Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Jay Leipheimer.

By assisting faculty with a variety of experiments, Jay Leipheimer builds both his skill set and his resume while applying concepts he’s learning in the classroom.

Share in the excitement of scientific discovery while exploring career opportunities in microbiology, immunology and related biomedical fields.

Gain research experience in our labs and significantly enhance your undergraduate work. We offer valuable opportunities that go beyond classroom learning in biochemistry, biomedical science, the biological sciences or related fields.

You will engage in experiments as you are mentored by our faculty investigators. You may be able to volunteer, earn credit or fill a work-study position.

You also may be eligible to work with our faculty in universitywide programs that offer financial support, including:

Jump-Start Your Research Career

As a student researcher, you will gain insight into the entire research process, learning from various members of your research team. Under your mentor’s guidance, you will build on skills and concepts from your coursework. You will contribute to new knowledge aimed at understanding disease mechanisms and organisms, and host defenses against them.

Our faculty also engage undergraduates in collaborative research through the Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology.

You may continue working in the same lab for a semester or longer, carrying out longer-term projects. This will give you a better opportunity to be listed as a co-author on publications in scientific journals. This will help make your resume competitive when you apply to graduate school, MD programs or other pursuits.

Present Your Research

We give you several opportunities to share your research projects — usually through poster presentations — and vie for awards.

CURCA students present at the Celebration of Student Academic Excellence; SURE participants at the Buffalo Summer Research Day. We also encourage you to present with your lab team at local and regional conferences on immunology, microbial pathogenesis and DNA replication and repair.

If you are a highly productive undergraduate student-researcher who makes major contributions to an important paper, you may have opportunities to present at national or international research forums. In these cases, the cost of your participation will almost certainly be supported through your mentor’s research grant or awards that you earn.

Gain Real-World Lab Experience

Participating in laboratory meetings gives you insight into life in a research lab and connects you to fellow researchers — from other undergraduates through senior faculty members.

In your lab, you also will have opportunities to gain experience with state-of-the-art techniques and processes.

Our undergraduate researchers have engaged in studies to:

  • explore intracellular trafficking of the HIV envelope protein complex using the fluorescent dye FlAsH
  • study how opposing forces affect the Escherichia coli DNA helicase RecBCD, using fluorescent beads at the single molecule level
  • characterize how the E. coli single-stranded binding protein interacts with two DNA replication fork repair helicases using imaging technology in live cells
  • study branch migration, the late stage of DNA recombination, at the level of individual DNA molecules
  • study cellular gene expression in mice with Toxoplasma gondii infection

Pursue Independent Study

Through our research tutorial course — MIC 499 Independent Study — we give you opportunities to play a small role in a microbiology or immunology research project. You will gain valuable laboratory experience while earning one to eight credits. You need to arrange to take the course with one of our faculty researchers who agrees to mentor you.

Find a Research Opportunity

You may find a research mentor through several avenues:

Search for Faculty

Our searchable faculty profiles describe faculty research interests and ongoing projects:

Research Opportunity Listings

Faculty who are actively seeking student researchers list their projects in the Experiental Learning Network. The Experiential Learning Network also maintains a listing of summer and national research opportunities.

Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

Students participating in CSTEP can find lab mentors in the biomedical sciences.

Ask Your Professors

Talk to faculty whose science classes you have taken. They may be able to suggest other faculty with whom you might work.

Student Clubs

Student organizations host speakers, facilitate shadowing opportunities and connect you with peers who share your interests—all of which may help you find a project mentor.

Contact Us

If you have questions about our undergraduate research opportunities in microbiology or immunology, please contact:

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Jacobs, Amy

Amy Jacobs, PhD

Research Associate Professor

955 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14203

Phone: (716) 829-2085

Email: ajacobs2@buffalo.edu