Undergraduate Programs

Research Opportunities

As a biology student at North Park, you will have opportunities to conduct original hands-on research under the guidance of experienced faculty mentors. Your undergraduate research experience will teach you the practical applications of classroom knowledge and lab techniques and will give you a tremendous advantage when applying to graduate school.

Current Research

Undergraduate research positions are open to all interested North Park students, regardless of your major. Here is what we’re working on right now:

Dr. Matthew Schau and Dr. Drew Rholl: Tick-borne Pathogens

Our lab focuses on the molecular analysis and characterization of tick-borne pathogens in the greater Chicago area. We use these data to inform public health officials and physicians as to the potential risk of locally acquired Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Lab techniques include tick collection, DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction, genetic cloning, and sequence analysis. This work has established the presence of several human pathogens in this heavily populated region of the United States and continues to monitor risk.

Dr. Drew Rholl: Bacteria and Antibiotics

Bacteria are constantly at war with each other, which is good news for humans. My lab examines various antibiotic-producing bacteria and uses genetic and traditional microbiology methods to identify the genes for compound production. I also work with biology pedagogy within microbiology and immunology.

Dr. Tim Lin: Bioinformatics

My research focuses on the application of Bioinformatics in modern biological research. One of the two current approaches is using computational analysis to identify the function of gene(s) of interest. Students will be able to select a gene or a biological function of interest, then propose, design, and perform experiments to analyze the function of this gene. The other project is to use DNA Barcode database and molecular biology experimental tool to survey invasive species host plants. Students using either approach will learn modern genomic database, computational analysis, and traditional biological experimental skills.