Dr. Bruce Mayer
Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences, Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description
|Project Description||We work on new ways to visualize cell signaling pathways that are active in cells, particularly in cancer cells. We have developed a method based on the binding of fluorescent protein domains that can be used to quantify the tyrosine kinase signaling activity in single cells, based on fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. While the basic platform of the assays is well established, there is a great deal of work needed to optimize the method and validate it on different types of cell samples. This will provide the student with experience in assay and technology development, basic biochemistry skills, and cancer research. My group works closely with two other faculty, Dr. Kazuya Machida and Dr. Ji Yu, on developing these new assays.|
|Project Direction||We anticipate moving from assay development/validation to working with human cancer samples. This will allow us to test whether the assay is useful in predicting clinical outcomes for patients, and predicting which targeted therapies would be best for each patient. We also hope to test different types of human samples, such as core biopsies of solid tumors, which will likely require modification of the existing assays and optimization. The long term goal is to demonstrate that our approach provides unique, clinically relevant insight that is not available using current methods.|
|Mentorship and Supervision||Dr. Kazuya Machida and I will supervise day-to-day activities of the student, including training in all lab procedures. Weekly or bi-weekly research meetings with the group of Dr. Ji Yu will provide students with an opportunity to present their progress to other students and investigators, and to learn from others. I would meet with the student in the office at least once a week to go over progress and address any issues as they come up.|
|Student Qualifications||The ideal candidate will have some basic lab skills (pipetting, making solutions, etc.), and at least some working knowledge of biochemistry and cell biology. An interest in cancer and in technology development would be a plus as well.|
|Summer Schedule Options||Research Dates: May 22 to July 28, 2023
Schedule: Typical schedule would be during working hours on weekdays, though occasionally it might be helpful to either stay late or come in briefly on a weekend, with appropriate supervision.
|Project Continuation||Fall 2023, Spring 2024|
|Academic Year Time Commitment||3-6 hours/week|
|Possible Thesis Project||Yes|
Submit an online application for this research opportunity at https://quest.uconn.edu/prog/HRP23-26. The application deadline is Monday, January 30, 2023.
This application requires a cover letter, a resume or CV, and a brief statement of career interests. References should be available upon request.