Biological & Biomedical Science

Dates: July 27 - August 9, 2018

The Biological & Biomedical Science (BBS) session of the Yale Young Global Scholars Program is designed for students who are fascinated by the life sciences, from the molecular level of protein interactions to the interdependence of life in different ecosystems. Students explore interdisciplinary scientific fields such as immunology, biochemistry, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and molecular biology. This session also challenges students to think critically about practical applications within the biological sciences that are designed to help improve our way of life. 

If you are intrigued by any of the following (or related) questions, you will probably be interested in the BBS session.

  • Why are certain drugs more effective than others? How are organisms such as bacteria or fungi able to resist antibiotics?
  • How much can we alter the DNA of living organisms? Can organisms be engineered to serve specific purposes?
  • How is urban pollution affecting our ecosystems?
  • What factors dictate the composition of the microbes in our digestive system, and how might these organisms affect our health?

Excerpt from YYGS: Sciences student blog:

“What shocked me most however, was the sheer magnitude of the scientific spectrum. Most of us are cultured into believing medicine is the end-all and be-all of science. YYGS showed us that on the contrary, there are so many exciting branches of science to be explored such as biotechnology, biomedicine, and biophysics. Our lectures were closely followed by discussion sessions which often gave rise to interesting and heated debates about the subject matter.” - Danai, Zimbabwe

Read more about BBS straight from the blog >>

BBS Programming Elements

The YYGS program emphasizes an open, exploratory, and collaborative approach to learning. The curriculum helps develop analytical thinking, intellectual flexibility, written and oral communication, and teamwork skills.

  • Lectures. YYGS features lectures by renowned Yale faculty and leading practitioners in their fields. Lectures are intended to expose students to a wide array of new ideas, perspectives, and exciting new research, as well as challenge them with first-year university level material. Past YYGS lectures have included:
    • “Listening is Not Hearing – A Review of the Honan/Duffy Musical Intervention to Improve Stethoscope Auscultation Skills” by Professor Thomas Duffy, Professor of Music; Clinical Professor at the School of Nursing
    • “Evolutionary biology, climate change, and the biodiversity of Antarctic fishes” by Professor Thomas Near, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    • “Planarians: masters of regulation and pluripotency” by Professor Josien van Wolfswinkel, Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  • Breakout sessions. Following the lectures, instructional staff lead smaller breakout sessions (typically 10-15 students) to further explore topics related to the content of the lectures. Breakout sessions give students a more individualized opportunity to delve deeply into the topic introduced by the lecturer. Undergraduate and graduate student instructional staff facilitate conversations on the day’s lecture, and students are expected to voice their opinions, formulate thoughtful questions and responses, debate varied perspectives, and consider possible follow-up experiments.
  • Seminars. Seminars are interdisciplinary standalone classes (typically 10-15 students each) that are designed and taught by undergraduate and graduate student instructional staff, with assigned readings made available to YYGS participants prior to their arrival at the program. Students give their preferences for seminars in advance, and are expected to come having closely read and analyzed the assigned material. Past seminars have included:
    • “Genetically Modified Earth: Does All-Natural Still Exist?” by Alexandria Moore, Graduate student in Forestry and Environmental Studies
    • “Antibiotic Resistance: The War on Bugs!” by Matthew Ellis, Graduate student in Cellular and Molecular Physiology
    • “More Isn’t Always a Blessing: Eutrophication and the Importance of Keeping our Waters Clean” by Elizabeth Olatunji in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  • Capstone. Over the course of the two-week program, students will also work in Capstone project groups (4-5 students each) to identify problems in a specific topic, conduct rigorous background research, and propose impactful solutions to their peers and instructors. Assignments are designed to develop critical thinking skills and encourage innovation, as well as emphasize teambuilding, analytical problem solving, and communication in a group of diverse peers. This project culminates in a group presentation at the end of the session.
  • Simulations. Simulations are modeled on real-world events and provide opportunities for students to work in small groups to respond to evolving challenges, gain experience in crisis simulation and response, and design potential solutions to these events. Students are assigned to roles within the simulation universe through which they actively participate in and shape the simulation outcome, thereby facilitating hands-on learning. The simulated challenges students face are designed to build leadership, teamwork, and analytical problem solving skills.
  • Research Showcase and Science & Engineering Tours. Researchers from across Yale University are invited to give short presentations on their research. This event is meant to give students rapid-fire exposure to different types of research taking place. Students will then be able to give preferences for a lab that they are interested in visiting during the Science & Engineering Tours.
  • YYGS Family Time. YYGS Family Time is a unique opportunity for students to meet and bond with a small group of 7-8 students, who are mentored by a YYGS instructional staff member throughout the two weeks. Families engage in icebreaker games, talk about the ups and downs of the program, and otherwise serve as surrogate “families.” YYGS Family time is an important building block of community at YYGS.
  • Speaker Series. If desired, students can audition to give a short talk on a topic of their choosing. Selected speakers will deliver their talks to a combined audience of students and instructional staff in both sessions. In this way, students have the opportunity to speak in front of an audience of almost 500 people and share their ideas and passions!
  • Talent Show. At the end of­ the session, YYGS hosts a talent show f­eaturing student participants. This is an excellent way ­for students to showcase their talents and cultural heritage.

Sample 2017 Schedule


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Looking for Yale’s doctoral program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)? Click here >