Academic Year Research Projects

Anyone interested in conducting

302 Jr. research during the academic year MUST:

  • attend the mandatory meeting each semester, see the sidebar for the date.

  • get 3 faculty signatures on the registration form.

    • The form will serve as the Instructor's Permission override.
      • You will be notified when YOU NEED to ADD the course in HOMER 
    • The last day to add this the last day of add/drop.

Interested in 200- or 400-level research?

  • Students are strongly encouraged to come to the meeting, or talk to their potential research advisor directly, but it is not mandatory nor are signatures required.


The following are projects being conducted by students for Research in Biology (BIOL-30200-xx*).

There are both academic year and summer research opportunities available. (Note: projects may change without notice.)



  • Mechanisms and pathways of cholesterol transport inside cells
  • Effect of the cholesterol environment on protein function and its relation to diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
  • Cholesterol homeostasis


  • Compare, via in silico identification, virulence factors which are unique to Chlamydia species and allow for host adaptation
  • Create Chlamydia virulence factors fusion with fluorescent proteins via in vitro moleculer cloning
  • Contrast spatial and temporal regulation of Chlamydia virulence factors via in vivo over expression during infection and "immunity".
  • Develop hybrid Chlamydia strains for in vivo screening of increased/decreased host specificity


  • Electrophysiological characterization of individual neurons in the cardiac ganglion
  • Analysis of changes in neuronal gene expression using PCR and immunohistochemistry
  • Biochemical analysis of changes in protein levels using Western Blot analysis


  • Using a genome-wide microarray-based approach, identify and characterize novel genes regulated by splicing coupled to mRNA decay
  • Identify conserved cis-regulatory sequences important for changes in splicing 
  • Examine the role of kinases in gene regulation
  • Study the effects of co-transcriptional recruitment of regulatory factors on gene control


  • Personality in dwarf hamsters, especially movement correlation with social and antipredator responses

  • Effects of recreation trails on wildlife movement

  • Amphibian migration: conservation and population monitoring

  • ICNL deer density and impacts


  • Evolution of Nematode Dosage Compensation Mechanisms


  • Adaptation to UV radiation exposure in the freshwater crustacean Daphnia (water flea), including:

  - DNA repair kinetics
  - Protection from DNA damage by melanin pigmentation
  - Gene expression in response to UV radiation exposure   

  •  Role of gut microflora in adaptation to algal food supply in Brachionus rotifers (“wheel animals”)


  • Investigating embolism refilling in the xylem of plants using microprobe technique
  • Understanding how the patterns of leaf venation alters herbivory tolerance
  • Studying the effects of nutrients and drought on plant fitness.


  • Biochemical identification and characterization of the essential components of a unique biological glue
  • Biochemical and mechanical experiments to characterize the mechanism of adhesion and to test hypotheses of how the glue components contribute to performance
  • Histological analysis of the secretory cells that produce the glue


  • Collaborative research on Puerto Rican plants
  • Phylogenetic Reconstruction of plants belonging to the Genus Gurania (Cucurbitaceae)
  • Projects in Sustainability Science


  • Clone a gene expressed in somatosensory neurons.  Carefully document the spatial and temporal characteristics of its expression.  Overexpress the gene product via mRNA injection to assess its effects on somatosensory development.
  • Make a line of transgenic fish that inducibly overexpresses a gene. Analyze the effect of overexpression on development or behavior, especially with regard to somatosensation. 
  • Make a transgenic line that expresses a reporter gene (eg GFP) in a specific neuronal cell type.  Via live imaging of transgenic animals, examine the dynamics of this cell type as it develops and connects with the rest of the nervous system.
  • Analyze the phenotype of a mutation in a gene expressed in somatosensory neurons.
  •  Plan, develop, build, and test equipment and software necessary to measure and analyze anxiety behaviors in larval zebrafish.


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