Center for Clinical Pharmacology

Summer Research Scholars Program

The Center for Clinical Pharmacology Summer Research Scholar (SRS) program introduces UHSP and WUSTL students to research in pharmacology, neuropharmacology, and neuroscience under the guidance of Center faculty mentors. Students gain a sophisticated and practical knowledge of the research enterprise as they enter the research environment and network within the community of scientists. Students experience the process of research as a creative intellectual activity and gain a more realistic view of the opportunities and demands of a professional research career. Overall, the SRS program embeds students in a network of research scientists to enhance the success of trainees and work towards our goal of elevating the research profile of our students, the Center, and the College.

Program Highlights:

  • Student recipients receive a summer stipend.
  • Work is carried out full-time for eight (8-12) weeks during summer session.
  • Students give an oral or poster presentation at the Washington University Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium and the spring UHSP Student Research Symposium, each patterned after a professional scientific meeting. Students also attend a required Research Ethics Workshop.
  • Students build professional relationships within the research group and the broader research community and gain valuable experience for continuing research during the school year.

To Apply:

  • Please write a brief statement that directly addresses your background, interest in research, and what you would like to achieve as a Center for Clinical Pharmacology Summer Research Scholar.
  • Please identify 3 faculty members or supervisors that can serve as references for your potential as a Summer Research Scholar. No letters of recommendation necessary.
  • Send an email to with your CV, references, and statement attached as a single PDF

***Due to restrictions regarding COVID-19 the 2020 Summer Research Scholars Program has been cancelled. 

2019 Summer Research Scholars:

Jazmin Garcia - Sophomore year student, Washington University
Dr. Jordan McCall Lab (working closely with Dr. Loc Thang, MD, PhD; WUSM Anesthesiology Clinical Fellow)
Neuroscience: Jazmin studied how mild chronic stress alters pain perceptions and the adrenergic neurobiology of sensory neurons in mice.  She used behavior assays, dorsal root ganglion neuron cell cultures, and calcium imaging to determine whether the analgesic effect on the mice is hyperalgesic or hypoalgesic. 

Rahul Jilakara - Junior year student, Univeristy of Health Sciences & Pharmacy
Dr. Susruta Majumdar Lab (working closely with Dr. Balazs Varga, PhD; Postdoctoral Fellow)
Medicinal Chemistry: Rahul worked on the extraction of Mitragyna speciosa alkaloids and performed simple chemical modifications on the main alkaloids, including the preparation of 7-hydroxy and pseudoindoxyl derivatives as well as hydrolysis of ester linkage and preparation of amides.  The goal of this project was to prepare more potent mu agonists and to improve drugability (amides) of the products.

Sreemathi Palanisamy - Professional 1st year student, Univeristy of Health Sciences & Pharmacy
Dr. Ream Al-Hasani Lab (working closely with Dr. Manish Madasu, PhD; Postdoctoral Fellow)
Neuroscience: Sree studied the analgesic and anxiolytic effect that is implicated with Kratom, an herbal extract that is used to manage pain. She researched the development of techniques to detect neuropeptides that motivate behavior in the brain.  

Yearam Tak - Junior year student, Univeristy of Health Sciences & Pharmacy
Dr. Jordan McCall Lab (working closely with Dr. Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil; Assistant Professor, WUSM Pediatric Neurology)
Neuroscience: Yearam studied the neurologic injury patterns associated with dystonia following neonatal brain injury in rats.  Her research project also focused on determining the role of striatal cholinergic interneurons in dystonia pathogenesis following neonatal brain injury. 


2018 Summer Research Scholars:

Joel Arackal's research interests include pain and addiction and better understanding of the neural pathways regarding these two states. This summer he will be working in Dr. McCall’s lab working to explore the effects of chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal on the Dynorphin Kappa Opioid Receptor system.

Sree Palanisamy's research focuses on the neural pathway connected to pain and addiction and the aversive behavior associated with substance withdrawal. This summer, she will be working in the McCall lab and with Dr. Majumdar to synthesize novel chemical probes and understand the clinical pharmacology of opioid receptors and its responses when activated.

Sasha Singh will be working this summer in Dr. Al-Hasani’s lab on a project to understand different excitatory and inhibitory projections that control the activity of nucleus accumbens dynorphin neurons.

Jasmine Wilson's research interests include neuropsychopharmacology. This summer she will be working in Dr. Burris’ lab characterizing novel LXR compounds for cardiological metabolic diseases.