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IDBI Summer Program in Undergraduate Research (IDBI-SPUR)

Saint Louis University's IDBI Summer Program in Undergraduate Research (IDBI-SPUR) provides paid summer research opportunities and structured training activities for SLU undergraduate students working in IDBI member laboratories.

IDBI-SPUR is accepting applications for their Summer 2024 cohort. The application can be found on Handshake. Saint Louis University undergraduates interested in both full-time and part-time positions for the summer of 2024 should apply through this posting. More details can be found in the posting. The deadline to apply is March 22, 2024.

IDBI-SPUR aims to increase the number of undergraduates who can participate in research by providing stipends for summer research. To enhance the research and educational experience, IDBI-SPUR includes structured cohort activities (e.g. research training activities, midsummer gatherings) and requires participation in the fall IDBI Research Symposium. Additionally, students are encouraged to present their research at research symposia locally, such as the spring SLU Sigma Xi Research Symposium, regionally, and nationally.

All undergraduates working in IDBI Member labs are invited to participate in IDBI-SPUR cohort activities and the IDBI Research Symposium.

IDBI-SPUR has two funding opportunities for undergraduate research stipends: part-time summer research through the SURGE IDBI-SPUR program and full-time summer research through the DeNardo IDBI-SPUR program. IDBI welcomed our first six part-time SURGE students in 2022. In 2023, IDBI was awarded a grant by the DeNardo Education and Research Foundation to support four full-time summer undergraduate researchers.

No prior experience is required to apply for either program.


  • Flexible experience for those planning to participate in shadowing, volunteering, classes or other summer activities
    • 20 hours/week, eight-week summer research internships
  • Cohort training and social activities
  • Required presentation at fall IDBI Research Symposium
  • Supported by SLU-SURGE (Scholarly Undergraduate Research Grants and Experiences)


  • Full-time experience for those seeking a more in-depth research opportunity
    • 40 hours/week, 10-week summer research fellowship
  • Cohort training and social activities
  • Required presentation at fall IDBI Research Symposium
  • Supported by the DeNardo Education and Research Foundation

Faculty interested in volunteering to mentor a SURGE or DeNardo student should contact IDBI Co-Director Blythe Janowiak (

Program History

In the summer of 2022, SLU-IDBI formalized our summer research program by working with the University to incorporate the inaugural Scholarly Undergraduate Research Grants and Experiences (SURGE) program. SURGE funding provides part-time paid internships for eight weeks for SLU students to work in SLU-IDBI labs. In addition to the three SURGE-IDBI interns, six more students entered member labs directly through the University SURGE program. The culmination of the summer research program was celebrated by inviting all IDBI trainees to present research posters at the inaugural IDBI Research Symposium in the fall of 2022. At the symposium, eight IDBI undergraduate summer researchers presented their work, and two shared the honor of best poster. 

In the spring of 2023, IDBI received a DeNardo Education and Research Foundation grant to expand undergraduate research opportunities within IDBI member labs. With this funding, IDBI can offer the DeNardo IDBI-SPUR program to support four undergraduate students for full-time summer research. The extended time frame will allow the student researchers to fully immerse themselves into the lab community and in a hypothesis-driven research project from beginning to end. Student participants are invited and encouraged to continue their research into the academic year, earning academic credit.

Current IDBI-SPUR Fellows
Program Fellow Name Mentor Name
2023 SURGE Rutuja Deoskar Ian de Vera
2023 SURGE Davis Guilliams Edwin Antony
2023 SURGE Abtin Alizedeh Yasar Caliskan
2023 SURGE Harshith Kumar Gorla Amina Mohammadalipour
2023 SURGE Nicholas Southerland Judith Ogilvie
2023 SURGE Varenya Chilukuri  Fenglian Xu
2023 DeNardo Ben Kitten Daniel Warren
2023 DeNardo F. Andrea Yeargin Susana Gonzalo
2023 DeNardo Sachi Sharma Fran Sverdrup
2023 DeNardo Brooklyn Richardson Marv Meyers 
Past IDBI-SPUR Fellows
Program Fellow Name Mentor Name IDBI Research Symposium Title
2022 SURGE Laura Hopkins Adriana Montaño Characterization and Pharmacokinetic Study of biodegradable hydrogels for sustained release of N-acetylgalactosamine-6-sulfate sulfatase (GALNS) into Mucopolysaccharidosis IVA (MPS IVA) affected mice
2022 SURGE Edel Edorh Aubin Moutal The suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) targets the long isoform of the prolactin receptor for lysosomal degradation
2022 SURGE Tamima Hasan James Brien The Use of Yeast Surface Display to Interrogate Polyclonal Antibody Responses During Infection and Vaccination.
2022 SURGE Dylan Bjorn Blythe Janowiak Impact of glutathione synthesis on the adult murine immune system during Group B Streptococcus infection
2022 SURGE* Sradha Ajithkumar Aubin Moutal Evaluation of the Notch pathway expression and activation in models of neuropathic pain
2022 SURGE* Faith Yeargin Fenglian Xu  
2022 SURGE* Kaitie Rogers Fran Sverdrup  
2022 SURGE* Sharon Lee Judith Ogilvie  
2022 SURGE* Ibrahim Ashruf Vincenza Cifarelli  
*PI Awarded