Many students involved in the REU program continue laboratory research through their undergraduate lives, which can lead to their post-undergraduate careers.
The REU Summer Undergraduate Research Program at GWU is a training and research program that familiarizes students with scientific laboratory research. Fellowships of $4,000 are available for all participants.
Students begin their summer research experience by attending an intense, one-week molecular biology and bioinformatics orientation workshop. After the workshop each student goes to a DC-area (including GWU campus) laboratory to conduct research for 9 weeks with their own mentors.
The main goal of the summer workshop is to familiarize students with the basic techniques and skills required for molecular biological and bioinformatics oriented research. There is also a conscious effort to incorporate mathematical and computational exercises into every aspect of the workshop.
Students are trained in a variety of laboratory skills ranging from general laboratory practices, laboratory safety, biochemical and molecular biological techniques, and computational skills. There are four main modules:
o pipetting, general rules, “laboratory culture,” and safety
o protein isolation, native and SDS gel electrophoresis, general protein staining,
and western or immunoblot analysis
o DNA transformation, bacterial selection, plasmid isolation, DNA insert
determination by restriction enzyme or PCR-based analysis and DNA
o introduction to bioinformatics
After the workshop, students work in research labs. These include labs in GW’s Biology, Physics, Computer Science Departments, the Medical School, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Children's National Medical Center . Each student works on a discrete project. based on their interest in the mentors' research projects, for the 9 weeks of their research experience.
Students give three oral presentations to the entire group during the summer, approximately one month apart. The first presentation is given at the beginning of the program to address their research questions. The second presentation is held in the middle of the program to report their progress in their projects. Then they finish their summer with a professional-type Poster Symposium where they present the results of their research. Posters will be evaluated by both mentors and peers, and feedback will be sent to students for future reference.
Summer 2008 project topics:
1. Prediction and validation of HCV virus-derived miRNAs and their targets
2. Observation of motifs that participate in alternative splicing
3. Using nanosphere lithography to fabricate hexagonally arranged gold nanoparticles
4. Chromatin structure and epigenetics on repetitive elements: a genomic study
5. Multi-locus sequence typing for Necator americanus
6. Vesicle phase dynamics and the effect of nanoparticle characteristics on vesicle internalization
7. Positive feedback induction of amylin aggregation by externalized phosphatidylserine in the development of Type II diabetes mellitus
8. Identifying genes in the drosophila genome: Is CG12207 the red malpighian tubules gene in Drosophila melanogaster?
9. Locating the Cardinal (cd) eye color gene
10. Degradation of oxidized proteins in glyoxysomes
11. Systematics of species in the catch-all genus Knodus
12. The role of 185/333 proteins in the immune system of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
13. Group facilitation of Acharia stimulea
14. Role of catecholamines in heart tube formation in developing chicken embryos
15. Tricyclics and their effects on lipid vesicles
More details on the project