The Misericordia University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF) is sponsored by the Vice President of Academic Affairs Office.
Research fellows receive one-on-one, faculty-guided research opportunities and participate in bi-weekly professional development seminars geared toward preparing them for graduate school, future research experiences, and employment.
The summer program culminates with two presentations of the students’ findings: a 10-minute oral presentation in the last week of the program and a poster presentation in October for the entire campus community, COVID-permitting.
Mackenzie Wilcox and Angela Asirvatham
Nicholas Wilde and Angela Asirvatham
Schwann cells (SCs) are cells in the peripheral nervous system that may play a significant role in neuronal repair after an injury, however, little is known about their mechanisms on how they do so. In the lab, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a bacterial endotoxin, is used to stimulate an injury while forskolin, a growth hormone, is used to activate the cAMP pathway. In this experiment, the cAMP pathway, which is involved in many cellular processes, and protein kinase b (AKT), a cell survival signal, where analyzed in different LPS doses (0.1, 1, and 10 µg/mL) and over different time periods (3-,6-,12-, and 24-hours). It was predicted that cells treated with LPS will increase the expression of activated phospho-AKT as dose and time increases, while cells treated with both LPS and forskolin would have a synergistic effect on the upregulation of phospho-AKT. It was discovered that, in LPS alone, from 1 µg/mL to 10 µg/mL had an increased expression in phospho-AKT across all time intervals besides 24 hours. In LPS and forskolin treatments, a synergistic effect was observed from 1 µg/mL to 10 µg/mL across all time intervals.