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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

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Human Biology
    Supported by: VPUE and Bio-X
    Mentor: Jill Helms, Professor of Surgery (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery)

    Olivia is a rising senior majoring in human biology. This summer she is working in Dr. Jill Helms’ lab to investigate the role of Wnt, a stem cell growth factor, in skin graft healing and angiogenesis. She is fascinated by tissue regeneration and applications for improving surgical outcomes. Olivia’s hobbies include dance, hiking, ceramics, taekwondo, and traveling. She is involved on campus as a student advisor in the human biology department, a patient navigator at Arbor Free Clinic, and a member of Bent Spoon Dance Company. She plans to pursue a career in medicine after graduation..

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Canonical Wnt Signaling Promotes Skin Graft Survival and Angiogenesis

    Olivia S. Jew1, Khosrow S. Houschyar1, Andrew A. Smith1, Jill A. Helms1
    [Department of Surgery (Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery)1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: anonymous donor
    Mentor: Vinod Menon, Professor (Research) of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and of Neurology

    Rosy is an international transfer student majoring in biology. After her undergraduate studies, she wants to pursue an MD/PhD and hopes to get involved in neurosciences research. She is currently working in the Stanford Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Vinod Menon, Dr. Lucina Uddin, and Dr. Kaustubh Supekar. They are investigating the neural correlates of reading abilities in school-age male and female children for the first time. Rosy thanks the Bio-X program for giving her the wonderful opportunity to work in the lab this summer.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Influence of Gender in Early-Stage Math Learning

    Rosy Karna1, Kaustubh Supekar2, Vinod Menon23
    [Departments of Biology1, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences2, and Neurology & Neurological Sciences3, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: VPUE and Bio-X
    Mentor: Anthony Oro, Professor of Dermatology

    Geurim Junie Kim is a rising senior majoring in biology and studying violin performance at Stanford. She has been working in the Oro lab in the dermatology department with Dr. Scott Atwood since freshman year. She is currently studying the regulation and function of oncogenic polarity kinase: atypical Protein Kinase C (aPKC) in hedgehog pathway, which has been identified as a novel target gene for cancer therapy. The objective of her research is to investigate aPKC activation in tumors and develop peptide inhibitors. In general, Geurim is interested in cancer biology and plans to pursue an MD/PhD after graduating from Stanford.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Smoothened is a Frequent Driver of Drug-Resistant Basal Cell Carcinoma

    Geurim Kim1, Scott X. Atwood1, Kavita Sarin2, Jiang Li1, Sandra Melo1, Frederic J. de Sauvage3, Anne Lynn S. Chang1,2, Jean Y. Tang1,2, Anthony E. Oro1,2
    [Program in Epithelia Biology1 and Department of Dermatology2, Stanford University; Department of Molecular Biology3, Genentech, Inc.]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Irv Weissman, Professor of Developmental Biology, Pathology, and Developmental Biology

    Mariam is a rising sophomore. She intends to attend medical school after she pursues a major in biology as an undergraduate. She has a passion for the sciences and a desire to ameliorate global health. Her hobbies include recreational swimming, reading, and spending time with friends. She is currently conducting research in the Weissman Lab. Her research is focused on the ability to harness the human immune system as a therapeutic for cancer. She is especially excited to learn more about the novel method of directing the power of the immune system toward the solution of key problems.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Generation of a Fully Mouse Monoclonal Antibody Blocking the CD47-SIRPalpha Interaction

    Mariam Kyarunts1, Adriel Cha1, Jens Volkmer1, Teja Nayik1, Irv Weissman1
    [Department of Biology1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Human Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Michael Hsieh, Assistant Professor of Urology

    Linh is a rising senior majoring in human biology with a concentration in global health and infectious diseases. Currently in the Michael Hsieh urology lab, Linh is exploring the natural course of infection with the parasitic blood fluke Schistosoma haematobium in Syrian golden hamsters and testing the effects of dimethoxycurcumin (a curcumin analog) on reducing the ability of Escherichia coli to form a biofilm matrix on urinary catheters surgically implanted in mouse bladders. When she is not studying, Linh loves to rock climb and sing.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Combating Catheter-Associated Biofilms with Curcumin Analogs

    Thien-Linh Le2, Ji-Yuon Lim1, Yi-Ju Hsieh2, Michael Hsieh2, Lynette Cegelski2
    [Departments of Chemistry1 and Urology2, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Symbolic Systems
    Supported by: Dean of Research and Department of Symbolic Systems
    Mentor: James McClelland, Professor of Social Sciences, Psychology, and, of Linguistics

    Rachel is a rising junior pursuing a neurosciences major. As part of Professor Jay McClelland’s PDP labs, Rachel’s research focuses on building computational models that can capture both human behavior and neural data. This summer, Rachel has been studying perceptual learning by designing deep networks that mimic the human visual system. Working closely with Andrew Saxe of the PDP and Dr. Andrew Ng’s Stanford AI lab, Rachel is building a model with a deep learning algorithm that can resolve the competing theories on the loci of change in the brain for perceptual learning. Rachel plans to pursue a PhD in computational neuroscience.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Modeling Perceptual Learning with Deep Networks

    Rachel Lee1, Andrew Saxe2, Jay McClelland3
    [Departments of Symbolic Systems1, Electrical Engineering2, and Psychology3, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Chemical Engineering
    Supported by: VPUE and Bio-X
    Mentor: Andrew Fire, Professor in Molecular & Genetic Medicine and Pathology

    Richard Li is a senior majoring in chemical engineering. He enjoys backpacking and producing music. His research in the Fire laboratory focuses on characterizing the primary Argonaute in the C. elegans RNA interference pathway and engineering a Cas9/CRISPR system for targeted genomic editing. After graduation, Richard is interested in bridging his engineering and experimental biology backgrounds to pursue dual MD/PhD program in computational and systems biology.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Characterization of RDE-1 Function in the C. elegans Exogenous RNAi Pathway

    Richard Li1,2,3, Andrew Z. Fire1,2
    [Departments of Genetics1, Pathology2, and Chemical Engineering3, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biomedical Computation
    Supported by: Dean of Research
    Mentor: Mark Pegram, Professor of Medicine

    Alex Lindqwister is a rising junior majoring in biomedical computation (informatics track). Presently, Alex works on truncated ERBB2 amplified genes and lipid raft association in the Pegram lab. His academic interests involve using computer science to address problems in molecular biology. Alex plans on co-terming in biomedical computation and on eventually going to medical school.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Truncated ERBB2 Amplified Genes: The p110 IRES

    Alex Lindqwister1, Toby Ward1, Mark Pegram1
    [Department of Cancer Biology1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: David Stevenson, Professor of Pediatrics and, of Obstetrics & Gynecology

    Debra is a rising junior and feels privileged to work in the Stevenson laboratory. She is conducting research on the effect of different light wavelengths on phototherapy for treating neonatal jaundice. Debra aspires to be a neonatologist who treats patients, conducts research, and teaches. Debra is majoring in biology and minoring in math; in the fall, she will be a resident assistant in Roble Hall. She enjoys spending time with her friends and six siblings, exercising, and watching Grey’s Anatomy.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    The Effect of Light Wavelength on the Efficacy and Safety of Phototherapy for Neonatal Jaundice

    Debra T. Linfield1, David N. Lin1, Stephanie Schulz1, Hendrik J. Vreman1, Ronald J. Wong1, David K. Stevenson1
    [Department of Pediatrics1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Sheri Krams, Associate Professor (Research) of Surgery (Abdominal Transplantation)

    A rising junior, Lisa Ly has declared a major in biology. This summer in the Transplant Immunology Lab with Dr. Sheri Krams, she is investigating NKp30’s role in the immunological synapse between natural killer (NK) cells and tumor cells using confocal microscopy. Always appreciating the human body’s wonders and health-related community service, she hopes to attend medical school in the future.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    NKp30 Recruitment to the Natural Killer Cell’s Immune Synapse

    Lisa Ly1, Uzi Hadad1, Olivia Martinez1, Sheri Krams1
    [Department of Surgery1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: undeclared
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Sarah Heilshorn, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, of Chemical Engineering, and of Bioengineering

    Shamik Mascharak, a rising junior, is currently conducting research in Professor Sarah Heilshorn’s lab, investigating electrospun elastin-like protein matrices as clinically relevant substrates for endothelial cell motility and migration. He hopes to identify key design principles of this substrate so that it may be used to induce rapid monolayer formation and healing in engineered vascular grafts. In his free time, he enjoys practicing martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Muy Thai), writing music, and, recently, teaching himself guitar. In the future, he hopes to be involved in the application of biomaterials to patients as a physician-scientist.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Modifying Collective Physiology of Endothelial Cells on Electrospun Elastin via Nanoscale Control of Cell-Matrix Interactions

    Shamik Mascharak1, Patrick Benitez1, Sarah C. Heilshorn2
    [Departments of Bioengineering1, and Materials Science & Engineering2, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Human Biology
    Supported by: VPUE and Bio-X
    Mentor: Yanmin Yang, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

    Trevor is a rising senior majoring in human biology. His research in the Yang laboratory focuses on the biochemistry of microtubule-associated proteins as related to neurodegeneration. Outside the lab, Trevor enjoys pickup basketball, Oakland A’s games, and tug-of-war with Luka, his family’s German Shepherd.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    A Novel Motor Protein? Testing the Activity of the Putative ATPase Domain of BPAG1n4

    Trevor Mooney1, Yanmin Yang1
    [Department of Neurology & Neurological Sciences1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: anonymous donor
    Mentor: Heng Zhao, Associate Professor (Research) of Neurosurgery

    David Mundy is a senior majoring in biology. He is currently conducting stroke research, specifically the role of distinct T cell subsets involved in tissue inflammation following reperfusion in focal ischemia. He plans on taking a few years to teach or conduct research after graduation before attending medical school. He enjoys diving, playing saxophone, scuba diving, and traveling in his free time.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    The Role of CX3CR1 in Focal Ischemic Brain Injury & Inflammation in Mice

    David Mundy1, Xiaoxing Xiong2, Heng Zhao2
    [Departments of Biology1 and Neurosurgery2, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Howard Chang, Professor of Dermatology

    Katherine is a rising senior majoring in biology with a specialization in molecular and cell biology. In the Chang lab, Katherine researches post-translational modifications of p53 and interactions with the lncRNA DINO. Specifically, she is investigating the role of p53’s C-terminal domain in RNA binding by identifying the biochemical determinants of the p53-DINO interaction. After graduation, Katherine plans to apply to medical school and pursue her passion for global health equity by working in rural African healthcare clinics. In her spare time, Katherine loves hiking with her dogs, Charlie and Cooper.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Interactions between p53 and the lncRNA DINO: Effects of Post-Translational Modifications on RNA Binding

    Katherine G. Nabel1,2, Adam M. Schmitt1,2,3, Tiffany Hung1,2, Howard Y. Chang1,2
    [Howard Hughes Medical Institute1, Program in Epithelial Biology2, and Department of Radiation Oncology3, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research
    Mentor: Philip Beachy, Professor of Biochemistry and Developmental Biology

    Lila Neahring is a rising junior planning to major in biology. In the Beachy laboratory, part of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, she is researching the structural sites involved in the activation of the Smoothened oncoprotein, a part of the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Lila is a co-founder of Stanford’s rock climbing team in the club sports program.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Regulation of the Hedgehog Pathway by Endogenous and Synthetic Small Molecules Targeting Smoothened

    Lila Neahring*, Uzi Hadad1,2,3,4, Philip Beachy1,2,3,4
    [(*undeclared) Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine1, Departments of Biochemistry2, and Developmental Biology3, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute4, Stanford University]

  • 2013 and 2011 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Bioengineering
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Joseph Wu, Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular), and of Radiology

    Raman is a rising senior in the bioengineering honors program. This summer in Joe Wu’s lab, he is conducting research on how the immune system responds to induced pluripotent stem cell transplants. Additionally, his secondary objectives for the summer include curing cancer. In the coming years, he hopes to attend an MD/PhD program and pursue a career in academia. Some of his other interests include basketball, arranging music, singing, and hiking.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    The Humanized BLT Mouse Model has Superior Human Lymphocyte Engraftment but Lacks an Adequate Allograft Immune Response

    Raman Nelakanti1, Nigel Kooreman1, Patricia de Almeida1, Joseph Wu1
    [Department of Medicine (Division of Cardiology)1, Stanford University]


    Home Department: undeclared
    Supported by: Bio-X
    Mentor: Richard Zare, Professor of Physics and Chemistry

    Raman is a rising sophomore about to declare majoring in Bioengineering. He is from Sunnyvale, CA, which is quite close to Stanford. His interests include singing, cricket, hiking, and reading science books. His research this summer deals with developing a novel high-resolution RNA separation technique for microfluidic chips using capillary electrophoresis. The end goal for the project is to be able to analyze and detect RNA from single cells. Raman hopes to be a synthetic biologist and either work in academia or start a biotech company.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 17, 2011:

    Microchip Capillary Electrophoresis for High-Resolution RNA Separation and Analysis

    Raman Nelakanti2, Sam Kim1, Richard Zare1
    [Department of Chemistry1, Stanford University; undeclared major2]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research
    Mentor: Firdaus Dhabhar, Associate Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

    Mira Nencheva is a rising sophomore. She intends to major in biology with a concentration in microbes and immunity and minor in psychology. She is currently doing research in Firdaus Dhabhar’s lab. Her research interests gravitate towards the immunology of the mind-body stress response. This summer Mira is exploring the effects of acute stress on skin cancer in mice as well as the influence of various environmental and biological factors on the immune system of Asian elephants.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Earthquakes and Elephants: Effects of Seismic Activity on Immune Cell Distribution in Asian Elephants

    Lisa Ly1, Harry Peachey5, Mariya Kalashnikova2, Allison Litzinger2, Firdaus S. Dhabhar1,3,4
    [Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (Laboratory of Stress Immunology)1, Former student of Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (Laboratory of Stress Immunology)2, Institute for Immunity, Transplantation, & Infection Laboratory of Stress Immunology3, and Cancer Institute, Stanford University4, Stanford University4, Columbus Zoo5]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Materials Science & Engineering
    Supported by: anonymous donor
    Mentor: Judith Frydman, Professor of Biology

    A rising sophomore, Phuong plans to major in materials science with a concentration in bioengineering. This summer in Judith Frydman’s lab, she is conducting protein conformational studies using techniques developed by the Frydman lab. They hope to elucidate the interacting nature of chaperonin TRIC and its cochaperone, Prefoldin, which are involved the cytoskeletal support and function in all cellular kingdoms.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Bag of TRICs: The Complexities of Prefoldin-TRIC Interaction Unveiled

    Phuong Nguyen1, Dan Gestaut1, Judith Frydman1
    [Department of Biology1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research
    Mentor: Robert Malenka, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

    James Nie is a rising junior majoring in biology with a concentration in neuroscience. He is currently conducting research on deep brain stimulation for treatment of Parkinson’s disease through an optogenetic model. The objective of this research is to demonstrate that a recently developed brain-slice model that recapitulates key features of in vivo recordings accurately models the neuronal firing observed during in vivo opto-deep brain stimulation. He plans to pursue medical school after graduation.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Hippocampal Field Inhibiting Potentials: A Novel Screening for General Anesthetics

    James Nie1, Boris D. Heifets1, Beza A. Dagne1, Melis Sunay1, Bruce MacIver1, Robert Malenka1
    [Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences1, Stanford University]

  • 2013 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

    Home Department: Human Biology
    Supported by: Dean of Research and VPUE
    Mentor: Alexander Urban, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (Psychopharmacology), and of Genetics

    Rebekah is a rising junior majoring in human biology and pursuing a minor in creative writing. She enjoys playing Catchphrase and picking up words from other languages. This summer she is studying the effects of genetic variation on brain development in the context of the complex neurogenetic disorder schizophrenia.

    Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 26, 2013:

    Copy Number Variation in Lymphoblastoid Cell Line Samples: A Blood vs. LCL Comparison

    Rebekah Oragwu2, Xiaowei Zhu1, Alexander Urban1
    [Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences1 and Human Biology2, Stanford University]

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