The projects I lead within Dr. Pawlik's lab focus on psychosocial aspects of the cancer experience. We employ a mixed-methods approach, so our lab may have unique learning opportunities for students (in addition to working with the Chair of Surgery. I have copied in two lay abstracts of projects we aim to have in progress this summer. Please let me know if there are any further details I can provide — I have the associated technical abstracts for these projects if you need more specific methodologies.
Thanks for your consideration,
Liz Palmer Kelly
Lay Abstract Project 1: Patient-centered care in oncology: examining the relationships between patient engagement, provider and healthcare system patient-centeredness, health related quality of life, and length of survival
The cancer experience is uniquely and profoundly stressful, requiring cancer care to be tailored and focused
on the needs of the individual patient, yet there is a lack of patient-centered care in oncology. The proposed
study will test a model of patient-centered cancer care that examines the complex dynamic between patient,
physician and healthcare system and compare its generalizability across multiple patient contexts. The results from this study will provide crucial information to improve and personalize the care of cancer patients and survivors.
Lay abstract project 2: The relational needs of cancer patients
The purpose of this study is to assess cancer patient’s relational needs during cancer treatment, and explore
the bidirectional influence between the treatment of cancer and those relationships. The specific relational
needs to be assessed are their relationship with their healthcare team, their spirituality and faith, and their
family and social supports. Results from this study will be used to inform future research and clinical practice regarding preparation for cancer treatment.
Project title: DNA delivery methods for mouse model generation with endonuclease based transgenesis.
Location: McLaughlin Lab at Nationwide Childrens Hospital
Project Description: Current protocols for generating transgenic animals incorporate the utility of several methods to achieve subtle and major alterations in the genome. Perhaps the most effective delivery method is electroporation of zygotes however the protocols vary substantially often according to the device powering the electroporation. This project will test, compare and optimize up to four pulse generator devices to produce large gene insertions in mouse zygotes. The success will be measured by the use of fluorescent reporter genes that will be expressed in the early blastocyst stage if integration is successful. The objectives may be extended to post gestation stages, incorporating non-surgical embryo transfer technology depending on progress. Student will acquire training in preparation of CRISPR/Cas9 reagents, embryo electroporation, handling and also in vitro culture of mouse zygotes and early stage embryos.
The Zhang Lab of Computational Genomics and Proteomics welcomes application for summer research
Potential projects for summer internships: Study the functions of non-coding regions in the genome. Only about 1 percent of the genome is coding genes, while the rest 99 percent are non-coding regions. “Non-coding” does not equal to “non-functional.” There are many genomic elements located in the non-coding regions, and may play regulatory roles of gene expression, and may be oncomodulary. For more information about non coding DNA, please read ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/basics/noncodingdna. We are interested in investigating the functions of non-coding regions by integrating different types of data, for example, DNA sequences, next-generation sequencing, and microarray data. We have several potential projects that welcome intern students’ involvement.
Project 1: Data analysis
Use basic statistical models to analyze the trend of material exchange between chromosomes. Some chromosomes act more like DNA exporters than importers. We want to further study the functions related to the strong import or export trend, and try to probe the biological meaning in evolution and/or tumorigenesis.
Project 2: Literature survey and data analysis
Identify the relationship between transposable elements, pseudogenes, and lncRNAs. For related literature, please read “Identification of Transposable Elements Contributing to Tissue-Specific Expression of Long Non-Coding RNAs.” (PMID: 29315213)
Tumor-suppressor genes tightly regulate the capacity of cells to growth without control and their loss triggers cancer initiation. Despite being extensively studied, we understand very little about how loss of
tumor-suppressors, RB1, p16 and p53 change the transcriptome and proteome of normal cells. To directly
address these questions, my lab have generated CRISPR knock-out cells and conducted RNA-seq and
Ribosome profiling of these cells. We are therefore looking for a student interested in investigating the
mechanisms driving these changes and independently testing these alterations. Students will learn the
following skills from this project: CRISPR, cell growth, RNA preps, RT-PCR, polysome profiling and western blotting. We are a young and vibrant lab looking for hard working but thorough students to work with us over the summer.
The Pyter lab investigates how cancer and cancer treatment causes the cognitive dysfunction experienced by
breast cancer survivors. We utilize a mouse model of breast cancer in order to test cognitive behavioral deficits following breast cancer treatments and survivorship. Over the summer, we will be conducting experiments investigating the roles of estrogen and treatment with aromatase inhibitors in mice that have had a breast cancer tumor removed. Aromatase inhibiting drugs prevent the conversion of testosterone into estradiol, thus reducing circulating estradiol in survivors, which helps prevent subsequent tumor growth. These drugs are increasingly used as a long duration treatment (>10 years) following survival. Survivors often report long-term cognitive dysfunction following survival, but the role of aromatase inhibitors in these symptoms have yet to be clarified. These experiments will provide a student research assistant the opportunity to assist with cell culture, mouse surgeries and care, behavioral testing, and laboratory techniques such as RT-qPCR and immunohistochemistry. The student will have the opportunity to take on a portion of this research project as his/her own discrete research project. See more at u.osu.edu/pyter.1.
For the Joint OSUCCC/Kenyon College Summer Undergraduate Research Program, the OSUCCC Genomics Shared Resource (GSR) will provide a multifaceted research experience for a student majoring in biology, biochemistry, or genetics, or those with computation training interested in learning big data. The Director (Dr. Amanda Toland) and the Technical Director (Dr. Pearlly Yan), both have administrative and research
appointments and extensive experience working with undergraduate trainees in their research mission. The
undergraduate trainee will receive an overview of all stages and types of Next Generating Sequencing (NGS;
basic research and clinical/translational) studies include a variety of RNA-seq/transcriptome analyses,
epigenome analyses, and microbial/host analyses. For the specific research project, the trainee will work
alongside a GSR team member to plan, develop and test a new cutting-edge NGS service which will be
implemented in the GSR. The trainee will present his/her contribution to the potential service including
comparison to existing technologies at the end of the 10-week experience.
The loss of internal controls that limit and regulate cell growth is a hallmark of cancer cells. Although cancer cells tolerate certain levels of changes to their DNA they must retain the blueprints for building the machinery required for cell growth and survival. Thus, they must still duplicate and transmit their genomes from one generation to the next with minimal errors in order for the tumor to continue to grow. The checkpoints that monitor these processes are rarely defective in cancer cells and are often highly active due to the loss of other control mechanisms. By inducing additional stress and/or inhibiting these remaining checkpoints we can induce death in tumors. The goal of our research is to understand how cancer cells overcome their internal stress and cope with drug-induced stress to guide the development of improved therapeutic strategies. Our work focuses on the interplay between ubiquitin ligases and cellular checkpoints, ensure the fidelity of these essential processes. We currently have two main projects. In the first project, we are examining the role of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP37 in the regulation of replication and the cell cycle.
The second project focuses on the regulation of chromosome segregation in mitosis. We utilize a multi-faceted approach to achieve our goals including; proteomic, cellular, microscopy, and biochemical based analyses. Potential projects include construction of cellular models for monitoring cell growth or to enhance proteomic studies, analysis of protein-protein interactions in a purified system, and live cell analysis of cellular response to drug-induced stress, among others.
At the PCVLab, our goal is to expand the sphere of "photogrammetry and computer vision" knowledge by
solving complex image analysis and understanding tasks. To that extend, we work on three different aspects of the image-sequence analysis and understanding problems.
Multi sensor fusion: We use a set of complimentary sensors assisting our algorithms to solve difficult problems. Photogrammetric computer vision: We introduce projective geometric constraints that improves quality and precision of new and traditional computer vision problems.
Mobile platforms: We predominantly utilize mobile platforms in data acquisition including but not limited to smart phones, Microsoft HoloLens, Google Glass, UAS and UGV.
Project option A: Use pathology images and deep learning mechanisms to delineate tumor region.
Project option B: Use Augmented Reality goggles to track and visualize tumor region in 3D super imposed on the patient.
Requirements: Good programming (python or matlab or c++) and math (linear algebra and geometry) skills.
The Cruz-Monserrate laboratory research program is focused on studying pancreatic diseases in particular
pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) which is one of the most deadly human malignancies, with dismal long-term survival and limited advances in treatment. The long-term goals of my research laboratory are to develop novel strategies for the detection, prevention and treatment of PDAC and pancreatitis via uncovering unique mechanisms related to the initiation of these diseases. Towards this goal we have shown that the molecule integrin alpha6beta4, the enzyme Cathepsin E (CTSE), and pH-sensitive imaging probes are all early biomarkers of PDAC development. We have been engaged in the development of novel imaging probes that have the potential to detect and treat pancreas containing early lesions of PDAC using the enzymatic activity of CTSE using pre-clinical mouse models. This technology applies to any other diseases that express CTSE at high levels which is the case of pancreatic cancer.
We are also interested in the prevention of obesity-associated tumor development. Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of cancer development, in particular PDAC. Obesity rates in adults and children have also skyrocketed during the past 2 decades. Therefore, it is critical that we begin to understand the molecular mechanisms of how obesity promotes cancer development. In an effort to discover alternative methods of studying obesity and its relationship to PDAC development, we recently developed a mouse model of obesity-associated PDAC which we have used to study some of the mechanisms that link obesity and PDAC.
There are multiple projects available related to the topics described above which can be further refine based
the students interests and future career goals.
Project: Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening through Implementation Science (ACCSIS) in Appalachia
The OSU Center for Cancer Health Equity Summer Research Experience provides undergraduate students
with opportunities to build research skills and learn about Community Based Participatory Research to better understand health disparities. The selected student will work with their mentor, Dr. Electra Paskett, on developing an independent research project using data from Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening
through Implementation Science (ACCSIS) in Appalachia project.
This study aims to increase screening and follow-up for colorectal cancer (CRC) in central Appalachia, a geographically unique, medically underserved region of the United States (U.S.) recognized as one of three “hotspots” for CRC mortality. Beginning in fall 2018, investigators from both the University of Kentucky and Ohio State will launch the planning and exploratory phase of a 5-year project grounded in implementation science principles (e.g., feasibility, acceptability, sustainability, effectiveness, and satisfaction). The project will focus on four levels of intervention — patient, provider, clinic and community — using community-based participatory research strategies to modify an existing program for use in the unique Appalachian communities.
Potential research/analytic projects include: