HRP SU23-24: Research Opportunity with Dr. Leslie Loew

Project Mentor

Dr. Leslie Loew
Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling, Department of Cell Biology

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description The lab is using computational methods to understand cell function. The project will involve learning how to use a cell modeling software tool that was developed in my lab called SpringSaLaD ( You will use it to understand the molecular and cellular principles controlling the assembly of molecular machines composed of many individual molecules containing multiple binding sites. If you are interested in computer programming, there will also be the opportunity to work on improving SpringSaLaD.
Project Direction
We are particularly interested in how molecules interact to form functional molecular assemblies, including machines like ribosomes and more plastic structures like liquid droplets. What features of the molecules allow them to reliably and robustly assemble into functional biological nano-structures?
For the software project, we are developing user-friendly software to allow biophysicists to understand complex multi-molecular assembly processes.
Mentorship and Supervision I will confer with the student on a daily basis and have a comprehensive progress discussion weekly. My door is always open and all my students are encouraged to “bother me” when questions arise. Periodically, the student will be asked to present an informal progress report at my lab meetings. At the end of the summer, there will be an opportunity for the student to present her/his progress to the entire Center.
Student Qualifications Courses in physical chemistry or biophysical chemistry. For the software project, experience programming in Python and/or Java.
Minimum GPA: 3.5; Minimum Science GPA: 3.5
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 22 to July 28, 2023
Schedule: To be arranged within schedule parameters of M-F, 8am-6pm, but there is flexibility.
Project Continuation Fall 2023, Spring 2024
Academic Year Time Commitment 6 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, January 30, 2023.

This application requires a cover letter, a resume or CV, an unofficial transcript, GPA, science GPA, and a brief statement of research interests. Names and contact information for two faculty members or other individuals who are familiar with your scientific abilities should be provided in the application.