Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Erika Rizal

This study has revealed that child malnutrition programs in the Philippines face numerous challenges in terms of funding, partnerships, and evaluation methods. The findings have highlighted the critical role of international funding and partnerships in improving program effectiveness and sustainability. This study also highlights the need for a robust evaluation system involving key stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and to tailor interventions to meet specific community needs.

Tanvi Thummala

Decoding cerebellum signals using EEG has previously believed to be difficult due to the deep location and varied firing features of the cerebellum. However, recent developments in the field have allowed for successful identification of cerebellum-related signals while participants complete tasks that test their motor adaptation. The goal of this project is to more fully map these signals as they relate to the field of sensorimotor learning. This summer, I will work on setting up this experiment, collecting pilot data, and analyzing the EEG.

Ivan Wu

My summer research project is determining the cytotoxic effects of two different chemical agents on nucleus pulposus cells within human intervertebral discs. We are measuring the inflammatory products produced by the cells in response to these agents in order to evaluate its possible side effects. This is done through analysis of cytokine production such as interleukin 6 and interleukin 8.

Abigail Kemalyan

N-ACT is a training program aimed at developing and evaluating novel computer-based interventions to non-invasively target mechanisms underlying difficulties with emotion regulation. The main objective is to determine if the N-ACT program is effective at reducing symptoms of emotion-related impulsivity, and ultimately inform wider treatment options for individuals who dislike or do not respond to traditional psychotherapeutic interventions. Alongside the pilot N-ACT trials, I will also be assisting with the Attention, Impulsivity, Memory (AIM) study which seeks to understand how stress impacts attention and memory in real-time decision-making and the […]

Fiona Oh

Panagrolaimus davidi is an Antarctic nematode that is able to survive through freezing conditions and withstand hypoxia. Though this characteristic is well-studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, P. davidi merits closer examination of its freezing tolerance ability and the mechanisms behind it, such as cryoprotective dehydration. With greater understanding of P. davidi‘s genetic resistance to freezing, we can uncover information about cellular stress tolerance and survival under hypoxia with applications to stroke treatment.

Sabrina Baur

During the Summer of 2023, I will continue to work on computational sociolinguistics and Natural Language Processing research focusing on wealth and race in film and literature under David Bamman. This research aims to uncover social and cultural implications by investigating how characters of different racial and wealth backgrounds are depicted. By quantifying linguistic features and conducting various forms of data analysis, we plan to identify variations in the portrayal of wealth and race, shedding light on hidden biases and contributing to a more nuanced understanding of societal norms and […]

Rhea Senthil Kumar

GAPS is an Antarctic balloon mission that will search for low-energy (< 0.25 GeV/n) cosmic-ray antinuclei. The summer project will consist of various calibration, integration, and thermal vacuum chamber tests (TVac) for submodules of the GAPS payload. TVac tests will primarily take place at the NTS test lab in Los Angeles. I will also be responsible for other subtasks related to the development process, such as developing UIs for ground testing, backend software, assembling/testing backend data acquisition boxes, and various gondola I&T tasks.

Isabel Alvarez

High levels of cholesterol in the blood is a very common health concern for Americans. The protein PCSK9 is a chaperone protein, which assists the LDL receptor to become degraded. The number of these receptors determine the levels of LDL cholesterol degraded by the cell. When these LDL receptors are degraded there is a rise in LDL cholesterol. Through inhibiting this protein with a drug target, there will be a decrease in the level of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. My time at the Chorba Lab this summer will consist […]

Yulitzi Vizcarra

Investigate using a biological activated carbon (BAC) filter to “seed” advanced treated wastewater. The project also aims to answer whether this technique can provide a more stable and less pathogenic microbial community in the biofilms and bulk water of simulated distribution systems. During this summer we hope to perform qPCR of P. aeruginosa, M. avium, and L. pneumophila and complete Metagenomic sequencing after DNA extractions.

Yuanrui Zhu

During the summer research, we aim to enhance the current game design and algorithm for behavioral studies by incorporating new features and improving the user experience. The primary objective is to launch the game and gather data on user behavior and decision-making. In addition, we plan to develop a subsequent game that will focus on studying the performance improvement of individuals who collaborate with other human users to enhance their understanding and compliance with machine-generated advice.