2017 CU Research Experience Projects To Date
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This is the current list of projects on CU Boulder Campus (orange) and Anschutz Campus (green)
Please address the special requierments in your applicaiton as well as telling us which campus you prefer.
If the project has a red box after the special requiremnts: this project is currently full
Research program runs from July 5th to July 28th and culminates in a poster session on CU Boulder Campus
CU Boulder CampusProject DescriptionSpecial Requirements
Project Full
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (1)Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are biologically important microbial soil communities found in dryland ecosystems comprised of cyanobacteria, mosses, lichens, and fungi. Biocrusts influence many ecosystem processes in drylands including the life cycles of vascular plants. Students working on this project would help investigate the effects of biocrusts on the growth, reproduction, and phenology of desert plants in Canyonlands National Park, Utah in the Colorado Plateau Desert. Successful students will be willing to try new things, be interested in soils and plants, and willing to ask scientific questions.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (2)Our research focuses on two pervasive and inter-related forms of biological change: disease emergence and species invasions. Both have important consequences not only for individuals and populations, but for entire ecological communities and ecosystem processes. Invasions and disease can also have costly economic and health repercussions for human society. Our group strives to bring a broad perspective to these questions by combining field experiments, large-scale spatial and temporal field data, molecular tools and ecological modeling.Be ok with amphibians --euthanasia (not required by them but they will see it a lot)
Aerospace Engineering Sciences (1)The student will have some freedom in choosing how to contribute to our research goals, and have the chance of learning about multiple aspects of our research, which mainly encompasses the study of lightning and its interaction with the environment, e.g., the ionosphere. The opportunities can include: antenna making and calibration, which will involve precise measurement of the antenna frequency-dependent sensitivity (experimental physics/instrument design); automated data processing, involving writing/improving MATLAB or embedded C code to do real-time processing or post-processing on the receiver's data (data analysis and programming); improving our methods of antenna building, including automation of that process (electromechanical engineering and CAD); building/improving our lightning detection instrument (electrical engineering/instrument design).Interest in physics, earth sciences (ionosphere, space weather), data analysis and processing, or electrical/mechanical engineering.
Linguistics (1)Psycholinguistic investigation in how children and adults use verbsHas to be interested in linguistics and cognitive science
Mechanical Engineering (1)I could not quite say at this point what the word would look like in the summer. We are presently testing new thin layer chemistries through a process called molecular layer deposition. Helpers would be expected to assist in preparing samples for coating, running the reactor, taking and analyzing data, and addressing challenges to performing thin layer coating process.
Mechanical Engineering (2)We will work on soft actuators for the use in soft robotics. Also, we work on novel energy harvesting techniques using suoercapacitors which could be utilized to harness ocean wave energy. Willingness to work!
Computer Science (1)Perception (Sensing) for Autonomous VehiclesMust have some programming experience (C++ preferred)
Computer Science (2)Building tactile, screen-less technologies to help young, preliterate children reflect on their creations (art, buildings, etc) and tell stories about their work. This system asks children questions about their creations and translates the speech into text so that their stories can be shared with their homes and schools. We will work on designing and prototyping the technologies, testing the prototypes with children and makerspaces, and recording and analyzing our data.Comfortable working with children and parents; coding ability not necessary but helpful; enjoys arts and crafts; creatively thinks about new technologies; good communicator; strong standard of ethics.
Materials Science and Engineering (1)Through this research experience program, students will be using x-ray diffraction techniques to study novel materials like liquid crystals and their self-assembling behavior. This will help them to understand how to use instruments, data analysis, and study material properties. Students will conduct measurement using x-ray instrument on liquid crystal samples, including elastomers, using our latest small-angle x-ray scattering machine. After measurement, students will do data processing and data analyzing to understand the properties of the materials. This research experience will give students a good exposure to CU research since our center is a world leader in the development of next generation liquid crystal materials for applications like solar cells, semiconductors and LCD screens.No special requierments
Material Science and Engineering (2)We are working on photonic plastics - making colors out of polymers. Students will be learning basic and advanced organic chemistry techniques. If they are interested we can conceive a 3D printer project as well. Attention to detail, willingness to learn and ask questions
Materials Science and Engineering (3)Students will be synthesizing synthetic polymers and characterizing their properties. Students would be trained in basic organic chemistry, taught how to use characterization equipment, and analyze data. Instruments to be used will be gel permeation chromatography (GPC), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA).Has to not be afraid of chemistry
Integrative Physiology (IPHY) (1)In July, I intend to lead the lab portion of IPHY 4720: Neurophysiology. The class sections are small, so the mentees would assist me in preparing for the labs by (1) reviewing the documents provided to the course students describing the content, (2) setting up the lab and making sure it runs smoothly (primarily, do the directions make sense enough for the high school student to perform), and (3) implementing research methods demos for future students to perform. In addition to assisting in progressing different labs in the course, the mentees will assist in the research lab - this would include data analysis for data acquired in the Spring, creating figures for the data, and assisting in the presentation of the studies (i.e. writing and publishing a manuscript). Finally, we will be hosting a biomechanics conference in Boulder in August, which we will be preparing for. Attending academic conferences is part of graduate school/a research career that many mentees are not typically aware of.Just the typical character traits (i.e. reliable, honest). An interest in muscles/movement/nervous system is ideal ("neurophysiology of movement").
Geological Sciences (1)The broad topic students would work on is quantifying water fluxes in and around beaver ponds. Students would join me in the field to collect sediment samples, survey one or more beaver ponds on Boulder Creek, and run permeability tests in the lab on the sediment samples. From that data, the students would work with me to put together a simple model of how water flows between beaver ponds and the adjacent sediments. Water flow into the adjacent sediments supports the development of wetlands with high biodiversity and drought resilience.Willing to do simple field work, should feel comfortable being near water.
Psychology and Neuroscience (1)We use rats to explore how stress may disrupt brain function. Our research suggests that hormones and neurotransmitters released during stress may alter daily cycles in protein production within brain cells, leading to impairments in fear extinction learning. Overall, we are interested in determining whether anxiety and mood disorders--such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.--may be caused or worsened by stress-induced changes in neuron function.Must be comfortable analyzing data that comes from rat research! However, the student will NOT perform hands-on rat surgery, dissection, etc.
You Must be aged 16 by July 5th, 2017 to be placed on one of the Anschutz Campus Projects
Anschutz CampusProject DescriptionSpecial Requirements
Project Full
Cell and Developmental BiologyWe are interested in understanding the genetic and molecular causes of an intestinal disease called Microvillus Inclusion Disease which kills infants within the first week of birth. We are developing a zebrafish model system to study this disease, and are currently working on characterizing several novel genes that may be involved. The student would learn and perform molecular biology techniques, microscopy, zebrafish husbandry, and genetics.Must be native english speaker, comfortable working with zebrafish
Bioengineering, OrthopedicsStudents would be involved in a tissue engineering project investigating repair of growth plate injuries. Daily tasks would involve analysis of microCT image stacks, including segmentation and producing bone histomorphometric measurements. In addition, students will section paraffin embedded tissues, stain these sections for specific (IHC) and nonspecific (HE) markers. Stained sections will then be imaged and analyzed. Students must be comfortable working on a project that involves animal research.
DermatologyOur lab is looking at possible BCL-2 protein inhibitors that we can use to kill melanoma cells and melanoma stem cells. We use cell lines and patient samples to test our hypothesis.
Pharmaceutical SciencesStudents that join our lab will begin by receiving a general idea of how human subjects research and clinical translational research are conducted. On the human subjects research side, students will learn about how studies are designed and how to properly recruit patients and store their data. From the clinical translational research side, students will learn about basic science techniques in pharmacogenomics research, such as DNA isolation, PCR, and DNA sequencing.Preferably interested in doing human subjects research, but all are welcome!
Medical OncologyThe student(s) will be working with me on my thesis project, which is focused on evaluating the role of SOX2 and SOX9 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. I have targeted both of these gene via shRNA and the student(s) will be working on characterizing these cells in vitro (proliferation, clonogenic, 3D-sphere formation assays, etc.). I will also teach basic microscopy techniques and quantification software to evaluate these experiments. Must speak English fluently, be able to multitask, pay close attention to details, and take lots of notes
Cancer BiologyCurrently, my project is looking at the interactions between our head and neck cancer cells with tumor-associated macrophages in the microenvironment. I would be able to teach the students basic lab culture techniques, microscope imaging, experimental design, basic FACS concepts, and quantifying data.some basic biology knowledge would be nice, though not necessary.
PediatricsMy work focuses on injury and violence prevention, including intimate partner violence, child abuse/neglect, bullying, suicide, and others. Students working with me could expect to have the opportunity to do data cleaning/analysis, literature searches, and/or conducting surveys. I have access to a substantial number of large datasets and previously collected data (topics ranging from postpartum maternal health to physician experiences with child abuse) and would be happy to mentor students to do simple research within those datasets that is interesting to them.None required
RenalGene Therapy for ADPKDExtremely detail oriented, grasp larger concepts (how smaller parts of experiments fit into a bigger picture), patient and pleasant.
BioengineeringMy research is tissue engineering heart patches to treat congenital heart defects. We will be using a technique (called Electrospinning) to make support structures (called scaffolds) to support blood vessel formation and heart cell survival. I am currently focusing on the effect of scaffold porosity on the development of blood vessels within the patch, where blood vessels are key to heart cell survival. Although I am not entirely certain at what stage of this project I will be at this summer, the students may be involved with data analysis, running some tests on samples, and overall helping me progress on a successful heart patch while hopefully learning and enjoying their time in the lab.My only language is English, so ideally, they will speak English. The students will be required to wear long pants and close-toed shoes every day in the lab.
NeurosurgeryWe are using in vivo fluorescence imaging to examine neural structural and functional change during motor tasks learning in mice. The students can help with in vivo imaging data analysis of neural structural and functional plasticity, and/or some of the behavior tests.highly motivated, strong interest in neuroscience
SugeryOur group is collaborating with Dr. Paul MacLean at School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz to determine how obesity and follow-up exercise affect bladder function. In this project, function of mouse bladder in the group of obese sedentary, obese exercise, lean sedentary and lean exercise is determined by in vitro bladder contractility test, histology and protein assay. The summer student will work on sectioning of female mouse bladder and male mouse pelvic organs or histology/immunohistochemistry. The student will not only learn about the technical approaches but also learn overall process of research including research design, protocol update, data recording, manuscript preparation and funding opportunity.