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2015 SOM Student Summer Research Program

Program Description

The School of Medicine Student Summer Research Program – 2015 is an 8-week program from June 8 to July 31, 2015 designed to help students gain experience in an area of research interest. First-year medical students in Lubbock are encouraged to coordinate with interested faculty members on project proposals that are to be submitted for approval to the Office of the Dean. A stipend in the total amount of $2,240 will be paid to each participating student in accordance with this guideline, and students are required to present information regarding summer research activities during the Student Research Week in the Spring 2016.

Download Program Guidelines

Medical Student Summer Research Program Orientation

TakeNoteThe Medical Student Summer Research Program Orientation is MANDATORY for all participating students. Orientation will be held on June 8th at 9:00 a.m. in ACB 110. A light breakfast will be provided.

Please RSVP by June 5th.

Program Schedule

1. PowerChart Training
(requires powerchart access and RSVP)
June 5, 1:00p (2C222) and 2:30p (ACB220)
June 23 TBD
RSVP by June 2nd
2. Orientation - MANDATORY
(light breakfast provided)
June 8, 9:00a (ACB 110) RSVP by June 5th
3. Clinical Research Institute
(light breakfast provided)
June 9, 8:45a-12:00n (ACB230)
June 10, 8:45a-12:00n (ACB230)
RSVP by June 5th
4. Clinical Research Seminars
(RSVP required for lunch)
June 18, 12:00n, Dr. Michelle Tarbox, Dermatology (TBD)
July 9, 12:00n Dr. Alan Peiris, Internal Medicine, Endocrinology (TBD)
RSVP by June 15th
5. SABR Program Seminars
(RSVP required for lunch)
June and July, each Wednesday and Friday, 12:00n-1:00p (1C124)
Strongly recommend – Dr. Hamood abstract seminar
RSVP by two days prior
6. Wrap-up meeting
(RSVP required for lunch)
July 30, 12:00n (TBD) RSVP by July 27th

Library Support for Research

Once you have matched with a mentor and a project, if you would like, please schedule a one-on-one session with one of our librarians to assist you with the literature research that you may need. Depending on your topic we will introduce you to appropriate databases and suggest search strategies as well as introduce you to bibliographic software to aid you in organizing your citations. Using this software you will be able to embed citations within word documents and create references or bibliographies in the style that you need.

Please contact Margaret Vugrin, MSLS, AHIP, Reference Librarian at or 806-743-2241 to schedule your session.


Proposal/Project Abstract

The Student Summer Research Project Proposal Form should be filled out and submitted to the Office of the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research at the beginning of May 8, 2015. Preferably, a form is submitted jointly by a student and faculty member who have coordinated the details of a research project for the summer; however, forms will be received from an individual for possible research projects. The Office of the Dean and the Associate Dean for Research will coordinate to assist in locating and matching interested students and faculty. Note: The proposed project should have appropriate institutional approval (IRB, IACUC, etc.) prior to the start of the program.

Download Student Summer Research Project Proposal Form
Summer Research
Matching Opportunities (Projects and Faculty Mentors)

Faculty Mentor

Potential Project Description

Contact Information

Potential Positions

Guillermo A. Altenberg, MD, PhD, Cell Physiology & Molecular Biophysics

Connexins are the proteins that form the gap-junction channels that mediate cell-to-cell coupling. A connexin hexamer from one cell forms a hemichannel, and head-to-head docking of hemichannels from adjacent cells forms a gap-junction channel. Gap-junction channels and hemichannels play important roles in normal cells as well as in genetic and acquired disorders. For example, opening of Cx43 hemichannels under ischemic conditions contributes to the damage in cardiac infarct and stroke. Unfortunately, there are no good hemichannel inhibitors. This is the consequence of the fact that the available assays for hemichannel function are not suitable for high throughput screening (HTS) of chemical libraries used for the discovery of inhibitors. The goal of the project is to develop and test HTS methodology amenable for the identification of selective and isoform-specific connexin hemichannel blockers that can be used as pre-therapeutic leads.

Dr. Guillermo Altenberg,, at 743-2531


Michael Conn, PhD, Sr. Vice President for Research, Associate Provost and Professor of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology

Our laboratory is interested in the trafficking of receptors as the basis of new therapeutic approaches. See related research at PUBMED.

Dr. Michael Conn,, or Shelley Stevens,, at 743-3600


Naima Moustaid-Moussa, PhD, FTOS

Professor, Nutritional Sciences & Director, Obesity Research Cluster

Research on Nutrigenomics, Inflammation & Obesity. More information at:

Dr. Naima Moustaid-Moussa,


Latha Ramaligam, Reseach Assistant Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Sciences, TTU

Research focuses on the role of Angiotensinogen in type 2 diabetes. Angiotensin II (Ang II), a major regulator of blood pressure and fluid balance, is generated from the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS) and also has been associated with diabetes. Angiotensinogen (Agt), the precursor of Ang II, is also secreted locally in beta cells with elevated levels observed under obesogenic conditions; however, its role in beta cells in not explored yet. Hence, we hypothesize that enrichment of Agt in beta cells leads to activation of inflammatory cascades and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, thereby contributing to diabetes. To test this hypothesis, gene and protein expression studies will be conducted in beta cells treated with angiotensin ii or Agt inhibitors.

Latha Ramalingam,, at 834-0841


Shu Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, College of Human Sciences, TTU

Research focuses on using biocompatible and biodegradable nanocarriers to enhance bioactivities of phytochemicals to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and obesity

Dr. Shu Wang,, at 834-4050


Departmental Responsibilities

Processing of all paperwork to ensure appropriate payment of stipends will be the responsibility of a participating department. Steps to be taken are:

  1. Process an ePAF for each student using the pooled position HSC Student Intern (0 FTE and 0 salary).
  2. Please note: The Department is responsible for processing the full stipend amount of $2,240.  The Department account will be used for half ($1,120) and the Dean’s account for the remaining amount ($1,120).  The FOP can be obtained from Shalene Vick at 743-1830.
  3. Process EOPs prior to June 18th for the first month and July 18th for the second month.
  4. Process ePAF to end job for each student.


The research activities of this program are expected to provide meaningful experience and knowledge that contribute to the student’s medical education. Faculty members should offer appropriate instruction and assistance in order for the student to be successful. Students are required to complete a presentation of their research activities during the Student Research Week in the Spring 2016 . The Office of the Clinical Research Center is providing an opportunity for students to gain better knowledge of the development of protocols for clinical research by attending scheduled lectures early this summer. This will assist the student in understanding the searching of literature, roles and responsibilities of the research team and governing regulations, protection of subjects (consents), data collection (from charts), role of the IRB (risks & benefits), study monitoring and dealing with audits. Additional presentations will be offered throughout the summer on developing a hypothesis, how to give a presentation and writing an abstract. Research seminars presented by TTUHSC faculty members and graduate students will also be presented.


Any questions regarding this program can be referred to Ernestine Gregorcyk in the Office of the Dean at 743-7163.