Vitamin D Molecular Genetics: Immunity team - PHGY 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: John White

Supervisor's Email: john.white [at]

Supervisor's Phone: (514) 398-8498

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Physiology

Course number: PHGY 396 (Physiology)

Term: Fall 2014-2015

Project start date: September 8th, 2014

Project end date: December 4th, 2014

Project title: Vitamin D Molecular Genetics: Immunity team

Project description (50-100 words suggested):Our goals are to understand the host macrophage response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb.) infection through the use of cutting-edge genomics techniques, as mRNA and miRNA microarrays and ChIP sequencing. We also study the role of vitamin D in boosting the innate immune responses to M.tb. infection. TB has been resurgent recently, and represents the leading cause of death from a curable disease. M. tuberculosis (M.tb.) replicates within cell of the immune system called macrophages, ultimately inducing cell death. Macrophages are sites of vitamin D signaling, and there is growing evidence that vitamin D modulates macrophage responses to M.tb. Vitamin D was discovered as the curative agent of nutritional rickets, which arises from insufficient uptake of dietary calcium. However, it is now apparent that vitamin D functions throughout the body, in particular in the immune system. Elevated levels of TB, have been associated with vitamin D deficiency, suggesting that vitamin D supplementation may be of therapeutic benefit. This multidisciplinary project combines metaregulation analysis, host-pathogen interactions and immunity. (Description taken from: To be confirmed - The specific project description may vary.

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): To be confirmed - Laboratory performance (40%); Final written report (50%); Oral presentation (10%).

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

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