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Undergraduate Intern

Iowa City, IA, USA

Job Type

Part Time

About the Role

Undergraduate interns in the lab obtain foundational training in the biological mechanisms of neuronal plasticity underlying learning & memory, neuronal alterations in genetic/neurodevelopmental disorders, or metabolic alterations in genetic disorders.

Interns typically focus on one project during the academic year, gaining experience that prepares them for further study in graduate school, medical school, or other life sciences-oriented professions. More intensive summer opportunities are potentially available as well.

Interested? Email Seth Tomchik for further information.


  • Strong interest in immersive learning about research in one of our lab's major areas of research: learning and memory, genetic/neurodevelopmental disorders (NF1), and/or metabolism.

  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program in Biology, Neuroscience, or a related area.

About the Lab

Our research focuses intensively on dissecting the mechanisms of learning and memory in normal conditions and in models of genetic disorders (primarily neurofibromatosis type 1 [NF1]). Genetic disorders such as NF1 affect learning and memory, as well as a range of other cognitive and behavioral processes, increasing the risk of developing comorbidities including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, we seek to understand both how learning and memory works in normal conditions, as well as how genetic disorders affect neuronal function broadly. This research involves technical approaches ranging from genetics & biochemistry to in vivo imaging with genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters and circuit manipulation with thermo/optogenetics. These experiments involve the mechanistically powerful genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster and human induced pluripotent stem cells.

We provide a positive, collaborative environment with open communication, continually increasing the creativity/rigor/depth of our science, supporting the search for truth and fight for justice in all realms, and fostering individual advancement of our lab members. Diversity is key to both our culture and success.

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