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

The application window for the 2023 CPB-SURP has now closed. Information on the 2024 program will be available this fall. Please check back then. In the meantime, if you have questions please contact us at

We are excited to announce the 2023 Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Program (CPB-SURP). 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:

2022 CPB-SURP Interns
2022 CPB-SURP Cohort

The Aicher lab studies neural plasticity and how changes in neuron structure are related to changes in function. We study a variety of systems including sensory and autonomic pathways, as well as circuits involved in addiction. Our summer intern will learn basic laboratory methods in neuroanatomy and histology, and may also assist in analysis of behavioral datasets.

The Beatty lab is studying antibiotic susceptibility in the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis.  This bacterial pathogen causes over 10 million infections a year and is the most deadly infectious disease in human history.  Research on this project will include learning various lab techniques, including protein biochemistry.

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.

The Morgans lab conducts visual neuroscience research. Current projects are focused on elucidating molecular mechanisms at retinal synapses, as well as investigating how they are altered in visual diseases. This internship will include training in neuroscience, cell biological methods, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy. 

The labs of Xiangshu Xiao and Bingbing Li focus on medicinal chemistry and pharmacology applied to cancer research, in particular clear-cell carcinoma, breast and ovarian cancer. This internship will work on developing chemical tools and probes as potential cancer therapeutics as well as to investigate cancer biology

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.

Program Details

2023 interns must start the summer program no later than June 26, and participate in the full 9-weeks. The exact start will be decided on jointly between the intern and the mentoring faculty member.

Participants will receive a stipend of $5,400 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. Preferably have a desire to pursue a PhD in biomedical research
  4. Must participate in the entire 9-week summer program

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.

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. CPB is unable to arrange temporary housing for interns.

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

To Apply

The application window for the 2023 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 28, 2023.

COVID Vaccination Requirement

Please note: In compliance with Oregon law, OHSU’s COVID-19 Immunization and Education policy requires that all visitors and volunteers who have an in-person experience at OHSU must be fully vaccinated (14 days after last dose). Exception requests from visitors and volunteers will not be accepted. Please be prepared to provide proof of vaccination, or to receive a Covid-19 vaccination, as a requirement for onboarding for your in-person experience at OHSU. You will not be allowed to participate within OHSU if you are not compliant with this policy.

Questions and Assistance

Please contact the Department of Chemical Physiology and Biochemistry at with any questions or for assistance.