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The Amgen Scholars Program

Past Amgen Programs

2013

Faculty

Elhanan Borenstein - Genome Sciences

Website: http://elbo.gs.washington.edu/

Description: We humans are mostly microbes. Microbial communities populate numerous sites in the human anatomy, harboring thousands of microbial species and over 100 trillion microbial cells. This complex ensemble of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, has a tremendous impact on our health and plays an essential role in numerous diseases. Owing to recent advances in sequencing technologies and metagenomics, studies of the microbiome are now starting to map these communities and to characterize the composition of species found across the human body. Our lab is focused on computational analysis of these data and on addressing fundamental questions concerning the assembly, function, and impact of the microbiome. Specifically, we are using computational systems biology, network analysis, and in-silico modeling to study the microbiome. Multiple exciting projects are available, including analysis of species interaction networks from the human microbiome project, and metagenome-wide metabolic modeling.

Requirements: Some computational background and programming experience are required (e.g., working knowledge of perl, python, or Matlab).

Andrew (AJ) Boydston - Organic Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/ajb1515/

Description: When one considers an energy source for driving a chemical reaction, the first thoughts are usually thermal, photo, or electrical impetus. Much less common is the application of mechanical forces to provide energy to overcome activation barriers along a reaction coordinate. This practice, known as mechanochemistry, involves the use of mechanical energy to influence chemical phenomena, including bond making and breaking events. In this regard a mechanophore may be viewed as a moiety that is sensitive to applied stress, which can be applied either in the solid-state (e.g., via shearing) or in solution (e.g., via ultrasound). Our group focuses on the design and synthesis of specialty mechanophores that can be incorporated into macromolecular architectures and applied as stimulus-responsive materials. From these materials, we target applications in areas ranging from stress-sensors to drug delivery.

Requirements: Completion of all introductory organic chemistry courses (237-239, or honors track) and any associated laboratory courses.

Champak Chatterjee - Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/champak1/ChampakResearchGroup.html

Description: The Chatterjee lab is interested in understanding how chemical changes to proteins can influence their functions inside cells. We are particularly interested in reversible changes to histone proteins that are associated with the regulation of gene activity. The specific histone modification that we are studying is by a small protein called SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier). We are employing the tools of protein chemistry and molecular biology to make synthetic SUMO-modified histones that will be subjected to biophysical and biochemical assays in order to study the effects of SUMO on chromatin function. Specific details of the project will be decided after considering the students background and interest but will be focused on (i) applying synthetic organic chemistry to make modified histone proteins and, (ii) performing biochemical or biophysical assays with synthetically modified histones. Results from these studies will uncover new mechanisms by which histone modifications can regulate gene function. This is important for understanding how cells develop normally and also how diseases such as cancer arise from the incorrect timing of histone modifications.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course along with associated laboratory courses. A background in biochemistry is helpful but not essential.

Trisha N. Davis - Biochemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/biowww/pages/faculty-Davis.shtml

Description: Errors in chromosome segregation lead to aneuploidy, which results in birth defects, cancer or cell death. Accurate chromosome segregation is performed by a large molecular machine called the mitotic spindle. The mitotic spindle contains many smaller machines including the centrosome, the microtubules themselves, the kinetochores where the microtubules attach to the chromosome and a multitude of microtubule motors. The ultimate goal of mitotic spindle assembly is to arrange each chromosome with its sister chromatids attached to opposite poles via microtubule fibers. This ensures that when anaphase occurs, the two sister chromatids are pulled apart and partitioned one into each daughter cell. The kinetochore is a part of the mitotic spindle with a critical task. It attaches the chromsomes to the dynamic microtubule fibers and must do so against ~20 pN of force, much more than is required to drag a chromosome through the cellular milieu. All chromosome segregation depends on this connection. We are studying the kinetochore as a molecular machine. The Amgen Scholar would work with graduate students and research scientists who are reconstituting the kinetochore from purified components. Several projects are possible. The student would learn protein purification and quantitative microscopy techniques or mutagenesis and genetics. The student would have their own project as part of this larger endeavor.

Requirements: A biology lab course and introductory biology course is required. A cell biology or biochemistry course would be very helpful.

Gwenn Garden - Neurology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/neurolog/research/garden-lab/research.html

Description: Cellular interactions between neurons and glia have an important influence on the outcome of disease and injury in the CNS. These interactions include alterations in communication between neurons as well as the glial response to injury. Our laboratory studies these cellular interactions in the context of CNS diseases including Alzheimer's Disease, Stroke, Huntington's Disease and related disorders and HIV associated neurocognitive disorders. We employ engineered mouse models of human disease, a variety of primary cell culture models and autopsy tissue from affected patients in these studies.

Requirements: One year of biology and chemistry coursework. Experience with commonly used equipment in molecular and cellular biology laboratories.

Jens Gundlach - Physics

Website: http://www.phys.washington.edu/groups/nanopore/index.shtml

Description: We are working on a new and direct technique for sequencing DNA. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a biological pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. In collaboration with a microbiologist we are mutating a naturally occurring pore protein to make it suitable for this sequencing technology.

Matt Kaeberlein - Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Website: http://www.kaeberleinlab.org/

Description: The Kaeberlein lab is interested in understanding the basic biology of aging. Projects in the lab have a common theme centered on defining the genetic and environmental factors that influence longevity and healthspan. We use four different model organisms for our research: the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and the mouse Mus musculus. Depending on interest and experience, an Amgen Scholar summer student would have the opportunity to work on an aging-related project in one of these model systems. Currently available projects include (1) mechanistic studies aimed at defining the interaction between genotype and the response to dietary restriction, (2) studies of mitochondrial function during aging and the effect of mTOR inhibition on mitochondrial disease, and (3) defining the mechanisms by which hypoxia and the hypoxic response influence lifespan.

Requirements: Enthusiasm and interest in the biology of aging.

Xiaosong Li - Computational Science, Chemistry and Materials Science

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/ligroup

Description: Research in the Li group focuses on developing and applying computational methods and theories for studying properties and reactions that take place in large systems, such as polymers, biomolecules, and clusters. Students will have a unique opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research subjects.

Requirements: Interest and motivation in computational research.

Lutz Maibaum - Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bpsd/faculty/lmaibaum

Description: Our research group is interested in the physical and chemical properties of lipid bilayers and their interactions with other biomolecules. Our goal is to understand biological phenomena involving the cell membrane, and to use this knowledge to help design novel materials with desirable properties. Our approach is based on computational and mathematical modeling of these enormously complex systems.
There are several opportunities for Amgen scholars in our group. We would love some help with the following problems, but we are certainly flexible and will design a project based on a scholar's interests:

1. How does the chemical composition in one leaflet of a lipid bilayer affect the composition in the opposing leaflet? Very little is currently known about this important questions, which will play a crucial role in our understanding how composition inhomogeneities in cell membranes occur.

2. How do lipid bilayers interact with strongly charged peptides? Many proteins that interact with cell membranes show an increase in charged amino acid content. We are trying to obtain a general understanding of these interactions, in particular the role of the membrane composition.

Requirements: An interest and aptitude in using computers to solve mathematical problems. Not required, but very helpful, will be the knowledge of at least one computer programming language, and the completion of at least one upper division physical chemistry course.

Dustin Maly - Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/malylab/

Description: Cells are able to integrate an enormous array of environmental information and convert these signals into complex behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and motility. This relay of extracellular stimuli into a phenotypic response involves the transfer of information through complex signal transduction networks that are precisely regulated, both spatially and temporally. Determining how these signal transduction networks are able to turn simple inputs into complex behavior is one of the greatest challenges in modern biology and will provide valuable insight into the cause and treatment of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Our group studies how cells sense and respond to their environment, by developing new biochemical and chemical tools that allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis and protein biochemistry we are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells. While we are interested in studying the function of a number of protein families that are involved in signaling, our initial efforts are focused on enzymes that mediate intracellular phosphorylation (the protein kinases and phosphatases). These studies focus on three main areas: 1) The location-specific function of kinases and phosphatases. 2) The quantitative characterization of specific intracellular phosphorylation events. 3) The conformational plasticity of signaling enzymes.

The specific project within these areas will depend on your interests and prior research experience.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Alex Paredez - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Website: http://www.biology.washington.edu/users/aparedez

Description: Giardia is an important parasite that affects a wide variety of animal hosts, including over 100 million (mostly impoverished) people each year. Treatment options are limited; therefore, the WHO has recognized giardiasis as a neglected disease. In addition to Giardia being a major parasite, this organism stands out as one of the most evolutionary divergent eukaryotes (from animals) that can be manipulated in the laboratory. While the majority of microtubule cytoskeleton components can be identified in the Giardia genome, none of the core set of homologous actin-binding proteins (e.g.: nucleators, motors, bundling, and severing proteins), can be found in Giardia. Yet, the Giardia actin cytoskeleton still has complex organization and is regulated by G-protein signaling. Moreover, the Giardia actin cytoskeleton has a conserved role in cellular organization, trafficking, and cytokinesis (novel mechanism without contractile ring or midbody). Importantly the giardial actin cytoskeleton is both essential and highly divergent from that of humans; therefore, it represents an important potential target for treating this neglected disease and an opportunity to gain insight into evolution of the cytoskeleton. Several projects are available depending on a particular student's interest.

Requirements: An interest in cellular mechanisms, microscopy, and a sense of humor.

Jim Pfaendtner - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://prg.washington.edu/

Description: The student joining this project will work on understanding the role of solvents and interfaces in controlling the mechanism of lipase family enzymes. Some enzymes such as lipases maintain activity in a variety of novel solvents such as ionic liquids or organic solvents. The underlying molecular scale reasons for this are unknown and therefore prevent us from rationally designing new solvents and processes. The student working on this project will learn molecular and multiscale modeling methods to study the atomic scale transformations that lead to solvent-induced conformational change in several lipase family enzymes. The PI and grad student working on this project will train the Amgen Scholar to perform molecular simulations on a supercomputer and carry out an extended study of enzyme structure and dynamics.

Requirements: Students should have general understanding of basic concepts from physical chemistry and thermodynamics. No prior computational modeling experience is necessary for this project.

Danilo C. Pozzo - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dpozzo/

Description: In this project, selected students will be directly involved in the development of new technologies for photo-thermal therapeutic agents and ultrasound imaging contrast agents based on nanoparticle assemblies that effectively absorb near-infrared (NIR) light. This form of electromagnetic radiation effectively penetrates through many biological tissues and can induce localized heating for applications in targeted thermal cancer therapy and in medical imaging. The proposed new technologies are enabled by recent developments in the Pozzo laboratory related to the synthesis of nanoparticle-surfactants and their controlled assembly into multi-particle structures with adjustable optical properties (plasmon resonance). Selected students will learn and apply a variety of synthesis and structural characterization techniques including, but not limited to, small angle x-ray scattering and electron microscopy. They will also benefit from numerous opportunities to collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment of scientists from medical and engineering research departments at the University of Washington.

Requirements: Interested students must have completed all of the basic Chemistry courses as well as Organic Chemistry and Physics. Basic laboratory experience is also essential. Students from Chemical Engineering Departments are especially encouraged to participate.

Suzie Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

Description: The Pun Lab develops delivery vehicles for therapeutic proteins, peptides and nucleic acids. Applications for these delivery vehicles include siRNA to the central nervous system, cancer therapy, and immunomodulation. Researchers in our lab learn techniques related to polymer and peptide synthesis, mammalian cell culture, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, and gene transfection assays.

Peter Rabinovitch - Experimental Pathology

Website: http://www.pathology.washington.edu/research/labs/rabinovitch/

Description: Aging is single greatest risk factor for many human diseases; however, the biological process of aging is often overlooked as a causative mechanism of disease. The Rabinovitch laboratory has focused on two disease processes in which to study the contribution of aging mechanisms.  Studies of cardiac aging, hypertrophy and failure primarily utilize mouse models, while studies of ulcerative colitis utilize human biopsies and resection specimens. In either of these areas, the Amgen Scholar would learn of the mechanisms of aging that contribute to disease and the use of cutting-edge molecular and genomic research technologies.

Cardiac aging. We use mouse models to examine the effects of cell signaling and reactive oxygen species (ROS) on cardiac aging.  Transgenic mice that overexpress catalase have been found to be protected against multiple health challenges, including cardiac aging. A mitochondrial antioxidant drug, SS-31, appears to provide similar protection. The interrelationships of mitochondrial ROS and mitochondrial damage with cell signaling pathways that mediate improved healthspan, including resistance to cardiac hypertrophy and failure, are studied. As the mTOR pathway is a strong candidate in this linkage, we are using transgenic mice with altered mTOR signaling to explore this relationship. Global proteomic and genomic approaches are also used to study the effects of ROS and mTOR on protein translation and turnover.

Aging and Genomic Instability in Ulcerative colitis. Aging, telomeres and mitochondrial function appear to interact with genomic instability as mechanisms behind the increased cancer risk in ulcerative colitis. Confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry are used to study these processes in UC colon biopsies and resection specimens.

Requirements: Should have completed some biology coursework and lab experience.

Dan Ratner - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/ratnerd.html

Description: The exciting new field of silicon photonics is revolutionizing our ability to manipulate light on the chip-scale, with broad implications to biomedical science, lab-on-a-chip technologies, distributed diagnostics and low-cost medical sensors. For instance, the silicon microring resonator is a highly sensitive and label-free biosensing technology that is based on nanometer-scale silicon waveguides (wires) that allow us to use light to rapidly detect proteins, viruses and even whole cells from complex biological samples. The goal of this Amgen summer project is to design a biocompatible interface on a silicon photonics biochip capable of performing real-time diagnostics in human blood and plasma.

Requirements: To ensure a successful research experience, applicants should have a basic familiarity with general/organic chemistry and introductory biology (protein structure, basic cell biology).

Michael Regnier - Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Description: The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, and how these mechanisms are disrupted in diseases.  We use the knowledge gained from these experiments to design protein and gene based therapies to improve the performance of diseased muscle and to develop tissue engineered muscle constructs as cell-replacement therapy for myocardial infarct (heart attack) and skeletal muscle injuries. Many research projects are done in collaboration with other laboratories at the University of Washington, at other institutions across the US, and in Italy.
Further information is provided at our website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Requirements: Basic Biology and Chemistry courses are essential.  Coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Physiology would help.

Hannele Ruohola-Baker - Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Website:  http://depts.washington.edu/taneli/

Description: My laboratory works on stem cell biology utilizing two systems, Drosophila germ line stem cells and human embryonic stem cells.  In both cases we have shown that microRNAs play an important role in stemness.  Our goals now include defining the key microRNA targets and their function in stem cells and their differentiating progeny.  Further, we seek to understand the regulation and importance of the stem cell specific hypoxic metabolism.  The goal is to understand whether the key stemness character observed in normal stem cells is also observed in pathological stem cells, so called cancer stem cells.

Lynn Schnapp - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/pulmcc/research/lung_immunity/schnapp.html

Description: Mechanisms of Acute Lung Injury and Repair

Our lab is focused on the processes that govern acute lung injury and its resolution. In particular, we are interested in why lung injury resolves under certain circumstances (i.e. Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and progresses to end-stage fibrosis in other circumstances (i.e. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). To answer these questions, we use different models of lung injury in transgenic mice to examine select pathways in injury and fibrosis. To complement these studies, we are analyzing samples from patients with acute lung injury and other lung diseases using cutting-edge methodologies in proteomics to identify new pathways in lung injury.

Hong Shen - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/facresearch/faculty/shen.html

Description: My laboratory has three research thrusts:

Thrust I: understanding the interaction between materials and the immune system

Thrust II: designing materials that can either engage or avoid the immune system

Thrust III: mathematical modeling of the interactions between materials and the immune system

The materials we designed are applied to vaccines, drug delivery systems, biosensors, and tissue implants.

Wendy Thomas - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/wendyt/index.html

Description: The Thomas lab studies the mechanical regulation of adhesive proteins, and applies this knowledge to develop new technologies. We study adhesive proteins that are involved in thrombosis (blood clots), or in bacterial infections. We also design novel biological adhesives and adhesive proteins for biotech applications including diagnostics, drug delivery and microrobotics.

Requirements: The background needed depends on the project within the lab. For some projects, we prefer freshman biology and chemistry. For other projects, we prefer other skills such as programming, advanced math (eg. differential equations or transport math), or CAD skills.

Rheem A. Totah - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://sop.washington.edu/medchem/faculty-a-research/rheem-totah.html

Description: Our lab is interested in investigating cytochrome P450 enzymes expressed in extra-hepatic tissue and are involved both in drug and also endogenous substrate metabolism. One project focuses on CYP2J2 and its role in drug induced cardiac toxicity. Adult cardiomyocytes will be treated with various drugs and the change in RNA and protein expression is measured. Also the effect of drugs on the activity of CYP2J2 is assessed using LC-MS. A second project investigates the role of CYP2C8 mediated metabolites of arachidonic acid on angiogenesis in different cell types. CYP2C8 is polymorphic and we want to determine how this genetic variation affects enzyme activity. We utilize molecular biology to engineer the different variants, UV spectroscopy and LC-MS to assess the changes in activity.

Requirements: Intro to Chemistry and intro to Biochemistry

Judit Villen - Genome Sciences

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/jvillen/lab/

Description: My lab is interested in how signaling networks shape the cellular proteome and function, and how the structure and activity of these networks is altered upon disease onset and progression. To learn about these questions, we develop and apply mass spectrometry-based approaches that involve quantitative measurements on nearly complete proteomes.  Our team is very interdisciplinary with a background ranging from chemistry and biology to engineering and computer sciences. Opportunities for summer students include experimental and computational options. Specific projects can be assigned based on background and interests.

Requirements: Previous research experience is preferable.

Kim Woodrow - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/woodrow.html

Description: The Woodrow Laboratory is focused on the applications of engineered biomaterials in mucosal infections and mucosal immunity. Our long-term goals are to design and build multifunctional materials that will: (1) lead to novel preventative strategies for mucosal infections, (2) program protective immune responses at mucosal sites of pathogen entry, and (3) assist studies of mucosal infections and mucosal immunity in health and disease. These scientific goals are addressed from the perspective of fundamental science, technology development, and translational research. We are a highly interdisciplinary group that implements knowledge and tools from all areas of science and engineering. We strive to innovate solutions that will have the greatest impact in biomedicine and global health technologies.

Requirements: chemistry, physics, biology

Bo Zhang - Bioanalytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/zhangb/index.html

Description: Our group research is focused on developing new electrochemical methods to solve important challenges in electron transfer, neurochemistry, and electrocatalysis. We currently have two projects available for incoming Amgen students. The first project studies electron-transfer and electrocatalysis at single metal/semiconductor nanoparticles using nanoelectrodes. The second project develops and uses electrochemical arrays to image neuronal secretion from single cells and cells in a network. Students with strong motivation and interest in analytical chemistry and physical chemistry are welcome to participate in our research.

Requirements: A strong background and motivation in chemistry.

Scholars

Alexander Alvarez
Institution: University of Arizona
Faculty Mentor: Michael Regnier, Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Alex Alvarez is a rising junior studying biomedical engineering at the University of Arizona. While in Tucson, Alex researches the effects of various pathologies on the integrity of white matter in the brain using Diffusion Tensor Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This summer, he is researching radically different material in the Regnier Lab, studying the effects of a novel treatment for cardiac aging in mice. Using this treatment, a viral vector will be transduced into mice myocytes, resulting in an overexpression of a gene that converts ATP into dATP (deoxy-ATP). This dATP will then cause the heart to contract more rapidly and forcefully, allowing mice (and eventually humans) to retain cardiac function into older age. Outside of the lab, Alex enjoys running, cycling, and swimming with the TriCats triathlon team in Tucson, practicing martial arts in Albuquerque, and attending church services wherever he may find himself.

Clara Amorosi
Institution: Harvey Mudd College
Faculty Mentor: Elhanan Borenstein, Genome Sciences

Clara is a rising senior at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, majoring in mathematical and computational biology. She recently returned from four months in Costa Rica studying tropical ecology at various field locations. This summer she is working in the Borenstein lab in the Genome Sciences department, studying whether allometric scaling laws are present in human microbial communities. After college, Clara plans to pursue a PhD in a field relating to computational biology, bioinformatics or microbiology. In her free time, Clara enjoys playing ultimate frisbee on her school's team. She also enjoys playing soccer, hiking, and biking.

Simon Ammanuel
Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Faculty Mentor: Gwenn Garden, Neurology

Simon Ammanuel is from Dallas, Texas. He is a rising junior at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he majors in biomedical engineering and applied mathematics. At Johns Hopkins, he helped build a device that can possibly be implemented in India called "The Cooling Cure," a therapeutic hypothermic device for infants. Here at the UW, he is working in Dr. Garden's Lab working on neuroinflammation and its causes, especially ischemia, examining the behavior of microglia and astrocytes in mice. He is currently considering pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering or medical school with a specialization in neurosurgery. In his free time, he likes to play football and basketball, write music and play video games.

Neha Ansari
Institution: California State University, Fullerton
Faculty Mentor: AJ Boydston, Organic Chemistry

Neha Ansari is a rising junior at California State University, Fullerton, where she is pursuing a degree in biochemistry as well as a minor in print journalism. At her home institution in Southern California, Neha conducts undergraduate research in an organic chemistry lab, where she studies the reactive intermediates of oximes and oxime ethers. As an Amgen Scholar at the University of Washington, Neha is working in the Boydston lab, where she studies polymer chemistry and the formation of micelles after trigger-induced depolymerization. Besides doing research, Neha enjoys spending time with family and friends whether it's cooking, grocery shopping, travelling, or going to Disneyland. In addition to these things, she also uses her spare time to participate in leadership roles, outdoor activities, and the joy of trying new foods.

Victor Bass
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Faculty Mentor: Dan Ratner, Bioengineering

Victor Bass is a rising senior majoring in biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. During the school year, he performs research analyzing proteomic changes that result from changes in a cell's environmental conditions. This summer, he is working as an Amgen Scholar in Professor Dan Ratner's lab. His project is to build an optical test bench for testing novel biosensors designed and fabricated by the lab using technology called silicon photonics. This includes both writing code to operate the test bench and finding and testing materials to improve the microfluidics integrated within the test bench. When not in the lab, Victor enjoys volunteering for TutorNet, a group run by a CMU professor that tutors middle school students in the Pittsburgh area, and Alternative Break, a group he has spent his last two spring breaks with while volunteering in Guatemala and Pittsburgh. After graduation, he plans to pursue a PhD in biochemistry or cell biology.

Andrew Bell
Institution: Clemson University
Faculty Mentor: Hong Shen, Chemical Engineering

Andrew Bell is a mathematical science major at Clemson University, and will graduate in 2015 as a member of the Calhoun Honors College. His interest lies in fields that use both biology and mathematics, such as epidemiology and immunology. His passion for math was recognized in April 2013 by the Clemson University Department of Mathematics when he was awarded the Jennifer Joyce Young Annual Memorial Scholarship given to a math student who has interests in both math and biology. As an Amgen scholar, Andrew is working in the lab of Dr. Hong Shen performing research in immunology involving using complex imaging and mathematical modeling to count disease cells and antibodies in infected tissues. During his spare time, Andrew enjoys golf, tennis, participating in student government, and being an active member at the Clemson Chapter of the Delta Chi Fraternity.

Alissa Bleem
Institution: Montana State University
Faculty Mentor: Wendy Thomas, Bioengineering

Alissa Bleem is a rising senior at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, where she studies chemical engineering and conducts research involving metabolic engineering and modeling of Escherichia coli mutants. As an Amgen Scholar at the University of Washington, Alissa is working with Dr. Wendy Thomas to design a microfluidic chamber for microbial adhesion studies. Transport simulations, analytical calculations, and experimental measurements will all be instrumental in achieving the goal of developing a novel device that can be used to simultaneously measure bacterial adhesion to many glycans in multiple flow conditions. Some of Alissa's favorite Montana activities include mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and camping. She is a 2013 Goldwater Scholar, and is involved in the University Symphony, Running Club, and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society at Montana State. After obtaining her bachelor's degree, Alissa plans to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering or bioengineering with the eventual goal of conducting research and teaching at the university level.

Jacquelyn Blum
Institution: Wellesley College
Faculty Mentor: Jens Gundlach, Physics

Jackie is a rising senior at Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she is a chemistry major. This summer, she is excited to be working in the Gundlach Nanopore lab studying DNA sequencing using nanopores. After graduation, she hopes to enroll in a Physical Chemistry graduate program. In her free time, Jackie enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, and volunteering for political campaigns.

Lucas BonDurant
Institution: Missouri State University
Faculty Mentor: Dustin Maly, Chemistry

Lucas is a rising senior at Missouri State University where he majors in cell and molecular biology with minors in analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and Spanish. At MSU he conducts experiments to trace the desensitization pathway of the P2Y2 receptor. He is excited to be participating in the Amgen Scholars Program at the University of Washington in the research group of Dr. Dustin Maly. His project involves assembling a light cleavable fusion protein for a protein enrichment protocol that allows researchers an easy way of isolating and profiling scarce proteins. He plans on pursuing a PhD in the future and hopes to be a professor at some point in his life as education has always been a passion of his. In his free time Lucas enjoys meeting new people, being outdoors, and playing the violin.

Danielle Bright
Institution: Seattle University
Faculty Mentor: Kim Woodrow, Bioengineering

Danielle Bright is a rising senior studying biochemistry at Seattle University. At Seattle U Danielle has been researching with Dr. Ian Suydam on various methods to purify Maraviroc, Etravirine, and Raltergravire from their medicinal capsule forms. She also serves as a study group facilitator for organic chemistry and president of the Chemistry Club. This summer, Danielle is working in Kim Woodrow's lab on encapsulating different HIV inhibitors into nanoparticles and characterizing the loaded particles via dynamic light scattering and high performance liquid chromatography. After graduating, Danielle plans to attend graduate school to pursue of a PhD in organic chemistry.

Michelle David
Institution: Washington State University
Faculty Mentor: Bo Zhang, Bioanalytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry

Michelle David is a rising junior at Washington State University studying neuroscience, computer science, and Spanish. At WSU, she works in a lab analyzing the innervation of the vagus nerve in the hypothalamus, specifically focusing on feeding behavior. As an Amgen Scholar, Michelle is working in electrochemistry with Dr. Bo Zhang to image biological molecules using bipolar nanoelectrodes. The lab is working to increase spatial and temporal resolution of single cell exocytosis detection. Outside of the lab, Michelle likes to dabble in amateur cinematography. She also enjoys traveling and hopes to spend a semester studying abroad in South America. In the future, she wants to pursue a PhD and continue researching. Eventually, she would also like to bring science education to places where it is lacking, specifically among Spanish-speaking populations.

Rachel Drake
Institution: University of Minnesota
Faculty Mentor: Peter Rabinovitch, Experimental Pathology

Rachel Drake is a rising senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in biochemistry and Spanish. While at U of M she has been conducting research with graduate student Julianne Spencer and Professor Paul Iaizzo mapping out the coronary venous system in human heart samples to use as inputs for the development of medical devices. She is also a track and field and cross country athlete and co-chairs the Student Health Advisory Committee. This summer, Rachel is investigating the molecular mechanisms of cardiac aging in mouse models in the Peter Rabinovitch lab. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys sailing, snowboarding and camping. Her future plans include climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and pursuing an MD/PhD so that she can become a physician scientist and use scientific exploration for the advancement of healthcare.

Joshua Feng
Institution: California State Universty, Long Beach
Faculty Mentor: Champak Chatterjee, Chemistry

Josh is a senior at California State University, Long Beach majoring in philosophy and biochemistry. His research in Long Beach is concerned with understanding the changes in protein expression in developing neurons during exposure to environmental contaminants. This summer, Josh is working in Dr. Champak Chatterjee's lab, using the tools of synthetic organic chemistry to study the effects of SUMO-modified (small ubiquitin-like modifiers) histone proteins on gene expression. In his spare time, Josh enjoys listening to music, thinking about grammar, and reading.

Zachary Jarin
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Jim Pfaendtner, Chemical Engineering

Zack is a rising senior majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Washington and plans to graduate in 2014. He has been working for Professor Pfaendtner for a year before the Amgen Program. He continues to work in the Pfaendtner research group, which focuses on using multiscale modeling to understand problems with real world applications. A perfect example is Zack's work to use atomistic modeling to elucidate the effects of non-aqueous solvents on biomass to improve pretreatment methods. When he's not in the lab, Zack enjoys fine dining and discovering the city. Although, he has lived in western Washington for 13 years, Zack knows there is always more to see and do in the wonderful Emerald City.

Ross Jones
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Ross is a member of the University of Washington class of 2014, and is majoring in bioengineering with a concentration in cells, tissues, and systems engineering. His current research aims to automatically quantify apoptosis and DNA damage of cell samples. This summer, Ross is working in the Ruohola-Baker lab, researching metabolomics of stem cells during development. He is also assisting with the completion of an earlier project investigating micro RNA secondary structure. After completing his undergraduate degree, Ross plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering. In his spare time, Ross enjoys hiking, camping, playing recreational sports, and cheering on UW/Seattle sports teams. He is also involved with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and will serve as academic chair of the UW Biomedical Engineering Society chapter during his senior year.

Matthew Kahabka
Institution: Clarkson University
Faculty Mentor: Danilo Pozzo, Chemical Engineering

Matthew is a rising senior studying chemical engineering at Clarkson University. His research at Clarkson has been in the field of directed self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticles in the lab of Dr. Sergiy Minko. Last summer, Matt worked as a researcher in Braunschweig, Germany, studying the fouling behavior of pharmaceutical nanoparticles. With the Amgen Scholar Program, Matt is working with Professor Danilo Pozzo on the synthesis of gold nano rods using a custom protein template. The project has planned applications as a high definition medical imaging modality. He is currently developing iPhone applications for uses in chemistry and chemical engineering. When he's not in the lab Matt enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and skiing.

Katherine Lacy
Institution: Willamette University
Faculty Mentor: Xiaosong Li, Chemistry

Katherine is a rising junior at Willamette University, where she is studying mathematics and chemistry. This summer, she is excited to combine these two interests in Dr. Xiaosong Li's computational chemistry lab. As part of the molecular dynamics team, Katherine is modeling the trans-cis photoisomerization of azobenzene, a molecule with a wide variety of applications including light-triggered switches, protein probes, and molecular electronics. In her free time, Katherine enjoys reading, playing soccer, swing dancing, eating tasty food, and being outside.

Samuel Lewis
Institution: Williams College
Faculty Mentor: Lynn Schnapp, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Sam is a rising junior at Williams College in western Massachusetts majoring in biology with a focus in molecular biology. At Williams, he is a member of a laboratory researching plant defense pathways and the pathogen-host interactions of the soil pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. During his summer at UW, Sam is excited to be working in the Schnapp Laboratory on a project seeking to elucidate the role of the extracellular matrix protein nephronectin in both lung development and in lung injury in a mouse model. He currently hopes to eventually be involved in both clinical medicine and medical research. Sam enjoys exploring the outdoors, travelling, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.

Benjamin Maldonato
Institution: University of Virginia
Faculty Mentor: Rheem Totah, Medicinal Chemistry

Ben is a rising senior studying biochemistry at the University of Virginia where he researches possible enzymatic function of human copine proteins, is president of his fraternity chapter and tutors high school students in the local Upward Bound program. This summer, Ben is excited to be working in Dr. Totah's lab in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry studying drug metabolism. He is conducting gene silencing experiments and clopidogrel metabolite analysis in an immortalized human cell line. In the future, Ben hopes to become a tenured professor at a research university.

Ann O'Leary
Institution: Carthage College
Faculty Mentor: Alex Paredez, Molecular and Cellular Biology

Ann is a rising senior at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin majoring in neuroscience and biology. This summer, she is working with the Paredez lab on Giardia, focusing on creating an active form of a mutated protein that causes an error prone cell cycle to occur. She is using microscopy to determine its location and activity during mitosi in the hopes of finding a potential therapeutic specific to Giardia. In her free time, Ann enjoys hanging out with friends and family, shopping, sewing, and golfing. Her future plans include attending graduate school.

Alfredo Perez
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Faculty Mentor: Lutz Maibaum, Chemistry

Alfredo will be earning a B.S. in biochemistry and chemistry from University of California, San Diego in December 2013. At his home campus, he works in Professor F. Akif Tezcan’s research group where he is working on engineering a metalloenzyme that can catalyze ester bond hydrolysis and carbon dioxide hydration. For the summer of 2013, he is working in Professor Lutz Maibaum’s research group at University of Washington where he is using molecular dynamics simulations in order to elucidate the mechanism of the formation of spatial heterogeneities in ternary systems involving high melting point lipids, low melting point lipids and cholesterol. Alfredo is originally from San Diego and enjoys cooking and attending live music events.

Elizabeth Perez
Institution: Mount Holyoke College
Faculty Mentor: Judit Villen, Genome Sciences

Elizabeth is a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts where she is studying biochemistry. At her home institution, Elizabeth is studying fat body remodeling in Drosophila melanogaster, and has done previous research on a hereditary mutation in Alzheimer's disease. This summer, she is working in Dr. Judit Villen's lab and is using mass spectrophotometry to study phosphorylation in cancer proteomics. Elizabeth plans to attend graduate school. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and violin, reading, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Nathan Phillips
Institution: Eastern Washington University
Faculty Mentor: Matt Kaeberlein, Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Nathan is a senior at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington where he is majoring in biochemistry and biology and aims to pursue a MD/PhD degree through the Medical Scientist Training Program. At EWU, Nathan performs research in Dr. Andrea Castillo's lab examining a secondary virulence gene in H. pylori and in Dr. Robin O'Quinn's lab evaluating phylogenetic relationships between alpine flora. During the Amgen Scholars Program, under Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, he is investigating the potential of rescuing mitochondrial mutants of S. cerevisiae via bacterial transformation utilizing the wild type gene in C. elegans. Outside of the laboratory, Nathan works as a whitewater rafting guide on the weekends and enjoys backpacking and skiing.

Margaux Pinney
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Trisha Davis, Biochemistry

Margaux Pinney is a biochemistry and chemistry double major with an ACS certification at the University of Washington who will be graduating spring of 2014. At the UW, Margaux does research with the Mayer Group investigating the reversibility of compound I formation in horseradish peroxidase. This information could be used to better describe compound I of cytochrome P450s, which is the highly studied enzyme that oxidizes most foreign substances that enter the body and is of particular interest in drug development. As an Amgen scholar, Margaux is working in the Davis Lab describing the protein complexes that form kinetochores, which are the molecular machines that drive chromosome segregation and couple microtubules to the centromeres of sister chromatids. A more complete understanding of the kinetochore could help scientists discern what goes wrong in cancer, where cells are dividing out of control and errors in chromosome segregation are common. Margaux grew up approximately thirty miles southeast of Seattle, in Black Diamond, and enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring Seattle. After graduation, she will be attending graduate school to obtain her PhD in chemistry.

Julia Zhao
Institution: Rice University
Faculty Mentor: Suzie Pun, Bioengineering

Julia Zhao is a rising junior studying chemistry at Rice University in Houston, Texas. This summer she is working in Dr. Suzie Pun's lab on developing polymers designed for gene delivery. Her past research includes computational modeling of biomolecules, analysis of particle-tracking trajectories, and spectroelectrochemical tuning of plasmonic dimers. At school, Julia is a proud editor-in-chief of Catalyst, Rice's undergraduate science research journal. Following graduation, she hopes to pursue a PhD either in chemistry or bioengineering. Julia enjoys sci-fi/superhero movies, a good game of Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and spending time with friends and family when she's home for break.

2012

Faculty

William (Bill) M. Atkins - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/wmatkins/lab.html

Description: Multiple exciting projects are available. The first involves preparation and characterization of lipid nanodiscs, which are a new type of nanoparticle that is revolutionizing the study of membrane proteins.  These nanoparticles hold great promise as drug delivery vehicles and as models for LDL particles that are enzymatically transformed into HDL particles that transport cholesterol. This process is important for understanding heart disease and the formation of cardiovascular plaques. The second project is a drug design project that aims to design inhibitors of cytochrome P450s for use in engineering drug interactions for safer use of existing drugs. Both projects will require biophysical and chemical methods.

Requirements: Introductory chemistry course with lab.

Andrew (AJ) Boydston - Organic Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/ajb1515/

Description: When one considers an energy source for driving a chemical reaction, the first thoughts are usually thermal, photo, or electrical impetus. Much less common is the application of mechanical forces to provide energy to overcome activation barriers along a reaction coordinate. This practice, known as mechanochemistry, involves the use of mechanical energy to influence chemical phenomena, including bond making and breaking events. In this regard a mechanophore may be viewed as a moiety that is sensitive to applied stress, which can be applied either in the solid-state (e.g., via shearing) or in solution (e.g., via ultrasound). Our group focuses on the design and synthesis of specialty mechanophores that can be incorporated into macromolecular architectures and applied as stimulus-responsive materials. From these materials, we target applications in areas ranging from stress-sensors to drug delivery.

Requirements: Completion of all introductory organic chemistry courses (237-239, or honors track) and any associated laboratory courses.

Champak Chatterjee - Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/champak1/ChampakResearchGroup.html

Description: The Chatterjee lab is interested in understanding how chemical changes to proteins can influence their functions inside cells. We are particularly interested in reversible changes to histone proteins that are associated with the regulation of gene activity. The specific histone modification that we are studying is by a small protein called SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier). We are employing the tools of protein chemistry and molecular biology to make synthetic SUMO-modified histones that will be subjected to biophysical and biochemical assays in order to study the effects of SUMO on chromatin function. Specific details of the project will be decided after considering the students background and interest but will be focused on (i) applying synthetic organic chemistry to make modified histone proteins and, (ii) performing biochemical or biophysical assays with synthetically modified histones. Results from these studies will uncover new mechanisms by which histone modifications can regulate gene function. This is important for understanding how cells develop normally and also how diseases such as cancer arise from the incorrect timing of histone modifications.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course along with associated laboratory courses. A background in biochemistry is helpful but not essential.

Horacio de la Iglesia - Biology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/hacholab/research.php

Description: Research in our laboratory is guided to understand the neural basis of behavior. Specifically, we are interested in biological timing, which can be studied at different levels of organization, using different approaches and throughout the phylogenetic tree.

Virtually all living species have biological clocks that generate and control the daily cyclic variations in physiology and behavior, such us rhythms in locomotor activity, temperature and hormonal secretion. In mammals, the master control of these so-called circadian rhythms is exerted by a biological clock located within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain. We use behavioral, physiological and molecular techniques in order to understand how the SCN generates and orchestrates this array of circadian rhythms.

Stan Fields - Genome Sciences and Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/sfields/

Description: Ubiquitin is a 76 amino acid protein that is an essential signaling molecule in nearly every pathway in eukaryotic cells. Ubiquitin attachment to a protein often targets that protein to the proteasome for its degradation. The regulation of proteolysis is critical to maintain cellular function, and failure to appropriately degrade certain proteins underlies many human diseases. To understand regulated proteolysis, we have to be able to measure protein stability, which has traditionally used biochemical approaches that do not scale well. We have developed a new method that combines yeast genetics with high throughput DNA sequencing to measure the stability of up to hundreds of thousands of proteins in parallel. This method is being applied to the complete set of proteins produced by yeast. We are interested in using this method to address the question of how ubiquitin-tagged proteins are transferred from the ubiquitination machinery to the proteasome. The student will use the high throughput measurement of protein stability in yeast strains deleted for components of the ubiquitin proteasome system to characterize this transfer process.

Requirements: Some basic biology coursework.

Gwenn Garden - Neurology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/hadlab/

Description: Inflammation has an important influence on the outcome of disease and injury in the CNS. Our laboratory studies the molecular regulation of inflammatory behaviors in the context of CNS diseases including Alzheimer's Disease, Stroke, Huntington's Disease and HIV associated neurocognitive disorders. We employ engineered mouse models of human disease as well as autopsy tissue from affected patients in these studies.

Requirements: One year of biology and chemistry coursework. Experience with commonly used equipment in molecular and cellular biology laboratories.

Jens Gundlach - Physics

Website: http://www.phys.washington.edu/groups/nanopore/index.shtml

Description: We are working on a new and direct technique for sequencing DNA. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a biological pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. In collaboration with a microbiologist we are mutating a naturally occurring pore protein to make it suitable for this sequencing technology.

Matt Kaeberlein - Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Website: http://www.kaeberleinlab.org/

Description: The Kaeberlein lab is interested in understanding the basic biology of aging. Projects in the lab have a common theme centered on defining the genetic and environmental factors that influence longevity and healthspan. We use three different model organisms for our research: the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and mice. Depending on interest and experience, an Amgen Scholar summer student would have the opportunity to work on an aging-related project in yeast or C. elegans (or possibly both). Currently available projects include (1) mechanistic studies aimed at defining why specific yeast mutants respond differentially to dietary restriction, (2) characterizing the relationship between mRNA translation and aging, with specific emphasis on the interplay between mitochondrial and cytoplasmic translation, and (3) defining the mechanisms by which the hypoxic response influences aging and healthspan in C. elegans. Opportunities to contribute to our SAGEWEB project (http://www.sageweb.org) are also available for students interested in aging-related bioinformatic/computational studies and/or software development.

Requirements: Enthusiasm and interest in the biology of aging.

Xiaosong Li - Computational Science, Chemistry and Materials Science

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/ligroup

Description: Research in the Li group focuses on developing and applying computational methods and theories for studying properties and reactions that take place in large systems, such as polymers, biomolecules, and clusters. Students will have a unique opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research subjects.

Requirements: Interest and motivation in computational research.

Dustin Maly - Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/malylab/

Description: Cells are able to integrate an enormous array of environmental information and convert these signals into complex behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and motility. This relay of extracellular stimuli into a phenotypic response involves the transfer of information through complex signal transduction networks that are precisely regulated, both spatially and temporally. Determining how these signal transduction networks are able to turn simple inputs into complex behavior is one of the greatest challenges in modern biology and will provide valuable insight into the cause and treatment of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Our group studies how cells sense and respond to their environment, by developing new biochemical and chemical tools that allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis and protein biochemistry we are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells. While we are interested in studying the function of a number of protein families that are involved in signaling, our initial efforts are focused on enzymes that mediate intracellular phosphorylation (the protein kinases and phosphatases). These studies focus on three main areas: 1) The location-specific function of kinases and phosphatases. 2) The quantitative characterization of specific intracellular phosphorylation events. 3) The conformational plasticity of signaling enzymes.

The specific project within these areas will depend on your interests and prior research experience.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Danilo C. Pozzo - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dpozzo/

Description: In this project, selected students will be directly involved in the development of new technologies for photo-thermal therapeutic agents and ultrasound imaging contrast agents based on nanoparticle assemblies that effectively absorb near-infrared (NIR) light. This form of electromagnetic radiation effectively penetrates through many biological tissues and can induce localized heating for applications in targeted thermal cancer therapy and in medical imaging. The proposed new technologies are enabled by recent developments in the Pozzo laboratory related to the synthesis of nanoparticle-surfactants and their controlled assembly into multi-particle structures with adjustable optical properties (plasmon resonance). Selected students will learn and apply a variety of synthesis and structural characterization techniques including, but not limited to, small angle x-ray scattering and electron microscopy. They will also benefit from numerous opportunities to collaborate in an interdisciplinary environment of scientists from medical and engineering research departments at the University of Washington.

Requirements: Interested students must have completed all of the basic Chemistry courses as well as Organic Chemistry and Physics. Basic laboratory experience is also essential. Students from Chemical Engineering Departments are especially encouraged to participate.

Suzie Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

Description: The Pun Lab develops nanoparticles for delivery of genes, siRNA, and molecular imaging agents. Applications for these delivery vehicles include siRNA to the central nervous system, cancer therapy, and tissue engineering. Researchers in our lab learn techniques related to mammalian cell culture, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, and gene transfection assays.

Peter Rabinovitch - Experimental Pathology

Website: http://www.pathology.washington.edu/research/labs/rabinovitch/

Description: Aging is single greatest risk factor for many human diseases; however, the biological process of aging is often overlooked as a causative mechanism of disease. The Rabinovitch laboratory has focused on two disease processes in which to study the contribution of aging mechanisms.  Studies of cardiac aging, hypertrophy and failure primarily utilize mouse models, while studies of ulcerative colitis utilize human biopsies and resection specimens. In either of these areas, the Amgen Scholar would learn of the mechanisms of aging that contribute to disease and the use of cutting-edge molecular and genomic research technologies.

Cardiac aging. We use mouse models to examine the effects of cell signaling and reactive oxygen species (ROS) on cardiac aging.  Transgenic mice that overexpress catalase have been found to be protected against multiple health challenges, including cardiac aging. A mitochondrial antioxidant drug, SS-31, appears to provide similar protection. The interrelationships of mitochondrial ROS and mitochondrial damage with cell signaling pathways that mediate improved healthspan, including resistance to cardiac hypertrophy and failure, are studied. As the mTOR pathway is a strong candidate in this linkage, we are using transgenic mice with altered mTOR signaling to explore this relationship. Global proteomic and genomic approaches are also used to study the effects of ROS and mTOR on protein translation and turnover.

Aging and Genomic Instability in Ulcerative colitis. Aging, telomeres and mitochondrial function appear to interact with genomic instability as mechanisms behind the increased cancer risk in ulcerative colitis. Confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry are used to study these processes in UC colon biopsies and resection specimens.

Requirements: Should have completed some biology coursework and lab experience.

Dan Ratner - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/ratnerd.html

Description: The exciting new field of silicon photonics is revolutionizing our ability to manipulate light on the chip-scale, with broad implications to biomedical science, lab-on-a-chip technologies, distributed diagnostics and low-cost medical sensors. For instance, the silicon microring resonator is a highly sensitive and label-free biosensing technology that is based on nanometer-scale silicon waveguides (wires) that allow us to use light to rapidly detect proteins, viruses and even whole cells from complex biological samples. The goal of this Amgen summer project is to design a biocompatible interface on a silicon photonics biochip capable of performing real-time diagnostics in human blood and plasma.

Requirements: To ensure a successful research experience, applicants should have a basic familiarity with general/organic chemistry and introductory biology (protein structure, basic cell biology).

Michael Regnier - Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Description: The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, and how these mechanisms are disrupted in diseases.  We use the knowledge gained from these experiments to design protein and gene based therapies to improve the performance of diseased muscle and to develop tissue engineered muscle constructs as cell-replacement therapy for myocardial infarct (heart attack) and skeletal muscle injuries. Many research projects are done in collaboration with other laboratories at the University of Washington, at other institutions across the US, and in Italy.
Further information is provided at our website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Requirements: Basic Biology and Chemistry courses are essential.  Coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Physiology would help.

Hannele Ruohola-Baker - Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Website:  http://depts.washington.edu/taneli/

Description: My laboratory works on stem cell biology utilizing two systems, Drosophila germ line stem cells and human embryonic stem cells.  In both cases we have shown that microRNAs play an important role in stemness.  Our goals now include defining the key microRNA targets and their function in stem cells and their differentiating progeny.  Further, we seek to understand the regulation and importance of the stem cell specific hypoxic metabolism.  The goal is to understand whether the key stemness character observed in normal stem cells is also observed in pathological stem cells, so called cancer stem cells. 

Lynn Schnapp - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/pulmcc/research/lung_immunity/schnapp.html

Description: Mechanisms of Acute Lung Injury and Repair

Our lab is focused on the processes that govern acute lung injury and its resolution. In particular, we are interested in why lung injury resolves under certain circumstances (i.e. Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and progresses to end-stage fibrosis in other circumstances (i.e. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). To answer these questions, we use different models of lung injury in transgenic mice to examine select pathways in injury and fibrosis. To complement these studies, we are analyzing samples from patients with acute lung injury and other lung diseases using cutting-edge methodologies in proteomics to identify new pathways in lung injury.

Eric Shea-Brown - Applied Mathematics

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/sbgroup/mediawiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Description: COMPUTATIONAL DYNAMICS OF BRAIN FUNCTION

We work on the dynamics of neurons, structured neural networks, and large neural populations. The goal is to help uncover mechanisms that enable these systems to encode, propagate, and make decisions about sensory inputs. I enjoy the highly collaborative work with cognitive neuroscientists, with electrophysiologists, and with psychiatrists and neurologists that this requires. Achieving this goal also requires generalizing mechanisms uncovered in these and other studies to develop the mathematical theory of spiking neural networks. The shared aim is a theoretical framework which describes and connects the neural dynamics occurring on different spatial and temporal scales, ranging from single neurons and small circuits to populations.

Hong Shen - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/facresearch/faculty/shen.html

Description: My laboratory has three research thrusts:

Thrust I: understanding the interaction between materials and the immune system

Thrust II: designing materials that can either engage or avoid the immune system

Thrust III: mathematical modeling of the interactions between materials and the immune system

The materials we designed are applied to vaccines, drug delivery systems, biosensors, and tissue implants.

Kristin Swanson - Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neuro Pathology

Website: http://www.pathology.washington.edu/research/labs/swanson/

Description: The Swanson research lab is located in the University Medical Center, and focuses on mathematical modeling and the analysis of quantifiable data obtained through medical imaging such as MRI, PET, and CT. With our convenient location in the UMC, we are in a unique position to compare model results and predictions with data obtained from real patients receiving care at the University. Student researchers necessarily learn aspects of neuro anatomy, tumor evolution and biology, medical imaging, computational and data processing methods. Individualized projects are chosen to best meet the student's interests and abilities, while at the same time serving the overarching goals of the lab.

The lab's current focus includes, but is not limited to, the modeling of brain tumor growth, evolution and response to therapy, and comparisons of information obtained from superficially disparate imaging modalities such as MR and PET. This modeling effort provides many interesting avenues for student research: from data acquisition and processing to investigation and development of new mathematical models of tumor processes.

Our lab is truly interdisciplinary: with over a dozen members with backgrounds ranging from biology to applied mathematics and computer programming, we are able to determine suitable research projects for just about anyone with a scientific background. A vast majority of our lab members are pre-med, providing a stimulating environment with many resources for information and opportunities.

Students are supervised daily by the lab manager, with at least once weekly lab meetings involving progress reports to Dr. Swanson.

Requirements: The student should have a strong interest and background in either mathematics or medical imaging, and be in good academic standing. Student should have intermediate to advanced computer experience and be comfortable spending extended periods of time at a computer. A strong candidate will have a background in mathematics, including a full calculus sequence, differential equations and linear algebra. Preference will be given to students with experience in any of the following computer programming languages: MATLAB, C++, FORTRAN, PHP, SQL.

Rheem A. Totah - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://sop.washington.edu/medchem/faculty-a-research/rheem-totah.html

Description: Our lab is interested in investigating cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved in drug metabolism and have a known endogenous function. Several research opportunities exist to study the biochemical role of these enzymes. One project focuses on CYP2J2 and its role in drug induced cardiac toxicity. Stem cell derived adult cardiomyocytes are treated with various drugs and the change in RNA and protein expression is measured. Also the effect of drugs on the activity of CYP2J2 is assessed using LC-MS. A second project investigates the pharmacogenetic nature of CYP2C8. This enzyme is polymorphically expressed in various ethnic groups which results in a variable pharmacological response to drugs metabolized by this enzyme. We are currently investigating the mechanism behind the variable activity of the main variants of this enzyme. We utilize molecular biology to engineer the different variants, UV spectroscopy and LC-MS to assess the changes in activity.

Requirements: Intro to Chemistry and intro to Biochemistry

Judit Villen - Genome Sciences

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/jvillen/lab/

Description: My lab is interested in how signaling networks shape the cellular proteome and function, and how the structure and activity of these networks is altered upon disease onset and progression. To learn about these questions, we develop and apply mass spectrometry-based approaches that involve quantitative measurements on nearly complete proteomes.  Our team is very interdisciplinary with a background ranging from chemistry and biology to engineering and computer sciences. Opportunities for summer students include experimental and computational options. Specific projects can be assigned based on background and interests.

Requirements: Previous research experience is preferable.

Paul Yager - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/yagerp/

Description: We are developing microfluidics-based analytical techniques for molecules of biomedical interest. Ongoing projects focus on the use of novel and extremely low cost paper-based diagnostic tools for optical detection of proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules. Projects are funded by NIH and DARPA.

Bo Zhang - Bioanalytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/zhangb/index.html

Description: Our group research is focused on developing new electrochemical methods to solve important challenges in electron transfer, neurochemistry, and electrocatalysis. We currently have two projects available for incoming Amgen students. The first project studies electron-transfer and electrocatalysis at single metal/semiconductor nanoparticles using nanoelectrodes. The second project develops and uses electrochemical arrays to image neuronal secretion from single cells and cells in a network. Students with strong motivation and interest in analytical chemistry and physical chemistry are welcome to participate in our research.

Requirements: A strong background and motivation in chemistry.

Scholars

Dorothy Ackerman
Institution: Northwest Nazarene University
Faculty Mentor: AJ Boydston

Dorothy is a rising senior at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID, where she is majoring in chemistry doing research involving the synthesis and characterization of several azopyridium chromophores. This summer, she is doing research with the Boydston group and will be focusing on how mechanical energy can be used to make and break chemical bonds, specifically to cause the depolymerization of a polymer with a particular trigger attached at one end. Growing up in Montana, Dorothy enjoys participating in many outdoor activities during her free time such as snowboarding, hiking, and rock climbing. Back in Idaho during school, Dorothy enjoys playing flute in the concert band, holding various leadership positions on campus, being an active member of NNU's Team SuperHydro, and being a teaching assistant for several chemistry labs and classes. Her favorite experience while in college has been getting the chance to float in zero gravity while being a member of Team SuperHydro and participating in NASA's SEED program. After attaining her bachelor's degree, Dorothy plans to pursue a PhD in organic chemistry and one day become a professor.

Sarah Barfield
Institution: Clemson University
Faculty Mentor: Matt Kaeberlein

Sarah Barfield is a biochemistry and genetics major at Clemson University, and will graduate in 2014. Her current research at Clemson University concerns molecular evolution in the plant genus Amaranthus. She has been characterizing a novel gene structure and splicing event in an important flavonoid related gene. As an Amgen scholar, Sarah is working in the lab of Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, where she is performing a genome wide RNAi screen of C. elegans in an effort to better define the components of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt). The UPRmt is of interest to the Kaeberlein lab because it has been implicated in promoting longevity in C. elegans. During her spare time when she is not working in the lab, Sarah enjoys swimming, hiking, playing the mandolin and clarinet, traveling, and trying new foods.

John Paul Bonadonna
Institution: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Faculty Mentor: Horacio de la Iglesia

John Paul Bonadonna is a senior at the University of Michigan, studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. This summer, he is working in the lab of Dr. Horacio de la Iglesia in the Department of Biology, studying the effects of sleep on the immune system, and vice versa. During his undergraduate career, John Paul has worked with Dr. Stephanie Brown and Dr. Sara Konrath at the University of Michigan, studying the physiological effects of altruism; as well as Dr. Denise Head at Washington University in St. Louis, studying the effects of normal and pathological aging on hippocampal integrity. After his undergraduate career, he plans to pursue an MD/PhD. In his free time, John Paul sings in an all-male a cappella group, The G-Men (thegmen.org), at the University of Michigan. John Paul also works to promote disability awareness on the University of Michigan campus with the Allies for Disability Awareness Community Organizing team (ADACO). His most recent project was organizing a conference and symposium on disability research.

Matt Doerfler
Institution: Northwestern University
Faculty Mentor: Dan Ratner

Matt Doerfler is a rising senior studying Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. He is incredibly excited to be researching in a new field this summer. As an Amgen Scholar in Professor Dan Ratner's lab, he will be running data analyses on silicon microring resonators. These biosensors employ specific reactions to determine virus, protein, and pathogen concentrations in complex, biological serums. Matt enjoys playing for Northwestern's Ultimate Frisbee team, travelling with friends, and doing calligraphy and graphic art. He hopes to pursue an MD/PhD in the future and combine medicine with biotechnology.

Kenji Doering
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Jens Gundlach

Kenji is an upcoming Junior from the University of Washington majoring in Biophysics and Mathematics. He is currently doing research in DNA sequencing using nanopores under the direction of Jens Gundlach, and the Gundlach lab group in the Department of Biophysics. His goal in life is to become a professor in physics or physician and personal interests involve soccer, ultimate frisbee, salsa dancing, physics, and is currently aspiring to be a top-notch juggler.

David Galvan
Institution: University of Arizona
Faculty Mentor: Bo Zhang

David was born in El Paso, Texas and shortly thereafter moved to Tucson, Arizona. He studies Chemical Engineering at the University of Arizona. He researched atmospheric degradation models of chemical species as well as biofuel created from waste organic material. This summer, David is researching under Dr. Bo Zhang. His role in this research is to create a nanowire array to be used in bipolar electrodes for imaging and detection of biological release processes. Outside the world of academia, David's interests revolve around music and outdoor activities. He is a percussionist and has participated in several local bands. He also enjoys watching and supporting local Tucson bands. Outdoors, David is an avid cyclist, skateboards and hikes. David likes to ride his dirt bike on the motocross tracks in Tucson, a sport he has been involved in since his early childhood.

Kelsey Haas
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Judit Villen

Kelsey Haas is a rising senior at the University of Washington pursuing a major in Cellular, Molecular and Developmental Biology and a minor in French. As an Amgen Scholar, she is working in the Villen Lab on characterizing the signaling pathways of breast cancer cells. Her project involves using mass spectrometry to quantify the phosphoproteome of breast cancer cells, and identifying the downstream substrates of the PI3K/Akt pathway, an oncogenic kinase pathway mutated in cancerous cells. In the future, Kelsey plans to pursue a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a career in biomedical research. When time permits, she enjoys playing tennis and the violin, creating parodies of popular songs to be about biology and spending time with friends and family.

Erika Hayes
Institution: University of Puget Sound
Faculty Mentor: Hong Shen

Erika Hayes is a senior at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA where she is majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minoring in Spanish. She is working in the Shen Lab this summer, investigating the ability to manipulate the adaptive immune response based on controlling the T cell and aAPC interaction by altering substrate stiffness. Last summer, Erika was an intern at Seattle Genetics, where she worked under Dr. Ruby Casareno in BioProcess Development to establish a platform for antibody purification in preparation for drug conjugation. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a PhD. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, and playing sports.

Joseph Juliano
Institution: Arizona State University
Faculty Mentor: Kristin Swanson

Joe Juliano is a rising senior at Arizona State University with a major in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics. For the summer, Joe is working under Dr. Kristin Swanson investigating glioma mathematical models and MRI imaging in an effort to estimate certain parameters that might make the model more patient specific. He has plans to pursue either medical or graduate school utilizing mathematics in clinical research. During his spare time he enjoys playing the same chord on the guitar, hiking, cycling, and a good debate.

Mara Livezey
Institution: Kalamazoo College
Faculty Mentor: Rheem A. Totah

Mara Livezey is a rising senior majoring in chemistry and concentrating in biochemistry at Kalamazoo College. After graduation, she hopes to take a gap year to teach English in Macedonia before entering graduate school to pursue a PhD in biochemistry. Mara is most interested in the biochemistry of nutrition and how dietary factors can affect the way the body functions normally as well as in disease states. While in high school, Mara attended a professional ballet school in Toronto and she still continues to dance recreationally, in addition to co-directing the campus dance group at Kalamazoo. She also enjoys knitting and cooking (especially baking) in her free time.

Chinonso Opara
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Bill Atkins

Chinonso Opara is a rising junior in the department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington. This summer, he is working in the lab of Dr. William Atkins on developing a novel method of quantifying the concentration of quantum dots, using various biophysical techniques. Quantum dots are small nanoparticles with the capability of fluorescing under ultraviolet light, and have several applications ranging from enhancing LED lighting to cellular imaging and drug delivery. Apart from working in the lab, Chinonso enjoys spending time with family and friends, running and playing piano and trombone. Also, among Chinonso's hobbies is music composition, which he began at the age of 11. Ever since, Chinonso has written several musical numbers for a wide array of instrumentation.

Ryan Powles
Institution: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Faculty Mentor: Stan Fields

Ryan Powles is a rising senior at Virginia Tech and lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. He is majoring in biology with a concentration in microbiology/immunology and minoring in chemistry and computer science. In his home institution he studies circadian rhythms and how they affect cell proliferation, breast cancer, and metabolic pathways in the cell using microarray data and biochemical assays. At the Fields lab this summer, Ryan will be working with high throughput sequence technology to analyze the effect of mutated ubiquitin (a small protein found in high concentrations in Alzheimer's patients) on yeast knock-out libraries. He hopes to go to graduate school and pursue a PhD in computational biology and bioinformatics. When not hard at work in the lab, Ryan enjoys movies, drumming, and learning about video game theory and design.

Isaac Rockafellow
Institution: University of Iowa
Faculty Mentor: Paul Yager

Isaac Rockafellow will be a 5th year senior majoring in biochemistry and microbiology at the University of Iowa, with minors in Russian and Chemistry. In his free-time, Isaac is an avid juggler and enjoys sharing vaguely relevant cultural facts about his home state with the uninitiated. He appreciates medium-length walks along the beach and overly personal program biographies. At his home lab, Isaac studies ECF Sigma Factors – a class of signaling molecules in bacteria that respond to outer membrane stress. At the UW this summer, he will be working in the Yager Lab developing RNA purification techniques for the production of low-cost medical diagnostics made from paper. He hopes that this summer will introduce him to the myriad of ways that science can support social justice and global health.

Guillermo Romano
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Dustin Maly

Guillermo Romano is a rising senior at the University of Washington, working on a double degree in Public Health and Biochemistry. This summer he is working in the Maly lab to synthesize a small molecule capable of profiling Sarcoma Family Kinases. Guillermo, born in Mexico, has had the opportunity to live in Arizona, Iowa, and Canada in addition to his time spent in Seattle. Guillermo is considering enrolling in an MD/PhD program to pursue his interests in medical research. In his spare time, Guillermo enjoys swimming in cold lakes and cycling in Seattle rain. He enjoys watching movies and is an avid history buff.

Maya Sangesland
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Peter Rabinovitch

Maya is a senior at the University of Washington, Seattle, majoring in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. During the school year, she studies protein interactions during early developmental processes in zebrafish. This summer, Maya is working in the Rabinovitch lab and is studying how redox signaling changes in the context of hypertrophy, aging and mitochondrial dysfunction. Maya has a black belt in tae kwon do and outside of school she volunteers at the local animal shelter and at an agency that assists Asian Pacific Islander immigrants and refugees. Her hobbies include snuggling with her pets, reading, drinking coffee, and traveling the world. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to pursue a PhD in the biological sciences.

Christine Shieh
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
Faculty Mentor: Lynn Schnapp

Christine Shieh is a rising senior from UC Berkeley majoring in Molecular and Cell Biology with a minor in Nutritional Science. She is working in Dr. Lynn Schnapp's lab and will attempt to clone full length uPARAP into a mammalian expression vector for further experimental purposes. uPARAP is a 180kD transmembrane receptor that is expressed in mesenchymal tissue in areas such as the lungs for the purpose of collagen turnover, among other functions. Outside of lab, Christine likes to run, read, and paint. She also enjoys teaching classes and tutoring organic chemistry for her school. In the future, Christine would like to try clinical research and also do research in the field of oncology.

Stephanie Simek
Institution: The College of St. Scholastica
Faculty Mentor: Michael Regnier

Stephanie Simek is a rising senior at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth Minnesota, where she is majoring in exercise physiology. Her time spent as a teacher's assistant in the undergraduate human cadaver lab has sparked her interest in pursuing a career that explores physiology and pathology. As an Amgen Scholar, she is working with Dr. Michael Regnier in the department of Bioengineering. The Regnier lab studies the nucleotide 2-deoxy-ATP and its effects on muscle contraction. Ultimately, the lab wants to use their findings to develop better therapeutics that improve cardiac muscle contractility for people who have suffered myocardial infarctions. Stephanie's hobbies include running, volleyball, camping and kayaking. She enjoys volunteering at her community youth center, where she spends her time playing football, basketball, foosball and board games with high school students.

Denis Smirnov
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Champak Chatterjee

Denis Smirnov is a rising junior at the University of Washington studying biochemistry and neurobiology. He is working with Dr. Chatterjee in the Department of Chemistry to investigate the ubiquitin-like protein degradation pathway in Mycobacerium tuberculosis, through mechanistic studies of the ligase enzyme PafA. Current research is aimed at working to determine the substrate scope of PafA by using novel chemical tools to monitor enzyme activity. In his free time, Denis enjoys a good game of racquetball and playing jazz guitar.

Louis Smith
Institution: Columbia University
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker

Louis is majoring in biological sciences at Columbia University, and plans to pursue a career in scientific research with the objective of becoming a university professor. Louis first became interested in biological research in after taking a particularly well-taught class in high school that exposed him to the intricate and multifaceted mechanics of cellular and molecular biology. From that point, a general intrigue with the scientific process and constant fascination with biological phenomenon have driven Louis' interest in biotechnology research. While constantly discovering new and interesting areas of research, Louis is particularly interested in synthetic biology and stem cell signaling & epigenetics. Over the summer, Louis will be working on a project investigating the role of micro RNAs in stem cell function. Outside of biological research topics, Louis is also especially intrigued with the manner that biology is communicated to students and everyday people. When not studying some facet of molecular biology, Louis enjoys traveling, backpacking, biking, and martial arts.

Rianne Stowell
Institution: Moravian College
Faculty Mentor: Gwenn Garden

Rianne Stowell is a rising senior double majoring in neuroscience and Spanish at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She recently returned from five months in Spain where she studied at the Universidad de Sevilla. While there she enjoyed her time working in a lab researching Parkinson's and practicing her Spanish. Here at UW she is working in the Garden Lab researching Huntington's disease. Her project involves looking at the effects of mutant huntingtin on IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor) receptors in a mouse model of the disease. After graduating Rianne wants to pursue a PhD in neuroscience and continue studying neurodegenerative disorders. In her free time she enjoys drawing, reading, running, and dancing.

Kendrick Tang
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Eric Shea-Brown

Kendrick is a rising junior at the University of Washington. He is currently pursuing a double degree in comprehensive mathematics and electrical engineering. During the summer he will be working with professor Eric Shea-Brown in the department of applied mathematics and working on computational neurobiology. More specifically, he is working with Yu, a Ph.D student, and looking at correlations between the structure of neural networks and patterns in firing. In his free time Kendrick likes to do math and will be preparing for the Putnam exam during the summer and fall.

Mitchell Truong
Institution: Oregon State University
Faculty Mentor: Danilo C. Pozzo

Mitchell is a chemical engineering student from Oregon State University. On campus, he is an active member of OSU's AIChE and Tau Beta Pi Student Chapters. His research interests are in interfacial science and its application to developing engineering solutions. Previously, he has worked in the OSU Biomaterials and Biointerfaces lab on projects involving reduction of surface fouling of blood contacting medical devices. This summer, Mitchell is working in Dr. Danilo Pozzo's lab on a project studying the synthesis of nanoparticle-surfactants and their controlled assembly into multi-particle structures with adjustable optical properties. Outside of the lab and the classroom Mitchell enjoys lifting weights, hiking, and playing tennis.

Sara Tweedy
Institution: Harvey Mudd College
Faculty Mentor: Xiaosong Li

Sara is a rising Junior at Harvey Mudd College majoring in chemistry. She is interested in both the biochemical and computational sides of chemistry, so last Summer she studied structure/function properties of the B-12 dependent enzyme IcmF in the Banerjee lab in the biological chemistry department at the University of Michigan. This summer, however, she is exploring theoretical chemistry in the Li Lab. She is modeling optical and magnetic properties of doped quantum dots with extra electrons. She plans on pursuing a PhD in chemistry focusing on at least one of these areas. Outside of lab, Sara's passion in soccer, and she plays soccer for her school's athletic program. She also enjoys playing many other sports for fun, as well as playing the French Horn and hanging out with her friends when she has the time.

Lisa Volpatti
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Faculty Mentor: Suzie Hwang Pun

Lisa Volpatti is a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering with minors in Bioengineering, Polymer Engineering, and Chemistry. During her summer at UW, she is working for Dr. Suzie Pun in the Department of Bioengineering. Lisa's project involves researching a novel polymeric gene delivery system which will be used for the treatment of diseases by transferring DNA into a specific subset of the patient's cells. At Pitt, Lisa conducts research in the Wang Lab on fabricating rapidly degradable scaffolds for soft tissue engineering applications. After graduating, she plans to further her education with the ultimate goal of obtaining a Ph.D. in either Bioengineering or Chemical Engineering.

Jenny Wohlman
Institution: Pacific Lutheran University
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker

Jenny Wohlman is a rising junior at Pacific Lutheran University located in Tacoma, WA, where she is pursuing a degree in Biology. This summer, she is excited to learn and work in Dr. Hannele Ruohola-Baker's lab located in the Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine on South Lake Union. The project she is participating in is focused on studying the effects of the 515 family of miRNA on inducing pluripotency in human fibroblast cells. In her free time, Jenny enjoys running, yoga, baking, and reading.

2011

Faculty

Andrew (AJ) Boydston - Organic Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/ajb1515/

Description: When one considers an energy source for driving a chemical reaction, the first thoughts are usually thermal, photo, or electrical impetus. Much less common is the application of mechanical forces to provide energy to overcome activation barriers along a reaction coordinate. This practice, known as mechanochemistry, involves the use of mechanical energy to influence chemical phenomena, including bond making and breaking events. In this regard a mechanophore may be viewed as a moiety that is sensitive to applied stress, which can be applied either in the solid-state (e.g., via shearing) or in solution (e.g., via ultrasound). Our group focuses on the design and synthesis of specialty mechanophores that can be incorporated into macromolecular architectures and applied as stimulus-responsive materials. From these materials, we target applications in areas ranging from stress-sensors to drug delivery.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Trisha Davis - Biochemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/tdavis/

Description: Errors in chromosome segregation lead to aneuploidy, which results in birth defects, cancer or cell death. Accurate chromosome segregation is performed by a large molecular machine called the mitotic spindle. The mitotic spindle contains many smaller machines including the centrosome, the microtubules themselves, the kinetochores where the microtubules attach to the chromosome and a multitude of microtubule motors. The ultimate goal of mitotic spindle assembly is to arrange each chromosome with its sister chromatids attached to opposite poles via microtubule fibers. This ensures that when anaphase occurs, the two sister chromatids are pulled apart and partitioned one into each daughter cell. The kinetochore is a part of the mitotic spindle with a critical task. It attaches the chromsomes to the dynamic microtubule fibers and must do so against ~20 pN of force, much more than is required to drag a chromosome through the cellular milieu. All chromosome segregation depends on this connection. We are studying the kinetochore as a molecular machine. The Amgen Scholar would work with two graduate students who are reconstituting the kinetochore from purified components. The student would learn protein purification and quantitative microscopy techniques and would have their own project as part of this larger endeavor.

Requirements: A biology lab course and introductory biology course would be very helpful. A cell biology or biochemistry course would also be helpful.

Maitreya Dunham - Genome Sciences

Website: http://dunham.gs.washington.edu/

Description: My lab works on genome evolution in yeast, ranging from laboratory evolution over a few weeks up to species-level differences over millions of years. We study these topics on a genome-wide scale using microarray and sequencing technologies as well as classical genetics approaches. Summer opportunities include both experimental and computational possibilities.

Requirements: Some laboratory experience (e.g. a lab course or other research experience) is preferred.

Stan Fields - Genome Sciences and Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/sfields/

Description: Ubiquitin is a 76 amino acid protein that is an essential signaling molecule in nearly every pathway in eukaryotic cells. Ubiquitin is attached to other proteins only after it has been activated by a cascade of three proteins known as E1, E2 and E3 enzymes. There are many E3 enzymes (called ubiquitin ligases) and they determine the target substrate specificity of this cascade. E3s are critical enzymes: several human diseases, including types of cancer and Parkinson's disease, are caused by mutation of genes that encode E3 enzymes. The goal of this project is to develop a new technology to enable easy and rapid identification of substrates for ubiquitin ligases, from yeast to man.

One way to systematically identify targets for an E3 would be to mutate the enzyme and to mutate ubiquitin so that only the single mutant E3 would be able to transfer the mutant ubiquitin. However, identifying such a mutant combination would be extremely difficult. Evolution has solved this problem for us, because there are several ubiquitin-like proteins that are attached to substrates using enzymes that are very similar to the ubiquitin E1, E2 and E3s. The student will engineer a yeast ubiquitin E3 to enable it to transfer a human ubiquitin-like protein to its substrates. This project will teach molecular biology techniques along with biochemistry, and if all goes well, identification of peptides by using tandem mass spectrometry. The project aims to solve an important biological problem (the elucidation of enzyme-substrate relationships for E3 enzymes) by developing an innovative new technology.

Requirements: Some basic biology coursework.

Gwenn Garden - Neurology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/hadlab/

Description: Inflammation has an important influence on the outcome of disease and injury in the CNS. Our laboratory studies the molecular regulation of inflammatory behaviors in the context of CNS diseases including Alzheimer's Disease, Stroke, Huntington's Disease and HIV associated neurocognitive disorders. We employ engineered mouse models of human disease as well as autopsy tissue from affected patients in these studies.

Requirements: One year of biology and chemistry coursework. Experience with commonly used equipment in molecular and cellular biology laboratories.

Jens Gundlach - Physics

Website: http://www.phys.washington.edu/groups/nanopore/index.shtml

Description: We are working on a new and direct technique for sequencing DNA. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a biological pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. In collaboration with a microbiologist we are mutating a naturally occurring pore protein to make it suitable for this sequencing technology.

Rodney Ho - Pharmaceutics

Website: http://sop.washington.edu/pharmaceutics/faculty-a-research/rodney-ho.html

Description: Our research program focuses on drug delivery and targeting for cancer and AIDS. The student will learn how to construct anti-HIV or anti-cancer nanoparticles and evaluate their biochemical and biophysical structure and functions of drugs and carriers in test tubes and cell cultures. They will be a part of the overall goal to improve effectiveness and safety of drugs for treatment of cancer and AIDS.

Requirements: Biology and chemistry with laboratory experience. Biochemistry and molecular biology will be helpful.

Shaoyi Jiang - Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/jgroup/Index.htm

Description: Molecular Understanding, Design and Development of Next-generation Biomaterials
An important challenge in many applications, ranging from biomedical devices to drug delivery carriers, is the prevention of nonspecific biomolecular and microorganism attachment on surfaces. To address this challenge, our goals are twofold. First, we strive to provide a fundamental understanding of nonfouling mechanisms at the molecular level using an integrated experimental and simulation approach. Second, we aim to develop biocompatible and environmentally benign ultra low fouling materials based on the molecular principles we have learned. Over the last few years, we have demonstrated that zwitterionic and mixed charge materials and surfaces are highly resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption, even from complex media such as undiluted blood plasma and serum. Both simulation and experimental results show that the strong hydration of zwitterionic materials is responsible for their excellent nonfouling properties. At present, zwitterionic materials have already been applied to a number of applications, including implantable medical devices, early cancer diagnostics, drug/gene delivery, antimicrobial coatings, and marine coatings. Students will have opportunities to work with 20+ Ph.D. students and postdoctoral research associates on one or more of the following topics from molecular principles to product development.

  1. Surface modifications and coatings
  2. Implantable hydrogels and sensors
  3. In vitro and in vivo drug and gene delivery
  4. Antimicrobial coatings
  5. Organic and polymer synthesis of biopolymers
  6. Combinatorial synthesis of peptide-based materials
  7. Molecular simulations studies of protein-surface interactions
  8. Quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) modeling

Matt Kaeberlein - Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Website: http://www.kaeberleinlab.org/

Description: The Kaeberlein lab is interested in understanding the basic biology of aging. Projects in the lab have a common theme centered on defining the genetic and environmental factors that influence longevity and healthspan. We use three different model organisms for our research: the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and mice. Depending on interest and experience, an Amgen Scholar summer student would have the opportunity to work on an aging-related project in yeast or C. elegans (or possibly both). Currently available projects include (1) mechanistic studies aimed at defining why specific yeast mutants respond differentially to dietary restriction, (2) characterizing the relationship between mRNA translation and aging, with specific emphasis on the interplay between mitochondrial and cytoplasmic translation, and (3) defining the mechanisms by which the hypoxic response influences aging and healthspan in C. elegans. Opportunities to contribute to our SAGEWEB project (http://www.sageweb.org) are also available for students interested in aging-related bioinformatic/computational studies and/or software development.

Requirements: Enthusiasm and interest in the biology of aging.

Dustin Maly - Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/malylab/

Description: Cells are able to integrate an enormous array of environmental information and convert these signals into complex behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and motility. This relay of extracellular stimuli into a phenotypic response involves the transfer of information through complex signal transduction networks that are precisely regulated, both spatially and temporally. Determining how these signal transduction networks are able to turn simple inputs into complex behavior is one of the greatest challenges in modern biology and will provide valuable insight into the cause and treatment of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Our group studies how cells sense and respond to their environment, by developing new biochemical and chemical tools that allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis and protein biochemistry we are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells. While we are interested in studying the function of a number of protein families that are involved in signaling, our initial efforts are focused on enzymes that mediate intracellular phosphorylation (the protein kinases and phosphatases). These studies focus on three main areas: 1) The location-specific function of kinases and phosphatases. 2) The quantitative characterization of specific intracellular phosphorylation events. 3) The conformational plasticity of signaling enzymes.

The specific project within these areas will depend on your interests and prior research experience.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Randall T. Moon - Pharmacology

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/rtmoon/

Description: Randall Moon studies the highly conserved Wnt signal transduction pathways. Wnts are secreted ligands that activate receptor-mediated pathways that regulate cell proliferation, cell fate, and cell behavior in development, and stem and progenitor cells in adults. His first goal is to identify the roles of Wnt signaling at the level of the organism, with a focus on regenerative processes in adults. His second goal is to elucidate the mechanisms by which Wnts signal. His third goal is to understand how Wnt signaling is linked to diseases, and to identify candidate therapies. The lab uses a wide range of methods, from studying human embryonic stem cells,to genome-wide siRNA screens, to small molecule screens, to proteomics. One current project studies the roles of Wnt signaling in heart regeneration in zebrafish, another project focuses on how beta catenin has different roles in different cancers, and a third project focuses on the roles of Wnt signaling in human embryonic stem cells, and hematopoietic progenitor cells.

Danilo C. Pozzo - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dpozzo/

Description: Electrophoresis, the motion of charged particles due to an externally applied electric field, is routinely used to separate biomolecules (e.g. DNA, Proteins) from complex mixtures (e.g. human plasma). Besides its paramount importance in most biological fields, electrophoretic separations are also used in diagnostic applications and in biosensors. This research aims to improve electrophoretic bio-separations through the use of nano-structured materials that have not been traditionally applied in this area. These materials include new surfactants and surfactant mixtures, structured sieving matrices (e.g. micelle crystals) and/or non-traditional electrolytes. We will make use of fundamental principles in colloid and polymer science to correlate the physics of the system to the overall efficiency of the separation. Leading edge electrophoresis techniques (e.g. microfluidics, capillary electrophoresis) will be used in conjunction with in-situ characterization experiments to probe the structure and conformation of biomolecules during the separation. Students working in this project will also be exposed to a wide variety of cutting-edge experimental techniques including scattering methods and spectroscopy.

Requirements: Interested students must have completed all of the basic Chemistry courses as well as Organic Chemistry and Physics. Basic laboratory experience is also essential. Students from Chemical Engineering Departments are especially encouraged to participate.

Suzie Hwang Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

Description: The Pun Lab develops nanoparticles for delivery of genes, siRNA, and molecular imaging agents. Applications for these delivery vehicles include siRNA to the central nervous system, cancer therapy, and tissue engineering. Researchers in our lab learn techniques related to mammalian cell culture, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, and gene transfection assays.

Peter Rabinovitch - Experimental Pathology

Website: http://www.uwaging.org

Description: The focus of the laboratory research is on the use of experimental animal models to examine the effects of cell signaling and reactive oxygen species (ROS) on lifespan and healthspan.  Transgenic mice that overexpress catalase have been found to be protected against multiple health challenges, including cardiac aging, sarcopenia and some cancers. A mitochondrial antioxidant drug, SS-31, is also being studied in mice, worm and yeast models. The interrelationships of mitochondrial ROS and mitochondrial damage with cell signaling pathways that mediate improved healthspan, including resistance to cardiac hypertrophy and failure, are also studied in the laboratory. As the mTOR pathway is a strong candidate in this linkage, we are using transgenic mice with altered mTOR signaling to explore this relationship. Projects are available in mouse and worm aging and healthspan studies, as well as in proteomic studies of effects of ROS and mTOR on protein translation and turnover.

Requirements: Should have completed some biology coursework and lab experience.

Dan Ratner - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dratner/

Description: In the past decade silicon photonics has revolutionized our ability to manipulate light on the chip-scale, with implications in computation, commincations and biomedical technology. For instance, the silicon nanophotonic microring resonator is a highly sensitive and label-free biosensing technology that has shown promise for detecting bimolecular and whole-cell binding interactions. Our lab aims to study interactions between cell receptors (including carbohydrates antigens) and protein, bacterial and viral binding partners using this silicon photonic platform. This Amgen project will focus on developing methods to engineer a non-fouling and biocompatible interface on our silicon microring resonator devices and assess subsequent interactions using complex samples, including human plasma.

Requirements: To ensure a successful research experience, students should have a basic familiarity with general/organic chemistry and introductory biology (protein structure, basic cell biology).

Michael Regnier - Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Description: The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, and how these mechanisms are disrupted in diseases.  We use the knowledge gained from these experiments to design protein and gene based therapies to improve the performance of diseased muscle and to develop tissue engineered muscle constructs as cell-replacement therapy for myocardial infarct (heart attack) and skeletal muscle injuries. Many research projects are done in collaboration with other laboratories at the University of Washington, at other institutions across the US, and in Italy.
Further information is provided at our website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Requirements: Basic Biology and Chemistry courses are essential.  Coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Physiology would help.

Hannele Ruohola-Baker - Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Website:  http://depts.washington.edu/taneli/

Description: My laboratory works on stem cell biology utilizing two systems, Drosophila germ line stem cells and human embryonic stem cells.  In both cases we have shown that microRNAs play an important role in stemness.  Our goals now include defining the key microRNA targets and their function in stem cells and their differentiating progeny.  Further, we seek to understand the regulation and importance of the stem cell specific hypoxic metabolism.  The goal is to understand whether the key stemness character observed in normal stem cells is also observed in pathological stem cells, so called cancer stem cells. 

Lynn Schnapp - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/pulmcc/faculty/schnapp.htm

Description: Mechanisms of Acute Lung Injury and Repair

Our lab is focused on the processes that govern acute lung injury and its resolution. In particular, we are interested in why lung injury resolves under certain circumstances (i.e. Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and progresses to end-stage fibrosis in other circumstances (i.e. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). To answer these questions, we use different models of lung injury in transgenic mice to examine select pathways in injury and fibrosis. To complement these studies, we are analyzing samples from patients with acute lung injury and other lung diseases using cutting-edge methodologies in proteomics to identify new pathways in lung injury.

Eric Shea-Brown - Applied Mathematics

Website: amath.washington.edu/~etsb

Description: COMPUTATIONAL DYNAMICS OF BRAIN FUNCTION

We work on the dynamics of neurons, structured neural networks, and large neural populations. The goal is to help uncover mechanisms that enable these systems to encode, propagate, and make decisions about sensory inputs. I enjoy the highly collaborative work with cognitive neuroscientists, with electrophysiologists, and with psychiatrists and neurologists that this requires. Achieving this goal also requires generalizing mechanisms uncovered in these and other studies to develop the mathematical theory of spiking neural networks. The shared aim is a theoretical framework which describes and connects the neural dynamics occurring on different spatial and temporal scales, ranging from single neurons and small circuits to populations.

Kristin Swanson - Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neuro Pathology

Website: http://www.pathology.washington.edu/research/labs/swanson/

Description: The Swanson research lab is located in the University Medical Center, and focuses on mathematical modeling and the analysis of quantifiable data obtained through medical imaging such as MRI, PET, and CT. With our convenient location in the UMC, we are in a unique position to compare model results and predictions with data obtained from real patients receiving care at the University. Student researchers necessarily learn aspects of neuro anatomy, tumor evolution and biology, medical imaging, computational and data processing methods. Individualized projects are chosen to best meet the student's interests and abilities, while at the same time serving the overarching goals of the lab.

The lab's current focus includes, but is not limited to, the modeling of brain tumor growth, evolution and response to therapy, and comparisons of information obtained from superficially disparate imaging modalities such as MR and PET. This modeling effort provides many interesting avenues for student research: from data acquisition and processing to investigation and development of new mathematical models of tumor processes.

Our lab is truly interdisciplinary: with over a dozen members with backgrounds ranging from biology to applied mathematics and computer programming, we are able to determine suitable research projects for just about anyone with a scientific background. A vast majority of our lab members are pre-med, providing a stimulating environment with many resources for information and opportunities.

Students are supervised daily by the lab manager, with at least once weekly lab meetings involving progress reports to Dr. Swanson.

Requirements: The student should have a strong interest and background in either mathematics or medical imaging, and be in good academic standing. Student should have intermediate to advanced computer experience and be comfortable spending extended periods of time at a computer. A strong candidate will have a background in mathematics, including a full calculus sequence, differential equations and linear algebra. Preference will be given to students with experience in any of the following computer programming languages: MATLAB, C++, FORTRAN, PHP, SQL.

Rheem A. Totah - Medicinal Chemistry

Website:http://depts.washington.edu/medchem/faculty/Totah.html

Description: Our lab is interested in investigating cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved in drug metabolism and have a known endogenous function. Several research opportunities exist to study the biochemical role of these enzymes. One project focuses on CYP2J2 and its role in drug induced cardiac toxicity. Stem cell derived adult cardiomyocytes are treated with various drugs and the change in RNA and protein expression is measured. Also the effect of drugs on the activity of CYP2J2 is assessed using LC-MS. A second project investigates the pharmacogenetic nature of CYP2C8. This enzyme is polymorphically expressed in various ethnic groups which results in a variable pharmacological response to drugs metabolized by this enzyme. We are currently investigating the mechanism behind the variable activity of the main variants of this enzyme. We utilize molecular biology to engineer the different variants, UV spectroscopy and LC-MS to assess the changes in activity.

Requirements: Intro to Chemistry and intro to Biochemistry

Beth Traxler - Microbiology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/micro/faculty/traxler.htm

Description: We would like to have a student work on a genetic analysis of genes that are involved with exchange of DNA between bacteria by conjugation. Specifically, we are interested in the similarity of conjugation systems that act in the standard lab bacterium E. coli and in bacterial pathogens like Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Burkholderia cenocepacia (which can infect plants and cystic fibrosis patients, respectively). We want to compare proteins that are important in these different organisms to determine how similar their transfer systems are.

Requirements: Basic understanding of biology and chemistry required (advanced high school or introductory college); helpful knowledge and skills include basic understanding of genetics and molecular biology.

Kim Woodrow - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/woodrow.html

Description: Our research group develops and uses functionalized micro- and nanomaterials as tools for studying the biological trafficking of pathogens involved in disease and for developing new technologies that benefit human health. We focus currently on three major research areas: (1) Employing synthetic and protein engineered viral mimics to study pathogen-host interactions during sexual transmission of HIV, (2) Designing drug delivery systems to mucosal tissue for the purpose of developing topical microbicides and stimulating mucosal immunity, and (3) Developing diagnostics for infectious disease and cancer.

Requirements: Molecular biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry

Bo Zhang - Bioanalytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/zhangb/index.html

Description: Our research is focused on fundamental and applied aspects of electrochemistry and biochemistry utilizing materials in the 1-100nm range. Two projects are available for undergraduate students. The first project studies electron-transfer and energy conversion at individual metal/semiconductor nanoparticles. A molecular-scale nanoelectrode is used to address individual nanoparticles and characterize their electrochemical properties. The second project is focused on the analysis of individual biopolymer molecules (e.g., DNA, RNA) using of a graphene nanopore field-effect transistor type sensor. Both of the projects involve the development and application of novel nanomaterials and nanotools. Therefore, students with a strong motivation and interest in nanotechnology, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry are welcome to participate in our research.

Requirements: A strong background and motivation in chemistry.

Scholars

LeeAnn Allen
Institution: Scripps College
Faculty Mentor: Dustin Maly, Chemistry

LeeAnn is a rising senior at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She is majoring in biochemistry with an art conservation minor. At Scripps, she studies vaccines using the tobacco mosaic virus as a scaffold. Earlier this summer, LeeAnn had the opportunity to research vaccines for Lumpy Skin Disease in Gaborone, Botswana. This summer, LeeAnn is working in the Maly Lab studying the conformations and functions of kinases. Back in Claremont, LeeAnn competes in Latin dance and is Vice President of the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company. She is also a member of Sigma Xi. LeeAnn hopes to pursue a PhD in Chemistry in order to become a professor.

Ersilia Anghel
Institution: University of Arizona
Faculty Mentor: Suzie Hwang Pun, Bioengineering

Ersilia Anghel is a rising honors senior at the University of Arizona majoring in biochemistry and art history. As an Amgen Scholar, she is working with Dr. Suzie Pun in the Department of Bioengineering on developing vehicles for the delivery of genes to be used as medical therapy. Outside of research, she has taken classes at the University of Utrecht in Dutch Art History and is curating an exhibit on medical art at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Ersilia's goal is to become a research physician specializing in surgery and regenerative medicine. When time permits, Ersilia enjoys diving, biking, and cherries.

Alan Beem
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Alan is a rising senior at the University of Washington. His work with the Ruohola-Baker Lab concerns the effects of Drosha expression levels on miRNA biogenesis, as well as the development of an assay to aid the determination of pluripotency in stem cells.

After high school, Alan decided to stop attending Northwestern University, worked as a parks department garbage-man, in the food industry, at a record store, and on a Christmas tree farm (among other places). Through all this, he never stopped thinking or analyzing the world, he enrolled at Seattle Central Community College, where he fell in love with economics. His fascination with the field stems from his lifelong interest in the brain and its role in the human experience. He transferred to the UW, where he is majoring in Economics and Neurobiology. Alan's goal is to pursue a PhD and to conduct his graduate studies at one of a small number of neuroeconomics labs in the country. His research experience prior to the Amgen Scholars Summer Program is with the Seelig Lab for Quantitative Biology and DNA Nanotechnology. He believes these experiences with molecular biology will help in his effort to discover the mechanisms of decision making from the ground up.

In his spare time, Alan likes to DJ dubstep and drum'n'bass, as well as produce electronic music, ride his road bike down steep hills, read books on systems, organization, chaos, science, statistics, the brain, (anything interesting and non-fiction), arguing / debating, watching the occasional good movie, and cooking and eating excellent food.

Michael Bocek
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Maitreya Dunham, Genome Sciences

Michael Bocek is a rising junior studying Biochemistry at the University of Washington. He is working in the Dunham Group this summer, studying the evolutionary genetics of yeast, with regards to the advantages and disadvantages of partial chromosome duplication. He plans to pursue a PhD after graduation. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the oboe, hiking, backpacking, cooking, and having crazy dance parties.

Daniel Cheung
Institution: Oregon State University
Faculty Mentor: Dan Ratner, Bioengineering

Born in Hong Kong but residing in Keizer, Oregon, Dan Cheung is continuing his studies at Oregon State as a junior where he is majoring in Bioengineering. At OSU, he is also part of the CBEE (Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering) club, tennis club, and Sigma Beta Rho Fraternity. For the summer, Dan is working in Dr. Dan Ratner's lab in the Bioengineering Department at UW, where he is investigating carbohydrate-pathogen interactions between human milk glycans and the Norovirus using microarray printing and label-free sensors. After graduating from Oregon State, he is planning on pursuing a PhD in either bioengineering or biomedical engineering to help him pursue a health-related career. When he isn't stuck inside his apartment completing his engineering homework while blasting techno, Dan loves to play tennis, cycle aimlessly around town, and attempt to persuade people to bake him cookies.

Vivian Chou
Institution: Pomona College
Faculty Mentor: Trisha Davis, Biochemistry

Vivian Chou is a rising junior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, where she is pursuing her B.A. in Molecular Biology. As an Amgen Scholar, Vivian is working with Dr. Trisha Davis in the Department of Biochemistry. The Davis lab studies the mechanics of the cell cycle. Vivian's project will focus on the Dam1 protein complex, a component of the yeast kinetochore. In summer 2010, Vivian participated in the MD/PhD Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. There, she worked full-time in the lab of Dr. Robert Lewis investigating mammalian signal transduction pathways. During the school year at Pomona, Vivian works in the lab of Dr. Clarissa Cheney, where she studies vesicular trafficking and Rab GDI interactors in Drosophila. Outside of the lab, Vivian enjoys reading, music, cooking, and Chinese calligraphy. Vivian also enjoys travel and is heading to University College London this fall, where she will both continue her scientific studies and conduct further lab research. Following college, Vivian plans to pursue an MD/PhD.

Matt Franklin
Institution: Michigan State University
Faculty Mentor: Danilo C. Pozzo, Chemical Engineering

Matt Franklin is a rising senior at Michigan State University studying chemical engineering. This summer, under Dr. Danilo Pozzo, he is analyzing structure-function relationships for protein-surfactant structures using small angle X-ray scattering by developing a theoretical model from Monte Carlo simulations. He is excited to work with both simulations and experiments to research biological structures. Further, he plans to earn a PhD in bio-chemical engineering to develop and improve models for biological phenomena. Outside of research, Matt enjoys longboarding, mountain biking, and raspberries.

Emma Grygotis
Institution: Earlham College
Faculty Mentor: Matt Kaeberlein, Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Emma Grygotis is a rising junior at Earlham College, where she is studying Biochemistry. This summer, she is working in the Kaeberlein lab studying the molecular mechanisms by which dietary restriction contributes to an extended lifespan. Specifically, she is working with several strains of C. elegans investigating the role of the MDT-15 protein in nutrient-sensitive aging pathways. In addition to her work in the lab, Emma plays clarinet with Earlham's orchestra and woodwind quintet. She is also preparing for a semester abroad in Tanzania, and enjoys hiking, skiing, and reading.

Helen Kim
Institution: Claremont McKenna College
Faculty Mentor: Stan Fields, Genome Sciences, Medicine

Helen Kim is a rising senior and a Molecular Biology major at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California. Back in Claremont, Helen has worked with Drosophila melanogaster to conduct genetics crosses and protein interaction experiments in a lab focused on the chromatin remodeling factor CHD1. This summer in Washington, she is excited to study and learn in Dr. Stan Fields's laboratory in the Genome Sciences department. She will be testing a new method that combines phage protein display and high-throughput sequencing to query the functional role of different mutations on the activity of ubiquitin ligases. Outside of the lab, Helen likes to read, adventure out in LA, and attend live music shows.

Joseph Kruempel
Institution: University of Iowa
Faculty Mentor: Matt Kaeberlein, Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Joe Kruempel is a senior at the University of Iowa, majoring in Biology. This summer, he is working in Dr. Matt Kaeberlein's lab, which uses yeast, nematodes, and mice to study evolutionarily conserved longevity factors, with the goal of identifying genetic pathways that can be manipulated to extend lifespan and healthspan in humans. His project for the summer involves exploring a potential nematode model of a class of human diseases called ribosomopathies, whose patients have defects in genes involved in ribosome structure and processing that lead to a range of clinical pathologies which are caused by p53-dependent apoptosis in highly proliferative tissues. After graduating he hopes to pursue a PhD. In his free time Joe enjoys good books, traveling, and the outdoors.

Theresa Kurtz
Institution: University of Rochester
Faculty Mentor: Kristin Swanson, Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neuro Pathology

Theresa Kurtz is a rising senior at the University of Rochester. She is pursing a double major in mathematics and neuroscience. This summer, she is working under Dr. Kristin Swanson in the pathology department, investigating growth models for glioma brain tumors. She is currently researching methods of MRI that are useful for identifying hypoxia--a factor that influences the aggressiveness of tumor growth. At the University of Rochester, Theresa is conducting a brain-imaging experiment in the Concepts, Actions, and Objects lab that studies the regions of the brain responsible for mathematical expertise. Outside the lab, Theresa enjoys climbing and hiking.

Megan Lacy
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Eric Shea-Brown, Applied Mathematics

Megan Lacy is entering her final year as an undergraduate at the University of Washington majoring in neurobiology with a minor in quantitative science. This summer Megan is working with the Shea-Brown group in the Applied Mathematics department on modeling deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease. In her free time, Megan enjoys being outside, spending time with friends and family, reading, and going to concerts.

Kyle Lakatos
Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Faculty Mentor: Rheem A. Totah, Medicinal Chemistry

Kyle is an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz studying Biochemistry. During his stay in Washington, Kyle is working under Dr. Rheem Totah in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry where he will be performing biochemical assays on a specific Cytochrome P450 (CYP) BM3. This is very important for understanding drug metabolism as CYP proteins are often involved in the oxidation of xenobiotics. Kyle enjoys teaching and aspires to become a professor and conduct research in plant biochemistry, looking for new methods to help with the increasing concern of global warming. Outside of academic life he enjoys dancing, fine dining, adventures, and playing ultimate Frisbee. He is actively involved in raising awareness around social justice issues and increasing diversity in higher education.

Marsha Lampi
Institution: Oregon State University
Faculty Mentor: Rodney Ho, Pharmaceutics

Marsha Lampi is a senior in the honors college at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. She is studying bioengineering with a minor in chemistry and will be graduating in spring of 2012. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering. This summer, Marsha is working with Dr. Rodney Ho in the department of Pharmaceutics. Marsha's research project focuses on creating nanoparticles targeted to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) which is overexpressed in many forms of cancer. In her free time, Marsha runs cross country and track for Oregon State, enjoys cooking, and taking in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Brynn Livesay
Institution: Oregon State University
Faculty Mentor: Shaoyi Jiang, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering

Brynn just finished her second year in the Chemical Engineering program at Oregon State University. This summer, she is working in the Jiang lab on a project focused on using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to measure peptide monolayers and their low-fouling characteristics in varying conditions to find the optimal preparation conditions for these surface coatings. She has previous research experience in the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces lab at Oregon State investigating surfactant stabilization of protein solutions. Outside of the classroom, Brynn is a College of Engineering Ambassador; the president of Phi Sigma Rho, a sorority for women in engineering; and the secretary for the Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering Club at Oregon State. Brynn spends as much of her free time as possible on the volleyball court whether it is playing on intramural volleyball teams or coaching 6th grade girls at the Boys and Girls club in Corvallis, OR.

Alexandra Long
Institution: Carleton College
Faculty Mentor: Kim Woodrow, Bioengineering

Alex is a rising junior at Carleton College majoring in Biology with minors in Biochemistry and Latin American Studies. This summer, she is working in the Woodrow laboratory investigating different nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for HIV entry inhibitors. She has a strong interest in global health and hopes to find ways to integrate this perspective into a future career in biomedical research. Outside of lab, Alex enjoys hiking, biking, martial arts, and reading. At the end of the summer she is traveling to Ecuador to study public health for a semester.

Circe McDonald
Institution: Domincan University of California
Faculty Mentor: Randall T. Moon, Pharmacology

Circe is a rising junior at Dominican University of California majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology with minors in Chemistry and Philosophy. This summer she is working in the Randall Moon Lab investigating the mechanisms of Wnt signaling in human embryonic stem cells. In the future, she plans to pursue a career in biomedical research. Outside of the lab, she enjoys reading, sailing, playing the flute, and trying new food. She also serves as a film critic for her school's newspaper.

McRae

Molly McQuilken
Institution: Cedar Crest College
Faculty Mentor: Beth Traxler, Microbiology

Molly is a senior at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Genetic Engineering with a double minor in Chemistry and Mathematics. This summer, she is doing research with Dr. Beth Traxler of the Microbiology department. Her project involves studying the type IV secretion system of Burkholderia cenocepacia, which is a pathogen that often infects people with cystic fibrosis. In her free time she likes to paint and play disc golf.

Megan Neumann
Institution: The College of St. Scholastica
Faculty Mentor: Lynn Schnapp, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Megan Neumann is a rising senior at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, where she is pursuing a major in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Russian. After college, she intends to further her education in the biomedical sciences. This summer, she is working in the lab of Dr. Lynn Schnapp located in the Center for Lung Biology at South Lake Union. The lab's focus is to determine the mechanism of acute lung injury resolution and the effects of a specific cellular matrix remodeling protein, uPARAP, which internalizes and degrades collagen. Megan's role involves isolating the uPARAP ectodomain and creating a truncated recombinant protein in order to study its possible medical applications. Megan is an organic chemistry teaching assistant and the drumline captain at her home university. Aside from academics, her interests include Legos, meteor showers, zombies, golfing, and working on her conversational Russian.

Ian Nova
Institution: Santa Clara University
Faculty Mentor: Jens Gundlach, Physics

Ian is currently entering his senior year in the Bioengineering program at Santa Clara University in California but is originally a native of the Seattle area. This summer he will be working in the Gundlach lab in the Physics department investigating nanopore DNA sequencing. Ian spent his previous summer conducting a research project on plant ecology in the Costa Rican rainforest. Although he is currently unsure of his future career plans, Ian will most likely pursue a graduate degree in biology but hopes to spend as much time as possible climbing and skiing mountains until then.

Stephen Oja
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Faculty Mentor: Bo Zhang, Bioanalytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry

Steve will begin his last year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is studying chemistry. At school, Steve is involved with atmospheric chemistry research and is also an environmental steward on his campus. His hobbies include kayaking, attending Packers football games, and eating cheese. He wants to use his chemistry background to pursue a career in pharmaceutical research. For the summer, he is working in Dr. Bo Zhang's lab, developing an array of bipolar nanoelectrodes to image single-cell exocytosis events, which will eventually be extended to a system capable of imaging an entire neuronal network.

Galen Pizzorno
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Gwenn Garden, Neurology

Galen is a junior majoring in Neurobiology and Biochemistry at the University of Washington, where he recently transferred from Dartmouth for the large number of research opportunities. He currently works for Dr. Gwenn Garden in Neurology and investigates when and where Presenilin 2, a gene involved in Alzheimer's, is expressed in microglia. His interest in research arises from a desire to understand and provide support for the brain. Galen enjoys tutoring biology and is Tutoring Coordinator for UW's Tribeta Biological Honor Society chapter. He is also an avid soccer player and volunteers at Whisker City, a local cat shelter.

Jason Reynolds
Institution: Idaho State University
Faculty Mentor: Peter Rabinovitch, Experimental Pathology

Jason Reynolds will enter his final year pursuing his degree in Microbiology at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. During the school year he stays busy as a student member of the American Society for Microbiology, an associate member of Sigma Xi, the Society for Scientific Research, as an officer of the ISU Microbiology Club, and a member of the ISU Pre-Health Professionals of America. His research as an Amgen Scholar in the Rabinovitch lab involves the molecular basis of aging. He has been an undergraduate research fellow in the Bearden Vascular Biology Lab, studying the function of the microvascular system in blood-brain barrier function and the effect of homocysteine, a risk factor for thrombosis, atherosclerosis, and stroke. His work has been recently featured in Blood: Journal of the American Society of Hematology. When he's not manipulating very small volumes of liquid in the lab, he enjoys moving large things in the gym. His hobbies also include hiking, camping, and listening to metal music at an obnoxiously loud volume.

Robin Wilson
Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Faculty Mentor: Michael Regnier, Bioengineering, Physiology & Biophysics

Robin Wilson is a rising senior studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. This summer, she's working in Dr. Regnier's lab studying the effects of dATP, a variation of ATP, on muscle mechanics of cardiac myocytes to develop improved treatment options for heart attack victims. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering within the area of biomechanics. In her spare time, Robin enjoys playing sports, hiking, listening to music, and going on adventures.

Gedion Yitref
Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: AJ Boydston, Organic Chemistry

Gedion Yitref is a rising senior at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in Chemistry. This summer, he will be continuing work in the Boydston group focusing on how mechanical forces can act as an impetus for bond making and breaking events. More specifically, he will synthesize polymer chains equipped with a strained ring that can undergo force-induced chemical transformations upon elongation of the macromolecule. This may provide a viable means to guiding the reaction pathways in certain ring opening events. In the future, Gedion is interested in attending graduate school but is not quite sure what area of chemistry he would like to specialize in. When Gedion is not in lab, he enjoys going on runs, playing basketball, and listening to Bob Marley.

2010

Overview

2010 was the fourth year of Phase I of the UW Amgen Scholars Summer Program. 29 promising undergraduates were selected from the University of Washington and other institutions nationally to participate in an intensive research experience. These students were mentored by outstanding UW faculty members.

amgen2010

 

Faculty

Joshua Akey - Genetics/Genomics

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/faculty/akey.htm

Description: Our laboratory is broadly interested in understanding the evolutionary history of human populations. Important events in human history, such as changes in population size or adaptation to new environments, impart signatures on patterns of DNA sequence variation. The research project would focus on analyzing patterns of genetic variation that have been collected in geographically diverse human populations, to better understand human evolutionary history. There is considerable flexibility in developing a specific research project, which will be tailored to the interests and background of the student. Specific examples include, but are not limited to, studying patterns of evolution in regulatory regions of the human genome, investigating how different populations are related to one another, and comparing patterns of polymorphism and divergence at specific candidate genes between humans and non-human primates.

Requirements: There are no specific requirements, although some familiarity with (or interest in learning) basic computer programming would be helpful.

William M. Atkins - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/wmatkins/lab.html

Description: Two exciting projects are available. Both projects relate to the structure and function of enzymes that metabolize drugs and form the basis for drug-drug interactions that confound prediction of drug clearance. The first project aims to understand the effects of simultaneous binding of multiple drugs at the active site of cytochrome P450s (CYPs), wherein the direct molecular interaction between these drugs within the active site alters their redox properties, and hence their relative reactivity. To explore this, electrochemistry will be attempted to measure the oxidation potential (energy required to remove an electron) of cytochrome P450-bound acetaminophen (Tylenol) in the presence and absence of ‘effector’ drugs. The student will contribute by measuring binding affinities of drugs for CYPs using optical spectroscopy. The second project involves protein engineering of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in order to control their stereoselectivity towards hydroxynonenal (HNE), a product of oxidative stress that likely has a causal role in many diseases including Alzheimer’s, atheroschlerosis, cataracts, and asthma. GSTs provide the major route of HNE metabolism. HNE is formed as a racemate, but the individual enantiomers appear to have different biological effects. Understanding the stereochemical selectivity, and manipulating it via protein engineering, could provide new therapeutic strategies for controlling these diseases. The student will perform site-directed mutagenesis.

Requirements: Introductory chemistry course with lab

Carlos Enrique Catalano - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/medchem/faculty/Catalano.html

Description: Our lab studies the steps in the assembly of double-stranded DNA viruses, such as herpesviruses and many bacteriophage.  Specifically, we study the viral motor that packages viral DNA into a pre-formed capsid structure.  We use enzyme kinetics, biochemistry, and biophysical approaches to study the entire virus assembly pathway, with special emphasis on the packaging motor.  Summer students may use a variety of approaches to study the problem, from molecular biology (cloning mutant proteins) to optical spectrosopy (studying protein-DNA interactions) to enzyme kinetic studies.

Requirements: Recent Chemistry Course, with Lab

Daniel Chiu - Chemistry, Biophysics, Nanotechnology

Website: https://depts.washington.edu/chiugrp/

Description: Chiu lab is focused on developing new methods for probing complex biological processes at the single-cell and single-molecule level, and on applying these new techniques for addressing pressing biological problems. New methods in development include new microfluidic platforms and advanced microscopy techniques.

Requirements: Have completed at least first year General Chemistry courses.

Horacio de la Iglesia - Biology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/hacholab/research.php

Description:

Research Interests

Research in our laboratory is guided to understand the neural basis of behavior. Specifically, we are interested in biological timing, which can be studied at different levels of organization, using different approaches and throughout the phylogenetic tree.

Biological timing in mammals

Virtually all living species have biological clocks that generate and control the daily cyclic variations in physiology and behavior, such us rhythms in locomotor activity, temperature and hormonal secretion. In mammals, the master control of these so-called circadian rhythms is exerted by a biological clock located within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain. We use behavioral, physiological and molecular techniques in order to understand how the SCN generates and orchestrates this array of circadian rhythms.

Biological timing in intertidal crustaceans

Species of the intertidal zone show behavioral and physiological rhythms synchronized to the tidal cycle. These circatidal rhythms also rely on biological clocks and a second line of research in our laboratory is directed to identify the molecular mechanisms and neural pathways by which these clocks are able to sustain rhythms in decapod crustaceans. For this project we study organisms from a unique community of crustaceans distributed throughout the intertidal habitats of our beloved Pacific Northwest.

Maitreya Dunham - Genome Sciences

Website: http://dunham.gs.washington.edu/

Description: My lab works on genome evolution in yeast, ranging from laboratory evolution over a few weeks up to species-level differences over millions of years. We study these topics on a genome-wide scale using microarray and sequencing technologies as well as classical genetics approaches. Summer opportunities include both experimental and computational possibilities.

Requirements: Some laboratory experience (e.g. a lab course or other research experience) is preferred.

Stan Fields - Genome Sciences and Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/sfields/

Description: Ubiquitin is a 76 amino acid protein that is an essential signaling molecule in nearly every pathway in eukaryotic cells. Ubiquitin is attached to other proteins only after it has been activated by a cascade of three proteins known as E1, E2 and E3 enzymes. There are many E3 enzymes (called ubiquitin ligases) and they determine the target substrate specificity of this cascade. E3s are critical enzymes: several human diseases, including types of cancer and Parkinson's disease, are caused by mutation of genes that encode E3 enzymes. The goal of this project is to develop a new technology to enable easy and rapid identification of substrates for ubiquitin ligases, from yeast to man.

One way to systematically identify targets for an E3 would be to mutate the enzyme and to mutate ubiquitin so that only the single mutant E3 would be able to transfer the mutant ubiquitin. However, identifying such a mutant combination would be extremely difficult. Evolution has solved this problem for us, because there are several ubiquitin-like proteins that are attached to substrates using enzymes that are very similar to the ubiquitin E1, E2 and E3s. The student will engineer a yeast ubiquitin E3 to enable it to transfer a human ubiquitin-like protein to its substrates. This project will teach molecular biology techniques along with biochemistry, and if all goes well, identification of peptides by using tandem mass spectrometry. The project aims to solve an important biological problem (the elucidation of enzyme-substrate relationships for E3 enzymes) by developing an innovative new technology.

Requirements: Some basic biology coursework.

Jens Gundlach - Physics

Website: http://www.phys.washington.edu/groups/nanopore/index.shtml

Description: We are working on a new and direct technique for sequencing DNA. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a biological pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. In collaboration with a microbiologist we are mutating a naturally occurring pore protein to make it suitable for this sequencing technology.

Merrill B. Hille - Biology

Website: http://www.biology.washington.edu/index.html?navID=42&parecID=159

Description: The students will study the role of a regulatory protein, p120 catenin, in early zebrafish development. This protein likely regulates the adhesion and motility of cells that form the early embryonic structures. The kinds of molecular biology techniques the students will use are PCR, transformation of bacteria, sterile technique, sub cloning and moving genes to different vectors, in vitro preparation of mRNA, Western Blots. If the student progresses rapidly they will be able to inject their mRNA construct in to zebrafish eggs and see where they go during early development with live or confocal microscopy. Most of our genes have green fluorescent protein markers.

The students should have had a course with some protein signaling or protein structure understanding, for example a 200 or 300 level cell biology class with a chemistry prerequisite or a biochemistry class. The students should be willing to concentrate well in manipulations, since errors are very expensive. Diligence in the preparation of labile mRNA will be required.

Rodney Ho - Pharmaceutics

Website: http://sop.washington.edu/pharmaceutics/faculty-a-research/rodney-ho.html

Description: The research program in this laboratory focuses on drug delivery and targeting for cancer and AIDS. The student in this summer research program will learn how to construct anti-HIV or anti-cancer nanoparticles and evaluate their biochemical and biophysical structure and functions in test tubes and appropriate cell culture models. They will be a part of the overall goal to improve effectiveness and safety of drugs for treatment of cancer and AIDS.

Requirements: Biology and chemistry with laboratory experience.
Biochemistry and molecular biology will be helpful.

Shaoyi Jiang - Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering

Terrance Kavanagh - Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Brian Kennedy - Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/biowww/faculty/kennedy.html

Description: A major focus in my research group is to understand the mechanisms which control aging. We use yeast, worms and mice as models organisms for aging research and have identified genes which modulate the aging process. In an intensive research program a summer student would be given a project related to one of these aging genes and would conduct experiments to determine the function(s) of that gene that important for the control of aging. Dietary restriction is one intervention that results in life span extension in every model organism tested. Many of the genes we study are important to mediate the downstream effects of dietary restriction.  Understanding the mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends lifespan is important since dietary restriction works in primates and is therefore likely to modulate human aging.

Dustin Maly - Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/malylab/

Description: Cells are able to integrate an enormous array of environmental information and convert these signals into complex behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and motility. This relay of extracellular stimuli into a phenotypic response involves the transfer of information through complex signal transduction networks that are precisely regulated, both spatially and temporally. Determining how these signal transduction networks are able to turn simple inputs into complex behavior is one of the greatest challenges in modern biology and will provide valuable insight into the cause and treatment of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Our group studies how cells sense and respond to their environment, by developing new biochemical and chemical tools that allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis and protein biochemistry we are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells. While we are interested in studying the function of a number of protein families that are involved in signaling, our initial efforts are focused on enzymes that mediate intracellular phosphorylation (the protein kinases and phosphatases). These studies focus on three main areas: 1) The location-specific function of kinases and phosphatases. 2) The quantitative characterization of specific intracellular phosphorylation events. 3) The conformational plasticity of signaling enzymes.

The specific project within these areas will depend on your interests and prior research experience.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Danilo C. Pozzo - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dpozzo/

Description: Electrophoresis, the motion of charged particles due to an externally applied electric field, is routinely used to separate biomolecules (e.g. DNA, Proteins) from complex mixtures (e.g. human plasma). Besides its paramount importance in most biological fields, electrophoretic separations are also used in diagnostic applications and in biosensors. This research aims to improve electrophoretic bio-separations through the use of nano-structured materials that have not been traditionally applied in this area. These materials include new surfactants and surfactant mixtures, structured sieving matrices (e.g. micelle crystals) and/or non-traditional electrolytes. We will make use of fundamental principles in colloid and polymer science to correlate the physics of the system to the overall efficiency of the separation. Leading edge electrophoresis techniques (e.g. microfluidics, capillary electrophoresis) will be used in conjunction with in-situ characterization experiments to probe the structure and conformation of biomolecules during the separation. Students working in this project will also be exposed to a wide variety of cutting-edge experimental techniques including scattering methods and spectroscopy.

Requirements: Interested students must have completed all of the basic Chemistry courses as well as Organic Chemistry and Physics. Basic laboratory experience is also essential. Students from Chemical Engineering Departments are especially encouraged to participate.

Suzie Hwang Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

Description: The Pun Lab develops nanoparticles for delivery of genes, siRNA, and molecular imaging agents. Applications for these delivery vehicles include siRNA to the central nervous system, cancer therapy, and tissue engineering. Researchers in our lab learn techniques related to mammalian cell culture, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, and gene transfection assays.

Christine Queitsch - Quantitative Genetics, Biochemistry, Genomics, Plant Biology

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/labs/queitsch/

Description: Natural selection acts on phenotypes rather than on genotypes. Our lab is interested in identifying molecular mechanisms that rapidly generate selectable phenotypic variation. One potential mechanism of great interest is highly conserved DNA Tandem Repeats (TR). These can expand and contract rapidly thereby creating shorter or longer proteins or regulatory regions. In yeast and for some human diseases phenotypic consequences of length polymorphisms in these TR have been demonstrated for some genes. We have undertaken a systematic approach to the genome of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and have identified many such variable TR across 50 genetically divergent Arabidopsis populations and we found correlations to previously identified phenotypes. This summer project encompasses generating transgenic plants with variable repeat lengths in a control background to establish causality of repeat length and phenotype. Work will include plasmid construction, plant transformation, phenotypic analysis, and statistical analysis of phenotypes.

Requirements: Lab experience and/or computational background desirable but not required.

Peter Rabinovitch - Pathology

Michael Regnier - Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Description: The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, and how these mechanisms are disrupted in diseases.  We use the knowledge gained from these experiments to design protein and gene based therapies to improve the performance of diseased muscle and to develop tissue engineered muscle constructs as cell-replacement therapy for myocardial infarct (heart attack) and skeletal muscle injuries. Many research projects are done in collaboration with other laboratories at the University of Washington, at other institutions across the US, and in Italy.
Further information is provided at our website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Requirements: Basic Biology and Chemistry courses are essential.  Coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Physiology would help.

Hannele Ruohola-Baker - Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Website:  http://depts.washington.edu/taneli/

Description: My laboratory works on stem cell biology utilizing two systems, Drosophila germ line stem cells and human embryonic stem cells.  In both cases we have shown that microRNAs play an important role in stemness.  Our goals now include defining the key microRNA targets and their function in stem cells and their differentiating progeny.  Further, we seek to understand the regulation and importance of the stem cell specific hypoxic metabolism.  The goal is to understand whether the key stemness character observed in normal stem cells is also observed in pathological stem cells, so called cancer stem cells. 

Lynn Schnapp - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/pulmcc/faculty/schnapp.htm

Description: Mechanisms of Acute Lung Injury and Repair

Our lab is focused on the processes that govern acute lung injury and its resolution. In particular, we are interested in why lung injury resolves under certain circumstances (i.e. Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and progresses to end-stage fibrosis in other circumstances (i.e. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). To answer these questions, we use different models of lung injury in transgenic mice to examine select pathways in injury and fibrosis. To complement these studies, we are analyzing samples from patients with acute lung injury and other lung diseases using cutting-edge methodologies in proteomics to identify new pathways in lung injury.

Hong Shen - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/people/faculty/shen.htm

Description: Our laboratory focuses on developing technologies to probe and intervene the immune and nervous system.

1. Engineering immune cells for the development of single-cell based biosensors;
2. Developing molecular probes for monitoring chemical reactions of intracellular compartments;
3. Developing modular delivery systems for mediating functions of immune cells and nerve cells.

Kristin Swanson - Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neuro Pathology

Website: http://www.pathology.washington.edu/research/labs/swanson/

Description: The Swanson research lab is located in the University Medical Center, and focuses on mathematical modeling and the analysis of quantifiable data obtained through medical imaging such as MRI, PET, and CT. With our convenient location in the UMC, we are in a unique position to compare model results and predictions with data obtained from real patients receiving care at the University. Student researchers necessarily learn aspects of neuro anatomy, tumor evolution and biology, medical imaging, computational and data processing methods. Individualized projects are chosen to best meet the student's interests and abilities, while at the same time serving the overarching goals of the lab.

The lab's current focus includes, but is not limited to, the modeling of brain tumor growth, evolution and response to therapy, and comparisons of information obtained from superficially disparate imaging modalities such as MR and PET. This modeling effort provides many interesting avenues for student research: from data acquisition and processing to investigation and development of new mathematical models of tumor processes.

Our lab is truly interdisciplinary: with over a dozen members with backgrounds ranging from biology to applied mathematics and computer programming, we are able to determine suitable research projects for just about anyone with a scientific background. A vast majority of our lab members are pre-med, providing a stimulating environment with many resources for information and opportunities.

Students are supervised daily by the lab manager, with at least once weekly lab meetings involving progress reports to Dr. Swanson.

Requirements: The student should have a strong interest and background in either mathematics or medical imaging, and be in good academic standing. Student should have intermediate to advanced computer experience and be comfortable spending extended periods of time at a computer. A strong candidate will have a background in mathematics, including a full calculus sequence, differential equations and linear algebra. Preference will be given to students with experience in any of the following computer programming languages: MATLAB, C++, FORTRAN, PHP, SQL.

Rheem A. Totah - Medicinal Chemistry/Drug Metabolism

Website:http://depts.washington.edu/medchem/faculty/Totah.html

Description: Work in our lab focuses on cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved in drug metabolism as well as the metabolism of essential fatty acids such as the ω3 and ω6 fatty acids.  We are looking at modulation of fatty acid metabolism in extrahepatic tissues and potential toxicity caused by different drug substrates.  The student will be investigating the mode of inhibition of fatty acid metabolism by measuring inhibitory kinetic constants and identifying metabolites that are formed from various fatty acids using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. 

Requirements: Chemistry and Chemistry Lab

Beth Traxler - Microbiology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/micro/faculty/traxler.htm

Description: We would like to have a student work on a genetic analysis of genes that are involved with exchange of DNA between bacteria by conjugation. Specifically, we are interested in the similarity of conjugation systems that act in the standard lab bacterium E. coli and in bacterial pathogens like Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Burkholderia cenocepacia (which can infect plants and cystic fibrosis patients, respectively). We want to compare proteins that are important in these different organisms to determine how similar their transfer systems are.

Requirements: Basic understanding of biology and chemistry required (advanced high school or introductory college); helpful knowledge and skills include basic understanding of genetics and molecular biology.

Paul Yager - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/yagerp/

Description: We are developing microfluidics-based analytical techniques for molecules of biomedical interest. Ongoing projects focus on the use of optical detection methods, including fluorescence, optical absorbance, and surface plasmon resonance imaging. Projects are funded by NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Scholars

Janice Cho
Institution: Pitzer College, Human Biology and Spanish
Faculty Mentor: Christine Queitsch, Quantitative Genetics, Biochemistry, Genomics, Plant Biology

Janice Cho is a rising senior at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA majoring in Human Biology and Spanish. This summer, she will be working in Dr. Christine Queitsch's lab in the Department of Genome Sciences investigating the mechanisms of variable tandem repeats on the micro-evolution of wild-type phenotypes using the Arabidopsis and yeast models. She just spent this past year studying abroad in Ecuador and Spain taking classes in politics, history, and literature, so she hopes the Amgen Program will get her back on track to her science career. Her past research experiences include the Summer Student Academy at the City of Hope working with mouse imprinted genes and investigating CHD1, a chromatin remodeling factor in Drosophila at Pitzer. Outside of the lab, Janice loves to hike, swim, and watch "How I Met Your Mother." She is also a soccer fanatic and loves to talk about anything related to soccer, an interest sparked by her year abroad (Real Madrid is her favorite team). Eventually, she plans to pursue an M.D/Ph.D but would first like to spend a year abroad either teaching English or doing research.

Michael Choi
Institution: University of Washington, Chemistry and Biochemistry with a minor in Mathematics
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Michael Choi is a rising junior at the University of Washington majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry and minoring in Mathematics. As an Amgen scholar, he is in the Ruohola-Baker laboratory investigating embryonic stem cells and stem cell maintenance. In the future, he is interested in attending graduate school, and he plans to further investigate the biology of disease on the molecular level and research cures. Outside of class, Michael enjoys playing tennis, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

James Clements
Institution: Loyola Marymount University, Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics
Faculty Mentor: Paul Yager, Bioengineering

James Clements is a rising senior at Loyola Marymount University pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering. This summer he will be working in the Yager lab investigating and characterizing semiquantitative paper-based assays. Paper-based assays are diagnostic tools that can potentially increase the accessibility of diagnostic tests in the developing world. James is committed to the improvement global health and plans to pursue a PhD in bioengineering in order to contribute to this cause. James spends his spare time rock climbing, slack lining, and traveling.

Drury

Bertram Drury
Institution: University of Missouri-Columbia, Chemistry with a minor in Biological Sciences
Faculty Mentor: Terrance Kavanagh, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Bert is a senior at the University of Missouri - Columbia majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Biology. During his undergraduate years Bert has worked in Dr. Fred vom Saal's lab, researching the effects of endocrine disruptors like bisphenol -A (BPA) on mice. Bert is excited to be back home in Washington for the Summer and to be a part of the Amgen Program where he is further exploring his interest in toxicology by working in Dr. Terrance Kavanagh's lab. He will be investigating the toxicity that nanotechnologies such as Quantum Dots may have on epithelial tissue. Bert's long-term goal is to pursue an MD/PhD and work in academic medicine. Outside of the lab, you'll see Bert riding or working on his bike, playing Ultimate, gardening, or struggling with a crossword puzzle.

Benjamin Dulken
Institution: University of Washington, Bioengineering
Faculty Mentor: Suzie H. Pun, Bioengineering

Ben Dulken was born in Munich, Germany but has lived most of his life in the greater Seattle area. He is currently a rising junior at the University of Washington, majoring in Bioengineering. This summer Ben will be working in the lab of Dr. Suzie Pun exploring the potential of ampiphilic triblock co-polymers as drug delivery systems via the formation of drug-encapsulated micelles and cross-linked hydrogels which exhibit controlled drug release. After college he hopes to attend graduate or medical school. In his free time, Ben enjoys competitive cycling and has competed for the University of Washington, as well as the Café Appasionato cycling teams. He also is an avid jazz piano player, and has played with numerous local jazz combos. Other hobbies of his include hiking, rock climbing, and running.

Hannah Dzimitrowicz
Institution: Middlebury College, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor: Brian Kennedy, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Hannah Dzimitrowicz is a rising senior at Middlebury College in Vermont, majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. This summer, she is working in Dr. Brian Kennedy's lab and investigating the role of A-type nuclear lamin mutations in disease. After Middlebury, she plans to pursue an MD/PhD. Aside from research, Hannah enjoys rowing, horseback riding, hiking, and running.

Onyi Esonu
Institution: Bowdoin College, Biochemistry
Faculty Mentor: Rheem A. Totah, Medicinal Chemistry/Drug Metabolism

Onyi Esonu is a rising junior at Bowdoin College and is majoring in Biochemistry. This summer she will be working in the Totah Lab comparing mutant and wildtype CYP2C8 metabolism of bisphosphonates. Her previous research was conducted at Bowdoin College, where she devised a method of extracting neuropeptides from lobster eyestalk tissues using mass spectrometry. After graduation, she plans to pursue and MD/Ph.D in order to begin a career in infectious disease research. In her free time, Onyi enjoys reading, running and spending time with friends and family.

Jessica Forbes
Institution: Carroll College, Mathematics, Biology
Faculty Mentor: Kristin Swanson, Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neural Pathology

Jessica Forbes is a senior at Carroll College in Helena, MT. She is double majoring in Mathematics and Biology. Next year, she will be studying abroad in Scotland for two semesters. While abroad, she is excited to explore Europe and immerse herself in a new culture. Her past research was conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA where she focused on the verification of a Support Vector Machine (an algorithm) used to identify proteotypic peptides. At the University of Washington she works with the Swanson Lab which specializes in mathematically modeling the growth of glioma brain tumors. Outside the lab, Jessica enjoys running, hiking, visiting new restaurants around Seattle, and music.

Frisch

Sarah Frisch
Institution: University of North Dakota, Biology
Faculty Mentor: Lynn Schnapp, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Sarah Frisch is a Biology/Pre-Medicine major who is entering her senior year at her home university: University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks, ND. Through the Amgen program she has the privilege of working in the lab of Dr. Lynn Schnapp located in the Center for Lung Biology at South Lake Union. The focus of the lab is in determining the mechanism of acute lung injury repair and the effects of a particular cellular matrix remodeling protein titled Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor Associated Protein (uPARAP), which internalizes and degrades collagen. Sarah enjoys spending her free time being a volunteer for hospice home services, a member of different campus clubs including being the former President of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars UND chapter, spending time with friends, going to movies, shopping, duplicating portrait pictures by sketching larger versions, and religiously playing intramural volleyball.

Vicky Herrera
Institution: University of Washington-Bothell, Biology, Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: Horacio de la Iglesia, Biology

Vicky is a junior at the University of Washington in Bothell. Currently, she is pursuing degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry. This summer, she is doing research with Dr. De Iglesia of the Biology department. She is assisting in how sleep disruption adversely affects memory compensation and the protein that controls it. This project will tells us a great amount on circadian clocks. During her free time, Vicky loves to run, hike, and spend time with her family and friends.

Laura Hoverson
Institution: Scripps College, Biology
Faculty Mentor: Maitreya Dunham, Genome Sciences

Laura Hoverson is a rising senior at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She is majoring in Biology and plans to pursue a graduate degree in a related field. This summer, she is working in Dr. Maitreya Dunham's lab in the Genome Sciences department. Her project for the summer is to identify all of the essential genes in the yeast Saccharomyces bayanus using the transposon Tm7. She has previously volunteered at Harborview Hospital and studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing, reading and traveling.

Lesley Jones
Institution: University of California-Davis, Biological Sciencs
Faculty Mentor: Merrill B. Hille, Biology

Lesley Jones is a rising senior at UC Davis, majoring in Biological Sciences. This summer, she is working in with Dr. Merrill Hille on early stages of zebrafish development, specifically the protein p120 catenin and mutants of its various phosphorylation sites. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in Molecular Biology. In her spare time, Lesley enjoys a good book, learning new instruments, and trying exotic new foods.

Suzanne Kissel
Institution: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Chemistry/Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
Faculty Mentor: Beth Traxler, Microbiology

Suzanne Kissel is a senior at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. She is majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This summer, she is working in the Traxler lab studying the type IV secretion system of Burkholderia cenocepacia, which is a pathogen that often infects people with cystic fibrosis. In her free time she enjoys sailing, eating Taco Bell, and hanging out with friends and family.

Julie Kobie
Institution: Gettysburg College, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology with a minor in Mathematics
Faculty Mentor: Rodney Ho, Pharmaceutics

Julie Kobie is a rising senior at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. She will be graduating in the spring of 2011 with degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in mathematics. This summer at the University of Washington, Julie is working with mentor Dr. Rodney Ho in the field of pharmaceutics. She will be researching drug targeting and delivery through the development of nanoparticle delivery agents with attached peptides used to target breast cancer cells. Julie plans to continue undergraduate research at her home institution next year in hopes to then pursue a PhD in biostatistics. Outside of the lab, Julie enjoys good food, warm weather and spending time with friends and family!

Levan

Sophia Levan
Institution: Wesleyan University, Chemistry, Molecular Biology
Faculty Mentor: Carlos E. Catalano, Biochemistry

Sophia Levan is a rising junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown Connecticut, pursuing a double major in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Chemistry. During the school year, Sophia researches in the Olson Lab, investigating the crystal structure of a pore-forming toxin found in cholera. At the University of Washington Sophia is working in the Catalano Lab. Her summer project is designed to test the structural model of a viral protease required for the maturation of the viral capsid based on predictions made about the protein's function. In addition to research, Sophia's interests include cooking, art, and theater.

Lan Luong
Institution: University of Puget Sound, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Faculty Mentor: Stan Fields, Genome Sciences and Medicine

Lan is an upcoming senior at the University of Puget Sound majoring in Molecular and Cellular biology and minoring in Math. His main career goal is to obtain a MD/PHD degree so that he can effectively treat patients affected by dioxins poisoning, and do research to find ways to completely remove the poison from the patients' body. Lan had worked on two research projects at Puget Sound before coming to the University of Washington to strengthen his research experience. In his freshmen year, Lan studied the effect of salinity and temperature on the distribution of two mussel species in the Puget Sound, the native Pacific blue mussel, Mytilus trossulus (Mt), and the introduced Mediterranean blue mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mg). The summer before his junior year, he worked on a project to look for evidence of molecular evolution in the Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene in the ice worm Mesenchytraeus solifugus. Currently, he is working in Dr. Stan Fields's lab to test a method that would allow for efficient assessment of the activities of ubiquitin ligase mutants. If successful, this method can open up new ground into understanding the catalytic activity of ubiquitin ligase. When he able to find free time, Lan loves a good match of tennis or badminton. His other hobbies are bird watching, hiking, and karaoke.

Claire McLeod
Institution: F.W. Olin College of Engineering, Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering
Faculty Mentor: Michael Regnier, Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Claire McLeod is a senior at F.W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts, where she is majoring in Engineering with a concentration in Bioengineering. This summer, Claire is working with Dr. Michael Regnier in the Heart and Muscle Mechanics Lab (HAMM). Her project focuses on the preparation and study of scaffolds in cardiac tissue engineering. Specifically, she is investigating if cobalt protoporphyrin, a heme oxygenase-1 upregulator, improves cardiomyocyte survival within fibrin-based tissue constructs. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate studies in bioengineering. Outside the lab, she enjoys skiing, sewing, and photography.

McRae

Michelle McRae
Institution: Williams College, Chemistry, History
Faculty Mentor: Dustin Maly, Chemistry

Michelle is a rising junior at Williams College where she is pursuing degrees in both Chemistry and History. This summer she is working in the Maly Lab studying the inactive conformation of the Jnk3 kinase in hopes of furthering what is known regarding the way enzymes mediate intracellular phosphorylation. Her previous research experience includes a summer in the Tublitz lab at the University of Oregon's Institute of Neuroscience, where she studied chromatophore development in the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis to further the understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that underlie cephalopod body patterning behavior and a winter of organic materials chemistry research in the Park lab at Williams College where she synthesized various fluorinated organic monomers and polymers with the goal of increasing the morphology of the polymer blend later in bulk heterojunction solar cells through self-assembly. Michelle is a member of the Williams crew team and in her free time enjoys reading, eating good food, traveling, and being outside. She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon.

Kate Mead
Institution: University of Washington, Bioengineering
Faculty Mentor: Jens Gundlach, Physics

Kate is a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in Bioengineering and minoring in Philosophy. During the past year, she has studied the effects of pulsed, low intensity ultrasound on bacteria. As an Amgen scholar, she is working on a project to reliably sequence DNA through the nanopore MspA. When the pore is added to a bilayer and subjected to an electric potential, negatively charged ssDNA particles flow through the pore one nucleotide at a time. Due to the unique steric hindrance of each type of nucleotide, current readings can be analyzed to determine the original ssDNA sequence. In the future, she hopes to pursue a PhD in medical physics. Outside of the lab, Kate enjoys cooking, listening to unusual music, and hiking.

Elizabeth Meier
Institution: Scripps College, Biology with a minor in Latin American Studies
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Elizabeth Meier, a Biology major and Latin American Studies minor, will be a senior at Scripps College in Claremont, California this fall. She is currently under the mentorship of Dr. Hannele Ruohola-Baker where she researches the role of specific microRNAs (miRNA) in stem cell maintenance and pluripotency. Elizabeth will conduct pluripotency assays to determine whether specific miRNAs increase the efficiency and kinetics of induced pluripotency stem cells (iPSCs). She hopes this summer research opportunity will introduce her to essential molecular biology skills as well as spark an interest in the rapidly expanding area of stem cell research. Elizabeth spent the past year studying abroad in England and especially enjoyed traveling in Spain and Italy. During her free time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, spending time in coffee shops, running, and practicing bikram yoga.

Ingrid Pabon-Hernandez
Institution: University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: William M. Atkins, Medicinal Chemistry

Ingrid is a fifth year Chemistry major student from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. She will be working this summer on Dr. William Atkin's lab in the Medicinal Chemistry Department with some model membranes called Nanodisc, which consists of segment of phospholipid bilayer surrounded by a protein coat of defined and controllable size with the potential of enhancing our understanding of membrane proteins in our body. Her job this summer will be to replace the Tryptophan in the protein belt of the Nanodiscs with another amino acid capable of emitting a fluorescent signal at a different wavelength in order to be able to study membrane proteins that contain Tryptophan. After this summer internship, she will return to Puerto Rico to finish her undergraduate studies with hopes of returning to the U.S. to pursue her graduate studies. On her free time, Ingrid likes to read novels, watch movies, and she is also a certified Scuba-Diver.

Jung Mi Park
Institution: Emory University, Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology
Faculty Mentor: Hong Shen, Chemical Engineering

Jung Mi Park is a rising junior at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She is majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral biology with a minor in Economics, and planning to pursue a future career in the medical field. This summer, Jung Mi is working in Dr. Hong Shen's lab in the UW Chemical Engineering department, where she will be investigating how to engineer immune responses. Her research will examine the surface chemistry of different characterized hydrogels and its effects on dendritic cell maturation to tailor a more effective and specific immune response in hopes of advancing the development of synthetic nanoparticles to create a distinct immune response. In her spare time, Jung Mi enjoys reading, watching movies, spending time with friends and family, playing video games, and, of course, having fun outside in the beautiful UW area.

Colin Platt
Institution: Williams College, Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: Hannele Ruohola-Baker, Biochemistry, Institute for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Colin Platt is a rising senior at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. He is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry, although he is in the process of switching his focus and plans to earn a Masters and/or PhD in a Biomedicine-related field. During the Amgen program he is doing research in the Ruohola-Baker lab, working to produce evidence for a link between hypoxia and the generation of cancer stem cells due to hypoxia-induced expression of miRNAs thought to regulate cellular stemness. When not in the lab, Colin enjoys glassblowing, scuba diving, international travel, and a good book.

Andrew Sinclair
Institution: Oregon State University, Bioengineering with minors in Business and Entrepreneurship, Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: Shaoyi Jiang, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering

Andrew Sinclair will enter his culminating year in Oregon State University's bioengineering program this fall. This summer, he is researching in Dr. Shaoyi Jiang's lab in the Chemical Engineering department at UW, working on characterizing zwitterionic polymersomes for drug delivery applications. This could lead to substantial improvements in drug circulation time, specific tissue targeting and ease of freeze-drying. He has also researched the development of non-fouling coatings for biomedical devices. In his free time, Andrew enjoys playing tennis, taking spontaneous road trips and burritos. He plans to apply to PhD programs in the fall and continue biomaterials-related research.

Mitchell Smith
Institution: Arizona State University, Chemistry
Faculty Mentor: Danilo C. Pozzo, Chemical Engineering

Mitchell Smith is a Chemistry senior at Arizona State University. His previous work in ASU's Keck Lab for Environmental and Planetary Biogeochemistry investigated mass fractionation of uranium isotopes during adsorption and mineral formation. At the University of Washington, he works in Dr. Pozzo's lab characterizing fluorinated surfactants and investigating their potential use in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), potentially improving the resolution of this widely-used technique. Mitchell enjoys backpacking, climbing, and reading. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. and looks forward to a career in research.

Elizabeth Sunderhaus
Institution: Cedar Crest College, Genetic Engineering with a minor in Chemistry, and a Concentration in Forensics
Faculty Mentor: Joshua Akey, Genetics/Genomics

Elizabeth Sunderhaus is a junior at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Genetic Engineering with a concentration in Forensics and a minor in Chemistry. This summer, she is doing research with Dr. Joshua Akey of the Genome Sciences department. Her project involves using computational techniques to analyze the genomic sequences of complex diseases that show genetic influences. The goal of the project is to try to determine if the diseases are being positively selected for in humans. Next year, she will be continuing at Cedar Crest in her studies, along with playing basketball for the Falcons, and researching fingerprint patterns. When she is not studying or practicing, she likes to use her down time to read, watch television, and eat chocolate ice cream.

Autumn Tocchi
Institution: Chapman University, Biology with a minor in Chemistry, Honors
Faculty Mentor: Peter Rabinovitch, Pathology

Autumn Tocchi will be a senior this fall at Chapman University in Orange, CA. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Chemistry minor. Her career goals are to apply to graduate school to start her Ph.D. In the past, Autumn has done research at Chapman University looking at the beneficial relationship that exists between pomegranate juice extract and pancreatic cancer. During her summer at the University of Washington, she is working in the Rabinovitch lab, testing novel peptides and their ability to help with aging, and aging disease. Outside of research, Autumn is excited to be outside and an athlete. She has studied abroad, loves playing Ultimate Frisbee, and adores dancing and reading.

Cameron Turtle
Institution: University of Washington, Bioengineering with a minor in Mathematics
Faculty Mentor, Michael Regnier, Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Cameron is a rising junior in the Bioengineering department at the University of Washington. This summer he is continuing his work in Dr. Michael Regnier's Heart and Muscle Mechanics (HAMM) lab. The HAMM lab explores the molecular mechanism behind cardiac function/dysfunction and investigates the ability of gene therapy to reverse or prevent heart failure. The HAMM lab has previously characterized a mutant regulatory protein (L48Q cTnC) which may be a viable option to combat certain forms of heart disease. Cameron's current project is to characterize another mutant (L57Q cTnC) which could be a viable therapeutic for other types of heart disease. Cameron is interested in pursuing a PhD in Bioengineering but will find time for his other interests, which include spending time with friends and a variety of athletics.

Jaylen VanOrden
Institution: University of Washington, Bioengineering, Computer Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Daniel Chiu, Chemistry, Biophysics, Nanotechnology

Jaylen VanOrden is a senior at the University of Washington, double majoring in Computer Engineering and Bioengineering. He likes solving problems, and hopes to use what he learns to advance medical research. For the Amgen program, Jaylen is working in Dr. Chiu's lab using microfluidic devices to find interfacial tension values. Outside of lab, Jaylen works fixing computers, and enjoys hiking, handball, racquetball, and playing video games.

2009

Overview

2009 was the third year of the UW Amgen Scholars Summer Program. 29 promising undergraduates were selected from the University of Washington and other institutions nationally to participate in an intensive research experience. These students were mentored by outstanding UW faculty members.

amgen2009

Faculty

Joshua Akey - Genetics/Genomics

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/faculty/akey.htm

Description: Our laboratory is broadly interested in understanding the evolutionary history of human populations. Important events in human history, such as changes in population size or adaptation to new environments, impart signatures on patterns of DNA sequence variation. The research project would focus on analyzing patterns of genetic variation that have been collected in geographically diverse human populations, to better understand human evolutionary history. There is considerable flexibility in developing a specific research project, which will be tailored to the interests and background of the student. Specific examples include, but are not limited to, studying patterns of evolution in regulatory regions of the human genome, investigating how different populations are related to one another, and comparing patterns of polymorphism and divergence at specific candidate genes between humans and non-human primates.

Requirements: There are no specific requirements, although some familiarity with (or interest in learning) basic computer programming would be helpful.

William M. Atkins - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/wmatkins/lab.html

Description: Two exciting projects are available. Both projects relate to the structure and function of enzymes that metabolize drugs and form the basis for drug-drug interactions that confound prediction of drug clearance. The first project aims to understand the effects of simultaneous binding of multiple drugs at the active site of cytochrome P450s (CYPs), wherein the direct molecular interaction between these drugs within the active site alters their redox properties, and hence their relative reactivity. To explore this, electrochemistry will be attempted to measure the oxidation potential (energy required to remove an electron) of cytochrome P450-bound acetaminophen (Tylenol) in the presence and absence of ‘effector’ drugs. The student will contribute by measuring binding affinities of drugs for CYPs using optical spectroscopy. The second project involves protein engineering of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) in order to control their stereoselectivity towards hydroxynonenal (HNE), a product of oxidative stress that likely has a causal role in many diseases including Alzheimer’s, atheroschlerosis, cataracts, and asthma. GSTs provide the major route of HNE metabolism. HNE is formed as a racemate, but the individual enantiomers appear to have different biological effects. Understanding the stereochemical selectivity, and manipulating it via protein engineering, could provide new therapeutic strategies for controlling these diseases. The student will perform site-directed mutagenesis.

Requirements: Introductory chemistry course with lab

James Bassuk - Program in Human Urothelial Biology

Website: http://www.bassuklab.org/

Description: The proliferation of urothelial cells of the lower urinary tract are controlled by positive and negative regulators. One example of a negative regulator is the matricellular protein SPARC, which is found in cell nuclei during cell quiescence in a form that is bound to DNA. One example of a positive regulator is the paracrine growth factor FGF-10, which is found in cell nuclei when the cell is actively synthesizing DNA and progressing through the cell cycle.

One goal of this project is to identify which genes SPARC binds to and to determine the extent that such genic interaction is relevant to the overall process of shutting down the urothelial cell cycle.

Another goal of this project is to identify which genes FGF-10 binds to and to determine if such genic interaction is what triggers renewed DNA synthesis and progression through the urothelial cell cycle.

Data obtained from this project will provide a state-of-the art training vehicle to Amgen Scholars and lead to a better understanding of how urothelial cell proliferation is regulated in health and disease.

Requirements: The opportunity in my lab requires working knowledge of use of antibodies in western and immunoprecipitations, how secondary antibodies work, use of imaging equipment, and gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids.

Valerie Daggett - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/daglab/

Description: We perform molecular dynamics computer simulations of proteins involved in amyloid diseases. One disease we focus on transmissible spongiform encephalopathie, including mad cow disease. We are working to characterize the conformational/structural changes associated with pathology and in designing therapeutic and diagnostic agents against these diseases based on the computer models.

Norm Dovichi - Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dovichi/

Description: This laboratory develops and applies tools for the ultrasensitive characterization of biological molecules. These projects are supported by three NIH grants. These projects have recently supported three undergraduates, and it may be best to describe their work, which provides examples of work available to our students. One project is to develop an automated tryptic digestion system on a microscale. This device will be employed as part of an on-line protein characterization system, which will couple the digester with capillary electrophoresis and MALDI mass spectrometry. The undergraduate working on this project is evaluating reaction conditions using a fluorogenic substrate, which requires use of a fluorescent microtiter plate reader. The second project employs capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence to characterize protein expression in single breast cancer cells. This project has resulted in one publication for Joan Bleeker, an undergraduate in my group. The third project studies stochastic gene expression in the bacterium D. radiodurans using a wide suite of bioanalytical tools, including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence. This project has resulted in three publications for Vanessa Palmer, another undergraduate in my lab.

Requirements: A strong background in chemistry or biochemistry.

Stan Fields - Genome Sciences and Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/sfields/

Description: Ubiquitin is a 76 amino acid protein that is an essential signaling molecule in nearly every pathway in eukaryotic cells. Ubiquitin is attached to other proteins only after it has been activated by a cascade of three proteins known as E1, E2 and E3 enzymes. There are many E3 enzymes (called ubiquitin ligases) and they determine the target substrate specificity of this cascade. E3s are critical enzymes: several human diseases, including types of cancer and Parkinson's disease, are caused by mutation of genes that encode E3 enzymes. The goal of this project is to develop a new technology to enable easy and rapid identification of substrates for ubiquitin ligases, from yeast to man.

One way to systematically identify targets for an E3 would be to mutate the enzyme and to mutate ubiquitin so that only the single mutant E3 would be able to transfer the mutant ubiquitin. However, identifying such a mutant combination would be extremely difficult. Evolution has solved this problem for us, because there are several ubiquitin-like proteins that are attached to substrates using enzymes that are very similar to the ubiquitin E1, E2 and E3s. The student will engineer a yeast ubiquitin E3 to enable it to transfer a human ubiquitin-like protein to its substrates. This project will teach molecular biology techniques along with biochemistry, and if all goes well, identification of peptides by using tandem mass spectrometry. The project aims to solve an important biological problem (the elucidation of enzyme-substrate relationships for E3 enzymes) by developing an innovative new technology.

Requirements: Some basic biology coursework.

Jens Gundlach - Physics

Website: http://www.npl.washington.edu/nanopore/index.htm

Description: We are working on a new and direct technique for sequencing DNA. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a biological pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. In collaboration with a microbiologist we are mutating a naturally occurring pore protein to make it suitable for this sequencing technology.

Lynn Hajjar - Immunology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/immunweb/faculty/profiles/hajjar.html

Description: My laboratory has two related interests. The first is the link between Innate to Adaptive Immunity to Infection. We are exploring the specificity and mechanisms by which Toll-like receptors contribute to microbial recognition and activation of innate immunity and, thereafter, of antigen-specific immunity. Ongoing studies seek to determine the biological importance of differences between Toll-like receptors of humans and mice in their ability to recognize variant ligands and in the specific cell types on which they are expressed. These studies and studies of developmental differences in innate immune responses are pursued to gain a more complete understanding of Toll-like receptor-dependent and -independent aspects of antigen-specific immunity to bacterial and viral pathogens and to use this knowledge to develop more effective vaccines.

In turn, we are seeking to determine the mechanisms through which cues provided by the innate immune system induce and sustain robust expression of interferon-gamma and assure the fidelity of Th1 and CD8 T cell function. Our group has helped to define the role of differential DNA methylation, post-translational histone modifications and higher-order chromatin structure in the control of T cell effector functions. We are currently working to determine the importance of these processes in the control of interferon-gamma expression and to identify novel regulatory elements within the extended interferon-gamma locus through which these processes and lineage-restricted transcription factors act.

Requirements: Students should have successfullly completed coursework, including laboratories, in chemistry and biology, and ideally microbiology. Prior research experience would be ideal but is not essential. Students should be comfortable with the use of animals, when appropriate, in biological research.

Merrill B. Hille - Biology

Website: http://www.biology.washington.edu/index.html?navID=42&parecID=159

The students will study the role of a regulatory protein, p120 catenin, in early zebrafish development. This protein likely regulates the adhesion and motility of cells that form the early embryonic structures. The kinds of molecular biology techniques the students will use are PCR, transformation of bacteria, sterile technique, sub cloning and moving genes to different vectors, in vitro preparation of mRNA, Western Blots. If the student progresses rapidly they will be able to inject their mRNA construct in to zebrafish eggs and see where they go during early development with live or confocal microscopy. Most of our genes have green fluorescent protein markers.

The students should have had a course with some protein signaling or protein structure understanding, for example a 200 or 300 level cell biology class with a chemistry prerequisite or a biochemistry class. The students should be willing to concentrate well in manipulations, since errors are very expensive. Diligence in the preparation of labile mRNA will be required.

Rodney Ho - Pharmaceutics

Terrance Kavanagh - Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Brian Kennedy - Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/biowww/faculty/kennedy.html

Description: A major focus in my research group is to understand the mechanisms which control aging. We use yeast, worms and mice as models organisms for aging research and have identified genes which modulate the aging process. In an intensive research program a summer student would be given a project related to one of these aging genes and conduct experiments to determine the function(s) of that gene that important for the control of aging. Dietary restriction is one intervention that results in life span extension in every model organism tested. Many of the genes we study are important to mediate the downstream effects of dietary restriction and understanding the mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends longevity is a primary goal of our aging research.

Munira Khalil - Chemistry

Lih Y. Lin - Electrical Engineering

Website: http://www.ee.washington.edu/research/photonicslab/

Description: One of our research directions is "photonics at the interface of engineering and biology/biomedicine." Currently, we are working on two projects along this direction: (1) Using plasmonic tweezers to trap and manipulate biology cells and molecules. (2) Control cellular and neuronal signal transduction using light through the mediation of semiconductor quantum dots.

Dustin Maly - Biochemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/malylab/

Description: Cells are able to integrate an enormous array of environmental information and convert these signals into complex behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and motility. This relay of extracellular stimuli into a phenotypic response involves the transfer of information through complex signal transduction networks that are precisely regulated, both spatially and temporally. Determining how these signal transduction networks are able to turn simple inputs into complex behavior is one of the greatest challenges in modern biology and will provide valuable insight into the cause and treatment of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Our group studies how cells sense and respond to their environment, by developing new biochemical and chemical tools that allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis and protein biochemistry we are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells. While we are interested in studying the function of a number of protein families that are involved in signaling, our initial efforts are focused on enzymes that mediate intracellular phosphorylation (the protein kinases and phosphatases). These studies focus on three main areas: 1) The location-specific function of kinases and phosphatases. 2) The quantitative characterization of specific intracellular phosphorylation events. 3) The conformational plasticity of signaling enzymes.

The specific project within these areas will depend on your interests and prior research experience.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Alex Merz - Cell Biology

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/merza/

Description: We are a cell biology research group in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington's School of Medicine. Our goal (and that of many other labs) is to understand the fundamental, evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of membrane organization in eukaryotic cells - ultimately in sufficient detail that this aspect of biology will morph into an engineering discipline. We focus on mechanisms of membrane docking, fusion, and repair in living cells and intact organelles. Technologies that we will use include:

  • microscale device fabrication (patterned surfaces, supported membranes; with the UW Center for Nanotechnology)
  • yeast genetics & high-throughput genomics
  • cell-freee biochemical assays
  • protein biochemistry
  • fluorescence spectroscopy
  • ultrasensitive fluorescence microscopy
  • structural biology: cryo electron microscopy of (with Tamir Gonen's group)

The specific project depends on your experience, interests and goals. Please visit our web site: http://faculty.washington.edu/merza.

Requirements: We strongly prefer undergraduates who have taken at least one year of General Chemistry with laboratory. Biologists, chemists, engineers, and other interested students are encouraged to apply.

Danilo C. Pozzo - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dpozzo/

Description: Electrophoresis, the motion of charged particles due to an externally applied electric field, is routinely used to separate biomolecules (e.g. DNA, Proteins) from complex mixtures (e.g. human plasma). Besides its paramount importance in most biological fields, electrophoretic separations are also used in diagnostic applications and in biosensors. This research aims to improve electrophoretic bio-separations through the use of nano-structured materials that have not been traditionally applied in this area. These materials include new surfactants and surfactant mixtures, structured sieving matrices (e.g. micelle crystals) and/or non-traditional electrolytes. We will make use of fundamental principles in colloid and polymer science to correlate the physics of the system to the overall efficiency of the separation. Leading edge electrophoresis techniques (e.g. microfluidics, capillary electrophoresis) will be used in conjunction with in-situ characterization experiments to probe the structure and conformation of biomolecules during the separation. Students working in this project will also be exposed to a wide variety of cutting-edge experimental techniques including scattering methods and spectroscopy.

Requirements: Interested students must have completed all of the basic Chemistry courses as well as Organic Chemistry and Physics. Basic laboratory experience is also essential. Students from Chemical Engineering Departments are especially encouraged to participate.

Suzie Hwang Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

Description: The Pun Lab develops nanoparticles for delivery of genes, siRNA, and molecular imaging agents. Applications for these delivery vehicles include siRNA to the central nervous system, cancer therapy, and tissue engineering. Researchers in our lab learn techniques related to mammalian cell culture, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, and gene transfection assays.

Peter Rabinovitch - Pathology

Michael Regnier - Bioengineering; Physiology & Biophysics

Website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Description: The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate cardiac and skeletal muscle contraction, and how these mechanisms are disrupted in diseases.  We use the knowledge gained from these experiments to design protein and gene based therapies to improve the performance of diseased muscle and to develop tissue engineered muscle constructs as cell-replacement therapy for myocardial infarct (heart attack) and skeletal muscle injuries. Many research projects are done in collaboration with other laboratories at the University of Washington, at other institutions across the US, and in Italy.
Further information is provided at our website: http://www.bioeng.washington.edu/regnier/main.html

Requirements: Basic Biology and Chemistry courses are essential.  Coursework in Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Physiology would help.

Hannele Ruohola-Baker - Biochemistry

Herbert Sauro - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/sauro/sauro.html

Description: Our group works in the area of synthetic biology, this is where we reengineer cellular networks, usually genetic networks, to carry out new functions. In the long term such functions could include reengineering pathways to generate biofuels or drugs or cells that can act as living sensors to detect harmful compounds. We have a number of projects currently underway, including: a project to develop a computer aided work station to help researchers design and test new cellular networks before they are built into a host organism, we are developing strategies in the lab to prevent evolutionary selection from destroying engineered networks, we are building engineered networks in ecoli such as gene cascades or simple oscillators to test our ability to predict the function of novel networks and assembly methods, we have projects to understanding the propagation of noise through cellular networks using mathematical theory and modeling and using light microscopy to study fluctuations in engineered networks via GFP and other florescence probes, finally we have computer programming projects to develop new software that might be useful to synthetic biology engineers. Synthetic biology is a new exciting field that requires researches to bring different disciplines together, including molecular biology, modeling, engineering etc. We have had many undergraduates come through our lab in the past and many have published papers in reputable journals and have successfully gone on to do PhDs

Requirements: An interest in science and engineering cells. If the student wants to do wet lab work then some experience in basic lab techniques would be useful. If the student wants to do a computational project, the ability to program in at least one computer language is required.

Lynn Schnapp - Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/pulmcc/faculty/schnapp.htm

Description: Mechanisms of Acute Lung Injury and Repair

Our lab is focused on the processes that govern acute lung injury and its resolution. In particular, we are interested in why lung injury resolves under certain circumstances (i.e. Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and progresses to end-stage fibrosis in other circumstances (i.e. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). To answer these questions, we use different models of lung injury in transgenic mice to examine select pathways in injury and fibrosis. To complement these studies, we are analyzing samples from patients with acute lung injury and other lung diseases using cutting-edge methodologies in proteomics to identify new pathways in lung injury.

Hong Shen - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/people/faculty/shen.htm

Our laboratory focuses on developing technologies to probe and intervene the immune and nervous system.

1. Engineering immune cells for the development of single-cell based biosensors;
2. Developing molecular probes for monitoring chemical reactions of intracellular compartments;
3. Developing modular delivery systems for mediating functions of immune cells and nerve cells.

Kristin Swanson - Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neural Pathology

Website: http://www.amath.washington.edu/~swanson/

Description: The Swanson research lab is located in the University Medical Center, and focuses on mathematical modeling and the analysis of quantifiable data obtained through medical imaging such as MRI, PET, and CT. With our convenient location in the UMC, we are in a unique position to compare model results and predictions with data obtained from real patients receiving care at the University. Student researchers necessarily learn aspects of neuro anatomy, tumor evolution and biology, medical imaging, computational and data processing methods. Individualized projects are chosen to best meet the student's interests and abilities, while at the same time serving the overarching goals of the lab.

The lab's current focus includes, but is not limited to, the modeling of brain tumor growth, evolution and response to therapy, and comparisons of information obtained from superficially disparate imaging modalities such as MR and PET. This modeling effort provides many interesting avenues for student research: from data acquisition and processing to investigation and development of new mathematical models of tumor processes.

Our lab is truly interdisciplinary: with over a dozen members with backgrounds ranging from biology to applied mathematics and computer programming, we are able to determine suitable research projects for just about anyone with a scientific background. A vast majority of our lab members are pre-med, providing a stimulating environment with many resources for information and opportunities.

Students are supervised daily by the lab manager, with at least once weekly lab meetings involving progress reports to Dr. Swanson.

Requirements: The student should be have a strong interest and background in either mathematics or medical imaging, and be in good academic standing. Student should have intermediate to advanced computer experience and be comfortable spending extended periods of time at a computer. A strong candidate will have a background in mathematics, including a full calculus sequence, differential equations and linear algebra. Preference will be given to students with experience in any of the following computer programming languages: MATLAB, C++, FORTRAN, PHP, SQL.

Rheem A. Totah - Medicinal Chemistry/Drug Metabolism

Website:http://depts.washington.edu/medchem/faculty/Totah.html

Description: Work in our lab focuses on cytochrome P450 enzymes that are involved in drug metabolism as well as the metabolism of essential fatty acids such as the ω3 and ω6 fatty acids.  We are looking at modulation of fatty acid metabolism in extrahepatic tissues and potential toxicity caused by different drug substrates.  The student will be investigating the mode of inhibition of fatty acid metabolism by measuring inhibitory kinetic constants and identifying metabolites that are formed from various fatty acids using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. 

Requirements: Chemistry and Chemistry Lab

Scholars

sofia annis

Carolyn Adamski

Carolyn Adamski is a senior at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. She will soon be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in a related field. Her past research was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco where she looked at the neuronal pathway mediating satiation. At the University of Washington she works with the Schnapp Lab researching the role of the urokinase receptor-associated protein in lung injury and repair. Outside the lab, Carolyn enjoys sunshine, traveling, spending time with family, people watching, and music. Her greatest aspiration in life is to directly help others through her research.

sofia annis

Sofia Annis

Sofia Annis is a rising junior at Smith College in Northhampton, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Biology and Italian Language and Literature. This summer, she is doing research with Dr. Akey of the Genome Sciences department. Her project involves using computational techniques to analyze dog genomic sequences. The goal of the project is to discover links between genotype and phenotype. Next year, she will be studying abroad in Florence, Italy and is looking forward to an international experience and fine Italian coffee. When she's home, Sofia enjoys photography, reading, and playing with her 200+ rabbits.

james athapily

James Athappily

James Athappilly is a junior at the University of Washington. Currently, he is pursuing degrees in Computer Engineering and Business. James' greatest aspiration is to use technology to help expand our current understanding of the human body. This summer he is working in Herbert Sauro's lab to create a simulation tool that will help researchers and teachers better understand cellular networks. After his undergraduate studies, James plans to earn an MD/PhD and continue using technology to further the limits of science. During his free time, James loves to learn, bike, run, and spend time with his family and friends.

stephanie bachar

Stephanie Bachar

Stephanie Bachar is a rising junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) majoring in Biological Engineering. This summer she is working in Lih Lin's lab in Electrical Engineering. She is assisting in the development of low intensity optical tweezers which use the gradient forces of laser light to trap, move and rotate mesoscopic objects, such as cells. At MIT she is involved in yeast prion and heat-shock protein research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and she is the co-chair of the Educational Students Program which offers unique educational opportunities to students in the Boston area. After graduation she hopes to pursue bioengineering as it pertains to international development initiatives.

rachel baker

Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker is a rising senior at Loyola University, Chicago majoring in Molecular Biology and minoring in Classical Studies. In the Amgen program, she is working with Dr. Merrill B. Hille on zebra fish development and studies the protein p120 catenin. She hopes to attend graduate school for Molecular Biology in the future. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys reading, putzing around the Internet, piano, and hiking.

nate cermak

Nathan Cermak

Nate is a fifth year student at the University of Washington, majoring in biochemistry, applied and computational mathematical sciences and sociology. He plans to apply for MD/PhD programs which will allow him to research health from a variety of perspectives- biologically, socially, and statistically. He is a Seattle native and enjoys research, talking, arguing, biking, petting cats, listening to minimally-produced music, tinkering with computers, drinking coffee, riding ferries, and reading e.e. cummings, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut.

trinidad cisneros

Trinidad Cisneros

Trinidad Cisneros is a rising senior at California State University Los Angeles majoring in Biology. This summer, he is using molecular biology techniques to study the roles of regulatory proteins involved in early zebrafish development. He is working in the Hille Laboratory subcloning various mutant classes of CDC42, a protein encoded gene that is responsible for cell migration and other signaling pathways. Prior to pursuing a degree in Biology, he spent several years working in social service agencies with various populations, from foster youth to families experiencing homelessness. He intends to continue to help others by pursuing an MD/PhD program after graduation. In his free time, he enjoys painting, drinking coffee, playing soccer, bird watching, writing poetry, hiking and volunteering.

edward dale

Edward Dale

Edward is a senior at Knox College and is double majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry. This summer, his research is in Dustin Maly's lab working on the synthesis of small molecule inhibitors of kinases. This will lead to applications in drug development and the characterization of kinases that are unusually active in afflicted cells. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, playing tennis and soccer, and spending quality time with friends. At Knox he runs the Chemistry Club and organizes chemistry demonstrations at local elementary schools. In the future, Edward hopes to pursue a PhD, but is uncertain of the specific area at this time.

rocky eastman

Rocky Eastman

Rocky is a senior at the University of Washington, where he is pursuing degrees in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Philosophy. Rocky has worked with Dr. James Bassuk at the Seattle Children's Research Institute since January 2008, where he studies diseases of the lower urinary tract. Currently, he is working to engineer urethral tissue in vitro for use in surgical hypospadias repair. He has also studied the progression of proliferative lesions in the lower urinary tract. Outside the lab, you're likely to find him hanging out with his friends, attending Mariners games, enjoying the outdoors, or studying. After graduation next spring, he plans on attending either medical or graduate school, where he hopes to continue working in pediatric research.

christina elias

Christina Elias

Christina Elias is a rising junior majoring in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The Ohio State University. This summer, Christina is working in Danilo Pozzo's lab studying interaction between denatured proteins and surfactants for applications in gel electrophoresis. She enjoys running, intramural sports, reading and exploring new places.

eric evangelista

Eric Evangelista

Eric is a rising senior at the University of Washington, majoring in Chemistry and planning to pursue a future career in the medical field. He was born in the Philippines, moved to Canada when he was eight, and moved to Washington when he was 18. This summer, Eric is working in Dr. Rheem Totah's lab in the UW Medicinal Chemistry Department where he will be working with cardiomyocytes, trying to get the cells to express the CYP 2J2 gene and then determining how various drugs will affect its expression. In his spare time, Eric likes to read, volunteer at the hospital, hang out with friends, play video games, and attempt things like playing the piano, cooking, dancing and drawing.

emily fawcett

Emily Fawcett

Emily is a rising senior at Saint Mary's College of Maryland. She is majoring in Biology with a focus in Molecular Biology, and is minoring in Environmental Studies. This summer she is working in the Merz Lab studying the effects of point mutations in a region of the protein Vps11 on the function of membrane trafficking in yeast. Her previous research experience includes an REU at Arkansas State University determining the utility of elevating endogenous levels of ascorbate in tobacco producing recomninant protein, and independent research at SMCM determining the bacterial composition in organic soil and the guts of bacterial-feeding nematodes. She spends her free time kayaking and sailing on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay, as well as serving as President of the SMCM chapter of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. In the future, Emily hopes to continue to graduate school and obtain her PhD in Molecular Biology.

ellie frett

Ellie Frett

Ellie Frett is a rising senior at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She will graduate in the spring of 2010 with a major in Biomedical Engineering and has plans to pursue Physiology at the graduate level. At her home institution, she has performed research under the instruction of Dr. Kevin Campbell for 2.5 years and will finish off her undergraduate career in his lab. This summer she is working under Dr. Brian Kennedy, helping to determine the role of lamin A in disease. In her free time, Ellie enjoys spending time outdoors, reading and running.

natalie grattan

Natalie Grattan

Natalie Grattan, a rising senior at Lawrence University, in Appleton Wisconson, is pursuing a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Music. This summer, Natalie is working in the Wilson Lab studying the immune invasion techniques of Yersinia pestis and Bordatella pertussis, the bacteria that cause the plague and whooping cough respectively. More specifically, she will use flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to measure the cytokine response in splenocytes from mice with humanized TLR-4/MD-2 receptors in order to ascertain the importance of variant LPS structures in the stimulation of the immune response by these bacteria. After she graduates, Natalie hopes to combine her love of immunology with a year studying public health abroad, and to eventually work as a medical researcher studying infectious disease epidemiology. When she's not playing with bacteria, Natalie enjoys hiking, reading, playing violin, and spending time with her friends and family.

lisa huffman

Lisa Huffman

Lisa comes from a wheat farm in Cavendish, Idaho, and is a rising senior at the University of Idaho majoring in Biological Systems Engineering. For the Amgen Scholars Program, she is working in the Regnier lab to help develop myocardial tissue patches to repair the heart after infarction. In her free time, she enjoys reading, the outdoors, running, and being with her family and friends. She intends to pursue a graduate degree in Biomedical Engineering in order to develop new ways to improve the quality of peoples' lives.

allison ikeda

Allison Ikeda

Allison Ikeda is a rising junior at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. She is double majoring in Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology, and Economics with a minor in Japanese. She is passionate about exploring how to engineer immune responses and is conducting research under the mentorship of Dr. Hong Shen, Chemical Engineering. Her research examines the interactions between dendritic cells and T cells in the presence of artificial bacterial components to mimic bacterial infection and exposure. This research aids in the development of synthetic nano particles that target cells of the immune system to create a more effective immune response. When not in the lab, Allison enjoys being outdoors, especially running and kayaking in the Seattle and San Juan areas.

scarlett johnson

Scarlett Johnson

Scarlett is a rising junior at Amherst College and is majoring in Psychology. This is her first extensive research experience; she will spend the summer working with yeast in Dr. Field's lab in the hopes of isolating and building a library of mRNA molecules with 2', 3'-cyclic phosphates. Outside of class, Scarlett is a resident counselor, tour guide and student health educator, and she plans to pursue a PhD or MD after graduation. When home in Hawaii, she enjoys running, going to the beach and eating fruit in her backyard.

elena latorre

Elena Latorre

Elena Latorre is a rising senior at University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, majoring in Biological Sciences. During the summer, Elena will be working in the Rabinovich Lab, where her research involves the detection of DNA damage and senescence markers in colon tissue from ulcerative colitis (UC) patients, in hopes of someday being able to determine which UC patients will be at high risk of developing high-grade dysplasia or cancer. Her previous research experience includes work in cutaneous leishmaniasis treatment as part of the Photodynamic Therapy Lab in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Elena has also done research at her home school where she has worked in the synthesis of nanoparticles aimed towards the prevention of heart attacks. Born in Puerto Rico, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling, and great food. In an effort to help her community, Elena created and developed the "HOPE FOR KIDS" Project, designed to bring financial aid and support to "La Esperanza" Home for Abused Children in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. In the future, she hopes to become a physician and clinical researcher in order to help improve people's lives.

wynton mcclary

Wynton McClary

Wynton McClary is a Biology Pre-med major at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington and will graduate in the spring of 2010. He has a great interest in biochemistry and the health sciences. Currently his research is in Dr. Atkin's medicinal chemistry lab group and involves the study of glutathoine S-transferases, and important group of proteins involved in removing a wide range of xenobiotics from the body. In order to study these proteins he will be using azatryptophan-labeled nanodiscs which will act as an artificial membrane. The nanodiscs will provide the glutathione S-transferases with a more natural environment to be studied in. He hopes to one day earn either a MD/PhD or MD. Wynton is a certified tutor at his home institution and his interests include playing tennis, hiking along the coast, and playing jazz guitar.

christopher mount

Christopher Mount

Christopher Mount is a rising junior majoring in Bioengineering at the University of Washington. This summer he is conducting drug delivery research in Dr. Suzie Pun's lab. His primary work focuses on the development of an ampiphilic triblock copolymer micellar drug delivery system. He and his mentor are investigating the potential of this system to enhance the delivery characteristics and in-vitro stability of the near-infrared contrast agent Indocyanine Green. More recently, they have turned their attention to assessing whether micellar encapsulation can enhance the cell-killing properties of chemotherapeutics such as doxorubicin. Beyond the lab, this summer Chris is enjoying the great outdoors of Washington State, particularly fishing and hiking.

phillip poonka

Phillip Poonka

Phillip is a rising junior in the UW Bioengineering Program. He is currently interested in the regulation of cells and tissue engineering. This summer, he hopes to get a better direction for his area of specialization by working with genetically modified cardiomyocytes in the HAMM Lab. Phillip's personal interests include playing and listening to the piano and practicing Taekwondo. Phillip did not regret declining several study abroad offers to participate in the Amgen Scholars Program and he feels very blessed to participate in such a rewarding program, especially after spending the previous summer in unrelated positions like a medical interpreter, graphic designer, marketing intern, manager, cook, barista, and server.

suzanne rohrback

Suzanne Rohrback

Suzanne Rohrback is a rising junior at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, majoring in biochemistry. This summer, she is exploring the field of toxicololgy in Dr. Kavanagh's lab, where she will be studying how exposure to diesel exhaust affects endothelial cells (for example, their ability to heal), and looking for possible compensatory mechanisms which may counteract the damage caused by this pollutant. Suzanne works in two labs while at Kenyon, studying the distribution of serotonin throughout the central nervous system of the Vanessa butterfly in one, and the expression and properties of the protein SCP, which is involved in muscle relaxation, in the other. After growing up in Redmond, WA, she is happy to return to the Pacific Northwest and to explore Seattle for the summer. In her time away from science, Suzanne likes to indulge her artistic side by knitting, dancing and playing the piano. She plans to pursue a PhD in neurochemistry and/or pharmacology.

michelle sansky

Michelle Sansky

Michelle is a rising junior at Syracuse University where she is currently completing a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Policy Studies. through the Amgen Scholars Program, she is completing Human Embryonic Stem Cell research in the Ruohola-Baker Biochemistry Lab. Over the past year, Michelle has been working on a research project involving cancer chemotherapeutic drug development at Syracuse University alongside her mentor, Dr. Thomas Fondy. During her junior year, she was able to enhance her school's pre-health program by founding a student organization consisting of over two-hundred undergraduates. The organization, Shadows of Health, provides students with education and experience in the health field by coordinating lectures and shadowing opportunities between students and local health-professionals. A fundraising branch of Shadows of Health has recently been established to support the Duk Lost Boys Clinic of Southern Sudan. Apart from science and health-care, Michelle enjoys cooking, antiquing, drinking coffee, and reading.

kristin santroch

Kristin Santroch

Kristin Santroch is a rising senior at Whitworth University where she is majoring in chemistry. This summer she will be working in the Khalil lab synthesizing and characterizing inorganic and organic model compounds to better understand electron transfer reactions in enzymes. After graduation, Kristin plans to either pursue a PhD in chemistry or go to dental school. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys spending time with friends and family, running, eating strawberry pie, and enjoying the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

ian silverman

Ian Silverman

Ian was born and raised in Albany, NY. He is currently a senior at Binghamton University, majoring in Biochemistry and working in a Microbiology lab where he studies dispersion in Pseudomonas aerugionsa Biofilms. As an Amgen Scholar he is conducting research in biophysics, specifically working to develop a new method for sequencing DNA. By electrophoretically driving ssDNA through a small hole (nanopore) in a lipid membrane and measuring the changes in ionic current through that pore, one can theoretically determine the exact sequence of the DNA. After graduation, Ian intends to go to graduate school and ultimately pursue a career in biotechnology. When not in lab, he enjoys sailing, golfing, hiking, and playing the guitar with his band.

rita sodt

Rita Sodt

Rita Sodt is a senior at the University of Washington majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Spanish. Her research interest is in computational biology and currently she works with Dr. Kristin Swanson in the Department of Pathology on a mathematical model that quantifies the growth of gliomas (a highly invasive type of brain tumor). She is writing a program to simulate the anisotropic growth of gliomas in a 3D visual brain. After graduating she plans to pursue graduate school in Computer Science with a focus on computational and mathematical biology. In her free time she likes to play frisbee and do outdoor activities including hiking and camping in the Northwest.

jeff staples

Jeffrey Staples

Jeff Staples is a rising senior at Brigham Young University. He will finish with a BS in Bioinformatics and minors in Computer Science and Ballroom Dance. Crayfish phylogenetics was his first research area; however, his real passion is using computational power to research human ailments, such as coronary artery disease, obesity, and mad cow disease. Jeff completed a successful research internship during the summer of 2008 with Harvard/MIT's Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics undergraduate research program. He has also received two individual research grants and is a 2009 Goldwater Scholar. Aside from research, Jeff is a sports enthusiast with an emphasis in soccer.

michelle wang

Michelle Wang

Michelle is a rising senior at the University of Washington majoring in Chemistry. She is planning on pursuing Pharm D/PhD Program for her future career. She has been working in Professor Chiu's laboratory on microfluidics droplet releasing projects for the past year. In the Amgen Scholars Program, she is working in Dr. Ho's laboratory on developing better contrast agent delivery cancer cells. She enjoys playing sports and spending her time with her family and friends.

mallika yavatkar

Mallika Yavatkar

Mallika Yavatkar is a rising junior at Scripps College pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology with a minor in Hispanic Studies. This summer she is working in Dr. Maly’s Laboratory at the University of Washington on engineering a synthetic construct to study protein function in cells.  Her focus is primarily on selectively regulating the Pim-1 kinase by exploiting the relationship between the anti-apoptotic protein, Bcl-XL and the pro-apoptotic protein, BAD. Previously at the Oregon Health Sciences University Casey Eye Institute, she conducted research directed at understanding the mechanisms of uveitis and the design and testing of therapies that specifically inhibit these mechanisms. Outside of the lab, she has numerous interests including reading, painting, playing her trumpet, and traveling.

2008

Overview

2008 was the second year of the UW Amgen Scholars Summer Program. 27 promising undergraduates were selected from the University of Washington and other institutions nationally to participate in an intensive research experience. These students were mentored by 25 outstanding UW faculty members.

Amgen 2008

Faculty

Paul Amieux - Pharmacology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/phcol/faculty/amieux.php

Description: Our lab uses mouse molecular genetic techniques to analyze the in vivo physiological functions of the enzyme known as the cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase (PKA). One major focus of our lab is obesity and body-weight regulation. The international epidemic of obesity and the array of co-morbid conditions that accompany obesity (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain type of cancer) has provided strong motivation for conducting research on the fundamental mechanisms underlying the obese phenotype. Our lab has created a mutation in one of the regulatory subunits of PKA (called RII beta) that results in mice that are lean and hyperactive and demonstrate resistance to high fat diet induced weight gain and protection from diabetes. We have now taken advantage of bacteriophage (Cre recombinase) and yeast (FLP recombinase) recombinase enzymes to reintroduce this regulatory subunit in particular locations and neuron populations in the brain responsible for body-weight regulation (the arcuate,lateral and ventromedial hypothalamus). Our goal is to refine our understanding of the underlying neural circuitry that governs food intake and metabolism. We also hope to develop an understanding of how key metabolic hormones involved in body-weight regulation use second messenger systems (like the cyclic AMP-PKA system)to modify the electrical and neurochemical activity of neurons involved in regulated appetite and metabolic rate.

Requirements: It would be helpful if the person had some lab experience in biomedical science, but not essential.

James Bassuk - Program in Human Urothelial Biology

Website: http://www.bassuklab.org/

The proliferation of urothelial cells of the lower urinary tract are controlled by positive and negative regulators. One example of a negative regulator is the matricellular protein SPARC, which is found in cell nuclei during cell quiescence in a form that is bound to DNA. One example of a positive regulator is the paracrine growth factor FGF-10, which is found in cell nuclei when the cell is actively synthesizing DNA and progressing through the cell cycle.

One goal of this project is to identify which genes SPARC binds to and to determine the extent that such genic interaction is relevant to the overall process of shutting down the urothelial cell cycle.

Another goal of this project is to identify which genes FGF-10 binds to and to determine if such genic interaction is what triggers renewed DNA synthesis and progression through the urothelial cell cycle.

Data obtained from this project will provide a state-of-the art training vehicle to Amgen Scholars and lead to a better understanding of how urothelial cell proliferation is regulated in health and disease.

Requirements: The opportunity in my lab requires working knowledge of use of antibodies in western and immunoprecipitations, how secondary antibodies work, use of imaging equipment, and gel electrophoresis of nucleic acids.

James Bryers - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/bryers/bryers.html

Description: Biofilms cause a significant amount of all human microbial infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nosocomial infections are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. with >2 million cases annually (or ~10% of American hospital patients). About 60-70% of all such infections are associated with an implanted medical device causing >$4.5 billion medical costs in 2002 and ~99 , 000 deaths annually. Well-recognized infections involving biofilms include bacterial endocarditis, cystic fibrosis lung infections, deep wound healing, the current dental caries epidemic, vaginosis, urinary tract infections, chronic middle ear infections, and periodontal disease.

Traditional treatment of medical-device based biofilm infections is based on compounds that kill or inhibit the growth of suspended bacteria. However, “biofilm-bound” bacteria tend to be significantly less responsive to antibiotics and antimicrobial stressors than planktonic organisms of the same species. Consequently, systemic antibiotic treatment of a biomedical device infection inevitably fails and requires removal of the device. Moreover, the risk of antibiotic resistance development is drastically increased.

Our goal is to develop a new non-antibiotic based concept in biomaterials design that will, for the first time, promote a short-term defense and long-term immune response to specific bacterial colonization. For short-term immediate defense, model biomaterials will immediately release upon implantation fusion protein complexes - artificial opsonins - designed to enhance the coupling of pathogenic oral bacteria to monocyte-macrophage (MØ); thus promoting phagocytosis. For long-term protection, the biomaterial will transfect antigen-presenting cells (specifically dendritic cells - DCs) to produce T- and B-cell memory and antibody expression.

Requirements: Preferably Molecular biology, microbiology, and/or biochemistry courses with associated lab experience.

Daniel Chiu - Chemistry, Biophysics, Nanotechnology

Website: https://depts.washington.edu/chiugrp/

Description: Chiu lab is focused on developing new methods for probing complex biological processes at the single-cell and single-molecule level, and on applying these new techniques for addressing pressing biological problems. New methods in development include new microfluidic platforms and advanced microscopy techniques.

Requirements: Have completed at least first year General Chemistry courses.

Valerie Daggett - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/daglab/

Description: We perform molecular dynamics computer simulations of proteins involved in amyloid diseases. One disease we focus on transmissible spongiform encephalopathie, including mad cow disease. We are working to characterize the conformational/structural changes associated with pathology and in designing therapeutic and diagnostic agents against these diseases based on the computer models.

Trisha N. Davis - Biochemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/tdavis/

Description: Errors in chromosome segregation lead to aneuploidy, which results in birth defects, cancer or cell death. Accurate chromosome segregation is performed by a large molecular machine called the mitotic spindle. The mitotic spindle contains many smaller machines including the centrosome, the microtubules themselves, the kinetochores where the microtubules attach to the chromosome and a multitude of microtubule motors. The ultimate goal of mitotic spindle assembly is to arrange each chromosome with its sister chromatids attached to opposite poles via microtubule fibers. This ensures that when anaphase occurs, the two sister chromatids are pulled apart and partitioned one into each daughter cell. The kinetochore is a part of the mitotic spindle with a critical task. It attaches the chromsomes to the dynamic microtubule fibers and must do so against ~20 pN of force, much more than is required to drag a chromosome through the cellular milieu. All chromosome segregation depends on this connection. We are studying the kinetochore as a molecular machine. The Amgen Scholar would work with two graduate students who are reconstituting the kinetochore from purified components. The student would learn protein purification and quantitative microscopy techniques and would have their own project as part of this larger endeavor.

Requirements: A biology lab course and introductory biology course would be very helpful. A cell biology or biochemistry course would also be helpful.

Horacio de la Iglesia - Biology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/hacholab/research.php

Description: Research Interests

Research in our laboratory is guided to understand the neural basis of behavior. Specifically, we are interested in biological timing, which can be studied at different levels of organization, using different approaches and throughout the phylogenetic tree.

Biological timing in mammals

Virtually all living species have biological clocks that generate and control the daily cyclic variations in physiology and behavior, such us rhythms in locomotor activity, temperature and hormonal secretion. In mammals, the master control of these so-called circadian rhythms is exerted by a biological clock located within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the brain. We use behavioral, physiological and molecular techniques in order to understand how the SCN generates and orchestrates this array of circadian rhythms.

Biological timing in intertidal crustaceans

Species of the intertidal zone show behavioral and physiological rhythms synchronized to the tidal cycle. These circatidal rhythms also rely on biological clocks and a second line of research in our laboratory is directed to identify the molecular mechanisms and neural pathways by which these clocks are able to sustain rhythms in decapod crustaceans. For this project we study organisms from a unique community of crustaceans distributed throughout the intertidal habitats of our beloved Pacific Northwest.

Norm Dovichi - Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dovichi/

Description: This laboratory develops and applies tools for the ultrasensitive characterization of biological molecules and are supported by four NIH grants. These projects include three undergraduates, and it may be best to describe their work, which provides examples of work available to our students. One project is to develop an automated tryptic digestion system on a microscale. This device will be employed as part of an on-line protein characterization system, which will couple the digester with capillary electrophoresis and MALDI mass spectrometry. The undergraduate working on this project is evaluating reaction conditions using a fluorogenic substrate, which requires use of a fluorescent microtiter plate reader. The second project employs capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence to characterize protein expression in single breast cancer cells. This project has resulted in one publication for Joan Bleeker, an undergraduate in my group. The third project studies stochastic gene expression in the bacterium D. radiodurans using a wide suite of bioanalytical tools, including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence. This project has resulted in three publications for Vanessa Palmer, another undergraduate in my lab.

Requirements: A strong background in chemistry or biochemistry.

Stan Fields - Genome Sciences and Medicine

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/sfields/

Description: Ubiquitin is a 76 amino acid protein that is an essential signaling molecule in nearly every pathway in eukaryotic cells. Ubiquitin is attached to other proteins only after it has been activated by a cascade of three proteins known as E1, E2 and E3 enzymes. There are many E3 enzymes (called ubiquitin ligases) and they determine the target substrate specificity of this cascade. E3s are critical enzymes: several human diseases, including types of cancer and Parkinson's disease, are caused by mutation of genes that encode E3 enzymes. The goal of this project is to develop a new technology to enable easy and rapid identification of substrates for ubiquitin ligases, from yeast to man.

One way to systematically identify targets for an E3 would be to mutate the enzyme and to mutate ubiquitin so that only the single mutant E3 would be able to transfer the mutant ubiquitin. However, identifying such a mutant combination would be extremely difficult. Evolution has solved this problem for us, because there are several ubiquitin-like proteins that are attached to substrates using enzymes that are very similar to the ubiquitin E1, E2 and E3s. The student will engineer a yeast ubiquitin E3 to enable it to transfer a human ubiquitin-like protein to its substrates. This project will teach molecular biology techniques along with biochemistry, and if all goes well, identification of peptides by using tandem mass spectrometry. The project aims to solve an important biological problem (the elucidation of enzyme-substrate relationships for E3 enzymes) by developing an innovative new technology.

Requirements: Some basic biology coursework.

Michael Gale - Immunology & Virology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/immunweb/faculty/profiles/gale.html

Description: The research project is focused on understanding how hepatitis C virus regulates intracellular innate immunity to infection. The project will involve the production HCV protein expresssion constucts and testing them in cultured human liver cells. The project will not involve student handling of infectious material. The work will examine the processes by which HCV suppresses signaling through the cellular RIG-I pathway.

Requirements: Applicant must have taken an undergraduate course in biochemistry and molecular biology. Courses in virology and immunology are highly recommended.

Cecilia Giachelli - Bioengineering

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/bioe/people/core/giachelli/giachelli.html

Description: There are two possible projects:

  1. Mechanisms of Vascular Calcification: Understanding basic cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling inappropriate calcification of tissues and medical devices.
  2. Role of osteopontin in inflammatory disease and response of biomaterials to implantation.

Requirements: Biology, Bioechemistry and Molecular Biology courses are recommended.

Jens Gundlach - Physics

Website: http://www.npl.washington.edu/nanopore/index.htm

Description: We are working on a new and direct technique for sequencing DNA. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a biological pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. In collaboration with a microbiologist we are mutating a naturally occurring pore protein to make it suitable for this sequencing technology.

Terrance Kavanagh - Environmental Health

Brian Kennedy - Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/biowww/faculty/kennedy.html

Description: A major focus in my research group is to understand the mechanisms which control aging. We use yeast, worms and mice as models organisms for aging research and have identified genes which modulate the aging process. In an intensive research program a summer student would be given a project related to one of these aging genes and conduct experiments to determine the function(s) of that gene that important for the control of aging. Dietary restriction is one intervention that results in life span extension in every model organism tested. Many of the genes we study are important to mediate the downstream effects of dietary restriction and understanding the mechanisms by which dietary restriction extends longevity is a primary goal of our aging research.

Lih Y. Lin - Electrical Engineering

Website: http://www.ee.washington.edu/research/photonicslab/

Description:

  1. Sorting DNA without touching: Participate in the DEP-FFF DNA sorting project to separate DNA with different lengths using dielectrophoresis (DEP) field-flow fractionation (FFF).
  2. Moving micro/nano particles with a laser: Participate in the opto-plasmonic tweezers project to characterize trapping and rotation of micro/nano particles using laser induced plasmonic radiation.
  3. Measuring light from the invisible: Characterize the optical properties of 3-dimensionally confined nanocrystals.

Dustin Maly - Biochemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/chem/people/faculty/maly.html

Description: Cells are able to integrate an enormous array of environmental information and convert these signals into complex behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and motility. This relay of extracellular stimuli into a phenotypic response involves the transfer of information through complex signal transduction networks that are precisely regulated, both spatially and temporally. Determining how these signal transduction networks are able to turn simple inputs into complex behavior is one of the greatest challenges in modern biology and will provide valuable insight into the cause and treatment of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and inflammation. Our group studies how cells sense and respond to their environment, by developing new biochemical and chemical tools that allow a greater quantitative understanding of cellular signaling than is possible with currently available methods. Using the tools of organic synthesis and protein biochemistry we are generating cell permeable small molecules that allow the activation or inactivation of specific signaling enzymes in living cells. While we are interested in studying the function of a number of protein families that are involved in signaling, our initial efforts are focused on enzymes that mediate intracellular phosphorylation (the protein kinases and phosphatases). These studies focus on three main areas: 1) The location-specific function of kinases and phosphatases. 2) The quantitative characterization of specific intracellular phosphorylation events. 3) The conformational plasticity of signaling enzymes.

The specific project within these areas will depend on your interests and prior research experience.

Requirements: Completion of an introductory organic chemistry course (and any associated laboratory courses).

Alex Merz - Cell Biology

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/merza/

Description: We are a cell biology research group in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Washington's School of Medicine. Our goal (and that of many other labs) is to understand the fundamental, evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of membrane organization in eukaryotic cells - ultimately in sufficient detail that this aspect of biology will morph into an engineering discipline. We focus on mechanisms of membrane docking, fusion, and repair in living cells and intact organelles. Technologies that we will use include:

  • microscale device fabrication (patterned surfaces, supported membranes; with the UW Center for Nanotechnology)
  • yeast genetics & high-throughput genomics
  • cell-freee biochemical assays
  • protein biochemistry
  • fluorescence spectroscopy
  • ultrasensitive fluorescence microscopy
  • structural biology: cryo electron microscopy of (with Tamir Gonen's group)

The specific project depends on your experience, interests and goals. Please visit our web site: http://faculty.washington.edu/merza.

Requirements: We strongly prefer undergraduates who have taken at least one year of General Chemistry with laboratory. Biologists, chemists, engineers, and other interested students are encouraged to apply.

Danilo C. Pozzo - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dpozzo/

Description: Electrophoresis, the motion of charged particles due to an externally applied electric field, is routinely used to separate biomolecules (e.g. DNA, Proteins) from complex mixtures (e.g. human plasma). Besides its paramount importance in most biological fields, electrophoretic separations are also used in diagnostic applications and in biosensors. This research aims to improve electrophoretic bio-separations through the use of nano-structured materials that have not been traditionally applied in this area. These materials include new surfactants and surfactant mixtures, structured sieving matrices (e.g. micelle crystals) and/or non-traditional electrolytes. We will make use of fundamental principles in colloid and polymer science to correlate the physics of the system to the overall efficiency of the separation. Leading edge electrophoresis techniques (e.g. microfluidics, capillary electrophoresis) will be used in conjunction with in-situ characterization experiments to probe the structure and conformation of biomolecules during the separation. Students working in this project will also be exposed to a wide variety of cutting-edge experimental techniques including scattering methods and spectroscopy.

Requirements: Interested students must have completed all of the basic Chemistry courses as well as Organic Chemistry and Physics. Basic laboratory experience is also essential. Students from Chemical Engineering Departments are especially encouraged to participate.

Suzie Hwang Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

Description: The Pun Lab develops nanoparticles for delivery of genes, siRNA, and molecular imaging agents. Applications for these delivery vehicles include siRNA to the central nervous system, cancer therapy, and tissue engineering. Researchers in our lab learn techniques related to mammalian cell culture, nanoparticle formulation and characterization, and gene transfection assays.

Christine Queitsch - Quantitative Genetics, Biochemistry, Genomics, Plant Biology

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/labs/queitsch/

Description: Natural selection acts on phenotypes rather than on genotypes. Our lab is interested in identifying molecular mechanisms that rapidly generate selectable phenotypic variation. One potential mechanism of great interest is highly conserved DNA Tandem Repeats (TR). These can expand and contract rapidly thereby creating shorter or longer proteins or regulatory regions. In yeast and for some human diseases phenotypic consequences of length polymorphisms in these TR have been demonstrated for some genes. We have undertaken a systematic approach to the genome of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and have identified many such variable TR across 50 genetically divergent Arabidopsis populations and we found correlations to previously identified phenotypes. This summer project encompasses generating transgenic plants with variable repeat lengths in a control background to establish causality of repeat length and phenotype. Work will include plasmid construction, plant transformation, phenotypic analysis, and statistical analysis of phenotypes.

Requirements: Lab experience and/or computational background desirable but not required.

Marilyn Roberts - Microbiology, Public Health, Environmental Health

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/marilynr/

Description: My laboratory is interested in the mechanisms of bacterial antibiotic resistance, the genes coding for resistance and mobile elements that carry these genes. How these genes spread in bacterial communities and the overlap between human, animal and environmental ecosystems. The current projects include

  1. Characterization of the unique antibiotic resistance genes from in environmental Clostridium perfringens, which produce a toxin that causes life-threatening sepsis, gangrene, food-poisoning diseases in man and animals and are commonly found in the environment, determine whether these bacteria can act as a reservoir for these genes for unrelated bacteria;
  2. Characterization of acquired macrolide resistance genes in Haemophilus influenzae isolates from cystic fibrosis patients and how this has varied over time in the Seattle area;
  3. Characterization of acquired macrolide resistances genes in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a sexually transmitted pathogen;
  4. Characterization of water isolates from rural Uganda water sources; and
  5. Collaborating on a project to determine if agricultural-related exposures to enteric pathogens for farm workers and their families. The student would work on one or more of these projects.

Alexander Rudensky - Immunology

Website: http://pilgrim.immunol.washington.edu/

Description: Our research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms governing the development and function of CD4 T lymphocytes and their role in T cell mediated immunity. CD4 T cells recognize foreign and self protein antigens in the form of relatively short peptide fragments associated with MHC class II molecules displayed on the surface of antigen-presenting cells and play a central role in regulation of adaptive immune responses to infection and the maintenance of tolerance to self.

Requirements: I would like students to have taken an undergraduate immunology class, a class in molecular/cell biology, and a class in genetics. Previous lab experience is a plus.

Hannele Ruohola-Baker - Biochemistry

Hong Shen - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/people/faculty/shen.htm

Our laboratory focuses on developing technologies to probe and intervene the immune and nervous system.

1. Engineering immune cells for the development of single-cell based biosensors;
2. Developing molecular probes for monitoring chemical reactions of intracellular compartments;
3. Developing modular delivery systems for mediating functions of immune cells and nerve cells.

Jay Shendure - Genome Sciences

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/faculty/shendure.htm

Description: A new generation of technologies is poised to reduce the cost of DNA sequencing by over two orders of magnitude. However, the routine sequencing of full human genomes will continue to be prohibitively expensive in the context of studies that require even modest sample sizes. However, it is frequently the case that investigators are interested in identifying germline variation or somatic mutations in a particular subset of the genome. Examples of genomic subsets that are highly relevant in the context of specific studies include: (a) a locus to which a disease phenotype has been mapped (i.e. a contiguous genomic region); and (b) the exons of genes belonging to a specific disease-related pathway (i.e. a large set of short, discontiguous sequences). Such subsets total to megabases in length, raising the question of how they can be efficiently isolated without performing hundreds to thousands of PCR reactions per genome. Our ability to take advantage of the power of next-generation sequencing technologies is markedly impaired by the lack of a corresponding targeting method, analogous to PCR, that is matched to the scale at which the new sequencing platforms will routinely operate. To address this critical need, we are exploring several novel strategies for "genome partitioning". Our goal is to develop these strategies into broadly available methods that enable the selective and uniform amplification of complex, arbitrary subsets of a mammalian genome in a single reaction.

Working with a post-doctoral fellow or graduate student in the lab, specific projects on which an Amgen Scholar might participate include: (1) development of an enzymatic method for the uniform amplification of large sets of exon sequences from a human genome; (2) development a hybridization-based method for the selective amplification of contiguous megabase-scale regions from a human genome; (3) integration of these methods with next-generation sequencing technologies, validating their utility by performing targeted variation discovery in a small number of individuals. Depending on interest and skill, the Scholar's project might include experimental and/or computational work.

Requirements: Course work and lab experience in molecular biology or bioinformatics would be very helpful but is not neccesarily required.

Kristin Swanson - Pathology, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Neural Pathology

Website: http://www.amath.washington.edu/~swanson/

Description: The Swanson research lab is located in the University Medical Center, and focuses on mathematical modeling and the analysis of quantifiable data obtained through medical imaging such as MRI, PET, and CT. With our convenient location in the UMC, we are in a unique position to compare model results and predictions with data obtained from real patients receiving care at the University. Student researchers necessarily learn aspects of neuro anatomy, tumor evolution and biology, medical imaging, computational and data processing methods. Individualized projects are chosen to best meet the student's interests and abilities, while at the same time serving the overarching goals of the lab.

The lab's current focus includes, but is not limited to, the modeling of brain tumor growth, evolution and response to therapy, and comparisons of information obtained from superficially disparate imaging modalities such as MR and PET. This modeling effort provides many interesting avenues for student research: from data acquisition and processing to investigation and development of new mathematical models of tumor processes.

Our lab is truly interdisciplinary: with over a dozen members with backgrounds ranging from biology to applied mathematics and computer programming, we are able to determine suitable research projects for just about anyone with a scientific background. A vast majority of our lab members are pre-med, providing a stimulating environment with many resources for information and opportunities.

Students are supervised daily by the lab manager, with at least once weekly lab meetings involving progress reports to Dr. Swanson.

Requirements: The student should be have a strong interest and background in either mathematics or medical imaging, and be in good academic standing. Student should have intermediate to advanced computer experience and be comfortable spending extended periods of time at a computer. A background in mathematics including a full calculus sequence, differential equations and linear algebra, and/or experience with computer programming in any form is a plus, although not necessary.

Scholars

melanie

Melanie Adams

Melanie Adams is a student at the University of New Mexico, majoring in Biology. She is a rising senior and hopes to pursue a career where she can make a contribution and give back to the community. In the Amgen program, she is working in the Roberts Lab, studying bacterial resistance to antibiotics. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and, most of all, spending time with friends and family.

seth

Seth Congdon

Seth heralds from Brooklyn, NYC and is a rising Senior at Guilford College majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. This summer, Seth is working in Horacio de la Iglesia's lab studying circadian rhythm generation in response to light in forced desynchronized rats. He enjoys playing soccer and tennis, holding down a radio show on WQFS Greensboro 90.9 and wearing jumpsuits on Sundays.

steven

Steven Flygare

Steven is a rising senior at Brigham Young University and is a double major in math and bioinformatics.  His research focus is bioinformatics and is excited to be working in the Shendure lab building a web based application for oligonucleotide design for microarrays.  He intends to pursue a phD in a computational science, most likely bioinformatics.  When he is not studying Steven loves to BMX, mountain bike, hike and generally be outside.  

julia

Julia Gerard

Julia is a rising senior majoring in Biology and French with a minor in Chemistry at Loyola College in Maryland. This summer she is working in Dr. Alexandar Rudensky’s lab studying the regulation of regulatory T cells.  This cell type works to control the immune response and understanding its activity will have important clinical implications. Her previous research experience includes a summer spent at Gerstner Sloan-Kettering, also in an Immunology lab.  There, she worked in Dr. James Allison’s lab and studied the activity of CTLA-4, a downregulatory receptor present on T cells.  She has also worked in a Genetics lab at Loyola College where she studied sexual determination of C. elegans. At Loyola, she is also is involved with Project HEALTH, a program which works to break the link between poverty and poor health by placing undergraduates in low income healthcare settings. Julia hopes to pursue a combined MD/PhD degree after graduation.  She enjoys running, karaoke, and neighbors.  

robert

Robert Guenette

Robert is a senior at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin double majoring in Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research here is in the Dovichi Lab and involves the development of a high-throughput protein analysis system. This system uses capillary electrophoresis to separate proteins, then a trypsin microreactor to digest them, and a second capillary to separate the resulting peptides which are characterized by mass spectroscopy. Robert hopes to earn a PhD in organic chemistry after graduation. Other than research, he enjoys reading, music, movies, and spending time with friends and family.

kaitlin

Kaitlin Haines

Kaitlin Haines is a rising senior at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. She is a biology major with a broad interest in cell/molecular biology and neuroscience. she has conducted neuroscience/electrophysiology research under the mentorship of Dr. J. Harry Blaise for the past 2.5 years and was recently co-author on an article published in a prominent neuroscience journal Brain Research. As an Irish step dancer for the past 15 years, she has had the opportunity to take a semester off from college and go on tour with the professional dance troupe Michael Flately’s Lord of the Dance. In the future, Kaitlin hopes to become a physician and researcher and combine these careers to develop better anti-rejection techniques for transplant recipients.

andrew

Andrew Heisler

Andrew Heisler is a rising senior in the biological sciences at Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, a city in Illinois.   Originally from Dallas, Texas, Andrew made the journey to the furniture capital of the United States, Grand Rapids, and eventually to the city of Chicago, also known as the windy city.  He is currently engaged in researching the correlation between phenotype and tandem repeat length in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana.  Beyond this interest in science, Andrew also finds comfort in music, which he enjoys both composing and performing in a local Chicago rock quartet.  One day, Andrew hopes to pursue biomedical research through an MD/PhD program, as a physician scientist.

lydia

Lydia Hernandez

Lydia is a Molecular/Cell biology major at Portland State University and will graduate with her second bachelor's degree in the spring of 2009. She earned her first bachelor's at UC Berkeley in Communications and English Literature. Prior to her enrollment at Portland State, Lydia taught and guided kayaking for four years in Portland. This summer, Lydia is working at the Davis lab studying kinetochore/microtubule localization and interaction during mitosis using fluorescence images. Her previous research experience includes investigating archaeal transcription factors with Dr. Michael Bartlett at Portland State. She intends to pursue a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology.

shelly

Shelly Hsiao

Shelly is a rising junior at Mount Holyoke College majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Economics. This summer, she is working in Terrance Kavanagh's lab in the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences department. Her project focuses on the toxic effects of quantum dots on RAW 264.7 macrophages. Aside from academics, she enjoys living in other countries to learn new languages, listening to music, attempting to play every sport, cooking, making jokes, laughing and going to the beach.

jessica

Jessica Huszar

Jessica Huszar is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University,
majoring in Biochemistry. This summer she is working with Dr. Amieux to
improve the process of isolating and analyzing small groups of specific
cells in brain tissue, utilizing immunoprecipitation and ribosomal
tagging. Ideally this method will eventually be applicable to a wide body
of research, including body weight regulation. She has previously done
clinical research involving metabolism and fertility disorders. After
graduation, Jessica plans to take some time off for extensive travel and
pursue a PhD in Pharmacology. In her free time, Jessica enjoys baking,
riding bikes and reading everything she can.

leticia

Leticia Huynh

Leticia Huynh is a member of Dr. Daniel Chiu’s lab. She is doing research in microfluidics, specifically with microchips, which are polymer-based machines molded to have channels and other features that can be used to carry out chemical and biological reactions on a small scale. Currently, she is working on optimizing a microchip valve design, which has many potential applications in microfluidics.

Leticia is a rising junior at the University of Washington and a member of the UW Robinson Center Early Entrance Program. In addition to being a member of HCASB (Health Care Alternative Spring Break), a student-run organization that enables undergraduates to shadow doctors in rural communities over spring break, she also plays tennis and piano, and practices calligraphy. Leticia is deeply interested in the treatment of disease and intends to pursue a career in medicine.

stephanie

Stephanie Huynh

Stephanie is a junior at the University of Washington, majoring in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology and considering a minor in Microbiology. This summer, she is conducting research in the Giachelli Lab in the Department of Bioengineering. As part of a larger study on vascular calcification, her project involves using the fluorescent indicator protein for inorganic phosphate (FLIPPi) construct and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to analyze inorganic phosphate levels in mouse aortic smooth muscle cells. Through studying the mechanism of inorganic phosphate uptake, potentially new targets may be determined in order to regulate calcification and reduce its consequences. After graduating, Stephanie plans to pursue a PharmD/PhD and conduct pharmaceutical research. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, playing the piano and Guitar Hero (not simultaneously), and running.

kenny

Kenny Lin

Kenny will be a senior at Boston University studying Biomedical Engineering. His past research experiences include the study of changes in neuromuscular control due to microgravity and the differentiation of stem cells into cardiomyocytes. Kenny's project this summer uses molecular dynamics computer simulations to characterize the normal human prion protein as well as documented mutations and polymorphisms. The project hopes to elucidate potential structural mechanisms of pathology in prion-related diseases. In his spare time, he enjoy photography, reading on the quad, watching movies, and playing sports.

ryan

Ryan Loney

Ryan is a rising senior at Reed College studying physics. While at the UW he will be conducting biophysical research with professor Gundlach in the nanopore lab, working on driving ssDNA through biological pores. Ideally the characteristics of the current blockages caused by the DNA's passage through the pore will provide insight into the composition of the DNA molecule, ultimately leading to a new method of quickly sequencing genetic material. When he's not in the lab, Ryan likes to go social dancing in Seattle's flourishing swing and salsa community. After graduation he intends to go to graduate school for biophysics and continue to study experimental methods.

michelle

Michelle Medema

Michelle is a current Junior at Calvin College studying Biology. While working at the University of Washington in Dr. Brian Kennedy’s lab, she will be researching the importance of nuclear proteins to the aging process. Further research interests include ecotoxicology, particularly around the great lakes, immunology, and virology. She hopes to pursue a PhD after graduation from Calvin College. Beyond biology, she also loves God, her boyfriend, her family, reading, music, hanging out with friends, and food.

tim

Tim Mentele

Tim Mentele is a rising Senior at UW in the Bioengineering department. He has no prior research experience to speak of but has extensive lab experience due to the fact that every Bioengineering class has a lab. He has covered gross anatomy, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and stress and strain to name a few subjects. His main interests outside of the classroom include singing and going to Disneyland with his family. They go once a year and it is still one of his favorite vacations ever. As an engineer, the park is a marvel and as someone interested in innovation the story behind it is amazing. As far as the singing, he was in a group called the Northwest Choirs for nearly 11 years. Over the course of that time, Tim got to perform in Europe, sing on two video game soundtracks, and sing for a movie soundtrack. He still sings in the occasional movie trailer recording session as a fill-in for Recording Arts Northwest. It’s a fun job and if he were not so interested in engineering, he would be majoring in music. He hopes to get to know everyone very well over the course of this program and come away from it with some serious research under his belt, some good friends, and an overall great summer memory.

adam

Adam Mina

Adam is a senior in the Biology Department here at the University of Washington. He was born in the Philippines and grew up in Lincoln City, Oregon. Since last summer, he has worked at the Bassuk laboratory at Children’s Hospital Research Institute. The lab studies epithelial diseases in the human urothelium. The project is identifying the DNA-motif that may bind SPARC, a matricellular and nuclear localized protein shown to inhibit cellular proliferation and disrupt cellular adhesion. He will try to do this using ChIP (chromatin immunoprecipitation) assay. Outside of the lab and academics, he enjoys running, board sports, soccer, playing violin, and hanging out with friends.

ankita

Ankita Mishra

Ankita Mishra will be beginning her junior year this fall at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, where she is majoring in Chemical Engineering with a Biomolecular focus. She is spending her summer in the Merz Lab of the University of Washington’s Biochemistry Department studying the region of activity of proteins known as Rab GTPase Activating Proteins – which are necessary for intracellular molecular trafficking – in yeast cells. Her prior research experience involves working in Materials Science and Engineering here at the UW for two summers, using atomic force microscopy to study protein binding morphology and specificity. When she has spare time at Caltech – which, sadly, is not often enough – she plays on Caltech’s Intercollegiate Women’s Volleyball Team, plans activities as part of the student body Social Team, and coordinates events for the other members as the new President of Caltech’s chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

erica

Erica Porter

Erica is a rising junior at George Mason University pursuing a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry and a Minor in Biology. Her intent is to continue her education and receive a Ph.D/M.D. degree. She is particularly interested in infectious diseases, and the immune system on a cellular/chemical level.

This summer she is working with Dr. Maly’s lab on the development of chemical tools for studying mammalian signal transduction and protein kinases. Her focus is primarily on the BIR 3 Domain of X-linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (XIAP) and the design of orthogonal inhibitors for mutated BIR 3 domains and compliment peptides developed from the natural ligand of the BIR 3 domain.

Apart from being in a Lab, she has a wide variety of interests and hobbies. Some of which include traveling, dancing (middle eastern, salsa, bachata, swing, and blues), archery, kayaking, the Society of Creative Anachronisms, rock climbing, henna tattoos, mythology, legends and folklore, singing, arts and crafts, writing, reading, and she has recently began teaching herself to play the guitar.

adam

Adam Quintero

Adam is a rising junior at the University of New Mexico, planning on double majoring in Biology and Psychology (Pre-Medicine). He has lived in the Land of Enchantment (NM) his entire life, so being in Seattle at UW is quite a unique and exciting experience for him. This summer Adam is working in Dr. Stan Fields’ lab in the department of Genome Sciences. For his research, Adam is trying to determine the possible effects that small molecules could have on lovastatin’s efficacy/toxicity when the two are combined within the same yeast culture. Amgen Scholars Program is actually Adam’s first research experience, so the program is his attempt to see if research is something he would like to pursue in his future. Adam’s ultimate goal is to go to medical school and attain either a MD or MD/PhD. On his spare time, he likes to run, play tennis, and “try” to lift weights in the gym. Adam considers himself a real outdoorsy type of guy, but sometimes he would rather just sit around the house all day and watch reality TV.

james

James Reinecke

James is a fifth year senior at Central Michigan University.  He is a biomedical sciences and neuroscience double major.  This summer James is working in the lab of Dr. Hannele Ruohola-Baker in the Department of Biochemistry.  A group of students are working on genetic screens aimed at identifying genes that are critical for maintaining germline stem cells within the Drosophila germline niche.  After Central, James plans on entering an MD/PhD program.  His career aspirations are to become a physician scientist who helps patients with their aliments via clinical treatment and basic science research geared towards understanding the molecular basis of disease.  Outside of science, James enjoys weight lifting, golfing, reading and hanging out with friends.

ellis

Ellis Robinson

Ellis is a rising senior at The Ohio State University, preparing to graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Until he figures out a way for someone to pay him to bum around the world on his bicycle, Ellis plans on pursuing graduate education in Environmental Engineering, with a specific focus on bioremediation and drinking water quality. One day, with the help of a lot of coffee, there will be no pollution and everyone in the world will have clean water to drink! This summer's Amgen Scholars experience is allowing him his first research experience with a biological system, where he is exploring cytokine mediation in in vitro biofilm studies between macrophages and Staphylococcus epidermidis. His work will hopefully contribute to the larger aims of his mentor (Kyung Park in the Bryers' group) in the creation of anti-infective biomaterials. Aside from geeking out on science, Ellis likes to climbs rocks, drink coffee, and ride bikes.

janelle

Janelle Ruiz

Janelle is a rising junior at Loyola Marymount University and is pursuing a double major in biology and psychology. The Amgen Scholars program is her first significant laboratory research experience. This summer, she is focused on exploring and garnering a more complete understanding of the body’s innate immune response to Hepatitis C virus. She is working in the Gale laboratory, investigating RIG-I independent activation of the immune response to HCV. Her previous research experience in the department of psychology at Loyola Marymount explores financial literacy and realism in young adults. At her university, she is a student senator and an active performer in the choral program. She enjoys writing poetry, spending time at the beach, reading classic literature and keeping up with the social life of her ten-year-old little brother. Janelle was born in Tucson, Arizona and hopes to pursue an MD/PhD program after graduation.

alyssa

Alyssa Sheih

Alyssa is a rising junior studying Bioengineering at the University of Washington.  Her previous research includes working in the Biology Department to model the coevolution of host sociality and pathogen virulence in contact networks.  This summer she is working with Professor Hong Shen in the Chemical Engineering Department to investigate how mechanical properties of spherical particles influence the efficiency of phagocytosis by immune cells.  After graduation, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Bioengineering.  Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, reading, and drawing.

mindy

Mindy Szeto

Mindy is a senior at the UW majoring in Biochemistry and Sociology. Currently, she works with Professor Kristin Swanson in the Department of Pathology. Her project focuses on the development of a mathematical model to quantify glioma (a highly malignant and diffuse type of brain tumor) growth kinetics. Outside of class and lab, good places to find her are rock concerts, jogging trails, and coffeeshops. Mindy also coordinates a student-run program called Healthcare Alternative Spring Break, which aims to promote the awareness of issues in rural healthcare through clinic shadowing opportunities. She plans to pursue an MD/PhD after graduation.

wally

Wallace Thompson

Wally sprang forth from the womb during the year 1986 in Starr, South
Carolina and is now a senior chemistry major at Erskine College [Due West,
South Carolina].

Wally studied the regulation of apoptosis in the Deshmukh lab at
UNC-Chapel Hill in 2007. This summer, he works in the Hong Shen lab
producing fluorescent molecular thermometers for intracellular thermal
profiling. In the future, he hopes to earn a Ph.D. in the sciences or play
the accordion for sustenance.

Otherly, Wally's interests include roaming foreign lands, eating, and gongs.

anya

Anya Yermakova

Anya is going into her 5th year in Northwestern, majoring in Biochemistry, Piano performance, and Philosophy of Mathematics. She is interested in logic and ways of applying mathematics in biochemical research. She is planning to continue a career as a researcher and a performer, possibly an MD/PhD. Anya also loves nature in any season, dances salsa and flamenco, and composes music.

2007

Overview

2007 was the inaugural year of the UW Amgen Scholars Summer Program. 26 promising undergraduates were selected from the University of Washington and other institutions nationally to participate in an intensive research experience. These students were mentored by 19 outstanding UW faculty members.

amgen 2007 group

Faculty

Prof. Martha M. Bosma - Biology

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/martibee/

Spontaneous activity in the developing brain is critical to normal circuit development, playing an important role in regulating cell number, axon pathways, and synaptic connections. Our lab uses physiological techniques (imaging of intracellular Ca2+ and patch clamp recording) to determine the roleof a certain class of neurons, the serotonergic raphe neurons, in synchronizing and driving spontaneous activity in the embryonic mouse hindbrain. We have shown that these newly generated raphe neurons are capable of spontaneous electrical events, and pacemake activity in the remainder of the neurons in the developing hindbrain. We are determining the ionic mechanism ofthe spontaneous electrical events, and assessing the role of these mechanisms in wildtype and raphe knockout animals.

It would be great if the students had taken coursework in physiology, neurobiology, and/or development.

Prof. Daniel Chiu - Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/chem/people/faculty/chiu.html/

Our lab has been focused on developing new physical methods for probing complex biological processes at the single-cell and single-molecule level. We are applying these new tools to two broad sets of biological questions: (1) Synaptic transmission, and (2) Single-cell cancer biology.

No particular requirements, except that they have taken sufficient numbers of chemistry/biology lab courses.

Prof. Valerie Daggett - Medicinal Chemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/~daglab/

My lab is involved in performing realistic computer simulations of protein dynamics and folding. We are attempting to determine the underlying rules governing protein folding, which has ramifications for biotechnology, genomics, and human health. We also study protein misfolding diseases, in particular prion diSeases---for example mad cow disease. Finally, we have begun a project we are calling dynameomics, which seeks to map the normal protein dynamics and unfolding of all known protein folds. We are constructing a large database and now mining this database to determine the general rules of folding. Individual projects in the lab can focus on protein diease, general protein folding, the development of datamining approaches, and graphical user interfaces to make the resulting data available to the community.

Prof. Norman Dovichi - Chemistry

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/dovichi/

This laboratory develops and applies tools for the ultrasensitive characterization of biological molecules and are supported by three NIH and one DOE grant. These projects include three undergraduates, and it may be best to describe their work, which provides examples of work available to our students. One project is to develop an automated tryptic digestion system on a microscale. This device will be employed as part of an on-line protein characterization system, which will couple the digester with capillary electrophoresis and MALDI mass spectrometry. The undergraduate working on this project is evaluating reaction conditions using a fluorogenic substrate, which requires use of a fluorescent microtiter plate reader. The second project employs capillary electrophoresis and laser-induced fluorescence to characterize protein expression in single breast cancer cells. This project has resulted in one publication for Joan Bleeker, an undergraduate in my group. The third project studies stochastic gene expression in the bacterium D. radiodurans using a wide suite of bioanalytical tools, including flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence. This project has resulted in one publication for Vanessa Palmer, another undergraduate in my lab.

A background in chemistry or biochemistry.

Prof. Jens Gundlach - Physics

Our research is centered around a relatively new technique for analyzing DNA at the single-molecule level. In this technique, single-stranded DNA molecules are driven through a nanometer scale pore where they produce a measurable obstruction of an ionic current that also flows through the pore. We have recently begun a collaboration with a biologist to develop and optimize a new porin for improved analysis of DNA.

Prof. Stephen Hauschka - Biochemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/biowww/faculty/hauschka.html

Students will participate in studies related to how striated muscle genes are regulated during skeletal and cardiac muscle development, or in studies in which muscle gene regulatory components are modified so as to provide improved levels of therapeutic gene expression during the treatment of neuromuscular diseases. Depending upon the specific project, students will learn how to manipulate gene sequences, how to carry out PCR and enzyme reactions, and how to use embryonic or adult muscle cells in tissue culture assays.

Prof. Merrill B. Hille - Biology

Website: http://protist.biology.washington.edu/bio2/people/bio.html?parecID=159

The students will study the role of a regulatory protein, p120 catenin, in early zebrafish development. This protein likely regulates the adhesion and motility of cells that form the early embryonic structures. The kinds of molecular biology techniques the students will use are PCR, transformation of bacteria, sterile technique, sub cloning and moving genes to different vectors, in vitro preparation of mRNA, Western Blots. If the student progresses rapidly they will be able to inject their mRNA construct in to zebrafish eggs and see where they go during early development with live or confocal microscopy. Most of our genes have green fluorescent protein markers.

The students should have had a course with some protein signaling or protein structure understanding, for example a 200 or 300 level cell biology class with a chemistry prerequisite or a biochemistry class. The students should be willing to concentrate well in manipulations, since errors are very expensive. Diligence in the preparation of labile mRNA will be required.

Prof. Rachel Klevit - Biochemistry

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/biowww/faculty/klevit.html

Our goal is to understand the relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and protein-protein complexes and their physiological function. We concentrate on proteins involved in human health and disease, with a focus on breast cancer and heart disease. Undergraduate researchers work with graduate students or post-doctoral fellows in the lab and gain experience in a wide array of approaches and techniques, including: molecular biology (cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, yeast two-hybrid screens, etc.), protein chemistry (purification, enzyme assays, ligand-binding assays, etc.), and structural and biophysical techniques (NMR, CD, MS). Current projects involve the proteins BRCA1(breast cancer protein-1), PDE5 cardiac phosphodiesterase), HSP27 (human heat shock protein), and PhoQ (pathogenic virulence factor).

Successful completion of General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and 1 year of Biology are required. Students that have taken a course in Biochemistry and/or Physical chemistry are given preference.

Prof. Lih Y. Lin - Electrical Engineering

Website: http://www.ee.washington.edu/research/photonicslab/

Working on manipulating biological cells or nanoparticles using the opto-plasmonic tweezers we are currently building.

Working with graduate students on characterization of various nanoscale quantum dot photonic devices.

Prerequisites: Understanding fundamental optical principles and photonic devices, understanding basic quantum mechanics.

Prof. Rene Overney - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/people/faculty/overney.htm

§ Nanocomposites and Local Properties

While in materials, such as ceramics, metals and oxides, size limitations are noticeable only below 10nm (quantum-well effects), it was found that in polymer systems interfacial effects can be noticeable over a distance of tens to hundreds of nanometers. One of the great challenges to date is to obtain material and transport property information on that scale. Current analysis methods are generally still only probing macroscopic properties. This applies particularly for material and transport properties of nanocomposite materials. Organic-inorganic nano-composites are promising materials with unique material and transport properties. They have tremendous potential for applications in areas such as catalysis, fuel cells, microelectronics, organic batteries, optics and gas separation systems. This summer UG research program will familiarize students with nanocomposite materials and their potential in generating unique properties, such as reversed selectivity in membranes, fuel cells and organic batteries. Students will be involved in material engineering, and be introduced to a wide variety of contrast enhancing scanning probe methods to explore the heterogeneous nature of these materials.

§ Nanomechanical Prescreening Analysis of Cancerous Cells

The simplicity of scanning force microscopy (SFM) that operates on the nanoscale in real space has facilitated mankind's access to analyzing material properties, assembling nanoscale structures, and utilizing nano-scaled device functionalities. The working principle of SFM is very simple and comparable to a scanning phonograph needle, and is well suited as a nano-mechanical sensor. During this UG summer project the students will be involved in nanoscale measurements of viscoelastic properties and adhesion of cells and tissue materials. The general objective of this study in which this UG summer project is situated is to develop a mechanical prescreening procedure to detect the onset of pathological cell growth that leads to cancer. The research project involves besides sample preparation, nano-mechanical SFM studies, literature research on tissue materials, also in the participation of the development of a statistical ensemble screening method involving SFM.

§ Nanocontrol of the Molecular Mobility in Electronic Organic Photonic Materials

In general, the pursuit for highly efficient electronic organic materials is limited by the molecular mobility and its control. In photonic organic material devices, where the wide bandwidth of light is used for ultra-fast information exchange, the material's molecular mobility is crucial for highly efficient devices. This project is addressing one of the most important properties of photonic materials, the electro-optical activity, which is a measure of the strength of the non-linear dipole field. The UG students working in this project will learn about the effect of intermolecular and intramolecular constraints on properties of organic photonic materials, and how to utilize them in a complex molecular architecture to maximize desired material and transport properties. This project introduces the students to a wide variety of organic electronic materials from liquid crystals to polymers. The project entails state-of-the-art material property analysis such as scanning probe techniques.

Prof. Suzie Hwang Pun - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/spun/

The Pun Lab focuses on the development of non-viral gene delivery vehicles. Applications for these materials include siRNA delivery to the central nervous system, tumor-specific gene delivery and tissue engineering. Research in this area would involve learning cell biology, molecular biology, and bioconjugate chemistry techniques to prepare and test delivery vehicles in cultured cells.

Prof. Alexander Rudensky - Immunology

Website: http://pilgrim.immunol.washington.edu/members.html

Our research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms governing the development and function of CD4 T lymphocytes and their role in T cell mediated immunity. CD4 T cells recognize foreign and self protein antigens in the form of relatively short peptide fragments associated with MHC class II molecules displayed on the surface of antigen-presenting cells and play a central role in regulation of adaptive immune responses to infection and the maintenance of tolerance to self.

I would like students to have taken an undergraduate immunology class, a class in molecular/cell biology, and a class in genetics. Previous lab experience is a plus.

Prof. Hong Shen - Chemical Engineering

Website: http://www.cheme.washington.edu/people/faculty/shen.htm

The students will be working on developing nanoparticle-based delivery systems to modulate both innate and adaptive immunity. One student will be working on optimizing formulation of nanoparticles to target the intracellular signaling pathway for the generation of safe and effective antiviral innate immunity. Another student will be working on optimizing formulations of nanoparticles to target antigen presentation pathway for the generation anti-tumor adaptive immunity.

Some background in biology will be a plus, but it is not required.

Prof. Carol Sibley - Genome Sciences

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/labs/sibley/index.htm

My lab studies drug resistance in malaria parasites. We use both molecular biology methods- PCR and sequence analysis- and yeast genetics to identify and study genes associated with parasite genes responsible for resistance to several commonly used antimalarai drugs. Our work involves close collaboration with colleagues in Africa- principally Kenya and Tanzania- and Southeast Asia- mainly Thailand and Indonesia. This combination of lab based studies with a clear connection to an important real world problem catches studnet interest, and has been a very effective way to demonstrate the utility and excitement of science.

Prof. Kristin Swanson - Pathology

Website: http://www.amath.washington.edu/~swanson/

Our lab is interested in linking clinical imaging modalities through mathematical modeling of the biological process underlying the imaging. Specifically, we are interested in predicting future behavior of primary brain tumors (gliomas) from current imaging observations. We make comparisons of our mathematical model predictions with clinical imaging observations as well as microscopy of operative and autopsy tissue.

Completion of the following courses preferred but not necessary:
AMATH 301 Scientific Computing
AMATH 352, MATH 308/9 Linear Algebra

Prof. Willie Swanson - Genome Sciences

Website: http://www.gs.washington.edu/labs/swanson/

The overall interest of my laboratory group involves identifying genes that have potential to be involved in speciation. Studies of adaptive evolution have revealed multiple classes of reproductive proteins under positive selection, including those involved in gamete-recognition, seminal fluid factors and proteins in the reproductive tract. The student(s) that I sponsor will be involved in a study of mouse reproductive proteins which may be good candidates for genes involved in reproductive isolation and, consequently, speciation. This project will provide hands-on training and experience in the high-throughput proteomic techniques necessary to identify proteins in prostate and seminal fluid for this study. In addition, the student will learn to use bioinformatic techniques to cull prostate protein and gene sequences from the Prostate Expression Databases (PEDB) for use in identifying prostate contributions to seminal fluid by matching the database sequences to the protein sequences we derive in the laboratory. Throughout the student's experience here, emphasis will be placed on the importance of clearly defining scientific questions and on relating data obtained from laboratory work to information available in the current body of scientific literature.

Prof. Christopher B. Wilson - Immunology

Website: http://depts.washington.edu/immunweb/faculty/profiles/wilson.html

My laboratory has two related interests, and it would be possible to have a student working in each area over the summer. The first emphasis are studies addressing the link between Innate to Adaptive Immunity to Infection. We are exploring the specificity and mechanisms by which Toll-like receptors contribute to microbial recognition and activation of innate immunity and, thereafter, of antigen-specific immunity. Ongoing studies seek to determine the biological importance of differences between Toll-like receptors of humans, other primates and mice in their ability to recognize variant ligands and in the specific cell types on which they are expressed. These studies and studies of developmental differences in innate immune responses are pursued to gain a more complete understanding of Toll-like receptor-dependent and -independent aspects of antigen-specific immunity to bacterial and viral pathogens and to use this knowledge to develop more effective vaccines.

In turn, we are seeking to determine the mechanisms through which cues provided by the innate immune system induce and sustain robust expression of interferon-gamma and assure the fidelity of Th1 and CD8 T cell function. Our group has helped to define the role of differential DNA methylation,post-translational histone modifications and higher-order chromatin structure in the control of T cell effector functions. We are currently working to determine the importance of these processes in the control of interferon-gamma expression and to identify novel regulatory elements within the extended interferon-gamma locus through which these processes and lineage-restricted transcription factors act.

Students should have successfullly completed coursework, including laboratories, in chemistry and biology, and ideally microbiology. Prior research experience would be ideal but is not essential. Students should be comfortable with the use of animals, when appropriate, in biological research.

Prof. Paul Yager - Bioengineering

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/yagerp/

We are developing microfluidics-based analytical techniques for molecules of biomedical interest. Ongoing projects focus on the use of optical detection methods, including fluorescence, optical absorbance, and surface plasmon resonance imaging. Projects are funded by NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prof. Xiao-Hua Andrew Zhou - Biostatistics

Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/~azhou/

We are planning to have one undergraduate student to engage in

  • statistical research with an application to clinical studies in Alzheimer’s disease
  • statistical research with an application to depression and other mentalhealth studies
  • statistical genetics
  • bioinformatics

Junior and senior undergraduates with at least one-year of calculus, linear algebra, multivariate calculus, and other math or statistics courses. GPA is least 3.0

Scholars

gerardo alcazar

Gerardo Alcazar

I am a senior at the University of Houston majoring in Biology and minoring in Chemistry. My previous reseach experience consists of the Heart, Lung, Blood Summer Reseach Program at Case Western School of Medicine working with the effects of Mevastatin on the cholesterol pathway in Bronchial Smooth Cells. This summer, I am working in Dr. Klevit's Lab trying to understand the structural Biochemistry between mutants of BRCA1 and UbcH5 in a yeast two hybrid. I am a founder and first president of the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Lambda Theta Phi, Latin Fraternity Inc. My chapter is very involved in mentoring and tutoring underpriviledged children at Lantrip Elementary. In addition to the active role I serve in my fraternity, I like to dance, watch GOOD movies, and eat my mother's home-cooked Mexican food.

saba

Saba Alniemi

I am a rising senior at Montana State University majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience. This summer, I have been working in Dr. Hong Shen’s lab in the department of Chemical Engineering. My research project focuses on Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) located on the inner-endosomal walls of dendritic cells. Contacting these TLRs has been a challenge in vaccine development, so the focus of my research is to develop a better method for activating these TLRs and enhancing the immune response. Currently, we are engineering biodegradable nanoparticles to try and meet this goal. Outside of academics, I enjoy floating, whitewater rafting, camping, and baking (I can make some seriously delicious cookies). I am also currently applying to medical school, and hope to return to the University of Washington through their WWAMI program.

jeff

Jeffrey Cloutier

I'm a junior at Middlebury College, VT majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry. My research interest lies in the field of cancer biology. Outside of academia I enjoy racing my bike, climbing mountains, and playing hockey. After Middlebury I plan to pursue an MD/PhD.

amanda

Amanda Crawford

Amanda is now officially a senior at Saint Mary's College of CA. She has lived in the Bay Area all her life and this is her first visit to Seattle. She is excited about graduate school and hopes it will be at the University of Washington. This is her first significant research experience and she'll be exploring Immunology. The main goal is to be able to create more efficient (and safe) vaccines, first by figuring out the mechanisms through which we can instruct particular routes of T cell development to give us long-term protective immunity, and then applying that to various infectious diseases. Aside from research she likes hiking, watching the natural wildlife, and enjoying the company of creative individuals.

melvin

Melvin Donaldson

Melvin studies the activity of the human muscle creatine kinase promoter with Dr. Robert E. Welikson in the Hauschka lab. He is a sophomore at the University of Washington in the department of Bioengineering, one of ten undergraduates directly admitted in Autumn 2006. He intends to pursue a graduate degree in the sciences after completing his undergraduate work and hopes to research in vaccine development in the future. In his freetime, Melvin is an Instrument-rated Private Pilot and flies recreationally when he can, plays Jazz bass and is president of the Stevens/Mercer Activity Council for 2007–2008. He'd like to especially thank Rob and Steve for taking him on and making room in the lab for him and all the folks for making that lab like family. Melvin plans to graduate in the Spring of 2010.

stan

Stanley Gu

Stanley was born in Sacramento, California but moved to the Seattle area where he is now a Junior at the University of Washington  majoring in Bioengineering. This summer, he is working in the Lin Lab studying the dielectrophoresis of DNA in microfluidic devices.

Stanley's previous research includes mathematical modeling of glioma brain tumors in the Swanson Lab, which is currently hosting other Amgen scholars.

His hobbies include playing the guitar, bicycling, tennis, cooking, and watching movies.

jennifer

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer is a rising senior studying Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. This summer she is working with Dr. Kristin Swanson in the Pathology Department of the University of Washington studying [18F]-FMISO Positron Emission Tomography Images of gliomas.

Her previous research experience includes working with Dr. Kathryn Miller in the Biology Department at Washington University to manipulate and map fly DNA to study the role of Myosin VI in development, and working with Dr. Igor Efimov in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Washington University to characterize the structural and molecular abnormalities associated with a specific model of heart failure.

She hopes to pursue a combined MD and PhD in Biomedical Engineering after graduation from Washington University, and her research interests include mathematical modeling, novel forms of biomedical imaging, and bioelectric phenomena. Outside of the lab, Jennifer serves on the Student Government and is the Editor-in-Chief of Spires, Washington University's Literary Magazine.

kyle

Kyle Hansen

I am a rising senior at the University of California San Diego, majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and minoring in music. Previously, I have been involved with academic research through Dr. Sylvia Evans lab at UCSD. In Dr. Evans lab I studied a subset of voltage gated channel proteins and how they are involved with the pacemaking current of both the adult and embryonic heart.

This summer I am working in Dr. Alexander Rudenskys lab, studying the mechanisms of immune self-tolerance through regulatory T-cells. Specifically, I am examining the differences between T-cell Receptor repertoires in a number of different transgenic mouse lines. The primary goal is to develop a better understanding of the mechanisms our immune system uses to prevent autoimmune disease.

Outside of academics, I have played volleyball for UCSD, and been an active member of the Flying Sams UCSD sub-chapter. In my free time I enjoy surfing, playing music, skating, Frisbee, running, and hiking. After graduation I hope to pursue a combined MD/PhD degree.

joel

Joel Herness

I am a Senior at the University of Washington, majoring in chemistry. Currently, I am doing research with the Chiu group in the department of Chemistry, doing work in microfluidics and droplet chemistry and how these fields can be used in the study of biology.

I love playing and watching sports and enjoy running and basketball to pass my free time in the summer. I enjoy going out to fun and quirky restaurants/lounges at night. I love music, though I have no clue how to play it, and am always open to new and exciting experiences. I’m trying to become a wine connoisseur in my spare time, to feel more sophisticated!

joyce

Joyce Hwang

I am a junior at Princeton University, NJ and am currently having a fantastic summer in the Sibley lab researching the genetics of drug resistance in malarial parasite. My previous research experience has been in anemia, cancer and HIV. At Princeton I am majoring in molecular biology and hope to pursue either an MD or MD/PhD after graduation. Outside of academics I play the violin, advocate around AIDS, and am on the editorial board of one of the campus science magazines. I am a resident of beautiful Hong Kong and Singapore, and am finding Seattle to be a wonderful and intellectually exciting city.

amanda

Amanda Loshbaugh

I am interested in elucidating protein structure and mechanisms to explain health issues that affect an organism as a whole. It is only by examining biomolecules that we can begin to understand the complexities of a living system. Exploring angstrom-scale phenomena in vivo necessarily combines chemistry and cell biology. I also enjoy studying religious philosophies of South Asia, particularly the rich scholarly tradition of Vedanta, but also Buddhist and Sufi concepts. These religions attempt to explain life using an approach rather different than biochemical determinism. In my spare time I listen to music like there's no tomorrow, shop the Ave, volunteer for animals, draw, and write.

alexandra

Alexandra MacKenzie

I am a senior at the University of Washington and am majoring in biochemistry. After I graduate I plan to pursue a Ph.D in biochemistry and a career in research. Currently, I am investigating muscle gene expression at the transcriptional level with Dr. Stephen Hauschka. My project looks specifically at an intronic suppressive regulatory element in the gene Muscle Creatine Kinase. I hope to explore this element's potential as a universal transcriptional suppressor and decipher the mechanism by which this element functions. In my free time I enjoy cheesy movies, crafts, swimming (indoor and out), hiking, bouldering (just started) and playing the clarinet.

susan

Susan Massey

Susan is a fifth year student working toward her B.S. in Mathematics. While she enjoys pure math, she desires to apply her acquired skills in logic and problem solving to studying pediatric neurological disorders. Her initial interest in neuroscience deepened as a participant in UDOC (summer 2002), while observing occupational therapists at the Center on Human Development and Disability at the University of Washington work with pediatric patients. During the past two summers, Susan worked as a camp counselor for Seattle Parks and Recreation Specialized Programs Youth Camp, which serves kids of ages 4 to 21 that have a wide range of abilities and neurological or behavioral disorders. Having thus gained perspective on the more human side of disorders such as autism, she hopes to use her love of science to research causes and interventions for pediatric neurological disorders, as well as put them into practice, by pursuing an MD/PhD degree. Additionally, Susan hopes to teach and pass on the insight she gained from taking part in doctor-patient-family interactions while caring for her mother and 10 year old brother throughout her mother’s bone marrow transplant (and the associated work-up and follow-up) during the 2005-06 school year. Her research experience includes analyzing the effectiveness of follow up visits for patients one year post bone marrow transplantation with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This summer Susan is working in the lab of Dr. Kristin Swanson, working on an experimental model of glioma growth. Outside of school and the lab, Susan enjoys reading, music, hiking, spending time with her family, and performing with Clean Slate Improv, a talented nonprofessional improvisational theater troupe affiliated with Green Lake Seventh-Day Adventist church.

brian

Brian Meckes

Brian is a junior at Rice University majoring in bioengineering. This summer, he is working with Dr. Zhou in biostatistics. His research involves the use of diagnostic tests in discriminating vascular dementia from Alzheimer’s Disease in patient groups. Specifically, he is evaluating the Hachinski Ischemic Score in distinguishing between these two patient groups. After finishing at Rice University, he plans to pursue a PhD and a career in research. Outside of lab, he enjoys soccer, dodge ball, and watching movies.

julia

Julia Moore

Julia grew up in northern Utah and moved to Seattle to attend school. She is currently a junior at the University of Washington, majoring in Applied Computational and Mathematical Sciences and Microbiology. In addition to studying for school, she works in a lab that studies the growth and spread of gliomas, which are very diffuse brain tumors. Julia plans to obtain a PhD in the sciences, focusing on the use of mathematical models to describe immunological phenomena. Her hobbies outside of school and work include salsa dancing and sailing.

eric

Eric Nguyen

I am a rising junior at UW who is triple-majoring in Biology, Computer Science, and History & Philosophy of Science. Previously I've done data analysis (and some research) involving calcium channels in different types of cells. My project this summer will involve identifying mouse reproductive proteins that are important in maintaining species barriers. Outside of class, I'm the webmaster for Tribeta (UW's biology honors society); I also enjoy frisbee, good music, browsing Wikipedia, and wandering around campus.

iris

Kok Shuen "Iris" Pang

I'm a rising senior at the University of Washington, majoring in Molecular Biology. Currently, I am working at Professor Alexander Rudensky's lab in the Immunology Department. Our lab is interested in understanding more about the development and function of a subset of lymphocytes called the Regulatory T cells (Treg) and their role in autoimmunity. My project investigates the effect of Treg ablation on the status of other immune cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells in various organs in mice. I am very interested in this field and I intend to pursue a PhD in Immunology after my graduation. Outside of academics, I enjoy traveling around the world as much as staying in my room. In fact, I grew in Hong Kong, but moved to Seattle only five years ago. And, I've just spent ten weeks studying abroad in Prague, the Czech Republic last spring. In my free time, I enjoy reading and surfing on the Internet. I also love to sing in my church choir.

camille

Camille Petri

I am a rising junior at Boston College originally hailing from the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. I plan to graduate in the spring of 2009 with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. This summer I am working in Dr. Paul Yager's lab in microfluidics, studying the preservation of a secondary gold conjugate antibody used in a sandwich assay format. After graduating from Boston College, I plan to attend medical school, (perhaps UW, who knows?), and hopefully specialize in women's health. When not thinking about science, I like to spend my time singing with my a cappella group, the Sharps, hiking and running.

ryan

Ryan Quarfoth

I am a junior at Harvey Mudd College, one of the Claremont Colleges near Los Angeles. I am a General Engineering major at Harvey Mudd, and am doing research for Professor Rene Overney in the Chemical Engineering department this summer at the UW. The goal of my research project is to use atomic force microscopy to image the surface of agar at different concentrations. We hope to be able to find specific differences in the surface of agar as we change the concentration. I plan to attend graduate school for a Ph.D., perhaps in Chemical Engineering (but it might end up being Electrical or Computer Engineering). I enjoy playing tennis, soccer and skiing.

patricia

Patricia Sanchez Vazquez

I'm an Industrial Biotechnology student at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. I am really interested in the Biotechnological potential of extremophiles, especially the thermophilic and halophilic microorganism. I have been working in a microbiology lab for one year and I'm hoping to stay there until I graduate. Before that I worked in a biochemistry lab for a year. I decided to continue with my studies through the PhD so I can have the privileged of working in the research and development department of a biotechnology industry. I really enjoy being outdoors in touch with nature especially in forest, at the beach and camping.

mark

Mark Sena

I am from Santa Fe, New Mexico and moved here two years ago to attend the University of Washington. I love the Northwest and enjoy skiing, rock climbing and hiking when I can.

I am most interested in the field of nanotechnology and molecular bioengineering. I have been in Dr. Xiaohu Gao’s lab for over a year working on bioapplications of fluorescent semiconductor nanoparticles called “quantum dots”. Currently, I am working on using quantum dots as reporters in a microfluidic immunoassay under Dr. Paul Yager.

wendy

Wendy Tse

I am a rising senior at Dartmouth College majoring in Biology with a minor in Neuroscience. I previously worked on npcRNA research at the Center for Experimental Pathology at the University of Munster in Germany. I am currently working in a microbiology lab at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, researching the mucosal immune system, specifically how cigarette smoke and female sex hormones influence immune responses. I am working with Dr. Martha Bosma this summer, researching spontaneous synchronous activity in the chick midbrain and the role of the isthmus in regulating midbrain activity. I love dancing, watching the Mariners, rockclimbing, kayaking, traveling, telling jokes, reading classifieds, listening to country music, and going on adventures. I also have a huge affinity towards anyone who speaks Cantonese or German.

kathy

Kathy Wei

I am a sophomore at the UW and I'm double majoring in Bioengineering and Computer Science. Right now, I am doing research in the Pun lab with the Bioengineering department. The overall goal is gene therapy, like delivering DNA to SCIDS patients, who lack the ability to make immune system cells. The twist is to deliver the DNA using polyplexes (man-made DNA and protein polymer complexes) instead of viruses. This is important because viruses can cause an immune response in the patient, can only be used once because of the immune response, and viruses have the potential for becoming pathogenic even if it has had all the viral DNA removed. I am working specifically on delivering DNA into neurons by attachingthe portion of the Clostridium tetani bacteria that allows it to get into neurons onto polyplexes so that the polyplexes can also get into neurons.

Besides my awesome research, I'm a big fan of fantasy and sci-fi books. Some favorites are: Tamora Pierce, Anne McCaffrey, and Terry Pratchett. Perhaps not surprisingly, my favorite animals are dragons. I'm also read/watch a lot of anime/manga, in particular Ghost in a Shell, Trigun, ROD, Bleach, Hikaru no Go, Prince of Tennis, etc. I think that House and Grey's Anatomy are great shows and that both are hilarious.

risa

Risa Wong

I am a rising senior at the UW and am majoring in physics. Currently, I’m doing biophysics research with Professor Jens Gundlach, working on driving single-stranded DNA molecules through nano-scale biological pores. One can theoretically determine the characteristics of molecules passing through the pore by looking at the ionic current through the pore over time. Ideally, if this mechanism of characterization is perfected, it can be used to directly sequence DNA quickly and effectively.

After I graduate I plan to continue working in biophysics and pursue a M.D./Ph.D. Outside of academics, I sing in the UW Vocal Jazz Choir and am active in the EEP Drama Society (I directed a production of A Doll’s House last winter). This summer I am learning guitar and also looking to start a barbershop quartet, hopefully with other UW Amgen scholars if any are interested…

lianna

Lianna Wood

I am about to start my 5th and final year at the University of Washington studying chemistry and history. I just spent the last year at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, which was a totally new experience, but I'm excited to return to Seattle. I am from the Seattle area, Redmond to be specific. In my free time, I enjoy being out on or in the water, as well as playing me cello. For the last several years, my primary activity outside of the classroom has been research, though. I've worked on a wide variety of research projects from an archaeological dig in Bermuda to an internship at a biotechnology company in Seattle, but most recently, I have been particularly interested in the study of disease mechanisms, particularly infectious disease, through the application of biochemical and spectroscopic techniques. I intend to pursue a PhD in biochemistry and an MD to become an infectious disease researcher and practicing physician.