Tag Archives: biology

Summer Research Opportunity: REU at Mount Rainier National Park

Con­tact Name: Elli Theobald

Con­tact Email: ellij[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Biology


An NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates summer fellowship is available to study the impacts of climate change on plant communities in the Pacific Northwest. The undergraduate researcher will work in Dr. HilleRisLambers lab (University of Washington, Seattle), with field work conducted at Mt. Rainier National Park.

Broad research topics in the lab include the relationship between plant performance and climate, the determinants of range limits, plant-pollinator interactions as mediated by phenology, and the effects of climate and soil conditions on high elevation plants. The REU will contribute to this ongoing NSF funded research as well as execute in an independent research project on the roles of plant traits, pollinator visitation, and climate in determining the performance of several focal subalpine wildflowers.

A stipend of $2000/month will be provided, as well as travel, housing and food while in the field. Dates: mid-June to mid-September (some flexibility). To be eligible, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in a related field.

To apply, please 1) fill out an informational survey on the following website (https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/ellij/228811), where you will be asked several questions relating to your interest in and qualifications for this position and asked to list two references; and 2) send a CV/resume and unofficial transcript to ellij@uw.edu with the words “2014 Mt. Rainier REU position” in the subject line. For more information on research conducted in the lab, please see the following website:http://faculty.washington.edu/jhrl/Index.html and for more information related to the REU project see the website: https://sites.google.com/site/ellijtheobald/

Review of applications will start April 1st, and decisions will be made by early May.

Please email ellij@uw.edu with questions.



To be eligible, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in a related field.

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Research Opportunity: Regulation of Cell Migration in Zebrafish Embryos

Con­tact Name: Merrill Hille

Con­tact Email: mbhille[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Biology


The movement of cells in embryos is mediated by actin structures stimulated by cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Subsequently migration or cell polarization is
mediated by, for example, interaction of cadherins with p120ctn and the Rho GTPases.  We are studying molecules that define the pathways of cell migration and tissue migration in zebrafish embryos.

We are currently studying how phosphorylation of p120 catenin regulates whether it binds to cadherins and stimulates adhesion of cells or activators of the Rho GTPases Rac and Cdc42. These activities regulate the migration of presomitic mesoderm to form the somite muscles on the dorsal side of vertebrates.

Undergraduates in my lab are making cDNA mutants of p120 catenin by molecular biology techniques.  The cDNA clones are then used to make mRNAs that can be injected into zebrafish eggs to see their effects on early development.  p120 catenin is also being down regulated in the embryos by antisense morpholino RNA and their development potentially rescued by injection of the synthesized mRNAs.


Some basic understanding of cell biology. A strong interest in research. A schedule that allows you to spend about 2 days in the laboratory.  Some experiments are very long so a few hours each day is not sufficient.

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Research Opportunity: A path to independent cell and molecular research

Con­tact Name: Alex Paredez

Con­tact Email: aparedez[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Biology


There are four spots left in Bio402, my new laboratory course.  While Bio 355 is listed as a requirement, I am interested in recruiting a couple of sophomore students who could continue working on independent projects after the course.  If you are interested please send your unofficial transcript to aparedez[at]uw.edu.

New Laboratory Course – Biology 402 Functional Genomics

Since joining the Department in autumn 2012, Assistant Professor Alex Paredez has been crafting a lab course using Giardia lamblia where students will get the chance to perform authentic experiments.  The Paredez lab has identified a large list of proteins through their genomic and proteomic analysis of Giardia; students will focus on epitope tagging these proteins with the goal of facilitating protein localization. Although sub-cellular localization does not indicate function, this data has the potential to provide the first clues about what processes these proteins might participate in.  Ultimately, the students’ results will be uploaded to EupathDB, a public database that hosts Giardia’s genomic data, thereby sharing student’s findings with the larger cell biology community.  Biology 402, Spring Quarter (M 1:30-2:30 W,F 1:30-4:20).  Add code required.


3.5 GPA
Introductory Bio series

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Research Opportunity: Androgen mediated neuroprotection in song birds

Con­tact Name: Ralf Luche

Con­tact Email: rluche[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Psychology


The neuronal circuit that regulates birdsong during mating season also involves seasonal changes in the birdbrain that are dependent on testosterone and convey both neuroprotection and neurogenesis. Thus, the bird brain offers a unique model system to investigate these androgen dependent pathways with the ultimate goal to improve therapeutic intervention following traumatic brain injury.

Specifically, this project would involve cellular and molecular techniques for the detailed analysis and select disregulation of signaling components within these pathways. Interested students would be provided with relevant training in molecular and cellular biology techniques and depending on their level of commitment, may also be given the opportunity to develop their own project.


Dedicated undergraduate students at a sophomore or junior level with relevant coursework and the ability to devote 10 or more hours per week for at least one year to this project.  Previous experience working in a laboratory setting highly desirable.

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Research Opportunity: Dissecting the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms of neuronal death in mitochondrial disease

Con­tact Name: Albert Quintana

Con­tact Email: albertq[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Pediatrics/Seattle Children’s Research Institute


Every single cell in our body requires energy to survive. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. Accordingly, mutations in the mitochondrial machinery involved in energy generation lead to a group of progressive, untreatable and usually fatal pathologies affecting 1:500 births.

High-energy consuming organs, such as the brain are usually affected. However, there is a high degree of specificity in the type of neurons affected and it is not currently known what drives some neurons to survive (or to die) when faced with a mitochondrial mutation.

Our lab uses a mouse model of mitochondrial disease that recapitulates the human pathology. Our goal is to use different tools (mouse genetics, molecular biology, pharmacology, optogenetics) to identify the mechanisms driving neuronal fate in the context of mitochondrial disease. If we can identify the genes and factors altered in affected neurons, we could propose potential treatments for mitochondrial disease.

Interested students will participate in all aspects of research (from animal husbandry to performing the experiments), will expose and discuss their results and be active part of any potential publications.

This project could provide a great opportunity to gain experience in a research setting.


Basic knowledge in Neurobiology
Basic knowledge in Molecular Biology
Willingness to work with animal models (mice)
Willingness to commute to Seattle Children’s Research Institute (9th Ave and Stewart)
Prior lab experience is a plus
15-18 hours/week

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Research Opportunity: Genetic analysis of zebrafish nervous system development, damage and regeneration

Con­tact Name: David Raible

Con­tact Email: draible[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Biological Structure


We use the zebrafish system, molecular genetics, advanced microscopy and small molecule screening to uncover mechanisms underlying development, cell death and regeneration in the peripheral nervous system. Undergraduates would partner with a senior graduate student or postdoctoral fellow to carry out research with the opportunity to take on independent projects.


Background in Biological Sciences.
Minimum 3.0 GPA.
Schedule to dedicate 10-15 hours per week.

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Research Opportunity: How pollinator and pest sensory biology influences chemical trait evolution in flowering plants

Con­tact Name: Marie Clifford

Con­tact Email: cliffmar[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Biology


I am looking at how insect (pollinator: various bees and a moth, pest: a specialized butterfly) olfaction can drive the evolution of traits in flowering plants (Passiflora), particularly in the chemical profile of floral and leaf volatiles (scent), and how these chemical traits relate to morphological ones.

I am looking for an undergraduate volunteer who is willing to commit for at least 9 months in the lab for 6+ hours a week. They would work with another undergraduate and myself on plant maintenance, as well as a project to understand the volatile and morphological profiles of leaves in the Passiflora (the most diverse leaf morphology of any plant family!), and how this relates to herbivory by Heliconius butterflies. After a quarter, there is the possibility to develop an independent project related to this work and receive Biology 499 research credits.

A love of plants, insects, chemistry, evolution, and pollination is encouraged! Email cliffmar[at]uw.edu with a letter of intent, resume/CV, and unofficial transcript.


Introductory chemistry, Biol 180.

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NSF Summer Research Opportunity at University of Nevada – Las Vegas

The University of Nevada – Las Vegas (UNLV) REU Environmental Microbiology program is currently accepting applications. This NSF supported program provides students with an opportunity to perform independent research under the guidance of a faculty mentor.  Participants receive a $5,000 stipend ($500 per week), travel subsidy and complimentary housing in a UNLV dormitory.  Program dates are May 27 to Aug 1, 2014.

Browse through the program’s list of mentors and start the online application at: http://faculty.unlv.edu/microreu/.The application deadline is Friday, February 14, 2014. Note that a complete application includes a one-page career essay, transcripts and one letter of recommendation.

For additional information, contact kurt.regner[at]unlv.edu.

Research Opportunity: Mechanisms of Mitochondrial Longevity Mutants

Con­tact Name: Dr. Jafari

Con­tact Email: celltimer[at]gmail.com

Depart­ment: Pathology


I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Kaeberlein lab, http://kaeberleinlab.org/people/ali-jafari looking for an enthusiastic and hard working student who wants to expand his/her knowledge and gain laboratory experiences and enjoy finding answers to some biological questions.

This position is not a paid position, but you can receive credit and your contribution will be appreciated by mentioning in the authors section of to be published paper(s).

The project is on the role of the mitochondria in longevity and development. My team is dissecting the mechanisms by which mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) dysfunction result in slowing aging (longevity). In the first step, we are using EMS/ENU mutagenesis suppressor screen to detect the genetic pathways that are involved in the developmental delay in isp-1(qm150). Having success in the mutagenesis suppressor screen, we expand our knowledge in molecular mechanisms that regulate the isp-1(qm150) and other ETC mutants development and lifespan.

Research in the Kaeberlein Lab is focused on developing therapies for age-associated diseases by targeting the pathways that regulate aging. I use the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that is considered as one of the best studied invertebrate aging models. Our lab has a very happy, friendly, supportive, and productive atmosphere.

I have around 10 years experience in C. elegans field and I can teach my skills from basic nematode maintenance, making double or triple mutants, behavior analyses, immunostaining, to microscopy and molecular biology to you. In addition, I have done medicine and can relate the knowledge of invertebrate organisms to human.


At least six months experience of biological science laboratory work (not lab courses)
Or a student who has an award or scholarship ending this year or 2015 (regardless of previous lab experience)

To apply, see application requirements via this post­ing in the database.

Research Opportunity: Protein Therapy for Cardiac and Skeletal Muscle Disease

Con­tact Name: Wei-Ming Chien

Con­tact Email: chienw[at]uw.edu

Depart­ment: Cardiology


Our research goal is to develop novel protein-based therapies for cardiac and skeletal muscle disorders, to be tested in cell culture and live mouse models.  Students will work with a graduate student and post-doc in the lab to assist with experimental material preparation, particularly protein induction and purification.  Applicants should provide the following information in no more than a few sentences per question.

1) Contact information (name, email or phone):
2) Current Program of Study and Year:
3) Why are you interested in this position?
4) Past lab experience if any, describe briefly:
5) What do you hope to gain from working in the Chin Lab?
6) What are your hobbies?
7) Where do you hope to be in:
a. 5 years from now?
b. 10 years from now?
8) What are your strengths and weaknesses?
9) What is your availability in terms of time per week and duration of commitment?


The student should commit for at least one year.  Hours spent in lab can be registered for undergraduate research credit.  Previous coursework in Chemistry or Biochemistry or lab experience are preferred but not required.

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