Carnegie Mellon University

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SURP Poster Session 2011

The 2011 Summer Undergraduate Research Program Concludes

On August 2, the 2011 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) hosted by the Department of Biological Sciences concluded with a poster session and research symposium. SURP is an umbrella program comprised of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU), Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Scholars, HHMI Researchers, and HHMI Summer Research Institute (SRI). The 61 participants from Carnegie Mellon and other institutions conducted research with faculty mentors in cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, neuroscience and computational biology.

Four HHMI Scholars, ten NSF-REU participants, three HHMI Reseachers and one ASM undergraduate research fellow presented 8-minute talks about their research at the SURP Research Symposium. To view a complete listing of presentations, please visit

At the SURP Poster Session, 37 students showcased posters on diverse topics such as the required domains of APC2 for cortical localization in Drosophila Melanogaster, the analysis of mouse behavior based on sound and relating immune response to stem cell differentiation. Undergraduates, mentors, departmental staff and other members of the campus community attended both events.

“[It] was an amazing opportunity to experience what it's like to be in a laboratory full time,” stated NSF-REU participant Hala Rosa Saad, who studied the role of wnt signaling at the blastula stage in Patiria miniata within the Hinman Lab.

Teal Russell, another NSF-REU student, had a similar experience. “I worked in Dr. Philip LeDuc's lab with his graduate student Mary Beth Wilson on endothelial cell micropatterning. Our goal was to use microfluidic channels to create a vascularized tissue construct, which is important for engineering complex synthetic organs. In addition to my research, I also learned about many other projects going on in Carnegie Mellon’s biological sciences department, giving me a good idea of what it would be like to do research there as a graduate student… I had a well-rounded summer experience that was both academically and personally enriching.”

SURP is aimed towards providing undergraduates with a strong platform to train in scientific research and prepare them for careers in the field through active participation in current laboratory. For more information on the program, please visit

View photos from the Symposium and Poster Session on Flickr