Computational and Systems Biology

Department Head: Doug Lauffenburger | Email | Website

Program Director: Chris B. Burge

77 Massachusetts Ave. • 68-459 • Cambridge, MA 02139 • (617) 324-074

MIT’s doctoral program in Computational and Systems Biology is offered jointly by the departments of biology, electrical engineering and computer science, and biological engineering. CSB integrates education and research in biology, engineering, and computation to address complex problems in biological systems. Students gain a broad foundation in this emerging field and have the opportunity to work with faculty from across the Institute. They graduate prepared to make new discoveries, create novel tools and technologies, and become leaders in both academia and industry.

The CSB PhD program typically takes five years to complete. It includes:

  • Core courses in biology and computational biology and a literature-based class in computational and systems biology
  • Advanced electives in science and engineering that enhance the breadth and depth of students’ education
  • Research group rotations that expose students to a range of research activities and help them identify a suitable laboratory in which to conduct their thesis research
  • A teaching assistantship during one semester of the second year, helping students develop their communication skills and facilitating their ability to interact across disciplines
  • Training in responsible research conduct that prepares students for the complexities and demands of modern scientific inquiry

MIT’s Computational and Systems Biology Initiative includes more than 90 faculty members throughout MIT’s schools of science and engineering. Students in the CSB program have the opportunity to pursue thesis research in a wide variety of laboratories at MIT, and if desired, may be jointly supervised by faculty members with different areas of expertise. Active research areas include computational biology and bioinformatics, gene and protein networks, molecular biophysics, instrumentation engineering, cell and tissue engineering, predictive toxicology and metabolic engineering, imaging and image informatics, nanobiology and microsystems, biological design and synthetic biology, neurosystems biology, and cancer biology.

For further information on the CSB Graduate Program, please contact Jacqueline Carota, Graduate Program Administrator,