Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"CPIP: Role of epigenetics in breast cancer initiation"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Full-Year 2011 - CPIP
Research area(s):
cell biology, breast cancer, chromatin
Project Description:
This project aims at understanding the impact of the organization of genes or epigenome (notably the types of histones linked to their promoters) in breast cancer initiation. Experiments are developed to identify changes in epigenetic markers (modified histones and DNA methylation) associated with early alterations in phenotypically normal breast tissue (i.e., modifications in the polarity axis) and their contribution to cancer initiation. The chromatin remodeling mechanisms associated with these changes will also be investigated as well as the targeted genes. Work also focuses on identifying microenvironmental factors that could prevent breast cancer initiation by modifying the epigenome. The model used for research includes physiologically relevant 3D culture of mammary epithelial cells that mimic normal and altered breast tissue. The work is multidisciplinary with interactions with biologists, statisticians, and biophysicists.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will be involved in experiments dealing with the measurement of epigenetic changes and chromatin remodeling that include biochemical and microscopy techniques. He/she will interact with collaborators involved in the project and participate in the analysis and presentation of the results.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
same as CPIP program. Knowledge in chromatin from previous courses is a plus.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 3 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Lelievre, Sophie
basic medical sciences

Student Supervisor

Sophie Lelievre
Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences

Cooperating Faculty

Joseph Irudayaraj
Agricultural and biological Engineering (ABE)