As part of the Danforth Center's commitment to developing next-generation scientists, the Center provides rigorous training for undergraduate students through the Research Experience for Undergraduates. This 11-week intensive summer program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) combines hands-on training and mentoring from top-tier scientists helping to create a pipeline of plant scientists prepared to address both current and future global challenges.

The goal is to give each student insight into the research environment, as well as to teach valuable skills. In addition to their research project, Center staff work to facilitate connections among interns and their scientific colleagues through discussion forums, presentations, workshops and social gatherings.

A recent survey showed 87% of former Danforth Center interns are working in a STEM career or pursuing an advanced degree in STEM, and some are employed at the Danforth Center.

Welcome REU Interns


REU Summer Interns

Tara Caso, Humboldt State University hosted in the Doug Allen laboratory2018

Shara Chopra, The Pennsylvania State University, hosted in the Meter Nusinow laboratory

Andreya Dupree, Alcorn State University, hosted in the Chris Topp laboratory

Emily Eul, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, hosted in the Andrea Eveland laboratory

Emily Hagerott, Knox College, hosted in the Sona Pandey laboratory

Samantha Myers, Washington University in St. Louis, hosted in the Becky Bart laboratory

Bram Osterhout, Washington University in St. Louis, hosted in the Dilip Shah laboratory

Andrew Paton, University of Arizona, hosted in the Ru Zhang laboratory

Alexandria Pokorny, Fontbonne University, hosted in the Todd Mockler laboratory

Nick Rosenthal, Vanderbilt University, hosted in the Brad Evans laboratory

Byron (Tyler) Rusnak, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, hosted in the Blake Meyers laboratory

Aimee Schulz, Iowa State University, hosted in the Chris Topp laboratory

Ellie (Helene) Tiley, Oberlin College, hosted in the Jim Carrington laboratory

Ryan Valdez, University of Arizona, hosted in the Jim Umen laboratory

Brandon Vestal, University of Missouri - Saint Louis, hosted in the Ivan Baxter laboratory

Seren Villwock, Lewis & Clark College, hosted in Malia Gehan laboratory

Jeffrey Yen, Cornell University, hosted in the Toby Kellogg laboratory

The 2017 REU Summer Internship Program is organized by Sona Pandey, Ph.D., REU co-director, associate member and principal investigator; Ru Zhang, Ph.D., REU co-director, assistant member and principal investigator, Cathy Kromer, grants manager and Shannon Rapp, administrative assistant.