Stanford launches interdisciplinary initiative in the biological sciences

s and engineers would be randomly located throughout the space to facilitate serendipitous encounters.

Although funding, plans and permits must be obtained before ground can be broken on the building, the first manifestation of the Bio-X program will appear next fall with the course "Frontiers in Interdisciplinary Biosciences." It will be taught every quarter and has been assigned the course number 459 in a number of departments from all three schools: Engineering, Medicine, and Humanities and Sciences.

The course will consist of three seminars per quarter, and lecturers will be internationally renowned researchers whose work is distinguished by interaction between the life sciences and other disciplines. What sets the new course apart is the fact that students will meet prior to each seminar for a one- to two-hour tutorial that will be designed to ?level the playing field? among students from different disciplines.

"This turns the seminars into real teaching tools, and will show the students that Bio-X is a serious enterprise," says Robertson.

"The success of Bio-X must come from the faculty and it has to stay with the faculty," adds William Mobley, the John E. Cahill Family Professor and chair of neurology, and a member of the Bio-X executive committee.

"In biology, to make something go faster, you have to raise the concentration of one of the reagents. In Bio-X, we are raising the concentration of all the reagents, so the program is biologically defensible!"


Contact: David F. Salisbury
Stanford University

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