The SURE-EH program provides up to two years of hourly employment to UW students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to conduct research in areas relevant to the environmental health sciences and the mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Students can work up to 40 hours per week over the summer, and up to 15 hours per week during the academic year.
Current Application Period
The current application period will be open on May 7, 2018 and close on May 18, 2018 at 5:00pm.
After a short review period, top applicants will be contacted to set up in-person interviews during the last half of May. Offers will be made before the beginning of the Summer 2018 quarter. Please note: In the event that qualified candidates are not found, applications will be re-opened until all positions are full.
We are now accepting applications for the following projects. Please read and review as you will be asked to note your 1st and 2nd choices in the application (you also have the option of choosing only one). You should also note the specific desired qualifications for each position.
Project # 1: Characterizing the interactions between environmental chemicals and gut microbiome during development
We have an opening for a highly motivated undergraduate student to assist with research projects centering around identifying the critical role of gut microbiome in modulating drug metabolism and nutrient homeostasis during development. Gut microbiome is increasingly recognized as the “second genome” that interacts with the host to modify the normal human physiology various adverse health outcomes such as chemical-induced liver injury and metabolic syndrome. Students will learn important technical skills including small rodent handling, genotyping, RT-qPCR, second generation sequencing (including RNA-Seq, microbiome sequencing, and epigenetic marker quantifications by ChIP-Seq), biomarker profiling using analytical techniques (LC-MS), as well as various bioinformatics tools based on R, Perl, and Unix languages. Students will also have the opportunity to learn scientific writing including meeting abstracts and research articles, and present their own research findings at local, national, and international conferences including UW Mary Gate’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, PANWAT (Pacific Northwest Association of Toxicologists) Meeting, and SOT (Society of Toxicology) Meeting.
Desired qualifications: Undergraduate at junior level with completed course work in molecular biology/biochemistry/chemistry. Interest in toxicology and public health research.
Project # 2: Measuring chemical markers in air and dust to improve understanding of people's exposure to diesel exhaust
We have an opening for an undergraduate student to assist with research projects intended to improve our understanding of people’s exposure to diesel exhaust. We will be measuring chemical markers of diesel exhaust in air and dust samples and by biomonitoring individuals within communities that have varying levels of traffic-related air pollution. The student would work in our lab under supervision of a research scientist to help develop and/or improve our analytical methods and analyze samples collected by collaborators in California. The overall goals of the project are: 1) to compare exposures in communities that are heavily impacted with lesser impacted communities, 2) compare levels in child-parent pairs to understand exposure patterns across age groups, 3) examine the robustness of measuring air/dust samples compared with biomonitoring, and 4) evaluate the effectiveness of California’s diesel regulations.
Desired qualifications: Undergraduate at junior level with completed course work in chemistry. Interest in public health research.
Project # 3: Investigating oxidative stress on virus-host response
Research description: This project is a multi-disciplinary project looking at combined effects of environmental heavy metal stressors on enteric viral illness outcomes and host responses. We believe that as obligate intracellular pathogens, viruses need certain host cell conditions in order to successfully replicate and infect host tissue causing disease. Glutathione is an important thiol antioxidant in our cells. It is known for detoxifying chemicals in our bodies and is produced through differential gene expression. Genetic polymorphisms of glutathione producing enzymes have been associated with a number of chronic illnesses and cancers but little is known about gluathione’s role in infectious diseases. To do this research, our lab is using a 3D intestinal tissue culture system that has differential gene expression.
Potential undergraduate role: We are looking for an undergraduate student who would help in maintaining pieces of our complex tissue culture systems for a minimum of 5 hours/week, with a desired 10-15 hours per week, for at least two years. Students would be able to help with the maintenance of cell lines, evaluation of protein and protein activity, help during large experiments and media preparation.
We are expecting to teach most of the necessary lab skills required for this project.
Students will learn important laboratory skills/methods such as: general lab etiquette, aseptic technique, tissue culture methods, media preparation, nucleic acid extraction, and PCR. Individuals who contribute significantly to research should expect authorship in any resulting scientific publications or research presentations. Lastly, I would encourage guided individual research and participation in the UW undergraduate research symposium.
The SURE-EH application consists of an application survey, several short (300 word) essays, and up to 3 faculty references (email addresses). If you are ready to begin your application click HERE.