Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Alison Lafferty

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World War II, one of the most significant global events of the 20th century, still has not faded from our societal memory. Specifically in the western world, this war has been moralized as an Allied victory against the grips of fascism, but recent representations of World War II events challenge these accepted moral perceptions. The representation of World War II in contemporary (post-1999) literature is not only unusual when considering that this literature was written over fifty years after the events being described, but also has potential consequences for the […]

Dhruv Desai

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Black hole-neutron star (BH-NS) mergers are remarkably exciting events to model, as they are a source of gravitational waves, same as those discovered for the first time by Advanced LIGO earlier this year. BHNS mergers are binary systems that consist of a black hole (BH) and a companion neutron star (NS), which under sufficient conditions, falls into the BH. After the merger of these two objects, an accretion disk typically forms around the BH and high-energy ejecta is flung out. Remnants of these mergers may power short gamma ray bursts […]

Justin Choe

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Despite the growing prevalence of diabetes, the exact biological mechanisms leading to the onset of this disease still remain painfully unclear. Type 1 diabetes in particular is caused by an autoimmune attack to an individuals insulin secreting beta cells; this cell population cannot be regenerated and an adverse condition known as hyperglycemia ensues. The immune cells and chemokines present in the pancreas at the onset of this autoimmune response are of interest when considering this disease. Recent studies have suggested that the activity of a particular G-coupled protein receptor may […]

Milena Tintcheva

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In the Napoli Lab we study metabolism of Vitamin A, specifically the active metabolite all-trans Retinoic Acid and its role in adipose tissue biology. Retinoic Acid is an important factor for embryonic development, eye health, adipogenesis (fat cell development) and myogenesis (muscle differentiation) as well as the activation of many other genes. My project focuses on the activity and regulation of the enzymes involved in retinoic acid biosynthesis, specifically Retinol dehydrogenase 10 (Rdh10) which is responsible for the initial step, and how it influences the ability of adult stem cells […]

Jacob Liming

My work addresses various moments throughout the history of the Lusophone empire in which Portugal attempted to interpolate imperial subjects into larger universalizing political projects. In other words I investigate how difference was contended with and inflected in teleological narratives of prominent Portuguese figures, emphasizing the latencies, erasures, contradictions, and legacies of violence immanent within these political discourses. First, this iteration of the project hopes to focus on Jesuit incursions across Brazil in the late 17th and early 18th century, which sought to convert indigenous populations and cristaos novos to […]

Amit Akula

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While researchers have not been able to fully characterize the pathology of multiple sclerosis (MS), conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques have been the gold standard for the diagnosis and monitoring of MS (Guglielmetti, Lassmann). Using advanced MRI techniques, such as diffusion weighted imaging, and specifically spherical deconvolution tractography to image the brains neural tracts, recent studies have furthered MRIs predictive capabilities to leverage the brains connectivity to develop a composite MRI-based measure of motor network integrity that appears to predict disability substantially better than conventional non-network based MRI measures […]

Dingyuan I. Sun

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Inhibition or mutation of transmembrane proton pumps is associated with human airway diseases, such as pneumonia and cystic fibrosis. However, the underlying molecular mechaisms remain poorly understood. A mucociliary epithelium lines the upper repiratory tract and clears the airways from inhaled pathogens. Inhibition of the proton pump gastric H+/K+ATPAse (ATP4a) causes defects in the mucociliary development through impaired canonical Wnt/-catenin signaling. Furthermore, other proton pumps were implicated in Wnt signaling regulation.I propose that proton pumps in general influence Wnt pathway activation and development of mucociliary epithelia. In my project, I […]

Justin Rigby

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Mistletoe is a parasitic organism that inhabits many different tree species in North America. One of the most common mistletoe species is the Oak Mistletoe (Phoradendron villosum) which inhabits a few different oak species in Northern/Central California. They grow in large green clumps and on the trees and produce white berries in the fall and winter seasons. These berries provide a large source of food for various frugivores during the cold winter months. Previously, they have been shown by Janis Dickinson (Cornell University) to be the only source of food […]

Nazineen Kandahari

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The epidemiology of disease is changing from acute to chronic. A majority of our research and public health efforts have been focused on eradicating infectious diseases when, in fact, chronic diseases are the leading causes of death worldwide. The mortality rate for chronic disease increases exponentially with age, and, with the increasingly aging population, chronic disease is a public health issue demanding urgent attention. Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimers, result when the ability of an organism to maintain homeostasis diminishes. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is one […]

Sayaka Ri

The Syrian civil war is approaching its fifth year of conflict and has been labelled the worst humanitarian disaster of recent times. Since the beginning of the conflict, the Al-Assad regime has systematically targeted health-care facilities and personnel as a weapon of war. In international criminal law, these attacks are a war crime and documentation is important to preserve evidence for purposes of accountability. Despite the increasing number of attacks on health-care systems in the twenty-first century, data on attacks are lacking and there is no standardized method for reporting […]