Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Amy Zhong

The Role of TOX3 in Cardiomyocyte Regeneration

Over five million Americans today live with a heart failure and many suffer from a loss of heart cells and deterioration of the organ. Although there’s been a lot of research done on the genetic and pharmacological approaches to cardiomyocyte regeneration after cardiac injuries, the mechanism behind the regenerative potential of the mammalian heart is still unclear. Interestingly, heart regeneration is robust in adult zebrafish and newborn mice, yet almost completely disabled in adult mammals. Our lab focuses on uncovering the genetic basis of cardiomyocyte proliferation and regeneration after heart injuries by using mice as a model organism.
For this summer, I will particularly look into the TOX3 gene. It is frequently associated with breast cancer, yet prior research as shown a correlation between TOX3 and cardiac regeneration. My work will involve mice harvesting, dissections, immunohistostaining and nucleation quantification. In addition, I will be imaging X-gal stained mice hearts during the various embryonic and adult stages to record TOX3 expression. My goal is to uncover the relationship between the TOX3 gene and potential cardiac regenerative abilities.

Message To Sponsor

I am beyond grateful for your generous support for such an amazing research opportunity in the summer of 2019. During the school year, the protocols and procedures that I was able to do was limited, but, with your support, I’ll be able to explore a wider range of techniques by fully devoting my time to research this summer. By fully immersing myself in a laboratory environment, I hope to gain a better understanding of what it takes to be researcher in the future. This wonderful opportunity for personal and professional growth would not have been possible without your support.
Profile image of Amy Zhong
Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology
Mentor: Guo Huang
Sponsor: Chandra Research Fellows - Chandra Fund
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