Supervisor's Name: Jonathan Spicer
Supervisor's Email: jonathan.spicer [at] mcgill.ca
Supervisor's Phone: (514) 210-9776
Supervisor's Website: http://thoracicsurgery.lab.mcgill.ca/team.html
Supervisor's department: Department of Experimental Surgery
Co-supervisor: Dr. Peter Siegel, Associate Member, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Course number: ANAT 396 (Anatomy and Cell Biology)
Term: Fall 2015-2016
Project start date: Friday, September 4, 2015
Project end date: Monday, December 7, 2015
Project title: The effect of neutrophil conditioned media on the metastatic phenotype of human lung cancer
Project description (50-100 words suggested): Our laboratory is focused on investigating interactions between the innate immune system and the process of cancer metastasis. Specifically, we have been interested in the role of activated neutrophils and their ability to facilitate the adhesion and growth of circulating tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo. We have demonstrated that direct interactions are partially responsible for this phenomenon both via direct cell adhesion molecule mediated interactions and via the process of Neutrophil Extracellular Trap (NET) formation. This project aims to delineate the role of the products derived from neutrophil degranulation. During activation either by inflammatory or infectious stimuli, neutrophils release large amounts of reactive oxygen species and bioactive enzymes that may impact the natural history of neighboring cancer cells and alter the tumor microenvironment. This project aims to tease out the role of this component of neutrophil biology on such aspects of the cancer cell metastatic phenotype as adhesive, proliferative and migratory properties. The student will learn several aspects of basic cancer research in a highly clinically oriented and translational laboratory environment. The PI is a dynamic thoracic surgeon who runs an active funded cancer metastasis laboratory.
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): The final report will count towards 50% of the grade and the remaining 50% will be based on performance within the lab and during our weekly laboratory meetings.
Other project information: The Thoracic Surgery and Upper GI Cancer Labs are headed by two principal investigators (Drs. Ferri and Spicer). Both PIs work closely together and supervise a mix of undergraduate and graduate students as well as medical students, residents and clinical fellows.
Project status: This project is taken.
Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Animal subjects; Human subjects; Biohazardous substances; Handling chemicals.