Summer Research Training Program

SRTP group photo during the poster session.

The SRTP provides research opportunities in the biomedical and biological sciences for undergraduate students with the desire to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD. Students selected for summer research at UCSF spend up to ten weeks working with faculty members on research projects. Participants in the program take part in seminars, lectures, and social events, creating a cohesive and supportive community. At the end of the program, students give presentations of their research and get valuable feedback from students, postdocs, and faculty at UCSF.

In addition to being a great opportunity for undergraduates to learn about working in a lab, the SRTP is also a chance for students to explore the possibility of applying to UCSF's MSTP. See below for how some of our current MSTPs took advantage of the Summer Research Training Program not only to learn about UCSF, but also to use it as a stepping stone towards MSTP. For more information about the SRTP, please visit the Graduate Division's website.

SRTP group photo by the Golden Gate Bridge

Kristoffer Leon, MSTP III
I participated in the SRTP through HHMI's EXROP program, which is one of many organizations that fund students for their summer at UCSF. My experience was absolutely amazing! I had never experienced SF before, and I found the city and UCSF to be a super welcoming and fun environment. I worked with Joseph DeRisi on Snake Arenaviruses, which was my first foray into molecular biology. I actually returned the next summer and worked on two different projects on Malaria and Paramyxoviruses. Both summers ultimately led to my application and eventual decision to attend UCSF. I found the faculty driven and excited to work with students, as well as passionate about both science and medicine. And the facilities were world class, with some of the newest technology, providing unique opportunities to conduct groundbreaking science. Overall, my experience with SRTP and UCSF gave me the opportunity and motivation to apply and attend the MSTP.

May Szeto at SRTP

May Szeto, MSTP VI
During the 2009 UCSF Summer Research Training Program, I conducted research in the laboratory of Jonathan Weissman. I worked directly with a postdoctoral fellow who was interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of environmental stress response pathways. I contributed to the project by designing, creating, and characterizing fluorescent sensors responsive to environmental stress. My experience demonstrated to me the applications of basic science research from a systems biology standpoint to medicine. I presented my findings in oral and poster presentations at the end of the program, and in the 2009 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).

In addition to developing skills as a scientist, I also developed my networking skills. Since UCSF does not have an undergraduate campus, I found myself interacting with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty on a regular basis. I found everyone to be extremely friendly, collaborative, and willing to help me. I quickly became comfortable with seeking career advice from these people. The personalized mentoring I received assured me that UCSF would be a great environment for me to continue my MD/PhD training in.