Kirkwood Community College

Internships > Department of Biology - Understanding Pathways that Regulate Energy, Balance, and Appetite

Department of Biology - Understanding Pathways that Regulate Energy, Balance, and Appetite



, Iowa

Internship Length: 90 hrs
Office Hours: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Energy homeostasis, food intake, and body weight are regulated by specific brain circuits that originate within the ventral medial hypothalamus (VMH). The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) signaling pathways within neurons of the VMH have recently been identified to be critically implicated in the regulation of food intake and body weight. Hyperactivity of these pathways within hypothalamic neurons leads to dysregulation of metabolism and induces obesity and related diseases. Although studies have independently established the involvement of hypothalamic mTORC1 and NF-kB signaling in the development of obesity and its comorbidities, no one has investigated whether or not these pathways are connected.

This project will rely heavily on an established molecular biology technique in quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which the central nervous system regulates energy homeostasis. We will use cell culture in combination with pharmacological manipulations to define the crosstalk between the mTORC1 and NF-kB signal transduction pathways that have emerged to be important players in the neural regulation of cellular metabolism. Gaining a fuller understanding of these molecular mechanisms could reveal new therapeutic targets for metabolic diseases and be extended to allow for effective treatment and prevention of obesity and obesity-related health conditions. The intern will work with experienced Coe College undergraduate students and gain experience in cell culture, cellular and molecular biology techniques, and microscopy.


Student Requirements:

Must have completed AP Biology

Ability to follow and take direction

Ability to work independently but ask questions when needed

Strong organizational and communication skills

Attention to detail

Professional and respectful demeanor

Mature attitude

This is a 90-hour, summer-only internship.

THIS DESCRIPTION DOES NOT LIST ALL DUTIES. INTERN MAY BE ASKED TO PERFORM OTHER DUTIES BY THE STAFF OR SUPERVISOR. INTERN WILL BE EVALUATED ON PERFORMANCE OF THE PROJECTS LISTED AS WELL AS INTERACTION WITH EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS. ON-SITE HOURS WILL BE NEGOTIATED WITH EACH CANDIDATE.

SAFETY EXPECTATIONS, INCLUDING HARASSMENT, SHOULD BE REVIEWED WITH THE HOST.




« back to listing