Seeking undergraduate assistants to work on an exciting research project studying effects of substrate stiffness on vascular cell function and molecular players involved in the vessel stiffening process. (Learn new techniques; 3D Bioprinting and Atomic Force Microscopy)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death globally. Arterial stiffness is associated with many CVDs. The molecular mechanisms governing arterial stiffening and the phenotypic changes in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) associated with the stiffening process are key areas in cardiovascular biology, mechanics and disease. Evidence suggests that arterial stiffening can drive aberrant migration and proliferation of VSMCs within the vessel wall. Yet, the underlying mechanisms regulating vascular stiffening and the molecular changes within VSMCs associated with the stiffening process remain unclear. While medications reduce hypertension, none specifically target pathways directly related to arterial stiffness. The overall goal of work in my lab is to address this gap in our understanding by investigating how changes in arterial stiffness affect VSMC function and fundamentally contribute to the progression of CVD.
Our lab is actively looking for undergraduate assistants for a research project studying effects of substrate stiffness on VSMC functions and molecular players involved in the process. The assistant(s) will be required to learn and perform several basic and advanced lab techniques such as cell culture, western blot, PCR, immunofluorescence, 3D bioprinting, atomic force microscopy, etc. Prior experience of some or all of these techniques is preferred but not required.
The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration.
|Length of commitment||Year-long (10-12 months)|
|Level of collaboration||Small group project (2-3 students)|
|Benefits||Academic Credit, Work Study|
|Who is eligible||All undergraduate students|
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.
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.