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Microbial Friends & Foes Research Experience for non-Cornell Undergraduates (MFF)

Program Organizers

Teresa Pawlowska, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
Esther Angert, Microbiology
Tory Hendry, Microbiology


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The goal of the Microbial Friends & Foes REU Summer Site is to expose undergraduate students to concepts, research questions, and experimental approaches central to understanding microbial interactions with eukaryotic hosts and host responses to microbes, and to inspire students to seek careers in science.  Participants will be placed in host labs where they will work with a faculty mentor as well as graduate student and postdoctoral mentors to develop and implement an independent research project.  The research of potential faculty mentors falls broadly into three themes currently growing within the field of host-microbe interactions: (i) the ecology and evolution of microbe-eukaryote interactions, (ii) mechanisms underlying host-microbe interactions, and (iii) genetic and genomic analysis of microbes related to their associations with eukaryotic hosts.

NOTE: The program’s features and requirements may change. The program is intended to operate in person, but all potential projects can be completed in person, or remotely. Should circumstances require the program to be held remotely, all program participants will be notified.


​The program is scheduled from June 5th to August 11th, 2023.  Students will receive a stipend of $6500, travel subsidy, meal allowance and on-campus housing.  Applicants will be selected in a two-step review process by the Program selection committee and potential mentors.

Prospective research themes and past REU projects can be found on THIS PAGE.

MFF Alumni – coming soon