The Van Doorslaer lab at the University of Arizona

Join Us in Tucson!

Lab culture

The most exciting aspect of setting up a lab is the ability to define the lab culture. It is my goal to establish a group of individuals who are passionate about virology, cancer biology and/or evolution and who are willing to teach and learn from their peers. I expect “wet lab” and “computational” scientists to talk and challenge each other to ultimately push the boundaries of our science. I want everyone in my lab to thrive and believe this is achieved by working together as a team!

I am new to the #PIlife, but I have been in and around labs for a long time. Managing scientists with different career goals at different career stages is challenging. I have seen approaches that work and some that do not. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, but together with you, I will do my best to help you be successful both in and outside the lab. The key to creating a productive lab environment is good work-life balance. Within reason, the numbers of hours spend in the lab are meaningless, progress made towards our shared goals is what really matters.

If you are interested in joining our group, please feel free to e-mail me (vandoorslaer AT email D0T Arizona D0T edu).

Graduate students

I am going to assume that you know what getting a PhD entails, and that you have decided that you love science so much that you are ready for the 4-6 year process. If so, the next set of questions might help in deciding whether my lab is the right place for you.

  • Do you think you will thrive in a collaborative lab (see lab culture above)?
  • Do you agree that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”?
  • Do you like computers (but have a healthy mistrust of them)?
  • Are you and math at least friendly?
  • Are you willing to spend much of the next 5 years looking at sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees?
  • Are you excited about combining primary cell culture with several -omics approaches?
  • Are you not afraid to step outside of your comfort zone?
  • Have you read any of my papers? Still awake?

We are always on the look-out for motivated students to join our group, please reach out to me if you are interested in my lab. I look forward to reading about why you think my lab is the place that will allow you to maximize your potential.

In addition to the Microbiology program at the University of Arizona, I am a faculty member in the Cancer Biology and Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (GIDP). Students can apply directly to the individual programs, or to the umbrella Arizona Biological and Biomedical Sciences (ABBS) program.

Undergraduate Research

Do you like microbiology, evolution, and/or cell biology? Not sure that bench research is your thing? I am looking forward to have undergraduate researchers in the lab. If you are curious, eager to learn, and willing to be a true part of the lab I am happy to have you join the lab.
Existing projects in the lab are centered around understanding the role of the normal viral lifecycle during oncogenic progression. In addition, several viral discovery opportunities exist. Depending on what you are looking for, you can join an existing project or we can try to develop your own. You can join as either volunteers, or take research credits (your academic advisor will be able to help you with this).

If you are interested, please contact me (vandoorslaer AT email D0T Arizona D0T edu). Show me that you are excited about science and my lab, and I will get back to you! WebGURU is a great resource for anything Undergrad Research related. Be sure to check their section on funding. The Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) at the University of AZ provides fellowships.