Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Colette Cosyn-Kang

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Pesticide use trends in California have shifted drastically in recent decades. As neurotoxic pesticides-such as organophosphates and carbamates- have been phased out of agricultural use, they have been replaced by other pesticides such as pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, and glyphosate (the active ingredient in RoundUp). However, little is known about the relative toxicity of the pesticides that are currently being used most heavily in agriculture. No previous studies have evaluated total pesticide toxicity over time, including whether cumulative toxicity has shifted in conjunction with changes in the types of pesticides being applied. […]

Ashley Elizabeth Bendl

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You may have heard the phrase You look just like your mother, but how often have you heard You look just like a bacteria? The former is an example of the type of genetic inheritance most of us are familiar with, vertical, or inheritance from parents to offspring. This project, however, involves horizontal inheritance: that is, the exchange of genes between species, otherwise known as horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The project involves investigating how and why a horizontally transferred gene was transferred from viruses to insects several million years ago.

Jordan Huang

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The recent interest in the properties of multiferroic materials is due to its proposed application in a variety of technologies such as sensors and data storage devices as well as its application in the miniaturization of technological devices. The scanning tunneling microscope (STM), with its capabilities to study materials on the atomic level, is a very useful tool that can be used to understand the nature of multiferroic materials. The majority of multiferroic materials, however, are oxides and STM study on multiferroic oxides is largely unexplored. This is due to […]

Nevan Powers

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Any significant damage to our heart tissue results in permanent scarring and irreversible loss of function, but animals like newts and zebrafish can naturally replace the lost tissue and recover to a healthy state. Looking at trends between species, it appears that mammals may have evolved to lose regenerative potential as they acquired endothermy. Interestingly, we can see a similar trend in a single mouse. In its neonatal stage, a mouse can regenerate functional heart tissue, but loses this ability within a few days as its body temperature increases. This […]

Ashley Yang

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Glioblastoma (GB) is the most common and aggressive brain tumor in adults, composed of a microenvironment that suppresses the defense function of T-cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells. Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) have recently become a robust form of adoptive cell therapy, also known as cellular immunotherapy. Studies on GB treatment using CAR-NK cells have identified epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFRvIII) as a target which distinguishes GB cells from healthy brain cells. Currently, there is a lack of CAR-NK cell mouse models. My project will seek to fill the gaps […]

Stuti Raizada

Nuclear physics aims to understand the properties of the strong force which describes how quarks and gluons, the constituents of protons and neutrons in the nuclei of atoms, interact with each other. It is one of the four fundamental forces. This force can be understood by studying a state of matter known as the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP) which is created by colliding nuclei at very high energies. My project aims to measure correlations between particles formed with the QGP. I will analyze data produced by the ALICE (A Large Ion […]

Gabby Collins

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Lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and queer (LBPQ) women are in a unique position as members of two subordinated groupswomen and sexual minorities. However, common understandings of prejudice and bias may be failing to capture the unique experiences that stem from the intersection of these two groups. Specifically, peoples understanding of homophobia focuses on the struggles of gay men and overt legal forms of bias; and peoples understanding of sexism centralizes the experiences of cisgender, heterosexual women, despite evidence to suggest that LBPQ women face more severe forms of objectification and harassment. […]

Amaris Blasgen Morningstar

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The world we live in today is shaped by globalism. There is more exchange of ideas, artwork, and technology than ever before. We travel, inspire each other and use symbolism to transcend language and cultural barriers. However, is this really a new phenomena? Archaeological research constantly uncovers more evidence that humanity has been doing this for millennia. The Eastern Mediterranean Basin had an extensive network for the movement of goods, people and ideas between the civilizations of the Near East since before the Bronze Age. My research investigates the affect […]

Lindsey Ching

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The vast majority of plants and crops, used both for food and fuel, utilize a type of photosynthesis in which the enzyme RuBisCO catalyzes the primary assimilation of carbon dioxide into sugar, termed C3 photosynthesis. However, certain plant lineages have evolved both biochemical and anatomical alterations, called C4 photosynthesis, that allow the enzyme PEP carboxylase to perform the primary assimilation event of CO2. C4 photosynthesizers have both higher photosynthetic efficiency and lower rates of an energy-intensive process called photorespiration relative to C3 plants, especially under high-stress conditions. As the climate […]