Since 1988, the Department of Pharmacology and former Alcohol Research Center (ARC) have recruited three to six students from underrepresented populations to carry out research with our faculty over a ten-week period during the summer. The 2011 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program for Underrepresented Populations was funded in part by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) and the Colorado Clinical Translational Science Institute (CCTSI). This program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research; present their results; attend seminars; and interact with fellow students, lab members, and faculty. Training in cellular and molecular pharmacology, signal transduction, neuropharmacology, biochemistry, and molecular structure, as well as opportunities in the blossoming field of bioinformatics, is available. Specific questions being researched focus on many areas including cancer biology, cell biology, alcohol and drugs of abuse, learning and memory, genomics, proteomics, lipid maps, and structural biology. A variety of state-of-the-art laboratory techniques including fluorescence microscopy, transgenic models, gene chip arrays, NMR, mass spectrometry, computational pharmacology, and x-ray crystallography are used.
Our Summer Research Program was featured in the Winter 1999 issue of Winds of Change, an American Indian education and opportunity journal. In the article, Dr. Ty Reidhead, a Mandan Indian at the White River Indian Health Service in White River, Arizona, who was one of the first students accepted into the Summer Research Program, reflected upon his experience in the program. Dr. Reidhead said, “The work that I performed, and just the time that I spent that summer, proved to be a valuable and nearly essential part of my undergraduate education.”
Since the inception of this program, over 100 students have conducted mentored summer research projects with Pharmacology Training Faculty. This program lasts for 10 weeks, starting the last week of May and ending the first week of August. The stipend is currently $3500. Completed applications are due in early March. Please see the links below for more details.
The 2012 participating students were (left to right): Ding Ding, Kabral Habtemariam, Qua Nguyen, Kelly Wun, Mary Wang and Monique Minter. This past summer Ding Ding, a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology, conducted research focused on characterizing the role of a particular enzyme in the growth and differentiation of human lung cancer. Kabral Habtemariam is currently a senior majoring in chemistry at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. His summer biochemical research project was related to the growth-inhibiting effects of Vitamin D in prostate cancer. Qua Nguyen, a senior chemistry major at Colorado College, used molecular techniques to clone and study a plant homeodomain finger-containing gene involved in human leukemia. Kelly Wun, a senior biochemistry major at the University of Colorado Boulder, helped to develop biochemical approaches and used them to investigate cardiac protein phosphorylation in heart failure. Mary Wang is a senior neuroscience major at Colorado College. Her research focused on the ability of a nicotine-related compound to protect brain dopamine neurons from dying. Monique Minter, currently a junior at Syracuse University majoring in Psychology and Biochemistry, explored the role of brain dopamine synthesis in the ability of cocaine to differentially activate individuals.
Applications for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program are accepted throughout the year and should be sent to:
University of Colorado Denver
Mail Stop 8303, RC1 North
12800 E. 19th Ave., P18-6101
Aurora, CO 80045
Download the application form for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program here.
Application deadline is March 8, 2013. Please see eligibility for additional information.