HRP SU17-11: Research Opportunity with Dr. Xin-Ming Ma

Project Mentor

Dr. Xin-Ming Ma

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. The mechanisms underlying schizophrenia are poorly understood. Current understanding of schizophrenia has been generated from neuroimaging analysis, genetic studies, postmortem tissue analysis, and animal models, which all have their limitations. Patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide an excellent platform for exploring disease mechanisms in a way animal models cannot. Our lab is using iPSC-derived neurons from schizophrenic patients and healthy controls to study the mechanisms underlying schizophrenia. The specific aim is to compare the dendritic spines and synapses in iPSC-derived neurons between schizophrenic patients and healthy controls.
Project Direction Students will have the chances to learn and understand techniques including, but not limited to, iPSC culture, generation of neurons from iPSCs, immunocytochemistry, PCR, and fluorescent microscope.
Mentorship and Supervision The PI will personally supervise the student, and the student can ask the PI at any time if she or he has any questions. The senior research scientist and technician in the PI’s lab are also available for the student. To monitor her/his progress, the PI will discuss the experiment with the student at least once a week.
Student Qualifications The applicants have interests in neuroscience, and have completed some basic coursework in neuroscience.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: 9-10 full-time weeks to be scheduled between May 20 and August 25, 2017
Schedule: To be determined in consultation with selected student; other lab members are in the lab M-F, 9am-6pm
Project Continuation Fall 2017, Spring 2018
Academic Year Time Commitment 6-9 hours/week
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 a cover letter, a resume or CV, an unofficial transcript, a brief statement of research interests, a brief statement of career interests, and contact information for one reference.