Regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis in insulin-resistant and glucose-intolerant states – from the environment to diabetes
Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC)
Physiological Sciences
Alex Rafacho
Alex Rafacho
English; Spanish; Portuguese
4 weeks
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Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The student(s) selected for this proposal must have the intention to learning preclinic aspects of obesity, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes and diabetes that, ultimately, can be translated to the clinic application. It is possible that the student(s) could observe some laboratory experiments. This will completely depend on the realization of experiments during the period of internship, which cannot be guaranteed since the execution of projects and experiments are not regular along all the year. Our routine experiments include animal handling (rats mainly) and biochemical, functional, structural and molecular tools. The selected student(s) will have the opportunity to discuss data and results with undergraduate and graduate students from our lab. For a detailed view, candidates can access our webpage at
What is the aim of the project?
To learn and discuss the main aspects related to obesity and diabetes pathogenesis, especially type 2 diabetes. Student(s) will have the opportunity to understand the impact of lifestyle and almost all environmental aspects that influence and predispose us to these metabolic diseases.
What techniques and methods are used?
We cannot authorize animals’ handling (this is restricted for trained people) and some few biochemical experiments can be done like the determination of plasma analytes such as glycemia and triacylglyceridemia. The internship is more dedicated to observational approaches and theoretical discussions that will be offered by the graduate students and especially by me.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The foreigner student will accompany the lab students and will be stimulated to i) discuss the procedures, ii) to analyze the data and iii) to make criticisms about the theme covered during his/her passage in the lab. Students will be invited to perform an oral presentation in English both in the beginning and in the ending period with the intention to tell us his/her previous knowledge and how much the internship added new informtation to his/her intelectual formation.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Yes. The student will be subjected to 4 or more hours of theory before or concomitant to be introduced to the lab routine. Preliminary reading may be also provided as well.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
The student must have no problem with the use of animals in scientific experimentation, must be communicative, proactive, and it would be desirable whether has basic physiology knowledge, especially at endocrinology and metabolism. Previous experience with: physiology classes (recommended, not required). For a basic idea of what we study, students can read any of the paper where I am the correspondent author from the latter PubMed link.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
- Graduated students (less than 6 months)
- Pre-Medical students from the American-British system
- Students in biomedical fields