My internship is on the Effects of drugs on Golgi structure at the Edward Kraus Natural Science Building at University of Michigan.
The function of the mammalian Golgi apparatus is to traffic, sort and modify proteins and lipids. The Golgi normally forms cisternae, which are chains of flattened membrane bound disks. Disruption of the Golgi structure in cell culture with drugs, or during disease, can have consequences for the cell. A drug called thapsigargin may produce changes in cultured human fibroblasts that alter the Golgi structure, and mimic the changes that occur during disease. I will employ the laboratory techniques of immunofluorescence and Western blotting to test the effect that drugs like thapsigargin have on cytoskeletal proteins, like actin and tubulin, which are known to play a role in the maintenance of the normal Golgi structure and proper cellular function.
I was drawn to this opportunity as a result of my interest in working in a lab after completing a class in biochemistry. I have always had an interest in cellular and developmental biology and decided to gain more experience in this department before I declared my major next semester. This opportunity was introduced to me by one of my mentors who is a pediatrician at the Mott’s Children’s Hospital. I decided to take this experience and do my best with it and So far I have no regrets with that decision. I also plan on continuing with my this research during the fall and winter school year.