A searchable database, UR-Linked allows aspiring undergraduate researchers, scholars, and artists to connect with faculty mentors across campus. UR-Linked includes faculty profiles as well as more specific information about their research projects and artistic endeavors.

*Examples: Vietnam War, Women Composers, Astronomy, Labor Policy, Urban Education, Earthquakes, Magical Realism, Cyber-Security, Entrepreneurship

Maria Spletter PROF, AST

    Research Description
    Animals have many different types of muscles that differ in their morphologies and contractile abilities. During development, muscle cells regulate gene expression and alternative splicing to fine-tune their contractile ability, and defects in this process lead to muscle disease. My lab is interested in understanding how RNA binding proteins, which regulate RNA processing, contribute to muscle-type specific development and function. We investigate this question in the powerful genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, which shares muscle structural components as well as the mechanism of contraction with vertebrate muscle. Flies use a special type of muscle, the flight muscles, to power flight. We focus on RNA regulation in these muscles, as they are easy to image and dissect, they are not essential so we can study muscles in mutant flies, and we are able to track RNA binding protein function from the molecular level to the cellular phenotype to the impact on behavioral performance. We employ a variety of techniques, including classic genetics, live imaging, confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry, bioinformatics, mRNA-Seq, mass spectrometry, molecular biology and protein biochemistry.

    First-generation college graduate

Now that UR-Linked has helped you to identify a faculty member whose interests align with your interests, be sure to review the essential steps in contacting a potential faculty mentor.

The Director of Undergraduate Research, Dr. Jane Greer., can provide you with further guidance about finding and connecting with faculty mentors at UMKC.

Once you have reviewed the essential steps to prepare for connecting with a potential faculty mentor, you can use the "Contact Details" for this project to connect with the faculty member and to begin a conversation about how you might work with that him or her.