Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program

Lms Program 2023 Cohort
2023 Trainees (from left to right): Jarelis Cabrera, Leahan Castillo, Erin Suh, Kimberly Hwang, Aunannya Banik, Dr. Patricia Pereira, Paige Clark, Carlo Amorado, Will Weber, Shreya Kuchipudi, Joy Kyeyune

Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine invites undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to participate in the Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program. This Program is designed to provide students with hands-on cancer research experience for 10 weeks over the summer. Opportunities range from basic science research to clinical research to prevention/control and population research. In addition to completing a research project with a faculty mentor, participants also engage in a variety of other activities as part of the program, including tours of state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research facilities and weekly seminars on current areas of research and career building tools.


2024 program dates are May 28 – August 2

Students’ daily schedules will depend on the research area in which they are working, but participants are expected to work approximately 40 hours per week.


Ribeiro Pereira, Patricia

Patricia Pereira, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, where she leads the Disease Imaging and Therapy Lab. Patricia is also an Associate Member of the Siteman Cancer Center in the Oncology Imaging Program, a faculty member of Biomedical Engineering, and a faculty member of the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences. Patricia’s research centers on tumor-targeted multimodal imaging techniques, in concert with complementary genetic and proteomic approaches, to investigate how regulation of membrane receptors can function in tumors and their microenvironment at the most basic level and at the level of drug resistance.

Dr.  Pereira is a member of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the World Molecular Imaging Society. She is a Board Director for the Center for Molecular Imaging Innovation and Translation and a member of the Women in Molecular Imaging. She also serves as the Program Director for the Leah Menshouse Springer Summer Opportunities Program at Siteman Cancer Center.



Applicants must be a current undergraduate, graduate or medical student currently pursuing, or intending to pursue a doctoral degree in a cancer research related field (e.g. MD, PhD, DO, PharmD, etc.).

Students must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent U.S. resident, in possession of a F-1 visa through Washington University, or completing the optional practical training (OPT) on a F-1 visa through another university. DACA students are also eligible to apply. The summer program does not qualify for an H-1B visa, J-1 visa or TN visa. 

There is no set number of accepted participants of any specific class year or academic background and applicants are not required to have prior laboratory experience.  Diversity in academic study and research is key to scientific discovery, students with diverse backgrounds and experiences are strongly encouraged to apply.

Stipend, Travel, & Housing

Students will be provided a $7,000 stipend that will be disbursed in two payments on the last days of June and July.

Housing is available on campus for participants at summer term rates. Participants are also welcome to secure their own housing off campus. All participants are responsible for their travel to St. Louis and any housing fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can high school seniors apply?

No. Only students who are in undergraduate, graduate or medical school during the application process are eligible to apply. Students must be currently or intending to pursue MD and/or PhD training.

Are high school letters of recommendations accepted if I have only completed one semester of college and do not know my professors well?

It is most important that those writing recommendations be able to speak to your abilities, training, experience and performance. If your high school instructors are the ones most able to make these assessments, then you may use these recommendations. All other things being equal, college recommendations would be preferred, but the most important aspect is how much the person writing the letter can judge your past and future performance.

My reference cannot submit their letter by the deadline. Will you accept it a few days late?

No. All application materials, including reference letters, must be submitted by the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their materials have been received prior to this deadline.

Can I start the program later or leave earlier than the official starting and ending date of the program?

We highly encourage students to avoid missing the official program dates. However, requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Materials needed for a complete application:

1 – Online Application Form

Applications for 2024 are currently closed.

2 – Demographics Survey

3 – A single, combined PDF of the following items:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Transcript(s)
    • If applicable, please attach your graduate and/or medical transcript(s)
    • Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
    • Please note: Transcripts may include sensitive identifiers (e.g. SSN) – Please redact this information before uploading.

This single PDF file must contain both items (CV/resume and transcripts) and uploaded within the online application form to be considered.  Your file should be named as follows: first and last name, Summer 2024 (ex: Jane Smith, Summer 2024).

4 – Reference Letter #1

Letters of reference are due on Friday, January 12, 2024, 5:00 PM CST, and must be requested through our system. The link will be available in November.

Request your letter of reference HERE.

We recommend that at least one of your two reference letters be from a STEM teacher or professor. Your references will be requested to address the following in their reference letter:

    • Identify for how long and at which career stage(s) you have known the applicant.
    • Describe the applicant’s qualifications in general cancer biology and/or translational cancer research.
    • Describe the applicant’s capacity to develop original ideas.
    • Describe the applicant’s performance in comparison to other students you have known.
    • Describe the applicant’s potential to become a successful scientist.
    • Describe if the applicant has worked in your laboratory, and the applicant’s scientific accomplishments.
    • Indicate any special circumstances that should be considered with respect to this applicant.

5 – Reference Letter #2

Letters of reference are due on Friday, January 12, 2024, 5:00 PM CST and must be requested through our system. The link will be available in November.

Request your letter of reference HERE.

Applicant Review

Application materials, including reference letters, submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Incomplete applications after the deadline will not move forward to the review process. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all materials have been received prior to the deadline. Complete applications that have been submitted by the deadline (January 12) will be reviewed.  Those selected will be matched to research opportunities available at Siteman Cancer Center before the end of March.


For questions regarding the Program, please contact [email protected].

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University’s Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130