Study the molecular mechanisms leading to transforming growth factor-b signaling in tumor progression and breast cancer metastasis.
McGill University
Hormones and Cancer Research Unit, Dept of Medicine, McGill University
Dr Jean-Jacques Lebrun
Dr Jean-Jacques Lebrun
English required, French accepted
4 weeks
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Cancer is a complex disease with very limited options for treatments. Indeed cancer is predicted to be the number 1 killer disease of the 21st century exceeding cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that close to 1.5 million new cases of cancer in the US and half a million deaths in 2009 that is more than 1,500 people a day. In the world, cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. Furthermore, the American National Institutes of Health estimates overall medical costs close to $100 billion/year. Therefore, there is great need for research into mechanisms of cancer development to provide new therapy options. Our research program aims at elucidating the signal transduction mechanisms by which growth factors from the transforming growth factor-b family regulate cell growth and apoptosis in normal and cancer cells as well as understanding their contribution to cancer progression and tumor metastasis in highly aggressive human malignancies (breast cancer, hepatocarcinomas, colon cancer, melanomas, Blood-born cancers).
What is the aim of the project?
Specifically, the project aims at identifying target genes and intracellular effector molecucles regulated by TGFb and define their role and contribution to the process of tumor formation and tumor metastasis.
What techniques and methods are used?
Techniques to be used will include Molecular biology, cell culture, cell transfection, protein biochemistry, Western analysis, cell signaling and imaging, growth inhibitory, apoptotic, cell cycle assays, quantitative real time PCR, microscopy, cell migration and cell invasion assays, among others.
What is the role of the student?
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
As a member of my laboratory, the intern/student will be under my direct supervision and will be trained in the application of new techniques by myself and other qualified members of the laboratory. Moreover, the candidate will participate in weekly scientific activities available at McGill University. These include signal transduction seminar series, held at the Hormones and Cancer Research Unit, where MD, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows have the opportunity to present their research work, MUHC Endocrine Rounds, weekly lab journal club as well as journal club organized by the McGill Endocrine Division, and all seminars organized by the different department of McGill.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Requirements include strong motivation to partictapte in Cancer research. Some basic laboratory training, background knowledge in signal transduction and cancer research in general are desirable but not necessary.
All relevant information is accessible directly through the Hormones and Cancer research unit web site:
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
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