Alexandra Naba

    Email Address:
    College: Medicine Department: Physiology and Biophysics
    Title: Assistant Professor
    Office: COMRB 2035 Phone: 312-355-5417
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    My laboratory studies the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in development, health, and disease, with a particular focus on cancer. To do so, we utilize classical molecular, cellular, and developmental biology approaches in combination with cutting-edge proteomics and computational analyses. Our research is conducted on mouse models and cells in culture.

    Our ultimate goal is to better understand how the ECM contributes to diseases so that we can exploit it to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

    Current research opportunities within our group include:
    1) Computational and proteomic analyses of the extracellular matrix of different tissues and tumor types.
    2) Characterization of the cellular and molecular functions of a newly identified ECM gene called SNED1 and shown to be important for breast cancer progression and embryonic development.

    The Naba lab is a highly collaborative and dynamic group that strives for scientific excellence, and offers a stimulating and inclusive working environment conducive to learning and professional development.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 12h (weekdays only)

    Qualifications of a Student:
    [Updated 7/10/2023]

    * Preferred majors: Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Biomedical Visualization, Computer Science

    * Preferred minimum GPA: 3.5

    * Qualifications:
    - Prior lab experience is not required but is a plus.
    - Successful candidate must be detail-oriented, hard-working, professional, and reliable. You will be helping run our lab, therefore, your commitment and reliability are extremely important!

    Students who are motivated and have experience in our lab will become eligible to work half- or full-time during the summer as hourly paid employees.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    * Time commitment:
    We are expecting students to commit to working in the lab ~12 to 15 hours per week (weekdays only) and to be able to be in the lab for periods of 3-5 hours per day and ideally on consecutive days.
    Hybrid or remote biomedical visualization projects may be available.

    While classroom work is the priority, we expect students to be at work promptly and to devote lab time to lab tasks. Attendance to our weekly lab meeting is mandatory.

    > We are looking for students who are willing to commit to working in the lab for 2+ years, pending an initial 1-month evaluation period.

    > Juniors who will be considered must have prior research experience in one of the following areas: cell biology, biochemistry, computational biology, programming, database management, biomedical visualization.

    > We are not hiring seniors.

    * Training plan:
    Initially, you will learn basic lab techniques and assist with routine maintenance of the lab. You will then choose a specific project to work on that is appropriate for your time commitment, skill set, and research interest.

    Successful candidates will be expecting to attend our weekly lab meetings.

    We also expect candidates to enhance their experience by immersing themselves in the scientific background/literature relevant to the lab’s research (you will not only be a pair of hands!).

    Depending on progress, students may get the chance to present their research at seminars and meetings and contribute to scientific papers. Students will be encouraged and supported to apply to internal and external scholarships and research grants and develop their career plans.

    In addition to weekly lab meetings, students will meet at least once a month 1:1 with Dr. Alexandra Naba to discuss their progress.

    Return to Physiology and Biophysics list

    Return to Departments list