Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"IBCN - Study of the epigenetic control of a novel breast cancer-associated gene, CDS1"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Fall 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
genetic, epigenetic, stem cells, pathology, engineering
Project Description:
CDS1 is a gene that controls lipid pathways and that was found to change expression upon the alteration of the breast epithelial tissue (loss of apical polarity) necessary for breast cancer onset and during the progression of estrogen receptor negative (ER(-)) breast cancer to an invasive phenotype. The gene appears to have a distinctive control at the genomic and epigenomic levels with modifications at a methylation site as well as a single nucleotide variant site that are specifically associated with the progression from non-neoplastic to preinvasive cancer phenotype and also from preinvasive to invasive cancer phenotype. This project will further explore the meaning of the genetic and epigenetic modifications identified vis a series of experiments with cell lines and tissues from patients at different breast cancer risk levels. The goals will be to assess whether these changes are linked to modifications in CDS1 transcription level, depend on the presence of stem cells and are specific of ER(-) breast cancer types.
Expected Student Contributions:
The student will work with cell biologists and engineers to analyze the DNA sequence, methylation level and transcription levels of CDS1. Techniques to be used include RT-PCR, bisulfite amplicon sequencing on Miseq and analysis of gene sequence data. The student will also be exposed to microscopy techniques, DNA probe design and will interact with pathologists for the analysis of tissue samples.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Same as for a DURI project; student should be a biology major preferably;
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

Cooperating Faculty

Amy Lossie
Animal Science/Agriculture