Medical Research

All full-time foundational science faculty at IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary have active research laboratories exploring fundamental questions of cell function. Two areas of focus at this campus are eye research, especially related to corneal and retinal diseases, and pathogenesis of bacteria and innate immunity. Summer research opportunities are available for first-year medical students who would like to work with faculty and gain research experience.

Summer Research Internship Program

Each year, the science faculty members at IU School of Medicine’s Gary campus sponsor 8-10 undergraduate and medical students in their research laboratories as part of an eight week (188-hour total commitment) Summer Research Internship Program. With flexible start and end dates, most students begin work in mid-May and end in early July. The program provides undergraduate and first-year medical students opportunities to work in active research laboratories under the close supervision of a faculty mentor and/or postdoctoral fellow and assist in ongoing research. Students gain exposure in all facets of biomedical research, including literature review, experimental design, data acquisition and analysis, trouble-shooting, and preparation of supportive images and graphs.

Students work on a range of research projects in areas such as:

  • Neuroscience
  • Infectious diseases
  • Innate immunity
  • Muscle biology
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Retinal physiology and diseases
  • Corneal innervation and dry eye disease

Students accepted into the program are expected to work a minimum of 188 hours on their project, or an average of about 24 hours per week. Weekly schedules are determined in advance by mutual agreement between the faculty mentor and student. Each student who successfully completes the program will receive a $1,500 stipend. To complete the internship, each student will give a 15-20 minute presentation, similar to a formal talk at a national scientific meeting, to an audience of fellow summer interns and interested faculty.

Application Process

Students interested in participating in the Summer Research Internship at the IU School of Medicine Gary campus should email Elizabeth Ryan, EdD, the Northwest-Gary campus director.

Applicants should submit electronically to Dr. Ryan’s attention: A one- or two-page curriculum vitae and a brief letter of introduction, explaining motivations for applying to the summer research program and goals for the future. Dr. Ryan will arrange, based on the student’s expressed interests, to meet with one or more faculty mentors to discuss potential research positions.

Students can also talk directly with the faculty member with whom they wish to work. Faculty members who routinely sponsor students in their research laboratories include Dipika Gupta, PhD, Tatiana Y. Kostrominova, PhD, and Taeok Bae, PhD.

The application process for this program begins on November 15 and continues on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Historically, positions for the summer session are filled by February or March, so early submission of applications is encouraged. The number of applicants accepted into the program varies from year to year depending on the number of research slots available.

Email Dr. Ryan about this program.