'Disruption of mitochondrial function in pancreatic beta-cells' - ANAT 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Jennifer Estall / Craig Mandato

Supervisor's Email: jennifer.estall [at] ircm.qc.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-987-5688

Supervisor's Website: www.ircm.qc.ca/estall

Supervisor's department: Anatomy and Cell Biology

Course number: ANAT 396 (Anatomy and Cell Biology)

Term: Summer 2013

Project start date: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Project end date: Friday, August 30th, 2013

Project title: Disruption of mitochondrial function in pancreatic beta-cells

Project description: Mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be contributing factor to the growing epidemic of diabetes. Our lab specializes in transcriptional regulation of mitochondrial function and recently created a new mouse model to investigate how pre-existing defects in mitochondrial metabolism impact beta-cell biology and the pathogenesis of diabetes. Using the cre/LoxP system, we generated a beta-cell specific knock-out of a key transcriptional regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and function. We have characterized the metabolic phenotype of these mice and find they have significant alterations in glucose homeostasis, beta-cell survival, and insulin secretion in vivo.

The project involves investigating how our genetic knock-out model specifically impacts beta-cell survival and function in vitro. Specifically, the applicant will help to determine whether mitochondrial mass and function is decreased in immortalized and primary cell cultures using fluorescent mitochondrial markers and quantitative microscopy. This will involve working with animal models, culture of cells, treatment of cells, and quantification of mass and function using state-of-the-art scanning microscopy.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final grade shall be based on laboratory performance (40%), participation in lab meetings (journal club) (10%), and a final written research report (50%), all evaluated and graded by the supervisor.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

How students can apply: N/A; this project is filled.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Animal subjects; Handling chemicals; Using lasers.