RBI Summer Internship Program

The RNA Bioscience Initiative (RBI) Summer Internship Program is a 10-week hands-on, mentored research opportunity for undergraduates who want to gain real-world laboratory experience in RNA biology, chemistry, biochemistry, genomics, and bioinformatics. Summer Interns_3

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is located in the Denver metro area. Interns are mentored by faculty from the biomedical research departments at CU Anschutz; past mentors have included faculty from Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Immunology and Microbiology, Pathology, and many more. Please visit our Faculty page for a complete list of possibilities.

Undergraduate students with a strong interest in RNA research are encouraged to apply for this program. The program is especially intended for undergrads wishing to gain research experience in advance of applying to graduate school. Applicants may designate three preferred potential mentors from the RBI-faculty, or they may contact an RBI faculty member ahead of applying to pre-arrange an internship match (please note this on the application).

The RNA Bioscience Initiative was started in January 2016 with $20 million in funding from the Dean’s Office of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The mission of the RBI is to cultivate a vibrant center of discovery and innovation in RNA biology, informatics, diagnostics, and therapy. Our goal is to provide a fluid pipeline from basic to clinical RNA research on our campus and beyond, and to train the next generation of researchers.

Program Highlights

  • 10-weeks, from early June through early August (start and end dates flexible); $4,000 stipend
  • Round-trip travel to Denver and housing provided
  • 50% of interns selected from SACNAS-affiliated students (beginning summer 2020)
  • Hands-on mentored research experience focused on cutting-edge RNA research
  • Full-day orientation highlighting the RNA Bioscience Initiative and the RBI Summer Internship Program
  • Weekly RNA-related small group lunch seminars from core RBI-faculty
  • Mentoring lunches with RBI-affiliated PhD students and postdocs
  • Short oral presentation given upon completion of research project
  • Spend the summer in Denver, CO, which offers a great balance of urban and outdoor activities

Meet the RBI 2021 Summer Interns:



Ruby Aaron

Mentor: Craig Jordan; Maria Amaya

Project: The Effect of SF3B1 Dysregulation on Energy Metabolism in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)


Hamza Ahmed

Mentor: Allison Porman Swain

Project: Investigating RME2 and IME4 in Candida albicans


Maya Brown

Mentor: Matthew Taliaferro

Project: Understanding the Mechanisms of mRNA Localization in Mouse Neuronal Cell Lines


Miles Daniels

Mentor: Neel Mukherjee

Project: Localization of MSI2 in Human Adrenocortical Cells


Marc Gorum

Mentor: David Bentley

Project: Constructing Lentivirus Expression Vectors for Wild-type and Mutant Versions of the Conserved Transcription Elongation Factor Rtf1


Alex Gutierrez

Mentor: Olivia Rissland

Project: The Effect of 2A Sequences on Peptide Bond Formation in Giardia lamblia


Ethan Madden

Mentor: Aaron Johnson

Project: Investigating the Role of R-Loops in PRC2 Regulated Gene Silencing


Landon Menuey

Mentor: Beat Vogeli

Project: Investigating a Unique Role for Z-RNA Conformations in Cell Necroptosis and Viral Infection


Sofia Orrey Valencia

Mentor: Traci Lyons

Project: CSTF2 and Polyadenylation


Cameron Ortiz

Mentor: Suja Jagannathan

Project: Elucidating the Role of DUX4-Induced Splicing Factor SRSF8 in SRSF3 Splicing


Cyndey Pittenger

Mentor: Linda van Dyk

Project: Characterization of RNA-Mango as an RNA Tag for Isolation and Imaging of Viral ncRNAs