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SURF: Announcements of Opportunity

Below are Announcements of Opportunity posted by Caltech faculty and JPL technical staff for the SURF program. Additional AOs for the Amgen Scholars program can be found here.

Specific GROWTH projects being offerred for summer 2019 can be found here.

Each AO indicates whether or not it is open to non-Caltech students. If an AO is NOT open to non-Caltech students, please DO NOT contact the mentor.

Announcements of Opportunity are posted as they are received. Please check back regularly for new AO submissions! Remember: This is just one way that you can go about identifying a suitable project and/or mentor.

Announcements for external summer programs are listed here.

Students pursuing opportunities at JPL must be
U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.

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Project:  Investigating the Prion-like properties of mutant huntingtin
Disciplines:  Biology, Biochemistry
Mentor:  Ali Khoshnan, Senior Investigator, (BBE), khoshnan@caltech.edu, Phone: 6263951705
Background:  Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of CAG repeats in exon-1 of huntingtin (Htt) gene. Translated protein with an abnormal polyglutamine (polyQ) repeat (herein refer to as mHTT) is cleaved enzymatically and generates N-terminal fragments, which are amyloidogenic and neurotoxic. The exon-1 fragment of mHTT (mHTTx1) is the most abundant species in the brain, which is also produced by alternative splicing of Htt mRNA. The N-terminal fragments of mHTT forms diverse assemblies however, the mechanism and biological properties of distinct assemblies are not well understood. Recent studies suggest that amyloidogenic proteins may self-propagate by seeding and transmit to healthy neurons by a prion-like mechanism. We have discovered that mHTTx1 fibrils and assemblies associated with the synaptosome from the brains of an HD mouse model contain mHTT species, which promote the assembly of neurotoxic fibrils in human neurons.
Description:  The project involves testing the seeding activity of mHTT assemblies associated with various neural organelles such as ER, Golgi, mitochondria and nuclei. These studies are aimed at identifying mHTT fibril assemblies with prion-like properties.
Student Requirements:  Biochemistry, tissue culture
Programs:  This AO can be done under the following programs:

  Program    Available To
       Amgen Scholars    Non-Caltech students only  
       SURF    Caltech students only 

Click on a program name for program info and application requirements.


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