UMass Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Institute for Cellular Engineering



Training the Next Generation of Innovative Thinkers

What do a chemical engineer, biochemist, and molecular biologist have in common?  At the University of Massachusetts Institute for Cellular Engineering (ICE), these faculty members represent a cross disciplinary team engineering plant cell culture synthesis of the anticancer agent Taxol®. This groundbreaking work exemplifies the migration of technological progress from isolationist discovery to interdisciplinary melting pot, and exposes the need for a paradigm shift in graduate education training. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has created the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program to bolster traditional, single discipline training with opportunity for technical, professional, collaborative and interpersonal skill development through interdisciplinary projects.  In support of this initiative, NSF has awarded the University of Massachusetts a $3 million grant to establish the ICE IGERT program for cellular engineering. The mission of the ICE IGERT program is to exploit the synergistic interface between engineering and the life sciences to enable novel graduate training in areas of cellular form, function, and processing. 

ICE IGERT Traineeships

Competitive, NSF-funded ICE IGERT traineeships have been awarded to U.S. citizens or permanent residents performing graduate cellular engineering research.   ICE IGERT trainees receive:

  • 30,000 annual stipends
  • Full tuition and fees
  • Financial support for the balance of time to degree

We are no longer accepting applications for ICE IGERT traineeships.


Once matriculated into an affiliated department or interdisciplinary graduate program, students may apply to the ICE IGERT program, participate in interdisciplinary curriculum, and earn a Graduate Certificate in Cellular Engineering. ICE training faculty are internationally renowned in the fields of systems biology, genomics, stem cell science, plant biotechnology, materials science, and protein engineering, with research emphasis that includes generation of artificial organs and tissues, biologic pharmaceuticals, targeted drug delivery systems, plant-derived fuels and processes to clean up contaminated wastewater and soils.  The ICE IGERT program yields a well-trained workforce that is poised to take a leadership role in cellular engineering in academia as well as the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and molecular diagnostics industries. For additional information, please review our brochure or contact us.

Program Membership and Student Training Grants: Apply Now!

University of Massachusetts
Institute for Cellular Engineering
686 North Pleasant Street
159 Goessmann Laboratory
Amherst, MA 01003