HRP SU23-9: Research Opportunity with Dr. Jessica Costa

Project Mentor

Dr. Jessica Costa
Center for Molecular Oncology, Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Description

Project Description Our research focuses on modeling of parathyroid tumorigenesis and the related Hyperparathyroidism-Jaw Tumor syndrome. The student will assist in phenotypic characterization of genetically modified mice including: assisting in mouse colony management, blood collection, tissue harvest, rotary sectioning of fixed tissue, immunohistochemistry and measurement of serum calcium and PTH. Student will also be involved in primary culture of harvested tissues.
Project Direction We are seeking to develop a preclinical model system to mimic the clinical course of recurrent/metastatic parathyroid carcinoma, including robust PTH-dependent hypercalcemia. Such a model system is crucial to the advancement of therapeutic interventions for parathyroid cancer.
Mentorship and Supervision I encourage the students and trainees I supervise to develop a sense of “ownership” of their projects and a spirit of independence, which I believe is essential to their development as young scholars. I provide background reading to students in advance of the start of their research experience and review protocols and expectations when they arrive. Training on specific laboratory techniques may be provided by any member of my research team, including myself. I am both available and easily accessible for questions and discussion. My office space, where I spend most of my time, is immediately adjacent to the laboratory, and I am available to review data and experimental design with each student daily.
Student Qualifications Coursework in Biology with lab; coursework in Genetics and/or Molecular Biology preferred
Summer Schedule Options Research Dates: May 22 to July 28, 2023
Schedule: M-F, 8am-4pm preferred; other schedule options may be permissible
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, and an unofficial transcript. References should be available upon request.