmour of Cornell University gave special keynote talks. In 2012, James Faeder of Pittsburgh and Bud Mishra returned. In 2013, Flavio Fenton and Robert Gilmour returned, and Ellizabeth Cherry of RPI and Bard Ermentrout of Pittsburgh also joined us. In 2014, we hope to have James Faeder and Bud Mishra again, along with William Hlavacek of Los Alamos National Labs.
Students that have attended past workshops have found it helpful both in deciding what they want to do and in getting into graduate school for further studies. Several have gone on to work with faculty at Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and New York University, after meeting them at the workshop Some are attending graduate school. One attendee is using mathematical modeling and machine learning to study genetic networks at NYU. Another is at Oregon Health and Science University, studying machine learning for using huge data sets to inform simulation and modeling. A third decided to switch from pre-med to computational biology, because he wants to do research and teach, and is now in the Ph.D. program at Yale University. A fourth is reconsidering research, in favor of a medical career.
Students with background in computer science, mathematics, biology, chemistry, or almost any other science should consider applying to this workshop (only one field is expected of applicants)! This is an opportunity to work with students from diverse fields, to meet distinguished faculty, and to learn what a research career would be like.
This work was supported by the NSF under grant number 0926200.
Last modified: Oct 27, 2014