Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
MIT has been named one of the top 25 environmentally responsible schools in the Kaplan College Guide 2009, which was released Aug. 5 and for the first time ranked institutions based on green initiatives.
The Institute takes a dual approach to being green, by putting energy-efficient principles to work throughout campus buildings and by training tomorrow's leaders to tackle energy and environmental issues. All of the Institute's five schools host classes related to solving energy problems and addressing environmental challenges.
Ernest Moniz, director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), noted how students have played a major role in making the campus more energy efficient.
"We are excited about this acknowledgement of the hard work of the students and MIT administration on improving the sustainability of the campus," Moniz said. "Through the Energy Initiative's 'Walk the Talk' program, students have engaged in projects across the campus to conserve energy, use energy more efficiently, inventory carbon emissions, and develop renewable alternatives for campus energy use. Their work is paying dividends in many important ways and is an investment in our energy future."
Several ongoing projects, with the help of $500,000 in Institute seed funding, are specifically helping MIT to walk the talk on energy conservation. Pilot projects include retrofitting light bulbs and fixtures, adding and adjusting motion sensors, monitoring buildings to gauge energy use and automating fume hood controls.
"MIT has put its unique stamp on campus energy initiatives," said Executive Vice President Theresa M. Stone, co-chair of the MITEI Campus Energy Task Force. "Faculty, students and staff, including a broad group of MIT Facilities managers, have collaborated to test and implement programs for improvement in energy efficiency on campus."
Stone said implementation of other projects this year would increase energy efficiency across campus even more.
"We expect to gain even greater traction in demonstrating ways to address the energy challenge on our intensely research-focused campus," Stone said.
The Kaplan College Guide also highlights 10 top "green careers," including environmental design, engineering and science, solar energy engineering, and transportation systems planning. MIT offers courses or conducts research related to seven of the 10 top green careers.
"MIT is an ideal place for people who want to make a difference in energy and the environment to come to develop the skills they need," said Amanda Graham, director of the MITEI Education Office. "Students gain not only conceptual knowledge but also experience in applying it -- in the lab, on campus and in the field."