Albert Yu

Identifying Key Components of Regeneration in Drosophila Imaginal Discs

In the human body, the liver is the only organ that can regenerate following substantial damage. But if all cells contain the same genetic information, how is this function unique to the liver? This summer I will study regeneration in the wing imaginal discs of developing Drosophila larvae. My goal is to develop a system that introduces localized cell death in these discs. Following cell death, I will visualize the amount and location of cell proliferation in the remaining cells. With this system, I can assess the ability of mutant cells to respond to localized cell death, which will provide insight into what genes, when mutated, disrupt regeneration. By finding which genes affect regeneration, we can gain a better understanding about the cell growth pathway.

Message to Sponsor

It means a lot to be part of a group where students share the same passion for research. Through SURF, I have had the opportunity to learn what other undergraduates are working on, both in the sciences and in other fields. Additionally, the program allows me to do research, while not having to worry about lectures, problem sets, or exams. I can dedicate myself to research, and apply the knowledge derived from my classes to my experiments. I also have the opportunity to live the life of a graduate student, by writing proposals, and presenting my findings, and ultimately seeing whether a future in research is meant for me. I want to thank SURF and the Hariharan Lab for this unique opportunity.
  • Major: Molecular & Cell Biology, Public Health
  • Mentor: Iswar Hariharan, Molecular & Cell Biology