McMahon Lab

Join the Lab

Join the Lab!We are always interested in recruiting bright, motivated, and curious researchers. Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows excited by our research topics should contact Trina directly by email ( with the information noted below. I am particularly open to helping promising applicants apply for fellowship opportunities.



Postdoctoral Applicants

Please submit a CV, description of past and future research interests, and the names and contact information for at least three references. In your research statement, describe why you are excited about our research, and describe the research questions you would like to pursue in our lab.

Graduate Applicants

Trina can advise students in a number of graduate programs on the UW-Madison campus. Please contact Trina in advance if you are unsure about which program is right for you. Note that funding to support graduate studies is extremely limited, so you should plan ahead and apply early (see note below about fellowships).

We strongly encourage exceptional candidates to apply for graduate fellowships at the federal level. Note that deadlines are typically in November for the following year, so you need to plan far in advance!


Undergraduate Applicants

We encourage undergraduates to join our research team. Interested students should submit a list of current and planned course work, and a 1-2 paragraph statement about why you want to work in our lab. We are most interested in enthusiastic and motivated students who can commit at least two full years to research (freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to apply), with a minimum of 5-10 hours per week during the academic year.

My mentoring philosophy

Mentoring Philosophy SectionI put a great deal of thought and effort into mentoring my students and postdocs. It is my job as a professor to help each student/postdoc achieve you personal goals during the time that you are in my lab, and beyond. I will help you tailor the courses you take, the research projects you work on, and the outreach/teaching activities you engage in, to match your goals. We meet regularly to discuss progress towards these goals and possible changes in your path.

I expect my students and postdocs to be highly independent, developing research directions and collaborations beyond their initial primary project. I provide lab members with opportunities to participate in grant proposal writing and large collaborative projects within and beyond UW-Madison. Our research group very much functions as a team and I place a high priority on best practices for "team science" which include open communication, mutual respect, accountability, and shared vision.

The effectiveness of my mentoring is demonstrated by the high degree of success of my former students and postdocs, several of whom have moved on to tenure-track positions at prestigious institutions.

A detailed description of my expectations of graduate students can be found here.


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McMahon Labotatory

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5552 Microbial Science Building
1550 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
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Contact Info
Lab phone: (608) 890-0237
Fax: (608) 262-9865