Undergraduate Research Experiences in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology, and Plant Pathology

Faculty in the department often employ undergraduates in the laboratory for general laboratory work or for specific research projects. Faculty introduce themselves and their research programs to undergraduate students each Spring as part of the BCH 1001 - Introduction to Biochemistry course, or students can contact faculty directly to inquire about research opportunities in their laboratories. Some of these positions may be paid (hourly wage) positions, while other students may choose to do Directed Individual Study (BCH 4990) with a faculty member for course credit (variable credit hours) which can be applied (if pre-approved by your advisor and the ) as one of your Technical Electives towards your degree.

Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory (MSCL) Bioanalytical Spectrometry Directed Individual Study Program

A number of research opportunities exist within the analytical and mass spectroscopy laboratories of the Mississippi State Chemical Lab (MSCL). Students can join-in on existing research projects, or bring ideas forward for directed individual study research using state-of-the art equipment and analytical methodologies. For information contact: Dr. Ashli Brown-Johnson at


Internships are an excellent way to immerse oneself in an aspect of your chosen discipline or concentration in the vast field that encompasses Biochemistry. Internships may be done over the summer or during the regular academic semester in government or state laboratories, industry, non-profit organizations, hospitals, research facilities, etc. Internships can also be applied towards academic credit as a technical elective (variable credit hours) in the Biochemistry curriculum. However, the internship should be pre-approved by the student's advisor and the Department Head if it is to be applied for course credit (BCH 4100). Requirements to apply an internship for course credit may include one or more of the following: Evidence of a structured internship program (e.g., announcement for internship applications, letter from intended supervisor detailing student responsibilities, etc.), a log book kept by the student detailing what was accomplished during the internship, submission of a paper that encompasses what the internship was about and what the student gained from the program, a presentation in BCH 3901 - Senior Seminar which details the internship and the student's experiences and/or a letter of evaluation from the student's supervisor regarding their performance during the internship.

Pre-Medicine, Dental, Optometry, Veterinary Medicine Internship Opportunities

Summer Undergraduate Research Experience – University of Mississippi Medical Center
The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) is a summer internship program designed to train undergraduate students in biomedical science research. During the 10 week program, selected participants are assigned a mentor, placed in a laboratory, and are provided a hands-on opportunity to train and learn more about our degree programs in the School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.

Tulane National Primate Research Center (Covington, LA)
The Summer Research Program is offered to pre-baccalaureate students who are currently enrolled in a college-level educational institution and who are interested in biomedical research as a possible career choice. The Undergraduate Fellowship Program entails one-on-one mentored participation in a research project. This is an annual three-month summer program. A small stipend is offered. Applications for the program are accepted in the winter of the year preceding the summer start date. The Undergraduate Fellowship Program for pre-baccalaureate students interested in a biomedical research experience will be offered during the months of June, July and August.

Pediatric Oncology Education (POE) Program – St. Jude's Children's Hospital (Memphis, TN)
The Pediatric Oncology Education program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is funded by the National Institutes of Health / National Cancer Institute. The POE program offers a unique opportunity for students preparing for careers in the biomedical sciences, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health, and veterinary medicine to gain biomedical and oncology research experience. The POE program provides a short-term training experience (internship) in either laboratory research or clinical research. A primary goal of the program is to encourage students to pursue a career in cancer research, either as a laboratory-based scientist or a physician scientist. Thus, qualified students with an interest in cancer research are particularly encouraged to apply. POE students must have an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.4/4.0 in math and science (biology, chemistry, physics) and at least a 3.4 overall. Qualified students may generally apply after September 1, but the final deadline for receipt of all POE application materials is usually February 1.

University of Michigan School of Dentistry and Medical School - Profile for Success (PFS) Program
Profile for Success (PFS) is a partnership between the University of Michigan School of Dentistry & Medical School. Profile for Success (PFS) is designed for third-year, fourth-year and recent college graduates, including in particular underrepresented and disadvantaged students, who are interested in the fields of medicine or dentistry. The program provides opportunities for students to acquire the necessary skills to become competitive applicants for medical or dental school admission. Depending on the student's interests, students spend 60-70% of their time preparing for the DAT or MCAT in structured classes or facilitated study groups. Students are exposed to research, careers in dental/medical education, and in-depth exposure to dental/medical career specialties. Each participant is assigned a dental/medical student mentor, and there are formal and informal opportunities for participants to interact with faculty and staff. Admissions procedures workshops are held to provide exposure to medical and dental school requirements. The medical component of the program prepares students to navigate the medical school admission process successfully, with activities including mock interviews, personal essay writing, and American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) process workshops. Program dates usually run mid-may to mid-June, with an application deadline of late February.

For application, updated deadlines and program information access the following links

West Virginia University School of Dentistry – Dental Summer Summit
College students wanting to explore the possibility of dental school have the opportunity for a first-hand look as the West Virginia University School of Dentistry hosts Dental Summit. The two-week educational experience is held in Summer at the WVU Health Sciences Center (usually early to mid-June). Dental Summit participation will include a select group of 15 college students, who will look at study skills, time management and communication skills needed to excel in dental school. Students will participate in hands-on activities in the dental laboratory and explore the vital role dentistry plays in overall health. Dental school application and admission requirements, educational debt management, and current issues in health care will also be emphasized.

Illinois College of Optometry – Focus on Your Future Summer Program
A week-long program to learn more about optometry and Illinois College of Optometry. The program was made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. The week long program is filled with seminars on a variety of topics, such as: Admissions 101, Importance of Diversity in Optometry, Professionalism as a Student and Practitioner, New Technology in the Profession, Study Skills/Time Management, Financial Matters, OAT Test Prep. The program generally runs in July.

Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine – Adventures in Veterinary Medicine
This unique career exploration program will provide students with the opportunity to attend lectures from Tufts faculty and veterinary students, and discuss the realities of a veterinary education with them. Students will get a first-hand look at the demands of veterinary school as they shadow a fourth year DVM candidate in the clinics as they perform their medicine and surgery rotations. The program includes lively discussions about critical issues – including ethics and public policy – with other committed students who care about animal health. Students will also have a chance to attend admission and financial aid presentations, to get an idea of what it takes to be a competitive veterinary school applicant and what the financial realities of veterinary school are. This one week program consists of lectures which include topics such as Wildlife Medicine, Emergency Medicine, International Veterinary Medicine, just to name a few. Students will also participate in laboratories and hands-on activities with animals. One-on-one admission counseling is also included. Students who are currently enrolled or who have recently graduated from college are eligible for all college sessions. Applications are generally accepted starting in November for the various programs available, and continue until the session is full. Visit the web site for more information.

Forensic Concentration Internships

Internships are highly encouraged and can be applied as course credit towards your technical electives in your degree program. Some opportunities for internships include:

Industry-Based Internships

The following are examples of some industry-based internships:

  • Pfizer - Biomedical and pharmaceutical company.
  • Baxter - Assists healthcare professionals and their patients with treatment of complex medical conditions including hemophilia, immune disorders, kidney disease, cancer, trauma and other conditions. Medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
  • Abbott - A broad-based health care company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies and new ways to manage health.
  • Merck & Co. - A research-driven pharmaceutical company
  • Genentech - Develops methods for using human genetic information to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize bio-therapeutics that address significant unmet medical needs.
  • Liquidia Technologies, Inc. - A nanotechnology company that designs, develops, and manufactures precisely engineered particles and films for a wide variety of life and materials science applications. Cell/Molecular Biology Intern.

Research Experience Programs

Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2)
The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels Research Experience for Undergraduates allows students to conduct research projects at C2B2 partner institutions including the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This summer research experience program focuses on fundamental scientific challenges relevant to the renewable energy industry. Research disciplines extend from plant biotechnology and biochemical and thermoconversion technologies to process, product and systems analysis and engineering. Program dates are usually June – August with an application deadline of March 1. Visit the program website for on-line application information or contact the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels.

NASA Undergraduate Student Research Project
NASA's Undergraduate Student Research Project accepts applications for their 15-week full semester internships. These internships offer students the opportunity to work alongside NASA scientists and engineers at NASA's field centers, laboratories and test facilities. Applicants must be rising sophomores, juniors or seniors with a 3.0 GPA. They must have an academic major or course work concentration in engineering, math, computer science, or physical or life sciences. Participants work on practical problems that will be applied in aerospace or on future NASA missions. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The application deadline for the Fall session is usually in early March. For more information visit: NASA's Undergraduate Student Research Project Site.

Mississippi Biotechnology, Biomedical and/or Pharmaceutical Companies
The following is a list of contacts for Mississippi-Based Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and/or Clinical Laboratories that could be contacted to inquire about internship (or job) opportunities. While no formal internship program may exist, an internship opportunity may be able to be created for a motivated student:

  • Baxter Healthcare Corporation
    Highway 61 North
    Cleveland, MS 38732
    662-834-9421 Voice
  • Cypress Pharmaceutical
    135 Industrial Blvd
    Madison, MS 39110
    601-856-4393 Voice
  • Edwards Pharmaceutical
    111 West Mulberry Street
    Ripley, MS 38663
    662-837-8182 Voice
  • Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp)
    1600 North State Street
    Jackson, MS 39216
    601-362-9758 Voice

    1935 Lakeland Drive
    Jackson, MS 39216
    601-485-8767 Voice

    306 Hospital Drive
    Columbus, MS 39705
    662-327-1262 Voice

    326 Courthouse Road
    Gulfport, MS 39507
    228-604-2212 Voice

    1120 Main Street
    Gulfport, MS 39507
    228-604-2212 Voice
  • Martin Drug Company
    1212 Buchanan Street
    Southhaven, MS 38671
  • SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories
    629 Lakeland East Drive
    Jackson, MS 39208
    601-932-2070 Voice
  • Waltman Pharmaceuticals
    1 Lakeland Square
    Jackson, MS 39208
    601-939-0833 Voice

Quick Links

Want to know more?

Dr. Aswathy Rai | 662.325.3139

Dr. Krish Krishnan | 662.325.2978
Molecular Biology
Plant Pathology

Dr. Carrie Vance | 662.325.3139
Animal Physiology