College of Medicine / Research / Student Research Opportunities


Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431


Student Research Opportunities

There are various research opportunities available to FAU medical students during the summer and throughout the year. We have streamlined the process and created three platforms: fast track, regular and external. Explore the Mentors and Projects in each platform to learn about the different responsibilities.

FAST TRACK: An existing project with regulatory approvals in place.

Select a fast track below to read more:

Faculty Oversight: Dr. Joseph Ouslander
Program Contact: Dr. Gabriella Engstrom 561-297-3188,

Summer opportunities are available for FAU medical students interested in participating in research in the areas of geriatric medicine and gerontology. Potential projects are outlined and the students are guided to formulate research questions.  Students are expected to attend group meetings and present a poster on Research Day. Slots are available for up to 4 students. A half-time commitment for approximately 8 weeks is expected. Applications are due annually around Feb/March. 

Application coming soon!

Summer 2018 Projects


Project Title

Alison Kohn

30-Day Readmission Diagnoses in Older Adults Previously Admitted for a Diagnosis of Sepsis

Angelina Avdella

Associations of 30 Day Readmissions Following Hip Fractures in Patients 75 and Older

Florence Xiong

The Interplay Between Diabetes Mellitus and Dementia on Hospitalized Geriatric Patients

Hannah Mielke-Maday

Opioid use and fall risk in geriatric population

Jade Vorster

Outcomes of Falls Among Patients Age 75 and Older Admitted to a Community Teaching Hospital

Koushik Mantipraga

Incidence of hospital return in patients with de novo Metformin prescriptions

Manon Transkeau

Incidence and of De Novo Opioid Prescriptions at Discharge in  in High Risk Older Adults


Faculty Oversight: Dr. Janet Robishaw
Program Contact: Melanie Weiss 561-297-4557,

The Department of Biomedical Science (BMS) has summer research opportunities available for FAU medical students interested in a basic science and/or translational research experience. Students will be matched with a mentor, based on research interests. Students are expected to participate in journal club, give an oral presentation at program end, and present a poster on Research Day. Slots are available for up to 6 students. A full time commitment of approximately 40 hours per week for 8 weeks is expected. Applications are due annually around Feb/March.  Students can explore the different areas of research on the CoM website. 

Application coming soon!

Summer 2018 Projects



Project Title

Bailey Pierce

Dr. Janet Robishaw

Rare synonymous GPR52 variants associated with mood and movement disorders

Hanna Mielke-Maday

Dr. Lawrence Toll

NOP receptor changes with migraine induction in mice

Lauren Daley

Dr. Marc Kantorow

Hypoxia regulation of lens gene expression during lens cell differentiation

Patricia Louis

Dr. Yoshimi Shibata

Anti-IBD effects of dietary chitin in both sexes


Faculty Oversight: Dr. Charles H. Hennekens
Program Contact: Melanie Weiss 561-297-4557,

In collaboration with David L. DeMets, PhD, Halperin Professor, Univ of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Robert S. Levine, MD, Adjunct Professor, Baylor College of Medicine & Marc A. Pfeffer, MD, PhD, Dzau Professor, Harvard Medical School, we will continue to provide oversight to enhance the scholarship and research in epidemiology of FAU CoM students, residents, and faculty.  Our goals include publishing collaboratively peer-reviewed, original research manuscripts and commentaries as well as preparing and presenting abstracts for local and national scientific meetings.  We have access to the CDC Wonder database as well as data from the Robert Wood Johnson County Rankings and Roadmaps, American Community Survey, Texas Tech University Exposome Project, and the Kaiser Health Foundation. A maximum of 4 slots are available for students. Application coming soon.

Faculty Oversight and Program Contact: Dr. Dawn Sherling 561-297-0123,

Socio-economically disadvantaged communities have higher rates of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) that have proven to be more difficult to control. With the assistance of FAU medical students, we will launch an intensive DM intervention at an underserved clinic in Palm Beach County, Florida in order to bring improved care and outcomes to a low-income, predominantly immigrant community. In doing so, we will also collect data on specific ethnic groups which may be presenting with DM with different risk factors than would usually be expected in a typical U.S. practice, in order to more effectively screen and treat these populations. A maximum of 3 slots are available for students. Note: Possible future track. This site will be updated once the track is ready to open.

Faculty Oversight: Dr. Janet Robishaw
Program Contact: Melanie Weiss 561-297-4557,

Recent technological advancements are improving our understanding of how genomic differences among patients affect their susceptibility to common diseases and treatment responses. In the near future, the practice of medicine will follow a more personalized approach utilizing the genomic characteristics of individual patients.  We will soon have research opportunities available for students to work on a pilot project (e.g. undiagnosed familial disorder, cadavers) utilizing an established Variant Calling and Pathogenicity pipeline. 2-4 slots may be available. Note: Future track. This site will be updated once the track is ready to open. 

Faculty Oversight and Program Contact: Dr. Joanna Drowos 561-297-1442,

We are seeking to build a research and educational partnership with the Palm Beach County Health Department’s (PBCHD) Preventive Medicine Residency Program in order to promote opportunities for CoM students, residents and faculty to engage in scholarship and research activities focusing on health disparities in the local community, with the ultimate goal of disseminating findings. 2-4 slots may be available. Email the program contact for inquiry. Note: Possible future track. This site will be updated once the track is ready to open.

Potential datasets available for use include:

  • Prism (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)  
  • Vital Statistics (Births and Deaths)
  • Merlin (Epidemiology, Reportable Diseases, Outbreaks)
  • TB/HIV, Centering Data, Immunizations

Potential questions include:

  • Disparities by zip code, comparing PBCHD to other communities
  • Disparities by age and race
  • Causes of Mortality

Faculty Oversight and Program Contact: Dr. Ximena Levy 561-297-1348,

This track is designed to evaluate patient outcomes to bridge the gap between an infinite amount of treatment strategies available and the description of clinically and cost-effective treatments for substance abuse.  Students involved in this platform will develop simulation models that will allow them to evaluate interventions and treatment options before designing and conducting observational or experimental projects.  An additional objective of this research platform will be to integrate different disciplines available at FAU in order to conduct evaluations of the opioid addiction issues in our socio-demographic and economic environment based on decision analysis and real-world data. 2-4 slots may be available. Application coming soon.

REGULAR TRACK: New project formulated together by mentor and student. You can select a mentor but instead of working on an established project, perhaps you and the mentor have discussed a new idea/project, which requires additional set up than fast track projects.

EXTERNAL TRACK: Other project conducted at external academic site.  You will need to follow all training and regulatory requirements from the institution at which you are participating in research.

  • Research and Training Opportunities for Medical Students on AAMC website:
  • Cleveland Clinic Florida: Email Jill Anderson at:  Cleveland Clinic Florida offers medical students 2 different routes for doing research. Option 1- summer research done between M1+M2 year with dedicated time to research of up to a max of 40 hours a week for 8 weeks. The students can apply for research with Jill Anderson and ask for specific specialties and we will try to find them projects and physicians to work with.  Option 2- this is usually done with students who participated in summer research who wish to return or who wish to continue working on an unfinished project after the summer is always. Research done during the student’s white space or free time that has been approved by both the school and Cleveland Clinic.
  • Palm Beach County Medical Examiner Office: Dr. Michael Bell Max 4 students, 35-40 hrs per week. Students will be at a busy medical examiner office with research, preceptorship and clinical shadowing opportunities. Interesting cases provide students with an opportunity to present these cases in annual educational meetings or submit them to the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Autopsy Pathology Program. Students can add these experiences to their resume. Organized, hard-working candidates that write well and have an interest in pathology are preferred.
  • Delray Medical Center (Tenet): Dr. Ivan Puente (contact Dr. Alexander Fokin,, 561-495-3310).  Max 6 students, 8 weeks, 40 hrs per week, computer and lunch provided.  Students are involved in the trauma related clinical research projects. Besides data extraction, data analysis, graphics and tables preparation, abstract writing and poster composing, students are lectured on the principals of clinical research, manuscript preparation, reasoning skills, etc. Students are included as coauthors of the manuscripts and presentations at the professional meetings.
  • University of Miami School of Medicine: Dr. Savita Pahwa (contact Patricia Wahl,  Max 1 student, prefer 40 hrs per week for 6-8 weeks, lab work. Inflammation HIV/SIV and Aging. Studies are ongoing in non-human primate model to investigate changes in the immune system with advancing age. Animals young and old are given different vaccines and interventions aimed to reverse observed defects are tested. Studies include assessment of T cell/B cell/Monocyte interaction in blood and lymphoid tissue using flow cytometry for cellular phenotype and function, Elispot assays, and transcriptomics.  The student would work with a post-doc or graduate student involved in the research to understand principles, rationale and technical skills. Ontogeny of immunity: We are investigating infants born to HIV + pregnant women to include HIV infected and uninfected infants for development of the immune system over 48 weeks of birth.  Goal is to understand how HIV alters immune development and the impact of immunity on HIV reservoir formation.  In a related project we are investigating how time of treatment initiation impacts later immune development. As the children get older.  Participants are enrolled in Mozambique for newborn infants and in Europe and USA for older children.  The student would get a basic understanding of neonatal immunity and how this develops over time in presence and absence of ongoing HIV infection, and its relation to HIV reservoirs.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Medical Student Summer Fellowship Research Program-application will be available on 12.10.18.
  • Harvard-Longwood Short-Term Research Training in Vascular Surgery-Additional program information is available at: Interested applicants are required to email Leena Pradhan-Nabzdyk, PhD, MBA ( by 1.15.19.
  • Vanderbilt School of Medicine Medical Student Research Training Program: Application deadline is 2.4.19
  • Massachusetts General Hospital Summer Research Trainee Program:  Application deadline is 1.25.19
  • NIDDK Medical Student Research Program in Diabetes and Obesity: Application deadline is 1.28.19
  • American Society of Hematology (ASH) Minority Medical Student award Program (MMSAP): Application deadline is 1.15.19. 
  • MD/PHD Program: Research to be done at Scripps. 

Coming Soon

Last Modified 12/3/18