Undergraduate Researchers Needed

Students are welcome to apply on our website by clicking here to be considered for current and future openings in our lab!.

Research Description: Experimenters needed for studies on the effects of stress on immune function. Availability of at least 9 hours each week spread across two or three shifts is highly desirable. Depending on your availability/interests, you will be responsible for tasks on one or more studies. Current studies address questions related to psychological/behavioral influences on a key aspect of immune function–inflammation, as well as molecular markers of aging.

Our current studies examine:

  • How one’s physical fitness, mood, and stress can affect the immune response to infection.
  • The ability of chemotherapy and depression to alter triglyceride responses following meals in ways that would promote atherosclerosis.
  • How inflammation affects behavioral symptoms, including pain sensitivity, mood, social behavior, and cognitive problems.
  • Marital stress, and how a couple’s interactions may affect their immune system and their aging.
  • How the stresses of providing for a husband or wife with Alzheimer’s disease may promote depression and anxiety in caregivers, and simultaneously promote the aging of the immune system.

Based on personal strengths and interests, Stress & Health lab students often have the opportunity to:

  • Work face-to-face with research participants including breast cancer patients and adults from the community
  • Be involved in behind-the-scenes data collection and organization.
  • Learn in an interdisciplinary environment with lab managers, research assistants, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows from several fields.  This is a good opportunity to learn about possible career paths in research.
  • Obtain more responsibilities over time; some of these responsibilities may be similar to those of a first or second year graduate student.

Student Participation: Responsibilities may include: Administering psychosocial stress tasks to research participants. Conducting interviews about life stress and daily dietary intake with research participants. Collecting heart rate variability, bionutritional and psychological self-report data in hospital clinics. An excellent opportunity for someone considering graduate or medical school! We require a commitment of 300 lab hours, approximately two semesters of working 9 hours per week, in order to earn a letter of recommendation.

Special Qualifications Needed: Detail-oriented, self-motivated, communication skills, professional appearance; at least a two semester commitment. Preference for students who are available to work in this internationally recognized lab one or two years.  Students must complete CITI training on Human Subjects Research before beginning work in the lab.