2019 Undergraduate Exhibition

Title Presenter Abstract Faculty Sponsor Number Location
Invention Commercialization Assessment for a Personalized Diet and Exercise Recommender System in Minimizing Clinical Risk for Type 1 Diabetes Matthew Kaneski

MGMT/IST/ENGR 426 "Invention Commercialization" is a highly experiential course in entrepreneurship that involves teams of engineering, IST, and business students who are responsible for assessing the commercial potential of a current Penn State-based invention and providing a recommendation for commercialization to the PSU Office of Technology Management. The course and the project integrates skills and knowledge in technology, intellectual property law, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Rick Weyer 3 Alumni Hall
Invention Commercialization Assessment for Biomedical Analysis System Michael Robert McHugh

MGMT/IST/ENGR 426 "Invention Commercialization" is a highly experiential course in entrepreneurship that involves teams of engineering, IST, and business students who are responsible for assessing the commercial potential of a current Penn State-based invention and providing a recommendation for commercialization to the PSU Office of Technology Management. The course and the project integrates skills and knowledge in technology, intellectual property law, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Rick Weyer 10 Alumni Hall
Invention Commercialization Assessment for carrageenan free chocolate milk Andres Idrovo

MGMT/IST/ENGR 426 "Invention Commercialization" is a highly experiential course in entrepreneurship that involves teams of engineering, IST, and business students who are responsible for assessing the commercial potential of a current Penn State-based invention and providing a recommendation for commercialization to the PSU Office of Technology Management. The course and the project integrates skills and knowledge in technology, intellectual property law, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Rick Weyer 5 Alumni Hall
Invention Commercialization Assessment for Insoluble Porous Foam-Like Biopolymer Composite Materials Noah Van Blarcom

MGMT/IST/ENGR 426 "Invention Commercialization" is a highly experiential course in entrepreneurship that involves teams of engineering, IST, and business students who are responsible for assessing the commercial potential of a current Penn State-based invention and providing a recommendation for commercialization to the PSU Office of Technology Management. The course and the project integrates skills and knowledge in technology, intellectual property law, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Rick Weyer 6 Alumni Hall
Invention Commercialization Assessment for Organ Models Nicolas Crockett

MGMT/IST/ENGR 426 "Invention Commercialization" is a highly experiential course in entrepreneurship that involves teams of engineering, IST, and business students who are responsible for assessing the commercial potential of a current Penn State-based invention and providing a recommendation for commercialization to the PSU Office of Technology Management. The course and the project integrates skills and knowledge in technology, intellectual property law, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Rick Weyer 8 Alumni Hall
Investigate methods of detecting constant time violations Ernest Defoy

Identifying timing channels for cryptosystems is often a manual process. Addressing the cause of the timing channel is only possible once the flaw is identified. Using information-flow analysis it is possible to identify timing channels. An information flow analysis can track the flow of sensitive information through a program. The issue is that the number of positives can be very high, and unequally weighted in the threat that may be posed.

Danfeng Zhang 13 Alumni Hall
Investigating the binding sites of NEUROD1 through Chromatin Immuno-precipitation Kailash Jayachandran and Chenjin Jin

NeuroD1 is a neural transcription factor which can be used for conversion of reactive astrocytes into neurons for stroke and Alzheimers disease treatment. NeuroD1 binds to chromatin and facilitates binding of other transcription factors to promote neuronal development. We would like to investigate the mechanism of reprogramming of astrocytes to neurons by determining where NeuroD1 binds. We determined that NeuroD1 binds to Hes6 promoter along with NeuroD1's own promoter through Immuno-precipitation assay.

Maria Krasilnikova 238 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Investigating the Effects of Observed Giant Planets on Interior Exo-planetary System Architectures Michael S Penwarden

In systems with giant planets, gaps in the protoplanetary disk may form which starve the interior system of material and influence formation. Using exoplanet and stellar measurements from the Kepler and Gaia datasets, we assess if these influences are distinguishable in the observed population by comparing interior planets characteristics in giant hosting systems to the rest of the datasets. To ensure justifiable comparisons, a series of filters and corrections are implemented to remove observational biases.

Rebekah Dawson 310 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Investigating the Role of the MTHFD Gene Family in Archaea Arthi Bala The MTHFD gene family is the donor of one-carbon units for nucleotide metabolism throughout life. To better understand the evolution of this gene family, we complement our Eukaryotic MTHFD studies by investigating their sister lineage, the Archaea. Here, we investigate the evolution of the MTHFD gene family throughout Archaea using phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary techniques. We suggest that while most Archaea have retained MTHFD gene family members, others have seemingly lost them. Tanya Renner 369 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Investigating the VNTR in the human Dopamine Transporter Gene (DAT1) Szu-Yu Kuan

Previous research identified a highly polymorphic site between intron 6 and intron 8 of the human DAT1 gene. The experiment attempt to identify the cause of this polymorphism. A region in intron 8 has shown great difficulty to amplify even with multiple attempts with different DNA polymerase enzymes and various additives to improve the experiment. Isolating and sequencing the fragments from polyacrylamide gels are the next steps to analyze the site.

David Vandenbergh 133 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Investigation of a Novel Delayed Hatching Phenotype in Caenorhabditis Elegans Elizabeth Ann Eberly

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a molecule used as a coenzyme for a variety of metabolic pathways. Our lab has made the discovery that a mutation in an NAD+ biosynthetic pathway that leads to lower levels of the molecule, when coupled with increased oxidative stress leads to a delay in the hatching of C. elegans eggs. This study examines differences in the physical appearance of the eggshells of worms that display delayed hatching.

Wendy Hanna-Rose 327 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Investigation of Two-Phase Flow Around a Porous Cylinder Mathew John Kurian This study is aimed at understanding the effects of two-phase flow over bluff bodies. Of particular interest are cylindrical surfaces, while also looking at their wakes formed and studying the resulting drag on the body. The two-phase flow condition is used to simulate a boiling system with the cylinder being the heated surface where vapour bubbles would form with the overall goal of identifying the optimum body that can maximize heat transfer while minimizing drag. Matthew Rau 188 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Involvement of octopamine and serotonin in starvation induced stress response of the common house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum Mindy Gruzin Developmental stress increases invertebrate octopamine(OA) production which blocks serotonin(5-HT), which can have long-lasting behavioral consequences. To study the effects of starvation on neurotransmission in arachnid Parasteatoda tepidariorum, paralogs of OA and 5-HT synthesizing enzymes and receptors were identified using BLAST of spider transcriptome. Results showed ptDBH and ptTPH expressed through development. RT-PCR revealed 5-HT and OA receptor orthologs are differentially expressed throughout development with some sex bias. Spiders can starve ~30 days before death. Jessica Petko 353 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Is doing Scenario Planning doing Sociology? Tyler Barnum and Cooper Wills

If undergraduate students are doing scenario planning as an engaged scholarship experience, then are they also doing sociology? Scenario planning is an advanced tool taught in business education; at the undergraduate level, scenario planning is nearly unheard of. This team examined the process then applied the tool with an area public library. Within, students explain scenario planning, reflect on learning it, and summarize their experience planning. The authors reflexively ask: "is what we did sociology?"

Nicholas Rowland 375 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Isometric Handgrip Training as an Alternative Approach to Blood Pressure Regulation in African American Men Regina Mccoy Within the U.S., the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is greatest among African American men for distinct reasons. African American men experience the highest rates of hypertension and are the least likely to receive effective treatment. The American Heart Association acknowledges isometric handgrip (IHG) training as alternative approach towards regulating blood pressure and requested more trials in diverse populations. We aim to investigate the effects of IHG training on blood pressure within African American Men. David Moore 344 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
It's More Okay to Cheat in an Online Class Michelle Raelynn Yezek

College students (N=240) responded to a cheating scenario involving online or face-to-face classes. Participants reported significant differences showing greater acceptance of and greater need to cheat in online classes. Significant differences also favored face-to-face classes in student motivation, focus, and enthusiasm as well as greater perceived teacher preparation and enthusiasm.

Elaine Barry 356 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Kerala Floods, India 2019 Erin Arndt and Harman Singh

The Kerala, India Floods of 2018 were the worst floods experienced by the State of Kerala in the past 100 years. These floods have caused loss of life and landslides since August. The purpose of our poster is to highlight what caused this event and to ultimately suggest areas of need. Remote sensing imagery of Kerala before, during and after the flooding event is analyzed to highlight the accumulation and the recession of flood waters.

Guido Cervone 112 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Know Your Laws Trenae Crosson-Bailey My poster will be surrounding the compilation of laws that are impacting our society, allowing our country to have the highest incarceration rate in the world. It will break down what laws are in place, so that the average citizen knows what policies create the criminal justice structure seen today. It'll be a play off of "Know Your Rights". We must know what we can do and what the system can do to us. Efrain Marimon 362 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Lipopeptisomes: Anticancer Peptide-assembled Particles for Fusolytic Oncotherapy Matthew Ross Aronson

Anticancer peptides (ACPs) are naturally occurring molecules that preferentially kill cancer cells. Although ACPs represent attractive new drugs, their clinical utility is limited by severe side-effects. Here, we exploit the interactions of ACPs with cancer cell membranes to prepare a new class of membrane-mimetic ACP nanoparticles, referred to as a lipopeptisome (LP). We show that LPs potently destroy cancer cells without significant damage to healthy tissues, thus transforming previously toxic drugs into clinically viable therapies.

Scott Medina 114 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
LIQUEFACTION OF SLURRY COAL USING A SHAKE TABLE Kehinde Sokunbi Soil Liquefaction occurs when a saturated soil loses strength and acts as liquid substance when introduced to seismic waves. The purpose of my research is to model a liquefaction process using slurry coal in a shake table. Through this approach, we are able to record the strength and properties of soil under these conditions and could significantly reduce the damage caused by liquefaction and prevent damage costs. Ming Xiao 221 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Localization and Functionality of Ion Channels Found in the Drosophila melanogaster Axon Initial Segment Laura Glatzer The axon initial segment (AIS) is a crucial region in neurons required for the generation of action potentials. The scope of this research aims to elucidate the localization of certain potassium and calcium channels in the AIS and determine what anchoring proteins may play a role in their localization. The gating properties of the voltage-gated Elk1 potassium channel are also looked at to determine the functionality of the channels in the AIS. Timothy Jegla 341 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Low-Cost Portable Near-Infrared Photoacoustic Microscopy Imaging Device for Early Detection in Breast Cancer Azzam Shaikh and Julia Petrucci

Approximately 600,000 people were expected to die in 2018 due to breast cancer. Since most people get diagnosed for breast cancer in its late stages, being able to detect cancer early on can lead to proper treatment to prolong life. A low-cost near-infrared supercontinuum photoacoustic microscopy system is currently being developed to aid in this detection. Imaging phantoms with a nanoparticle solution inside them have shown promising results for early detection.

Sean Knecht 164 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Mapping The State Concept (The Bloated Leviathan) Justin Kelly The author noticed there is a specific formula scholars use to create state concepts to distinguish their new concept from others. He questions whether this way of conducting research is sustainable. To examine it, he explores concepts of 'the state' by way of ontology and "conceptual cartography". This project explores a new way of conceptualizing what 'the state' is while highlighting an alarming concern and a methodological breakthrough for students and teachers to use. Nicholas Rowland 263 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
material recognition through signal reflections Jevin Modi My research is on detecting different materials by the reflection of UWB signals. The receiver and transmitter are placed on the same ends and the reflections of signals from the material are taken. This would be very useful to measure the minerals in soil, could be used in adulteration checking as it can even differentiate milk and skim milk and even in security checks. My research would bring complicated time consuming methods to simple one. Mahanth Gowda 207 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Maternal Alcohol Use and Perception of Student Drinking and Consequences as Predictors for Maternal Permissiveness Roopesh Kumar, Erin Wolfe and Meghan Field

The present study examines whether mothers' alcohol use, perceptions of their son's/daughter's drinking and consequences, and permissiveness of drinking during freshman year (T1) predict permissiveness during sophomore year (T2). Mothers of students attending three universities participated in a longitudinal study (N=1368). Their behaviors and perceptions at T1 predicted T2 permissiveness (all p's<0.05), suggesting interventions to reduce maternal permissiveness of college student drinking should ideally occur prior to the first year of college.

Nichole Sell 282 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
MECHANICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF EMBOLUS ANALOGS TO INVESTIGATE ACUTE ISCHEMIC STROKE RECANALIZATION Gretchen Hiller In order to improve our understanding of thromboemboli adhesion and removal in acute ischemic strokes, we seek to characterize the mechanical properties of embolus analogs and the effects of paraformaldehyde fixation. Both cyclic compression and stress-relaxation tests were performed to develop relationships to the behavior of thromboemboli in vivo. Order of magnitude differences were observed in the stress stress-strain curve slopes but similar behavior was seen in the normalized stress-relaxation data. Keefe Manning 262 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Methacholine as an agent for inducing labored breathing in an adolescent mouse model Kelly Vanden

Asthma is characterized by many factors such as airway inflammation and labored breathing. We have developed a model to mimic these symptoms in adolescent mice. Here, we show how measures of labored breathing (counts and enhanced pause) are increased in mice at multiple ages throughout development that are exposed to aerosolized methacholine, a muscarinic receptor agonist. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of methacholine to produce the labored breathing aspect of asthma.

Sonia Cavigelli 279 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
MICROWAVE ELECTROTHERMAL THRUSTER FOR CUBESATS AND SMALL SATELLITES Yonatan Estifanos This research investigates the feasibility of using ammonia as a propellant in a 17.8-GHz microwave electrothermal thruster. Microwave electrothermal thrusters are a type of electric propulsion that use microwave energy to heat a gaseous propellant to plasma temperatures followed by nozzle expansion, thus generating thrust. This study examined the performance of a low-power microwave electrothermal thruster for use on CubeSats and small spacecraft. This makes it favorable for deep space missions. Sven Bilen 214 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Missing Close Others Claire Fountas Our experiment analyzed the subjective experience of missing a close other. Specifically, we aimed to assess whether the experience was different for participants assigned to recall the experience of missing someone who is still alive versus someone who is dead. Our goal was to investigate missing as a potential mixed emotion, and past research has yet to explore this outside of romantic relationships. Michelle Yarwood 315 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Mitochondrial Sirtuins in C. elegans Impact Lifespan Nicole Grace Laganke

Sirtuins are a class of NAD+ dependent enzymes that regulate biochemical pathways through mono-ADP ribosylation and various deacetylation reactions. Recently in our lab, knockout of either mitochondrial sirtuins, sir-2.2 or sir-2.3, had an observed lifespan extension of more than 25% on OP50 E. coli. However, lifespan extension may be diet-dependent and needs to be further analyzed on varying food sources to better characterize the phenotype.

Wendy Hanna-Rose 331 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Modeling Activity Patterns of Angolan Giraffe in Response to Environmental Predictors Renee Khouri This project examined how temperature, sex, month, and time of day affect giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) activity in Namibia. Prior to my involvement, giraffe were tagged with a device capable of collecting date, time, latitude, longitude, and temperature data. A generalized additive mixed model was created using the software R with data collected over 9 months. Daily activity plots were produced and indicate that giraffe are crepuscular and their movement is strongly adapted to extreme temperatures. Simone Ciuti 171 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Modeling Age Estimation Using DNA Methylation Patterns Troy Adams DNA methylation, an epigenetic modification, represents changes within the DNA of an individual that occur throughout their lifetime in response to environmental factors. These modifications act as a regulator of gene expression. As the body processes of an individual change with age, the amount of DNA methylation is known to vary and be reflective of the age of the person. Therefore, the level of methylation can be used as a predictor of age. Mitchell Holland 333 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Modeling behavioral learning phenotype in adsl-1 deficient C. elegans Shirley Dong and Madalyn Charnego

Adenylosuccinate Lyase Deficiency (ADSL) is a rare genetic disease resulting in inborn errors of purine synthesis. ADSL catalyzes two reactions, SAICAR and S-AMP, in the de novo purine synthesis pathway. Loss of enzymatic function results in toxic accumulation of SAICAR and S-AMP. We modeled behavioral learning phenotypes of ADSL in deficient C. elegans using Associative Learning and Chemotaxis Assay. We treated the disordered phenotype by targeting the molecular mechanisms causing the disease with Lometrexol.

Wendy Hanna-Rose 318 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Modeling Masaya volcano in 3D with Agisoft Photoscan Cissy Li Ming

This project uses Photoscan to create 3D point cloud models from photographs taken during regular visits to Masaya, focusing on the active Santiago crater. In addition to visually enhancing the image dataset, the point clouds record relative locations of features in Masaya, which allows for the direct comparison of point positions between clouds. Tracking differences in morphology over time allows us to observe erosion of the crater walls and crater deformation from magma input.

Peter LaFemina 271 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Modeling the Dynamical Evolution of Saturn's E ring Following a Cryovolcanic Eruption on Enceladus Shirin Gul Zaidi

Enceladus is a small icy moon of Saturn's that is well-known for its importance in studying habitability and the outermost, diffuse E ring of Saturn. Using numerical simulations to study the orbital evolution of E ring particles from Enceladus, we find that in order for Enceladus to be the artist for the thin "E ring paint" on the moons, it is likely that Enceladus has has sustained eruptions to create a steady state E ring.

Rebekah Dawson 275 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Monitoring Emerging Contaminants in Vernal Pools Impacted by Wastewater Irrigation Laura Saleh Emerging contaminants (ECs), unregulated contaminants that are incompletely degraded during wastewater treatment, cause negative impacts on human and ecological health. The objective of this study is to evaluate the occurrence of ECs in vernal pools affected by treated wastewater. Two monitoring techniques, Polar Organic Carbon Integrative Sampling membranes and weekly grab samples were employed. A Campbell Scientific Data Logger was deployed at each pool. Findings from this study informs on monitoring techniques of ECs. Heather Gall 205 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
MOSCH: A Multi-Objective Spatial Clustering Algorithm with Constraint-Handling Methods Bridget Baksa Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have become the focal point of technological research within the past decade. Extensive research, code development, and testing has led to the production of a machine learning algorithm that handles multiple objective and constraint functions in spatial clustering. The MOSCH algorithm produces a range of clustering solutions that meet both objective and constraint goals and has been tested on both artificial data sets and real-life data sets. Abdullah Konak 106 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Mouse Trap Sales Data as a Predictor of Lyme Disease Emily L Sellinger

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. Predicting Lyme disease is a complicated process due to its complex transmission cycle. Our goal was to determine if Lyme disease incidence can be predicted using information on mouse populations, specifically mouse trap sales data. We established that trap sales data was correlated with mouse densities and furthermore, we found that trap sales were significant predictors of Lyme cases in 14 states.

Kurt Vandegrift 187 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Mouse Xenograft Glioma Model Establishment Tania Tsila Barnatan

Rag 1-/- immunodeficient mice were transplanted with U251 human glioma cells to find the most efficient glioma model for in vivo studies. In vitro studies confirmed U251 cell markers. Mice were then injected intercranially with human glioblastoma cells, and then injected intercranially with either: Neurog2, or control retrovirus. Mice were sacrificed at different time points. Tumors were examined using markers for: proliferation, vasculature, microglia, and astrocytes.

Gong Chen 184 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Multicolor Fluorescent Staining of Cryostat Sectioned Tissue Yuqing Lei This poster will focus on the overview of multicolor fluorescent staining technique, including the preparation of tissue, the process of cryostat and staining. Otherwise, a brief introduction of microscope BX61, which used to observe the stained slides. And by using the mouse kidneys tissue as a example, it will embody the entail process more visualized and comprehensible. Gang Ning 379 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Myanmar Weaving Catherine Orochena I've been researching the Matson Museum of Anthropology's collection of Myanmar textiles. There is an abundance of information on the styles of dress for different Myanmar cultural, but I found none concerning the making process. I've been closely examining examples of weaving, and using them to understand the processes used and choices made during their creation. This poster will illustrate both the weaving process, and the more specific traits of Myanmar weaving. Heather Mccune Bruhn 135 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Novel approaches to examine nerve cell regeneration Abigail Mauger, Samantha Simonovitch and Megan Schupp

Nerve cells are damaged in various ways, from concussions to car accidents. To better understand recovery, we are searching for key factors involved with sensory neuron regeneration using Drosophila. An atypical dendrite degeneration assay will use miniSOG2-expressing neurons to photo-induce dendrite fragmentation. Preliminary data on this dendrite degeneration will allow for observations of regeneration. Axotomy in chordotonal neurons, a special type of sensory cell, reveals that different cell types may regenerate axons differently.

Melissa Rolls 306 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Novel Transfer Technique for Metasurfaces to the Tip of an Optical Fiber Natalie Cummings We combined lengthier techniques such as nanoskiving and thiol-ene decal transfer to create a more efficient, streamlined process to place metasurfaces onto the tip of an optical fiber. Our method was characterized by a sacrificial copper layer and the usage of PDMS as a transfer agent. Most of our tests were performed with bulk gold sheets, but some preliminary results were obtained with actual metasurfaces. Gennady Shvets 359 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Occurrence and distribution of apicomplexan symbionts in corals across a wide depth range Kaitlin Anderson The objective of this study is to examine the distribution patterns of apicomplexan symbionts in a diverse selection of corals from a wide depth range. We sampled corals and sequenced the plastid 16S DNA of apicomplexans found in 96 corals. The apicomplexan symbionts showed patterns of geographical, depth, and host distribution. Our results suggest that apicomplexan symbionts of corals are wide spread, horizontally transmitted, may be co-evolving with corals, and are not photosynthetic. Charles Fisher 143 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Olive Oil Production in Tunisia Jordan Hawkins Olive oil in Tunisia is the most exported agricultural product in the country, accounting for $420M in 2017 ("Tunisia", 2019)(Karray, 2006). Farmers who produce olive oil face many different challenges from the negative effects of economic growth. Increasing demand of olive oil has put pressures on farmers economically, socio-culturally, and environmentally. Economically, Tunisia's unemployment rate is contributing to low productivity of oil. Environmentally, Tunisia is struggling with desertification of land. Socio-culturally, women face gender inequality. Noel Habashy 368 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Outcome Expectation and Self-Efficacy as Predictors of Exercise Behavior Among College Students Jacob Corey Social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1998) is widely-employed for understanding health behavior, and positions outcome expectations and self-efficacy as key psychosocial predictors of behavior. Overall, this research extends understanding regarding the nature of outcome expectations and self-regulatory efficacy, with theoretical implications for social cognitive theory. This research also includes measurement-related implications, such as the need to improve outcome expectation measures to include a wider array of experiential/affective outcomes among college students. Blair Evans 141 Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Pharmacological characterization of duplicated dopamine recepters in the common house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum Madison I Winkowski

Dopamine receptors are characterized as G-protein coupled receptors and can be further distinguished based on pharmacological properties. GPCR's are pharmacologically distinguished based on the stimulation or inhibition of cAMP. Parasteatoda tepidariorum have 6 dopamine receptors, DOP1, DOP2, and DOP3, the pharmacological properties of which are unknown, compared to humans 5 receptors. P. tepidariorum's extra receptor is thought to be due to genome duplication and performing cAMP assays will characterize the receptors compared to human receptors.

Jessica Petko 322 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Pheomelanin's Effect on Melanoma Risk and Treatment Himani Devabhaktuni Melanin protects the skin from harmful UV irradiation of the sun. Red headed people have a different form of melanin called pheomelanin. Pheomelanin expression increases UV induced Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). The expression of pheomelanin puts red heads at a higher risk of melanoma than the rest of the population. It may also affect immunotherapy response. The pheomelanin risk for melanoma is independent of and in addition to the risk associated with sun exposure. Margherita Cantorna 366 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Phototrophs Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and Hydrogen Production from Wastewater Yiguang Zhu Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) is a biodegradable alternative of plastic. Hydrogen is a clean and renewable alternative of fossil fuel. Phototrophs, including microalgae and purple non-sulfur bacteria, have competitive PHA and hydrogen yields by utilizing the organic matters from municipal wastewater. This project explores the mechanisms of PHA and hydrogen productions, related technologies of cultivation and harvesting, factors affecting the yields and the possibility of commercially utilizing the process. Meng Wang 302 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center
Pilot Study of Avian Microbiomes Carolyn Telfer Birds have the potential to transport bacteria great distances during their annual migrations and impact the biogeography of bacterial species. However, little is known about avian microbiomes and their relationship to body conditions. The objective was to determine if sufficient quantities of bacteria could be collected from birds. We concluded that it's possible to collect bacteria and that body area temperature affected the results, which could be used for future studies of avian health. Corien Bakermans 372 Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center