Faculty Mentor: Amy Curry
Faculty Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering
Telephone Number and/or E-mail: x2017; firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Description: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening
heart disorder that affects two million people each year in the US alone. In AF,
the two small upper chambers of the heart, the atria, quiver and are not able to effectively
pump blood out of the chambers. Blood clots are likely to form in the atria. The
clots can leave the atria and can ultimately become lodged in an artery in the brain
and cause a stroke. Approximately 15% of all strokes occur in patients with AF.
In patients with atrial fibrillation, defibrillation therapy is often given in the
form of a strong electric shock to revert the atria back to normal activity. The
electric shock is delivered to the patient through two electrodes placed on the chest.
We have previously developed a physiologically realistic computer model of the human
torso for simulating defibrillation. The goal of this project is to use our existing
computer model to simulate atrial defibrillation. Specifically, we will explore new
electrode placements to determine the configuration that can defibrillate with the
lowest shock energy. This will require the student to work with both PC and UNIX
workstations. The student will: (1) develop and visualize new electrode placements
with computer graphics, and (2) input the new electrode placements into the computer
model to calculate defibrillation shock energy.
Requirements for Student Applicants: Please send resume to email@example.com. Some experience with MATLAB required. The student will be trained to use existing
Starting Date: anytime
Method of Compensation (Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Stipend): Volunteer, Academic
Credit, or Stipend depending on funding availability.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Abell
Faculty Mentor’s Department: Biology and Biomedical Engineering
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Description: The Abell lab uses stem cells to define the signaling/gene expression
networks controlling the conversion of stationary epithelial stem cells to motile
mesenchymal cells. This epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key biological
process during normal development that is reactivated in several pathologies including
organ fibrosis and cancer metastasis. One goal of this research is to identify novel
master regulators of EMT and the reverse process MET. This information will be used
in designing new strategies for regenerative medicine and the treatment of EMT related
pathologies. Projects in the lab use molecular, cellular and embryological tools to
identify regulators of EMT. Student projects are dependent on previous knowledge and
experience, and include tissue culture of genetically altered stem cells, isolation
of RNA, preparation of cDNA, measurement of gene expression changes, isolation and
separation of protein, and measurement of protein levels and activity.
Requirements for Student Applicants: Interested applicants should apply directly to
Dr. Abell at email@example.com. Please include a resume and a paragraph about your research interests and goals.
Applicants must have completed General Biology II (BIOL 1120/1121). Completion of
Cell Biology (BIOL 3130) is preferred. Preference will be given to applicants interested
in working at least six hours per week in the lab.
Starting Date: anytime, positions are available for summer, fall, and spring semester
Method of Compensation: Volunteer, Academic Credit, or Stipend depending on level
of ability and training. Two hours of academic credit up to five credit hours is possible.
Academic credit is obtained through enrollment in BIOL 4000 or BIOL 4001 with permission
of the faculty mentor. Each credit hour is equal to three hours of laboratory time.