MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016 Activities by Sponsor - Biology

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Bioinformatics for Beginners 2016

Howard Silver, Biological Engineering Librarian

Jan/12 Tue 03:30PM-05:00PM 14N-132
Jan/15 Fri 10:30AM-12:00PM 14N-132

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/15
Limited to 30 participants
Attendance: Repeating event, particpants welcome at any session

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Entrez family of databases is the foundation of knowledge for molecular level bioscience research. Class attendees will learn about the organization and interconnectedness of NCBI databases while focusing on several specific databases. The session is a hands-on practicum and an excellent starting point for people who are new to or curious about bioinformatics research tools. This session is offered twice covering the same material; participants welcome at either session. 

Register:  Tuesday, January 12, 3:30 - 5 pm

Register:  Friday, January 15, 10:30 - 12 pm


Sponsor(s): Libraries, Biology
Contact: Howard Silver, 14S-134, 617 253-9319, HSILVER@MIT.EDU

Biotech Business Information for Engineers

Courtney Crummett, Biosciences Librarian

Jan/20 Wed 04:00PM-05:00PM 14N-132 (DIRC)

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

It's not brain's market research. This session will introduce scientists and engineers to business information resources that cover biotechnology industries and markets. We will use realistic examples and hands-on exercises with key resources to demonstrate how to match your ideas and discoveries with the opportunities and realities of the marketplace. Please register for this event.



Sponsor(s): Libraries, Biology
Contact: Courtney Crummett, 14S-134, 617 324-8290, CRUMMETT@MIT.EDU

Excelling at MIT and beyond: Developing a "Growth Mindset"

Lourdes Aleman, Research Scientist

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: None

Many students arrive at MIT riding on years of academic success and praise from teachers, parents, and colleagues. But what happens when you encounter uncertainty and failure? Have you been in a challenging class where you worry about how others will perceive you if don't sound "smart" enough? When you fail to achieve a specific goal, how do you manage and overcome discouragement and self-doubt? In this course, we will examine how our own notions of potential and ability can have a fundamental impact how we approach our work, how much we learn, and how successful we can be in achieving our goals. The course will focus on recent, evidence-based insights regarding human performance, neuroplastictiy, motivation and on how deliberately cultivating a "growth-mindset" can improve our willingness and ability to face challenges and to innovate, despite the risk of failure.

This course is limited to 20 students. Please send a brief description of who you are and why you would like to take this course to Lourdes Alemán at You will be notified via e-mail to confirm registration. Registration is opened until 1/8.

Sponsor(s): Office of Educational Innovation and Technology, Biology
Contact: Lourdes Aleman, 617 715-5348, LALEMAN@MIT.EDU

Part 1

Jan/12 Tue 10:00AM-12:00PM 8-205

How people learn, neurosplasticity, struggling and how it relates to learning.

Lourdes Aleman - Research Scientist

Part 2

Jan/15 Fri 10:00AM-12:00PM 8-205

The relationship between different types of mindset, learning and achievement. 

Lourdes Aleman - Research Scientist

Part 3

Jan/19 Tue 10:00AM-12:00PM 8-205

Learning to embrace challenges and learning from them: cultivating a growth mindset.

Lourdes Aleman - Research Scientist

Part 4

Jan/22 Fri 10:00AM-12:00PM 8-205

Using deliberate practice to improve learning and achievement.

Lourdes Aleman - Research Scientist

Get the most from your "omics" analysis: GeneGo MetaCore Software Training

Courtney Crummett, GeneGo Trainer

Jan/26 Tue 04:00PM-06:00PM 14N-132 (DIRC)

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/21
Limited to 30 participants

Attend this IAP session and learn how to use MetaCore, a bioinformatics software tool licensed by MIT Libraries. MetaCore provides a solution for using "omics" gene lists to generate and prioritize hypotheses for novel biomarkers, targets, and mechanisms of action. Learn how to work with different types of data such as genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and interaction data.  Use this tool to  upload, batch upload, store, share and check data properties and signal distribution; extract functional relevance by determining the most enriched processes across several ontologies; emphasize the role of expression data in your analysis; visually predict experimental results, associated disease and possible drug targets; and compare data sets and work with experiment intersections. A new feature, Key Pathway Advisor (KPA) which can be used to predict upstream regulators from differentially expressed genes and help identify key pathways that they participate in with be demoed.  Please register. Need a GeneGo Account? Email

Sponsor(s): Libraries, Biology
Contact: Courtney Crummett, 14S-M48, x4-8290,

The Doctor Is In: Medical Information at MIT Libraries

Courtney Crummett, Biosciences Librarian

Jan/22 Fri 11:00AM-12:00PM 14N-132 (DIRC)

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

We may not have a medical school, but the Libraries is full of medical information to support your research. Need to find an efficacy study on a drug or treatment protocol? Need to understand the physiology of the nervous systems? Need to better understand the screening and prevention of a particular disease or disorder? This hands-on workshop will demonstrate how our collections can help you find these answers. Registration required. 

Sponsor(s): Biology, Libraries
Contact: Courtney Crummett, 14S-134, 617 324-8290, CRUMMETT@MIT.EDU

The Next Step in Academic Science

Prof. Piyush Gupta, Assistant Professor of Biology, Member, Whitehead Institute

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

MIT Biology presents a selection of talks on the practice of science, naviagating academia, and balancing it all with a life outside the lab.

Sponsor(s): Biology
Contact: Piyush Gupta, WI-661C, 617-324-0086,

Post-doc positions in Academia & Industry

Jan/14 Thu 01:30PM-03:00PM 68-181

The next step after graduate school - a post doc. It's not as intimidating as you think. What should you look for in a lab? Can you switch fields?How do you send out the first letter? Come meet post docs from academia and industry, and learn about how to get a post doc position!

Zainab Jagani - Industry post doc, Jill Goldstein - Academic post doc, Sandhya Sanduja - Head of post doc association

The Path to Faculty

Jan/19 Tue 01:30PM-03:00PM 68-181

Are you planning to apply for an academic job?  Are you considering a more teaching oriented career? Find out about career options at primarily undergraduate institutions, where professors dedicate much of their time to teaching yet also manage their own research programs and mentor students. Learn about this from a panel of faculty members at teaching colleges.


Joanne C. Pratt - Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Caroline Goutte - Professor of Biology, Jason Pellettieri - Associate Professor of Biology, Vanja Klepac-Ceraj - Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Careers at Research Institutions

Jan/20 Wed 01:30PM-03:00PM 68-181

For those considering careers within academia, this panel will bring together speakers from a variety of research-oriented institutions.



Jeffrey Chuang - Associate Professor, Piyush Gupta - Assistant Professor of Biology, Megan C. King - Associate Professo of Cell Biology, Sallie Smith Schneider - DirectorBiospecimen Resource & Molecular Analysis Facility

Visualizing and Accessing Genomic Data Using Publically Available Genome Browsers and Databases

Charlie Whittaker, KI Bioinformatics and Computing Core Facility Researcher, Duan Ma, KI Bioinformatics and Computing Core Facility Researcher, Courtney Crummett, Biosciences Librarian

Jan/29 Fri 09:00AM-11:00AM 14N-132 (DIRC)

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required

There are extensive genomic data available in public databases and these data are readily accessible using resources such as the UCSC Genome Bioinformatics tools, cBioPortal and the Broad Institute’s Integrative Genomics Viewer (IGV). This hands-on session will demonstrate some common workflows that are possible with these applications including bulk sequence extraction, powerful queries and the sharing and visualization of large datasets. This session will be taught by Charlie Whittaker and Duan Ma of the KI Bioinformatics and Computing Core Facility

Eligibility: MIT researchers affiliated with the Koch Institute, the Biology Department, the Center for Environmental Health Sciences or the Department of Biological Engineering. Registration required

Sponsor(s): David H. Koch Inst. for Integrative Cancer Researc, Libraries, Biology
Contact: Courtney Crummett, 14S-134, 617 324-8290, CRUMMETT@MIT.EDU