Center for Biomedical Research

Hannah Hall of Science, Room 166
244 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4451
(location map)
(248) 370-4871
Fax (248) 370-3408

Brad Roth, Director
roth@oakland.edu

Summer Research Program in Biological Sciences and Chemistry

The Summer Research Program is a unique opportunity to conduct independent research projects in biological sciences or chemistry that will expose students to the techniques and processes of research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. A major goal of the program is to encourage talented undergraduate students to consider graduate study in biological sciences and chemistry.

GUIDELINES

• The Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry are currently accepting applications for placement into the following summer research opportunities for biological sciences, biochemistry, environmental and chemistry students. Students must be registered at Oakland University at least part time (6 credits) in the current winter semester and at least part time (6 credits) in the following fall semester to be eligible for the program.

• The Summer Research Program is a paid 12 1/2-week program May 2 - July 27, 2018

• Students will work in a laboratory setting one-on-one with a scientist on an available project and are expected to work 35hrs/week for the duration of the program.

• All students will participate in a symposium and will make a short presentation based upon their research project.

• Oakland University Students are also encouraged to continue with their research project during the academic year by enrolling in BIO 490, BCM 490, or CHM 490.

FELLOWSHIPS

College of Arts and Science Summer Research Fellowships
Oakland University undergraduates majoring in biological science, environmental sciences, chemistry or biochemistry who have completed their freshman year by the end of winter 2018 through seniors graduating at the end of Fall 2018 are eligible to apply. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in science courses taken at OU is required for participation in the program. An interview may be requested.

Department of Biological Sciences Summer Research Fellowships
Oakland University undergraduates majoring in biology who have completed their freshman year by the end of winter 2018 through seniors graduating at the end of Fall 2018 are eligible to apply. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in science courses taken at OU is required for participation in the program. An interview may be requested.

Department of Chemistry Summer Research Fellowships
Oakland University undergraduates majoring in environmental sciences, chemistry or biochemistry who have completed their freshman year by the end of winter 2018 through seniors graduating at the end of Fall 2018 are eligible to apply. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in science courses taken at OU is required for participation in the program. An interview may be requested.

Dershwitz Summer Research Fellowship
Oakland University undergraduates majoring in chemistry or biochemistry who have completed their sophomore year by the end of winter 2018 through seniors graduating at the end of Fall 2018 are eligible to apply. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 during the previous four semesters of study is required for participation in the program. An interview may be requested.

Oakland University Summer Research Fellowships
Oakland University undergraduates majoring in biological sciences, environmental sciences, chemistry or biochemistry who have completed their freshman year by the end of winter 2018 through seniors graduating at the end of Fall 2018 are eligible to apply. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 in science courses taken at OU is required for participation in the program. An interview may be requested.

Application materials should include:

  1. A completed application (available in electronic format here)
  2. A brief resume
  3. A letter of recommendation (only one) from someone who can attest to your scientific interest and aptitude.  Letters of recommendation can be sent directly from the source to ugr@oakland.edu    Letters of recommendation will not be accepted if submitted by the applicant.
  4. Unofficial transcripts from SAIL of all courses taken (including transcripts of courses not taken at OU). Please save transcripts as .doc(x), .pdf, or .jpeg. (saved as one file)

Deadline: April 2, 2018           Notification of Acceptance: April 13, 2018

All completed applications must be submitted via email to ugr@oakland.edu

Any questions can be submitted via email to ugr@oakland.edu 

For more information about the Department of Biological Sciences, please click here.

For more information about the Department of Chemistry, please click here.


Faculty Mentors from Biological Sciences:

Faculty Name

Research Areas

Fabia Battistuzzi

 

 

Dr. Battistuzzi runs a a fully computational, dry lab with a focus on the evolution of microbes (prokaryotes and eukaryotes). One of the main projects in the lab is to use molecular clocks to understand the early evolution of life. This project provides students with an opportunity to learn basic programming skills, a number of different phylogenetic software, and data analysis/interpretation strategies. The primary question that this project aims to answer is how life co-evolved with our planet Earth during its earliest stages. Prior computational biology experience is not required but a propensity for working with computers is strongly encouraged.

Arik Dvir

Dr. Dvir is a biochemist by training with many years of experience studying enzymes and proteins using advanced methods for isolation and characterization of the cell’s macromolecules. His research interests include: Development of biomedical devices and biosensors. Methods for rapid determination of antimicrobial susceptibility in bacteria; Metabolic pathways of detoxification in microorganisms

Chhabi Govind

 

The student will be involved in studying transcriptional regulation in S. cerevisiae. The research focus of my lab is to understand how does RNA polymerase II, responsible for transcription of all protein-coding genes, counteracts the barrier imposed by nucleosomes. Our published work indicates that a combination of factors (ATP-dependent chromatin remodelers, histone modifying complexes and histone chaperones) work together to dynamically disassemble nucleosome from the path of elongating Pol II, and reassemble in its wake.

Thomas Raffel

 

Dr. Raffel's lab studies the ecology of infectious diseases using a combination of laboratory experiments, field surveys, and theoretical models. Currently his group is developing and testing new metabolic-theory based mathematical models to describe temperature-dependence of chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease of responsible for hundreds of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Undergraduate researchers will help to design, implement, and analyze controlled-temperature experiments with live animals, and will learn basic laboratory techniques including culturing microbes, measuring respiration, and running qPCR.

Mi Hye Song

Dr. Song’s lab is interested in understanding molecular and genetic mechanisms of centrosome assembly; Mitotic spindle assembly and function; Cell cycle regulation using the nematode C. elegans. Our research will contribute to further our knowledge of human diseases including cancer, microcephaly and neurodegenerative disorder. We use a combination of advanced techniques such as CRISPR/CAS-9, RNA-seq, RNAi, and high-resolution confocal imaging.

Luis Villa-Diaz

 

The Villa-Diaz lab focus in investigating the role of integrin alpha6 in stem cells. Integrin alhpa6 is a transmembrane receptor, that we have identified as the only common protein translated in all stem cell populations, from pluripotent stem cells to cancer stem cells. In our laboratory we use human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to generate other stem cell populations such as neuronal stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells and cardiac stem cells, to investigate the role(s) that integrin alpha 6 plays on their development, self-renewal, connection with their stem cell niche, and differentiation.

Randal Westrick

Pathologic blood clotting (thrombosis) causes heart attacks, strokes and venous thromboembolism and is the leading cause of death in the USA. While the risk of developing thrombosis is 60% heritable, only a few of the responsible genes have been identified and characterized. Our laboratory is using whole genome mutagenesis screens to identify the genes involved in thrombosis. We are using genetic, genomic, cellular and molecular approaches to characterize the roles of several molecules, including actin related protein 2 (ARP2), plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, factor V and tissue factor pathway inhibitor for our studies.

 

Faculty Mentors from Chemistry:

Faculty Name

Research Areas

Ferman Chavez

This research will probe fundamental properties of iron-containing 4-Histidine carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase. Carotenoid compounds are ubiquitous in nature possessing a wide variety of functions. In plants, they serve as accessory light-harvesting components, pigments, and photo-protectants. Over 1700 volatile carotenoid-derived compounds have been detected. The derivatives are multifunctional serving as hormones (root branching and stress response), aroma, and pollinator attractants.  In the animal kingdom, carotenoids serve as precursors necessary for vision, embryonic development, cellular homeostasis, and immunity (Vitamin A). Carotenoid Cleavage Dioxygenases (CCDs) are nonheme iron enzymes that catalyze the oxidative scission of carotenoid carbon-carbon double bonds yielding ketones and/or aldehyde-containing products. We plan to make iron complexes that resemble the active site of these enzymes and study their properties and reactivity.

Roman Dembinski

Novel Synthetic Methods

Nucleoside (DNA/RNA) Analogs

Bioorganic and Organometallic Chemistry

Fluorous Chemistry

Sanela Martic

Fluorescent peptides

Electrochemical study of cancer biomarkers

Understanding tau protein: Alzheimer's Disease

Michael Sevilla

Mechanisms of Radiation Damage to DNA

Electron Spin Resonance Analysis for Free Radicals

Quantum Chemistry Calculations of Free Radical Properties and Structure

David Szlag

Specific problems that we are investigating utilize qPCR to quantify and identify changes in aquatic microbial communities.  These methods can be applied to recreational water quality, invasive species, and the problems experienced by Toledo and other Lake Erie Water Treatment Plants.  We are also developing new mass spec methods for endocrine disrupting chemicals and cyanobacterial toxins.

Evan Trivedi

Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry

Tetrapyrrole and lanthanide coordination chemistry; synthetic methods

Luminescence spectroscopy; solid state and near-infrared

Therapeutic development in vitro; tissue culture and fluorescence microscopy

Drug development in vivo; molecular imaging in small animal models

Collin Wu

My primary research focus is to dissect the molecular mechanisms by which DNA repair enzymes function and to investigate how their defects contribute to the early onset of genetic disorders. In particular, I am interested in how the FANCJ DNA helicase and the BRCA1 tumor suppressor carry out their DNA repair activities. Mutations in FANCJ and BRCA1 are strongly linked to the onset of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and Fanconi anemia. I use a combination of biochemistry, single-molecule biophysics, and structural approaches to gain a detailed understanding of the macromolecular interactions involved in this DNA repair network.  Work in my lab involves:

* protein-DNA interactions

* enzyme mechanisms

* DNA repair

* cancer metabolism

Ziming Yang

•    Biogeochemical transformation of organic carbon in soils, rivers, and lakes

•    Organic-mineral/metal interactions in the environment

•    Kinetics, mechanisms, and thermodynamics of organic reactions in hydrothermal systems

Mineral-catalyzed reactions in green chemistry

Xiangqun Zeng

My lab is interested in the study of fundamental and applied interfacial phenomena, particularly the design and control of molecular characters and characterizations of the dynamic reactions at electrode interfaces. Current projects in my lab are: (1) Understanding the interfacial composition, structure and properties of ionic liquids and conductive polymers for sensor, electrocatalysis and energy storage applications; (2) Applying principles from chemistry and biology for directed assembly or synthesis of thin films of conductive polymers, biological molecules (peptides, proteins and carbohydrates), cells and inorganics on electrode surfaces; (3) Developing miniaturized analysis platforms that combines high performance, miniaturized electrodes and instrumentation electronics with multi-transduction-mode sensor array devices by collaboration with engineers. All these projects are interdisciplinary in nature that involves the use of multiple electrochemical, spectroscopic and microscopic techniques in order to determine the composition, structure and dynamic interfacial reactions and/or properties at electrode interfaces. By combining the results obtained from diverse in situ techniques (electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM), rotating ring disk electrodes (RRDE), cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), surface plasmon resonance (SPR), ellipsometry, ATR and RA FT-IR, scanning probe techniques (i.e. atomic force microscope (AFM) and scanning tunneling microscope (STM)), fundamental understanding of the electrode interface properties can be obtained. This in turn enables the development of new electrode surfaces in which interesting properties can be tailored by incorporating appropriate inorganic, organic and biological constituents for a broad range of applications from fuel cells, batteries and electrocatalysis for electrochemical energy conversion applications to chemical sensors and biosensors for clinical diagnosis, environmental monitoring and biomedical research.  My research direction is motivated by the increasing needs of new sensor and energy technology relating to national security, health care, the environment, energy, food safety, and manufacturing.