Medical Student Research Fellowship for Summer 2011
Mentor: Mala Mahendroo
Room number: F2.306
Mail Code: 9032
Phone number: 83091
Project title: Molecular mechanisms of cervical remodeling
Human subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable):
Animal subjects IRB approved project number (where applicable): 2007-0103
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) animal-based basic research
Brief Description of Project:
Our lab seeks to understand how the cervix remodels over the course of pregnancy in preparation for term and preterm parturition using the mouse as a model system. Collagen is the main structural protein in the cervix and it is changes in collagen structure and assembly that modulate changes in cervical compliance. Recent studies highlight an important role of collagen interaction with cell surface receptors to modulate cell signaling processes. The expression and function of collagen receptors will be evaluated in the cervix over the course of normal pregnancy and preterm birth. This will include both integrin receptors and discoid domain receptors. Both mRNA and protein expression will be evaluated. In addition the formation of focal adhesions will be evaluated by immunofluorescence. This work will form the preliminary characterization required to understand how changes in collagen structure during cervical remodeling modulate cell signaling events in the cervix.
Previous Research Activities or Publications with Medical Students:
Denisse Holcomb carried out research in my lab. She is currently a Ob/Gyn resident at UTSWMS. She presented her research at the Society for Gynecological Investigation Meetings.