BERKELEY CONNECT IN
The Berkeley Connect program opens up the extraordinary resources of the University to you: the extraordinary students on our campus. By joining, you will become part of a community of like-minded faculty, mentors, and students that will provide a supportive environment in which to exchange and discuss ideas and goals. Berkeley Connect will help you make the most of your time at the University as you learn more about the emerging field of Computational Biology. We are excited to get to know you.
The future of biological innovation will be created by a new generation of biologists who are as comfortable with computational and statistical analysis as they are with laboratory work. Berkeley Connect in Computational Biology is a mentoring program that accepts students from the biological or mathematical/computational sciences with a serious interest in computational biology.
Students joining the program will:
- Become part of a community of active and engaged students with a serious interest in both computation and biology.
- Become exposed to research, and get to meet researchers, in computational biology.
- Receive mentoring and advice in how to structure an educational program combining computation and biology at UC Berkeley.
- Get the opportunity to participate in special events and to join field trips to companies in the Bay Area that employ computational biologists.
Faculty Director, Berkeley Connect in Computational Biology
Berkeley Connect links undergraduate students with experienced mentors in Computational Biology. These mentors lead small groups (not more than 20) students in regular meetings; they also meet with students one-on-one to provide guidance and advice. The core of the Berkeley Connect program is a one-credit, pass-fail course that is designed to create a community of students with similar intellectual interests.There is no homework associated with Berkeley Connect: no exams, no papers, no quizzes. Instead, small group meetings focus on sharing ideas and learning new skills related to Computational Biology as a way to foster friendships and provide a supportive intellectual community for Berkeley undergraduates.There is not currently an undergraduate degree program in Computational Biology at UC Berkeley. Berkeley Connect in Computational Biology is designed for students with an intended or declared major in the biological or mathematical/computational sciences who have a serious interest in the interdisciplinary field of computational biology.
Every semester, Berkeley Connect sponsors a wide range of activities and events for participating students. They include:
- small-group meetings led by your mentor;
- one-on-one meetings with your mentor;
- special events, including informal lectures by professors and guest speakers, and panels on career options, graduate school admissions, and other topics;
- and visits to Berkeley resources.
At the heart of Berkeley Connect is the relationship between you and your mentor. The Berkeley Connect mentors are advanced graduate students or recent PhDs in Computational Biology, who are chosen both for their demonstrated commitment to undergraduates and for their scholarly achievement. They are dedicated to providing the kind of close-knit community and one-on-one attention that can be hard to find at a large university.
When you sign up for Berkeley Connect, you will join one of the small groups of participants in Computational Biology. Your small group will be led by your mentor, and will meet every other week during the semester for an hour-long dinner discussion sessions. Discussions will focus on key intellectual issues within Social Welfare as well as key skills you need to succeed in the major. Above all, the small groups will focus on building connections among students, so that each group becomes a supportive community for all participants.
You will also meet with your mentor one-on-one at least twice during the semester, once to get acquainted, and a second time just before Tele-Bears, to discuss your plans for completing your major. Your mentor also has office hours every other week, during which you are free to show up and ask questions, talk over your day or your week, discuss what you are learning in class, or just have an informal conversation.
Nicholas Ingolia is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell biology and a core member of the Center for Computational Biology at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the regulation of translation in order to understand how and why some mRNAs are translated better than others and some mRNAs show marked shifts in translation under different conditions. His lab develops and applies global and high-throughput experimental approaches to understand translational regulation and relies heavily on computational and statistical analysis of data from these experiments. Most notably, he developed the ribosome profiling technique for profiling translation by deep sequencing, and his lab continues to refine this methodology as well as applying it to a broad range of questions, ranging from the basic molecular mechanisms underlying translational control through its impact on human health and disease. You can learn more about the Ingolia lab here.
Liana Lareau is an assistant professor of Bioengineering and a member of the Center for Computational Biology. She is fascinated by how the information stored in genomes controls the complexity of all life. Her research combines high-throughput experiments with computational methods to understand how gene expression is controlled, and particularly how post-transcriptional mRNA processing determines the final output of the genome.
Maya Lemmon-Kishi is a PhD candidate in Computational Biology.
Where did you grow up?
Osaka, Japan and West Chester, PA
Where did you go to college and what was your major?
University of Pittsburgh, Computer Science
How would you describe your research in a sentence or two?
Broadly speaking, I am interested in integrating ecological methods with population genetics to understand how species respond to environmental changes. Currently I am working on developing methods for population genetic analyses of environmental DNA.
During a semester in Berkeley Connect in Computational Biology, you will participate in one-on-one conversations with your mentor, small-group discussions, special events and field trips.
Recent discussion topics have included:
- What is computational biology?
- How to get involved in research as an undergrad
- The genome revolution and sequencing technologies
- Computational biology, biodiversity, and climate change
Berkeley Connect discussion sessions are informal and interactive, with time allowed for students to check in, talk about their experiences on campus, and reflect on current events that create the context for their academic studies.
Recent special events and field trips have included:
- Faculty Talk: The Future of Computational Biology
- Alumni Panel: Exploring Career Paths in Computational Biology
- Graduate Student Panel
To sign up, enroll in a Berkeley Connect section when course registration opens. To participate in Berkeley Connect in Computational Biology, you enroll in a section of Computational Biology 98BC (primarily for freshmen and sophomores) or 198BC (primarily for juniors and seniors). Both are offered for one unit, taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis. Participation is NOT restricted by major.
You may enroll in Berkeley Connect more than once (some students choose to participate for a full year by enrolling in both the fall and spring semesters), and you may enroll through more than one department. You may NOT enroll in more than two sections of Berkeley Connect in one semester, or enroll in more than one section in the same department in the same semester.
Please see our FAQs. If you have additional questions about Berkeley Connect in Computational Biology, please contact:
Xuan Quach, Administrative Director, Center for Computational Biology, email@example.com
You can also contact the central Berkeley Connect office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510)664-4182.