Presenting… the lab!   1 comment

It took a while to coordinate everyone’s schedule, but we were able to assemble for a group photo:

And here’s a brief description of everyone’s research project (going from left to right):

Presenjit Bose is modeling flow conditions within a kidney tubule, and how the flow interacts with a primary cilium. Our goal is to model oscillatory flow and determine if there are any ‘special’ (resonant, for example) conditions- his work will help us determine where in parameter space we should be looking for interesting biological responses.

(no pic yet) Joey Glaser, in addition to hiding behind Prasenjit, is responsible for analyzing the laser tweezer data. Our goal is to use the laser tweezer as a quantitative tool, to be able to calculate the applied force to a primary cilium and thus measure the mechanical properties of the cilium.

Marie Blatnik is our electrophysiologist. She is developing electrodes that can be used with our flow chamber to measure the response of living tissue as various flow conditions are applied. This type of measurement is totally new, and hopefully will motivate the development of new flow chamber technologies.

Brianna McGinness is responsible for much of the cell culture work- keeping all the cells happy and healthy. Brianna is getting ready to add airway epithelia to the cells we have to work with. Airway epithelia primarily differ from the kidney epithelia due to the presence of *motile* cilia rather than a single sensory cilium. This, airway epithelia *generate* flow rather that *respond* to flow.

Brianna Boslett is culturing cells in our two-sided flow chamber. Her work represents a new way of thinking about physiologically relevant culture conditions, and we are very excited to start doing the seminal experiments needed to validate our system. Because this culture technique is so novel, there are a lot of ‘simple’ experiments we can do that will provide important insights into mechanosensation.

Andreea Sandu is working on a technique to allow easier visualization of the primary cilium. She does this by ‘transfecting’ (adding DNA) to our cells with a gene that expresses a fusion protein. The protein is a combination of tubulin and green fluorescence protein (tubulin-GFP), and we hope that this protein will be incorporated into the primary cilium, allowing us to observe how the cell maintains and manipulates the primary cilium in response to external stimuli.

David Hoeprich operates the laser tweezer, performing the experiments that result in data for Joey to analyze. Many of our questions regarding mechanosensation require a way to precisely control the applied mechanical disturbance, and David’s work will enable crucial experiments to be performed.

Stay tuned!!!


One response to “Presenting… the lab!

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  1. cool!

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