Project Title: Human Monocyte Function

Faculty Sponsor: David Duriancik

Department: Biology



Project Description: We will be assessing interventions that affect human monocyte function. Monocytes are cells that circulate in the bloodstream that upon maturation develop into resident tissue macrophages and dendritic cells. These cells are antigen presenting cells which act as sentinels of the body surveying tissues for danger signals including pathogenic bacteria and viruses. These cells are responsible for initiating specific immune response to pathogens and maintaining a tolerant environment to cells of normal healthy tissue. Assessing interventions that modulate monocyte maturation and function is important for developing effective vaccination protocols, cancer immunotherapies, autoimmune disease remission, and emerging infectious diseases.

Student Tasks & Responsibilities:  Students will require training in human subjects research, which is available through the University. Students will use cell and molecular biology techniques, primarily flow cytometry, to assess human monocyte function. Students will read and discuss primary literature, develop experimental protocols, analyze and present data. Opportunities exist for manuscript publication and presentation of data at local, regional, national, and international scientific conferences.

Minimum Student Qualifications: