Raquell M. Holmes, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
Center for Computational Science

Boston University
3 Cummington St.
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-353-6266
e-mail: raquell@bu.edu






As a scientist, my current research and training interests focus on the utilization of publicly available simulation tools to understand biological systems at the cellular level. I am intrigued by questions that can be pursued using computational methods. As an educator, I work with researchers, educators and students to develop understandings and skills to use modeling, simulation and visualization tools. I also invite researchers to use improvisational theater to grow and creatively develop the cultural context in which we explore our scientific data, concepts and process.

Current Projects



improvScience.org, Creating Stages for Scientific Growth

improvScience.org has been founded as an organization dedicated to helping scientists build creative, risk-taking, and collaborative research environments. Through workshops, courses and seminars, improvScience brings cutting edge practices in innovation, creativity and leadership development to researchers, educators and students in science fields. From ice breakers to professional development trainings, people in groups of tens to hundreds are learning how to develop and stretch their social skills in scientific research and educational settings. Contact us to have your own event.

Improvisational Theatre for Computing Scientists

Improvisational Theater for Computing Scientists is a pilot project designed to evaluate use of the performance art of improvisation to develop the creative capacity of individuals and groups in science education and research in the emerging field of computational biology. Performers in improvisational theatre are explicitly trained to develop exploratory environments and their ability for experimentation and risk taking. Can training in improvisational theatre provide scientists and science students with the ability to generate new inquiry spaces for their research? See what educators and researchers said about this at the Performance, Science, and Science Education: Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research (CESTEMER) meeting. To receive updates on efforts in performance in science and science education, contact us.


Broader Engagement at Supercomputing (SC10, SC11 and beyond)

The SC Broader Engagement (BE) program is aimed at increasing the involvement of individuals from groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in the HPC field. The program offers Saturday-Monday Sessions that introduce trends and current applications of HPC and Computational Science, a Mentor/Protégé program that matches participants with self-identified mentors, a Student Job Fair and Communities- Exhibitor Scavenger Hunt. These SC activities are designed to stimulate interest across the HPC community. Competitive participation grants have been awarded that support travel to and participation in the SC Technical Program by members of underrepresented groups in HPC, such as African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, the physically challenged and women. The National Science Foundation via the CISE Broadening Participation in Computing directorate has invested in the evaluation of such programs in broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in computing. Contact us to provide opportunities to participants and to inquire about being a participant.

Virtual Cell

The Virtual Cell is a web accessible modeling framework designed for cell biologists to formally examine hypotheses about the spatial, temporal dynamics of cellular behaviors. We have added educational resources to the tutorials associated with this National Resources for Cell Analysis and Modeling, a center funded as NIH National Biomedical Research Resources. If you have courses or labs that you wish to add a modeling component to, contact Raquell and check out our resources

Computational Cell Biology: Teaching modules

Computational Cell Biology is the increasingly recognized area of research that uses computational approaches to address basic research questions regarding cellular processes. Often described as the intersection or synthesis of theory, mathematics and experiment, computational cell biology is in need of teaching materials that can be used by educators to introduce this emerging field to undergraduate biology students. Researchers are contributing to the development of teaching modules at Compcellbio.net maintained by the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling.

Integrating Computational Biology into Undergraduate Education

I have created introductory materials on modeling in cell biology for use in undergraduate biology courses or by individuals interested in learning more about modeling (http://ccb.raquell.us/ccb). This site is meant to serve as a resource for researchers and educators. Please let me know if you have requests or suggestions for the site.

Empowering Leadership Alliance: Computing Scholars of Tomorrow.

The Empowering Leadership Alliance, a national network of dedicated students, faculty, and staff, provides empowering experiences and two-way programs that aim to ensure the success of minority scholars in computing at majority institutions. It focuses on community building strategies and practices to create an inclusive professional network in which students and young faculty develop as leaders in the field of computing. The ELA efforts in New England resulted in the creation of the New England Undergraduate Computing Symposium (NEUCS.org). Focused on building community that is inclusive and enables students to see the breadth and diversity of computing and computing scientists. of computing scientists.


Advanced Computing in Cell Biology

Computational Biology Workshop (Canisius College)

Introduction to Improvisational Theatre for Scientists


A Cell Biologist's Guide to Modeling and Bioinformatics

This book was written to provide an easy to read text for novice users of bioinformatics and modeling tools. The chapters are designed to be implemented as a modeling or research project. Educators ask for your evaluation copy. Requests for clarifications and additions are appreciated. Contact your friendly author.

For a complete list of presentations and invited talks, please see my BioSketch or Events links.


Related groups and organizations:

Development School for Youth

BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

National Computational Science Institute
Performing The World
East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy