Project Description :
Photoreceptors are the primary neurons for photon absorption in the retina. The photoreceptor cells are structured in such a way that a portion of the light-absorbing part of the cell is renewed by growth and shedding on a daily basis. We are studying mechanisms for this specialized cell maintenance in the rod photoreceptors of zebrafish. With conditionally controlled gene expression and confocal fluorescence microscopy, we measure the rates of renewal of rod photoreceptors.
We are seeking undergraduate researchers to perform measurement analysis on images of photoreceptors. This project will involve using an image analysis software program to make cell measurements. An ideal candidate for this position is interested in cellular and molecular biology, follows instruction well, is responsible and reliable, has good communication skills, and has patience to deal with repetitive tasks. This is a great project for younger students, especially sophomores, to be introduced to the laboratory environment. Previous undergraduate researchers who have helped with this project have gone on to develop their own projects for their honors thesis.