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Undergraduate Students and Short-term Graduate students

Undergraduate students can work in the laboratories of MNIMBS as volunteers, temps and UROP students. Please see the UROP page for detail on that opportunity.

Participation in the MNIMBS labs allows undergraduate students to experience first hand the exceptional synergy created by the multidisciplinary approach to research that exists at the Institute. Students experience the interdisciplinary environment and learn various techniques and their applications at a much earlier stage in their training than is the norm. Students may attend MNIMBS meetings to get a feel for the intellectual exchange that goes on at the meetings.

MNIMBS is uniquely positioned to provide this experience as its faculty members in the physical sciences, engineering and the biomedical sciences have utilized the extensive biological and medical research capabilities of this Institute to further their research.


Total University of Michigan Paid Student Temporaries by year at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences























2013 YTD


Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the Institute, students' experiences in the lab are always unique as can be seen below. In the adjuvant vaccine lab, students will learn sterile techniques, tissue culture, ELISA, microscopy, flow cytometry, virology, immunology, microbiology, etc.  Students involved with targeted drug delivery may learn about tissue culture with a variety of cell lines, XTT assays and other xytotoxicity techniques. For those involved with the chemistry side, they will learn how to handle corrosive, anhydrous, toxic and flammable materials. Student will learn about synthesis and conjugation as well as chemical techniques such as column chromatography, thin layer chromatography, gel electrophoresis, vacuuming, infrared spectroscopy, etc. Students may learn analytical chemistry skills such as HPLC. Link to the Undergraduate Student listing to see what students are doing or have done.

For undergraduate student opportunities, students can email Clara Verweij at:

FORMER Undergraduate Students

Charles Schuler, BS, Medical Student in summer Biomedical Sciences Research Program. Chase graduated in May 2010 from the University of Michigan with a degree in Biology and a minor in Music. He remained at Michigan for medical school and completed his first year in June 2011, spending the summer of 2011 working under Pam Wong, PhD. His work centered on a project elucidating the biophysical properties of nanoemulsions’ interactions with mucin and how these properties may relate to immunogenicity.

Nick Orr will graduate in 2012 with a degree in cellular and molecular biology. He works with Dr. Igor Belyakov, assisting with in vitro studies involving novel dendrimer-linked drugs/peptides inhibiting lymphocyte-endothelial cell adhesion. He looks forward to using mouse models of inflammatory bowel disease to observe dendrimer effects in vivo.

Justin Silpe is an undergraduate senior pursuing an individual concentration program in “Theoretical Medicine & Bioethics”. He began his work last year as a UROP student under Dr. Seok Ki Choi at MNiMBS studying the release kinetics of a photolabile linker exposed to varying wavelengths and pH environments. Working today alongside the Banaszak Holl group, Justin continues to work with Dr. Choi, as one of UROP's Summer Biomedical & Life Science fellows, on the SPR binding studies of precisely defined methotrexate ligands.

Olga Lykhytska is an undergraduate in LS&A and will major in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science or Neuroscience. She wants to work in the health field. Olga assists Ankur Desai in sample preparation, release kinetic studies, and quality control of dendrimer conjugates using HPLC/UPLC, SEC, and LC Mass Spectrometer. Olga expects to graduate in 2013 and then go to Medical School.

Sophia Bharathi has a Masters degree in chemistry from India and first volunteered in the chemistry and biology labs. She learned various techniques such as UPLC, HPLC, GPC, Mass specrometry, NMR and tissue culture work. She woreds under Dr. Thomas with Alina Kotlyar, MS, assisting her with tissue culture work, flow cytometry and cytotoxicity experiments. She assised Ankur Desai, MS  in preparing and organizing  the samples for analytical studies. She occasionally works alongside Justin Silpe learning the SPR technique from him. She assisted Dr. Yeuhua Zhang with synthesis and drug release kinetics.  She subsequently came on staff until July 2010 when she joined her husband in Texas.

An Nguyen is a undergraduate in the LS&A majoring in Biochemistry and works with Dr. Zhang and assist him with his triggered drug delivery project. She assists in synthesis, purification, and characterization of a new hydrogel. She also assists in drug release tests. After she graduates in 2013, she plans to pursue a career in medicine and attend medical school. 

Kelly McCarthy is an undergraduate in LS&A. She intends to graduate in 2013 with degrees in Evolutionary Anthropology and Chemistry, and to pursue a career health. Currently, she assists Dr. Myc with his work on nano-emulsion and its behavior on various tissues and organisms.

Emily Hoff just graduated from Greenhills School and will be a freshman at Middlebury College in the fall.  She plans to study biology and sociology and will graduate in 2015. During her time in the MNIMBS vaccine lab working wiht Dr. Dougals Smith, she learned sterile techniques, tissue culture, ELISA, and microscopy, as well as observing in vivo techniques.

Katherine Selwa is a senior in high school working with Dr. Sascha Goonewardena, studying the effect of catecholamines on macrophage response to LPS.  She has developed an interest in immunologic memory and its similarities to neuronal long term potentiation.  She is learning tissue culture techniques, collection of RNA and protein, western blot electrophoresis, as well as some flow cytometry and microscopy.

Nabeel Salka is an undergraduate Biomedical Engineering student. He has helped Dr. Kukowska-Latallo through his work with tissue culture, cytotoxicity assays, flow cytometry, PCR, and gel electrophoresis. Nabeel will graduate in 2014 and plans to become a doctor.

Melvin Joice is currently studying biomedical engineering and pre-med at the College of Engineering. He expects to graduate in 2014 and head to a medical school to receive medical training. He has yet to decide on a specific field of medicine but is leaning towards pediatrics or cardiology. After a few years in the medical field, he would like to get his degree in education and teach at a medical institution. This past year, he worked on dendrimer-based tumor-cell targeting. Using a G5-PAMAM dendrimer, conjugated with a chemotherapeutic drug, and epidural growth factor, he looked to selectively kill cancer cells. This study utilizes DHFR and XTT assays. His supervisor is Dr. Thommey Thomas and he works closely with Dr. Seok Ki Choi and Alina Kotylar, MS.

Todor Gadjev graduated in 2013. He continued to work in our laboratory learning many immunological techniques and actively participating in the onging research.

Eric Klomparens will graduate in 2013, possibly in Biochemistry. He works on the biological testing of targeted cancer therapeutics.

Tiffany Pham will graduate in 2012 in Biochemistry. She is testing different type of drugs on cancer cells. She plans to become a doctor and continue with medical research.

Jeremy Gam is a Biomedical Engineering student who will graduate in 2012. He works with both Biology and Chemistry faculty and thus learns to do synthesis of drug-linker molecules and dendrimer conjugates as well biological testing of these materials.

On April 18, 2011, Jeremy won Second Prize UnderGraduate student for his poster on his project, Targeted Nanodendrimeric Anticancer Prodrug: Disulfide-linked Doxorubicin Conjugates as a Potential Therapeutic, at the Herbert D. Doan Nanotechnology Symposium.






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