OUTreach Plant PAthology Clinic & Education (OUTPACE) is a summer research program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham funded by the National Science Foundation. OUTPACE is designed to provide undergraduate students with valuable research experience in plant and molecular biology, knowledge about plant pathology, and microbial laboratory techniques. This 7-week service learning program is taught by Dr. Karolina Mukhtar, Assistant Professor at UAB, whose research focuses on hormone signaling, stress, and the Unfolded Protein Response involved in plant immunity.

Read the program flyer.

Read a sample syllabus.

Read about how the NSF-CAREER award funded this project.

Program Objectives:

To provide theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in plant-microbes interactions;

To obtain knowledge on the molecular underpinnings of the plant immune system;

To acquire skills pathogen detection and ID in infected plant material;

To master laboratory-based microbiological techniques of pathogen isolation, propagation, preparation of infectious isolated, controlled plant infection and quantification of the plant resistance phenotype;

To implement service learning into plant-microbe interaction curriculum by connecting with growers of the UAB Community Gardens

Application Guidelines:

Note: The application deadline for the 2017 program has passed. Please check back January 2018 for new information regarding the 2018 session.

Must be a U.S. citizen;

Must have completed two, preferably three, years of college level study in one of the life sciences by start of program;

GPA of 3.2 or higher;

Submit application letter and CV to Dr. Karolina Mukhtar at Campbell Hall 371 or by email at

Applications are due by March 31, 2018. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 05, 2018.