2013 Program Dates: May 28 - August 3 | Application Deadline: February 4, 2013
Torgersen Hall at Virginia Tech
ICTAS 1 at Virginia Tech

Are you a student majoring in a biological or a computational science or in engineering? Are you interested in how computation or molecular and cellular biology plays a role in tissue engineering? Are you thinking about graduate school in one of these fields?

This great summer opportunity is for you! Be a part of this exciting state-of-the-art research experience.

What is Tissue Engineering?

Tissue engineering is a field that uses principles from engineering and life sciences to develop biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or mimic the function of a tissue or organ within the body. Advances in this field can have major impacts on human health. For example, if a patient has a damaged liver, it may be possible to engineer or regenerate a human liver from a patient's own liver cells so that she does not have to wait many years for a transplant. Another great potential of tissue engineering is being able to test the side effects of drugs on artificial tissue cultures instead of expensive animal testing and complex clinical trials. Challenges in tissue engineering include the development of high-throughput experiments and instruments; novel biomaterials that can support multiple cell types; and experiments to monitor the interaction of cells with biomaterials and their environment.

Life Sciences
Life Sciences 1 at Virginia Tech
What is computational biology?

Over the past 10 years, a number of sophisticated and high-throughput experimental techniques in molecular and cellular biology have begun to yield vast quantities of information about cells and tissues. These data are too massive to be analyzed manually. As a result, researchers have developed complex computational and mathematical methods to comb through these data to find biological insights. More recently, scientists have started to develop methods for computationally-driven experimental biology, where automated analysis of molecular data can suggest and prioritize new sets of experiments.

What is the link between tissue engineering and computational biology?

One of the major unsolved problems in tissue engineering is predicting how cells will interact with their environment and with novel biomaterials. By using the latest techniques from molecular biology, we can make numerous detailed measurements about molecular and cellular behavior in engineered tissues. Computational analysis of these data will lay the foundation of predictive models of engineered tissues. We can perform new experiments on the basis of model predictions. By utilizing the new data to refine our models, we can iteratively improve our understanding of engineered tissues and develop better ways to design them.

 • 2013 promotional flier

Computationally-Driven Experimental Biology in Engineered Tissues is funded by NSF Award No. DBI-1062380