HRP AY1718-2: Research Opportunity with Dr. Carol Pilbeam

Project Mentor

Dr. Carol Pilbeam
Medicine and Orthopaedics; Director of MD/PhD Program

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description Our lab has found a new pro-inflammatory factor, serum amyloid A (SAA), that can regulate bone turnover. SAA is only produced when prostaglandins (PGs) are also expressed. We generated an SAA knockout mouse and found that SAA is responsible for a significant amount of bone loss with aging in mice. Our projects are focused on determining the mechanisms by which SAA causes bone loss, how SAA is regulated by PGS, and the general role of SAA in inflammatory responses by bone marrow macrophages.
Project Direction Projects during the academic year would focus on in vitro studies of primary osteoblasts and osteoclasts from wild type and SAA knockout mice to identify receptors and signaling pathways of SAA. Aged mice (18-20 mo) would be available for in vivo and in vivo studies in spring and summer to examine effects of SAA on bone cells in aged mice. The overall goal of our research is to find new therapies to prevent bone loss or restore lost bone.
Mentorship and Supervision The lab technician would train student in lab protocols. There are lab meetings weekly and we would set up the time for them to accommodate the student. There are several opportunities for a research in progress presentation and we would ask the student to prepare a presentation with our help for one of them. As the PI, I would be continuously available to discuss progress with the student (in addition to lab meetings). I would like for the student to write a 2 page proposal for his/her research, similar to what our medical students have to do. We are interested in recruiting students interested in MD/PhDs.
Student Qualifications General biology knowledge
Some molecular biology skills would be useful, but if not, a willingness to learn them
Academic Year Time Commitment 6-9 hours/week
Schedule Options Hours by arrangement within the parameters of M-F, 9am-6pm
Project Continuation Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity using the form below. The application deadline is Friday, February 24, 2017.

This application requires an unofficial transcript and a brief statement of career interests.