HRP SU23-19: Research Opportunity with Dr. Adam Kim

Project Mentor

Dr. Adam Kim
Department of Medicine

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description Our lab is interested in understanding how the immune system contributes to liver disease by utilizing patient samples, next-generation sequencing technologies, and bioinformatic analyses. In this project, we will use peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from patients with alcohol-associated hepatitis, challenge them with bacterial LPS, then perform single-cell RNA-seq to understand gene expression responses in different immune cell types. By using PBMCs isolated from males and females, we investigate sexual dimorphism in immune cell function and how that might contribute to disease.
Project Direction The goal of this project is to understand how the immune system in Alcohol-associated Hepatitis is hypersensitive to a wide diversity of foreign and host-derived molecular patterns. Interestingly, many of the genes involved in these immune responses are known to be sexually dimorphic or regulated differently in males and females. Going forward, the data generated from this project will provide a greater understanding of sexual dimorphism in liver disease and generate new hypotheses which can be tested computationally and in the lab.
Mentorship and Supervision I will train the student in all lab work and computational work. Initially, the project will be mostly in the lab, so experiments will be performed in tandem so the student has an opportunity to learn skills and gain independence. Computational work will not start until after the summer because sequencing the data will take time, but there will be opportunity to learn and practice with datasets we already have. Initially the student and I will meet daily as they are learning and training, but then over time as they gain independence, we will meet to only discuss progress, goals, issues, and other things they need from me.
Student Qualifications
Molecular Biology
Basic lab experience
Computational knowledge and interest
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 22 to July 28, 2023
Schedule: Scheduling options are flexible. Initially the work will be entirely in the lab, so Monday-Friday 8am-4pm with flexibility. Some of the work will also be computational, in which case work from home will also be an option.
Project Continuation Fall 2023, Spring 2024
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, January 30, 2023.

This application requires a cover letter, a resume or CV, an unofficial transcript, and a brief statement of research interests. Names and email addresses for two references should be provided in the application.