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


    Research Description
    Divalent Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient in Humans, which is found in all enzyme groups, and provides an essential structural scaffold for many common and essential protein motifs within our cells. Zn deficiency or excess are toxic. Mia-regulation of Zn has been implicated in a broad range of pathologigies including cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Metal response element-binding Transcription Factor-1 (MTF-1) is the protein responsible for reducing cellular Zn excess, which is otherwise toxic. Our overarching goal in the Laity lab is to elucidate the molecular details of the cellular mechanisms that underlie the Zn regulatory function of MTF-1. This process involves other cellular proteins and even the zinc ion itself, which are major focus areas in our lab. The undergraduate research opportunities we offer provide valuable hands on training in protein expression/purification, gel electrophoresis (PAGE and western blotting), immuno-affinity column binding, calorimetry and biomolecular NMR approaches. We have "wet lab"-experimentally focused and computationally-oriented BioNMR data analysis projects available, depending on your particular interests. The Laity Lab has been, and is continueing a long and proud tradition of engaging undergraduate student researchers in our efforts, each focused on their own project after an initial training period with myself and Sr research Staff in the lab. To date over 23 undergraduates have participated in undergraduate research for course credit (LS 399/499) in my 15 years at UMKC, resulting in participation in SEARCH competitions every year it has been offered, with 5 First place SEARCH awards, 3 second place SEARCH awards, and over 6 undergraduate student authored peer-reviewed research publications (and more pending). The overarching goal of these studies is to inform future directions for our research centered on the emerging picture of the complex, multi-domain level control of gene expression by MTF-1 governed by an intricate interplay of Zn coordination chemistry, transient protein domain-domain (iner- and intra-molecular), protein-DNA interactions, and other co-factors including the p300 transcriptional co-activator and the exportin/Ran (Ras related GTPase) nuclear export protein complex.

    Afflicated Department(s)

    Cell Biology & Biophysics  

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.