Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2007
Mentor: Weike Tao, MD
Department: Anesthesiology and Pain Management
Room number: F2.222
Mail Code: 9068
Phone number: (214) 648-4840
Project title: Aging and Cardiac Pro-Inflammatory Cytokine Expressions Following
After Burn Injury Complicated By Sepsis
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 0987-06-02-1
Project Type: 0patient-based research, 1animal-based research, or 0basic research; this characterization is only to permit a general classification for grouping similar types of projects)
Brief Description of Project:
Recent studies including analysis of the burn patient registry at our own institution suggest that patients over the age of 50 are at an increased risk for mortality when compared to younger patients with the same total body surface area (TBSA) burn. Even a small burn such as less than 10% of TBSA in patients 65 and older carries a mortality rate near 60%. In fact, age has long been determined as an independent risk factor for poor outcome after burn. Recently, interleukin (IL)-6 has been found to steadily increase after age 50. Our lab has previously shown IL-6 accentuates myocardial depressive effects of other pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)- and IL-1 . We hypothesize that the increase of IL-6 with aging predisposes the elderly burn patients to myocardial depression.
A key question surrounding our hypothesis is whether the increase of IL-6 with aging is a natural protective phenomenon and how it affects other inflammatory cytokines in the heart. We have developed Western blot techniques to assess protein levels of IL-6, TNF- and IL-1 . The student will use the summer research time to learn and apply the Western blot techniques in wild type and IL-6 knockout mice at different ages (2 months and 14 months) and correlate the results with our real-time PCR and mouse cardiac function findings. The student's efforts will directly contribute to obtaining data addressing our specific aims and help prepare for new competitive funding.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
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