Project Title: Orientation of Cilia in Migrating Epithelial Cells

Faculty Sponsor: Frank Miskevich

Department: Biology



Project Description: Cilia may serve as sensors for the extracellular environment.  In a number of systems, migration of cells may be influenced by many proteins, some of which have been localized to cilia.  The goal of this project is to examine the roll of cilia in relation to the direction of cellular growth.  We will use cultured human cells treated with pharmacological and/or genetic manipulation to alter aspects of ciliary function.  The orientiation of cilia with respect to the cell body and direction of migration will be monitored using scanning electron microscopy.  The goal of the research is to determine the role of cilia in directing the growth of migrating epithelial cells.

Student Tasks & Responsibilities: Students will learn how to culture and grow mammalian cells in vitro and will maintain cell cultures.  They will also prepare samples for electron microscopy and use the scanning electron microscope to quantitatively evaluate the size and orientation of cilia in relation to the direction of cellular migration.

Minimum Student Qualifications: Students should have a strong backgroud in general chemistry as well as principles of biology (bio-113), cell biology (bio-326) and/or genetics (bio-328).