Maria Irene Givogri

    Email Address: mgivogri@uic.edu
    College: Medicine Department: Anatomy and Cell Biology
    Title: Research Assistant Professor
    Office: COMRB 7051 Phone: 312-413-1072
    Webpage: http://anatomy.uic.edu/faculty/index.html?fac=mariairenegivogri&cat=all
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    My research interests aim to identify and characterize the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating the formation and maintenance of oligodendrocytes and myelin in the brain in the context of health and disease. We are particularly interested in determining the role that deregulated lipid raft-associated sphingolipid sulfatides exert on key signaling pathways of gliogenesis. Our recent study on exosomal regulation of the Platelet-derived fibroblast receptor alpha-PGFRα- (Pituch et al. JBC. 2015) prompted us to evaluate further the role of extracellular vesicles as bioactive carriers of signals in demyelinating disease and gliomas. Research on extracellular vesicles represents a novel area with significant basic and translational potential. These studies will be the foundation of our long-term goal of defining novel or improved therapeutic approaches for glial associated conditions including Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Gliomas.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 15 during the academic year and 20 or more in the summer.

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Priority is given to Biology/Chemistry majors with GPA >3.5.
    Freshman and sophomores pursuing Medical/Graduate school are encouraged to apply.Lab work is required over the academic year and during the summer. We are looking for students who aim to give a long term commitment of 2 years or more to working in our lab. No previous experience is needed, although is a plus. Our top priority in a candidate is a strong commitment to learn and work hard.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Students will have a probationary period of training before being formally accepted at the laboratory and involved in a specific topic of research. In this period students will gain knowledge from a senior lab member in different techniques and general duties needed to work at a laboratory. We welcome students who will remain during their junior and senior years to be fully engaged in an Honors study and pursue their Capstone Project.

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