Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Use of natural products to prevent cancer stem cell-mediated tumor relapse and metastasis."

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Full-Year 2012 - CPIP
Research area(s):
Cancer biology
Project Description:
Treatment of many tumors is usually successful at first and most patients initially respond to therapy, but despite the development of potent new regimens, many relapse or develop metastatic disease that becomes drug-resistant. This observation suggests a likely role of drug-resistant cancer stem cells. The cancer stem cell hypothesis postulates that only a small sub-population cells can initiate a tumor or cause a relapse and metastasis, thus developing new therapies that can target these cells will allow us to prevent the differentiation of these cells from non-proliferating rare cells to a tumor generating population. The objective of this study is to test the potential of various plant-derived natural products to eliminate cancer stem cells in blood cancers, breast cancer, and gliomas.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will be responsible for an independent project (outlined above) and will be closely supervised by the PI and the graduate student supervisor. 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 microscopy 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

Mary Zheng
Graduate student

Cooperating Faculty

David Colby