Medical Student Summer Research Program

Medical Student Summer Research Program in Infection and Immunity

Director: Daniel L. Mueller 
Administrator: Sue Prause Email about the program

Our comprehension of the immune system and its roles in both host protection and disease pathogenesis is currently undergoing a revolution. It is now clear that the immune system not only
protects against dangerous pathogens, suppresses malignant tumors, regulates wound healing, and contributes to chronic allograft failures, but also plays causal roles in seemingly non-immunological
diseases such as atherosclerosis/thrombosis, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and metabolic syndrome. In parallel with this increased scientific appreciation of immune cell function,
there has been an acute rise in the public’s interest in immunity-boosting supplements and probiotics. 

At the University of Minnesota, there has been an explosion of interest in immunology and the role it plays in everyday health. This interest has led to the creation of a world-class, NIH-funded immunology program through the Medical School’s Center for Immunology (CFI). Starting in 2014, an eight-week Summer Medical Student Research program has been offered annually to six first-year University of Minnesota medical students through the Center for Immunology. We now offer medical students the opportunity for a directed-research experience in the area of Infection and Immunity, within the Center for Immunology.

This student research program offers a chance for students to gain mentor-directed research experience in the areas of Infection and Immunity. Successful applicants to this program not only attain a greater appreciation for scientific discovery and immunology to aid them in their future medical practice, but they also lay the groundwork for entry into an Academic Medicine career pathway. In addition to one-on-one faculty mentoring, students participate in weekly immunology literature reviews and focused discussions on immunity and health between faculty and current Center for Immunology students.  Participants also have the opportunity to develop a research poster and PowerPoint presentation based on their work during the summer, as well as an opportunity to present their scientific results at the national conference for the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Program benefits

  • $4,222 estimated stipend for 2-month full-time summer research experience (July 1 st through August 26th, 2021) will be provided to up to 7 University of Minnesota medical students.
  • Laboratory-based research experience under the guidance of a Center for Immunology investigator.
  • Weekly immunology literature review and focused discussion on immunity and health between faculty and students.
  • Development of research poster and PowerPoint presentation from your own work. 
  • Opportunity to present your scientific results at a national meeting.

Selection of students

  • Applicants must be 1st year University of Minnesota medical students in good standing at either the Twin Cities or Duluth campus.

  • Submit  (a) an updated CV
                   (b) past undergraduate and current medical school transcripts (unofficial is acceptable)
                   (c) names of 2 references, and
                   (d) a ≤1–page cover letter that details your past research experiences, describes your interests in immunity and science as it relates to medicine, and expresses your commitment to diversity in academic medicine to Dr. Daniel Mueller by email at Please include a rank list of potential laboratory mentors if you desire.
  • Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, with selection of candidates expected by March 1, 2021 .

NIH T35 Medical Student Summer Research Program in Infection and Immunity 2021 Preceptors

Bryce Binstadt, Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Bruce Blazar
, Professor, Pediatrics
Paul Bohjanen, Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
David Boulware, Associate Professor, Medicine
Michael Farrar, Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Brian Fife, Assistant Professor, Medicine
Tanya Freedman, Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Thomas Griffith, Associate Professor, Urology
Sara Hamilton Hart, Assistant Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Reuben Harris, Professor, Biochemistry
Geoffrey Hart, Assistant Professor, Medicine
Kristin Hogquist, Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Stephen Jameson, Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Marc Jenkins, Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Alexander Khoruts, Associate Professor, Medicine
Ryan Langlois, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
David Masopust, Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Jeffery Miller, Professor, Medicine
Jaime Modiano, Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Daniel MuellerProfessor of Medicine
Kirsten Nielsen, Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Professor, Pediatrics
Erik Peterson, Associate Professor, Medicine
Marco Pravetoni, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Mark Schleiss, Professor, Pediatrics
Kaylee Schwertfeger, Associate Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Yoji Shimizu, Professor, Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
Ingunn Stromnes, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Vaiva Vezys, Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
Chun Wang, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Carston Wagner, Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
Bruce Walcheck, Professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Gretchen Hoff presenting her data








2014 poster session 2015 Poster Session






2017 posters2017 Poster Session