11AO – Functional Characterization of Novel Oncogenic Drivers in Cancer

Status: Filled – Intern: Nicole Pelletier
Intern: Nicole Pelletier
Faculty Name: akinyemi-i-ojesina
UAB Department: Epidemiology
UAB School: Public Health
Campus Address: 1665 University Boulevard RPHB 230L
Telephone Number: (205) 934-7911
Email: ojesina@uab.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 2
CCC Research Area: Cancer Biology
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 10
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Jianqing Zhang, PhD
Title of Project: 11AO – Functional Characterization of Novel Oncogenic Drivers in Cancer
Project Description:

In the Oncopathogenomics laboratory, we combine genomic analyses with functional experiments in primary human tissues and cell lines, to investigate how somatic genomic alterations synergize with microbial influences to modulate tumor initiation, progression, response to therapy and prognosis.

Using the most up-to-date genomics analytical tools, we have identified several putative novel cancer driving genes with recurrent hotspot mutations, which are likely to be targets for cancer therapy.

In this project, we seek to perform functional characterization of these genes. This will involves ectopic expression of wildtype and mutant constructs for the gene(s) of interest in cell lines to assay for their differential phenotypic effects on cellular proliferation, migration, invasion, etc. We will also test for sensitivity to both pharmacologic and shRNA inhibitors of the gene(s) of interest.

Depending on the progress made during the project, there will be opportunities for genomic investigation of lysates from our experiments. This will likely be associated with opportunities to learn how to perform some genomic analyses.

This work has great promise for illuminating the mechanisms of cancer, development of diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic strategies, and the prevention of cancer.

Project Status: Already up and running
Location of Project: Huntsville, AL (HudsonAlpha)
Proposed Start Date: February 4, 2020
Proposed End Date: August 28, 2020
Expected work schedule for intern: Not very flexible, intern MUST be at work on certain days of the week and at certain times of the day (as may be necessary to interview patients, attend lab meetings, process samples, etc.) and should contribute full-time effort.
Category of Project: Laboratory Research
Cancer topic: Breast, Cervix, Genetics, Multiple Cancer Sites
Does this project involve human subjects: No
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

Cell culture


Molecular biology and biochemical assays


Analysis and interpretation of data, reports, presentations

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following:
Office or desk space, Computer and printer, Laboratory work bench space, Supplies needed to complete project, Equipment needed to complete project
Likelihood that intern will be included as an author on one or more publications
related to this summer research project:
Very likely
Areas in which the ideal candidates will have experience:
Biochemistry, Computer Programming, Genetics and Genomics, Infectious agents and cancer, Laboratory Skills, advanced knowledge, Molecular Biology