Undergraduate Research Program


Janice DeCosmo profile picJanice DeCosmo
Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research;
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs

In addition to her role with URP, Janice is also an affiliate faculty member in the UW’s department of Earth and Space Sciences, having earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences in 1991 specializing in atmosphere-ocean interaction. She has taught science at all grade levels from kindergarten through university, and more recently has focused on helping university faculty find ways to include undergraduates in their research and to integrate research into their teaching. Janice became director of URP in 2000. She is the campus representative and an elected councilor for the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and an elected member of the board of governors of the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). Her UW responsibilities include oversight of the Mary Gates Endowment for Students and providing leadership to the Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity.


Sophie Pierszalowski

Sophie serves as Director of the Undergraduate Research Program. She received her Ph.D. in Science Education from Oregon State University (OSU), where her dissertation examined potential barriers to accessing undergraduate research experiences, including systemic and structural inequities that perpetuate opportunity gaps. Before joining URP, Sophie worked at OSU, first coordinating the OSU STEM Leaders Program and then later serving as Associate Director of OSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and the Arts. Prior to pivoting to a career in student success, Sophie studied marine ecology and used molecular genetics and demographics to investigate long-standing questions regarding the ecology and population structure of humpback whales in the North Pacific. She received her M.Sc. in Wildlife Science from OSU. Her passion for marine mammals and molecular genetics began with an undergraduate research experience while completing her B.S. in Biology and Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at UW.

Click here to read Sophie’s most recent publication, which highlights key strategies for building a more equitable and inclusive office of undergraduate research.


Allison PerezAllison Perez
Coordinator & Adviser

Allison received her B.S. in BioResource Research with a focus in Toxicology at Oregon State University (OSU). For her undergraduate thesis, she investigated new methods to characterize metrics of fine particulate matter samples that could be used to identify more health-relevant metrics beyond concentration. At OSU, Allison worked for the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and the Arts as an Undergraduate Research Ambassador where she became passionate about mentorship and creating equitable access to research opportunities. Prior to joining URP, she served as an Americorps member with College Possible in Portland, OR, where she mentored low-income and first generation high school students through the college application process.


Juandalyn Burke

Juandalyn Burke
Staff Assistant

Juandalyn is a doctoral student in the Biomedical and Health Informatics program in the department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education. Her research focuses on infectious disease, specifically HIV, drug resistance and network-based modeling.  Her work aims to use pharmacogenomic data to model HIV-drug resistance dynamics in areas of sub-Saharan Africa.  Additionally, her work involves creating a computer-based simulation of an antiretroviral treatment optimization routine that assists in finding new strategies to reduce HIV-drug resistance in the population. Juandalyn’s research interests evolved from her experiences as an undergraduate conducting research on the bioremediation of acid mine drainage in coal mining sites using a predictive neural network-based decision support system. With both a love for research, and a rich background in science, technology, and math, Juandalyn hopes to help guide undergraduate students on their prospective paths at UW and beyond.



Delaney Glass
Graduate Staff Assistant

Delaney is a mixed-methods biocultural anthropologist and human biologist interested in the confluence of environmental and psychosocial stress on the timing and pacing of child and adolescent physical and psychosocial development. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology (Maternal and Child Health) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Her current research focuses on the longitudinal trajectories of cortisol and testosterone across early to mid puberty among pubertal-aged Qom females who live in Namqom, Argentina through the Chaco Area Reproductive Ecology Program (Principal Investigators: Dr. Claudia Valeggia at Yale University and Dr. Melanie Martin at the University of Washington). In her prospective dissertation research, she will examine the hormonal coupling of cortisol, testosterone, and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin in early and late adolescence in relation to multiple psychosocial and biologically measured stress factors among Syrian refugee and non-refugee Jordanian youth (Principal Investigators: Dr. Catherine Panter-Brick at Yale University and Dr. Rana Dajani at the Hashemite University of Jordan). She has a passion for science communication and is a co-producer on The Sausage of Science podcast for the Human Biology Association, loves feminist science and technology studies, and is excited to mentor students from all backgrounds and with diverse research interests.



Pavithra Sundaravaradan
Undergraduate Staff Assistant

Pavithra is a sophomore majoring in Microbiology at the University of Washington. Her research interests include utilizing bioinformatics and wet lab techniques to better understand and tackle human disease. She is currently working on investigating organismal metabolic pathways of iron regulation during helminth infection following Type 2 immune response. She is also applying bioinformatics to analyze NGS data to better understand the Notch signaling pathway and its effects on basophil responses. Pavithra is also very passionate about promoting and advocating for women’s empowerment and equality.