BBUGS History

Genesis

The original structure of the Bioengineering and Bioscience Unified Graduate Students (BBUGS) began as a Student Leadership Council (SLC) of a NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC). The ERC under which we began was the Georgia Tech and Emory Center for Living Tissues (GTEC) which is focused on tissue engineering research. In the last 15 years since GTEC was founded, biotechnology research has expanded exponentally on the Georgia Tech campus with five new buildings, three new degree programs, and a multitude of new researchers. For this reason, the SLC of GTEC decided to broaden their student group to encompass all students in the bioengineering and bioscience communities.  
 

The Transition

As most funding eventually does, GTEC’s NSF-funding ended in 2009. As a part of the transition of GTEC into a self-funded research center, the SLC was challenged with what to make of our future. Since a multitude of focused student organizations already existed, we decided we wanted to be more encompassing. Although never exclusionary, some students who were outside the feild of tissue engineering felt that GTEC events were either not relevent to them. Therefore, the GTEC SLC chose to keep some of the structure of the SLC but expand the scope to all biosciences and bioengineering feilds. We joined forces with the Petit Institute staff and the Public Policy Forum, and established collaborations with Emory's itm, Emory ASP, the BME Student Advisory Board, and the Emerging Leaders Network. Our vision was not to swallow other student organizations, but to befriend them and work together to bring all the graduate students together in a bigger network than currently existed.

 

Why BBUGS?

Not only did the acronym work, but because we are so diverse. We work in labs and buildings with people who came from different academic backgrounds and who are in a wide variety of degree programs. Computer scientists, pure biologists, and mechanical engineers work together toward a common goal but often use different tools and approaches. By ourselves we are akin to beetles, fireflies, and dragonflies, but collectively we are all bugs who want to survive and someday fly away. OK… we admit it’s a little cheesy, but no matter what we’re called, if we ban together we’re less likely to get squashed.
 

Our Future

Are you kidding? We can’t predict the future. But if we could, we would like to see BBUGS continue to grow into a big organization which exposes graduate students to all those elements of education that occur outside of formal classes and lab work. The future is bright (and fun) and you should learn how to get involved in BBUGS.

Stay Connected!

 
BBUGS is housed at the IBB

 

Who are the BBUGS?

Bioengineering and Biosciences Unified Graduate Students(BBUGS)

BBUGS is the largest, most diverse, graduate student group on the Georgia Tech campus. We are an interdisciplinary student group, comprised of 8 different departments, with our home in IBB.