HRP SU17-3: Research Opportunity with Dr. Caroline Dealy

Project Mentor

Dr. Caroline Dealy
Reconstructive Sciences/Orthopedic Surgery/Regenerative Medicine/Cell Biology

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description The long term goal of the project is to understand and identify growth factor signals that control stem cell responses that mediate limb regeneration. The overarching health care need is to one day develop biological replacements for human limbs lost due to accident or military conflict. Dr Dealy is a developmental biologist/molecular biologist (and UConn alumnus) and her laboratory is using growth factors and stem cells to approach the problem of limb regeneration incompetence in mammals, using a mouse model of digit loss.
Project Direction Specific summer projects include assessment of gene expression profiles in regenerating and non-regenerating digit tissue; morphometric analysis of micro-computed tomography data of regenerating digits; or histologic assessment of effects of local signal stimulation on regeneration response in surgically manipulated digit tips. Longer term projects combine surgical, genetic and morphometric approaches. A goal of longer term projects is presentation and publication.
Student Qualifications The most important qualifications are self-motivation, maturity and engagement. Ability to carry out independent literature searches on the research topic, and willingness to read this literature as it impacts the project, are also important qualities. Student should have good oral and written communication skills and be a team player. Students should also have interest in a long-term research relationship extending past the summer, and awareness of the commitment this takes. Dr Dealy is a prior and current mentor for several UConn undergrads including four honors students and several Independent Study students. An ideal candidate for this position would be an honors-track student with some prior lab research experience who is preferably considering a career involving research or teaching and who is a rising Sophomore or Junior. Any Biology-related major is fine, including majors within CLAS, CAHNR, and BME.
Mentorship and Supervision Dr Dealy’s philosophy is for each trainee in her lab, including summer trainees, to have as much ownership as possible of their research project. Typically a project will have a specific set of goals that are achievable for the time available, and that are stand-alone but integrate with ongoing studies. Trainees are mentored on a day to day basis by a designated graduate student or research associate in the lab, who have prior experience as mentors. Students have free access to Dr Dealy as her office is across the hall. Spontaneous conversations typically occurring every other day with Dr Dealy are supplemented by weekly group lab meetings where progress and feedback are discussed at length. In addition to carrying out their research, Dr Dealy’s students are encouraged to participate in seminars, symposia and workshops run by her affiliated departments and/or by other summer programs at UCH, including on topics on careers, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: 9-10 full-time weeks to be scheduled between May 30 and August 4, 2017
Schedule: M-F, 8:30-5:30 is ideal; accommodations for students who depend on shuttle transportation will be made
Project Continuation Fall 2017, Spring 2018
Academic Year Time Commitment 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 brief statement of research interests, and a brief statement of career interests.