Summer ASPET Research Program Curriculum


One of the goals of the summer research program is to introduce undergraduate students to life as a graduate student in the biomedical sciences. Summer students will participate in all aspects of life in our department. Upon entering the program, students go through a half-day orientation, which includes an introduction to the Department and presentations by representatives from Institutional Safety, Radiation Safety, and Laboratory Animal Resources. Following orientation, students enter their assigned labs. Every effort is made to match a student with their choice of laboratories. Students are assigned to an ongoing research project and work closely with the laboratory PI and lab staff and students throughout the summer.


In addition to research activities, students attend field trips designed especially for undergraduates, and all other departmental events, such as seminars, public PhD dissertation defenses, and journal clubs. Students also take a graduate-level course, which meets two mornings each week. The course provides an overview of laboratory techniques such as, tissue culture, behavior, electrophysiological, and neurochemistry techniques. The course also includes lectures with titles such as, Ethics, Receptors and Effector Mechanisms, Drug-Receptor Interactions, Synaptic Transmission, DREADS and Optogenetics, Psychiatric Diseases and their Treatment, and Substance Abuse & Addiction. The course is the equivalent of a one-credit course and is taught in the manner of graduate level courses, with one overall course director and several lecturers who are experts in the material being presented. There are no exams and grades are not given. During the last week of the summer program, each student will submit a brief paper detailing their research results and give a fifteen minute oral powerpoint presentation to the Department.