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Student Research Opportunities

About the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program 

REU participants

Each year, the Stanford Bioengineering department offers Stanford undergraduates an opportunity to conduct research with its department faculty and research groups, as part of its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The summer program is 10-weeks long (June through August) and is full time (40 hours per week).  The REU program is supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Office of Student Affairs in the School of Engineering ,and the Department of Bioengineering.

All current Stanford students are eligible to apply.  Students selected into the program will be matched to a research project and faculty member.  Participating students also attend lunch seminars throughout the summer where faculty present on their research, discuss career paths, and answer questions from students. The program concludes with the REU poster session, where REU participants share their research with the BioE community.

REU Program projects

Each year BioE offers approximately 25 projects with our BioE faculty. Given the breadth of our faculty and research, there is a wide range in the projects that BioE offers. Examples of recent research projects include:

Jennifer Cochran
Engineering antibodies as novel cancer therapeutics

Project Description: The Cochran lab uses a technique called yeast display to express millions of protein variants on the surface of yeast cells. We can then sort these cells to discover molecules, like antibodies, with beneficial properties. Our goal for this project is to engineer an antibody which binds specifically to a mutated protein found on the surface of cancer cells but not healthy cells.

Markus Covert 
Whole-cell computational modeling of Escherichia coli

Project Description: The Covert Lab created the first computational model of a cell that took all the genes into account and could successfully predict cellular physiology - an advance that was reported around the world and highlighted by the journal Cell as one of its most important publications during it's 40th anniversary celebration. Now we are working to expand this modeling approach to E. coli - with 10 times as many genes, roughly 50 times as many molecules and far more complexity on the whole, but also with incredible value to both academia and industry.

Alison Marsden
Patient-specific computational flow modeling for precision endovascular treatment of complex abdominal aortic aneurysms

Project Description: The Marsden Lab develops fundamental computational methods for the study of cardiovascular disease progression, surgical methods, treatment planning and medical devices. Branched and fenestrated endografts represent the forefront of minimally-invasive endovascular treatment of complex abdominal aortic aneurysms (EVAR). This project aims to develop computational fluid dynamic arterial models for assessing the hemodynamic performance of branched, fenestrated and mixed endograft designs. We further plan to develop a virtual testing framework to enable patient-specific simulation of complex EVAR strategies, thus allowing surgeons to precisely determine the most optimal device configuration for treating a specific patient.

Stanley Qi
CRISPR technologies for long-lasting gene regulation

Project Description: The Qi Lab is interested in developing technologies for discovery-based synthetic biology and gene and cell therapy. CRISPR technologies have been rapidly deployed for manipulating the function of the cell via genome engineering and altering gene regulation. This project will investigate the potential of these technologies for inducing durable gene regulation by investigating combinations of CRISPR-based gene regulation domains. These optimized molecules will be assessed for their activity locally and within the genome, and will be characterized thoroughly to understand the bases for effective gene regulation on endogenous genes.