Lehigh University is the recipient of a four-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to fund undergraduate science initiatives in the life sciences. The initiative at Lehigh focuses on expanding the existing interdisciplinary culture at the University, focusing on building cross-disciplinary approaches in undergraduate courses and in undergraduate research activities.

Undergraduate interdisciplinary research opportunities strengthened by HHMI grant

Undergraduate summer research opportunities under this initiative include participation in an interdisciplinary research team sponsored by the Biosystems Dynamics Summer Institute.  Research teams are composed of faculty from different disciplines, graduate students and post-doctoral associates, and undergraduate students who work together on a common research project. Interdisciplinary team projects may include research in genomics, bioinformatics, gene expression, behavioral neuroscience, and reproductive biology.

Curriculum development initiatives and opportunities

Bioscience in the 21st Century is a multidisciplinary survey course in which several theme-based topics in bioscience and their social/ethical considerations are explored. Topics include infectious diseases, cancer, genome-based medicine, engineered biomedical systems, stem cells, bioinformatics, and many more. Lecturers include Lehigh University professors from a variety of departments, as well as special guests.

Visiting Scholars

An HHMI Scholar is an individual recognized for his/her use of an integrative, multidisciplinary, systems-driven approach to bioscience research. While visiting, scholars participate in a seminar for faculty and students involved in the Biosystems Dynamics effort. These seminars provide exposure to outstanding bioscience research conducted from an integrative, systems perspective. Scholars also hold individual meetings with research teams comprised of faculty and students to provide feedback, commentary, and suggestions on their projects. These meetings convey “best practices” in systems bioscience and foster integrative conceptualization of problem analysis. The presence and availability of an HHMI Visiting Scholar enhances the professional development of our faculty, improves the analytical skills of our students, and reinforces a team-based systems orientation toward bioscience education and research that is envisioned in our Biosystems Dynamics approach.

Videos of recent Visiting Scholars