Students in a laboratory looking through a microscope

NSF REU Summer Integrative Neuroscience Experience

NSF Summer Intensive Neuroscience Experiences (SINE) application is OPEN - see below! Please apply by February 1st, 2024! Note, 2024 SINE is contingent on available funds.

Florida Atlantic University will host the Summer Integrative Neuroscience Experience (SINE) at the John D. MacArthur Campus at Jupiter. The program consists of an intensive program that provides opportunities for talented undergraduate students from across the country to participate in cutting edge neuroscience research.

Students will have the opportunity to work in laboratories at FAU Jupiter, Scripps Research or the Max Plank Florida Institute for Neuroscience. The on-campus research will focus on the following neuroscience areas: synaptic function, behavioral pharmacology, neurogenetics and systems neuroscience. Students will also participate in workshops that provide a broad background in scientific communication, research approaches, and responsible conduct in research.


  • This paid, ten-week program focuses on training, mentoring, research and an overall experience for students that prepares them for graduate studies or careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) disciplines.
  • Participants will typically work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with one hour for lunch.
  • Undergraduate researchers are paid $600/week along with a $25/week meal allowance, per week.
  • Participants will be housed in apartment-style dormitories on FAU’s Jupiter Campus, just three miles from the beach.
  • Students will work in laboratories at FAU Jupiter, Scripps Research, or the Max Plank Florida Institute for Neuroscience, and have the opportunity to interact with other FAU REU programs.

Sample 2024 Projects/Labs (*subject to change based on availability)

Dr. McLean Bolton, Max Planck Florida Institute, Disorders of neural circuit function.
The goal of this project will be to use histology and imaging to gain new insights into the neural circuit organization giving rise to neuropsychiatric disorders.

Dr. Erik Duboue, FAU, The effects of early life stress on brain development
Exposure to stress in early life can impact brain development and adult behavior, yet surprisingly little is known about the cellular mechnisms of this effect. We have found that zebrafish exposed to stress early in life, have elevated levels of stress hormones and heightened response to stressful stimuli as adults. This project will use whole-brain imaging to examine the effects of early life stress on brain structure and function.

Dr. Gregg Fields, FAU, Developing therapeutics for cancers and neurodegenerative diseases.
Our lab uses chemical approaches to better understand cancer progression and to develop novel anti-cancer therapeutic agents. Our lab has incorporated elements of organic synthesis, structural biology, cell biology, chemical biology, enzymology, and molecular biology in the pursuit of understanding basic mechanisms of metastasis, with a focus on proteolytic regulation of signal transduction pathways, and our proteolysis research has recently branched out to include neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, and sepsis.

Dr. William Ja, Scripps Florida, Discovering the genetic and neural regulation of diverse behaviors.
Neurological behaviors studied in the Ja lab circadian rhythms, sleep, and feeding, using the fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Previous summer projects have explored the extended natural rhythms of a long-lived mutant, how alcohol consumption affects post-meal sleepiness, and the effect of social isolation on physiology and metabolism.

Dr. Naomi Kamasawa, Max Planck Florida Institute, Electron Microscopy Core: reconstructing synaptic anatomy through analysis of synaptic ultrastructure and protein distribution.
The goal of this project will be to deploy multiple electron microscopy techniques and quantitative approaches to understand how synaptic proteins are localized in the membrane. A secondary goal will be to produce new data visualization techniques to aid in demonstrating the complexity of synaptic organization.

Dr. Ning Quan, FAU, Investigating the neuroimmune suprasystem.
The focus of my lab is how the nervous system and immune system forms a combined neuroimmune suprasystem. We are interested in understanding how these two systems communicate with each other to modulate each other's function. We use multiple techniques in molecular biology, neuroscience, and immunology to accomplish this goal.

Dr. Robert Stackman, FAU, Neural circuits influencing hippocampal-dependent learning and memory in mice.
The project is to examine the contribution of the locus coeruleus-hippocampus dopaminergic circuit to the consolidation of non-spatial and spatial memory in mice. We have determined that consolidation of hippocampal-dependent object memory in mice is significantly enhanced by the post-training activation of dopamine D1 receptors. A similar enhancement in object memory consolidation was observed in mice that were briefly exposed to a novel context after training. We are now testing the effects of manipulating the locus coeruleus-hippocampus circuit to determine its participation in these modulatory effects on memory.

Dr. Henriette van Praag, FAU, The effects of exercise on Alzheimer’s progression.
This project aims to evaluate how exercise and myokines may modify memory function, adult hippocampal neurogenesis, neurotrophin levels and pathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease. Both in vivo and in vitro approaches will be utilized

Dr. Qi Zhang, FAU, Synaptic physiology and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to general molecular and biochemistry methods, my lab is doing a lot of live-cell fluorescence imaging and using human neurons derived from iPSCs as well as AD animal models.


Fill out the application HERE.


Application Deadline: Feb 1, 2024
First Round Notification Date: March 1, 2024
Second Round Notification Date: TBD, Based on notice of available funding
Start Date: mid-May, 2024
End Date: late-July, 2024
**Precise dates will be updated shortly.


  • Undergraduate students majoring in science or engineering.
  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident.
  • Minorities and women are strongly encouraged to apply.


For additional information please contact Bethany Stanhope, executive director of academic operations at Jupiter.