Vasanth Vedantham, Professor

Closed (1) Biogenesis of Heart Rhythm

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

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 factors that regulate development, function, and disease in these unique cells with a view to develop novel approaches to treating heart rhythm disorders. We use mouse models to disrupt the function of these factors and study the effect on heart rhythm, cellular electrophysiology, and gene expression as assessed with next generation sequencing methods including single cell RNA sequencing and ATAC seq. 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).

Qualifications: Any molecular biology lab experience (coursework OK). Mouse experience a plus. Strong consideration given to students with a computational background.

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

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