Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program

The State University of New York Upstate Medical University, College of Graduate Studies is offering fellowships for its 2015 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program. The aim of the SURF program is to expose undergraduate students to biomedical research. In an intensive ten-week summer program, undergraduates with appropriate faculty help will formulate their own proposal, carry out research under the supervision of one of our faculty, write a research paper and have the opportunity to see their work published. In the process, students will attend research seminars, present their work, and participate in discussions on alternative careers in research and how to apply to graduate school. Students are given ample opportunities to interact directly with many of our faculty and graduate students.

The program will be held from Monday, June 1, 2015 through Friday, August 7, 2015.

Each fellow will be provided a $3,000 stipend for the period plus housing.

Applicants to the program should be undergraduate students in good academic standing, who will be between their junior and senior years during the summer of 2015, and are majors in chemistry, biology, or a related field. Applicants must have a strong interest in pursuing a Ph.D. degree in biomedical research.

The main criteria for the selection of fellows will be personal scholarship, academic excellence, and the match of applicant interests with those of participating SUNY Upstate Medical University biomedical faculty members. International students who currently have a J-1 or F-1 visa, and who are already attending school in the United States, are eligible to apply.


In addition to the completed application form including a personal statement of your academic goals and career objectives, please submit the following documentation:

  • An official transcript of your undergraduate study to date.
  • Two letters of recommendation. These may be requested from professors related to your major, an advisor, and/or department chair.

Mail supplemental documents to:
SUNY Upstate Medical University
College of Graduate Studies
SURF Program
Room 3122, Weiskoktten Hall
766 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
315 464-4538
FAX: 315-464-4544

Deadline for Applications: February 16, 2015

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Mentors

  • Dr. Jeffrey Amack: Genetics and cell biology of organ morphogenesis during embryonic development.
  • Dr. Peter Calvert External Icon: Understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein transport and localization in living neurons using advance fluorescence microscopy methods.
  • Dr. Xin Jie Chen: We study the mechanism of mitochondrial degeneration and mitochondria-induced cell death in aging and aging-related diseases.
  • Dr. Michael Cosgrove: Structural biochemistry of protein complexes involved in the epigenetic regulation of chromatin.
  • Dr. Diana Gilligan: My lab studies the cytoskeletal regulatory protein, adducin, and its roles in breast cancer cells, red blood cells, and brain. Techniques include molecular biology, transfection of cell lines, confocal microscopy, western blotting, and assays of cellular migration and differentiation.
  • Dr. Huaiyu Hu: Mechanisms of brain malformations and gene therapeutic approaches in congenital muscular dystrophies.
  • Dr. Patricia Kane: Genetics, genomics, and biochemistry of cellular pH regulation.
  • Dr. Bruce Knutson: Molecular mechanism of RNA polymerase I transcription and its dysregulation in cancer and disease.
  • Dr. Mira Krendel: Analysis of the role of myosins (actin-dependent motor proteins) in membrane trafficking, cell motility, and cell adhesion. Myosins in kidney diease and cancer.
  • Dr. Stewart Loh: Design of protein-based molecular switches for biology, biotechnology, and medicine.
  • Dr. Rick Matthews: My lab studies the molecules and mechanisms that regulate plasticity in the normal and diseased brain.
  • Dr. Mehdi Mollapour: My research is on a molecular chaperone called Hsp90 which is crucial for cancer cell survival. My lab in interested in understanding the molecular function of Hsp90. The ultimate goal is to exploit this information towards new therapeutic strategies and enhance the efficacy of current Hsp90 inhibitors in the clinic.
  • Dr. David Pruyne: We study how cytoskeletal structures in muscle cells and other cell types are assembled in a simple animal model system. Our techniques include genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry with purified proteins.
  • Dr. Vladimir Sirotkin: Biochemical analysis and live cell imaging of Arp2/3 complex-dependent actin assembly during endocytosis.
  • Dr. Mark Schmitt: An enzymatic non-coding RNA that is conserved from Archea to humans.
  • Dr. Daniel Tso External Icon: Neural mechanisms of visual processing, employing electrophysiological, anatomical, computational and functional imaging methodologies.
  • Dr. Sijun Zhu: Elucidating genetic mechanisms regulating neural stem cell self-renewal and specification using genetic, cellular and molecular biological approaches.