|Labs Available for Independent Research
|Molecular genetics and genomics of circadian clocks and signaling pathways in fungi.
||Must commit to at least one year of research and must have at least a 3.2 GPA. Each student must have at least 12 hours of time to spend in the lab each week (this can include nights and weekends too). Students must present a summary of their work in our weekly lab meetings and present a poster at the Biology Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.
|We study evolutionary genetics and genomics. The lab uses both theoretical and empirical approaches to understand basic principles of evolution. We use beetles to study how traits like male weapons evolve, and we analyze genomes to learn how differences in sex chromosomes evolve.
||A commitment of at least 8 hours per week, usually in blocks of at least 2 hours. A science GPA of at least 3.2
Undergraduate majors in any of the biological sciences, chemistry, physics, computer science or mathematics are welcome to apply.
|We study the processes of speciation and hybridization in our lab. Currently many of our projects focus on seasonal migration in birds – how it contributes to speciation and is genetically controlled. There are many ways for undergraduates to become involved in our work, from analyzing data from birds tracked on migration to molecular and bioinformatics work. We can work together to identify the best project for each student.
||Preference is for sophomores and juniors with a background in Biology or a related field. We are looking for motivated students with the ability to work independently once trained. It is best if the student can commit at least 8 hours per week.
Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building
|Cellular and molecular approaches to regenerate the nervous system and restore neurological function after spinal cord injury
||Must be willing to commit at least 15 hours/week. Must have at least a 3.0 GPA
Students will have the opportunity to learn neural stem cell isolation and culture, histology and immunohistochemistry, fluorescence and confocal microscopy, image analysis, animal behavioral assessments, and/or animal surgical techniques. Animal work will require a commitment of at least 3 consecutive terms, due to the time required for training to proficiency. Students who generate data that is included in manuscripts will be given coauthorships.
|L. Rene Garcia
|Cellular, genetic and molecular regulation of neural-muscular circuit function involved in motivated behaviors of animals.
||Students must have an overall GPA greater than 3.4. Students are required to enroll into the Biology 491 class and must commit 15- 20 hours a week.
Research projects (biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, imaging, etc…) will be designed to fit the student’s interest. The more time a student can commit to the project, the more ambitious/interesting the project can be.
|How tissue size is regulated, wound healing, and diseases such as heart and kidney failure
||Besides my permission, students must commit to at least 12 hours/ week. Because some projects in the lab use human blood, students must have had hepatitis A and B vaccinations.
We use techniques from biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, and immunology; projects will be determined by a combination of what we’re doing and what the student is interested in.
|structure and biochemical organization of cells; membrane trafficking.
||Freshman, sophomores and upper classment are welcome. No prerequisites except willingness to plan and carry out work independently, once shown the techniques. You acquire understanding of the experimental system from weekly meetings and outside background or literature readings. After four credits, you may either produce a poster for the undergraduate research competition or submit an article for Exploratins, the undergraduate journal of research.
The lab has projects in biochemistry, genetics, and imaging. For one hour credit, you and perhaps a partner, will do a very narrowly-framed, but successfully thrice-repeated experiment, with an expectation that you spend three hours lab time preparing, doing and recording the experiment each week (weekends or evenings are OK once the techniques are mastered) As the number of hours increases, the time spent in the lab and the scope of the experiment increases proportionally.
|We study how biological clocks time daily cycles in gene expression, physiology and behavior.
||Must have completed BIOL 111 and 112 and CHEM 101/111 and 102/112 with a minimum grade of B, must have a GPA of 3.4 in science classes (i.e. Biology, Math, Statistics, Chemistry and Physics), must be classified as a sophomore or junior, and must be majoring in Biology, Biochemistry or Genetics.
Research projects will be determined by a combination of which graduate students and post-docs have projects that an undergraduate student can contribute to and the research interests of the student.
|Endocrinology of growth and reproduction in fish and reptiles, pituitary evolution, and the regulation of thyroid function
||Students should enroll in Biology 491 and expect to spend at least three hours working in the lab for each hour of enrolled credit.
Projects include care and feeding of fish, blood and tissue sampling, hormone analysis, and molecular biological techniques such as RNA extraction, gel electrophoresis, and PCR. Introductory chemistry, biochemistry, physiology or endocrinology, flexible hours, and a commitment for at least two semesters are preferred.
|U. J. McMahan
|Factors that regulate the function and development of synapses in the nervous system of various animal species, as revealed by high-resolution imaging, chemical characterization and experimental manipulation of specific synaptic macromolecules and organelles.
||Project will be tailored to student’s background and goals, but will it require 12-16hrs/week.
Undergraduate majors in any of the biological sciences, chemistry, physics, computer science or mathematics are welcome to apply.
|We study how biological rhythms (i.e., rhythms of 24hrs such as the sleep-wake cycle) are generated at the molecular level in the mouse. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms involved in rhythmic gene expression.
||Student should have taken biological science classes, and must commit to at least one-year minimum of lab work and be willing to devote 12-15 hours per week (but flexible hours).
Students must be willing to work with mice.
Students will be trained to perform genotyping and basic molecular techniques and then work on an independent research project.
|We study how biological clocks time the seasonal migratory behavior and physiology of monarch butterflies and seek to understand the underlying genetic basis using integrative approaches from genes to behavior.
||Motivated students classified as sophomore or junior, with solid background in biological science and chemistry and a GPA above 3.2 are encouraged to apply. Students are expected to make at least a 1-year commitment and work 15hr per week in the lab including evenings and weekends as needed.
Students will first learn monarch husbandry techniques and advance to molecular biology and/or behavior to study the role of the circadian clock in the seasonal migration of monarch butterflies. The projects will be tailored whenever possible to the interest of the students.
|We study the effect of stress on the cellular envelope of gram-negative bacteria using bacterial genetics and biochemistry.
||Sophomores and juniors with an interest in performing multiple semesters of research preferred. Students must have a GPA of greater than 3.2 and have taken introductory science classes. A time commitment of at least 8-10 hours per week in large blocks of time is required. A greater time commitment will broaden the scope of available projects.
|The lab uses super-resolution microscope to understand fundamental functions of bacterial cells, such as cell wall synthesis, cytoskeleton assembly, cell motility, development (fruiting body formation), etc.
||Sophomores and juniors with a GPA greater than 3.2, completed Microbiology and Molecular Biology, capable of molarity calculations, and willing to make a one-year commitment in research. Students are expected to commit 15-20 hours in the lab each week.
Students will learn basic microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, and possibly also protein chemistry techniques. Motivated and successful students will coauthor research papers. The lab is currently building a super-resolution PALM microscope, which will give students the opportunity to learn advanced imaging and biophysics techniques. Since this is a new lab, the PI will train students directly. Join the lab, and let’s grow along together!
Interdiscplinary Life Scienecs Building
|My group studies different independent, but interrelated, aspects of Clostridioides difficile pathogenesis, including how C. difficile spores interact with the intestinal mucosa to persist during the infection and cause recurrence of the disease; how the outermost-layer of C. difficile spores is assembled, which is relevant for interactions with the host; and we also focus on the development of therapeutics to fight C. difficile infections.
||Highly motivated and perseverant students at all levels are encouraged to apply. GPA greater than 3.2 is preferred, but not mandatory, depending on previous background. Preference for sophomores and juniors.
Students must be willing to devote at least 15-20 hr/week, work during evenings and weekends when required, for at least 1 year to achieve proficiency.
Projects will be designed on a student-basis. Depending on the project, students will learn techniques of general and molecular microbiology, molecular biology, cellular biology, confocal fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. Once trained, students will work on their independent project.
If data derived from their project is included in research articles published by the lab, students will also be included as coauthors.
|Ciliogenesis and Intraflagellar Transport in Chlamydomonas and C. elegans
||Preference is for students who can spend an average of at least 12 to 15 hours per week in the lab, and take two consecutive semesters of 491 research.
Students will first get training in general laboratory techniques. After essential skills are developed, students will select independent research projects.
|Through genetic analysis of zebrafish embryos, we study early development of the inner ear and other sensory organs of the head.
||Students should expect to spend 15-20 hours per week in the lab and be willing to work evenings and weekends as needed. I ask undergraduate students to commit to working at least 2 semesters.
|Evolutionary biology of sexual communication using swordtail fish as a model system.
||Interest in a career in basic scientific research. If you’re committed to going to professional school, you are probably better off in a biomedical laboratory. A minimum commitment of 9 hours per week for two semesters is required. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors only please.
Students will start by learning the basics of animal husbandry (fish care), behavioral trials, and molecular techniques; then, in the second or third semester of their stay in the lab, will work with graduate students and PI to develop an independent research project such as an Undergraduate Research Scholars thesis. Students will be exposed to a variety of behavioral, morphological and genetic techniques and will have the opportunity to participate in field research at the CICHAZ field station in central Mexico.
|Nuclear envelope structure and function with a focus on nuclear pore complex assembly and dynamics
||Students at all levels will be considered, but preference will be given to those who can work at least two semesters. In order to conduct meaningful research, students should plan to spend at least 10-12 hours a week in lab in approximately 2-4 hour blocks. Once trained, this could include evenings and weekends. Must have successfully completed the first semester of chemistry and be able to do basic molarity calculations.
Each student will gain experience in a variety of molecular, cell biological and genetic techniques while being responsible for carrying out an independent project on some aspect of nuclear pore complex assembly. It is expected that undergraduate researchers will become a fully integrated members of the lab.
|Regulation of eukaryotic gene expression focused primarily on post-transcriptional control; functional analyses of fungi at the genome level
|Early stages of Clostridium difficile pathogenesis. Mechanisms of bile acid resistance and spore germination
||Students must have taken some biological science and chemistry and are familiar with basic chemical calculations. Students are expected make at least a 1 year commitment and work 15 – 20 hours / week including evenings and weekends as needed. Students will interview prior to acceptance into the lab.
We are seeking highly motivated and independent sophomores and juniors to study mechanisms of C. difficile spore germination and bile acid resistance. Students will learn basic microbiological techniques (sterile technique, anaerobic culturing, gene cloning, PCR) and, after proper training, work on an independent project.
|Investigation of how metabolites are moved between compartments of a plant cell, the physiological roles of different types of plastids and determinants of leaf size.
||A commitment of 8-12 hours per week, usually in 3-4 hour
segments is required. Completion of Biol 213 strongly encouraged.Duties: Students carry out genetic crosses, harvest seed for
segregation analyses, conduct PCR-based genotyping, assist with
phenotypic screens of plant mutants, and participate in general lab
maintenance. Some students have also been involved in mutant screens,
gene cloning projects, enzymatic assays and generation of transgenic
|Developmental/Experimental Neuroscience using fruit fly (Drosophila) as the animal model.
a) How the central nervous (especially sensory-motor circuits) develops during embryogenesis.
b) How the central nervous (especially sensory-motor circuits) generates/controls locomotor behaviors.
|Freshman-Sophomore Level Students with GPA greater than 3.4
Willingness to devote 12-15 hours per week (but flexible hours) and commit at least one year of work in the lab.
Willingness to learn (or prior experience with) imaging techniques (confocal microscopy), immunohistochemistry, optogenetics, animal behavior, and coding skills in MATLAB and/or Python.
Students will be involved in cutting-edge research topics after taking the required training. Productive students will be offered authorship in research papers published by the lab.