Sciences: Cardiovascular Genetics

Department: Biomedical Engineering

Supervising Faculty Member: Mete Civelek

Specialization: Cardiovascular Genetics

Research Focus: The goal of our laboratory is to understand the genetic mechanisms that lead to increased susceptibility to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The interactions among hundreds of genes and gene networks along with environmental factors such as diet affect our health status. We use systems genetics to uncover this complexity. We employ a range of experimental and computational methods to quantitate and integrate intermediate phenotypes, such as transcript, protein or metabolite levels in human and mouse populations. We also test our predictions using standard biochemistry and molecular biology approaches in cell cultures and animal models. Our results provide insights into both the molecular underpinnings of complex traits and the understanding of common, complex diseases.

Position Description: Students will read and discuss the primary literature with Dr. Civelek and their assigned graduate student or postdoctoral fellow mentor. They will be encouraged to attend weekly lab meetings. They will conduct experiments, such as mammalian cell cultures, gene manipulation, qPCR, Western blots as well as mouse experiments if they are interested.

Required skills: Previous lab experience, such as those obtained in introductory classes, are desirable.

Computer software: Students who are interested in computational projects will learn R and/or UNIX commands but are not required to know these skills.

Training/certification: Online biosafety and chemical safety training are required to work in the lab but can be done before work commences. Animal handler training required if the project involves mice.

What you will learn: Understand human genetic variation. Learn how to design and conduct experiments. Read and evaluate published literature critically.

Web site link to research: