BSP Highlights

Why did these students choose the Bioscience Scholars Program (BSP)*?

*BSP was formerly known as SPUR-LABS

Student Experiences

Cynthia Ouandji is an undergraduate student attending San Jose State University. This summer, the bay area resident is doing research at UCLA in Dr. James Weiss’ lab. The goal of her research project is to modify and characterize the L-type channels in a ventricular myocyte using computational modeling.

Check out this video to learn more about why Cynthia chose UCLA SPUR-LABS, her goal to increase access to healthcare, and a highlight of her summer research experience.

Jason Alipio is a biological psychology major at Cal State University San Bernardino. This summer Jason worked in the lab of Dr. David Glanzman researching “Learning and Memory in Larval Zebrafish.”  Check out the video below to find out more about his SPUR-LABS experience.

Joan Reger is a rising junior at Emory University. This summer Joan spent 10 weeks at UCLA doing research in Dr. David Eisenberg’s lab. Her research project culminate with a poster presentation on “The Formation of Cylindrin Structures by TDP-43 Segments.” Watch the video below to get a sense of the sights and sounds of her lab experience.

Ramiro Patino is a 2015 UCLA SPUR-LABS participant. This summer Ramiro worked in Dr. Patricia Johnson’s lab, where he studied Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite that causes one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Ramiro successfully submitted an abstract, “Polymorphonuclear Cells Secrete a Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Profile in Response to Trichomonas vaginalis”, based on his summer research. His abstract was accepted and this November he will give a poster presentation on his research at the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

Congratulations Ramiro!

Watch the video below to hear Ramiro reflect on his summer research experience at UCLA:

William (Will) Grant Jr. is a rising 4th year student at Morehouse College. This summer Will worked in Dr. Bill Lowry’s lab, which focuses on stem cell research. Will’s summer project looked at phenotypic immunoresponsive and metabolic differences in squamous cell carcinoma, upon removing specific tumor suppressors that aid in the progression of cancer.

When asked about his lab experience, Will shared:

“I love my lab experience. Everyone is extremely helpful, from the PI to the grad students, to the fellow undergraduate students. I also appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to contribute tangible and meaningful data to the lab, specifically while doing microscopy. I was able to find and identify phenotypes that actually contribute to the ultimate goal of not only my project, but also to the lab.”

His favorite aspect of SPUR-LABS:

“Beyond the academically enriching workshops and experiences that SPUR-LABS has offered thus far, I’ve enjoyed the personalized attention that we receive from the program directors. Just knowing that they’re not just figureheads, or just names that appear on a paper; that every week we’re expected to meet with them, we’re expected to tell them what we love about the program, what we don’t love about the program; what we can improve upon, what they can improve upon. I’ve definitely received a lot of mentorship from them. So being in SPUR-LABs is not only mentorship from my PI, but it’s also mentorship from the program directors as well and I’ve really loved that aspect of the program.”

After 8 weeks of research, Will presented a poster titled “Defining the Source of Tumor Heterogeneity.”

BSP Alumni

Check out our 2014-2019 cohorts to see the kinds of projects they participated in. We did not collect this data for our 2020 cohort due to the pandemic.

2022 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Fullerton

Major: B.S. Biology and B.A. Chemistry

Mentor: Valerie Arboleda, Bioinformatics

Undergraduate Institution: The City College of New York

Major: Biology

Mentor: Mike Carey,  Gene Regulation, Epigenomics & Transcriptomics

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Fullerton

Major: Biological Science

Mentor: Anthony Covarrubias, Cell & Developmental Biology

Undergraduate Institution: SUNY Geneseo

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Lili Yang, Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Davis

Major: Molecular and Medical Microbiology

Mentor: Hung Ton-That, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis

Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Major: Biology 

Mentor: Hilary Coller, Cell & Developmental Biology

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Sacramentor

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Steve Dubinett, Molecular Pharmacology

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Riverside

Major: Cell,Molecular, and Developmental Biology

Mentor: Julian Martinez-Agosto, Genetics & Genomics

Undergraduate Institution: Howard University

Major: Biology

Mentor: Ranmal Samarasinghe, Neuroscience

Undergraduate Institution: Santa Clara University

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Todd Yeates

2020 Cohort (Admitted to the program but the program was postponed due to the pandemic)

Undergraduate Institution: New Mexico State University

Major: Genetics and Biotechnology

Undergraduate Institution: San Diego State University

Major: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Riverside

Major: Human Genetics

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Los Angeles

Major: Biochemistry

Undergraduate Institution: University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Major: Biology

Undergraduate Institution: San Francisco State University

Major: Physics

Undergraduate Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Major: Chemistry and Biochemistry

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Long Beach

Major: Molecular, Cellular Biology & Physiology

Undergraduate Institution: San Jose State University

Major: Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics

2019 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: Harris-Stowe State University

Major: Biology

Mentor: Douglas Black, Microbiology, Immunology,& Molecular Genetics.

Project: Alternative Splicing of a Chromatin Modifier Dpf2 in Neuronal Development

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, San Marcos

Major: Biotechnology

Mentor: Rachel Crosbie-Watson, Integrative Biology & Physiology

Project: The Arabidopsis thaliana glutaredoxin AtGRX660 controls lateral root development and shoot organ size

Undergraduate Institution: College of William and Mary

Major: Biology

Mentor: Stephanie Correa, Integrative Biology & Physiology

Project: Mutated P85 as potential cause of autoimmunity in activated PI3 kinase delta syndrome.

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Fullerton

Major: Biological Science

Mentor: Tom Vondriska, Molecular, Cellular,& Developmental Biology

Project: Determining the Role of Linker Region Phosphorylation in Polypyrimidine Tract Binding Protein 2 Neuronal Splicing Regulation

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, San Diego

Major: Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Mentor: James Wohlschlegel, Biological Chemistry

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Long Beach

Major: Molecular, Cell Biology and Physiology

Mentor: James F Miller, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Project: PCR Screening to Identify Founders of a New Bifunctional Rprm-Cre-FRT Mouse Strainr

Undergraduate Institution: University of California Davis

Major: Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Mentor: Hilary Coller, Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology

Project: Construction of E35K HIV-1 Mutant for Confirmation of Drug Resistance To Integrase Inhibitors.

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Fullerton

Major: Biology

Mentor: Manich Butte, Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics

Undergraduate Institution: Winston-Salem State University

Major: Biology

Mentor: Dean Buonomano, Neuroscience

Project: Determination of Whether Prolonged Inflammation is a Cause of Delayed Wound Healing in Atg7-Deficient Mice

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Fullerton

Major: Psychology

Mentor: Sam Chow, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Undergraduate Institution: Inter American University of Puerto Rico

Major: Microbiology

Mentor: Manuel Penichet, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Project: Production of an anti-HER2/neu IgE using the ExpiCHO transient expression system

Undergraduate Institution: University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Major: Chemical Engineering

Mentor: Ann Hirsch, Molecular, Cell, & Developmental Biology

Project: Plant growth-promoting microbiome of the novel Lancaster

compost tea and its effects on legumes and corn growth

2018 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Northridge

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Edythe London, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: The Role of Autophagy in Wound Healing and Pro-inflammatory NF-kB Pathway

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Northridge

Major: Cell and Molecular Biology

Mentor: Lily Wu, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: Effects of M2 Macrophages on Ovarian Cancer Stem Cell Properties

Undergraduate Institution: San Francisco State University

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Samuel French, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Project: A Mass Spectrometry-Based Approach for Identification of Host-ZIKV

Undergraduate Institution: Washington University in St. Louis

Major: Undecided

Mentor: Mayank Mehta, Physics and Astronomy, Neurology, Neurobiology

Project: A Novel Virtual Reality System for Spatial Navigation Experiments on Tethered Animals

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Long Beach

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: James Wohlschlegel, Biological Chemistry

Project: Proteomic Characterization of the CFD1-NBP35 Scaffold Protein Complex Reveals Interactions Essential for Iron-Sulfur Protein Maturation

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Davis

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Mentor: John Adams, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Project: The Power and Potential of Alternative Splicing to Dictate Stem Cell Fates in Bone

Undergraduate Institution: University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Major: Neuroscience

Mentor:

Project: Conformation-dependent monoclonal antibodies label different AB aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease cases

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Riverside

Major: Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology

Mentor: Gal Bitan, Neurology

Undergraduate Institution: The University of New Mexico

Major: Biochemistry/Biology

Mentor: Steven Bensinger, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics

Project: Inhibitors of Fatty Acid Synthase Impair Macrophage Polarization Independently of Fatty Acid Synthase

Undergraduate Institution: Dominican University

Major: Neuroscience

Mentor: Daniel Geschwind, Neurology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Project: The Effect of Small Molecules on Puromycin-Sensitive Aminopeptidase to Degrade Tau Protein in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts

Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Major: Biology

Mentor: Daniel Geschwind, Neurology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Project: Escherichia Coli Genome –CusR Interactions Using Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assays & Fluorescence Anisotropy

SPUR-LABS Student Group Photo 2018
SPUR-LABS Students, 2018; First step (bottom): Hector Ruvalcaba, Ivymarie Aranas, Christopher Lopez; Second Step: Alexis Waller, Juliet Gonzales, Robert Kimelman, Lannah Abasi; Third Step: Stephanie Leal, Derek Steck, Ashton Sigler; Fourth Step (top): Rafael Rodriguez

2017 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Dominguez Hills

Major: Microbiology

Mentor: Jonathan Braun, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Project: EMP2 alters MHC I expression in breast cancer

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Berkeley

Major: Public Health

Mentor: Peter Bradley, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Project: Identification and Functional Analysis of IMC Candidate Proteins in Toxoplasma gondii

Undergraduate Institution: University of Vermont

Major: Neuroscience

Mentor: Adriana Galvan, Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology

Project: Effort-Based Decision Making, Eye Blink Rate, and Anhedonia in Adolescents and Adults

Undergraduate Institution: Michigan State University

Major: Biological Chemistry

Mentor: Joe Loo, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Project: Characterization of chemically acylated proteins using mass spectrometry

Undergraduate Institution: Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Major: Biochemical Techonology

Mentor: Heather Christofk, Biological Chemistry,  Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: Growth Factor Signaling Following Extracellular Matrix Remodeling with Hyaluronidase promotes Aerobic Glycolysis

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Chico

Major: Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology

Mentor: Don Kohn, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: Investigating the Effects of Phosphomimic CtIP Expression on CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Homology Directed Repair

Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas at San Antonio

Major: Biology

Mentor: Steve Bensinger, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: Investigating Lipid-Metabolic Requirement During CD8+ T Cell Activation

Undergraduate Institution: University of Arizona

Major: Neuroscience and Cognitive Science

Mentor: Alvaro Sagasti, Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology

Project: Dual leucine zipper kinase mutations decrease sensory neuron growth cone dynamics and cell survival during development

Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Elaine Hsiao, Integrative Biology and Physiology

Project: Effects of the Maternal Microbiome on Embryonic Thalamocortical Axon Growth

spur labs group photo 2017

SPUR-LABS Students, 2017 from left to right, Top Row: Mirelle Rojano, Gina Williams, Bailey Holt-Gosselin, Grace Prator, Matthew Maxwell, Francisco Bautista, Pranav Kannan, Bottom Row: Kyle Gibson, Chantel Wilson

2016 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas at El Paso

Major: Cell and Molecular Biochemistry

Mentor: James Wohlschlegel, Biological Chemistry

Project: Elucidating the Subunit Architecture of the FBXL5-NCOA4-HERC2 Degradation Complex

Post-program: University of Texas-El Paso Masters Student Biochemistry

Undergraduate Institution: Washington University

Major: Physics, Biology/Neuroscience

Mentor: Ben Ellingson, Department of Radiological Sciences

Project: Perfusion and diffusion MRI signatures in histologic and genetic subtypes of WHO grade II-III diffuse gliomas

Post-program: University College London, Ph.D. Medical Physics Program

Undergraduate Institution: California State University, Fullerton

Major: Biological Sciences

Mentor: Ren Sun, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and Ting-Ting Wu, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology

Project: Gamma-Herpesvirus ORF54 role in the degradation of Type I Interferon receptor subunit-1

Post-program: University of Southern California, Ph.D. Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics Program

Undergraduate Institution: Rice University

Major: Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Mentor: Uptal Banerjee, Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology

Project: The Role of JNK Signaling in Inducing Non-Autonomous Hematopoietic Changes Downstream of Epithelial Oncogene Expression

Post-program: Ph.D. candidate at UCLA Molecular Biology Interdepartmental Degree Program-Cell & Developmental Biology Home Area

Undergraduate Institution: Washington University in St. Louis

Major: Biology

Mentor: Stephanie White, Integrative Biology and Physiology

Project: Overexpression of FoxP2 Alters Song Correction in Adult Zebra Finches

Currently: Continuing in undergraduate degree program

Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Major: Molecular & Cell Biology

Mentor: Sri Kosuri, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Post-program University of California, San Francisco, Ph.D. Tetrad Program

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Scranton

Major: Neuroscience & Biology

Mentor: Tom Carmichael, Neuroscience

Project: Tool Development to Assess Astrocytic Contribution towards Functional Recovery after Stroke

Post-program: Research Assistant at Drexel University College of Medicine

Undergraduate Institution: DePaul University

Major: Biological Sciences

Mentor: Sam Chow, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: Efficient Screening of HIV-1 Mutants Resistant to Integrase Inhibitors in a Random Mutant Library

Post-program: Harvard University, Boston Children’s Hospital – Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Post-Bacc

Last Institution: San Francisco State University

Major: Microbiology

Mentor: Don Kohn, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Post-program: Increasing Homology Directed Repair Levels in K562 Cell Line

Currently: Continuing in undergraduate degree program

Undergraduate Institution: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Major: Biological Sciences

Mentor: John Adams, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, Orthopaedic Surgery

Project: Testing the novel hypothesis that vitamin D is absorbed by cells through Exosomes

Post-program: Ph.D. candidate, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, Integrative Biomedical Sciences

spur labs student group photo 2016
SPUR-LABS Students, 2016 from left to right, Top Row: Cristian Ovies, Garrett Ott, Mansour Dughbaj, Middle Row: Justine Ramos, Daniela Jimenez, Ashley Opalka, Chari Noddings, Bottom Row: Andrea Salinas, Rosabril Acuna, Rachel Hodge
SPUR-LABS, Posse Scholars, and BRI-Sure participants
SPUR-LABS, Posse Scholars, and BRI-Sure participants from left to right, Top Row: Chari Noddings, Cristian Ovies, Brandon Desousa, Mansour Dughbaj, Garrett Ott, Middle Row: Katherine Andersh, Omar Hodge, Bottom Row: Rebekah White, Daniela Jimenez, Justine Ramos, Rachel Hodge, Andrea Salinas, Rosabil Acuna, Ashley Opalka, Justine Ramos

2015 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: Cal State University, San Bernardino

Major: Biological Psychology

Mentor: David Glanzman, Integrative Biology and Physiology

Project: Learning and Memory in Larval Zebrafish

Post-program: Graduate Student at the University of Maryland – Baltimore School of Medicine, Program in Neuroscience

Undergraduate Institution: San Diego State University

Major: Biology

Mentor: JF Miller, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Project: Non-lytic Bacteria Egress from Host Cells by Burkholderia

Post-program: Graduate Student at the Univerity of Chicago, Biomedical Sciences – Microbiology

Undergraduate Institution: Morehouse College

Major: Biology

Mentor: Bill Lowry, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Project: Defining the Source of Tumor Heterogeneity

Post-program: Medical Student at Duke University, Medical Degree Program

Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland Baltimore County

Major: Biology and Environmental Science

Mentor: Alex Hoffmann, Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

Project: Oscillatory Control of Interferon Regulatory Factor 3

Post-program: Graduate Student at  Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Undergraduate Institution: San Jose State University

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Mentor: James Weiss, Medicine-Cardiology

Project: Characterizing the L-type calcium channels of the UCLA Majahan et al. rabbit ventricular myocyte computational cell model

Post-program: Process Development Engineer at Boston Scientific

Undergraduate Institution: The University of Texas – Pan American

Major: Biology

Mentor: Patricia Johnson, Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

Project: Polymorphonuclear cells secrete a pro-inflammatory cytokine profile in response to Trichomonas vaginalis

Post-program: Graduate Student at the Univeristy of California, San Francisco, Biomedical Sciences Program

Undergraduate Institution: Emory University

Major: Biology

Mentor: David Eisenberg, Biological Chemistry

Project: The Formation of Cylindrin Structures by TDP-43 Segments

Post-program: PhD Candidate at Georgetown University

Undergraduate Institution: University of Nevada, Reno

Major: Neuroscience

Mentor: Rachelle Crosbie-Watson, Integrative Biology and Physiology

Project: Exploring the effect of α7β1 integrin enhancing compound-9 on extracellular matrix composition in dystrophic mice

Post-program: Medical Student at the University of Nevada

Undergraduate Institution: San Diego State University

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Doug Black, Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

Project: Mutagenic Analysis of the Rbfox1 C-terminus to Determine its Role in Protein Complex Assembly and Splicing Regulation

Post-program: Graduate Student at the University of Michigan, Chemistry

Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Major: Biochemistry

Mentor: Rob Clubb, Chemistry/Biochemistry

Project: Understanding the Role of Inter-domain Dynamics of the Staphylococcus aureus Hemoglobin Receptor, IsdH, and its Influence on the Heme Extraction Mechanism

Post-program: Undergraduate Student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

SPUR-LABS group photo 2015
Pictured from left to right: Jason Alipio, Robert Vasquez, William Grant, Ashley Tarchione, Cynthia Ouandji, Bruin Bear, Mirae Dong, Jasmine Zarb, Joan Reger, Shana Gregory, and Ramiro Patino.
 
SPUR LABS group photo 2015
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Jeff Goldman, Ashley Tarchione, Shana Gregory, Jasmine Yarb, Robert Vasquez, Mirae Dong, William Grant, Cynthia Ouandji, and Dr. Greg Payne after the 8 week poster presentation.

 

2014 Cohort

Undergraduate Institution: Cal State University, Long Beach

Major: Biology

Mentor: Linda Baum, Cellular and Molecular Pathology

Project: Galectin-9 Increases T cell Surface Thiol Concentration

Post-program: Graduate Student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Immunology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology Program

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Davis

Major: Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior

Mentor: Christopher Colwell, Psychiatry and Biobehavior Sciences

Project: Circadian disruption of CNTNAP2 KO mice negatively affects cognitive and social skills

Post-program: Assistant Manufacturing Technician, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Undergraduate Institution: Cal State University, Northridge

Major: Biotechnology

Mentor: Samuel French, Cellular and Molecular Pathology

Project: Role of HSP70 in recruiting Phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase alpha (PI4KA) and formation of the membranous web in Hepatitis C viral replication

Post-program: Graduate Student at Cedar-Sinai, Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine

Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Irvine

Major: Biology

Mentor: Harley Kornblum, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology

Project: Polo-like Kinase 4 Inhibitor as a Therapeutic Agent in Glioblastoma Primary Brain Tumors

Post-program: Applying for Occupational Health Programs

Undergraduate Institution: Cal State University, San Bernardino

Major: Biology

Mentor: Kent Hill, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics

Project: DRC7 as a Component of the NDRC in the flagella of Trypanosoma brucei

Post-program: Works for Educational Testing Services

Undergraduate Institution: Tennessee State University

Major: Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

Mentor: Daniel Geschwind, Neurology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Project: Differentiated SY5Y cells as a model to study the role of miRNA in neuronal cell death using immunocytochemistry

Post-program: Graduate Student at Tennessee State University, M.S. in Biochemistry

SPUR LABS group photo 2014
Pictured from left to right: David Saldana, Jacob Mack, Martin Douglass, Rebecca Welch, Emaan Madany, and Alan Santana.