Support Bioengineering at Caltech
Your Gift Matters
Together we can accomplish what alone we cannot.
Breakthroughs in science and technology require community participation.
A corporate or individual gift to the Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center shows you support cutting-edge bioengineering research, training and education at Caltech. Through a variety of programs, the Rosen Bioengineering Center integrates the participation of students, faculty and staff across the Institute to drive bioengineering research forward. We also work closely with Caltech researchers to develop large-scale projects that leverage our interdisciplinary nature and the small, close-knit scientific community at our Institute.
Your gift will ensure the Rosen Center can be responsive when serendipitous strategic opportunities arise to fund promising research projects, hire and fund the strongest postdoctoral scientists, recruit the strongest graduate students from around the world, and develop educational programs and materials that enhance training for the future generations of bioengineers.
Here, we highlight only a few examples of the impacts your gift might have. With nearly 50 Caltech faculty members leading labs involved in bioengineering research, the impacts of your gift are truly innumerable.
Recipient of the Rosen Graduate Scholarship in 2014, Ahmad Omar is an exceptional young scientist who uses computer simulations to enhance theoretical knowledge of how the physical characteristics of polymers determine their fundamental behavior and their utility for biomedical applications. Ahmad is in the third year of his PhD program at Caltech, working with Dr. Zhen-Gang Wang. He and Dr. Wang are currently preparing a manuscript on this work. Ahmad was recently recognized by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute with the award of an HHMI Gilliam Fellowship.
One highly visible way The Rosen Center supports bioengineering research is through the Center’s Pilot Research Grants. These grants are awarded to pairs of faculty in support of a new collaborative project, with the goal of collecting preliminary data that will make the project more competitive for external funding. In the last year, the Center has awarded six of these Pilot Research Grants. Many of the projects will involve building and testing new tools that will enable researchers to tackle questions that cannot be answered with current technology. Several others will use novel imaging methods to gain deeper understanding of disease progression and biofilm formation at the molecular level. These grants enhance the reach of the Center by supporting not only the 12 faculty members involved, but also 6 graduate students and 2 postdoctoral scientists.
In addition to supporting individual students through graduate scholarships, the Rosen Center is a key participant in Caltech's Biotechnology Leadership Pre-doctoral Training Program (BLP). Partially funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the BLP brings together 23 faculty with a focus on advances in micro/nanomedicine. Eleven impressive Caltech graduate students participate as trainees in the program. The BLP takes a modern approach to produce world-class investigators who can perform high-risk/high-reward fundamental research and also apply what they learn to the solution of real-world problems. Entirely different from existing training programs at Caltech, the BLP offers an integrated experience, complementing research and coursework with workshops, company site visits and a 2-3 month full-time industry internship. This enriched approach will enhance our trainees ability to pursue a variety of fulfilling careers in biotechnology research.
The Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center and the Bowes Leadership Fund co-sponsored Caltech’s entry in the 2014 International Genetically Engineered Machine competition. Under the guidance of graduate students and a professor, the undergraduates spent a summer fully immersing themselves in the experimental and modeling processes of molecular biology. Along with 250 teams from around the world, the Caltech students presented their investigation—in which the theoretical application would aide diabetics in controlling their blood sugar—and received a bronze medal.
Caltech recognizes and puts a premium on training future leaders in bioengineering, helping them build strong foundations in research design and methods as well as developing their quantitative skills. Rosen Center support has been fundamental to the development of innovative educational programs at Caltech. Providing our graduate students with extensive practice in critical thinking broadens their possibilities for future careers beyond academia, whether they choose to move into industry or government positions, or even pursue entrepreneurial ventures.
With financial support from the Rosen Center, Bioengineering Lecturer Justin Bois (PhD) has developed two courses that have gotten rave reviews from students and faculty. First piloted in Fall 2014, Data Analysis in the Biological Sciences covers basic tools needed to analyze quantitative data in biological systems, both natural and engineered. Students analyze real data in class and in homework, learning and using modern computer programming tools in the process. Order of Magnitude Biology, first piloted in Winter 2015, encourages students to develop skills in the art of educated guesswork and apply them to the biological sciences. Building from a few key numbers in biology, students use hypotheses and inference to “size up” biological systems.
Rosen Center financial support was also critical in the completion of a unique textbook by Rob Phillips, who is the Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics and Biology at Caltech. Cell Biology by the Numbers uses question-driven vignettes and "back of the envelope" calculations to help students investigate some of the key numbers in cell biology. This engaging and conversational textbook has been recommended by readers as "... a fun and enlightening read that will have you thinking about cells in new ways as you begin to attach some concrete numbers to the conceptual ideas of traditional molecular biology."
In 2016, the Rosen Center will sponsor two symposia to celebrate Caltech’s role as a nexus for research that enables the formation of entirely new fields of study. These symposia attract attendees from all over the world who converge on the Institute to learn, network and enjoy our lovely campus. The interactions at symposia like these have led to innumerable successful and productive collaborations that were sparked during casual conversations. Your support will enable us to sponsor even more of these events in the future.
10 Years of DNA Origami - March 14-15, 2016
Caltech will host a 2-day symposium with over 14 invited speakers to mark the 10th anniversary of the publication of Paul Rothemund's DNA origami paper. The original paper has received over 2000 citations in the years since, many in Science and Nature. The symposium will highlight some of the most mind-blowing things that DNA origami has made possible.
Funding the Future
Postdoctoral scientists are our future faculty members, scientific colleagues and collaborators. At Caltech, these young scientists perform vital research and make recognized contributions to the scientific literature. Each year, Caltech postdoctoral scientists successfully compete for fellowships from a variety of federal and foundation sources. But there are not nearly enough funds from these sources to support all of the worthy postdoctoral scientists at the Institute.
To help Caltech demonstrate how much these young scientists are valued, we invite you to donate to the Rosen Center to create grants and fellowships that would support their specialized training at the Institute. A single award can only do so much, but pooled corporate or individual gifts from several donors would allow Caltech to create a cohort of bioengineering postdocs at the Institute and develop associated programs and training to advance their careers.
My company would like to support the Rosen Center and bioengineering at Caltech
Contact Kim Mayer, Executive Director of the Rosen Bioengineering Center
There are several ways for your company to support breakthrough bioengineering research, education and training at Caltech through a gift to the Rosen Center.
1) Give a gift to support postdoctoral fellowships, community engagement and innovative educational programs, including industry internships.
2) Offer paid internships to Caltech bioengineering graduate trainees.
3) Sponsor an event.
I am an individual
Your gift on behalf of the Rosen Bioengineering Center will benefit all types and levels of bioengineering work done at Caltech. Please indicate your intentions to support bioengineering at Caltech by specifying 'Rosen Center' in the 'other designation' box on the Caltech Giving Form linked below.
Caltech Giving Form
If you prefer to send a check, please make payable to Caltech and include a short memo or letter stating that you would like to specifically support the Rosen Center. Mail to:
California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91125
We invite you to explore our resources for donors. If you would like assistance planning your gift, please contact one of our Senior Directors of Development:
Ivan Shin, Division of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
Jessica Wright, Division of Biology & Biological Engineering