The summer school strengthened the BioPACIFIC MIP community and owing to its openness and virtual format, connected researchers in the biomaterials field from all across the US (21%, 4%, 7%, 5%, 55% from the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and West respectively) as well as a number of industry and international attendees. The 147 attendees included graduate students (71) and postdoctoral researchers (17), undergraduates (20), faculty (18), and high-school students (6), as well as industry researchers and academic staff.
Importance of the Achievement
This year’s summer school sought to introduce attendees to the BioPACIFIC MIP mission and resources through a program focused on:
- Automated high-throughput synthesis and characterization of bio-derived polymers
- Hierarchical computational tools and theory to enable flexible, inverse design
- Design-Build-Test-Learn (DBTL) experimental design to accelerate discovery of new high-performance materials
- Understanding the capabilities of the state-of-the-art equipment available at BioPACIFIC MIP
- Mentorship and networking
Post-event feedback on knowledge sharing was very positive: 26 people stated that they learned more about techniques relevant to their research, 40 people stated that they learned something new about trends in biomaterials research, 20 stated that they learned something they will apply in their own research in the future and 22 stated that they learned about research fields they would like to get involved in the future while attending the technical sessions of the summer school.
Unique Features of BioPACIFIC MIP that Enabled this Achievement
The interdisciplinary nature of BioPACIFIC MIP promoted biomaterials research from the perspectives of both Academia and Industry bridging the gap between laboratory scale research and high-throughput, automated experimental methodology that's more commonly found in industrial settings through it’s technical talks. The 28 presenters included prominent academics (e.g. Joshua Schrier - Fordham, Brad Olsen - MIT, Joseph DeSimone - Stanford) as well as specialists from companies like Chemspeed and Gyros Proteins. The attendees also had the opportunity to participate in several professional development events with industry and academic professionals, including Individual Development Plan construction, Design Thinking, and career panels with representatives from both large (BASF, 3M, Solvay) and small (Hexagon Bio, Mango Materials, Apeel Sciences) companies. The participants also engaged with BioPACIFIC MIP staff through office hours and learned about the facilities and instrument capabilities as well as the proposal submission process. Post-event feedback was very positive, with 31% of respondents stating they are excited to submit a scientific proposal, 34% stating they would like to get more involved with BioPACIFIC MIP, and 14% stating they would like to apply to be a BioPACIFIC MIP Fellow. All of the presentations were recorded and have been posted on the BioPACIFIC MIP website in support of the MIP’s Knowledge Sharing mission.