Assistant Professor Rob Gegear studies how bumblebees make decisions as they forage, and explores the complex interconnections between bees and flowering plants. This is no small matter, as bees are vital to agriculture and to maintaining the Earth's ecological diversity.
The work of the Biology and Biotechnology Department at WPI goes far beyond the theoretical. Our faculty members and students are creative problem solvers who are passionate about using biological concepts in innovative, applicable ways. Ranging from cancer biology and infectious disease research to studies of brain plasticity and pollinator decline, student-driven research at WPI is making an impact.
Our state-of-the-art research facilities housed at the Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center support collaborations between students, faculty, and company researchers from across disciplines, enabling free exchanges of ideas that lead to important advances in healthcare, therapeutics, regenerative biology, the environment, and more.
Degrees & Certificates
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Beating Cancer at Its Own Game
Assistant professor Amity Manning is leading a three-year research projected funded by the National Institutes of Health to explore the molecular mechanisms associated with the genetic mutations and chromosome instability observed in all cancer cells.
The goal is to turn the genetic tables against cancer by learning more about the molecular basis of cancer cells' uncontrolled growth.
Meet Our Students
Sara traveled to the Albania Project Center to complete her IQP, working with three other students and local sponsor Eco-Albania to assess the economic value derived from exporting medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) to international markets. She and her teammates examined ways in which the harvesting techniques of these plants along the Vjosa River could be improved; they also considered the potential impacts of the impending dam construction and trade implications on the plants.
A PhD biotech student seeks to combine her love of working with animals and human healthcare to develop pharmaceuticals.
In the News
The Vineyard Gazette included WPI wildlife research in its article. “Marja Bakermans, a researcher at WPI who focuses on migratory songbirds, began a study last year where she outfitted whippoorwills with geolocator backpacks to track the exact spots where the birds winter,” the Gazette reported.
The French daily newspaper Le Monde published a lengthy feature on the use of Artemisia annua to treat malaria, focusing in large part on work by Pamela Weathers, associate professor of biology and biotechnology, who has been studying Artemisia for more than 25 years. (Note: the article is in French; right click on the page to translate.)
Facts and Figures
global project centers on six continents
student to faculty ratio
Faculty that best combine research and teaching
For 193 research awards