HRP SU20-10: Research Opportunity with Dr. Kshitiz

Project Mentor

Dr. Kshitiz
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description We have established a fascinating connection between pregnancy and cancer metastasis, fundamentally changing our view of how and why cancer becomes malignant (see our paper in Nature Evolution:
This discovery has opened up a new and important field to investigate cancer metastasis, how it starts, why it starts, and suggest methods to control cancer invasion. We are listing a series of very interesting projects for HRP students, and I am sure you will like at least one of them, and will get to work on a variety of techniques. These include:
1. Understanding the mechanics of how cancer invades into the surrounding tissue: involves microscopy, image analysis, traction force measurements etc.
2. Understanding the metabolism of cancer invasion: microscopy, metabolomics, lots of cool assays, bioinformatics, data analysis.
3. The evolutionary basis different levels of malignancy in mammals: dealing with farm animal tissues, histology, bioinformatics.
4. Looking at how fibrosis occurs in different tissues: nanoengineering, microscopy, image analysis, force generation analysis, and basic biochemistry.Students in our group have a high probability to be part of  publications if they contribute.
Project Direction We are understanding why cancer malignancy is so vastly different between mammals (e.g. horses and cows are quite resistant to melanoma lethality while humans are very vulnerable), and we have connected it to pregnancy in these mammals. You will be part of a very new field we have started with our collaborators at Yale, and will contribute towards a very fundamental, and medically important problem! As mentioned, there are many subprojects within it, and you can pick and choose according to your interests and inclinations.
Mentorship and Supervision Our lab is well funded and has several senior people to help you navigate your projects. These include brilliant post docs and students, and all of them can not only guide you technically, but help you guide your subprojects, as well as understand how to progress in a scientific career. Several students from nearby colleges have worked in our lab last year and 2 of them even got a name in a publication, which is very impressive and will advance their careers significantly.
Student Qualifications There are many subprojects, so depending upon your interests we can certainly fit you in. What we expect the most is a genuine interest in learning, advancing your career options, discipline and curiosity.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 26 to July 31, 2020
Schedule: M-F, 9am-5pm
Project Continuation Fall 2020, Spring 2021
Academic Year Time Commitment 9 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, February 3, 2020.

This application requires a resume or CV and contact information for references.