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March 2007 Issue

Former program participant and PhD candidate Michael Tranter works under supervision of Professor Ron Millard.
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Undergrad Research Programs Help Grow Ohio's Economy

Published March 2007

Two summer programs that provide undergraduates with a “demystified” introduction to research are drawing top students from across the country to the University of Cincinnati.


And according to the director of the programs, Ron Millard, PhD, “They are helping to expand Ohio’s scientific and technically trained resources, and in doing so are feeding the state’s biotechnical and pharmaceutical enterprise.”


The programs are the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) in Membrane Science, Technology and Bio-Applications, and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (ASPET-SURF).


“Our intent is to bring in the very best students,” says Millard, professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics at UC College of Medicine, “and retain the best of them in graduate programs at UC in engineering and the pharmaceutical and medical sciences.


“Exposure to this level of training demystifies research and helps make research-oriented careers more accessible and realistic options,” he says.


Millard says the long-running NSF-REU program attracts 100 to 200 applicants each year. The ASPET-SURF program, which was last offered 10 years ago, then attracted 40 applicants.


The NSF-REU program in membrane science, says Millard, is one of only 10 similar offerings in the country and the only one offering linkage between engineering materials and biomedical applications, new products, instruments, surfaces, drug delivery modals and new genetic therapies to penetrate biomembranes.


The NSF-REU offering, from June 11 to Aug. 17, provides 10 fellowships of $4,000 plus housing, transportation and meals allowances to undergrads seeking research experience who are interested in PhD programs in engineering and the biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences.


The ASPET-SURF program offers five $4,000 fellowships from June 11 to Aug. 17 for undergrads seeking research experiences and graduate programs in pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutical science.


“These programs are another example of how UC puts itself on the national radar screen and highlight our faculty scholarship and research expertise to attract the best and brightest of America’s undergrads,” Millard says.


Deadline for application for both programs is March 15. For more information, visit or contact Millard at (513) 558-2336 or

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