Future Talent

You are here

Summer Science Research Program

Summer Science 2019

Burke Neurological Institute invites interested and qualified undergraduate students to apply to our Summer Science Research Program. The purpose of this program is to give undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in biomedical sciences the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research. Participants will be part of a laboratory research project related to neural repair and rehabilitation. Summer research scholars will have considerable direct interaction with their faculty mentors and the Burke staff.

Program participants also attend both introductory and professional level research seminars. Burke Neurological Institute hosts a weekly seminar series given by international leaders in neurobiology and neurorehabilitation. The summer program also holds a weekly summer seminar series given by Burke faculty that is designed to engage students in discussions about specific topics in neurobiology and neurorehabilitation as well as career development in biomedical research.

The Summer Science Research Program is a 10-week program that will run from June 3, 2019 through August 9, 2019. Acceptance into the program requires student availability and participation for the entirety of the program duration. Trainees will receive a stipend of $3,000 that begins July 1st. Housing and transportation are not provided and are the responsibility of each trainee.

Students participating in the program are expected to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Current enrollment in, and completion of at least one full academic year at, a U.S. college or university. 
  • Completion of an introductory biology course.
  • Although not required, preference will be given to students who have also completed one semester of bench laboratory classes or equivalent experience.
  • A cumulative 3.4 G.P.A. or better (unless special circumstances can be provided).
  • 2 letters of recommendation from faculty able to accurately judge the applicant’s abilities and motivations.
  • A transcript and resume in addition to the completed applicant form.

Application Process

A completed application and required documents must be submitted by the application deadline March 9, 2019.

Students will be notified the week of March 22, 2019 of their acceptance in this program.

A completed online application includes the following required documents:

  • Undergraduate transcript (a student copy is acceptable)
  • Resume or C.V.
  • 2 Letters of recommendation (from faculty able to accurately judge the applicant’s abilities and motivations)


Identify specific research labs that match your interest. Select your top three choices for lab/faculty in which you are interested. See list of faculty mentors below.


Collect and gather the following documents in either a MS Word or PDF file format to upload to your application:

  • Undergraduate transcript (a student copy is acceptable)
  • Resume or C.V.


Select two faculty/professors that are able to accurately judge your abilities and motivations. Gather an email address for each faulty/professor. You will input each email addresses into your online application. Once your application has been submitted an email with a link and instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation using an online form will be automatically sent to your selected faculty/professors. Follow up with the faculty/professors you have listed as a referee to let them know to look for the email with the subject “BNI Summer Science Application – Letter of Recommendation”.

To complete your application two letters of recommendation must be submitted by the application deadline March 9, 2019. You will receive an email confirmation after the faculty/professor has submitted a letter of recommendation. If you do not receive an email confirmation in a timely manner, please follow up once again to remind your faculty/professors to submit a letter of recommendation.


Prepare your written statements by previewing the online application:
PDF iconbni-summer-science-application-10032018.pdf


Applications submissions for Summer 2019 is now closed.
Students with incomplete applications will not be considered.

All interested applicants are welcome to contact the program coordinator with any questions regarding this process.

Summer Science Scholars - Class of 2018 

Summer Student Scholars Class of 2018

Amanda Bache
Poster Title: Comparative Analysis of Zeb2os and ZEB2 in Brain and Spinal Cord Astrocytes
Mentors: Ana Vivinetto, Ph.D., John Cave, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: The University at Buffalo, Rising Junior

Emma Burns
Poster Title: Optimizing Cryoculture Technique to Generate Dystrophic Endings and Growth Cones for Analysis
Mentors: Carolin Ruven, Ph.D., Paola Bianchimano, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Duke University, Rising Junior

Bissem Singh Gill
Poster Title: An Automated Paw Preference Detection System for High Throughput Behavioral Analysis
Mentors: Sydney Agger, Edmund R. Hollis II, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rising Junior

Meenu Johnkutty
Poster Title: The Effects of Paired Motor Cortex and Epidural Spinal Stimulation on H-Reflex and Secondary Damage in Spinal Cord Injured Rats
Mentors: Ajay Pal, Ph.D., Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Stony Brook University; Rising Sophomore

Joseph Lee
Poster Title: Effect of CD36 Knockout on Post-Stroke Behavioral Outcomes
Mentors: Mustafa Balkaya, Ph.D., Sunghee Cho, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: University of Notre Dame, Rising Sophomore

Amith Punyala
Poster Title: Selenium Abrogates CSPG- and Sem3A-Mediated Inhibition of Neurite Extension to Enhance Axonal Regeneration
Mentors: Ishraq Alim, Ph.D., Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Cornell University, Rising Senior

Marwa Soliman
Poster Title: Behavioral Feedback System for Optogenetic Control Over Mouse Forelimb Function
Mentors: Mohammed Hisham, Ph.D., Edmund R. Hollis II, Ph.D., Yue Li, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Manhattanville College, Rising Junior

Regan Steed
Poster Title: nd Staffing Ratio Compar Device Assisted Therapy
Mentors: Tomoko Kitago, M.D., Marissa Wuennemann, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Columbia University, Rising Junior

Brittany Zaita
Poster Title: The Effect of Corticospinal Tract Connectivity on Hand Function in Children with Unilateral Cerebral Palsy
Mentors: Claudio Ferre, Ph.D., Kathleen M. Friel, Ph.D., Dr. Maxime Robert, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Fordham University, Rising Senior 

Summer Science Participants - Class of 2018 

Michael Ainsworth
Poster Title: The Effects of 4-AP on Motor Learning in Uninjured Rats
Mentors: Anil Sindhurakar, Ph.D., Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Johns Hopkins University, Rising Junior

Ananya Chatterjee
Poster Title: Therapeutic Effects of Retinoids in Ferroptotic Cell Death
Mentors: Saravanan Karuppagounder, Ph.D. , Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: White Plains High School, Rising Senior

Wali Hairan
Poster Title: Automated Tissue Morphing: Brain and Spinal Cord Image Registration for Histology
Mentors: Shiva Rathnadurai-Giridharan Ph.D., Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Connecticut College, Rising Senior 

Madeleine Lopane
Poster Title: Examining Crossed Axons Above the Lesion in Spinal Cord Injuries
Mentors: Sophia Lall B.A., Jason Carmel M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Somers High School, Rising Senior

Akaash Saraf
Poster Title: Nrf2 Activation Provides Neuroprotection in the in Vitro Model of Hemorrhagic Stroke
Mentors: Amit Kumar, Ph.D., Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Edgemont High School, Rising Senior

Mia Lee Veefkind
Poster Title: FDA-Approved Edaravone Protects Against Ferroptotic Cell Death
Mentors: Nandini Kundu, Ph.D., Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Hastings High School, Rising Junior

Audrey Zhong
Poster Title: Death of TH+ Dopaminergic Neurons in Mouse, Temporal Progression of Secondary Degeneration after Chronic Stroke
Mentors: Keun-Woo Park, Ph.D., Sunghee Cho, Ph.D.
Academic Institution/Year: Jericho Senior High School, Rising Senior

Summer Science Scholars

Class of 2018

Amanda Bache
University of Buffalo
Emma Burns
Duke University
Bissem Gill
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Meenu Johnkutty
Stony Brook Univeristy
Joseph Lee
University of Notre Dame
Amith Punyala
Cornell University
Marwa Soliman
Manhattanville College
Regan Steed
Columbia University
Brittany Zaita
Fordham University 

Class of 2017

Michael Ainsworth
Johns Hopkins University
Richard Chao
Fordham University
Antonella D’Ascanio
Boston College
Thomas Gagliardi
Union College
Samantha Gold
University of Pennsylvania
Wali Hairan
Connecticut College
Larissa Heron
Hunter College
Basil Mundackal
Siena College
Matthew Ponticiello
SUNY Binghamton 
Mythili Pulavarthi
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Alessandra Sauro
University of Rochester
Andrew Wallace-Jackson
Carelton College

Class of 2016

Amanda Bernstein
The City College of New York
Maria Lopez Cavestany
Stevens Institute of Technology
Bryan Chatterton
University of Connecticut
Toby Kashket
University of Rochester
Polin Petkova
Manhattanville College
Samuel Potash
Tulane University
Sydney Sherman
University of Texas at Dallas
Awarded First Place
Sarah Sylla
Wesleyan University

Class of 2015

Garren Angacian
John Hopkins University
Aaron Cherian
University of Maryland
Chris Costa
Fordham University
Sheryl Johnson
St. Bonaventure University
Max Levinson
Cornell University
Tanner Love
Williams College
Jessica Ochiogrosso
University of Rochester
Natcha Rummaneethorn
Manhattanville College
Awarded First Place
Kathleen Samuelson
Brown University
Joshua Santos
SUNY Purchase
Diana Shao
Fordham University

Class of 2014

Alexandra Agins
Fordham University
Jessica Berkowe
SUNY Purchase
Jackie Bucci
College of Charleston
Matthew Burrow
Western Connecticut State University
Loren Eustaquio
SUNY Purchase
Sarah Groover
Rogers State University
William Halimou
Oberlin University
Michael Mazzola
Cornell University
Awarded First Place
Briana Sabot
University of Rhode Island