The Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biodesign (B3) REU site award to City College of New York (CCNY), located in New York, NY, will support the training of 9 students for 10 weeks during the summers of 2017-2019. This project is supported by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Division of Chemistry (CHE)in the Directorate for Mathematics & Physical Sciences (MPS). The B3 research program is comprised of faculty mentors from five different departments housed together in the new Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI) which fosters a strong collaborative environment. The program features state-of-the-art research training for students at the interface of biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering, including the use of advanced techniques in NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and molecular dynamics simulations. Exciting projects available to students address the structural biology of signaling, DNA damage repair, engineering of biomimetic assemblies, and the design of novel enzymes. The B3-REU will primarily train CCNY undergraduates and students from community colleges at the City University of New York (CUNY) system, but will also accept applications from other community colleges or schools with limited opportunities for research. Experimental science will be supplemented with workshops and seminars, ethics training, STEM career discussions, and field trips to enable students, especially those from under-represented and underserved groups, to develop an identity as a scientist that will motivate the pursuit of advanced degrees and careers in science. Students will submit applications to, and be admitted by, the program steering committee.
It is anticipated that a total of 27 students, primarily from CCNY and CUNY schools with limited research opportunities, will be trained in the program. The program will broadly impact three areas: 1) attracting and retaining students, including underrepresented and economically disadvantaged groups, to STEM pursuits, 2) providing multi-disciplinary training of students in Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biodesign, and 3) increasing retention and graduation rates in STEM disciplines at CCNY and CUNY. Students will learn how research is conducted, and many will present the results of their work at scientific conferences.
A common web-based assessment tool used by all REU programs funded by the Division of Biological Infrastructure (Directorate for Biological Sciences) will be used to determine the effectiveness of the training program. Students will be tracked after the program in order to determine their career paths. Students will be asked to respond to an automatic email sent via the NSF reporting system. More information about the program is available at www.ccny.cuny.edu/engagement/nsf-reu-summer-program-2017 or by contacting the PI (Dr. David Jeruzalmi email@example.com).