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Duke-Davidson Immunology Partnership

The Duke-Davidson Immunology Partnership was established in 2009 by Prof. Sophia Sarafova, who is a full-time associate professor of biology and adjunct associate professor at Duke Immunology Department. This program aims to provide students with an exposure to the subject of immunology from academic and research perspectives while allowing graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at Duke an opportunity to hone their teaching and mentoring skills.

Typically interested Davidson students would take the Immunology Class (Bio 307) and either Immune System Dysfunction (Bio 364) or Immunopharmacology (Che 375) in their junior year. Then they will be able to apply for the Duke-Davidson Immunology Summer Program, a ten-week intensive research program at Duke. Independent research in immunology and genetic (Bio 371/2) is also available with Prof. Sarafova and can be started at any time.

All interested students also have the opportunity to accompany Prof. Sarafova to the Duke immunology department invited speaker series a few times during the semester and participate in the Duke immunology department annual retreat. Duke graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have the opportunity to teach at the undergraduate level at Davidson for up to a week as guest lecturers in Prof. Sarafova's classes.

The Duke-Davidson Immunology Summer Program

Duration: 10 weeks, Monday, June 6 - Friday, August 12
Prerequisites: Rising juniors and seniors who have taken at least Bio 201. Preference will be give to students who have taken Bio 307

Program announcement for 2016

The Duke-Davidson Immunology Summer Program invites outstanding students to apply for a 10-week research internship in Prof. Sarafova’s lab from Monday, June 6 - Friday, August 12, 2016. This program offers research training, participation in the journal club and lab meeting, and an opportunity to present the research findings in poster format at Davidson and at a regional or a national level meeting. This program also aims to connect research and industry by including field trips to Triangle-area biotechnology firms. Previous experience with immunology and/or genetics (coursework and/or research) is preferred, but not required.

Prof. Sarafova’s research project investigates the regulatory mechanisms responsible for changing the timing and level of production of the CD4 molecule during T cell development and function. Ultimately, the goal is to determine whether dysregulation of CD4 production could predispose to autoimmune disorders.

The deadline to apply is Friday, March 11, 2016. To apply, prepare the following materials in a single file:

  • 250 word interest statement (Why do you wish to participate?)
  • 300 word career goals statement
  • 350 word past research statement

In addition to your statements, please include the names of two references that we may contact for further information. Email all materials to Prof. Sophia Sarafova at

The successful candidates will be informed by Friday, April 1. A stipend of $4,000 will be provided and participants will be encouraged to apply for a housing grant through Davidson College.

Please, contact Prof. Sophia Sarafova at  with further questions.