About the Program

IBiS provides the resources and training environment necessary to promote the development of Ph.D. students into independent, creative research scientists and teachers. The program includes approximately 60 training faculty from diverse science and engineering departments on Northwestern's main campus, who are linked by common interests in addressing fundamental questions in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Increasingly, the life sciences require interdisciplinary approaches in order to make essential progress in understanding normal cellular processes, diseases such as cancer, and the development of complex systems. With closely connected faculty from the departments of Molecular Biosciences, Biomedical Engineering, Neurobiology, Chemistry, and Chemical and Biological Engineering, and with strong ties to numerous interdisciplinary centers including the Physical Sciences-Oncology Center, the Center for Cell and Developmental Systems Biology, the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, and the Center for Structural Biology, IBiS promotes innovative research that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries.

IBiS' participation in Northwestern's umbrella program in Life and Biomedical Sciences provides students with even more opportunities to explore diverse research areas, develop innovative research projects, and take full advantage of all of Northwestern's many resources. Cross-campus training clusters help provide depth of training once students have chosen an area of specialization after the first year of graduate school. These clusters serve as foci for training activities (e.g. symposia, poster sessions, journal clubs) and specialized coursework, and bring together students and faculty with common research interests from across Northwestern.

IBiS students also benefit from a close-knit scientific community, a supportive advising structure, an active and involved student organization that sponsors scientific and social activities, and a multifaceted professional development program that further prepares them for a broad range of post-degree career options in academia, industry, teaching and other areas.

IBiS Program - Perspectives from former IBiS students