Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Jonathan Kuo Rose Hills

Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis in 3D Cerebral Organoids

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is a critical process in cells that maintains the balance of signaling and receptor molecules on the cellular surface. This balance is critical in the development of the human cerebral cortex, during which neuroepithelial stem cells must choose to divide or differentiate. These cell fate decisions are dependent on the distribution of membrane signaling molecules and receptors, distributions we hypothesize are regulated by CME. However, technical limitations have, until recently, made it nearly impossible to study the dynamics of CME in the highly polarized NECs of a neuroepithelium within live tissue.
Here, we seek to study CME in live tissues by culturing 3D cerebral organoids that capture the spatial organization and polarity of NECs during development. Using adaptive optics lattice light-sheet microscopy (AO-LLSM) and computational image analysis, we will observe the dynamics of CME in 3D, focusing on AP2, Dynamin2 and ArpC3, 3 key endocytic proteins that we have fluorescently tagged. With this project, we hope to shed new light on the role of CME in early neurodevelopment in live 3D tissue.

Message To Sponsor

I am extremely thankful for my sponsor's generous support of my research this summer. With this project, I'll be able to develop my technical skills in both cell and computational biology under a wonderful mentor. I believe that my experience this summer will significantly inform my work and thoughts as a scientist, both in and out of the lab, and am thankful to my sponsor for giving me the resources to be part of this project!
Profile image of Jonathan Kuo
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Intended Rhetoric
Mentor: Dr. David Drubin
Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills Experience
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