Resources & Links

HSV 26-genome paper:Herpes Simplex300x190

Viro-Genome Browser:Viro Genome

PRV genome assembly scripts and dowloads:PRV300x190 Virus Pathogen Resource:ViPR300x190
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Graduate students are welcome to apply to join the lab through the graduate programs below. Follow these links for program-specific details.

The Szpara lab participates in these graduate programs:

Biochemistry, Microbiology & Molecular Biology (BMMB) Program

Huck Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Biosciences (MCIBS) Program

Huck Bioinformatics and Genomics Program

We encourage all science-minded undergraduates to engage in research and to develop critical thinking skills. In our lab, undergraduate researchers make significant contributions and develop skills to work independently on projects that relate to the lab’s research directions.

To work productively in our lab, you will need enthusiasm, motivation, and dedication, as well as the ability to think critically and work responsibly. We have a limited number of mentored spaces available, and new additions to the lab will be based on qualifications and best fit to the available project(s). Wet bench projects benefit from prior lab experience or demonstrated success in lab coursework; while computational projects benefit from past experience with coding or bioinformatics analysis packages.

Because we work with a human pathogen, we add new undergraduates to the lab only under mentored supervision. Limited full time summer research positions are available, and undergraduates work 6-15 hours a week during the semester. Long-term participation in the lab comes with the territory — it takes months to learn what we do, and that long or longer to learn the craft of research.

We encourage active participation in scientific communication as part of the lab. Undergraduates attend and present at group meeting, give journal club presentations, and present their work in public forums such as poster sessions, undergraduate research fairs, and campus retreats. We encourage undergraduates to work toward a capstone project or an honors thesis as part of the  Honors College. Undergraduates are encouraged to seek independent funding and outside review of their projects, such as the Penn State Undergraduate Summer Discovery Grants.

If you have further questions about undergraduate research in our lab, please contact Dr. Moriah Szpara. Interested students can apply through the formal BMB 496 application process.

Publications with undergraduate authors (in bold):

Scholarships and awards won by undergraduates in our lab:

  • Bridget Lunney   2019     Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Award
  • Alyssa Powers   2019     Penn State Student Engagement Network Award
  • Harrison Weidner  2019     Pennsylvania Space Grant Undergraduate Research program (WISER|MURE|FURP)
  • Kokila Shankar   2015     Eberly College of Science Undergraduate Research Support Award
  • Nathan Arnett    2015     Eberly College of Science Undergraduate Research Support Award
  • Chris Sharkey     2014     Penn State Summer Discovery Grant
  • Nathan Arnett    2014     Eberly College of Science Undergraduate Research Support Award

1) Postdoc Viral Genomics and Neuronal Infection

The Szpara laboratory welcomes applications for postdoctoral scholars to join a group focused on the genome-wide variation of human alpha herpes viruses, and their impact on human health.

2) Wage Payroll Position

This job is open! Wage payroll position available to import and curate scientific articles related to infectious diseases into a digital library.

To apply, please submit 1) a resume or CV with educational background, publications, and work experience, 2) a cover letter detailing your research interests and goals, and 3) contact information for three or more references that can provide letters of recommendation.

Current Funding

NIH NIAID Research Grant (R01) and Exploratory/Development Research Award (R21)
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PA Department of Health CURE Program (Commonwealth Universal Research Enhancement)


Past Funding

NIH NIAID Exploratory/Development Research Award (R21) & NIAID Research Scholar Development Award (K22)
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Driving Biological Project from the Virus Pathogens Resource


New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research (NJCSCR), Research Grant Award (2007 Cycle B)




If you are interested in making a contribution to support this work, your gift can be made using the secure online gift form available at

You can choose “Search for an area to support” (middle box).

Run any search, then choose “Can’t find what you’re looking for?” from the top.

Type “Szpara Lab” or similar into the search box. This will generate an option to send a donation to “Other – Szpara Lab” (or whatever text you entered).

Then proceed to checkout & complete the form. Thank you for supporting science!

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