Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Computationally-Driven Experimental Biology summer program is a partnership between Virginia Tech and Colorado State University that allows students from both biological and computer science backgrounds to work at the intersection of both disciplines.


Why Apply. This program offers the rare chance to receive both biology and computer science training. If you don’t have training in both, that’s not a problem. You will have it when you leave!

Join our research team. Involving students in multiple aspects of a single research project brings exposure to real-life team science; how computer science, mathematics, and experimental cell biology all play an integral role in studying cellular processes and discovery of new data. Students will present their research and findings to peers and faculty at the Virginia Tech Research Symposium on Aug. 1st with other summer students.

Train with top-tier technology experts. You will train with experts in bioinformatics, computational biology, mathematical modeling and synthetic biology including Dr. T. M. MuraliDr. John Tyson and Dr. Jean Peccoud.

Program Structure: Opportunities and Resources

Program structure

During this 10-week summer program, Dr. Murali will introduce undergraduate students to network biology algorithms. Students will apply the techniques developed in this project to reconstruct yeast and human signaling pathways and learn how to post these networks to GraphSpace. Dr. John Tyson will teach the fundamentals of mathematical modeling. Students will be able to build upon the yeast models developed in his group and learn how to simulate them and make testable predictions, including the ones students tested earlier in the summer.

Computationally-Driven Experimental Biology Summer Program Structure

  • 10 weeks from May 28 to August 2, 2019
  • 1-6 - Use network algorithms to reconstruct yeast pathways (May 28 – July 5)
  • 7-9 - Build mathematical models of yeast pathways (July 6- July 26)
  • 10 - Present poster at REU research symposium at Virginia Tech (July 27-Aug. 2)
  • Team research with dedicated faculty and fellow student-researchers
  • Housing and board provided at Virginia Tech (dorm and campus dining plan where applicable, we make arrangements)
  • $4,000 Stipend provided

Apply Now: Process Requirements

To apply for this summer program, you must complete the following steps:

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Dr. Kristy Collins.

Application Requirements
Participants will be expected to meet the following requirements:

  • Demonstrate an academic background in biology and/or computer science. We welcome applicants majoring in fields such as computer science, biology, bioinformatics, systems biology, and related areas.
  • Be an undergraduate attending a US university.
  • Be available from May 28th through Aug. 2nd for the program (please do not plan on leaving for personal leave anytime during the program, i.e. vacation). Students should plan on arriving on campus the day before and leaving the day after the program ends.
  • Submit a copy of an unofficial transcript.
  • Two faculty letters of recommendation. These should be from faculty members that can evaluate your ability, and should be submitted directly by the faculty member. Letters of recommendation must be submitted via email from the faculty to Dr. Collins. Once you specify your letter writers and their e-mail addresses, we will email them instructions on how to submit their letters of recommendation online.
  • Display necessary qualities for working both independently and within a diverse team structure: high motivation, good communication skills, and strong work ethic

This work is supported from the National Science Foundation Award number: DBI-1759858

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