The TECBio REU@ Pitt program, which has been hosted in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the Pitt School of Medicine since 2010, has secured its third renewal from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for 4 more years of programming through Summer 2024. Over the past 11 years, TECBio has continuously evolved to meet the needs of our students and prepare them to drive advancements and take on leadership roles in computational biology. The program has done this by providing an immersive, 10-week, student-focused, graduate-level, research and training experience to 10 NSF-funded and 2 host institution-funded students each summer. TECBio exposes students to the current state-of-the-art in biological advances and computational capabilities by immersing them in mentored, independent research projects in our scientific focus areas.
Over the first 11 years of the program, TECBio has reached 142 students. Of the 115 students that hailed from outside institutions, 43% hailed from underrepresented minority (URM) groups and over half of our participants were women. Almost 90% of TECBio alumni have gone onto graduate school (62%) or jobs working or teaching in STEM (24%). Students from the TECBio program have received fellowship awards including 9 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships with 3 Honorable Mentions, presented at national, regional, and/or local conferences, and published 25 papers and conference proceedings and 5 published abstracts (11 as first author) with their TECBio mentors.
TECBio REU @ Pitt has established a successful framework for identifying, educating, training, and promoting students from diverse backgrounds in the emerging field of computational biology, and remains an important and impactful part of our department.