2019 Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) Program Participants & Projects

Student: Sydney Ostrom

Mentor: Daniel Akerib

Project Title: Development of Analysis Tools for Data from the LUX/LZ Project

Project Description: The LUX/LZ group at SLAC is involved in the development of a variety of analyses spread across the completed LUX WIMP dark matter search experiment, the future next generation LZ experiment, and the operating System Test platform housed at SLAC. All three systems use primary (S1) and secondary (S2) scintillation signals to detect potential dark matter scattering events in a liquid Xe target. An interested student would analyze data from any one of these systems, potentially including pulse shape analysis for an “S2-only” search to probe lower mass WIMP particles; analysis of realistic simulated data for LZ; or position reconstruction in System Test data. Familiarity with C++ is preferred. Knowledge of CERN ROOT is helpful but not necessary.


Student: Shaan Patel

Mentor: Richard Partridge

Project Title: Cryogenic Testing of Dark Matter Detectors and Electronics for SuperCDMS SNOLAB

Project Description: SuperCDMS SNOLAB is a new experiment being built to search for the dark matter that makes up 85% of the mass of the universe.  The experiment will be located 6800’ underground in the SNOLAB facility and utilize Si and Ge crystals cooled to 30 mK to search for low-mass (<10 GeV) dark matter.  The experiment achieves the extremely low detection thresholds needed for low-mass dark matter searches by detecting phonons, which are the quantized crystal vibrations produced when energy is deposited in the crystal by a dark matter interaction.  The proposed summer project is to work with members of the SLAC CDMS group to perform cryogenic testing and analysis of test data obtained in the SLAC CDMS test facility, where crystals are cooled to extremely low temperatures and data is recorded that allows us to measure the performance of the dark matter detectors and associated readout electronics that are being built for SuperCDMS SNOLAB.


Student: Sasha Smerekanych

Mentor: Irimpan Mathews

Project Title: Structural study of a receptor involved in cell proliferation

Project Description: Granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a hematopoietic cytokine that stimulates neutrophil production and hematopoietic stem cell mobilization by initiating the dimerization of homodimeric granulocyte colony stimulating factor receptor (G-CSFR). Different mutations of CSF3R have been linked to a unique spectrum of myeloid disorders and related malignancies. Mutations in the CSF3R have recently been found in a large percentage of patients with chronic neutrophilic leukemia and, more rarely, in other types of leukemia.  The current project involves functional study of the protein related to CSF3R. Various proteins are currently under expression and purification. We will use X-ray crystallography as the main tool to get molecular level understanding of the receptor. Students will learn various aspects of X-ray crystallography including crystallization, data collection and structure solution.