Grant: $9,288 - National Institutes of Health - Jun. 2, 2009
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Award Description: This is an application requesting administrative supplement to a K22DE014847 grant entitled 'Genomic Predictors of Oral Premalignancy Progression'. To facilitate our studies proposed in the parent grant, we propose to recruit summer student assistants. This will provide real-life hand-on research experience to the students, and may lead them to a scientific career, in particular, oral health research as a career path. The overarching scientific aim of the parent grant entitled 'Genomic Predictors of Oral Premalignancy Progression (K22 DE014847) is to identify genomic alterations associated with oral premalignancy progression. The Specific Aim 1 is to carry out the genomic wide discovery studies (e.g., SNP array and expressional microarray) for identifying genomic candidates in progressing oral precancers. The Specific Aim 2 is the identification and functional validation of the candidate genes that contribute to oral premalignancy progression. Functional tests will be performed to evaluate the contribution of these candidate genes to the oral premalignancy progression. .
Project Description: The student, Caroline E. Heidbreder, was a pre-dent undergraduate who had not had any previous research experience. The student, Muzaffar Shah-Khan, has a MS degree in Public Health from Benedictine University and is also applying for Dental School. Both of them assisted in the functional characterization of microRNA-138, one of the microRNA that contribute to the initiation and progression of oral cancer. Our results demonstrated that microRNA-138 contribute to the regulation of cancer cell migration and invasion. Both Ms Heidbreder and Mr Shah-Khan demonstrated their knowledge of the scientific literature concerning microRNA function and made presentations of their results in our group lab meetings and a final presentation to all the students involved in the summer research program in the College of Dentistry.
Jobs Summary: The individuals that were recruited are 2 pre-dent college students. They came from our large group of pre-dental students from the Chicago area universities, including UIC. This pool includes more than 120 in the Chicago area alone and many more in Illinois. The College of Dentistry Office for Research gets more than a dozen inquiries each year for summer research opportunities. This program provides near peer mentoring and develop a model for a pipeline that will ideally recruit some of the students to consider research and, in particular, oral health research as a career path. Oversight for all procedures in the laboratory is provided by the PI, two full time research associates (both with PhDs), and two PhD students. This team approach is precisely the kind of model we are attempting to foster in our training programs. All students also participate in all activities associated with the laboratory. This includes weekly lab meetings, journal clubs, college and relevant university seminars, and meet with the PI on a weekly basis. The staff of the laboratory have monitored daily record keeping and the quality of data collected. At the end of the summer the students are expected to summarize their data and accomplishments and present it to the entire laboratory group. There are ultimately several advantages for this team approach: 1) it provides near-peer mentoring; 2) it helps to keep all engaged in the project; 3) it models the team science; 4) enhances oversight; and 5) develops a social community. It is anticipated that at least some of the students will continue to participate in the laboratory after the summer is completed. The college student from the UIC pre-dent program will be able to receive course credit for continuing laboratory research. Students that participate in the program will gain an appreciation for research and some will hopefully choose research careers in oral health. The grant will benefit by accelerating the collection of data for the planned studies. These studies are staff intensive and therefore are enhanced by having more 'hands in the process. Specifically, we expect activities under specific aim 2 will benefit the most from this supplement. (Total jobs reported: 2)
Project Status: More than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 2, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.