UAMS Summer Undergraduate Research Program to Increase Diversity in Research

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Graduate School and Center for Diversity Affairs offer a NHLBI (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) funded program entitled the UAMS Summer Undergraduate Research Program to Increase Diversity in Research. This 9 week program was designed to provide students with experiences in cardiovascular, pulmonary, or hematologic research.

To increase interest in research careers, students will be provided with:

1. research, mentoring and networking experiences
2. real-life surgical observations
3. simulated cardiovascular demonstrations
4. leadership skills
5. lecture series on various research topics and responsible conduct of research training

Program Details

SURP student participants will conduct a research project with a UAMS faculty mentor (list of available faculty below). Students accepted into the program will be given the opportunity to list three faculty that they would like to work with. All efforts will be made to match students with faculty that they are interested in. If those faculty are not available, the Program Directors will identify another faculty mentor. At the end of the summer, students will present their summer research and develop a 2-page paper summarizing the research project and results. They are also required to attend lectures throughout the summer. Approximately 3-5 hours of lectures will be held weekly (usually mornings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).
Important Dates

Application deadline (ALL materials must be received by this date):
February 15, 2017

Students notified of status:

Dates of program:
June 5-August 4, 2017


Application Procedures

Students will be provided a salary of $3600 for the nine week period and a per diem of $2400 is available for housing and/or travel to scientific meetings. To qualify for the program, applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants who are a member of an underrepresented group (African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Alaska native, Hawaiian native, or native of the US Pacific Islands), disabled, or from a disadvantaged background are encouraged to apply. Students with a background in biology or chemistry are preferred and applicants must have completed at least one year of undergraduate education. In addition, students who will complete their degree prior to the start of the program are not eligible.

Application Requirements

1. Application. If you encounter any problems with the application, please contact Dr. Sterba at The application is now closed for summer 2017. 

2. Unofficial copies of undergraduate transcripts

3. Two letters of recommendation from faculty using recommendation form available online (click here to access). Faculty may also download the LOR form and mail it in.

Please note: The  letters of recommendation form require Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and fill out.

Please submit all materials to the name and address below. ALL application materials must be received by February 15, 2017. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.  Please contact Dr. Sterba ( to confirm receipts of materials. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure all application materials have been received.

Dr. Kristen Sterba
4301 W. Markham Slot 601B
Little Rock, AR 72205

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kristen Sterba (; 501-526-7396).

Participating Faculty

Name Rank Department Research Interest
Giulia Baldini, M.D., Ph.D. Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research in obesity and diabetes with focus on studying a biochemical pathway in the brain hypothalamus that regulates food intake
Alexei Basnakian, M.D., Ph.D. Associate Professor Pharmacology and Toxicology LDL isoforms  in kidney-related artherosclerosis
Jon Blevins, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Microbiology and Immunology Lyme disease
Karl Boehme, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Microbiology and Immunology Molecular pathogenesis of mammalian reovirus
Marjan Boerman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences Cardiac radiation biology
Paul Gottschall, Ph.D. Professor Pharmacology and Toxicology Cerebral amyloid angiopathyCNS pathology of neonatal hyposia-ischemia
Howard Hendrickson, Ph.D. Associate Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences Metabolic and cardiovascular effects of herbal supplements.  
Fusun Kilic, Ph.D. Associate Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Blood serotonin role in hypertension-associated thrombosis
Julia Liu, M.D., M.Sc.  Associate Professor Gastroenterology and Hepatology Understanding the role of innate immune mediated cell death and barrier dysfunction in the pathogenesis of  inflammatroy bowel disease
Paul Miller, Ph.D. Associate Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Improved coagulant therapy and structure, function and evolution of cytochrome P450s
Steven Post, Ph.D. Professor Pathology Molecular and physiological basis of cardiovascular disease
Elvin Price, Pharm.D., Ph.D. Assistant Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences Pharmacogenetics of cardiovascular therapy
Sung Rhee, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Pharmacology and Toxicology Alteration of potassium channels in cardiovascular diseases
Nancy Rusch, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Pharmacology and Toxicology Vascular calcium channel expression and treatment of hypertension
Shardha Singh, PhD. Assistant Research Professor Pharmacology and Toxicology
The clinical use of doxorubicin in the treatment of cancer.
Mark Smeltzer, Ph.D. Professor Microbiology and Immunology Molecular pathogenesis of Staphylococcus aureus infections
Brian Storrie, Ph.D. Professor Physiology and Biophysics Golgi assembly and platelet granules
Daniel Voth, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Microbiology and Immunology Coxiella burnetii a bacterial pathogen that can cause endocarditis

Additional Links of Interest