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Biomedical Informatics and Behavioral Sciences (BIBS) Summer Research Program

Program Overview

Big data is coming to healthcare, and you can be one of the first to understand and apply it. Most oral health education programs provide limited training in health informatics. The Biomedical Informatics and Behavioral Sciences (BIBS) Summer Research Program is a paid opportunity to put yourself ahead of the curve. During this 9-week, dental-focused program, you will become proficient in biostatistics, biomedical informatics, and behavioral sciences. You will gain skills via a structured introduction to data analytics, which will become increasingly critical to understanding oral healthcare in the decades ahead. You will also be paired with a mentor to complete a hands-on research project that a classroom experience alone doesn’t offer, and you will be able to shape and define the future of dental public health.

If you are an undergraduate or graduate student interested in working with data and analytics, this program is for you!

We see an especially strong potential for applicants from historically underserved populations, who can apply their lived experiences and unique perspectives, such as where they grew up and their community views of healthcare, to real-life research projects.

The BIBS Summer Research Program is supported by a grant from the National Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Award No. 1R25LM014219-01).

Learning Objectives

Application Open: January 8, 2024
Application Deadline: February 26, 2024, 5:00 p.m.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be able to:

  • build a supportive relationship with a research mentor
  • set goals for professional growth and learning
  • understand the basic concepts and principles of statistical learning
  • use R to implement statistical learning methods for clustering, classification, etc.
  • use R to perform statistical analysis, such as hypothesis testing and regression
  • use R to visualize and summarize multivariate datasets
  • interpret data from both statistical and biological perspectives
  • present research findings to an academic audience.

The Biomedical Informatics and Behavioral Sciences (BIBS) Summer Research Program is a 9-week program for undergraduate and graduate-level students interested in biomedical informatics, data science, public health, and dental public health. BIBS aims to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue academic careers and higher studies, which will address the critical need for increasing diversity among dental health researchers.

The BIBS Summer Research Program will provide ample opportunities for undergraduate and graduate-level students to learn state-of-the-art techniques in biomedical and clinical research.

Every student will have access to weekly lab sessions, including programming in R, statistical modeling and inference, and in-depth lectures covering the application of statistics in biomedical informatics. Biweekly seminars/journal club and an end-of-summer project presentation will help students gain insight into high-quality research in dental public health. Additionally, this summer experience will help students consider careers in oral health research because each student will be paired with a mentor to collaborate on a focused research project relevant to oral and public health.

Program Dates and Deadlines:

  • Application Open: January 8, 2024
  • Application Deadline: February 26, 2024, 5:00 p.m.
  • In-Person Orientation: June 3, 2024
  • First Day of Program: June 3, 2024
  • BIBS Summer Research Conference: August 2, 2024
  • Last Day of Program: August 2, 2024

Too few health professionals are engaged in oral health and dental services research. Insufficient diversity in their ranks hampers the study of oral health disparities. To fill these twin gaps, the BIBS Summer Research Program seeks talented students including those historically underrepresented in science and health professions.

The BIBS Summer Research Program does not require that applicants have specific majors. Students majoring in a variety of subjects including Communications, Public Health and Social Services, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Social Sciences may apply.


Applicants must:

  • Demonstrate an interest in oral health research and a research career post-graduation.
  • Be in good academic standing.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Relocate to the Dallas, Texas area for the 9-week program if non-local. Please note that the Dallas Campus does not have dormitories. Housing is the responsibility of the participant.
  • Either:
    • Have completed at least one academic year of undergraduate education at an accredited school or university (with completion of at least two academic years preferred), or
    • Be enrolled as a graduate student in an accredited school or university or an accredited post-baccalaureate program.
  • Applicants who have been suspended form an institution for criminal conduct, or who have been involved in one of these situations, will not be allowed to enroll in the program, per TAMU policy. 


  • Program Attendance (in-person, 40 hours/week for 9-weeks)
  • Participation/Engagement in Program Activities
  • Individual Learning Plan
  • Coursework and a Research Project
  • Weekly Activities
  • Abstract/Poster Presentation

Financial support is based on whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student and whether you live in the Dallas area. Undergraduates will receive $5,502 for the summer or can expect to receive $15/hour via monthly stipends. Graduate students will receive $6,500 for the summer or can expect to receive $18/hour via monthly stipends.

In addition, non-local participants can expect to be reimbursed for one domestic roundtrip flight to the BIBS program site and receive subsistence support to be used for housing costs. Please note that the Dallas Campus does not have dormitories. Housing is the responsibility of the participant.

Moumita Karmaker, PhD

Dr. Karmaker is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M University. She is also a Research Associate at the Data Science Facility Core at The Texas A&M Center for Environmental Health Research (TiCER) under the supervision of Prof. Raymond J. Carroll. Her research interests involve analyzing high-throughput genomic datasets for statistical patterns and developing statistical methodologies for toxicological problems. She also has a keen interest in interdisciplinary research on developing design strategies and analyzing multiregional clinical trials with multiple references. She has previously worked on developing a methodology for sufficient dimension reduction and variable selection.

Diana Keosayian, EdD

Dr. Keosayian is the Associate Director of Institutional Effectiveness at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She has also served as an adjunct professor, curriculum writer, and academic assessment specialist. Her achievements include the delivery of faculty development to dental educators, management of the use of educational testing instruments, an analysis of academic program information and statistics to formulate plans for improving existing programs.

Yang Ni, PhD

Dr. Ni is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics at Texas A&M University. He is also a Research Affiliate at the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS) and Co-Director of the Center for Statistical Bioinformatics. He enjoys working on problems at the intersection of statistics, artificial intelligence, philosophy, biology, and health.

Raghad Obeidat, DDS, MPH

Dr. Obeidat is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Public Health Sciences at Texas A&M University School of Dentistry. She also is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. Dr. Obeidat is a graduate of the Texas A&M University School of Dentistry’s Dental Public Health Residency Program. She has mentored several dental public health research trainees and provided statistical analysis and presentation skills training.

Josefine Ortiz Wolfe, PhD, RDH

Dr. Ortiz Wolfe is a skilled public health faculty member and researcher within the College of Graduate Health Studies at A.T. Still University, whose research interests include the impact of social and structural determinants of health on oral health equity, cultural humanity in education and training, care coordination in community health centers, and health systems research. Dr. Ortiz Wolfe will serve as a mentor and guide students using the Texas Health Care Information Collection Center for Health Statistics 2010-2015 inpatient and emergency department dataset.

Peggy Timothé, DDS, MPH

Dr. Timothé is board certified in the specialty of Dental Public Health and has extensive experience in academic and clinical dentistry, health policy, and research. Her expertise includes curriculum development and improving dental care delivery models. Dr. Timothé’s research interests include promoting diversity in dentistry and examining social determinants of health.

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is among the nation’s best public universities and is a top research institution. The U.S. Department of Education designated TAMU as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2022. The TAMU School of Dentistry, located in Dallas, Texas, is in the heart of Deep Ellum, the city’s arts and entertainment district. Dallas has everything you need: history, sports, delicious food, and entertainment. On the weekends, Deep Ellum teems with live music and other entertainment. Other nearby attractions include the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, Dallas Arboretum, and White Rock Lake Park.

Q: What is Biomedical Informatics, and why does it matter?

A: Big data is a fact of our modern lives. Everywhere you turn, data analysts present statistics and information about health outcomes and how society should respond. Currently, there are limited oral health studies and population-level answers to this nation’s immense problem of disparities in oral health. Minority populations suffer disproportionately from dental diseases, for reasons that are not always well understood, and it is our premise that a lack of diversity among oral health researchers contributes to this problem. The BIBS Summer Research Program aims to narrow this gap by educating the next generation of oral health research scientists.

Q: What are Behavioral Sciences, and why do they matter?

A: Behavioral Sciences are a group of sciences focused on understanding human behavior and health through rigorous studies. As our population in the U.S. ages, increases and diversifies, Oral Health Sciences needs to improve health communication, workforce equity, and patient trust to improve community oral health. The BIBS Summer Research Program seeks to expand the ranks of dental professionals who understand the link between oral health and behavioral sciences.

Q: What will a typical week look like?

A: The first six weeks will consist of coursework and activities in biomedical informatics and behavioral sciences, in which students will learn programming, statistics, tools for analyzing large data sets, and codes specific to dental procedures and dental public health. Each student will be paired with a mentor at the start of the summer. Together, they will develop a tailored mentorship plan and conduct a research project. At the end of the summer, students will present their projects and results at the "BIBS Summer Research Conference."

Q: Will there be professional networking opportunities?

A: Absolutely. The program is designed to provide multiple mentoring opportunities. In addition, there are plans for BIBS Summer Research Program students to attend a statewide public health conference.

For more information, contact the Program Coordinator at