Basic Science Research: This research includes projects that test hypotheses using laboratory-based methods. Projects in basic science areas investigate basic physiological, molecular and cellular regulatory mechanisms using model experimental cell, organ and whole animal systems. Because all cells have a common origin in evolution, knowledge of these basic mechanisms could be useful for patient diagnosis, prognosis and therapy in the clinic.
Projects could focus on Neuroscience, Immunology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Genetics, or Cell and Developmental Biology (see below). The information gained could be used in a translational (Bench to Bedside) manner in which basic science techniques and knowledge are applied to clinical problems (see examples below). Although your level of participation may be a long-way off from any clinical application, you will see how scientific discoveries can lead to medical breakthroughs, even when they are not planned to do so. For instance, Azacytidine was developed to treat cancer but is used to treat AIDS by inhibiting the HIV virus.
Sometimes, the discoveries are serendipitous, like penicillin inhibition of bacterial infections by Fleming or the discovery of vaccines by Pasteur! You will be able to answer your patients when they ask you, "Why does it take so long to develop a drug?"
Examples of completed MSA projects in Basic Science:
- Investigating the mechanism of action of drugs for targeted cancer therapy using mouse models and human cells in culture
- Using mice to test ideas about rejection during organ transplantation
- Synthesizing potential antibacterial antibiotics
- Developing a mouse model to test a cancer vaccine
- Measuring genetic polymorphisms in patients with auto-immune disorders
- Determining prognostic biomarkers for cancer using advanced molecular pathological analysis.
- Using a rat model to study neuro-degeneration
- Studying molecular mechanisms of auto-immunity in type II diabetes