Program Labs

Students have the opportunity to work in and gain experience in laboratories associated with the following clinical and scientific research centers: the Center for Integrative Brain Research (CIBR) within Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI), the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), the lab of Ed Lein, PhD at the Allen Institute for Brain Science as well as laboratories across the UW Medicine campus. Laboratories include biomedical engineering, material science, molecular imaging, fluid dynamics, computational neuroscience, neural engineering, nanotechnology, brain computer interface, robotic prosthetic devices, regenerative medicine, traumatic brain, spinal cord injury, cancer biology, immunotherapy, stem cell biology, and neurophysiology. All laboratories are supported by extramural funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), National Science Foundation (NSF), non-profit foundations, and industry.

All sites contain state-of-the-art laboratory facilities within which advanced undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, faculty and visiting scientists conduct research work. Students become fully integrated into research programs and have opportunities to understand how these programs contribute to translational opportunities for medical diagnosis or treatment. These sites also have their own conference facilities that host research sessions which students have the opportunity to attend.

Each student is assigned to the laboratory of a senior research faculty member where they will work side-by-side with the faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and other laboratory members. In some laboratories, students also have opportunities to work with rising UW seniors who are beginning senior research projects or UW Neurological Surgery residents during their requisite research rotations. This multi-level mentorship atmosphere creates a rich environment for the student to grow and be nurtured. Students attend regular laboratory research meetings and learn how to organize and present experimental results, interpret results with respect to the hypothesis, provide critical evaluation of experimental design, data collection and interpretation. Through this experience each student learns basic laboratory techniques and methods including the development and testing of hypotheses - or technology- driven research and experimental design. This process teaches the fundamentals of scientific inquiry through the progression of hypothesis development, testing, re-testing, evaluation and possible modification. Each lab assesses its’ student’s educational and experience capability and designs a project and mentorship program accordingly. 


Allen Institute

The Allen Institute includes the divisions of Brain Science, Cell Science, Immunology and the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. The scientists within each division collaborate in a team science approach and push the frontiers of bioscience to explore the edges of scientific discovery. Discoveries are shared publicly across the world in “open science” to fulfill the founder Paul G. Allen’s vision for accelerating global progress towards improving health and lengthening life.

Led by Ed Lein, PhD, the Brain Science Lab’s mission is to accelerate the understanding of how the human brain works in health and disease. Using a big science approach, the lab’s team generates useful public resources, drives technological and analytical advances, and discovers fundamental brain properties through integration of experiments, modeling and theory.

Allen Institute logo


Seattle Children's Research Institute

Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI) has developed an educational program directed at engaging underrepresented minority students. Direct connection and participation with UW Neurological Surgery faculty in the two SCRI research centers has allowed the NSSSP program the ability to expand laboratory placement opportunities to students as well as draw on a larger group of faculties. At the forefront of pediatric medical research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s investigators are involved in hundreds of projects that cover every phase of research, from studying how diseases work to improving investigational therapies. SCRI has pioneered groundbreaking cystic fibrosis treatments and cutting-edge cancer therapies that help a child's immune system defeat cancer, and made other major contributions to pediatric medicine. Researchers in the centers work in close collaboration with one another, their colleagues at partner institutions including the University of Washington and Fred Hutch and healthcare providers at Seattle Children's Hospital, one of U.S. News & World Report’s top children's hospitals.

Kalume Lab:

Led by Franck Kalume, PhD, Principal Investigator of the Center for Integrative Brain Research (CIBR), the Kalume Lab is focused on understanding the pathophysiological basis of genetic epilepsies and their comorbid conditions. The goal of this lab is to pave the way for developing future drugs and therapeutic approaches for these disorders. The current research in the lab is aimed at understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death, sleep disturbance and the anti-seizure properties of the ketogenic diet in Dravet syndrome.

Ramirez Lab:

Led by Jan-Marino (Nino) Ramirez, PhD, Director of the Center for Integrative Brain Research (CIBR), the Ramirez Lab investigates brain functions in order to develop new ways to treat – and potentially cure – neurological disorders. The lab is particularly interested in how neurons form into networks, and how those networks turn on and off to create rhythms that direct the brain – and the body – to perform different functions.

Seattle Children's logo

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC)

The Fred Hutchinson / UW Cancer Consortium is a research collaboration comprised of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center since 1976, and its strong collaborators, the UW, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The Fred Hutchinson / UW Cancer Consortium brings together over 400 faculty with research interests in basic, clinical, and public health sciences related to cancer; and is among the 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers nationwide. Interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases.

Holland Lab:

Led by Eric Holland, MD, PhD, the Holland Lab works at the intersection of multiple disciplines to address the molecular basis of brain tumors and develop new approaches to their treatment. The lab’s research focuses on developing mouse models of brain cancer that mimic the behavior of the disease in patients. The lab’s work with mouse models has led to clinical trials in glioma patients. The lab has also developed imaging strategies to follow mouse brain tumors as they develop - a powerful system that is used to test promising new drugs with potential benefit for patients.


UW Medicine Research Labs

With research labs located across the University of Washington campus, UW Medical Center (UWMC), Harborview Medical Center (HMC) and the South Lake Union research hub, UW researchers are dedicated to winning the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, genetic disorders, heart disease, infectious disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, vision loss and other causes of disability and premature death. UW Medicine ranks among the top academic research institutions to receive National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The UW Medicine Research powerhouse is driven by outstanding collaboration and interdisciplinary programs. UW Medicine's faculty includes many members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as recipients of Nobel, Gairdner, Lasker and Shaw prizes.

Ellenbogen/Zhang Lab:

Led by Richard G. Ellenbogen MD, FACS and Miqin Zhang, PhD, the Ellenbogen/Zhang Lab's research is geared toward developing materials and devices for biological and medical applications. The lab can be broadly categorized in three directions and conducted in three labs within the group, the Nanoparticle Lab, the Tissue Engineering Lab, and the Biosensor Lab.

Ferreira Lab:

Led by Manuel Ferreira MD, PhD, the Ferreira Lab focuses on the exome sequencing of growth hormone secreting adenomas as a discovery set.


Led by Jeffrey G. Ojemann, MD, Andrew L. Ko, MD and Jeffrey Herron, PhD, the GRID Lab is interested in using electrocorticography (ECoG) to answer basic neuroscience questions as well as to develop tools for clinical and rehabilitative applications.

Hofstetter/Khaing Lab:

Led by Christoph P. Hofstetter MD, PhD and Zin Khaing, PhD, the Hofstetter Lab investigates various experimental treatment strategies to enhance nerve fiber plasticity and regeneration following spinal cord injury.

Jayadev Lab: 

Led by Suman Jayadev, the Jayadev Lab studies the molecular mechanisms driving CNS and peripheral innate immune cellular phenotypes relevant to initiation or promotion of neurodegeneration.

Levitt/Fillingham Lab:

Led by Michael Levitt, MD and Patrick Fillingham, PhD, the Stroke & Applied Neuroscience Center Lab’s expert team consists of neurological surgeons, geneticists, molecular biologists, mechanical engineers, clinicians, philanthropists, former patients and their families who are passionate about the disruptive technologies that will eradicate stroke forever. The SANS Center actively investigates the fundamental challenges of stroke, cerebrovascular disease, and other neurological disorders through multidisciplinary research, education, and outreach.

Mourad Lab:

Led by Pierre D. Mourad, PhD, the Mourad Lab’s active areas of research and development involve the medical applications of physics. The primary focus is ultrasound and recently, near-IR and terahertz radiation.

Stroke & Applied Neuroscience (SANS) Center Lab:

Led by Michael Levitt, MD, Alberto Aliseda, PhD, MS, BS.MS and Louis J. Kim MD, MBA, the Stroke & Applied Neuroscience Center Lab’s expert team consists of neurological surgeons, geneticists, molecular biologists, mechanical engineers, clinicians, philanthropists, former patients and their families who are passionate about the disruptive technologies that will eradicate stroke forever. The SANS Center actively investigates the fundamental challenges of stroke, cerebrovascular disease, and other neurological disorders through multidisciplinary research, education, and outreach.

Weinstein Lab: 

Led by Jonathan R. Weinstein, MD, PhD, the main focus of research in the Weinstein Lab is to elucidate the role of microglial cell activation in the neuroinflammatory response associated with ischemic preconditioning and stroke. All projects in the lab focus on characterizing the role of microglia in both IPC and stroke.

Seattle VA Medical Center (VAMC)

The Seattle VA Medical Center is part of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, providing primary care and specialty health services, including mental health services, surgical services, medical specialties, rehabilitation care, geriatrics, and more.

Davis Lab: 

Led by Marie Davis, MD, PhD, the Davis Lab is focused on understanding mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases through the use of Drosophila and human neuronal cell culture models, combined with human genetic and clinical data.