The Walsh Lab at UVA: Volunteer Undergrad Researcher Wanted!

Claire Cornell

The Walsh Lab (located in the Cardiovascular Research Center) is seeking an undergraduate student research volunteer to work on a remote-based research project. The remote-based project will involve analysis of rodent behavior, however if the circumstances permit later in the year, this role may lead to a wet-lab/hand-on position.

About the lab/project:

The Walsh laboratory investigates how acquired mutations in blood cells contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Somatic DNA mutations accumulate over time in many tissues, and this is a hallmark of the aging process. In particular, somatic mutations in preleukemic “driver” genes within hematopoietic stem cells can confer “fitness” advantages leading to the clonal amplification of these cells. This process is referred to as clonal hematopoiesis, and it is remarkably prevalent in the elderly population. A number of recent studies have associated clonal hematopoiesis with increased mortality and elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Recent studies from the Walsh lab indicate that certain somatic mutations in hematopoietic cells can accelerate atherosclerosis and heart failure. However, whether these mutations can worsen other cardiovascular-related conditions, such as stroke, where the pathogenic mechanisms of injury significantly differ, remain unknown.

This project aims to determine whether a causal relationship exists between clonal hematopoiesis and a poor outcome after ischemic stroke. In this project you will be responsible for analyzing rodent behavior after stroke using videos uploaded to a cloud-based system. More specifically, these behavioral tests will assess post-stroke cognitive function, which is often impaired after a stroke.

Time commitment: ~6-10 hours per week during semester. This time includes attendance at lab meeting/conference

Required skills:

  • Currently pursuing a degree in a life science related field, preferably in biochemistry or biology
  • Strong interest in immunology, neuroscience, molecular biology and/or vascular biology
  • Interest in pursuing research
  • Ability to read and comprehend scientific literature
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office

This position is open to students of any year level, however priority will be given to first- and second-year applicants. No prior research experience is required, however experience will be viewed favorably.

To apply, please email Megan Evans (mae3vu@virginia.edu) with an up-to-date cover letter and resume.