HRP SU23-14: Research Opportunity with Dr. Mallika Ghosh

Project Mentor

Dr. Mallika Ghosh
Department of Cell Biology, Center for Vascular Biology

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description Cell-cell fusion is a highly specialized process mediated by fusion regulatory proteins involved in a variety of diverse cellular function. CD13, a transmembrane protein that we study in my lab, controls many events including adhesion, migration, membrane organization, and endocytosis that are all critical in cell-cell fusion. We hypothesize that CD13 is a negative regulator of cell-cell fusion during osteoclastogenesis and macrophage giant cell formation, and thus is a novel target for therapeutic intervention in pathological conditions mediated by defects in cell-cell fusion such as osteoporosis and failure of medical implants such as hernia mesh or glucose sensor.
Project Direction During the summer, the student will learn about the project, read literature related to the project and research techniques such as cell culture, cell based assay, imaging and microscopy and eventually how to perform implant surgery in mice. During the academic year, since the student will be spending limited time in the lab, I will advise to focus on goals that can be achieved during that time. For example, the student can analyze data that was gathered during the summer research; focus on histology, immunohistochemistry, and microscopy of sections that were obtained during the summer research; and writing manuscripts and presenting research at conferences.
Mentorship and Supervision
Perform assigned readings of scientific papers on related topics
Observe procedures performed by mentor and lab members
Perform experimental procedures under the guidance of the mentor
Have regular communication and feedback about procedures and techniques with mentor on a daily basis
Follow protocols written and develop new protocols for new procedures used
Reflection Journal & Lab Notebook
Presentations in Center and Lab Meetings
Present poster and research at fall and/or spring UConn Frontiers in Undergraduate Research exhibition
Application to fellowships including SURF, IDEA Grant, and AHA Founders Affiliate Fellowship
Have meetings with mentor about opportunities to gain experience and guidance on career options
Apply for several fellowships including: American Heart Association Undergrad Fellowship Program and American Society for Cell Biology Travel undergraduate fellowship for participating in the upcoming ASCB conferences
Research new techniques and different functions of several proteins involved in regulating TNT function
Student Qualifications Coursework in Biological sciences and Chemistry will be helpful. Specific skills will be taught during summer research.
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 22 to July 28, 2023
Schedule: M-F, 9am-5pm
Project Continuation Fall 2023, Spring 2024
Academic Year Time Commitment 6 hours/week
Possible Thesis Project Yes


Submit an online application for this research opportunity at The application deadline is Monday, January 30, 2023.

This application requires a cover letter, a resume or CV, an unofficial transcript, GPA, science GPA, a brief statement of research interests, and a brief statement of career interests. References should be available upon request.