Undergraduate Research Opportunity in the Voytas Lab

Arjun Khakhar, a postdoctoral fellow working with Dr. Daniel Voytas, is looking for sophomore or junior undergraduate students interested in working on projects involving cutting edge genetic engineering, virology and synthetic biology in crop plants. This position is for students who are thinking about a research career in biotech/life sciences.

While prior lab experience is a plus, it is by no means required. Students who are accepted will gain skills in:

  • Molecular cloning
  • Plant rearing and genetic modification
  • Python coding and data analysis

There are several potential projects that span modifying the pathways with which plants make chemicals, the developmental programs that control plant shape, or re-engineering plant viruses to rapidly generate transgenic plants. The end goal of all the projects is to develop technologies to combat hunger and malnutrition around the world. (Watch a video describing some of the work.)

This is NOT a technician job. Students will be trained to be a scientist, with participation in journal clubs and lab meetings and are eligible to register for research credits. As students gain more experience and skill they will be given increasing independence. The skills a student will gain are broadly applicable to both grad school as well as biotech industries. 

The ideal candidate can commit 15 hours a week to lab work (timing can be flexible depending on mentor availability and independence). If accepted, the student should be able to start as soon as possible. Preference will be given to students who are interested and available to do work for a part of the summer.

Please contact Arjun Khakhar (akhakhar@umn.edu) with your CV to apply for an interview. 

February, 2019