Translational Biomedicine Summer Research Program

As part of the University of Missouri’s NextGen Precision Health Initiative, the School of Medicine has developed a new Translational Biosciences PhD training program. This training program seeks to recruit highly motivated and creative young scientists who are interested in developing innovative solutions to difficult problems in biology and medicine. The purpose of this 9-week, full-time summer research program is to provide undergraduates with an intensive research experience that emphasizes interdisciplinary and translational approaches across the bench-to-bedside continuum.

Students will conduct research full-time, attend a weekly Translational Biomedicine seminar, and have the option of attending an additional weekly professional development seminar.   TBM interns will participate in the larger summer program at Mizzou, including evening seminars, social events, and orientation.  At the end of the summer students will present their research at a poster Forum.

The TBM summer research program is especially interested in recruiting undergraduates who are participants in their home institution’s NIH-funded MARC or RISE programs.  Students should indicate on their application if they are a participant in one of these programs and include a letter of recommendation from their Program Director and contact information.    Stipends, transportation, housing/meals will be adjusted to fall within the NIH guidelines, in coordination with the student’s home institution.  The University of Missouri is home to a number of NIH training programs (ie, MARC, IMSD, PREP, T-32) and we are actively looking to provide undergraduates from other institutions with a summer experience at a research intense institution with wrap-around programming and support.

Students should expect to work 40 hours per week in their lab, attend mandatory weekly meetings, and join in various professional development activities.

Students will receive:
  • Stipend of $5,400 (minus taxes)
  • On-campus housing – valued at $1,500, (air conditioned dorm room, 2 students per room)
  • Meal Plan – valued at $1,100
  • Travel to/from Columbia, Missouri (If driving, maximum amount reimbursed is $500 and this is for gas/mileage, no hotel expenses are reimbursed. Please contact us if you have any questions.)

Applicants should be enrolled in undergraduate degree program in a STEM discipline have completed their junior year, and have prior research experience. Preference will be given for students who are interested in pursuing their PhD at the University of Missouri.   Students must be US citizens or permanent residents and must be continuing their undergraduate degree in Fall 2024.  Students from the University of Missouri-Columbia are not eligible.

Applicants should review the department and faculty research descriptions, listed separately below.

The deadline to apply is February 11, 2024. Students must complete the application form and provide an unofficial transcript (including Fall 2023 grades); letters of recommendation (two preferred); a resumé; and a personal statement indicating career plans, prior research experience, and research interests. If completed online, documents will be submitted with the online application.

Letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research via e-mail to Questions can be directed to the MU Office of Undergraduate Research via e-mail or phone, 573-882-5979.

2024 Translational Biomedicine Undergraduate Research Program PDF

Applicants are encouraged to view the faculty research descriptions and list up to 8 potential mentors of interest.  The program director will make final summer research placements depending on faculty availability to mentor in 2024.

Participating Departments and Faculty can be found on the following links:
Biochemistry and Biophysics –

The emphasis area of biochemistry and biophysics in the Translational Biomedicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program emphasizes student training in collaborative and cross-disciplinary research, critical thinking and professional development. It is closely interwoven with the scholarly and outreach activities of the faculty. The department has been a leader in interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration across departments and the University of Missouri Schools and Colleges (Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture and Food Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Engineering), U.S., and the world. Research topics include the molecular basis of cancer and human diseases, cell signaling, host-pathogen interactions, plant biology, structural biology, metabolic engineering, proteomics, metabolomics and structure- based drug discovery and design. Undergraduate research student training is strongly influenced by these interdisciplinary involvements. Biochemistry research students benefit from a vibrant and supportive biochemistry faculty members engaged in mentoring and providing a nurturing training environment.

Cancer Biology –

The emphasis area of cancer biology in the Translational Biomedicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program provides a comprehensive introduction to the field of cancer biology. Cancer biology is a multidisciplinary field encompassing, but not limited to biology, biochemistry, immunology, genetics, virology, physiology, pharmacology, engineering, statistics and informatics. Faculty are found in many different departments and students will not be limited to a single department or rigid curriculum. The basis of training will cover the genetic and biological basis of cancer and current therapies, in addition to the challenges of discovery, development, and translational application of new therapies. 

Infection and Immunity –

The emphasis area of infection and immunity in the Translational Biomedicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program is built around multidisciplinary activities with the mission to perform cutting-edge research that addresses relevant biomedical problems in bacterial and viral physiology, microbial pathogenesis and immunology with a strong emphasis on understanding host/pathogen interactions. The objectives for research in this emphasis area include the support of a highly collaborative environment that will allow for translation of basic understanding of microbiology and immunology to improve the treatment of infectious diseases, enhance vaccine development, improve gene therapy, develop antiviral or bacterial agents, treat or prevent autoimmune disease and enhance the efficacy of immunotherapies.

Integrative Physiology –

The emphasis area of integrative physiology in the Translational Biomedicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program provides comprehensive training in biomedical research at the cellular, organ system and whole-body levels. Student researchers will benefit from a highly collaborative environment with faculty mentors engaged in cutting edge research that align with their research interests. The diverse faculty work in academic and clinical departments within the MU School of Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). Research expertise in the integrative physiology program includes cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology, diabetes and obesity, muscle physiology, neuroscience, renal physiology, molecular and cellular physiology, and many more. .

Nutrition and Exercise Physiology –  

The emphasis area of nutrition and exercise physiology in the Translational Biomedicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program allows students to explore the two most important environmental influences on human function: the nutrients we consume and the amount and nature of physical activity we impose on our bodies. For the study of gene environment interactions for precision medicine, the study of nutrition and exercise physiology provides clinically important paradigms. Students will engage with cutting-edge research in precision nutrition and exercise with nationally and internationally renowned faculty. 

Population and Precision Health –

The emphasis area of precision and population health in the Translational Biomedicine Summer Undergraduate Research Program provides research training in epidemiology, biostatistics, data management as well as qualitative and mixed-methods methodologies. The general objective of this emphasis area is to advance academic excellence through training in innovative, mixed-method and participatory approaches that cross conventional discipline boundaries and research traditions. Research training will be available in population-based measures that remain the cornerstone in the fight against chronic diseases. This will be complemented with research training in precision health approaches that account for genomics as well as other patient characteristics such as obesity, ethnicity, family history and drug efficacy and toxicity.  

To preview the application, click the PDF below.
Application Link
Application will close February 11th, 2024