Vision & Mission
The mission of the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) is to promote cross-disciplinary research and education encompassing the biological, chemical, physical and engineering disciplines. We pursue this mission by providing opportunities for interactions among researchers at Rice, colleagues in the Texas Medical Center and other institutions, and industry. We provide a unique educational environment where students can receive highly interdisciplinary training to prepare them to meet the challenges of the next century.
Although founded over two decades before Rice's Vision for the Second Century (V2C), the IBB, under the current leadership of IBB Director, Professor Yousif Shamoo, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, and IBB Executive Director, Dr. Stacey Kalovidouris, serves as the prototype for the University's current aspirations. Previous IBB Directors include: Professor Jennifer L. West (Rice Dept. Chair of Bioengineering; Professor of Chemical Engineering) 2003-2008; Fred Rudolph 2002-2003; Larry McIntire 1991-2002; and George J. Schroepfer 1986-1991. To date there are 109 members of IBB, representing every department in the Weiss School of Natural Sciences and the Brown School of Engineering. IBB researchers are at the forefront of staggering innovations, including protein-based blood substitutes, non-rejectable replacement materials for bone or organ transplants, synthetic cell fabrication and engineered tissues, heart and cancer diagnostic tools and treatments, nutritional formulations, and targeted drug delivery systems.
To achieve our mission and goals, IBB:
- serves as a catalyst for interaction and interdisciplinary collaboration between faculty members, other Rice institutes, the Gulf Coast Consortia and the local biotechnology industry;
- excels in the area of K-12 outreach and educational programs and internships for Rice students and nationwide undergraduate students and high school teachers and students;
- leads professional development workshops for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty;
- holds annual symposia to focus on different interdisciplinary areas each year and poster sessions where students can present their work;
- and supports innovative faculty research via seed grant programs.
IBB was formed in 1986 and reports to the Office of the Dean for the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. A faculty member from one of the affiliated science and engineering departments serves as the Director for the Institute. The institute director is appointed by the Office of the Dean and the IBB Faculty Steering Committee.
The institute has two categories of membership: members and associate members. The members include Rice faculty that are directly engaged in scholarship and research collaboration that is bio-related. Today, the institute has 109 faculty members representing every department in the Weiss School of Natural Sciences and the Brown School of Engineering. The associate member category is reserved for individuals that are not directly engaged in the research mission of the institute but that are otherwise interested in being affiliated with the institute. To date, the institute has 402 associate members representing individuals in Rice's administration and student body as well as world-wide community leaders in industry, academia and business.
The institute has an Executive Director (80% part-time employee), an Associate Director (full-time employee), and two Program Coordinators (full-time employees).
Other resources (e.g., teaching release, equipment, etc)
IBB has used some of its financial resources to purchase equipment for Rice's science teaching labs. The most recent purchase was for some physiology equipment that is currently being used within the Keck Hall Tissue Culturing Teaching Lab under the supervision of Dr. Maria Oden.
IBB sponsors include both corporations and educational foundations. Currently they are: AlphaDev, Gottfried International, Inc., The Edgar O'Rear Foundation, The Hamill Foundation, Houston Technology Center, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), The Mary Morse Scholarship Fund, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Rice University, The Sid W. Richardson Foundation, Vinson & Elkins.
Programs and Activities
IBB organizes, coordinates and hosts a number of community-building activities including:
- Seed Grants for New Collaborative Projects for IBB Faculty Members - The IBB Medical and Hamill Innovations Awards Programs;
- NIH Biotechnology Training Grant for Predoctoral Students (http://www.nihbiotech.rice.edu);
- HHMI Bionanotechnology Summer Program for Undergraduate Students (http://www.hhmi.rice.edu);
- NSF REU Cellular Engineering Summer Program for Undergraduate Students (http://www.nsfreu.rice.edu);
- NSF RET Cellular Engineering Summer Program for High School Teachers (http://cohesion.rice.edu/naturalsciences/nsfreu/index.cfm?doc_id=11319);
- Summer Academy Program for High School Students;
- Summer Camp for High School Students;
- Enrichment Workshops for Faculty, Postdocs and Students (e.g., IBB's Commercialize It Program);
- IBB's Annual Internship Fair;
- IBB's Annual Symposium and Poster Session;
- IBB maintains a website, http://www.ibb.rice.edu, and publishes tri-annual newsletters to promote the successes of IBB faculty, the Institute's news and upcoming events;
- IBB co-sponsors events and programs with the Houston Technology Center, AlphaDev, Gottfried International, Inc., the Rice Alliance, the Baker Institute, the Smalley Institute & CBEN, the Rice Center for Evolution and numerous others.
IBB currently maintains the reservations calendar for Keck 102 and BRC 172. The Director and IBB Staff occupy five offices: two on the Rice Campus in Keck Hall, and five in the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC). In the Fall of 2009, IBB was allocated four office spaces in the new BRC, thanks to a generous pledge from the Hamill Foundation for $1,000,000. Staff moved to these new offices in February of 2010.
Past IBB Events
For all past events between 2005-2009, please click here . Current events from 2009 to present can be found on our Events page.