Undergraduate Summer Research

Summer BioEnergy Research Program

groupSince 2010, Cal-CAB has given students the opportunity to gain hands on experience in UCSD and SIO labs through its Summer BioEnergy Research Program. Supported in the past by the CA Department of Labor EDGE grant, the DOE CAB-Comm grant and our commercial partners, this program has trained over 70 students, helping many of them to gain employment in the algae and biotechnology industries. Many have also gone on to be accepted into graduate programs.

2014 Researchers

  • Garri Arzumanyan, Mayfield Lab

    Garri Arzumanyan, Mayfield Lab

    Research: Integration of Cas9 Gene into Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii with NHEJ knockouts
  • Eric Barber, Shurin Lab

    Eric Barber, Shurin Lab

    Research: Effect of Chytrid Fungi on algal productivity
  • Rosalie Ellis, Mayfield Lab

    Rosalie Ellis, Mayfield Lab

    Research: Confirming PSII Core Protein Knockout
  • Elizabeth Hann, Brahamsha Lab

    Elizabeth Hann, Brahamsha Lab

    Research: Is the Resistance Mechanism in Synechococcus Mutant 7D3 Universal to all Amoeba Grazers?
  • Karl Hong, Palenik Lab

    Karl Hong, Palenik Lab

    Research: Salt and Raffinate tolerances of Synechocystis Strains
  • Regina Izquierdo, Mayfield Lab

    Regina Izquierdo, Mayfield Lab

    Research: Immunotoxin Production within Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Chloroplasts
  • Matt Paddock, S. Golden Lab

    Matt Paddock, S. Golden Lab

    Research: Evaluation of genetic circuits composed of transcriptional repressors controlled by riboswitches to down regulate gene expression in cyanobacteria
  • Vivian Pham, J. Golden Lab

    Vivian Pham, J. Golden Lab

    Research: Evaluation of genetic circuits composed of transcriptional repressors controlled by riboswitches to down regulate gene expression in cyanobacteria
  • Wilson Wong, Burkart Lab

    Wilson Wong, Burkart Lab

    Research: Large Scale Lipid Extraction of Algae Biomass and Subsequent Polyol Synthesis

See a List of Our Past Researchers


  • Provide students with the skills to become research scholars 
  • Stimulate students' serious consideration of graduate study
  • Increase learning and networking opportunities for students committed to pursuing a professional or academic research career in bioenergy

Program Summary

Each participant is matched with a member of Cal-CAB's distinguished faculty and works in one of UCSD or SIO’s state-of-the-art research facilities. Participants will work with both a faculty member and a lab mentor to craft a research project. The lab environment provides challenging projects and involves a broad range of research techniques that are feasible within the internship period. In addition to lab work, students will participate in at least one science field trip to the UC San Diego Biology Field Station or a local algae biotechnology company. The program will culminate with a research symposium where each student is required to present a short talk on their summer project in front of the faculty, lab mentors, and other student interns.

Students participating in the Cal-CAB Summer BioEnergy Research Program will receive a small stipend for the duration of the program. Please note: no housing arrangements will be provided.


Applications are open to current UC undergraduate students with the right to work in the US, as per federal grant rules. Internships will not be available to applicants who already received a paid Cal-CAB summer internship, via EDGE or other Cal-CAB funding.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2016 Summer Bioenergy Research Program are TBA.

Additional Summer Research Opportunities at UCSD

Calit2 Summer Undergraduate Scholars Research Program

UCSD undergraduates also have the opportunity to apply for a paid summer internship with a Cal-CAB faculty member through the Calit2 Summer Undergraduate Scholars Research Program. Students must propose a ten-week research project with a faculty advisor. The program also includes career development workshops, lab tours, social events and a final poster presentation.

For additional opportunities available to UCSD students, check out the UCSD Academic Enrichment Programs and UCSD Scholarshippages.