BoP Program

The BoP course combines lectures and extensive hands on training in the laboratory. Be prepared for a uniquely intense experience of breathing science day and night for 7 weeks. Each day of the BoP course starts with a lecture. Experts from around the world provide an introduction and then share their latest research (see below for an example of recent speaker lineup). The lecture format is informal and collegial, and students frequently ask numerous questions or bring up points for discussion throughout. Students have lunch with the speaker and most speakers are available for discussions with students in the lab for the remainder of the day.


Experimental work fills the rest of the day and often continues late into the night. The laboratory segment of the course is organized into one or two week modules. For each module the 16 students are split into two research teams working with the head of a laboratory and a senior student or postdoctoral fellow who serves as a teaching assistant. Module faculty and their assistants bring numerous experiments to the course that reflect the expertise and interest of their laboratory. The experiments have a strong element of discovery and push the envelope into new questions and approaches. With the generous support of many vendors BoP provides access to sophisticated research equipment. The MBL is in particular known for its marvelous advanced microscopy resources. The specific focus of the experimental modules is in constant flux. The 2014 BoP course featured modules focused on immune responses to malaria parasites and worm infections in mice (Engwerda and Zaph), the molecular biology of malaria sporozoites and anaerobic parasites (Sinnis and Tachezy), the vector biology of mosquitoes (Billker and Catteruccia), and the cell biology of Trypanosoma and Toxoplasma (Hill and van Dooren).