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Finkielstein Lab Undergraduate Research Opportunities


The goal of our program is to encourage students who are considering a career in science to participate in ongoing research projects and/or develop their own independent research. Our lab program provides a first-hand experience and an excellent opportunity to gain a better understanding of how biological knowledge is actually discovered. It will help students to develop the fundamental skills and techniques required to succeed in their own research while learning basic concepts in various areas of biological sciences. By working in our laboratory, students will learn what it is like to be involved in research and do science as a team.

Interested students should complete this form (MS Word) and e-mail it to Dr. Finkielstein (

Requirements for Independent Study and Undergraduate Research:

  • Requirements. Applicants are expected to meet a GPA of 3.5 (or higher) and show strong enthusiasm for science. Students are encouraged to take BIOL2104, Cell and Molecular Biology, before applying.
  • Commitment. Selected undergrads are expected a minimum of 15 hours/week of laboratory work. It is most desirable that this time be available in a small number of large blocks, for example, three afternoons per week. Working on weekends is possible. It is expected students to work in the lab for more than one semester in order to complete a research project.

For students interested in Honors Undergraduate Research:
We have a number of research projects suitable for an honors undergraduate research thesis in cell and molecular biology. If you are considering a Honors Thesis, please send me an e-mail with a brief description of your research interests and goals, which term(s) you wish to complete your research project in, and provide an electronic copy of your resume/c.v.

High School Level Domestic Internships

High school students from Blacksburg are one step ahead of their peers around the country by joining us over the summer for their first total immersion-in lab training (In-lab-training Program). The program is intense in training and only few students are selected each summer. Students become an integral part of our laboratory shortly after they start. They spend the first couple of weeks learning basic molecular biology techniques and attending in-house lectures to help clarify basic concepts and get a better grasp of concepts. Later, each student is assigned a mentor in the lab that helps guide him/her over his/her own project. Students are invited to decide what project to join for which they are offered 3 options and need to learn how to research the literature. Students summarize their work in an oral presentation to all lab members at the end of their internship.

Previous Trainees:

2018 Sophia Sobrado, Blacksburg High School
2017 Rebecca Button, Commonwealth Governor’s School
2017 Florencia Cordova, Blacksburg High School
2017 Sofia Enriquez, Read Mountain Middle School
2017 Heeju Lim, Blacksburg Middle School
2016 Rebecca Button, Commonwealth Governor’s School
2015 William Abel, from Blacksburg High School 
2014 Elissa Fink, Southwest Virginia Governor’s school
2013 Meredith Dove, from Blacksburg High School
2013 William Abel, from Blacksburg High School
2012 Kristy Choi, from Blacksburg High School
2012 Edwin Lu, from Blacksburg High School currently at the Bio-Medical Engineering Program at University of Virginia.