Fibronectin as a Master Organizer In Vivo - ANAT 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Dr. Dieter Reinhardt

Supervisor's Email: dieter.reinhardt [at]

Supervisor's Phone: 514-398-4243

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Anatomy and Cell Biology

Course number: ANAT 396 (Anatomy and Cell Biology)

Term: Fall 2014-2015

Project start date: September 2, 2014

Project end date: December 4, 2014

Project title: Fibronectin as a Master Organizer In Vivo

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Fibronectin (FN) is a glycoprotein which can exist in two possible forms: cellular FN (present in tissues) and soluble plasma FN (present in serum to polymerize upon vessel injury). The macromolecular assembly of many proteins in the extracellular matrix of vertebrates is critically dependent on the presence of cellular FN. As such, it is believed that cellular FN is crucially involved in the formation and homeostasis of many tissues. This idea provides the basis for the hypothesis of this project: FN is a master organizer of the extracellular matrix in vivo and contributes to the formation and homeostasis of blood vessels.
Because complete FN null mice are embryonically lethal, we will study the effects of FN using tamoxifen-inducible conditional knockouts in mouse models. The project will aim to observe the phenotype of mice with knockouts of FN in smooth muscle cells to study the effects of FN on formation and homeostasis of blood vessels.

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): 50% laboratory performance; 50% final report

Project status: This project is taken; however students may contact the professor to discuss other possible '396' projects this term.

How students can apply / Next steps: Bring a printed copy of this application form and your advising transcript to me during office hours.

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