Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Kevin Lin

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My research is focused on a protein tyrosine kinase called Zeta-associated protein of 70kDa (ZAP-70), which plays a crucial role in initiating T-cell signaling. An inhibitor specific for ZAP-70 would be clinically significant in treating autoimmune diseases via downregulation of signaling in T-cells that attack the bodys own cells. Our collaborator at UCSF, Arthur Weiss, is using chemical genetics to study ZAP-70s role in T-cell signaling and development. The Weiss lab has developed a mutant version of ZAP-70 that can be selectively inhibited by a derivatized kinase inhibitor. My goal […]

Jae Young Ryoo

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Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is a process by which a cell absorbs molecules with the help of the protein clathrin. Cell biology studies often employ a variety of different cell types to study a single cellular pathway but how these pathways operate often differ depending on the cell type observed. Unfortunately, in most cases, little is known about the mechanisms that give rise to these differences. I aim to explore how cells differ in the process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis, with the ultimate goal of understanding why these differences exist and what it […]

Sarah Weng

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One of the leading causes of death by an infectious agent, Tuberculosis (TB) currently affects roughly 1/3 of the worlds population. However, a majority of these infected individuals carry a latent disease state within the lungs, and are asymptomatic. While it is widely known that the bacteria eventually infects macrophage cells within the lungs in order to actively propagate the disease, the first couple days following infection are less well understood. My project this summer will study an infected mouse model in order to characterize the initial infection profile of […]

Tara Sulur

Choanoflagellates are single-celled eukaryotic organisms that are the most recent ancestor to multicellular animals. As such, they possess most of the proteins required for the transition to multicellularity. One choanoflagellate protein in particular, Homer, has been shown through immumofluorescence to localize to the nucleus. I will be using transmission electron microscopy with Immunogold staining and membrane fractionation to discover the sub-cellular localization of Homer. In animals, Homer plays a crucial role in adhesion and scaffolding at the synapses of neurons. Since neuro-sensory systems are unique to metazoans, I hope to […]

Nicolas Ames

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My project is a reassessment of current archaeological interpretive techniques through comparing two main focuses of artifact analysis. I will be looking at site interpretive resolution of more standard heavy-fraction analysis (focusing on items > 4mm in size) in relation to microdebris analysis (focusing on items > 2mm in size) to find out which method provides 1) the highest resolution of site area use, 2) efficiency/cost of use of the techniques. My goal is to determine whether more specialized techniques, such as microdebris analysis, provide enough of an interpretive edge […]

S. Zayd Enam

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Using the tools of machine learning one can determine parameters of a model that probabilistically best fit experimentally collected data. This gives us insight into determining the model that best describes the data. I will be using machine learning to fit models of receptive fields of auditory neurons (a receptive field is any stimulus that maximizes activation of a neuron) that have been generated using a sparse-coding model. In this case, a sparse-coding model is one that minimizes the number of neurons required to represent different sounds. Sparse-coding models have […]

Edwin Liu

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Sickle Cell Disease is a disorder in which a point mutation in the -globin gene causes a structurally unstable form of hemoglobin (HbS). This instability generates higher levels of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide that cause rapid oxidation of erythrocyte (Red Blood Cell) membranes, and subsequently promotes polymerization of HbS, forming the sickling in Sickle Cell Disease. The pro-oxidant effects of the HbS mutation lead to rapid hemolysis, blockage of microvasculature, and release of reactive agents that further cause peripheral tissue damage. HbS is more redox active and more prone to […]

Jennifer Stover

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My research focuses on CAYA Coven, an eclectic Pagan organization in San Franciscos East Bay that is dedicated to providing public rituals such as annual Sabbats and Full Moon Circles that honor seasonal and lunar cycles. CAYA means Come As You Are and emphasizes the incorporation of a diversity of Pagan traditions as well as deities from all over the world. I am interested in understanding how spiritual aptitudes and capacities are cultivated in the course of rituals and other coven related activities. Through participant observation and interviews, I will […]

Kelsey Westphal

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In the banlieues or suburbs of major French cities, unemployment, crime and societal exclusion are daily realities for the largely immigrant communities. In the 1980’s, these conditions spurred an explosion in vocabulary and popularity in the syllable-switching slang practice verlan, alongside the nascent French rap scene. My research project and French Honors thesis will explore the poetic and social functions of verlan in rap and pop culture amid France’s conservative language policies. I will trace the genealogy and ethos of verlan in the French rap movement, identify how this ethos […]

Maria Simanovskaia

Negatively charged nitrogen vacancy centers (NV- centers) in diamond consist of a nitrogen atom next to a vacancy in the carbon lattice. With their small size, these color centers promise magnetometry (measurement of the magnetic field) with an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and spatial resolution. For this application, optically detected magnetic resonance (ODMR) signals must be thoroughly understood. We obtain ODMR signals by focusing 532 nm (green) laser light onto the sample, applying a scan of microwave frequencies by pressing a wire against the diamond surface, and measuring the red […]