Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Jane Yu L&S Sciences

A Novel Gene Affects Cartilage Patterning and Joint Formation in Mice

We are studying the role that a gene called KST245 plays in joint formation in mice. Currently, little is known about the regulation of joint development in the field of skeletal biology. However, through our research we hope to advance the field and share information that may be important in treating poorly understood joint diseases, such as arthritis. Mice that lack the functional KST245 gene (KST245 mutants) show irregular cartilage growth and misplaced joints. By examining the differences between the KST245 mutants and unaltered mice, we hope to understand the specific functions of this gene. To do so, we will compare differences in expression of related genes, cell growth and death, and tissue formation.

Message To Sponsor

Almost two years ago, I had the unbelievable luck to stumble upon this project. Working with a great mentor, we have been able to study many facets of skeletal development in mice. This project is a perfect example of the collections of fascinating questions that pull people into research. We started with very a little: a single mutation in a mouse, which to our knowledge, had never before been studied. The mutation caused many changes in the mouses skeletal development, allowing us to ask What does this gene do? How is it controlled? and Where does it fit in? The open-endedness of the project and the opportunity to understand how organisms grow and change keep me dedicated, while staying creative and actively learning.
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Richard Harland, Molecular and Cell Biology
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