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Immunoengineering the tumor microenvironment with electric pulses

The Srimathveeravalli Research Group studies the effect of non-ionizing energy on tissue biology and uses cell type specific differences to enable tumor ablation, drug delivery and other applications. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) are essential for the success of cancer immunotherapy. However, there is high variability in the presence of TILs based on cancer type, immunogenicity of the specific tumor and other factors.

How do cells divide asymmetrically?

When a cell divides to create two cells that are different from each other, how does this occur? How does the organism “know” that cell A goes on the right and cell B goes on the left, or how does the cell ensure that the division and all the cellular contents get segregated correctly? The Facette lab is interested in how cells divide asymmetrically, and we study this process in plant cells.

CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of plant development genes

The goal of this project is to determine which genes are involved in the development of a specialized floral tissue type in grasses - the awn. The awn projects from the tissue that protects the developing seed and has diversified widely throughout different grass species. Awns are specialized for a number of ecological roles, including photosynthesis to provide the seed with nutrients. Although the ecology of awns has been examined, the genetics and development of awns have not been well-studied.

What is the function of the HERE BE DRAGONS gene?

In the Bartlett lab, we study plants, and how their genes have evolved to control plant growth. The HERE BE DRAGONS (HBD) gene in the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana is closely related to many important and very well-studied genes, and is deeply conserved, yet itself remains mysterious. To learn what HBD does, we need to make new plant lines defective for hbd and other genes. A position for a new undergraduate is available; they will work with this plant, learn to make crosses and test for hbd gene variants, introduce new genes, and evaluate plant growth characteristics.

Understanding and optimizing plant development for agricultural gains

The Bartlett Lab is seeking undergraduate researchers interested in plant biology and genetics to work on the evolution of development in the grasses. While some genes enhance growth in the plant, other genes work to repress growth. In the grasses, these genes have a role in flower and seed development, and thus could be important for agriculture. To better understand the role of these genes, we will be using molecular biology techniques to test the function of these genes in different tissues and different species.

Characterization of rice plasma membrane intrinsic protein members, OsPIP1;

In this project, our lab is characterizing the members of Plasma Membrane Intrinsic Proteins (PIP) subfamily of aquaporins for metalloids (arsenic and boron) transport in rice. It is well known that rice accumulate very high amount of arsenic in the edible grains and arsenic being very toxic and carcinogenic, there is a significant health risk associated with rice-based diet. We are interested in developing arsenic free or low levels of arsenic accumulating rice cultivars via manipulating genes associated with arsenic accumulation using both forward and reverse genetic approaches.

Molecular Genetics Lab Helper

The Walker lab is seeking a general lab helper to assist with testing and maintaining our genetic stocks of Arabidopsis and other plants. This will be a great opportunity to get some first hand experience learning sterile lab technique, use of the autoclave and laminar flow hood, preparation of growth medium and plant growth experiments.

Cell division lab

Scientists have been studying mitosis for more than one hundred years, but there are still many unanswered questions! Our lab is interested in how the mitotic spindle forms and moves chromosomes in anaphase. We use diverse cells in our work. We utilize microscopy to image the mitotic spindle in control cells and following various perturbations. We spend lots of time watching cells divide. I am looking for students who like science, and who are curious about how cells work. Computer skills are a plus.

Biosynthesis of plant natural products and their applications

Our lab is interested in unravelling the biosynthetic pathways of natural products in various crop species and medicinal plants.

Plants produce an array of chemicals for adaptation to their ecological environment. These specialized metabolites have been adapted for use as pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. Our research includes identification and biochemical functional characterization of the enzymes to decipher biosynthetic pathways of interest (with a focus on terpenes) and incorporation of protein engineering to understand the mechanistic basis of enzymes of interest.

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