EXPERIENCE

Launch your future in neuroscience

The Irvine Interdisciplinary Internship in Neuroscience Program

June 21, 2021 - August 14, 2021

University of California, Irvine

The application cycle for the 2021 summer program has closed.
Applications for the 2022 summer program will open in December of 2021

The summer 2021 programs will take place remotely for the safety of all participants. Co-director and program manager Manuella Oliveira Yassa has extensive experience in virtual programming and is working with the CNLM's faculty and students to create a stimulating, engaging and productive summer experience for all participants. The program will continue to feature content and professional development workshops, enrichment activities and, of course, laboratory research. Students will also still be paid stipends and funds to cover meals and housing. Additionally, each student will receive a laptop to enable them to participate in the program from home.

Interested in learning more?

Applications for the summer 2022 program will open in December of 2021. Please join our mailing list to receive more information.

ABOUT

The UC Irvine Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (CNLM) welcomes you to the Irvine Interdisciplinary Internship in Neuroscience Program. This program will run from June 21, 2021 - August 13, 2021. The summer 2021 program will be held remotely for the safety of all participants.  

The Irvine Interdisciplinary Internship in Neuroscience program will provide an intensive research training and professional development experience for undergraduates interested in interdisciplinary neuroscience research. The program is open to undergraduates of all backgrounds with a particular emphasis on women and individuals from under-represented backgrounds in STEM disciplines. The research focus is to understand the neurobiological mechanisms of learning and memory in healthy normal development as well as the biology of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders that alter learning and memory.

Program benefits include:

  • $6760 per participant which includes stipend and meals.
  • Housing costs covered.
  • Work with world-renowned faculty and brilliant, dedicated students.
  • Present your research at the spring CNLM Annual Conference
  • Advance your skills through workshops on scientific communications, graduate school, research, and more

Questions? Please contact Co-Director and Program Manager Manuella Oliveira Yassa at manuella.yassa@uci.edu

Find out more about UC Irvine

PROGRAM COMPONENTS
ELIGIBILITY
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Meet the Directors

Participants in the Irvine Interdisciplinary Internship in Neuroscience program are supported by a team of faculty, staff and trainees who work together to ensure the success of the program.

Luis Colon-Perez

I am a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior focused on gaining insights about the effects of substance use disorders in cognition, specifically cognitive control behaviors. I have been involved in REUs (undergraduate student participant, graduate student assistant, and post-doc research mentor) through my academic and professional development. Now I have the opportunity to lead this REU, coming full circle in my involvement with REUs. I believe these programs, and definitely, this one at UCI, help you grow as scientists and professionals and provide a life-long experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. All my experiences, from participant to mentor, guided me to help provide you with an experience such that at the end of the 8 weeks, you will feel excited and confident about your future as a scientist. Looking forward to welcoming you and your peers this summer to sunny southern California.

Manuella Oliveira Yassa

I direct the Outreach and Education programs of the UCI Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory which includes training programs for graduate and undergraduate students as well as community engagement programs for adults and children in Southern California. My research interests focus on the impact of university-community partnerships on STEM informal education with the objective of understanding how we can increase the diversity and inclusivity of the STEM workforce. 

Dr. Colon-Perez and I have planned an enriching, stimulating and fun program and are excited to launch it this summer! Please reach out if you have any questions regarding the program or the application (Manuella.Yassa@uci.edu).

Research Projects

Participants in the Irvine Interdisciplinary Internship in Neuroscience program will have the opportunity to work with one of the following mentors on their research project.

Project 1: Luis Colon-Perez

(PI): The research objective of Dr. Colon-Perez’s lab is to understand how pharmacological agents alter cognition, and brain connectivity. Particular interest is focused on how abuse of rewarding substances leads to pathological learning, inducing harmful behaviors and impairments in cognitive control.

Project 2: Michael Yassa

(Director, CNLM): The Yassa Lab is interested in understanding how brains can store and retrieve massive amounts of information and in using this knowledge to improve the human condition. They use cutting-edge human neuroscience tools to understand learning and memory in healthy and diseased brains.

Project 3: Sunil Gandhi

(Associate Director, CNLM): Dr. Gandhi's lab explores the transplantation of embryonic inhibitory neurons which presents a promising avenue for cell-based brain repair and restores juvenile plasticity to the circuits of the adult visual cortex. 

Project 4: Susanne Jaeggi

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Dr. Jaeggi’s Working Memory & Plasticity Lab investigates individual differences in higher cognitive functions as well as their malleability across the lifespan. The lab develops innovative measures that allow for assessment and capture of changes that emerge a function of development and interventions and describe relationships between cognitive functions.

Project 5: Diane O'Dowd

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): For the past 30 years Dr. O'Dowd's research lab at UCI has used molecular genetic manipulations and whole-cell electrophysiology to investigate the role of specific genes in regulating functional plasticity of developing and mature neural circuits.

Project 6: Sara Mednick

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Dr. Mednick's lab is investigating translational approaches to prevention and treatment of conditions that impact memory in clinical and at-risk populations (e.g., older adults, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease).

Project 7: Steve Mahler

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Adolescent cannabis use is associated with increased psychiatric risk of disorders like drug addiction and schizophrenia, leading to deficits in learning and memory, yet it is still unclear whether cannabis use causes psychiatric risk, or instead results from it. 

Project 8: Christine Gall

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Results of previous studies have found that the mechanisms that underlie a form of synaptic plasticity thought to encode memory (termed long-term potentiation, or LTP) differs between male and female rodents.

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Project 9: Autumn Ivy

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Dr. Ivy’s research program focuses on understanding how early-life exercise engages epigenetic mechanisms in neurons of the hippocampus to improve memory function. They use mouse models to focus on the effects of aerobic physical activity on learning and memory during childhood/adolescent brain development, as well as in adulthood and aging.

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Project 10: Shahrdad Lotfipour

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Research objectives of the laboratory are to understand the mechanisms mediating substance use addictive disorders. Particular interest is in understanding how gut, brain, and behavior interact with the environment (i.e., drug exposure) to influence addiction.

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Project 11: Susana Cohen-Cory

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Endocannabinoids are essential neuromodulators of multiple central neurotransmitter systems in the adult brain, but less is known about their function in the developing brain.

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Project 12: Elizabeth Chrastil

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): The Chrastil lab research interest is in spatial navigation and how it relates to learning and memory processes in humans. The lab uses fully immersive virtual reality and fMRI imaging to develop navigation paradigms that test fundamental questions about how we learn and remember locations in new environments. 

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Project 13: Christie Fowler

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): Nicotine dependence represents one of the most significant preventable causes of disease and death worldwide. Dr. Christie Fowler's lab seeks to identify and define the function of novel signaling factors involved in nicotine dependence. Specifically, we are investigating the functional significance of proteins and RNA transcripts localized in extracellular vesicles, or exosomes, which are found circulating in biofluids of the brain and body.

Headshot of Arielle Tambini

Project 14: Arielle Tambini

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): The Tambini lab studies memory consolidation, focusing on systems-level mechanisms that occur after learning to promote long-term human memory retention.

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Project 15: Mimi Liljeholm

(Faculty Fellow, CNLM): The Liljeholm lab addresses how humans discover and represent the predictive structure of their environment, how such knowledge shapes cognition, perception and behavior.