Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CPB - SURP)

All 2024 internship positions have been filled.

We thank you for your interest and encourage you to consider us for next summer. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ The application window for the 2025 CPB-SURP will open in the fall of 2024. If you have questions, please contact us at 

2022 CPB-SURP Interns

We are excited to announce the 2024 Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CPB-SURP) at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. CPB-SURP is a 9-week summer internship designed to provide undergraduate students with hands-on training in innovative research in the disciplines of chemical biology, biochemistry, structural biology and physiology, conducted at a leading academic health center in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A major goal of this program is to engage students in state-of-the-art techniques in biomedical discovery, leading to uncovering the fundamental mechanisms of health and disease. Interns will also participate in career development activities, which will provide students with the skills and knowledge to assess and plan their future careers in science.

As a highlight of the experience, each intern will present their research at an intern research poster symposium.  This fun event is an opportunity to showcase the interns' science and results, learn from others' presentations, and interact with interns across OHSU.

The following labs have summer internship opportunities available:

Click the below internship mentors to view the available 2024 CPB-SURP opportunities.

The Barad lab uses cryo-electron tomography to understand how cells reorganize themselves in response to bacterial infection. Interns will be trained in and will perform mammalian cell culture and infection experiments as well as tomographic data processing including tilt series alignment and segmentation to help quantify the shapes of lipid bilayers within tomograms. Interns with background and interest in programming will have the opportunity to experiment with novel ways to make measurements of organelle geometry inside cells.

The Beatty lab is using chemical biology and protein design to explore protein organization across size scales.  To do this, we use genetic tags, called VIP Tags.  These tags enable us to label and observe proteins on microscopes.  Students working on this project will learn molecular biology, protein purification, labelign chemistries, microscopy, and image analysis.

The Cohen Lab is interested in two main areas: 1. uncovering new roles for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) regulation in cells and 2. elucidating the function of ADP-ribosylation, catalyzed by enzymes known as PARPs that use NAD+ as a substrate. The summer project will focus on using novel inhibitors of PARPs to explore the functions of ADP-ribosylation in cancer and immune cells.

The focus of Dr. DeBarber’s research over the last decade has been characterizing small molecule biomarkers in rare genetic disorders of cholesterol synthesis, including the neurodegenerative disease cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX). For example, the laboratory has identified biomarkers useful for improved clinical diagnostic testing for CTX and for monitoring the efficacy of therapy in this disease. In CTX, cholestanol (and cholesterol) accumulate in xanthomas in the brain and, left untreated, the disease may result in irreversible neurological damage, cognitive disability, dementia and premature death. Treatment with Efavirenz may help remove cholestanol from the brain in patients affected with CTX but there is currently no way to assess efflux of cholestanol from the brain. The goal for this project will be to develop and validate a plasma assay to measure cholestanol efflux from the brain that may be useful for a clinical trial of Efavirenz.

The Habecker lab is studying nerves that control the heart. We are trying to understand how neuron-heart interactions during injury and disease contribute to bad outcomes and are asking if we can fix nerves to prevent cardiac damage. We have several different types of projects available to match student interest.

Dr. Morgans is a retinal neuroscientist. Her lab investigates molecular mechanisms at the first synapses in the visual system, those between photoreceptors and bipolar cells in the retina. This summer project aims to identify retinal bipolar cell proteins that are regulated by phosphorylation. Techniques used will include immunoprecipitation, western blotting, and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy.

The lab of Carsten Schultz currently works on pancreatic extracellular signaling, protease activity as a marker for cancer and lung inflammation, the development of novel lipid tools to analyze lipid-interactomes in virus-infected cells and patients and intracellular lipid metabolism and trafficking. The lab uses a combination of organic chemistry, molecular biology and live-cell and tissue slice imaging.

All 2024 internship positions have been filled.

We thank you for your interest and encourage you to consider us for next summer.

2024 interns will start the summer program on June 17, and participate in the full 9-weeks. Any adjustments will be decided on jointly between the intern and the mentoring faculty member.

Participants will receive a stipend of $5,562 for the summer to cover travel, accommodations and incidental expenses.


  1. Currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program.
  2. Completed at least four semesters or six quarters of undergraduate study.
  3. Has a desire to explore advanced education and a career in biomedical research.
  4. Must participate in the entire 9-week summer program.
  5. Be available to participate in the internship poster symposium on August 16.

International students currently studying in the U.S. on a valid VISA are eligible to apply, pending the terms of their VISA and approval by their designated school official. Confirming VISA compliance is the responsibility of the intern prior to starting the program. We are not able to provide participants with a VISA through OHSU.

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to daily research activities, students will also participate in:

  1. Journal talks
  2. An intern poster symposium to present summer research
  3. Sessions on scientific and professional development
  4. Social and culture events

Accommodations and Local Transportation

Out-of-town interns in need of housing are encouraged to explore intern housing through Portland State University (PSU). PSU offers summer accommodations in their student dorms, with an easy commute to OHSU. Registration information for intern housing will be announced in February 2024. CPB is unable to arrange temporary housing for interns.

For interns who are interested, the program will provide Tri-Met passes for Portland's bus and light-rail system.

The application window for the 2024 CPB-SURP is now closed.

To apply, please submit the following documents (in a single pdf file) through the online application form.

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Personal statement: a brief description (1 page) of your most meaningful research experience and future career goals.
  3. A list of up to three CPB faculty members you are interested in working with, along with a short paragraph describing your interests in their labs.
  4. Unofficial college transcript
  5. 2 letters of recommendation addressing your research and science experience. Letters must be sent separately by the recommender directly to

The deadline to apply for this program is February 29, 2024.

Questions and Assistance

Email the Department of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry