Killing cancer cells with new designer nanoparticles - PHGY 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form - Summer 2019

Supervisor's Name: Ursula Stochaj

Supervisor's Email: ursula.stochaj [at]

Supervisor's Phone:

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Physiology

Course number: PHGY 396 (Physiology)

Term: Summer 2019

Project start date: June 10, 2019 (flexible)

Project end date: August 26, 2019

Project title: Killing cancer cells with new designer nanoparticles

Project description (50-100 words suggested): Cancer treatment puts an enormous burden on patients, their families and the health care system. This burden is heightened by complications that limit the success of current therapies. Thus, novel strategies are mandatory to provide treatment that is efficient, safe and beneficial to many patients. Functionalized nanoparticles provide unique tools to interfere with tumor growth and kill cancer cells. To use nanoparticles successfully for medical applications, it is mandatory to understand how they interact with cells.
This project is dedicated to the development of new nanoparticles that eliminate cancer cells. Together with our collaborators, we generate nanoparticles with exceptional properties. These properties will eradicate cancer with extraordinary efficiency.
The proposed research will design and produce new nanoparticles. For future therapies, it is critical to characterize the nano-bio interface and optimize the nanoparticles for cancer cell killing.
To achieve this, we will address the following fundamental questions:
 (1) What are the optimal nanoparticle properties that ensure the effective killing of cancer cells?
(2) What is the impact of these nanoparticles on normal cells?
(3) How do the nanoparticles enter tumor cells?
(4) How do the nanoparticles kill tumor cells? Specifically, which cellular organelles are damaged by the nanoparticles?
The student will be involved in all aspects of the project. Together with the supervisor and other members of our group, the candidate will plan and optimize the research strategy, conduct experiments and trouble-shoot, if necessary. The student will actively participate in the interpretation of results and will keep appropriate records of all experiments. The candidate will discuss her/his data at lab meetings and present results at local scientific conferences. The student will work both with lab members and our collaborators. The candidate will have the opportunity to attend scientific seminars and research meetings.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final report: 50%; Research activities, including experimental work: 50%

Project status: This project is open to applicant.

How students can apply / Next steps: Please e-mail your unofficial transcript.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves: Handling chemicals.