Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"CPIP: Identification of the Malignant Core of Multiple Myeloma: Involvement of the Cancer Stem Cell in Initiation of Myeloma"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Full-Year 2011 - CPIP
Research area(s):
Cancer Biology
Project Description:
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable cancer of the bone marrow which accounts for 19% of deaths from blood cancers. Most patients initially respond to therapy, but despite the development of potent new regimens, nearly all relapse and become refractory to treatment; thus the median survival rate remains 3-5 years. These observations indicate that the MM cancer stem cells (MM-CSCs) escape current modes of therapy. The cancer stem cell hypothesis postulates that only a small sub-population cells can initiate a tumor or cause a relapse, thus identifying these cells will allow us to design new strategies to prevent the differentiation of these cells from non-proliferating rare cells to a tumor generating population. The objective of this study is to define the phenotype of the MM-CSC.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will be responsible for an independent project (outlined above) and will be closely supervised by the PI. The intern will conduct all the experiments, and will analyze and present the data at lab meetings and other on-campus and off-campus venues. The PI will assist with experimental design and execution, data analysis, and will guide the intern though the process of making and presenting both posters and talks.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Students with 3.3 GPA or higher at any level are welcome to apply. Completion of cell biology courses and labs is recommended, but not required. Some experience with mammalian tissue culture and flow cytometry is a plus, but not required.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Kirshner, Julia
biological sciences

Student Supervisor

Ellen Gunn
Graduate Student

Cooperating Faculty

James Leary
Basic Biomedical Sciences/Veterinary Medicine