Cell & Molecular Biology

MU is actively seeking to diversify the application pool for graduate programs in the biological and biomedical sciences. This summer research program will support selected undergraduate students who are interested in applying to life science-related PhD programs at MU and are from backgrounds that have been determined by NIH to be underrepresented in biomedical research, as described in NOT-OD-20-031 – Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity. Interns selected for this program will conduct research with faculty mentors who are associated with the IMSD (T32 GM135744) or MARC (T34 GM136493) training programs. Interns selected for this program will conduct research with faculty mentors who are members of the NIGMS T32 Training Grant at MU. Additional questions may be directed to Dr. Mark Hannink (HanninkM@missouri.edu).

Students live in on-campus, air-conditioned housing (double rooms), and receive a meal plan, covered by the program. Summer interns also are provided with one hour of academic/research credit, travel to and from Columbia, and a stipend of $4,770.


Applicants must meet the basic eligibility requirements of the MU Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Students are expected to have completed at least one year of full-time college enrollment prior to June, be pursuing a major in biology, biochemistry, microbiology or related fields, and be a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. This program is for visiting students only, students from the University of Missouri are not eligible.

Application Information

The deadline to apply is February 20, 2022. Students must complete the application form and provide an unofficial transcript (including Fall 2020 grades); letters of recommendation (two preferred); a resume; and a personal statement indicating career plans, prior research experience, and research interests. If completed online, documents will be submitted with the online application. For application packets sent via email, the application form and other documents may be sent to ugr@missouri.edu. Letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research via email (ugr@missouri.edu). Questions can be directed to the MU Office of Undergraduate Research via email or phone, 573-882-5979.

Faculty Mentors

Students will list up to eight (8) faculty with whom they are interested in working on their application.

Animal Sciences

  •   Rocio Rivera – Epigenetic regulation of growth and development


  • Michael Chapman – Structural Biology of Viral-Host Interactions and Enzyme Dynamics
  • Peter Cornish – Single molecule analysis of ribosome function
  • Kent Gates – Nucleic Acid Chemistry involved in DNA damage and repair
  • Mark Hannink – Mitochondrial movement & oxidative stress
  • Antje Heese – Roles of vesicular trafficking in innate immunity
  • Xiao Heng – Structural Biology of host-pathogen interactions
  • Abraham Koo – Regulation of jasmonate plant hormone levels
  • Dennis Lubahn – Botanical prevention of prostate cancer
  • Scott Peck – Phosphoproteomics of plant signaling
  • Mick Petris – Trafficking & utilization of copper
  • Charlotte Phillips – Mutant collagen molecules & bone diseases
  • Gary Stacey – Functional genomics of plant development
  • John J. Tanner – Structural Biology
  • Jay Thelen – Proteomic analysis of seed development
  • Steve Van Doren – Protein structure determination using NMR
  • Gary Weisman – Purinergic receptors & human disease
  • Shuqun Zhang – Biochemical & genetic analysis of MAPK in plants

Biological Sciences

  • James Birchler – Structure & function of chromosomes
  • David Braun – Genetic control of carbon partitioning in plants
  • Pamela Brown – Molecular mechanisms of bacterial cell growth
  • Chiswili Yves Chabu – cell-cell communication during development and tumor progression
  • Anand Chandrasekhar – Developmental biology of zebrafish
  • Dawn Cornelison – Stem cells of muscle
  • Michael Garcia – Molecular biology of neurofilaments
  • Elizabeth King – Genetic variation and evolution
  • Manuel Leal – Cognition, sensory physiology, evolution
  • Mannie Liscum – Phototropism & plant development
  • Paula McSteen – Genetic regulation of meristem in plants
  • Kathy Newton – Mitochondrial genetics of plants
  • Chris Pires – Functional genomics of polyploidy
  • Johannes Schul – Evolution of behavior
  • David Schulz – Neurobiology of ion channels
  • Laura Schulz – Physiological mechanisms of placenta
  • John Walker – Protein kinases in plant development

Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering Biological Sciences

  • Shinghua Ding – Neuroscience and stroke
  • Liqun Gu – Biomolecular engineering and nanobiotechnology
  • Heather Hunt – Biosensing, optical biosensors, inherently-selective materials
  • Ozden Ilker – Neuroscience, neuroengineering, biomedical engineering
  • Raghuraman Kannan – Cancer nanotechnology; biomaterials
  • Ferris Pfeiffer – Engineering education
  • Bret Ulery – Biomaterials for immunological and regenerative medicine

Biomedical Sciences

  • Shawn Bender – Obesity-associated coronary
  • David Kline – Synaptic circuits, control of breathing
  • Cheryl Rosenfeld – In utero environmental changes that impact sexual differentiation and behavior

Veterinary Pathobiology 

  • Deborah Anderson – Molecular pathogenesis of Yersinia pestis
  • Brenda Beerntsen – Mosquito-parasite interactions & innate immunity of mosquitoes
  • Charles Brown – Host response to infection and regulation of inflammatory diseases
  • Elizabeth Bryda – Molecular genetics and animal
  • Chris Lorson – Novel therapies for spinal muscular atrophy
  • Kamlendra Singh – Virology of HIV/AIDS and SARS-2/COVID19

Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

  • Donald Burke-Aguero – Aptamers as therapeutic agents against
  • Mark Daniels – Immunology and oncology
  • Dongsheng Duan – Development of novel gene therapies
  • Diana Gil Pagés – Immunulogy, adaptive immune responses, T cells, cancer
  • Bumsuk Hahm – Interplay between viruses & host immunity
  • Marc Johnson – Role of gag & env proteins in HIV assembly
  • Margeret Lange – innate immunity
  • David Pintel – Host-virus interactions using parvoviruses
  • Adam Schrum – T cell signaling, immunology, cancer
  • Emma Teixeiro-Pernas – Immunology, diseases, cancer, signal transduction
  • Habib Zaghouani – Mechanisms of autoimmune diseases

MU Informatics Institute 

  • Jianlin (Jack) Cheng – Bioinformatics, computational biology
  • Chi-Ren Shyu – Biomedical Informatics
  • Dong Xu – Bioinformatics, computational biology

    Nutrition & Exercise Physiology

  • Jill Kanaley – Exercise, Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Jaume Padilla – Vascular function, physical activity,
  • Elizabeth Parks – Cephalic phase of food intake & sensory effects on absorption

Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Aaron Stoker – Osteoarthritis, IVD degeneration, joint

Pathology and Anatomical Sciences

  • Kristina Aldridge – Brain development
  • Casey Holiday – musculoskeletal biomechanics, imaging


  • Ping Yu – Biomedical imaging

Plant Sciences

  • Walter Gassmann – Host-pathogen interactions
  • David Mendoza-Cozatl – Plant nutrition

Psychological Sciences

  • Nicole Campione-Barr – Family functioning, adolescent
  • Matthew Will – motivational aspects of drug of abuse and natural rewards

Please visit the departmental websites for comprehensive lists of faculty members & their research before completing your application.

Summer 2022 Program Information       2022 Application – Click Here!

Additional questions may be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Research, ugr@missouri.edu or (573) 882-5979; or Dr. Mark Hannink at hanninkm@missouri.edu of the Department of Biochemistry.