SURF

Derek Shapiro

Lung Development in Dermophis Mexicanus

Not too many people can say they have ever heard of a caecilian, however, these worm-like, tailless amphibians, are an intriguing and understudied organism. For my project, I will be conducting an in depth, observational study of the lung development of one particular species, Dermophis mexicanus. This tropical species has two lungs, similar to other vertebrates, but one distinguishing characteristic is that these lungs are of unequal size. In Dermophis mexicanus, the left lung is significantly smaller than the right lung and the goal of my project is to detail this process of development. Hopefully, as I progress through the summer, I will be able to shed some light as to why these structures develop in this unique fashion and contribute to the growing knowledge of such a fascinating creature.

Message to Sponsor

This SURF/Rose Hills opportunity is a very special chance for me. I have always been interested in biology, but until now have lacked the means in which to really explore my passion for it. I am now really excited to able to devote myself full time to research, without the constant distraction of schoolwork, in order to finally understand how the prospect of research can fit into my future life. I am hoping that this opportunity will not only confirm my interest in research, but give me a much needed motivational boost as I make my way into my senior year and subsequent graduation.
  • Major: Integrative Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Marvalee Wake