CREU Program Hero

Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU)

Through the University of Colorado Cancer Center's Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU), every summer 23 college undergraduate students are given the opportunity to spend ten weeks in our laboratories at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. CREU is supported by R25CA240122 and the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

The goal of the program is to engage scientific curiosity in the next generation of scientists, challenging qualified college undergraduates to consider a cancer-related career in the future.

An additional 4 under-represented minority students will be selected to be funded through the American Cancer Society Diversity in Cancer Research mechanism. The application process is the same for either mechanism.

Program Dates: May 28 - August 2, 2024

CREU Mentors

When you apply to be a CREU student, you will select four mentors you would like to work with during your fellowship and note them on your application. We make every effort to assign you to your first choice, but we may need to make alternative assignments based on mentor availability.

Projects are located on the Anschutz Medical Campus unless otherwise noted. (Our program takes place on the Anschutz Medical Campus, but we also have mentors in Boulder and Fort Collins.)

Click on mentors' names in the lists below to see example* project descriptions and other information. *Projects are subject to change at anytime. They are likely representative of what that person’s lab is doing, but not the actual project you will be performing.


Meet Our Past CREU Fellows

Elijah Johnson Came to the CU Cancer Center to Research the Mutation that Makes Him More Likely to Develop Cancer

Growing up in Windsor, Colorado, Elijah Johnson thought he would grow up to be a professional musician. He never considered a career as a biomedical researcher. But that all changed when his mother was diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of cancer.

→ Read Elijah's Story Here.

Elijah Johnson (cropped, 800 x 480)

Matt Svalina, PhD, and Marlie Fisher, PhD, with their daughter Navi on Match Day 2023.

An Unexpected Love Story that Began in the Cadaver Lab

Marlie Fisher, PhD, and Matt Svalina, PhD, met in the early days of their MD/PhD program, and will graduate together and begin residencies in the CU School of Medicine.

Not many love stories begin in the cadaver lab at 4 a.m., but this one does. Marlie Fisher, PhD, and Matt Svalina, PhD, had just started their MD/PhD program in the University of Colorado School of Medicine and were learning, in those first several months, that something would have to give if they were going to balance graduate core courses with human anatomy lab.

What gave was sleep. Matt announced to their small cohort of nine MD/PhD students, “I’m going to anatomy lab at 4 a.m., who’s joining me?” Marlie was the only one who did.


→ Read Marlie Fisher's Story Here.

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