The University of Chicago Summer Research Program in Neuroscience

Annually, Dr. Richard Kraig ('71) offers a Cornell student the opportunity to conduct research via the University of Chicago Summer Research Program in Neuroscience. This experience provides either a sophomore or a junior with an outstanding opportunity to engage in original neurological research slated for submission in a peer-reviewed publication. More information on Dr. Kraig's research can be found at  

Richard Kraig, MD, PhD is an expert in migraine patient care, migraine research and cerebrovascular disease research. His clinical interests focus on the diagnosis and treatment of migraine headaches. He oversees the Cerebrovascular Disease and Aging Laboratories, which focus on migraine, stroke, epilepsy and cognitive decline from aging.

An active researcher, Dr. Kraig leads investigations to determine how physical, mental and social activities can lessen the impact of neurological disease. Examination of such mechanisms by which the brain naturally protects itself may lead to more selective cellular and molecular targets, as well as new therapeutic strategies against brain disease. Dr. Kraig's research helps him to develop individualized treatment plans for patients in the Migraine Headache Clinic. He is also involved in teaching medical students, graduate students and residents. More information can be found at

Pritzker School of Medicine Experience in Research

Students conducting research in Dr. Kraig's lab participate in the competitive Pritzker School of Medicine Experience in Research (PSOMER) program. Students in PSOMER participate in basic laboratories and clinical research projects on campus at the University of Chicago School of Medicine throughout their internship experience. Students explore medical and research ethics, health care disparities, statistics and research tools with Dr. Kraig and other University of Chicago School of Medicine students and staff. More information on the PSOMER program can be found at

Previous Cornell Interns & Publications 

The following Cornell students have previously conducted research with Dr. Kraig:

  • Wade Swenson (’07)  was a co-author on the article “ Monomeric IgG Is Neuroprotective via Enhancing Microglial Recycling Endocytosis and TNF- alpha”published in the November 19, 2008 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.

  • Miki Otis (’07)

  • Heidi Mitchell (’08) was a primary author on the “Cold-Preconditioning Neuroprotection Depends on TNF-alpha and is Enhanced by Blockade of Interleukin-11” published in the Journal of NeurochemistryMs. Mitchell currently works full-time in the Kraig lab.

  • Michael Jay Welvaert (’10)

  • Vicki Levasseur (’11) and Megan Dibbern ('12) were co-authors in the Journal of Neurochemistry in 2013 in "Insulin-like growth factor-1 abrogates microlial oxidative stress and TNF-alpha responses to spreading depression."  

  • Neal Klauer (’12) was a co-author in "Spreading depression transiently disrupts myelin via interferon-gamma signaling" in Experimental Neurology in 2015. 

  • Megan Dibbern ('12) completed a summer placement with Dr. Kraig. She later returned during 4th block of 2011 to continue work on their research. This project became the topic for her honors thesis, resulting in her graduating with distinction from Cornell College, entitled "Spreading Depression Preferentially Increases Oxidative Stress in Microglia and Astrocytes: Implications for the Chronification of Migraine.”

  • Jordan Kemme ('13) was a co-author on the article "Spreading Depression Requires Microglia and is Decreased by Their M2a Polarization from Environmental Enrichment"
  • Rachel Henning ('15)

Application & Additional Information

This internship opportunity is the result of a partnership between Dimensions, Dr. Kraig, and the Cornell Fellows program. The application season for summer 2016 has passed, but you can view information on the Cornell Fellows Program and learn more about the application process for this opportunity. See additional information on Dr. Kraig, his lab, and his research.