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RFUMS Summer Scholars Program

The LFC-RFU Summer Research Scholars Program is the original partnership activity that connected Lake Forest College and Rosalind Franklin University for Medicine and Science, located just 10 minutes away from campus by car or train.

About the Program

Since 2009, this unique and thriving summer research training program for our life science majors has trained over 150 lake Forest College students till date. Every summer, 15-20 undergraduates (from first year to senior thesis students) conduct up to 10 weeks of paid research as RFUMS summer scholars. 

All participants have gained exceptional professional mentors among the faculty at this graduate health professions university. Each student works in specific medical school professor’s lab carrying out original medical research in the areas of cell and molecular pharmacology, neuroscience, cell biology and anatomy, biochemistry and molecular biology, pathology, microbiology and immunology, physiology and biophysics, psychology, medicinal chemistry, and more.  

The student scholar receives a free Lake Forest College full course credit and a living stipend. The scholar is eligible to receive summer housing and participate in cafeteria meal plans at Lake Forest College, at a reduced cost.

2022 LFC-RFUMS Summer Scholars named

This summer, 18 Lake Forest College students are conducting medical research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFU) through our Lake Forest College - Rosalind Franklin University Summer Scholars Program, which began in 2010 as the original partnership effort between the College and RFU. This is the first experience in undergraduate research for all 2022 students. Each Forester is paired with an RFU professor who will serve as a mentor during the 10-week program. Over 150 have completed the program to date.

Willow Highfill ’23 Dr. Heinz Steiner (Professor and Dept Chair of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology)
Katarzyna Barton ’24 Professor Kaiwan Kam (Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)
Margaret Boersma ’24 Professor William Frost (Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)
Allison Coffell ’23 Professor Joseph Reynolds (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Rabia Fatima ’23 Professor Neelam Sharma-Walia (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Alex Fayn ’24 Professor David Everly (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Olivia Godek ’23 Professor Holly Hunsberger (Department of Foundational Sciences and Humanities)
Giorgio Papadatos ’24 Professor Shivaputra Patil (Department of Medicinal Chemistry)
Ying Han ’24 Professor EunJung Hwang (Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)
Shaad Khalil ’24 Professor Kristen Ahlschwede (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
Kateryna Malkina ’24 Professor Rahul Vijay (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Lorena Monroy ’24 Professor Joanna Dabrowska (Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology)
Jasmin Montes ’24 Professor Amiel Rosenkranz (Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology)
Anait Nalbandyan ’24 Professor Beth Stutzmann (Department of Neuroscience)
Ama Owusu-Ofori ’24 Professor EunJung Hwang (Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)
Makayla Sanchez ’24 Professor Ryan Crews (Department of Podiatric Surgery & Applied Biomechanics)
Ilona Sergeeva ’24 Professor Johnny He  (Department of Microbiology and Immunology)
Wambui Kahende ’24 Professor Hongkyun Kim (Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy)


Alumnae of this program are successfully pursuing PhDs, medical school, physical therapy, optometry, and other health professions and scientific careers.

All scholars present their research at the college’s Robert B. Glassman Memorial Brain, Mind, and Behavior Symposium in fall or at the Steven P. Galovich Memorial Student Symposium in spring. Our scholars also regularly present and win honors for their work at national conferences such as the national Society for Neuroscience meeting and Chicago area scientific conferences, such the Chicago Society for Neuroscience Meeting and the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Society for Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics.  

Several scholars have received undergraduate poster prizes at these scientific conferences.  Some have also co-authored scientific manuscripts published in major journals. 

How to Apply?

Contact Program Director Disque D. and Carol Gram Deane Professor of Biological Sciences ( for details.

Barry Kim ’22, a neuroscience student at Lake Forest College, spent this past summer working with Assistant Professor Neelam Sharma-Walia in the Department of Microbiology...
Mary Denichenko ’22 has a singular goal: to attend medical school and become a doctor. Research experience is a critical step in accomplishing this goal, and as a student...
Through the RFUMS Summer Scholars Program, Demetri Maglaras ’23 had the opportunity to clone a gene into a DNA plasmid while studying under Professor Joseph Reynolds at...


Shubhik DebBurman
Disque D. and Carol Gram Deane Professor of Biological Sciences

Pauline Binder-Finnema
Science & Health Care Pathway Leader