Summer Research in Biochemistry & Molecular Biosciences

The MU Biochemistry Department is internationally known for its cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and state-of-the art facilities. The research interests of our faculty span a wide range of modern biochemistry topics, including the molecular basis of human diseases, cell signaling, host-pathogen interactions, plant biology, structural biology, metabolic engineering, proteomics, metabolomics, and single-molecule studies of molecular machines. Preference will be given to applicants from other institutions who are interested in applying to the MU Biochemistry PhD program after completion of their undergraduate degree. Students will receive a stipend of $3800.


Applicants must meet the basic eligibility requirements of the Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Students are expected to have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and have completed 2 years of college with two semesters of organic chemistry. Selection is partially based on the applicant’s potential and motivation for future graduate study (PhD level) in biochemistry.

Application Information

The deadline to apply is February 17, 2020. Students must complete the application form and provide an unofficial transcript (including Fall 2019 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 e-mail, the application form and other documents may be sent to Letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research via e-mail. Questions can be directed to the MU Office of Undergraduate Research via e-mail 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.

  • Lesa Beamer – Structural biology of metabolic disorders
  • Donald Burke – Molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis
  • Shi-Jie Chen – Computational studies of RNA structure and folding
  • Peter Cornish – Single molecule studies of molecular machines
  • Sue Deutscher – Combinatorial biology applied to cancer
  • Dave Emerich – Molecular analysis of bacterial periplasm
  • William Folk – Biochemical studies of plant medicines used for arthritis and diabetes
  • Kent Gates – Molecular mechanisms of drug action
  • Mark Hannink – Mitochondrial to nuclear signaling pathways in cancer
  • Gerald Hazelbauer – Transmembrane receptors in bacterial chemotaxis
  • Antje Heese – Protein trafficking in plant immunity and nutrient uptake
  • Xiao Heng – Structural biology of virus-host interactions
  • Gavin King – Atomic force microscopy of proteins
  • Abraham Koo – Regulation of plant hormones
  • Dennis Lubahn – Phytochemicals and estrogen signaling
  • Bruce McClure – Molecular basis of pollen recognition
  • Scott Peck – Mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions
  • Mick Petris – Trafficking and utilization of copper
  • Charlotte Phillips – Inherited connective tissue disorders
  • Tom Quinn – Molecular design for cancer imaging and therapy
  • Linda Randall – Molecular chaperones in protein export
  • R. Michael Roberts – Reproductive biology
  • Krishna Sharma – Molecular basis of eye diseases
  • Gary Stacey – Legume-microbe interactions
  • Lloyd Sumner – Plant metabolomics
  • Jack Tanner – Structural biology of amino acid metabolism
  • Jay Thelen – Proteomics of seed development
  • Peter Tipton – Mechanistic enzymology
  • Steve Van Doren – Protein structure and dynamics
  • Gary Weisman – Nucleotide receptors in human disease
  • Shuqun Zhang – Kinases in plant signaling
  • Xiaoqin Zou – Computational drug design

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


Summer 2020 Program Information          Summer 2020 Online Application

For more information, contact the MU Office of Undergraduate Research, 150 Bond Life Sciences Center, 573-882-5979,