Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Gregory Chin

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Post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), occurring after brain insult, is one of the most common epilepsies, affecting millions of people worldwide. The progression of PTE is marked by a period of neuronal network reorganization in which post-injury inflammatory responses are thought to contribute to a hyperexcitable neural environment, ultimately leading to chronic and spontaneous seizures. Previous research found that the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) during injury allows the serum protein albumin from the blood to enter the brain. Serum protein albumin binds selectively to transforming growth factor beta receptors (TGF-R) […]

Alexander N. Kraft

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The Hardy Boys series of young adult mystery stories began publication in 1927. At the same time, psychologists were beginning to view adolescence as a stage of development distinct from childhood and adulthood, the concept of generational identity was gaining traction in popular discourse, and the hard-boiled genre of mystery novel was in its early developmental stages. Hardy Boys novels were published yearly throughout most of the twentieth century, both recording and influencing the development of models of youth, the new concept of teenagerhood developed in the forties, and the […]

Hoa Francisco Ngo

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Wherever religion is, its Siamese twin secularism follows closely behind it. The border between the two concepts is not so clear, though, particularly among practicing Catholics who hold to orthodox Church views in modern democratic nations. These borders are not inherent to either religion or secularism; instead, they are drawn by the modern state in order to regulate religious groups for political ends. My project explores the boundaries of religion and secularism in modern in Japan in the context of the Catholic institution of Opus Dei. The Opus Dei center […]

Nadir Bilici

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Many years of research have established dopamine as a key neuromodulator required for learning and adapting behavioral responses to a changing environment. Dopamine actions are mediated by two classes of receptors, with largely antagonistic effects: the D1 group mainly leads to excitation-like effects in neurons, while the D2 group has inhibition-like effects. Particularly, the medial prefrontal cortex contains neurons expressing both D1 and D2 receptors, which have been implicated in a large number of normal and pathological behaviors. Although recent research links dopamine receptor D1 expressing neurons to working memory […]

Jung-Eun Shin

Can there be too much of a good thing in biochemical systems? We propose that in a system where one component interacts with two different substrates, there can be too much of the dual substrate-binding component such that the rate of reaction will begin to decrease. To test this hypothesis, we study a model regulation system: small noncoding RNA have been identified that work to tune mRNA expression. Hfq is a protein that aids in formation of a small RNA-mRNA duplex. Hfq is the dual substrate-binding component, and the sRNAs […]

Me Ree Chung

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Despite the rapid evolution of medicine and technology, half the global population still remains at risk for malaria, a common tropical disease that has been one of the leading causes of death in children. While public health and macro level efforts have been highly successful in attempting to curb the mosquito-borne disease, researchers have been looking into molecular and biological based defenses against malaria. Macrophages are an essential part of the immune system that promote elimination of malaria infected cells, so the immune systems regulation of such macrophages are of […]

Erik Kramer

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One major area of experimental physics research is the search for dark matter, a hypothesized type of matter that does not emit nor absorb light. In an effort to directly detect the leading candidate for this new type of matter (weakly interacting massive particles or WIMPs), the Super Dark Matter Search (SuperCDMS) experiment utilizes germanium crystal detectors to observe the energy imparted to a nucleus in the crystal structure from a collision with a WIMP. After a successful run at the Soudan Underground Laboratory, the experiment is moving to SNOLAB […]

Rodrigo Ochigame

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Given the vast amount of information on the internet, filtering is inevitable. No one can see, hear, or read everything. However, information filtering algorithms generally lead to anti-democratic outcomes in the distribution of political speech. Algorithms that rank by popularity or average rating tend to disproportionately suppress minority viewpoints, causing a ‘tyranny of the majority’ situation in which people see only the least controversial information. Meanwhile, algorithms that involve personalization tend to suppress information that diverges from readers’ own viewpoints, creating polarized ‘echo chambers’ where like-minded people speak only with […]

Asia Tallino

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Urban Agriculture has been proclaimed around the world in the past few decades as an extremely effective method for not only providing food to a community, but also for providing jobs & more stable income generation. As the majority of the populations in the world are projected to live in cities by 2030, urban agriculture is becoming more recognized for poverty alleviation. However, in many places, such as Pikine, a city in the Dakar region of Senegal, urban farmers are struggling to find the economic support and land they need […]

Diwen Shen

In 2010, Beijing, Chinas capital and second largest city, topped the Worlds Worst Traffic list by Foreign Policy. Back in 2007, Beijing cut transit fares up to 80% to increase transit ridership and reduce traffic congestion ahead of the Olympics. The purpose of reducing car use was not achieved, but large shifts occurred between usage of non-car travel modes bicycles, subways and buses. How have urban residents in Beijing, China shifted their primary travel modes since the 2007 Public Transit Fare Reform? Low fare prices have been insufficient for attracting […]