SPUUR Alumni and Testimonials



I was a SPUUR student during the summer of 2018, and feel very fortunate to have been placed in the labs of Alejandro RoldánAlzate, PhD and Diego Hernando, PhD. Together, they have affiliations spanning the UW departments of biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, radiology and medical physics. Having no prior experience with engineering, this placement inserted me into a brand new world, and I absolutely loved it. I was introduced to engineering software that could translate medical imagery into computational data. Specifically, my project involved using pelvic MRIs to create 3D models of the human bladder and prostate, from which we could extract information on a wide variety of parameters. Afterwards, we analyzed the data for trends. This work left me fascinated every day of the internship.

– Lucille Anzia, UW-Madison summer urology program, 2018

I participated in the Summer Program for Undergraduate Urology Research (SPUUR) in the summer of 2018. As a proud Latina and immigrant student majoring in Biochemistry at UW-Madison, I bring along with me a unique set of characteristics and experiences to STEM-related programs, such as SPUUR. Prior to starting this program, I had little experience and exposure to intensive research opportunities such as the one SPUUR offered. At first, I felt out of my comfort zone and experienced self-doubt as I questioned whether I would be able to succeed in this program. All of these fears and doubts vanished as I started conducting my summer research. I was welcomed into an incredibly supportive and encouraging laboratory team. I am so thankful to have been able to expand my social network through this program, while also being able to form new friendships. Overall, this opportunity served as a meaningful academic “growth spurt” for me, and raised my interest in urologic research and urologic clinical practice. Today, as a first-generation medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, I can confidently say the SPUUR program played a critical role to my path to medical school.

– Ana Maria Viteri, UW-Madison summer urology program, 2018

SPUUR introduced me to the fascinating field of urological research and taught me the necessary skills to be a strong student and undergraduate researcher. During my time in the program and laboratory, I contributed to three publications and when I matriculated to Vanderbilt for college, my strong scientific background inculcated through SPUUR helped me find a position in a similar laboratory. Now as an applicant to medical school, I firmly believe that my participation in SPUUR contributed significantly to helping me gain admission to several competitive programs. And as I continue to pursue a career in medicine, urology remains a field that I am heavily interested in pursuing.

– Anoop Chandrashekar, UW-Madison summer urology research program, 2017

Being accepted into the SPUUR program was an important milestone in my professional growth and development into a scientist. This program taught me to develop research questions into concrete presentations and be a thoughtful investigator. Moreover, as a student from a middle class background, this internship provided me with a paid immersive experience that furthered my career. Further, the SPUUR program’s emphasis on research seminars and team learning, was very different than a typical research experience in an undergraduate lab. The skills I learned in the SPUUR program have helped me to excel in renal and anatomy block courses, which have become exceedingly difficult due to the online environment in which they are taught. Overall, I would highly recommend this program to any student interested in a career in medicine. Over the course of the SPUUR program I learned a slew of technical skills that are crucial to my career, and position as a medical student including surgical technique, immunohistochemistry, microscopy, data analysis and scientific presentation. As a physician I hope to continue to advance progress in the field of urology, through clinical research. The SPUUR program is an extremely valuable program that will help populate the field of urology with a new generation of qualified research scientists and clinicians.

– Samuel Tesch, UW-Madison summer urology research program, 2016