Joining our laboratory and other news

For prospective graduate students

Our laboratory is part of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN) area within the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The BCN program is a research-focused Ph.D. program that aims to train graduate students for a career in neuroscience. The coursework for each student is based on a small number of courses, after which the student may take additional courses depending on the student's background, needs, present research, and future goals. The major focus of the program is to bring students into the lab as quickly as possible and prepare the students for being successful researchers. You can apply for the program here.

Please do not hesitate to contact Ryan LaLumiere ( with any questions regarding doing Ph.D. work in the LaLumiere lab. We're always looking for new great graduate students! The LaLumiere lab particularly values students who have a background in both biology and psychology and especially those students who have taken neuroscience courses, though we encourage all interested students to apply. In addition, we encourage prospective students to work in a neuroscience lab to gain research experience prior to graduate school. When students join the lab, we emphasize the importance of hitting the ground running and working to develop a strong research plan as quickly as possible. We want our students to be successful here at Iowa and to carry that success with them into their postdoctoral and faculty years.

Our laboratory is also a part of the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program. As a result, our laboratory has interactions and connections with neuroscientists across campus and have developing ongoing collaborations with other members of the neuroscience program. Graduate students in the Neuroscience Program can join our lab via this program as well.

For undergraduates and others interested in working in our lab

We are always interested in having undergraduates join our lab and assist us with our experiments. Students at the University of Iowa may receive course credit for working in the lab. We require students to have a 3.2 GPA or higher, but we do not require a specific major. Students must also be at least a sophomore and must be willing to work in the lab for at least one year. We typically have students work approximately 9 hours per week in the lab during the school year. For those students who show exceptional potential and dedication to the lab, we try to get the student an ICRU (Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates) fellowship either for the summer or for the academic year.

We are also always very interested in having students work with us during the summers. Over the years, we have students come into our lab during the summer through various special summer programs as well as just through volunteering/internship to gain experience in a neuroscience research lab.

If you are interested in joining our lab as an undergraduate and/or working in the lab over the summer, please email When you do, please make sure to provide a resume or CV (curriculum vitae) that contains the following information: your year, your GPA, any relevant coursework or experience, and any other background information you would like us to know about. In addition, please let us know why you are interested in joining the lab. For students during the academic year, please make sure you have some availability in your schedule during the week to be able to work in the lab. We like to have students able to work in 2-4 hour blocks of time in the lab (e.g. 3 blocks of time (3 hours each) across the week).

General information and other news

For those interested in learning more about optogenetics, the Deisseroth Lab maintains a website with good technical information on it.



Office phone number: 319-335-3657

Mailing address:
W311 Seashore Hall
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Office address:
E220 Spence Laboratories of Psychology