Abraham – Biochemistry/Cell and Molecular Biology

Carmela Abraham
Options: Volunteer Basis, Potential for UROP Funding, Potential for Academic Credit

The Abraham lab in the Department of Biochemistry at the School of Medicine is looking for one undergraduate student interested in participating in our ongoing research projects. Students must be engaged in academic programs directly related to the field of biomedical research (Biology, Biochemistry, Cell biology, Molecular Biology, Chemistry, etc.).

We are looking for highly motivated and outstanding students, preferably starting their junior or senior year, who may be planning to develop a scientific research career in the future. In the beginning the position would be for academic credit or on a volunteer basis. If the performance and progress of the candidate are optimal, seeking UROP funding would be highly encouraged, especially for the next summer and beyond. 32-40hr/wk during the summer and 16-20hr/wk the rest of the year are required. We are looking for committed candidates willing to pursue their research work until graduation. We offer a dynamic work environment and strong support for the student career development.

Our laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms leading to normal brain aging and the pathological processes that culminate in Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. With microarray analysis we identified genes that play crucial roles in brain dysfunction leading to cognitive decline. An example is Klotho, a cytoprotective, anti-aging protein. We found that Klotho expression is considerably decreased in the aged brains of monkeys, rats, and mice. We are now working to comprehensively characterize the role of Klotho in the brain in normal aging and disease. Our projects are to identify Klotho receptors in the brain and define the signaling pathways by which Klotho exerts its protective effects on neurons and oligodendrocytes. We are also studying Klotho’s transcriptional regulation and have identified compounds to therapeutically exploit these protective effects. Another line of investigation in our lab is to understand the biology of the amyloid precursor protein ! (APP), the parent protein of the amyloid beta peptide (Abeta), which accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients and causes irreversible neurodegeneration. Certain mutations in APP result in autosomal dominant, early onset familial Alzheimer’s disease due to the increased production of Abeta. Since APP homodimerization is believed to be involved in Abeta formation in the brain we searched and identified molecules capable of intervening in this process to reduce the levels of toxic Abeta peptide in the brain. More details about our research can be found here: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/biochemistry/people/faculty/carmela-r-abraham

Please send an updated CV and a short paragraph explaining your interest and expectations in this project and feel free to mention any previous experience that is related to this project. Please also feel free to contact me with questions and/or comments.