Each year, the program offers a small number of stipends to allow some URAP apprentices to continue work on their mentors' research projects over the summer. To be eligible, students must have been working with the same mentor for at least two semesters. Mentors nominate their students. These stipends are generously supported by a number of private donors.

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Investigating contributions of KGB-1 to stress resistance

Summer 2017

Cyrus Ruediger : Molecular & Cell Biology

Mentor: Michael Shapira, Integrated Biology

Organisms are continually faced by a variety of external and internal stressors, which often both contribute to and are exacerbated by the aging process and associated pathologies. Our lab uncovered an age-dependent switch in the contributions of the C. elegans JNK protein KGB-1 to stress resistance, providing protection in larvae, but reducing resistance and shortening lifespan in adults. This switch is associated with age-dependent regulation of the longevity and stress resistance associated transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO. I am working to understand the protective effects of KGB-1 and the nature of KGB-1’s interaction(s) with DAF-16, with the goal of improving our understanding of how cellular and organism level stress responses change with age.

Message to Sponsor:

I plan to pursue a career in science and am very grateful for the opportunity to conduct concentrated research this summer. My research experiences in the Shapira lab solidified my passions for science and helped me decide to apply to graduate school, where I will continue asking questions, learning, and developing as a scientist. I thank URAP for funding my research this summer and facilitating undergraduate research year round.