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Inga Tuminaite

Doctoral student

After receiving both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Lund University you might think I was eager to leave little Lund behind. Well, you could not be more wrong. Besides being one of the leading universities in Europe it also offered me the possibility to work on a project about mammalian noses which I found fascinating from the very start. I was actively involved in it for several years before even starting my PhD studies and was therefore scarcely a stranger in the group when I started in spring 2015. It is a new and exciting project with many unanswered questions which keeps working days free of any routines and lets curiosity be the main driving force in everything I do. I am supervised by Prof. Ronald Kröger and, as it sometimes might seem, partly by his dog Kevin.

My specific field of interest is temperature sensitivity in cold-acclimatized mammals. In contrast to humans and laboratory animals, many animals can endure forbiddingly cold temperatures in the wild. The skin of such animals is likely to be more tolerant to low temperatures than human skin, which has a cold-pain limit of about 12°C. Keeping the naked nose tip (rhinarium) and paw skin temperature at such high temperature in an arctic climate would lead to severe heat loss. Skin temperature is monitored by TRP (transient receptor potential) channels that are temperature sensitive protein channels incorporated in the membrane of sensory neurons. The most extensively studied mammalian cold receptor is TRPM8. My main focus will be testing if the temperatures transduced by dog TRPM8 can be extended to lower values. This will be carried out with the help of a renounced TRP specialist, Prof. Makoto Tominaga and the Cell Signaling Division at NIPS, Japan. I will also be using bioinformatical methods to search for other channels that might be responsible for transducing extremely cold temperatures with the guidance of Prof. Dan Larhammar at Uppsala University. Alongside the molecular biological tools and approaches I will be using, I also plan to study the morphology of rhinarium skin and how it varies in different animals. Hopefully, this will provide some answers about the function of the elusive rhinarium. You are welcome to tune in and hear the answers in 2019!

Publications

Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Latest
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Publications

Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Publications

Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

Page Manager:
Inga Tuminaite
E-mail: inga [dot] tuminaite [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Doctoral student

Functional zoology

+46 46 222 34 22

B-B326

4

Research group

Projects

  • Characterization of canine TRPM8
  • Thermosensitivity in cold adapted animals

Supervisors

Main supervisor

Ronald Kröger

Assistant supervisor

Marie Dacke