The Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine is pioneering the development of new approaches to study cells and organisms in the new discipline of systems biology. The ultimate goal of our research is to create new knowledge about the function and interactions of living cells, the cellular and molecular basis for dysfunction, and ultimately provide the basis for the development of new clinical treatment strategies to combat disease.

Toni R. Pak, PhD
James R. DePauw Professor and Chair, Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology
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2024 Summer Undergraduate Research in Cardiovascular Physiology (Cardio-SURPh)


This program will provide students with hands-on research experience in active NIH and AHA funded cardiovascular research labs. Students will also attend career development workshops, research seminars, networking opportunities, and have the option to present their work at a national scientific meeting.


The Loyola Cardio-SURPh program is supported by the American Heart Association, the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, and the Loyola Cardiovascular Research Institute


Individuals from groups underrepresented in science are encouraged to apply.


Program Details

  • Program Dates: May 27th – August 2nd (some flexibility may be possible as long as the 10-week commitment is fulfilled)
  • Application: Submit to surph@luc.edu prior to March 13th deadline (see application details below)
  • Stipend: $6,000
  • Housing: Limited housing options are available, please indicate if this is needed in the cover letter
  • Other Support: Up to $3,000 is available to attend a national scientific meeting



  • Applicants must be in their junior or senior academic undergraduate year in good academic standing
  • The program is open to United States Citizens and Foreign Nationals holding student, exchange, or permanent resident visas, including F1, H1, H1B, PR, TC, or TN visas. Awardees must meet American Heart Association citizenship/visa criteria throughout the entire duration of the program.
  • This is a full-time program and fellows may not take other classes while participating


Applications Materials (Deadline: 3/13/24)

  • Statement of research experience and goals (one page or less, also indicate any preference for research mentor here, although we cannot guarantee lab placement)
  • Resume/CV
  • Unofficial Transcripts
  • Statement indicating citizenship/visa requirement (as indicated under eligibility)
  • Send materials as a single pdf to surph@luc.edu
  • Successful applicants will be notified by April 1st


Participating Research Mentors


Please email surph@luc.edu or program director Dr. Jonathan Kirk (jkirk2@luc.edu) with any questions

Congratulations to our students who successfully defended their Ph.D. Theses

Melissa Quintanilla

Quantifying the number of NM2 monomers/filaments present throughout partitioning to differentiate theoretical models


Sean Cleary

Dynamic Control Of The Cardiac Calcium Pump


Margaret Bennett 

Smooth muscle myosin filament dynamics in

physiology and pathophysiology”


 Congratulations to our AHA Grant recipients

Christine Deligatti

Gina Vuchkovska


Announcing CHARM:

The department of Cell and Molecular Physiology is pleased to announce the launch of the Center for Healthy Aging and Resilience Medicine, (CHARM) an interdisciplinary initiative that seeks to investigate how cellular signaling pathways change across the lifespan.Click the link in the menu to learn more!

Recent News and Awards:

  • Jonathan Kirk, PhD, Associate Professor and Vice Chair, interviews with News Medical to discuss his first hand experience in the field of clinical and applied mass spectrometry. Read the full interview here.
  • Sean Cleary, PhD candidate in Dr. Seth Robia's lab, received an NIH predoctoral award for his project titled "Investigating Novel Regulatory Mechanisms of the Cardiac Calcium Pump by Inhibitory and Stimulatory Micropeptides." 
  • Dave Barefield, PhD, Assistant Professor, has been awarded an NIH grant titled "Regulation of atrial contractility in cardiomyopathy."
  • Toni Pak, PhD, James R. DePauw Professor & Chair, has been awarded an NIH grant titled "Neuromolecular consequences of adolescent binge drinking."


If you are interested in a career with Loyola University Chicago's Physiology Department, please visit our careers page.