UC San Diego SearchMenu

Faculty with Research Openings - Examples

This is a selected list of examples of faculty with research openings for undergraduates, to demonstrate the range and depth of available opportunities.

Use the Research Experience & Applied Learning (REAL) Portal to search for opportunities, post your own profile, and learn more about opportunities for you to pursue research.

Faculty Description Prerequisites

Bier, Ethan

ebier@ucsd.edu
Research

1)Genetics of neural dev. in fruitflies 2)Genetics of wing vein dev. in fruitflies 3)Signal transduction through TGF-Beta & EGF-R related pathways during fruitfly dev. 4)Analysis of the human disease gene function using fruitflies as living test tube

Student Responsibilities

To take an independent aspect of a larger research project which is under the direct supervision of a post-doc. or graduate student.

Additional Info

Projects vary but typically involve use of Drosophila genetics to ask questions about cell-cell communication during development; 5-10 students total may join the lab during any quarter there is room.

None other than strong interest in research and willingness to work a minimum of 20hrs/wk on the research project

Chisholm, Andrew

adchisholm@ucsd.edu
Research

Development, wound healing, & regeneration in the nematode C. elegans. Genetic & molecular analysis of skin wound healing & axonal regeneration. Students will gain experience in fundamental concepts of genetics, molecular cloning, & live confocal imaging.

Student Responsibilities

Students will be mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral fellows. Should attend twice-weekly lab meetings, and present every quarter. Minimum 15 hrs/wk. Minimum two quarter commitment.

Additional Info

To apply, send CV and unofficial transcript to chisholm@ucsd.edu

3.3 GPA. Genetics preferred. Students should be self-motivated, enthusiastic, and curious.

Hnasko, Thomas

thnasko@ucsd.edu
Research

Neuroscience: Molecular & genetic approaches to parse the neural circuits that mediate motivated behavior, reward, and addiction. http://hnaskolab.ucsd.edu/

Student Responsibilities

12+ hrs/week. Must be willing and able to work with rodent experimental subjects.

Additional Info

Interested students should send 1) resume, 2) transcripts and 3) cover letter briefly describing career goals and how much time you can commit to the lab.

Neuroscience, psychology, and/or molecular biology related coursework & 3+ quarter commitment required. Must be highly motivated with strong interest in basic neuroscience research.

Holway, David

dholway@ucsd.edu
Research

We study invasive social insects from a strongly experimental perspective. Research in the lab integrates ecology, behavior, physiology, and genetics with the aim of isolating the underlying causes and resulting consequences of biological invasions.

Student Responsibilities

These are varied. Students often work closely with a PhD student or a postdoc on an existing project, but BISP199 students are strongly encouraged to develop an independent line of research related to ongoing work.

Additional Info

Projects often involve ant-related research and range from highly controlled, lab-based studies to work that is primarily field oriented.

No specific pre-requisites, but BIEB102 and upper division BIEB courses will provide a necessary context for any research project. Feel free to contact the PI for more information.

Kadonaga, James

jkadonaga@ucsd.edu
Research

Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes (mainly Drosophila). Use biochemistry & molecular biology to analyze chromatin structure & transcription by RNA polymerase II.

Student Responsibilities

Depends on experience of student. Prefer 1 year commitment or longer.

n/a

Leutgeb, Jill

jleutgeb@ucsd.edu
Research

Biological and computational mechanisms for learning and memory, neuronal network activity, neurodegenerative diseases, spatial cognition. More detail can be found at http://neurograd.ucsd.edu/faculty/detail.php?id=338

Student Responsibilities

Minimum 10 hrs/wk and preference will be given to two-quarter or longer commitment. Attend and present at weekly lab meetings. Will initially join ongoing research project and can conduct an independent research project with sufficient experience.

Additional Info

Must be willing to work with vertebrate animals.

General Biology, Physiology preferred. Strong interest in research and ability to work independently.At this time seeking applicants with experience in computer programing, particularly using Matlab.

McGinnis, William

wmcginnis@ucsd.edu
Research

Molecules & mechanisms that control animal shape during embryogenesis, and the genetics and molecular biology of epidermal wound repair, see website for McGinnis lab at UCSD for more information.

Student Responsibilities

Approximately 10 hrs/wk. Basic genetic & molecular biology experiments.

BICD 100 (Genetics), and either Recombinant DNA lab (BIMM 101), or Biochemical Techniques lab (BIBC 103), or previous lab experience

Mellon, Pamela

pmellon@ucsd.edu
Research

Molecular basis of how the brain (specifically hypothalamus & pituitary) controls reproductive hormones. We use cell culture, molecular biology, transgenic & knock-out mice, & biochemical methods to understand regulation of genes & hormones.

Student Responsibilities

Student will have a project of their own that is closely allied with that of a Postdoctoral Fellow or senior graduate student. They will learn cutting-edge molecular methods including molecular cloning, cell culture, transfections, & mouse genetics.

Additional Info

Prefer at least 3 quarters or more commitment & encourage students to participate in publishing papers. We support students' applications for fellowship award for the Summer.

Chemistry lab. Preferred: Biochem Techniques

Posakony, Jim

jposakony@ucsd.edu
Research

Developmental and evolutionary biology of the fruit fly nervous system. How do signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks define cell fates and assemble a working nervous system? How do these pathways and networks evolve?

Student Responsibilities

10 hrs/wk minimum; prefer 15-20 hrs/wk. Conduct small-scale original research project under the supervision of a friendly graduate student or postdoc. Preference given to two-quarter or longer commitment; summer work strongly encouraged.

Additional Info

Different projects preferentially utilize genetics, mol bio, cell bio and/or biochem. Bioinformatics projects also available for the right candidate.

Curiosity above all; a strong personal desire to figure out how nature works. Eagerness to learn, and willingness to commit time to a challenging but exciting scientific experience. Courses in Genetics and/or Molecular Bio desirable.

Powell, Frank

fpowell@ucsd.edu
Research

Adaptations to chronic hypoxia and high altitude, expecially respiratory and neural. Respiratory neurobiology and physiology.

Student Responsibilities

Participate in all (or selected) phases of experiments, from human studies to animal husbandry, small animal surgery, physiological data acquisition w/ computers, immunohistochemistry & mol. biology data analysis & statistical testing.

Additional Info

Summer research opportunities in human and animal physiology at the White Mountain Research Station (see www.wmrs.edu) as part of my research program on adaptation to high altitude. http://physiology.ucsd.edu/faculty/fpowell/

Mammalian or Comparative Physiology. May be taken concurrently.

Rissman, Robert

rrissman@ucsd.edu
Research

Examination of mechanisms of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) animal models; handling of samples received daily from a variety of clinical trials by the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) Biomarker Core.

Student Responsibilities

10-20 hrs/week. Commitment of 3 quarters or more preferred. Students will learn & carry out various lab procedures in molecular biology, tissue culture, mouse genetics, mouse models of AD (surgery and behavioral assays) and histology/immunohistochemistry.

Additional Info

Students will also learn the ins and outs of sample processing and analysis (via bioassays, genotyping, etc.) in conjunction with clinical trials conducted by the ADCS.

Previous lab/animal experience or willingness to handle mice, motivated to work in a lab setting. Preferred Courses: basic biology and chemistry, molecular biology, biochemical techniques (or an equivalent lab course), neurobiology

Wasserman, Steven

sawasserman@ucsd.edu
Research

Molecular biology, genetics, and bioinformatics. Exploration of signaling pathways common to fruit flies and humans that control embryonic development and innate immune response to pathogens.

Student Responsibilities

Students carry out research projects with Drosophila in conjunction with members of the laboratory group, as well as participate in weekly research meetings. Minimum 20 hrs/wk.

3.3 GPA. Prefer biochemistry or genetics course work, as well as lab course or lab experience, or strong background in computers.

Yelon, Deborah

dyelon@ucsd.edu
Research

Genetic regulation of organ formation: control of heart size and shape in zebrafish embryo. Mechanisms that direct differentiation of cardiovascular progenitor cells and that drive cell movements and cell chape changes during cardiac morphogenesis.

Student Responsibilities

15-20 hours/week. Carry out an independent sub-project that is linked to the work of grad student or postdoc. Use zebrafish genetics and embryology to determine how alterations in specific gene function affect heart formation.

Additional Info

Learn a variety of strategies for manipulation and detection of gene expression and participate in genetic and pharmacological screens focused on the identification of relevant molecules and pathways.

General Biology coursework required. Genetics and/or Developmental Biology coursework helpful, but not required.

Zhang, Dong-er

d7zhang@ucsd.edu
Research

Molecular basis of cancer development and cell differentiation. We use mouse models to examine human diseases (such as leukemia and breast cancer). Approaches include molecular biology, protein biochemistry, bioinformatics, cell culture, & mouse studies.

Student Responsibilities

Minimum 15 hrs/wk and 3 quarter commitment with reliable schedule for lab work.

Additional Info

Students will initially learn how to conduct research by assisting graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Individual research projects, honor thesis, and combined BS/MS degree program may be considered upon having sufficient experimental skills.

Strong interest in hands on experimental research, serious commitment to academic accomplishment. GPA > 3.30. Prior research experience is a plus. Sophomores and above are encouraged to apply.