Study of translational regulation of var2csa - MIMM 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Momar Ndao

Supervisor's Email: momar.ndao [at]

Supervisor's Phone: 5149341934 ext 44537

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Microbiology and Immunology

Course number: MIMM 396 (Microbiology)

Term: Fall 2015-2016

Project start date: Friday, September 4, 2015

Project end date: Monday, December 7, 2015

Project title: Study of translational regulation of var2csa, a gene implicated in placental malaria, in Colombian parasites

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Expression of the gene var2csa in Plasmodium falciparum is linked to the sequestration of infected erythrocytes to the placenta and is associated with severe pathology in pregnant women infected with malaria. Expression of this gene appears to be restricted to parasites in pregnant women, through a mechanism of allelic exclusion. Recent studies identified an upstream open reading frame (uORF) that may be used by the parasite to repress translation of var2csa in the absence of a placenta. This project aims to characterize the uORF in P. falciparum isolates from Colombia to better understand the mechanism of translational regulation of var2csa.

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 as evaluated by the research supervisor (50%) and the final written research report (minimum 10 pages) graded by the supervisor and the course coordinator or the coordinator's delegate (50%).

Other project information: This project is in collaboration with Dr. Stephanie Yanow’s lab at the University of Alberta

Project status: This project is taken.

How students can apply / Next steps: For MIMM: After all parts of this application form are completed, and the hard copy is signed by the professor and the student, bring this application form and your unofficial transcript to Prof. Gregory Marczynski during office hours, who will review/approve as the course coordinator for MIMM 396 (Microbiology) or MIMM 397 (Immunology).

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