University of Houston

Dokuz Eylul University

Past Editions:

Biocomplexity 2014 Biocomplexity 2013

Biocomplexity 2012 Biocomplexity 2011

Biocomplexity 2010 Biocomplexity 2009

Biocomplexity 2008 Biocomplexity 2007

Biocomplexity 2005 Biocomplexity 2004

Biocomplexity 2003 Biocomplexity 2002

Biocomplexity 2001



Panel Discussions

The panel for the 14th International Summer School on Biocomplexity, Biodesign and Bioinnovation: Gene to System was held on June 21th. Summer school students and faculty discussed a variety of topics that ranged from aspects related to graduate studies in BME to the impact of the summer school itself to different career options and the process of securing job in academia and industry.

Student participants mentioned that they believe depth and breadth are both important concepts for biomedical engineers to keep in mind, and that many times departments have a lot of breadth but not very much depth. One reason graduate students chose to go to graduate school is to gain more depth in a particular subfield of biomedical engineering. They thought it is important for future BMEs to gain depth in a certain part of BME that is particularly exciting to them - maybe by adding on a minor or by taking classes in different departments. 

Dr. Brennan spoke about how BME is often cited as one of the fastest growing fields in the country, but companies often won't hire BMEs because they want "real" engineers. He suggested that we focus on the engineering side of BME a little bit more and try to develop a foundational engineering skill set so that we can market ourselves more as engineers and add the bio part on later. He also spoke about the concept of synergy, which is important for biomedical engineers because when we finish school and go on to have our careers we will often be working in teams of people and each person will be expected to bring their own particular skill set to the table. 

It was also emphasized that it is important to make sure that students find one thing they are really good at - that way when they get to graduate school or to a job, they have a solid and fully developed skill they can bring to the table. Additionally, it was mentioned how it's important to take advantage of any interdisciplinary classes or programs their school may offer in collaboration with the business school. 

Faculty participants also mentioned that being good at even just one thing can set a foundation for our self confidence as engineers. The discussion was concluded by emphasizing the importance of travel and told us to seek out opportunities to exchange ideas and learn about new cultures so that we can see our own problems from unique and fresh perspectives.