REU Mentors

Systems biology and biomedical data sciences is a research strength area at the University of Virginia. It's why our REU can pull faculty mentors from ten departments across four schools.

Our faculty are committed to training undergraduates and involving them as critical components of their research programs. Undergraduate students in our faculty mentors' labs have won best paper awards in conference proceedings, won competitions, and co-authored papers in high-profile journals including Science, Nature Cell Biology, Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Molecular Systems Biology, and PLOS Computational Biology.

Timothy Allen, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: pedagogy in systems modeling, protein translation

Laura Barnes, Systems & Information Engineering
Research areas: health informatics, machine learning

Silvia Blemker, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: muscle mechanics and remodeling

Phil Bourne, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: systems pharmacology, multiscale modeling using data science techniques

Mete Civelek, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: big data analytics, personalized medicine

Christopher Deppmann, Biology
Research areas: neuron dynamics

Sepideh Dolatshahi, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: neonatal and maternal systems immunology

Mohammad Fallahi-Sichani, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: cancer, molecular mechanisms of cell fate decisions

Greg Gerling, Systems & Information Engineering
Research areas: computational neuroscience, design

Kevin Janes, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: cellular signaling, cancer, host-pathogen interactions

Peter Kasson, Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Research areas: infection by emerging viruses, drug-resistant bacteria, protein structure

Matthew Lazzara, Chemical Engineering / Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: cell signalling, cancer

Clint Miller, Center for Public Health Genomics  / Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: genomics, data science, cardiovascular genetics

Kristen Naegle, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: regulation and function of tyrosine phosphorylation in complex networks

Jason Papin, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: metabolic networks, infectious disease, cancer

Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: tissue patterning, angiogenesis, tissue engineering

Jeffrey Saucerman, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: cellular signaling, image processing

Chongzhi Zang, Center for Public Health Genomics / Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: bioinformatics, cancer, epigenetics and genomics

Aidong Zhang Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: adaptive machine learning, automated indexing

Eli Zunder, Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: cell lineage trajectories, brain disorders

  • Eligibility and Application (Summer 2023)

    In order to participate in the Summer 2023 REU Program, applicants must be:

    • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
    • Full-time undergraduate students returning Fall 2023
    • Available for the duration of the 10-week program (May 29 - August 4, 2023)


    Additional Information

    Students must be enrolled in a science, mathematics, or engineering-based curriculum that includes introductory biology, chemistry, and calculus are especially.  Rising seniors are generally given priority consideration, yet as our Alumni section shows, juniors and sophomores also are very competitive in securing spots in our REU!  Experience in programming is recommended, but not required.  Women, underrepresented minorities, and military veterans are especially encouraged to apply.

    Applicants must complete an online application form that includes: basic information about you, a resume, an unofficial transcript, some short essays that address the motivation for the program and what you hope to get out of the experience, and two references (preferably academic or supervisory, rather than “community” letters), all to be submitted electronically. We use the NSF REU Common Application "ETAP." This is a common application portal for many NSF-sponsored REU programs across the country.

    The website will ask you to create a user account. When your account is created, follow the steps provided on the website to complete the common application. Make sure to select UVA's "Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering" when selecting the Site to which you want to apply. 


    Dates and Deadlines

    • Application Window February 1 - April 8, 2023
    • All decisions by April 15, 2023.
    • The program dates are May 29 - August 4, 2023.


    Further Detail

    • $6000 stipend for 10-week research program
    • Reimbursement of travel costs up to $400
    • Free on-campus housing and dining plan
    • Introductory “boot camp” short course on systems bioengineering modeling basics and weekly workshops on ethics and professional development
    • Presentation at our Summer Research Symposium - many students earn an additional travel award to present at the fall BMES annual meeting.


    Also see our FAQs below.  If you have any questions, please contact:

    Kitter Bishop
    Department of Biomedical Engineering
    University of Virginia
    Box 800759, Health System
    Charlottesville, VA 22908

    The UVA Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering REU is funded by NSF Grant #1950374

    NSF REU etap Application
  • Letters of Support

    The NSF Education and Training Application Portal (ETAP) system will automatically prompt the letter writers you designate, once you submit your application. As a courtesy, please let your letter writers know that you have applied and should expect this prompt. We strongly recommend that your letters should be from a faculty member, research advisor, or other professional mentor within your discipline who can address your potential, abilities, and motivation for engaging in research. If you have already applied to other REUs, your letters (and your transcripts) should still be in the system.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    2023 Program FAQs

    Is your program in-person and on-campus? Yes! This is a residential, in-person REU in Summer 2023.

    Are UVA students encouraged to apply?  UVA students are not discouraged to apply.  That said, generally, REU Program Directors are eager to offer opportunities to students outside their home institutions.  Why? Because these students' schools may not be major research institutions or they may not have systems bioengineering and biomedical data science as a research thrust.

    Am I matched to a specific lab or mentor when I get my offer?  Usually, there is a delay between being admitted, accepting the position and being matched to a lab and mentor.  That said, the program director, Dr. Allen, has a pretty good idea, before making you an offer, about which specific lab, or which handful of labs, you might match to. And he has already started reaching out those labs ahead of time, so that they, too, can get exicted about you! 


  • Other REUs at UVA that May Interest You


    The Summer Research Internship Program provides an outstanding environment to learn first hand about a career in biomedical research while preparing to succeed in gaining admission to graduate school. Many of our former SRIP participants have matriculated into M.D./Ph.D. and Ph.D. programs, including at UVA. The program hosts approximately 35 students each year. The program targets, but is not limited to, racially and ethnically diverse students in their junior and senior years. 

    NIH Diabetes Summer Research Program (UVA Students Encouraged to Apply)

    The objectives of the program are to train the next generation of scientists and engineers to build an interdisciplinary research pipeline in the field of diabetes research and treatment through participating in challenging diabetes- related projects supervised by research mentors from UVA. It includes seminar- based lectures, individual student-tailored research projects, and clinical immersion. Specific emphasis is given to students from traditionally underrepresented racial, gender, and ethnic groups in the STEM and biomedical research fields.  Each year the program hosts around 12 students.

    Applied Materials Sysnthesis NSF REU Site

    This REU site offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students in the mid-Atlantic region to engage in research in advanced materials synthesis in a 10-week program from May 30 through August 4, 2023. Participants will join an interdisciplinary research team on UVA Grounds for training in materials science and engineering, state-of-the-art research methods, the research culture and science communication. Participants will also benefit from mentorship activities, workshops and seminars to prepare for their next steps and successful careers in industry, national laboratories and academia