RISE Practicum Track

Pursue research in:

Computational Neurobiology

The six-week Practicum track gives students entering their senior year the opportunity to carry out meaningful research in a structured lab setting. Weekly workshops also introduce students to the scientific process, research ethics, reading a research paper, presenting scientific research, and networking in the scientific community. If you have an interest in learning about systems neuroscience, neurobiology, using the scientific method, and designing computational models of the brain, the Practicum track is for you.

The RISE Practicum combines lab work with instructor-led lectures to provide the opportunity to conduct research. You will work together with other students under the guidance of an instructor who delivers morning research-intensive lectures and oversees afternoon lab work. The lab experiments are designed to demonstrate procedures that are representative of neurobiology research focused on computational modeling of neural systems.

In addition to workshops, you will participate in weekly activities such as industry site tours and research talks. While the Practicum has clearly outlined protocols and requires methodical and thorough collection, measurement, and synthesis of data, the final outcome of the research—as with all scientific research—cannot be predicted in advance. At the conclusion of the program, Practicum students will present their research alongside Internship track students at the RISE Poster Symposium.

Get an inside look at Boston’s biotech companies

Together, Boston and Cambridge are home to one of the largest hubs for the biological sciences in the United States. Over 1,000 companies have facilities in the greater Boston area. During weekly trips around Cambridge and Boston, Practicum students will have the opportunity to explore a large part of this exciting scientific community and visit biotech companies.

Past visits include:

  • Smartlabs:  Students visited the facility and were given presentations on the various career paths in an enterprise-grade lab platform organization.
  • Alnylam Pharmaceuticals:  Students engaged in in-depth discussions with a number of employees and learned about the many facets of working in the leading edge of RNA interference, and gained valuable career and college insights.
  • Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research: Students had the opportunity to work in an authentic biomedical laboratory at the Novartis Community Exploration and Learning Laboratory (CELL). They also engaged in career conversations with several Novartis scientists and toured parts of the Cambridge facility.
  • The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital: Students explored the advancement of the medical field throughout history and in the present, particularly in Boston.
  • Lab Central: Students were able to tour the facility and observe the collaborative environment of Lab Central, whose mission is to create the next generation of powerhouse biotech companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative life-science startups with the space and resources they need.

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