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McNair Scholar 2017Firdavs Abzhabarov

Firdavs Abzhabarov is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, studying Bachelor of Individualized Studies with concentrations in Life Sciences, Psychology, and Communication Studies. He is currently interested to become a dentist by pursuing a degree in Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Abzhabarov photo
My biggest dream is to open a private dental clinic where I can provide care to underserved families. I am passionate about helping improve the well-being of low-income communities.

Research project

Cellular Localization of Class IIa HDACs During Osteoclast Differentiation

Abstract: Bones consist of two types of cells, osteoclasts that remove bone matrix and osteoblasts that generate new bone. Their balance is crucial in maintaining healthy bone. For an osteoclast to mature into a functioning cell and resorb of bone requires M-CSF and RANKL. Besides transcription factors activated by M-CSF and RANKL that “turn on” osteoclast genes there are also negative factors such as HDACs that “turn off” osteoclast gene expression and osteoclast differentiation. One mechanis by which HDACs are regulated is through their subcellular localization. Lentiviral vectors were created that overexpress HDAC4 fused to GFP to allow for visualization of subcellular localization of HDAC4 during osteoclast differentiation. Expression of HDAC4 by the lentiviral vector was verified with transfection and western blotting techniques. My HDAC4 lentiviral vector will allow the Mansky lab to use another technique to visualize HDAC4 subcellular localization during osteoclast differentiation as well as in the future allow them to create mutations in HDAC4 to determine the signals that regulate HDAC4 localization. Download poster.[PDF]

Faculty mentor

Dr. Kim Mansky is currently a professor in the Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, Division of Orthodontics at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Dr. Mansky attended University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received her Ph. D. in Oncology in 1997. Further she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in bone biology at the Ohio State University with an emphasis on osteoclast differentiation which is a topic that she continues to research. Dr. Mansky is actively trying to understand the mechanism of osteoclast differentiation in order to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis which is a weakening of bone with likelihood of fracturing.