Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2006
Mentor: Mala Mahendroo, Ph.D.
Department: Obstetrics and Gynecology
Room number: F2.306
Mail Code: 9032
Phone number: 214 648 3091
Project title :Investigations into molecular events controlling cervical ripening
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
0906-04-05-1 and 0906-04-02-1
Project Type (patient-based research, animal-based research, or basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects)
Brief Description of Project:
Our laboratory is interested in defining the process by which the cervix remodels in preparation for birth of an infant. These studies are important to prevent the incidence of preterm birth which occurs in 12% of pregnancies in this country as well as to prevent complications associated with posterm pregnancies and cesarean deliveries. We use mouse models that have defects in cervical ripening to further our understanding of critical events required for cervical ripening. One such mouse model is a transgene insertion mutant in which the transgene has inserted into mouse chromosome 6 and disrupted the function of a gene important in normal cervical function. We have identified a candidate gene and are evaluating its role in the cervix. The cervix of these mutants is much reduced in size compared to a mouse cervix in both the nonpregnant and pregnant animal. In the current project we will carry out experiments to determine if the reduction in cervical growth is due to either increased cell death or a decrease in cell proliferation. TUNEL assays will be carried out to evaluate apoptotic cell death and Brdu immunostaining will be done to evaluate cell proliferation. The time point in female cervical development in which cell death or decreased cell proliferation is initiated in the mutant mice will be determined. Finally studies will be initiated to verify the candidate gene responsible for the defect.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
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