Diversity Supplement for Mirindi Kabangu : Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center

Grants and Contracts Details


Project Summary Project Summary of the Parent Grant (P40-OD019794) The Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center (AGSC) is the only federally funded resource center that distributes Mexican axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum), a salamander that provides living materials in support of biomedical research nationally and internationally. Most notably, axolotls are unique among vertebrates in being able to regenerate numerous tissues and body parts. These include the spinal cord, limbs, jaw, retina, brain, heart, and tail, all of which can be regenerated at any point during embryonic, larval, and adult life. Also, axolotls are used by researchers that work in additional areas, including neurobiology, ecotoxicology, development, physiology, cell biology, genetics, genomics, and evolution. The AGSC ensures the health and long-term sustainability of the axolotl population, and the distribution of axolotl resources to NIH- funded investigators. Specific Aims of the Parent Grant that are Relevant to this Supplement Request Specific Aim 1. Efficiently manage, produce, and distribute Mexican axolotls to enable biomedical research. An important aspect of axolotl stock management is the monitoring of extrinsic environmental variables that can affect animal health, which in turn can affect the reproducibility of experiments performed using axolotls and the long-term sustainability of the AGSC population. While the AGSC rigorously monitors water quality, diet, temperature, and light, very little is known about microbial species that may affect axolotl health. Thus, there is a need to initiate studies of microorganisms that constitute the axolotl microbiome. During the first year of Diversity Supplement support, Mirindi Kabangu received training in axolotl husbandry, skin-swab sampling, tissue dissection, tissue collection, DNA isolation, qPCR, data analysis, and scientific writing. With this training, Mirindi completed an independent research project in which he developed and applied qPCR-based protocols to monitor AGSC axolotls for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Additionally, Mirindi received his undergraduate degree from UK and is now preparing applications for MD/PhD programs. To build upon this initial research and career development experience, Mirindi will pursue an integrative research project that will further advance his pathogen biology training and, additionally, stem cell and regenerative biology research.
Effective start/end date3/1/152/28/22


  • Office of the Director


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.