Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Bridget Hua Bui

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Since the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system in prokaryotes, Cas9 proteins have been used as a genome editing tool in a wide variety of organisms and promise to provide new solutions to long-standing, unsolved problems in human disease. However, despite the great potential CRISPR technology holds, concerns remain about the risk of unwanted edits in the human genome that could lead to genetic disease. Therefore, my project aims to find anti-CRISPR proteins that serve as off-switches for Cas9 activity to ensure gene editing safety and prevent malicious use […]

Emily Wang

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Bai Juyi (aka Bo Juyi, ca. 8th9th century CE), one of the most renowned poets in Chinese history, was also a well-connected civil bureaucrat from a family based in the Tang capital. Past studies have focused principally on the deeds and accomplishments of the Tang aristocracy, but their social interactions remain largely unstudied. My project proposes to investigate the social network of the late Tang elites by conducting a social network analysis of Bai Juyi. The evidence for Bai Juyis social interactions can be assembled from a range of sources, […]

Nikko Jeffreys

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Infective Endocarditis (IE) is a disease characterized by inflammation of the inner linings of the heart. Despite advancements made in medical therapies, IE continues to be a highly morbid and deadly disease with a mortality rate of 17.7% among the diagnosed world population. Traditional in vitro assays and in vivo models of IE fail to recapitulate many of the desired engineered controls that a researcher needs to effectively study the disease. Systems that precisely simulate the activities of the human endocardium in response to IE are in dire need to […]

William Kumler

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All animals are multicellular, but why? My research this summer hopes to answer a part of this question by studying animals’ closest living relative: choanoflagellates. These organisms can be either unicellular or colonial, and it’s been theorized that this discrepancy is due to specific predation- where predators prefer either colonial or unicellular choanoflagellates. This predation could provide an evolutionary pressure that encourages the formation of colonies, a predecessor to true multicellularity.

Eva Lopez

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Investigating the conditions that allow for bubble nucleation and bubble growth is significant for improving our understanding of volcanic eruptions and forecasting how they evolve over time. This research investigates how the presence of Iron Oxide (FeO) microlites may influence the nucleation of bubbles in rhyolitic melts as a function of temperature and at room pressure. It aims to shed light into the relationship between nucleating gas bubbles and the presence of, distance from, and relative size of, FeO microlites. It will thus allow for an understanding on how the […]

Julia Lipson

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Imagine a person plays two games, Game A and Game B, each with a higher probability of losing than winning, in some sequence. A possible sequence might be Game A, followed by Game B, followed by Game A, etc. Surely, playing any sequence of these two games will result in an overall loss. Against intuition, this turns out not to be the case. In fact, by playing these games in certain sequences, over time a player will experience an overall increase in capital. This phenomenon is called Parrondos Paradox, a […]

Yein Ra

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Bacteria that make up the soil microbial community are a significant source of natural antibiotics. In particular, species of Streptomyces are well known for their capability to produce a plethora of antibiotics, and it has been observed that the production of these antibiotics is accelerated when Streptomyces is interacting with certain neighboring microbes. We have found that compared to other soil microbes, Arthrobacter species can more robustly induce antibiotic formation in Streptomyces. I am investigating the mechanism of how the interactions between species of Arthrobacter and Streptomyces result in enhanced […]

Ada Locke

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As we age, the protective barrier that separates circulating blood from neural tissue loses efficacy. Breakdown in this blood-brain barrier leads to excitatory synaptic remodeling, epileptoform activity, and, we hypothesize, cognitive dysfunction as seen in Alzheimers disease and dementia pathologies. The protein albumin in the blood is normally separated from brain tissue, but binds to TGF- receptors on astrocytes when the blood-brain barrier is compromised. This leads to an inflammatory signaling cascade and a host of changes in neural tissue that may contribute to cognitive decline. In our research, we […]

Celine Vezina

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Skaldic poetry, a genre of medieval Icelandic vernacular poetry characterized by its ornate poetics and highly inflexible meter, typically taking the form of royal encomia, was the preeminent poetic form in much of Scandinavia during its period of composition (mid-9th-mid-14th centuries). My research will focus on the latter end of this tradition, the rarely studied Marian skaldic poems (typically) composed in the 14th century. The Marian poems demonstrate a deep self-consciousness about the function of poetry within their changing culture, effectively using skaldic traditions as affective technologies to create emotional […]

Faustine Luo

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The Wnt signaling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway that regulates important developmental processes such as cell fate, cell migration, cell polarity, and cell proliferation when activated by secreted Wnt glycoproteins. Mutations in Wnt signaling or Wnt genes have been shown to lead to specific developmental defects, including many human diseases such as cancer. Using C. elegans as a model organism, we strive to more deeply understand how Wnt signaling shapes development in more complex organisms. My research project focuses on the Wnt pathway that establishes the polarity […]