Supervisor's Name: Dr William Foulkes
Supervisor's Email: william.foulkes [at] mcgill.ca
Supervisor's Phone: 514-934-1934 X 44121 & 514-340-8222 X 3213
Supervisor's department: Human Genetics
Course number: HGEN 396 (Human Genetics)
Term: Winter 2013-2014
Project start date: Monday, January 6, 2014
Project end date: Friday, April 11, 2014
Project title: Optimization of western blot analysis for DICER extracted from FFPE tissue specimens from patients with DICER1 mutations
Project description (50-100 words suggested): Recent evidence suggests that microRNAs play a major role in cancer development and DICER is an enzyme crucial to the process of miRNA generation. DICER has been shown to be aberrantly expressed in several types of cancers. In addition, germ-line mutations in DICER1 predispose to a pleiotropic tumor syndrome in which mutation carriers suffer from a variety of rare tumors in childhood. To date, study of the effect of germ-line DICER1 mutations on protein expression has been limited those tumors where fresh tumor material was available. More often, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue specimens are the only source of genetic material available from patient’s tumors. Reports from the literature have previously demonstrated successful extraction of full length proteins from FFPE samples without degradation and clearly identified them by western blot. The aim of this project will be to optimize these protocols for western blot analysis for DICER extracted from FFPE tissue specimens from patients with DICER1 mutations in an attempt to study the effect of inherited mutations on DICER protein expression.
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 an evaluation of laboratory (or equivalent) performance (40%), a final written report (50%), and an oral presentation (10%) by the supervisor. Details of the evaluation scheme will be provided by HGEN to supervisors and applicants.
Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.
How students can apply / Next steps: For HGEN: After all of the parts of this application forms are completed and the hard copy is signed by the professor and the student, bring the application form and a copy of your unofficial transcript to the Department of Human Genetics (to the attention of Dr. Patricia N. Tonin, Stewart Biology Building N5.13) during office hours.
Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Handling chemicals.