2019 Undergraduate Exhibition

Title Presenter Abstract Faculty Sponsor Number Location
3D Full-field Mechanical Measurement of Glenoid Bones under Implant Loading Chujie Gong This work presents the results of a noninvasive three-dimensional (3D) full-field mechanical measurement of shoulder bones under different loading conditions. u-XCT images of the specimen is taken under no-load and loaded conditions. Same procedure is performed after implant installation. .The results are displayed using 3D visualization tools. The deformation and strain in bone with and without implant under various loading conditions are compared. Jing Du 132 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
A Computational and Experimental Investigation of Relationships between Magnetic Resonance Diffusion Tensor Imaging Fractional Anisotropy and Applied Mechanical Strain Ouniol Aklilu In this work, we provide a detailed examination of the correlation between MR-DTI changes and mechanical strain using an experimental and computational investigation approach. The research is classified into a three-step process which consists of 1) pre-imaging the sample of interest 2) impose a mechanical strain on the sample to cause deformation and rupture of the fibers in the sample and 3) obtain a post-MR-DTI image of the sample to observe changes in FA. Reuben Kraft 370 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
A Fly on the Wall: Bridging the Gap Between Penn State Research Laboratories and the Student Community Philip Navin Zachariah

The gap between scientific researchers and the public looms large at Penn State. The lack of communication through student media outlets accounts for this. This project aimed to bring more science to the public eye by publishing articles about research laboratories on the student outlet, Onward State. By analyzing past science coverage and conducting focus groups to understand student perspectives on the issue, it also strategized effective science communication at Penn State for the future.

Santhosh Girirajan 361 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
A Metabolic Stress Response is Linked to Delayed Hatching in Caenorhabditis elegans Josef Blaszkiewicz and Michael DeGennaro

We have previously identified a delayed-hatching phenotype in nmrk-1 mutants, which are deficient in NAD+ biosynthesis. Curiously, this phenotype is only observed when the animals are raised under conditions of increased oxidative stress. The connection between NAD+ levels, oxidative stress, and hatching remains unknown. One candidate that may provide the "missing link" for this phenotype is the hexosamine pathway. We use metabolomics and genetics-based approaches to investigate this pathway in relationship to the phenotype.

Wendy Hanna-Rose 297 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
A review for high-pressure freezing preparation of C. elegans tissue for electron microscopy Kendel Reed

I performed high pressure freezing for TEM of C. elegans eggshells. HPF is the only fixation available to study EM of C. elegans and results are often more variable. My poster will describe the procedure using the Leica EM HPM100 and the tissue embedding process. The main issue faced during the preparation was extracting fully intact worms from the HPF sample carriers. I conclude with a solution to a more effective approach when embedding samples.

Gang Ning 14 Alumni Hall
Activity of Tetrazole-based trans-Translation Inhibitors in Bacillus anthracis Emily C Snell

With the rapid development of antibiotics came an era of pathogenic bacteria that evolved resistance. This is motive for exploration of an alternative protein control pathway that can be targeted for antibiotic development and surmount these multi-drug resistant pathogens. The pathway exploited in this investigation is trans-translation. My research initiates the investigation of the tetrazole class, which inhibit this pathway. Major methodology includes MIC, CFU/mL, endospore germination, cytotoxicity assay, and growth curve.

Kenneth Keiler 177 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Adolescent social stress and genetic background alter morphine sensitization in C57BL/6J and BALB/cJ mice. Aidan James Peat

This study investigated whether chronic adolescent social stress, genetic background, and their interaction influence later morphine sensitivity and sensitization. Our data show that genetic background alters morphine responses such that C57BL/6J mice developed a sensitized response to morphine, but BALB/cJ mice did not. Further, in C57BL/6J mice, adolescent social stress attenuated morphine sensitization. Our findings suggest that adolescent stress interacts with genetic background to alter behaviors related to opioid dependence.

Helen Kamens 261 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
AID TO WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT EFFORTS AS AN APPROACH TO COUNTERTERRORISM: A TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS Nichole Tesoriero Does aid to women's empowerment efforts reduce terrorism? In this study, a time-series analysis utilizing the most comprehensive databases on both aid and terrorism attemps to answer this question. The results of a series of negative binomial regression models tentatively show that while aid to women's empowerment efforts may decrease the frequency of transnational terrorist incidents exported by a source country, it may increase the amount of terrorism occuring in the aid recipient country. James Piazza 175 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
An Efficient Search for Gravitational Waves from Primordial Black Holes Phoebe Mcclincy There is increasing interest in the possibility that primordial black holes constitute the dark matter. We aim to test this theory by running an Advanced LIGO search for sub-solar mass binaries, which are not expected to form from stellar collapse. We describe the effects that signal frequency, black hole mass, and spin have on the computational difficulty of the search. The results of this work have been implemented in Advanced LIGO sub-solar mass searches. Chad Hanna 113 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
AN EXAMINATION INTO THE IMPACT OF PHYSICAL FITNESS ON CONSTITUENT BEHAVIORS UNDERLYINGACADEMIC AND PSYCHOSOCIAL OUTCOMES: A PILOT STUDY Philip Forsythe Possible relationships between constituent behaviors underlying academic and psychosocial outcomes against fitness and behavioral outcomes were assessed. Findings suggest possible positive associations between VPA and MET-minutes in students whose exercise is regularly scheduled and does not interfere with their schoolwork. Students who saw positive benefits to exercise and were more likely to try new activities saw greater associations in VPA. Further research is required to identify the influence of underlying constituent behaviors to physical activity. Melissa Bopp 335 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
An examination of hippocampal microglia and anxiety behavior after chronic peri-adolescent asthma Kerri Jean Schopf

Asthma is a chronic allergic disease that is often comorbid with anxiety disorders. The hippocampus in the brain is involved in emotion regulation and has a high density of microglia - immune cells that become active during immune responses. In a mouse model, we determined whether asthma symptoms during development led to increased anxiety behavior and microglial activation in the hippocampus using gene expression, and staining. The results support the comorbidity between asthma and anxiety.

Sonia Cavigelli 115 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
An Experiment Studying the Impacts of Noise Pollution on Eastern Bluebird Vocalizations Jacob Cramer During Spring and Summer 2018, experimental treatment simulating constant noise pollution associated with natural gas compressor stations was applied to selected eastern bluebird nest sites at Penn State's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center. Remote recording devices and analytical software were used to detect differences in vocalizations between control (quiet) and treatment (compressor noise) sites. Julian Avery 332 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center

The project was oriented around creating and providing code for wireless communication between two robots using Arduino Unos and nrf24l01+ modules. Its inspiration comes from the wireless transmission of data in digital twins, used for optimization. The projects success proves and provides literature on the concept that objects can mirror each other wirelessly on multiple degrees of freedom. Areas of implementation include medicine (prosthetics), industry (production lines), and remote control (telerobotics) among others.

Aman Haque 305 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Analysis Of A Two-Population Combined Keller-Segel Lotka-Volterra Model in Strong Competition Jeremy Mysliwiec We study a two-population model of bacterial competition that incorporates spatial movement via chemotaxis by coupling Lotka-Volterra competition dynamics with the Keller-Segel chemotaxis model into a system of three partial differential equations. We show that the spatial dynamics allow for coexistence of the populations even when the space-free system excludes this outcome. Finally, we show that by varying competitive strength and chemotactic sensitivity, three distinct outcomes are possible: competitive exclusion, temporally-stable coexistence, and oscillatory coexistence. Glenn Young 277 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Analyzing "Detrimental Psychological Harm": Social Science Evidence and Segregation in the Supreme Court Post-1950 Sarah Mckenna

From 1950-2007, broadly-defined, malleable social science evidence presented in school desegregation cases in the Supreme Court impacted the Court's opinions. In McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Court sided with evidence that showed the psychological harms of segregation. But with new emphasis on educational benefits of integration in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District (2007), the Court seemed less persuaded by social science evidence.

Michael Milligan 129 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Analyzing Root-Shoot Junction Anatomy in Maize Under Drought Conditions Maya Lynn Marcy

The xylem vessels are critical to plant water transport and management. They are the main means through which water is transported. Xylem anatomy, including length and area, is closely related to function. Four genotypes of maize with known differences in xylem phenotype were examined under well-watered and drought conditions. The root-shoot junctions were collected from individuals grown for 3 weeks in the greenhouse. Cross-sections of the roots were cut and imaged using laser ablation tomography.

Jonathan Lynch 232 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Analyzing the Differences in the Physical and Electrical Properties of Pure and Copper Coated Silver Nanoparticles Tyler Young This project was designed to investigate the effects of coating pure silver nanoparticles with a layer of copper. Two types of powder were analyzed: a base powder of pure silver (used as a control) and silver powder that was copper coated. Some of the physical properties of these powders that were compared include microstructure and particle size distribution. Sintered parts were also tested for hardness and electrical conductivity. Daudi Waryoba 123 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Analyzing Transcription Factor Clustering in the Ovarian Nurse Cells of Drosophila Brandon Park RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) clustering is emerging as a regulatory step in transcription. Using Drosophila nurse cells, which contain gigantic Pol II clusters, we discovered that these clusters colocalize with certain transcription factors. They contain Pol II molecules that are phosphorylated on Ser5 and Ser7, but not on Ser2, suggesting that the Pol II clusters do not reside on active loci. Starvation of Drosophila results in altered clustering patterns, suggesting that clustering is regulated. Dave Gilmour 216 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Ancient Egyptian Culture Jay Gathala Ancient Egyptian civilization had many years to develop itself because of the isolated characteristic of its habitation. For many years, Egyptians were not known to other civilizations causing the influence of other culture to be minimal making their culture truly unique. Douglass Charles 300 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of E. coli and Salmonella enterica isolates used as model microorganisms in development of a rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing method. Ashley Weaver, Anjali Sapre and Cassidy Prince

Using traditional methods, antimicrobial resistance testing (AST) may take several days to obtain the results. Faster methods are therefore urgently needed for timely determination of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). To validate the results of a novel AST method that is in development, we determined the AMR of 8 Escherichia coli and 10 Salmonella enterica clinical, animal, and food isolates to 23 antibiotics and determined time-kill kinetics of ampicillin on a model strain E. coli K-12.

Jasna Kovac 251 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Application of Artificial Intelligence to Detect Lycorma delicatula Annalyse Kehs Lycorma delicatula, Spotted Lanternfly, has been in Pennsylvania since 2014 and increasing their mass destruction to staple crops and habitats each year. Current methods to track population and eradication efforts are time-consuming and inaccurate. Machine learning offers a novel solution to these shortcomings. We present an object detection model trained to recognize nymphs on a sticky band and return the count of nymphs. Results from lab testing show +/- 5% accuracy compared to ground-truth counts. David Hughes 104 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Applications of Compliant Mechanisms in Pointe Shoes Keri Nicolich Pointe shoes allow dancers to create the aesthetic of effortless movements. Current shank designs are comprised of leather board or glue-hardened burlap and deteriorate quickly. In this work, the implementation of compliant mechanisms in pointe shoe designs was explored. Additive manufacturing was leveraged to generate multiple iterations of pointe shoe designs. The ultimate goal of this work is to extend the lifetime and increase the comfort and function of pointe shoes. Jessica Menold 153 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Applying Atmospheric Corrections to the Deformation Behavior of Persistently Restless Telica Volcano, Nicaragua, during Unrest in 2015 Rebecca Bussard Persistently restless volcanoes experience frequent eruptions with Volcanic Explosivity Index of 2 or lower. Telica Volcano in Western Nicaragua experienced major unrest beginning in May 2015 through December 2015. We analyze a dataset consisting of 63 images of Telica during 2015 from the COSMO-SkyMED satellite, characterized by a spatial resolution of ~1 m. A multi-temporal analysis of this SAR dataset should provide more insight into the eruptive patterns of Telica and other persistently restless volcanoes. Christelle Wauthier 343 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Assessing the Self-Concept Clarity in Reported Precipitants of NSSI Aidan Mcmorrow The study aimed to assess the relationships between self-concept clarity, the ability for participants to identify a precipitant for self-harm, and the associated markers of severity of self-injury including methods used, physical state following self-harm, and necessity of medical intervention. Among other findings, individuals with poorer self-concept were more likely to engage in self-injury on a different day than the reported precipitating event and were more likely to have sought medical consultation following the self-injury. Kenneth Levy 328 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Assessing Women’s Physical Activity Comfort in On-Campus Recreational Facilities Crystal Colinear There are gender disparities among students in use of on-campus recreational facilities. This study aimed to understand why women are less active than men in on-campus facilities. Surveys assessed use of free weights and machines, comfort strategies, and possible recreational changes. Responses for discomfort were visualized through thematic analysis. Strategically analyzing the responses showed men, crowdedness, and judgment as the main problem areas in the facilities. The University could implement programs to increase women's PA. Melissa Bopp 200 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Association Between Physical Activity and Dietary Behaviors in Rural Adults in a Culturally Adapted Mind-Body Intervention Anne Marie Frani Melda

Mind-body practices may lead to increases in physical activity (PA), but less is known on how they impact dietary habits. Sedentary adults residing in rural Pennsylvania participated in Harmony & Health, an 8-week mind-body intervention. Participants self-reported increases in PA (?=405.7 MET-min/week), which were significantly associated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption post-intervention (v=.286, p=.043). Findings suggest mind-body strategies may help promote a wide range of healthy behaviors to improve health in diverse adults.

Scherezade Mama 376 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Associations between interpersonal/social support and physical activity in rural cancer Gabrielle Skorey Social support (SS) is associated with increased physical activity (PA) in adults, which contributes to reduced risk of cancer incidence and recurrence. However, less is known about the contribution of different types of SS to PA in cancer survivors. This study examined the associations between tangible, appraisal, and belonging SS and PA in rural cancer survivors. Understanding these associations is important to increasing PA and reducing risk of recurrence in rural cancer survivors. Scherezade Mama 126 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Associations between the Built Environment and Physical Activity among Rural Cancer Survivors Pritika Singh This study explored associations between environmental constructs and physical activity (PA) in rural cancer survivors (RCS). We found that more equipment in the home for exercise (OR=1.3, 95% CI:1.1-1.6), greater environmental support for PA (OR=1.3, 95% CI:1.1-1.6), lower street connectivity (OR=0.5, 95% CI:0.2-1.0), higher neighborhood aesthetics (OR=2.8, 95% CI:1.1-7.1), and the home environment (OR=1.3, 95% CI:1.1-1.6) were associated with meeting PA recommendations. Findings suggest the importance of the built environment in PA promotion among RCS. Scherezade Mama 130 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Balancing between two languages Ernesto Gonzalez Matts "Spanglish" is commonly perceived as a variety of Spanish marked by frequent English words and phrases used to compensate for lack of proficiency or unbalanced bilingualism. Using a rich new corpus of conversations between New Mexican Spanish-English bilinguals, I ask whether they switch from Spanish to English, as would be consistent with the notion of unbalanced bilingualism, rather than from English to Spanish. Results demonstrate that the overall direction of switching is, in fact, balanced. Rena Torres Cacoullos 250 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Baseline Predictors of Post Concussion Sleep Difficulties Varna Jammula Sports concussion is a highly individualized injury and sleep is one factor that may influence recovery. This study aimed to identify baseline predictors of post-concussion sleep problems. Ninety-one collegiate athletes underwent neuropsychological assessment at baseline and within 10 days post-concussion. Results showed a significant difference between symptomatic and asymptomatic groups, suggesting history of sleep problems may affect outcome. Clinical implications may involve sleep screening at baseline to assess for risk of prolonged or complicated recovery. Peter Arnett 169 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Beautiful bioSolutions Beverage Solution for Autistic Children Tim Byrne et al

In the context of an experiential learning course, the team conducted market research and developed recommendations to enable Beautiful bioSolutions to bring a nutrigenomically designed beverage to market.

David Lenze 26 Alumni Hall
Bilingual Language Switching: Keeping the Distance Paige Wisehaupt and Matthew Osche

A metaphor often applied to code-switching, or using two languages in the same conversation, is language mixing. This study capitalizes on the known prosodic (rhythmic) structure of natural speech to examine recorded conversations from a Spanish-English bilingual community in northern New Mexico. Contrary to the mixing metaphor, bilinguals structure their language switches, utilizing specific types of prosodic boundaries. These results exemplify the systematic complexity of employing two languages in the same speech act.

Rena Torres Cacoullos 249 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Biochemical Sensing System Gabrielle Malezi et al

My group and I are working on the commercialization of a biochemical sensing system that has the potential to bring medical diagnostics and health monitoring to a much broader audience than current technologies allow right now. We wish to share our research about this invention along with our plan for commercialization.

Richard Weyer 7 Alumni Hall
Biophysical and Biochemical Characterization of the Transcription of Mitochondrial DNA Guinevere Vanbuskirk Oliver

Past studies of mitochondrial transcription used chimeric templates in which only the transcription-control region of mtDNA was cloned into the plasmid pUC. We discovered sequences outside of the region essential for maximal transcriptional output. We characterized biochemical and biophysical differences between transcription on chimeric and authentic mtDNA templates by using atomic force microscopy and transcription assays. We also began to investigate how nuclear transcription factors interact with these templates.

Craig Cameron 276 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Biphasic Bone Scaffolds for Regeneration in Large Defects Maria Rose Hudock

Tumor excision, infected implants, and severe trauma can leave behind gaps in bones so large that they are irreparable by the body. Bone grafts and scaffolds can be used to bridge the defect, but thus far, none are porous enough to permit healing throughout the entire length of the defect while also being strong enough to bear loads. Here, steps are taken to develop a two-part scaffold with a load-bearing exterior and highly permeable interior.

Jian Yang 334 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Does Mentoring Help Women Rise to Executive Positions in Healthcare? Noorein Ahmed This research explored the barriers faced by women rising to executive healthcare positions and the role of mentors and sponsors. The researcher analyzed 21 semi-structured interviews, revealing eight themes: Barriers to promotion: Competing Priorities, Like Me Syndrome, and Think Leader, Think Male and Benefits of mentoring: Success Toolkit, Sponsoring, Core Advisory Group, Feedback/Role Modeling. The glass ceiling continues to contribute to lower representation. Mentoring and sponsorship impact the advancement of women in the C-suite. Maureen Jones 304 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
BREXIT: AN ANALYSIS ON THE IMPACT OF AGE AND GENDER Kaylyn Macaluso For my research, I conducted an in depth analysis on age and gender and their impact on the 2016 UK Referendum outcome. Notably, I discuss the impact each factor has individually, and then explain how the influence of these factors change when they are evaluated together in an interactive model. Matt Golder 159 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
C.R.E.A.T.E. Meaningful Learning: A Strategic Investigation of the Pedagogical Efficacy of Primary Literature-Based Undergraduate Education in Psychology Carly Danielson

C.R.E.A.T.E. (1 credit-PSYCH 296 course) is a research study and supplemental course to PSYCH 212, available for undergraduate students currently enrolled in PSYCH 212: Introduction to Developmental Psychology. C.R.E.A.T.E. is a teaching method originally designed by Hoskins et al. (2007), designed to stimulate a research laboratory setting during class wherein students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with the instructor and peers about the analysis of pre-selected primary literature articles.

Cathleen Hunt 2 Alumni Hall
C.R.E.A.T.E. Meaningful Learning: A Strategic Investigation of the Pedagogical Efficacy of Primary Literature-Based Undergraduate Education in Psychology Carly Danielson C.R.E.A.T.E. (1 credit-PSYCH 296 course) is a research study and supplemental course to PSYCH 212, available for undergraduate students currently enrolled in PSYCH 212: Introduction to Developmental Psychology. C.R.E.A.T.E. is a teaching method originally designed by Hoskins et al. (2007), designed to stimulate a research laboratory setting during class wherein students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with the instructor and peers about the analysis of pre-selected primary literature articles. Cathleen Hunt 145 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Candidate Genes for Wolbachia Blocking of Dengue Virus In Aedes aegypti Cells Joash Makalani Lake

Wolbachia pipientis is a bacterial endosymbiont found in many insects. Since its introduction into the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, Wolbachia has been found to decrease the replication of dengue virus - thus hampering its transmission to humans. However, the mechanism for this 'viral blocking' is unknown. Here I present data on the transcription of candidate blocking genes in Aedes aegypti cells during infection or co-infection of Wolbachia and dengue virus as measured by qRT-PCR

Elizabeth McGraw 213 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Cardiorespiratory fitness weakly predicts executive function in older adults Sara Bickhart and Briana N. Sprague

We examined the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2Max) and executive function (Tower of London and Mazes composite) in a sample of 50 healthy older adults aged 64-86 (46% female). Higher fitness was associated with better executive function (r = .284, p = .048). However, after controlling for sex, there was no longer a significant association between V02Max and executive function (beta = .179, p = .209). Implications for future research will be discussed.

Lesley A. Ross 179 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Categorical versus dimensional: Looking at male perpetration of intimate partner violence through a dimensional lens Erika Feeney In order to prevent and stop intimate partner violence, psychologists must first understand the perpetrators of this violence. This study design proposal looks at the ways in which past research which has looked at these perpetrators categorically, both in terms of their mental health and in terms of typologies, and has lacked consensus. This proposal hypothesizes that if these male perpetrators were looked at through a dimensional lens, then they would be better understood. Amy Marshall 166 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
CHANGES IN CITY ELECTIONS AFTER A SWITCH IN FORM OF GOVERNMENT James Gardner American cities have a variety of forms for local government such as mayor-council and council-manager systems. How does switching form of government impact future elections? This project examines how a change in a city's form of government changes the electoral process in the areas of campaigning, the issues raised, election competition, types of candidates and voter turnout. This study is examines nine large cities using newspaper sources and voter turnout data. Michael Berkman 107 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Characterization of a Novel Neuronal Injury Model in Drosophila Aabha Premal Vora

Neurons must last an entire lifetime, despite facing frequent risk of injury from sources such as traumatic brain injury. The response to soft injury is often modeled in Drosophila by using a laser to sever neurites. However, we recently observed an alternate type of injury, termed explosion injury, which produces immediate, distinct phenotypes such as an increase in cytosolic calcium and microtubule plus-end dynamics. Our goal is to characterize this cellular response to explosive injury.

Melissa Rolls 256 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Characterization of Genetic Mutations in Epidemic Zika Virus Strains Sean Horan The rise of Zika Virus (ZIKV) infections associated with neurological disorders has raised public health concerns. Mutations in pre-epidemic strains are hypothesized to be responsible for increased virulence of epidemic strains. We identified virulence-associated mutations in epidemic strains and introduced these mutations into the pre-epidemic MR766 strain, characterizing infection in vitro. Comparison of mutant viruses with pre-epidemic ZIKV suggests genomic regions coevolved to produce strains associated with neurological disease. Joyce Jose 281 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Characterization of KKL-4669: Identified Inhibitor of trans-Translation Alexis Marie Davison

Antibiotic resistance is an urgent global threat resulting in millions of infections and thousands of deaths in the United States alone. This is a consequence of common drugs becoming ineffective against various bacterial pathogens such as M. tuberculosis. Inhibitors of trans-translation, a novel target pathway, have been identified through a high-throughput screen of a 13,000-compound library. Consequently, the active compound KKL-4669 is the current focus of pre-clinical tests involving various fluorescent and biochemical assays.

Kenneth Keiler 147 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Characterization of Plasmodium yoelii Tudor Staphylococcal Nuclease, PyTSN1 Olivia Margaret Smith and Erin Cover

Plasmodium parasites are the causative agent of malaria.These parasites contain a conserved tudor staphylococcal nuclease (TSN) whose function is not well understood; our lab has previously demonstrated that PyTSN1 interacts with translational repressors involved in the preparation of parasites for transmission to mosquitoes. To better characterize this protein, I have generated three transgenic parasite lines to identify function, localization, and protein-protein interactions of PyTSN1 through gene deletion, tagging, and proteomic approaches.

Scott Lindner 286 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Characterizing Cytotoxicity and Inflammation in Silica-induced, RAW264.7 Macrophages In-vitro. Jessica Rodriguez Crystalline silica (cSiO2) has been found to be a toxic trigger for autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, when inhaled for an extended period of time. The cSiO2 is phagocytosed, causing the release of cytokines and eventually cell death. In order to examine this pathway in-vitro, RAW264.7 macrophages were stimulated by lipopolysaccharides before the cytotoxicity was measured through a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay. Through the LDH assay, a dose-dependent cSiO2 toxicity was observed. Josephine Wee 156 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Characterizing Transcription Factor Binding in Yeast Olivia Muly When an organism is exposed to different environmental challenges, it begins to upregulate certain genes relevant to its survival and downregulate others. The proteins responsible for these changes are called transcription factors. These proteins bind regulatory elements in the genome and influence the transcription of their associated genes. Utilizing the technique "Chromatin Immunoprecipitation-exonuclease", the location of these binding events can be determined to near base-pair resolution. Frank Pugh 183 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Chronic house dust mite exposure causes lasting inflammatory impacts in lungs in a mouse model Piper Jones and Erin Cover

Asthma is characterized by factors including airway inflammation and labored breathing. We have developed a model to mimic these symptoms in adolescent mice. Here, we show that airway inflammation caused by chronic house dust mite exposure persist three weeks and three months after exposures are completed. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of house dust mite to produce lasting asthma-related lung changes.

Sonia Cavigelli 287 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center