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Optical modulation of T-Cell physiology with pulsed infrared light

Primary Investigators:
Anita Mahadevan-Jansen
Brief Description of Project:
Our lab has shown that pulsed infrared light can be used to modulate a host of neural cell types. We are in the process of expanding this work to study additional somatic cell types to begin exploring possible clinical avenues for pulsed infrared light clinically. T-cells are responsible for initiating and mediating inflammatory responses in the body, and disruption of their function is responsible for dozens of disorders for both over-responsive and under-responsive immune activity. This project will aim to characterize the effects of pulsed infrared light on primary CD-4+ and CD-8+ T-cells to pulsed infrared light exposure utilizing calcium fluorescence imaging and pharmacology to explore possible therapeutic avenues for pulsed infrared light in the immune system.

Desired Qualifications:
Rising junior with 1-2 years of laboratory experience utilizing fluorescence imaging, harvesting and culturing primary cells from mice. Basic knowledge and interest in T-cell and immune system biology is helpful. Competency in image processing and analysis with ImageJ/FIJI/Matlab is strongly recommended.
Nature of Supervision:
Day-to-day laboratory tasks, experimental design, and analysis will be supervised by a senior graduate student and a postdoctoral fellow in my lab. Attendance at weekly meeting with the PI's lab, and project-specific lab groups to discuss troubleshooting and progress is expected. Weekly written updates will be required to be submitted to the PI, followed up with bi-weekly individual meetings directly with the PI. Students will be expected to present research progress to the Biophotonics Center affiliates half way through the program, as well as lead the discussion on the critical review of at least one primary research study at theirs and their advising graduate students choice. Students will responsible for developing and refining an individual development plan (IDP) throughout the summer under guidance from the PI and advising graduate student. Pending research progress, the student may be asked to submit an abstract to present their work at our groups annual international society meeting the following spring and peer reviewed publication.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Week 1-2: Training on use of laboratory equipment. Harvest and freezing of primary cells for weeks of programs experiments. Training on fluorescence microscope and infrared laser for stimulating cells. 
Week 3-8: Twice-weekly imaging experiments. Concurrent data processing and analysis to guide subsequent xperiments. 
Week 4: Draft for individual development plan (career development) due
Week 6: Biophotonics Center Research Progress Presentation
Week 7: Primary research article presentation
Week 9 : Drafting of conference abstract for submission.
Week 10: Drafting, refining, and delivering final research group presentation 

Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: Anita Mahadevan-Jansen
Department: Biomedical Engineering