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Cornell University


Sunday, August 28 - Saturday, September 03, 2016
International Summer School with Tokyo Tech

The Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences (ACLS*) International Summer School for Tokyo Institute of Technology invites Cornell University participant applications. This week-long program, now in its fifth year, allows graduate students and postdocs to develop their leadership and communication skills in the international arena.

APPLY by May 3. It is a competitive selection process for trainees interested in global leadership and effective cross-disciplinary problem solving. Questions can be directed to Cornell BEST Program Senior Director Varvayanis

See below & additional information regarding the schedule/proposed themes. Contact the BEST Program if you are interested in applying to the program. A small group (3-4) of Cornell BEST trainees will be selected to participate. Please note all expenses will be paid.

The purpose

-leadership education: giving students the chance to practice leadership and teamwork in an international setting, and to give students the opportunity to learn from world-class scientists, communicate directly with their peers (from across the country and the world) and role models in the field to help refine their vision of 'leaders'

-communication: giving students the opportunity to communicate with people of different scientific backgrounds and from different countries and cultures to broaden their perspectives of global leadership

The theme

-using science to solve global healthcare issues, as defined by the United Nations under their Sustainable Development Goals announced in Sept. 2015

The process

Working in groups across disciplines, universities and cultures, teams of graduate students create a research or business proposal to meet one of the above sustainable development goals. Along the way, there are lectures on topics such as career path and entrepreneurship as well as scientific themes. There will be site visits to the United Nations and various organizations within university and industry locations. In addition, a special collaboration meeting will take place with the NY Genome Center.


Invited speakers include: Jef. D. Boeke, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, New York University; Nadrian C. Seeman, Department of Chemistry, New York University; Leslie Vosshall, The Rockefeller University; Christopher Mason, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Weill Cornell Medicine; Scott Keeney, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Shuli C. Schwartz, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Cornell Tech; Richard Friesner, Department of Chemistry, Columbia University; Virginia Cornish, Department of Chemistry, Columbia University; Harris Wang, Department of Systems Biology, Columbia University

See the list of accepted Japanese participants APPLY by May 3

*About ACLS:

"The Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences (ACLS) ~ Training for Life & Health Innovation Leaders with Advanced Computer Science Skills" program focuses on training students to be distinguished life science specialists with an ability to utilize leading- edge information science technologies, or distinguished information science specialists with an ability to comprehend life science methodologies and concepts. We sincerely hope that our training programs will be the driving force for life & health science innovation in the 21st century.

We provide a unique education program to the students who passed selection: To those who major in life sciences, we provide fundamental knowledge and practice of information science, likewise to those who major in information science, we provide fundamental knowledge and practice of life sciences. In addition, we team up these two groups of students with different backgrounds to provide them iteratively with opportunities to tackle various issues by collaborating, learning and sharing knowledge in each other's area of expertise to accomplish their goals.

Now the various technologies are orchestrated towards improving our quality of life and the health and longevity of our society globally. Research fields such as drug development, food, chemistry, medical instruments and diagnosis line up with each other, and with information technology and fine- measurement technology combined, there emerges a new Research & Development trend, which may potentially give rise to a new market. This movement is not just a mere automation or introduction of IT into the life sciences but a drastic swell of innovation in the life science methodology, enabling new approaches such as inference procedures based on massive data analysis or deductive simulation of biological organisms and living cells as a system.

In Japan, however, no attempt has yet been made to foster human resources that could play an active role flexibly in multiple fields, because in the current education system, the fields of life science and information science are completely divided from the start of undergraduate education. There have been a few small multidisciplinary human resource projects so far, but what we need now in order to realize life & health innovation in our society is to produce leaders who can fully utilize information science technology in various fields of life science.

Therefore in this program we focus on training our students to become potential leaders who will play an active role in life & health innovation in the new generation. With our integrated learning environment, the Tokyo Institute of Technology provides doctoral students in multidisciplinary fields of life and information sciences with learning opportunities and experiences to cultivate the following three abilities, which have been scarce in conventional graduate school programs.

  1. The ability to comprehend both life science and computer science 
    -Training of Γ type specialists in Multidisciplinary education through fundamental and advanced subjects 
    -To train "Γ-type specialists" who have thorough knowledge of their area of expertise, before moving on to train "π type" specialists
  2. The ability to solve issues; identify problems, find their causes and make the right decision with regard to the solution 
    -Problem-solving group exercise with students from different fields 
    -Planning of the "International Summer School of Life & Health Science" by students themselves, working with foreign organizations 
    -Organizing the "International Life & Health Science Contest", counterpart in biology of "Robo-con", a robot contest
  3. Brush-up intercultural communication skills 
    -Intercultural communication classes by professional instructors 
    -All students in the doctoral course must do an internship at an international supporting organization 
    -Quality assurance by introducing outside qualification tests; setting mandates such as acquiring TOEIC score over 750 before finishing the doctoral course

In addition to supporting our students in tracing their future career paths, we provide a mandatory internship during the master's course and an industrial youth mentor program, introducing classes by top industrial researchers whom we invite as short-term lecturers.

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