Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of the Hypothalamus Arcuate Nucleus Development

graphs of rat brain scans.

Our long-term research goal is to decipher the gene regulatory network that directs the embryonic development of various types of neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC, aka ARH).

Project description

  • Developmental pathways among different types of ARC neurons are intertwined, which is likely to be essential to ensure the balanced production of different ARC neuronal types during embryogenesis, thereby enabling a highly coordinated regulation of various homeostatic processes in later postnatal life, such as integration of feeding, growth and reproduction. 
  • Despite extensive studies on the physiological roles of ARC neurons, it is important to emphasize that their developmental gene regulation programs are poorly understood. 
  • This highlights the significance of our projects, which aim to pioneer the gene regulatory network for various ARC neuronal development. 
  • Our main experimental approaches involve cell/molecular biology, mouse genetics and genome-wide studies.

Project outcome

  • Learn how to run science projects; setting up a hypothesis and how to test the idea rigorously.
  • Obtain hands-on experimental techniques. 
  • Publish the experimental results in journals (and pick up writing skills).

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Year-long (10-12 months)
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Students will be assisted by post-doctoral fellows and other senior members in the lab
Benefits Academic Credit, Work Study
Who is eligible All undergraduate students
Goldwater and the National Science Foundation

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

Jae Lee


Biological Sciences

C535 Cooke Hall

Phone: (716) 645-4991


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 


Biological Sciences