Request for Funding
Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2011
All descriptions must contain enough detail to permit an assessment of the problem that is to be addressed and the methodologies that are to be employed. Please be careful to outline the role that the student will play in the project that is described. Please ensure that all relevant approval numbers (IRB, IACUC) are provided.
Mentor: Joachim Herz
Department: Molecular Genetics
Room number: L5.154
Mail Code: 9046
Phone number: x 85633
Project title: Regulation of Reelin signaling by microRNAs
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Animal subjects IACUC approved project number (where applicable): 0701-07-01-4
Project Type: animal-based and basic research
Brief Description of Project:
Reelin protein and its target receptors Apoer2 and Vldlr have been implicated in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and schizophrenia. The signaling pathways and course of action of these proteins have been investigated in great detail, but not much is known about their regulation, especially in pathogenic process like Alzheimer’s disease and during memory and learning.
Preliminary in silico data analysis has uncovered miRNAs that act at these signaling pathways, and further database searches have produced extended sets of miRNAs that act on gene products within other synaptic signaling pathways.
We seek to determine which miRNAs are acting at these pathways to a physiologically significant extent and ultimately elucidate their function in animal models. Initial targets include Reelin, Dab1, Apoer2, Vldlr and MKK4 of the Reelin pathway as well as Slit2/3 of the well-known Slit/Robo pathway. Extended network analysis and preliminary experiments will be conducted in the next few months with the goal of performing tissue culture and initial animal studies during the summer.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Anandita Agarwala, sucdessive summers - 3rd place, SSCI Junior investigator award.