Research Projects by Subject
Note: Each research project will involve background reading for the interns provided by their mentors. Each research project will involve a final presentation by the interns.
Interns are expected to work collaboratively on the same project and/or data set. This may preclude rising seniors from submitting papers based on such projects to the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition.
Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology
|Code||Research Project Descriptions|
Exploring How a Bacterial Pathogen Protects Itself from the Mammalian Host Immune System
Primary mentor: Shuai Hu
Faculty advisor: Prof. Karen Ottemann
Location: UCSC Main Campus
Number of interns: 2
Project description: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium that commonly infects the stomachs of nearly half the world's population. H. pylori is recognized as one of the leading causes of stomach inflammation and ulcers, and even as one of the risk factors for stomach cancer. H. pylori bacteria can live within the mammalian stomach for their whole life, without activating a robust immune response. One of the mentor's research group's goals is to better understand how H. pylori evades the human immune responses. In this project, the mentor and SIP interns will focus on a specific part called the complement system, as this system presents a large challenge for H. pylori in early colonization. We will utilize genetic and microbial growth approaches to identify H. pylori mutants that survive better or less well than normal upon exposure to complement.
Tasks: The SIP interns will be trained in several concepts of microbiology research approaches, including working safely with BSL2 level pathogens, bacterial growth, sterile technique, transposon-based mutagenesis, forward genetic screens, single bacterial strain isolation, PCR, and sanger DNA sequencing. THe SIP interns will grow H. pylori, expose H. pylori to test conditions (complement), and isolate individual bacteria via single colony purification. They will determine bacterial growth kinetics, prepare DNA for PCR analysis or sequencing, and possibly perform PCR. The interns will learn how to analyze actual experimental findings. URL: https://www.metx.ucsc.edu/Individual%20Lab%20Pages/The%20Ottemann%20Lab/index.html Required skills for interns prior to acceptance: None
Skills intern(s) will acquire/hone: Lab work; statistical data analysis
Special age requirement: The applicant must be 16 years old by June 11, 2018.