The John Nambu Memorial Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program offers full-time research opportunities with stipend support for FAU undergraduates. Established in the memory of the late Dr. John Nambu, Professor in the Biological Sciences Department, the program provides undergraduates an opportunity to perform cutting-edge research in neuroscience and behavior-oriented labs on the FAU Jupiter and Boca Raton campuses. These scholarships are exciting and once-in-a-lifetime chances to perform research while expanding scientific expertise through networking with fellow undergrads and faculty mentors, writing and presentations skills. Students often complete a thesis through the ten-week program that runs full-time during the summer semester, with the option of continuing their research into the next academic year. The REU experience concludes by highlighting student accomplishments and summer research projects at the annual Nambu REU Research Day.

This year, the sixth annual John Nambu Memorial Summer REU Program welcomed nine participants from a competitive application process. In addition to spending 28 hours per week conducting research in the laboratory, students participated in weekly mentoring sessions and professional development workshops focusing on topics such as laboratory safety, experimental design, and scientific communication skills. Program participants learned about innovative neuroscience research and techniques through seminars hosted by the FAU’s Jupiter Life Science Initiative and partner institutions Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. Students also had the opportunity to network with fellow FAU undergraduates as well as interns from these partner institutions at social gatherings and the program’s culmination. 

2019 REU Scholarship Recipients

Omar Avila (Vernon Lab) – “Hispanics and OCD: The Roles of Ethnicity and Gender”

Alaina Tillman (Blakely Lab) – "Investigating the Link between the Immune System and Behavior - The Role of Serotonergic IL-1R1"

Dayana Torres (Carvelli Lab) –“Development of Tolerance to Amphetamine in C. elegans”

Isis Sweeney (Dawson-Scully Lab) – “The effect of Roundup® on seizure duration in C. elegans”

Ian Gaudet (Macleod  Lab) - "Thermodrome: A Novel Assay for Visuospatial Learning in Drosophila”

Ryan Sobel (Godenschwege Lab) –"Uncovering the Role of Drosophila Attractin in Protein Trafficking and Signaling”

Liza Lanzon (Keene Lab) - “Mutations in Neurofibromin Disrupt Sleep in Drosophila melanogaster”

Amanda Rauch (Murphey Lab) - "The effect of Robo on synapse formation"

Gary Drotleff (Fields Lab) - "Quantification of Endogenous MT1-MMP Activity in 3D Cancer Models"

REU 2019

 Pictured from Left to Right: Liza Lanzon, Amanda Rauch, Isis Sweeney, Ian Gaudet, Dr. Catherine Trivigno (faculty mentor), Gary Drotleff, Alaina Tillman, Ryan Sobel, and Dayana Torres. Not pictured: Oman Avila


2018 REU Scholarship Recipients

Samantha Stilley (Blakely Lab) - "Investigating social behavior in mice expressing the DAT variant Val559”

Elizabeth Potts (Blakely Lab) – “Investigation into the subpopulation of serotonin neurons responding to peripheral immune activation"

Mariah Calubag (Stackman Lab) – “CA1 Inhibition Using DREADDs”

Erin Gerlica (Keene Lab) – “Hypocretin and convergence of sleep loss in Astyanax mexicanus

Anders Yuiska (Duboue and Keene Labs) - "Establishing the Starlet Sea Anemone Nematostella vectensis as a novel model to investigate the evolution of sleep”

Rameen Walters (Godenschwege Lab) –"The effects of wild type and mutant Amyloid Precursor Proteins on descending interneurons"

Taylor Selman (Dawson-Scully Lab) - "Using a Drosophila melanogaster Alzheimer’s Model to Investigate Possible Therapeutics”

REU 2018 Winners

Pictured from Left to Right: Taylor Selman, Rameen Walters, Elizabeth Potts, Anders Yuiska, Erin Gerlica, Mariah Calubag, and Samantha Stilley.


2017 REU Scholarship Recipients 

Samantha Berner (Dawson-Scully Lab) - “Pharmacological Activation of the cGMP-Dependent Protein Kinase Molecular Pathway in Drosophila melanogaster to Increase Anoxic Tolerance”            

Micael Idani (Godenschwege Lab) - “Characterization of the neuroprotective role of Dsd and Mgrn1 in Drosophila            

Stephanie Lazo (Macleod Lab) - “Determination of Quantal size at different neurons synapsing at the same target”            

Heather Nick (Jia Lab) - "The Relationship Between Autophagy and Social Feeding Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans                            

Rodeania Peart (Blakely Lab) -  "Gender-Biased Cocaine Conditioned Place Preference in DAT Val559 Mice”            

Jonathan Rivera (Stackman Lab) -  "How did I get here? Selective activation of head direction cells"            

Joshua Torres (Keene Lab) - “Geographic Variation In Sleep and Metabolism Within A Single Species of Drosophila            

REU 2017 Winners

Pictured from Left to Right: Joshua Torres, Stephanie Lazo, Micael Idani, Samantha Berner, Jonathan Rivera, and Heather Nick.                            


2016 REU Scholarship Recipients  

Veronica Nunez (Godenschwege Lab) - “Identifying sites for local translation in the Giant Fiber Circuit of Drosophila melanogaster.            

Danielle Riboul (Stackman Lab) – “Which way is it? Head Direction cells and their genes.”            

Claudia Tinoco Troncoso (Dawson-Scully Lab) – “Age-Related Diseases: Effects of PKG on D. melanogaster’s Longevity and Locomotor Function.”            

Cici Nicholas (Jia Lab) – “Identification of Putative Food Signals Controlling C. elegans larval development.”            

Keeley Spiess (Blakely Lab) – “Gender-Biased Psychostimulant Responses in the DAT A559V ADHD Mouse Model.”               

Priscilla Lauriano (Keene Lab) – "Age-Related Sleep Changes in Drosophila melanogaster."            

Laura Arango (Macleod Lab) – “Voltage Gated Calcium Channels of Type II Axon Terminals in Fruit Flies.”            

Matthew Kovic (Keene Lab) – "The Evolution of Wake-Promoting Neural Circuits In Cave Fish Anatomy and Quantifying Egg Injection Success Rates."            

Joseph Balbona (Blakely Lab) – “Characterizing the role of swip-10 in the regulation of C. elegans dopamine neuron morphology.”            

2016 Pictured from Left to Right: Cici Nicholas, Matt Kovic, Priscilla Lauriano, Danielle Riboul, Keely Spiess, Veronica Nunez, Joseph Balbona, Claudia Tinoco Troncoso, Laura Arango, and Dr. Cathy Trivigno (faculty mentor).