Systems, Synthetic and Physical Biology

The PhD Program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology (SSPB), created and administered by the Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering (IBB) at Rice University, trains students to combine principles from science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to make transformative discoveries and advances in biological engineering. SSPB students are highly interdisciplinary, with strong foundations in the quantitative and life sciences.

SSBP students benefit from their association with the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) during their training, as the Center focuses on cross-disciplinary development. SSPB faculty come from 8 different departments across the Schools of Engineering and Natural Sciences. The curriculum is designed to provide students from diverse backgrounds exposure to a breadth of biological and quantitative topics. The curriculum includes three newly designed core courses in Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology, and Physical Biology, at least two advanced courses in computer science, physics, applied mathematics or statistics, and two courses focusing on a biological subject within the area of a student’s dissertation research. Students joining the SSPB program are expected to have prior training in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, statistics, or physics.