Skip to content Skip to navigation

Undergraduate Fellows

Group photo of USRP students.

Stanford undergraduate students seeking opportunities to do hands-on research, learn how to carry out experiments in the laboratory, and develop the skills to read and analyze scientific literature.  Learn more about the Undergraduate Summer Research Program!

Search Undergraduate fellows view the 2019 USRP brochure

  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Computational Biology
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Edward Graves, Radiation Oncology

    Photo of USRP student Jonathan Wang in the laboratory, working in a fume hood.Jonathan is working to determine the role macrophages play in tumor recurrence following radiotherapy. He is setting up several models observing macrophage migration after irradiation, and analyzing the effect these have on tumor cell recruitment and recurrence. This research may shed light on the mechanisms behind radiation therapy and tumor recurrence, helping researchers to discover potential clinical solutions and more effective post-radiotherapy treatments.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Effects of Tumor Irradiation on Circulating Macraophage Localization

    Jonathan Wang1, Stavros Melemenidis1, Laura Bronsart1, Luis Soto2, Ysaman Ahrari1, Edward Graves1
    [Department of Radiation Oncology1 and Cancer Biology2, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Carla Shatz, Biology and Neurobiology

    Photo of USRP student Alan Wei in the laboratory, putting samples into a large piece of lab equipment.Memories are stored at synapses, and if mechanisms driving the loss and extensive pruning of synapses known to occur in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) were understood, then this devastating disease could be halted or even reversed. The aim of Alan’s project is to study the role of a neuronal receptor, PirB, in synapse pruning during normal developmental critical periods and in the adult mouse cerebral cortex. These experiments should expand our understanding of how PirB receptor works in mice, and may even aid in translating the results to Alzheimer’s disease in human patients.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Developmental Expression of the Non-Classical MHC1 Qa-1, a Regulator of Visual Plasticity

    Alan Y. Wei1, Ioana A. Marin1, Kylie S. Chew1, Carla J. Shatz1,2
    [Departments of Biology1 and Neurobiology2, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Katja Weinacht, Pediatrics

    Reticular Dysgenesis (RD) is one of the most serious forms of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) because it affects both innate and adaptive immunity. The disease is characterized by arrested neutrophil maturation, excess lymphocytes in the blood, and hearing loss. It disproportionately affects infants and children unless immune reconstitution is achieved by stem cell transplantation. Ashley will analyze how in vitro derived stem cells can model this disease and contribute toward possible treatment for the disease.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Tissue-Restricted Redundancy of Adenylate Kinases 1 and 2 Explains SCID-Phenotype in Reticular Dysgenesis (AK2 Deficiency)

    Ashley Westerfield1, Avni Awani1, Katja Weinacht1
    [Department of Pediatrics1, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Human Biology
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Carolyn Lee, Dermatology

    Photo of USRP student Kamina Wilkerson in the lab, using a microscope.Kamina is exploring the clinical and histological characteristics of Squamous Cell Carcinoma, the second most common cancer worldwide, that are most predictive of poor survival outcomes. Patients with metastasized tumors will be sequenced in the hopes of finding mutations that better predict clinical outcomes. Candidate mutations will then be further studied for impacts on cell growth, migration, and tumorigenesis.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Understanding the Role of the Gene C2orf54 in the Epidermal Differentiation Process

    Kamina Wilkerson1, Angela Peralta1, Dane Sessions1, Carolyn Lee1
    [Department of Dermatology1, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Peter Jackson, Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology

    David’s work is to examine how the Kras oncogene regulates cell migration and adhesion, an important determinant of how cancer cells move within the body. Using proteomic and bioinformatic methods, he is looking for unknown factors that could couple cell migration to tumor metastasis, the deadliest part of cancer progression.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    How to Feed a Cancer Cell: The KRAS Gene and Macropinocytosis

    David Wu1, Marcus Kelly1,2, Peter K. Jackson1,3
    [Departments of Immunology & Microbiology1 and Cancer Biology2 and Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology3, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biomechanical Engineering
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Marc Levenston, Mechanical Engineering

    Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a debilitating disease, and degradation of the meniscus during OA compromises its ability to stabilize and distribute load at the knee. Currently, we cannot detect early changes in the meniscus that lead to OA, but Michelle’s research will use novel MRI techniques that are sensitive to meniscal changes and combine these results with biochemical and biomechanical testing of the meniscus. This could lead to methods for detecting early osteoarthritic changes non-invasively.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    T2, T2*, and T1ρ Variations of Cartilage Imaged in Four ex-vivo Environments

    Michelle Xiao1, Marianne S. Black1,2, Garry E. Gold2,3, Brian A. Hargreaves2,3, Marc E. Levenston1,2,3
    [Departments of Mechanical Engineering1, Radiology2, and Bioengineering3, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Bioengineering
    Supported by: Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
    Mentor: Justin Annes, Medicine (Endocrinology)

    All forms of diabetes, whether Type I autoimmune diabetes or Type II obesity-associated diabetes, are caused by a loss of insulin-producing beta-cells. Ben is trying to determine the three-dimensional crystal structure of an enzymatic drug target bound to an inhibitory small molecule that has been shown in prior studies to have the potential to increase beta-cell replication. If successful, the structural information will be an invaluable tool in guiding synthetic strategies for increasing potency and selectivity for the drug target.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Modeling Kinetics of GLP1R-Mediated Peptide-Based Drug Delivery

    Benjamin Yeh1, Tim Horton2, Justin Annes3
    [Departments of Bioengineering1, Chemistry2, and Medicine (Division of Endocrinology3), Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Kim Butts Pauly, Radiology

    Antibodies and immunotherapy show promise in shrinking malignant brain tumors. However, the blood brain barrier (BBB), a protective filtration system of blood vessels, only allows molecules of certain sizes to pass, and these antibodies are almost 400 times too large to pass through and attack the tumor. Victoria is exploring the application of focused ultrasound to open the BBB for antibody transport, then analyzing the activity of antibodies as they target brain tumors.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Kinetics of Contrast Agents Extravasation Across the Blood Brain Barrier After Focused Ultrasound Opening

    Victoria Yuan1,2, Aurea Pascal-Tenorio1,2, Kim Butts Pauly1,2
    [Department of Radiology1 and Radiological Sciences Laboratory2, Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Joseph Wu, Medicine (Cardiovascular) and Radiology

    One of the most common genetic heart diseases in the nation is familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), in which there is a thickening of the heart muscle. Sophie is studying the pathogenicity and molecular basis for functional defects of a mutation in a gene implicated in HCM causation. The project demonstrates the clinical significance of the mutation and the value of genome editing technology in disease modeling and personalized medicine, and may also lead to better diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for patients with HCM.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Investigating NAA10 Mutation-Based Cardiac Dysfunction Using Human iPSC Disease Modeling

    Sophia Zhang1, Ning Ma1, Joseph Wu1
    [Department of Medicine (Stanford Cardiovascular Institute1), Stanford University]


  • 2017 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Chemical Engineering
    Supported by: Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
    Mentor: Sarah Heilshorn, Materials Science & Engineering

    Migration of cancer cells is known to correlate with extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffening; however, much of the research to date has not been able to monitor cancer progression in real time due to the use of destructive mechanical testing. Audrey is developing a novel approach that combines non-destructive soft-matter characterization with insights from polymer physics, cell biology, and mechanobiology to study the interplay between tumor progression and ECM dynamics.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 24, 2017:

    Multi-Scale Matrix Mechanics in Breast Cancer Models Revealed by Dynamic Light Scattering Microrheology: At the Intersection of Biology and Polymer Physics

    Audrey Zhu1, Brad Krajina1, Sarah Heilshorn2
    [Departments of Chemical Engineering1 and Materials Science & Engineering2, Stanford University]


  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Chemistry
    Mentor: Ravindra Majeti, Medicine (Hematology)

    Leila is studying how the disruption of certain genes can convert cancerous B-cells into healthy immune cells. Utilizing a combination of RNA and DNA sequencing, she hopes to understand why one gene in particular profoundly improves this conversion. This work can lead to future therapies that target this specific gene and enhance the conversion process, thus providing a novel form of leukemia treatment.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Bioengineering
    Mentor: Carolyn Bertozzi, Chemistry

    Protein glycosylation, the process by which proteins add sugar side chains to their amino acids, is the most widespread modification of proteins. However, tools to precisely study the function of glycosylation in health and disease are lacking. Anthony will be using chemically modified sugars developed in the Bertozzi lab to investigate the mechanism and importance of protein glycosylation.

     
  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Computer Science
    Mentor: Daniel Rubin, Biomedical Data Science, Radiology, and Medicine (Biomedical Informatics Research)

    Deep learning has brought about major breakthroughs in automated medical diagnoses. However, deep learning typically requires a large amount of patient data, so multiple healthcare institutions would have to pool patient data to build a robust deep learning model. There are also many regulatory hurdles to sharing patient data, so Niranjan will develop and deploy data-distributed deep learning methods in which computations are performed on local patient data, thus avoiding the need for data sharing. Such methods will propel collaborative deep learning efforts across multiple healthcare institutions.

     

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Mentors: Stefanie Jeffrey, Surgery (General Surgery) and Sarah Heilshorn, Materials Science & Engineering

    Using various collagen hydrogel matrices, Margot will grow tumor cells from different sections of an aggressive patient-derived breast cancer tumor model. Margot will then utilize quantitative cell-counting techniques to determine how different collagen matrices influence tumor growth, and transcriptional analysis techniques to determine how different microenvironments influence gene expression in tumor cells from the primary tumor, circulating tumor cells, and metastases. These studies will better elucidate mechanisms to treat breast cancer by targeting the tumor cells through their surrounding matrices.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Mentor: David Myung, Ophthalmology

    Ignacio’s research will tackle cornea functionality wounds. Because the cornea lacks blood vessels, which allows for its transparency, it has limited ability to heal after sustaining a wound, leaving it susceptible to ulceration, scarring, and becoming opaque. Ignacio will experiment by using a cross linked collagen-PEG gel carrier as a vehicle to carry mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to promote wound healing in the cornea. His aim is to control and characterize the growth of MSCs and their output within collagen gels for the repair of wounded corneas.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Mentor: Jonathan Pollack, Pathology

    In prostate cancer, a key clinical need is distinguishing those cancers that need to be treated from those that do not. The current best indicator is tumor grade, i.e. how disorganized the tumor appears under the microscope. Noah’s studies aim to understand the molecular basis for low versus high grade prostate cancer, with implications for new biomarkers of tumor aggressiveness that will help to better determine who to treat, and possibly find new avenues for prevention and treatment.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Mentor: Russ Altman, Bioengineering, Genetics, Medicine (Biomedical Informatics Research) and Biomedical Data Science

    The mechanisms behind differences in drug response between males and females are not well understood. Using the liver as a model, Annette’s research aims to link sex-differential gene expression data to drug-target information to better understand how drug efficacy and toxicity relate to sex.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Physics
    Mentor: Steven Boxer, Chemistry

    Reversibly photoswitchable fluorescent proteins (RSFPs) are glowing proteins that can be turned on and off upon irradiation with specific colors. These proteins have revolutionized super-resolution microscopy and deepened our understanding of cellular biology, but despite their widespread use, we have little experimental data explaining how exactly the chromophores in these proteins turn on and off. Jeffrey aims to elucidate the underlying biophysical mechanism by incorporating modified amino acids into the chromophore structure and observing how photoswitching properties are affected.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Human Biology
    Mentor: Seung Kim, Developmental Biology

    Many human diseases result from cell-cell communication failures.  RNA interference (RNAi) is an established technique used to study the pathogenesis of diseases, yet it lacks capabilities to target multiple cells or multiple tissues.  Kathleen’s project is aimed at producing supplementary in vivo transgenic RNAi lines in Drosophila that will help develop tools to study independent genetic modification in two distinct cell types, so that novel genetic and cellular interactions between cells can be revealed.

  • 2018 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Chemistry
    Mentor: Carolyn Bertozzi, Chemistry

    Cancer cells express modifications in the glycoproteins on their surface compared to healthy cells, allowing them to escape detection from the immune system. Through glycocalyx engineering (the coating of proteins and sugars on the surface of the cell), Shannon will be tuning the physical and chemical properties of synthetic mucus glycoproteins to match those of native mucus. She will then biochemically investigate protein-glycan interactions at the cell surface to determine potential targets for cancer immunotherapy.

Pages

Subscribe to Undergraduate Fellows