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Undergraduate Students Needed to Work in Labs

West Virginia Health Sciences Center was recently awarded an 11 million dollar grant to study the effects of surrounding cells and tissue on tumor development. This grant is to support the newly founded Tumor Microenvironment (TME) Center for Biomedical Research Excellence.

The funding provides the opportunity for up to five undergraduate students to work in various labs focused on the microenvironment surrounding different cancers. This opportunity will be a paid internship. Additional positions may be available that can be used for completion of Honors credit or an Honors thesis without pay. Contact Dr. Paul Lockman at with any questions or to express interest in the opportunity.

Significance and Translational Relevance

The role of the environment around tumors is rapidly becoming a focus in nearly all cancer types and tissues. Cancer develops and exists within the context of a complex cellular environment. Both the cancer and its environment constantly communicate and have interactions that influence each other in a variety of ways that impact on patient outcome. This communication, and the consequences of it, is studied in a variety of laboratories engaged in the TME CoBRE. 

Projects include, but are not limited to:  

  1. Imaging of oxygenation and acidosis levels in tumors
  2. Brain tumors and their response to radiation therapy
  3. Developing better therapies for blood cancers
  4. Understanding how HPV contributes to head and neck cancers
  5. Developing therapies to prevent muscle wasting with chemotherapy.

Representative Skills/Experiences the student will be exposed to include:

  1. Cell culture of human and mouse cells
  2. Preclinical tumor models
  3. Understanding of cancer clinical trials
  4. Understanding of pharmacology of tumor treatment
  5. Fluorescent microscopy – to potentially include multi-photon imaging
  6. Bioluminesence imaging of cancer cells in living animals.
  7. Super resolution microscopy

Options for Participation

There are two options to join the Center of Excellence.

Paid internship:  This allows the student to be paid to work in the laboratory at $10/hour, for a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session.  Up to five positions are available until filled. Hours are typically flexible and are at the discretion of the PI.

Honors thesis/credit: Work in the Center can be counted towards an undergraduate honors thesis. These hours are not paid, but are flexible. Typically the student will have the opportunity to develop a unique project for which they are responsible with the ideal goal of a co-authored scientific publication.

How to Apply

To apply for the position, please contact Dr. Lockman at, who will provide  secondary application details. The anticipated start date is early September.


Student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. enrolled at a West Virginia higher education institution. Underrepresented populations (e.g., Hispanic, African-American, American Indian, etc.) are especially encouraged to apply.

Contact Information

Paul Lockman, Ph.D.

Asst. Vice President of Experimental Therapeutics

West Virginia University Health Sciences Center

Professor, Benedum Fellow and the Douglas Glover Endowed Chair

Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy

Associate Director for Translational Research, WV Cancer Institute

Phone: 304-293-0944