Summer Research Fellowships for First Year Medical Students

Through a new initiative co-sponsored by the Office of Medical Education and the Department of Cell Biology/Skirball Institute, a limited number of summer research fellowships will be available for First Year medical students to work in Cell Biology/Skirball Institute laboratories. Students will choose from faculty who have openings for the summer. Stipends will be $3,000 for 8 weeks of work. Those students interested should contact Dan Rifkin (Daniel.Rifin@NYUMC.Org).

Examples of available projects include:

Dan Rifkin Lab: The goal of our research is to understand how mechanical forces are transmitted by the extracellular matrix and are sensed by smooth muscle cells in the generation of aneurysms. We use mouse models of a human syndrome, Marfan syndrome, produced by mutations in the matrix protein fibrillin and in which animals develop dissecting aneurysms of the thoracic aorta. We are specifically interested in how additional matrix proteins functionally complement the fibrillin and how immune cells contribute to the aneurysm outcome.

Gira Bhabha & Damian Ekiert Labs: The outer membrane in double-membraned bacteria provides protection to bacterial cells, also making them resistant to many antibiotics. The project will combine structural biology, biochemistry and bacterial genetics to understand how the MCE (Mammalian Cell Entry) family of proteins contributes to outer membrane integrity in double-membraned bacteria.

Jane Hubbard Lab: Pools of cells, be they stem cells or tumors, respond to the sensory and nutritive environment of the organism they inhabit. To identify and understand the cellular and molecular basis for cues that change stem cell behavior, we use germline stem cells in the worm C. elegans as a model. The summer project is a high-throughput screen to identify specific triggers in bacteria (a food source for C. elegans) that modulate the growth and differentiation of the stem cell pool. Using a C. elegans strain that is defective in Notch receptor signaling and therefore highly sensitive to perturbations in germline stem cells, we will screen a library of mutant bacteria to identify those strains that alter germline stem cells in animals that eat the mutant bacteria.