Dengke Ma, Professor

Closed (1) How cells of extreme hibernator Arctic ground squirrels survive stress

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

Genome evolution has enabled organisms to live in and adapt to nearly every ecological niche on Earth. Humans live in an oxygen-rich ecosystem and human tissues are susceptible to deprivation of oxygen (hypoxia) under pathological conditions, including ischemic stroke and heart attack. Many organisms, from anaerobic bacteria to hibernating ground squirrels, have evolved mechanisms to tolerate varying degrees of hypoxia. In particular, Arctic ground squirrels (AGS) have been shown to be highly resilient to ischemic insults and reperfusion injuries, which helps them survive stress during hibernation as a natural part of their life. We found such resilience is intrinsic and present even in ex vivo-cultured neural stem cells isolated from GS. This project will use computational genomics, CRISPR gene editing and cell biological approaches to investigate mechanisms by which AGS cells survive metabolic stress including hypothermia, hypoxia and mitochondrial toxicity.

The undergraduate student will be learning experimental techniques and scientific methods in this project with Dr. Neel Singhal, M.D./Ph.D., in our lab, under the supervision of PI.

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Neel Singhal

Qualifications: Curious mind

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute
555 Mission Bay South Blvd, SCVRB Room 214
San Francisco

Related website: http://malab.ucsf.edu

Closed (2) How C. elegans can suspend life under freezing

Closed. This professor is continuing with Spring 2021 apprentices on this project; no new apprentices needed for Fall 2021.

The nematode C. elegans can be frozen alive, suspend life and revive later virtually any long after freezing, unlike many other multicellular organisms, including flies, fish, mice and humans. How C. elegans achieves this feat remains a fascinating unsolved mystery. This project will use our newly established reporters and assays to explore genes and pathways underlying the freezing tolerance of C. elegans.

Qualifications: The undergraduate student will be learning experimental techniques and scientific methods in this project with Dr. Changnan Wang, in our lab, under the supervision of PI.

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: UCSF Cardiovascular Research Institute
555 Mission Bay South Blvd, SCVRB Room 214
San Francisco

Related website: http://malab.ucsf.edu