HRP SU21-29: Research Opportunity with Dr. Yanlin Wang

Project Mentor

Dr. Yanlin Wang
Department of Medicine

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description Several research projects are available to summer research students. The specific project will be tailored to student’s interest. Our lab are interested in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease. A key pathologic feature of chronic kidney disease is renal fibrosis, which is characterized by fibroblast activation and excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix. We are investigating several signaling pathways that regulate fibroblast activation into myofibroblasts. Specifically, we are studying TGF-beta/Smad signaling and JAK3/STAT6 signaling in fibroblast activation.

Another pathologic feature of kidney disease is inflammation, which is characterized by macrophage accumulation and activation resulting in kidney injury and fibrosis. We have shown that chemokine CXCL16 and its receptor CXCR6 play an important role in the recruiting macrophages into the kidney. Subsequently, we have demonstrated CXCL16 binding to CXCR6 activates PI3 kinase gamma leading to macrophage infiltration into the kidney. More recently, we are investigating the role of histone deacetylase 3 regulates macrophage activation. Moreover, we are examining how cGAS-STING pathway in the regulation of inflammation.

Finally, tubular injury is the primary insult leading to chronic kidney disease. Tubular injury causes tubular epithelial cells to release paracrine factors such as proinflammatory chemokines and profibrotic cytokines. We are studying SOX4, ZBP1, and MDA5 in regulating tubular epithelial cell injury and regeneration.

Project Direction We are utilizing molecular, cell, genetic, and pharmacological approaches in our research. Students can learn a wide range of biological techniques such as cell culture, cell proliferation, apoptosis, necroptosis, cell differentiation, PCR, real time RT-PCR, Western blot, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, histology, animal models of kidney disease. The student will start with cell studies and progress to animal study using genetically modified mice.
Mentorship and Supervision I will supervise the student with the assistance of junior faculty and postdoctoral associates in my lab. The student is expected to present at our weekly lab meeting and receive feedback.
Student Qualifications Coursework of biology completed/in progress, and academic interests related to the research projects. Biological research experience is preferred, but not required.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 24 to July 30, 2021
Schedule: M-F, 8am-5:30pm
Project Continuation Fall 2021, Spring 2022
Academic Year Time Commitment 3-9 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, February 1, 2021.

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 references.