Vasanth Vedantham, Professor

Open (1) Transcriptional Regulation of Heart Rhythm

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

The principal investigator is a clinical cardiac electrophysiologist with a basic science lab focused on arrhythmias. The heart rhythm is generated by specialized cardiac pacemaker cells in a structure called the sinoatrial node. Unlike other heart cells, which are quiescent until they receive an electrical signal, pacemaker cells are spontaneously active and pace the heart according to the body's needs. Our lab is studying transcription factors that regulate gene expression in these unique cells. We use mouse models to disrupt the function of these factors and study the effect on heart rhythm, cellular electrophysiology, and gene expression. We also introduce these factors into working heart cells to see whether we can shift their gene expression and behavior to a pacemaker cell-like pattern. The results will have implications for treatment of human arrhythmias.

The undergraduate will be part of a team performing experiments that will include:

1. Sectioning and staining hearts and performing immunohistochemistry with imaging
2. Isolating RNA and DNA and performing PCR
3. Dissecting and imaging mouse embryos
4. Analysis and processing of microscopy images and videos
5. Mouse electrocardiography and/or EKG data analysis (depending on candidates level of interest and time commitment).

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Vasanth Vedantham

Qualifications: Any molecular biology lab experience (coursework OK). Mouse experience a plus.

Weekly Hours: to be negotiated

Off-Campus Research Site: University of California, San Francisco
Smith Cardiovascular Research Building
555 Mission Bay Blvd, Room 314
San Francisco, CA 94158