Join our lab!
What we do and who we are
We are interested in the ways that emerging and re-emerging RNA viruses overcome evolutionary barriers to emerge, transmit, and cause disease. This interest grew out of Tom’s PhD training, in which he studied how immunodeficiency viruses evolve within their hosts to escape immune detection. Currently we focus on influenza virus, Zika virus, and SARS-CoV-2.
We are located off campus in the UW AIDS Vaccine Research Laboratory (AVRL), at 585 Science Drive in Research Park, just off the 6 bus line and near UW Health Research Park. Most of us drive (free parking), bike, or bus to work.
Please contact Tom via email with your CV, background, and research interests.
Prospective Graduate Students
In fall 2021, we anticipate recruiting at least 1 and possibly 2 new PhD students.
If you are interested in joining our lab as a graduate student, you must first apply for a position in a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We mainly take students pursuing PhD degrees, so if you are interested in a master’s degree, please contact Tom to describe your interests. Most students in the lab have come from the Microbiology Doctoral Training Program and the Cellular and Molecular Biology program, but Tom is a trainer in several additional graduate programs.
If you are already enrolled as a student in a graduate program and are interested in rotating through our lab, please contact Tom via email. Briefly describe your research background, your career goals (at least as you see them currently), and why you want to work with our group.
Prospective Undergraduate Students
We enjoy the opportunity to mentor undergraduate researchers — most members of the lab began their scientific careers as undergrad researchers. Gaining experience with research as an undergraduate allows you to build research skills and learn about academic science, which will help prepare you for more advanced training. Our undergraduates have gone on to careers in medicine, academic research, and the biomedical industry. If you are an undergraduate interested in working with our lab, we would be excited to talk to you. We are always particularly interested in bringing on students from underrepresented backgrounds and/or are still exploring their interest in a career in research. We only accept current UW undergraduates for work in person in the lab. We have worked with undergrads from other institutions who visit Madison for summer fellowships, and since 2020, with undergrads at other institutions who are matched with us to do virtual summer internships through programs such as the Virtual Summer Research Program from the American Physician Scientists Association. We have no formal requirements for undergrad researchers–we have mentored students from many different backgrounds and majors.
We do not accept students for Bio 152 projects unless they have already spent at least one semester in the lab. We have found that it is too difficult for someone with no previous research experience to complete a meaningful Bio 152 project in just one semester.
Some key points about undergraduate researchers
- You can work in the lab for credit or for an hourly wage.
- We expect undergraduates to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week in the lab. At this level, you would likely mostly perform jobs to help keep the lab running.
- The vast majority of undergraduates we mentor will take on long-term research projects over multiple semesters. We will guide you through this process, which may not begin in the first semester you can join the lab.
- Significantly more time than the 5-hour-per-week minimum is required to pursue a meaningful research project.
- All undergraduates, including ones pursuing independent thesis projects, are expected to spend a portion of their time performing jobs to contribute to lab maintenance.
If you are an undergrad interested in joining the lab, please fill out this form and we will get back to you soon.