Michael Zeller

Graduate Research Assistant, Gauger Lab
Photo of Michael Zeller

Teaching Experience
Iowa State University -- Teaching Assistant - BBMB 102 Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory 2014
Assisted in preparing reagents, grading lab reports, providing in-class instruction and assisting
students in data analysis and presentation.

Instructor - ISU Gaffer’s Guild Introductory Glass Blowing Class 2012-2014
Demonstrated and provided hands-on instruction in art glass blowing techniques.

Research Experience

Cell proliferation and migration promoted by mLcn2, an acute phase response protein.
During the proliferation phase of wound healing, nearby cells must divide and migrate to generate new tissue that will replace the fibrin clot. Expression of the mLcn2 gene begins in this early phase of wound healing with increased expression continuing for at least 72 hours after wounding.  Lipocalin 2 (Lcn2) is an acute phase protein that is secreted in vivo in response to toxins and tissue damage. We have found higher rates of cell division and migration rates of mouse embryo cell lines from mLcn2 overexpressing transgenic mice compared with cells from mLcn2 knockdown and wild-type mice. Cell growth was quantified using a Coulter Counter. The cell line from transgenic mice that overexpresses mLcn2 (OX-MEF) divided at a faster rate than the wild-type (WT-MEF) and mLcn2 knock-down (KD-MEF) derived cell lines.  The OX-MEF cells also filled empty space on a culture dish faster than either the WT-MEF or KD-MEF counterparts as quantified using the T-scratch assay. The T-scratch assay measures a combination of proliferation and migration rates, which both seem to be higher in the OX-MEF cell line compared to the WT-MEF or KD-MEF cell lines. Our results suggest that Lcn2 may be important for promoting the proliferation and migration of cells into a wounded tissue after injury.

Tubule Formation by Adult Bovine Aortic Endothelial Cells
Mammalian tissue structures rely on blood flow to supply them with oxygen and nutrients and to remove detrimental cell waste. Growth factors such as VEGF induce angiogenesis in vivo and promote tubule formation of endothelial cells in vitro. Frequently, in vitro conditions include the addition of extracellular matrix proteins such as in Matrigel. Our studies have identified an adult bovine aortic endothelial cell line that forms tubule-like precursors in the presence or absence of Matrigel. These cells will be useful for studying the cellular events that promote tubulogenesis, which is a fundamental feature of angiogenesis.

Iowa State University - Research Assistant - Marit Nilsen-Hamilton’s Lab June 2012 - Present
Learned mammalian cell culture.
Studied murine Lipocalin-2 protein in mouse cell lines.
Induced tubule formation in various bovine cell lines.

Undergraduate Lab Technician - Gaya Amarasinghe’s Lab January 2011 - May 2011
Assisted in the study of a mutant form of Ebola’s VP-35, nucleotides 20-340, as part of an honors research project.

Web Developer - Iowa State University December 2010 - June 2014
Maintained various departments’ web pages as a PHP developer.
Developed for various frameworks and content management systems such as Zend Framework, Zend Framework 2, and Drupal.
Served as project lead on group projects.

Area of Expertise: 
Computational Biology