Integrative Molecular Plant Systems Research Experience

Participants in the NC State 2017 REU


The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology welcome applications for the Integrative Molecular Plant Systems Undergraduate Research Experience. NCSU has a strong core of plant biologists who are working in the areas of sustainable foods, fuels, and developing model systems for studying fundamental biological mechanisms. During the 10-week summer program, students will actively engage in a research project under the mentorship of a participating faculty member. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

The program is open to all rising sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program leading to a baccalaureate degree with a demonstrated interest in molecular biology. Applicants will be evaluated based on their statement of interest, transcript, and letters of recommendation. We particularly encourage students from institutions other than NCSU to apply, though there will be one slot available for an NCSU student. Prior research experience is not required. North Carolina State University is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from underrepresented groups, including minorities and people with disabilities.

This program is only open to US citizens and permanent residents.

This is a summer program that will run Monday, May 28 – Thursday, August 2, 2018.

The program kicks off with a three-day “Biotechnology Bootcamp”, where participants will learn critical molecular biology laboratory skills. Participants will pursue independent research projects for the remainder of the summer under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students will also have multiple public-speaking opportunities to present their research, including a poster presentation at the campus-wide undergraduate research symposium at the end of the program.


Faculty Mentor Research Focus
Dr. José Alonso and Dr. Anna Stepanova Molecular mechanisms of auxin biosynthesis and its regulation, ethylene and auxin interactions, gene-specific regulation of protein translation in hormone responses
Dr. Colleen Doherty Using time to understand plant responses to abiotic stress, how the circadian clock and photoperiod modulate stress signaling pathways
Dr. Robert Franks Molecular genetic mechanisms of gene regulation required for ovule and seed development in the flowering plant, Arabidopsis thaliana
Dr. Amy Grunden Biotechnological applications of extremophiles for biofuel production, bioremediation and crop improvement
Dr. Linda Hanley- Bowdoin SEGS (sequences that enhance geminivirus symptoms): How do they overcome disease resistance in cassava and threaten food security In Africa?
Peter Ojiambo Associating mating type to fungicide resistance in the oomycete Pseudoperonospora cubensis, causal agent of cucurbit downy mildew
Lina Quesada Management, diagnostics, population genetics, and genomics of pathogens infecting vegetable crops.
Dr. Ross Sozzani Molecular mechanisms regulating stem cell maintenance, cell proliferation and cell fate decisions during root development.
Dr. Cranos Williams Development of novel modeling and computational tools for advancing the comprehensive understanding of emergent properties in biochemical pathways associated with plant growth, development, and adaptation.


Stipends, room, board, and travel expenses are provided.

Stipend: $5,550 for the 10-week session

Room and board: Apartment-style accommodations on-campus

Travel expenses: Round-trip air travel will be provided to participants who do not live within driving distance of the program

Applications and recommendation letters are due by Friday, February 23, 2018 to be guaranteed full consideration.

The application requires uploading a personal statement and transcript. Please have these ready prior to filling out the application form.

The one-­page personal statement should demonstrate why you are interested in science and research, your career and educational goals, and why you think this research experience would benefit you. Include any laboratory skills, research experience, awards, honors, or extracurricular activities you would like us to know about. Please also discuss preferred areas of research based on sample projects on our website.

Submit your application, including statement of purpose and transcript, to

Downloaded or scanned transcripts are acceptable.

Ask one faculty member to submit a letter of recommendation to


Dr. Imara Perera, Assistant Director (

Dr. Susan Carson, Director (


Chancellor Randy Woodson engaged at the 2014 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium with REU student Jonathan Eagle and PI, Dr. Sue Carson.