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

Maureen Carey, Infectious Diseases and International Health/Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: metabolic networks, enteric infections in children

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

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

Greg Medlock, Pediatrics  / Biomedical Engineering
Research areas: host-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions, infectious disease

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 2021)

    In order to participate in the Summer 2021 REU Program, applicants must be:

    • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
    • Full-time undergraduate students returning Fall 2021
    • Priority consideration will be given to rising seniors (graduating by summer 2022)
    • Available for the duration of the 10-week program (May 31 - August 7)


    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’s REU ETAP application. 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

    • Priority review for applications will begin on February 15, 2021.
    • The deadline for completed applications (including support letters) is midnight on March 1, 2021
    • The program dates are May 31 - August 7, 2021.


    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. 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:

    Hannah Moore
    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 #1560282

    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

    2021 Program FAQs

    Is there a 2021 contingency plan, given COVID-19? Yes, the plan is to offer either a hybrid REU (virtual for a few weeks, transitioning to in-person) or a fully virtual REU (similar to what we offered last summer).  A lot will depend on the evolving situation with UVA Conferences (who handles summer housing), and they will be guided in due time by the UVA Provost Office.

    Will you make offers, before knowing if the program will be in-person, hybrid or fully virtual?  Yes. We will begin making offers as soon as February 15, 2021 (our deadline for priority consideration).  We're almost certain not to have a decision by that time.

    Are UVA students encouraged to apply?  UVA students are not discouraged to apply.  As a matter of fact, last Summer 2020, when our program was 100% virtual, we even had supplemental funds from non-NSF sources just for UVA students.  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?  Normally, no, not yet.  Dr. Allen usually matches students to labs once he has the entire summer cohort assembled.  At that point, he is able to balance students' stated interests/prior experiences and goals with labs and mentors.

  • Other REUs at UVA that May Interest You

    Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering REU Mentors may also be mentors for these summer research programs at UVA.


    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.