Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

Synthetic Biology Approach to Drive Oxygen-Dependent Biochemical Pathways Under Anaerobic Conditions

Nazar Akhverdyan : Molecular and Cellular Biology Summer 2017

Hydrocarbon contamination can be extremely detrimental to affected ecosystems and bioremediation, the use of microorganisms to detoxify and remove environmental pollutants, presents an effective solution. Specifically, oxygenases are required to perform hydroxylation or carboxylation reactions that cleave aromatic rings into less inert intermediates. Oxygen is an... Read More

Stability maintenance in reaction-diffusion systems

Easun Arunachalam : Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Summer 2017

Interplay between spatial organization and interconversion of different molecules leads to complex pattern formation in simple chemical systems. Some have suggested implications for biological systems, especially in the context of embryonic development. However, unlike idealized chemical systems, biological systems are characterized by complex and dynamic environments... Read More

Controls on trace element incorporation into travertine carbonates

Holly Barnhart : Environmental Earth Science Summer 2017

A multitude of different trace metals can readily incorporate into the crystal lattice of calcite, depending on factors like solution chemistry, temperature, and growth rate. Measurements of these elemental abundances in calcite can be an effective means of understanding rates and environments of crystal growth and have been widely utilized over the past decades to... Read More

Preventing Post-Surgical Amniotic Sac Rupture

Sarah Bhattacharjee : BioEngineering Summer 2017

During pregnancy, complex birth defects can arise, and fetal surgery can correct or drastically ameliorate these conditions. The largest unmet need of the field is a method to seal the amniotic sac, as it does not heal following surgery and can rupture, leading to preterm birth. I hope to develop self-sealing needles and instrument sheaths to seal defects in the... Read More

Role of GPR183 in EET-signaling

Kayleigh Cook : Integrative Biology Summer 2017

My project centers on epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) which are located in endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. From previous studies, they have been shown to be potent vasodilators and though the receptor is not known, their mechanism is believed to rely on calcium activated potassium channels and the hyperpolarization of smooth muscle. In addition to... Read More

Morphological Changes in Dopamine Neurons Resulting From Tsc1 deletion

Malcolm Crawford : MCB - Neurobiology Summer 2017

Dopamine is an important neuromodulator, and dysregulation of dopaminergic function is involved in many neurological disorders, from Parkinson’s disease to addiction. The mTOR pathway, a ubiquitous signaling pathway which regulates cell growth and survival, plays an important role in dopamine neuron fate. By manipulating mTOR signaling in dopamine neurons via cell-type... Read More

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Genome Editing of Mutant Huntingtin Gene

Freja Ekman : Chemical Biology Summer 2017

Efficient and versatile genome editing technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9, have the potential to treat disease on a genetic level. By inducing DNA double stranded breaks at targeted genomic locations, targeted nucleases can facilitate gene disruption via the introduction of random base insertions and deletions via non-homologous end joining. While many studies have... Read More

Molecular Insights into LINC Complex Proteins SUN1 and SUN2

Darya Fadavi : Bioengineering Summer 2017

Transmission of cytoskeletal forces to the nucleus depends highly on the LINC (linker of the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton) complexes, which consists of inner nuclear membrane SUN (Sad-1 and Unc) proteins that bind to outer nuclear membrane KASH (Klarsicht, ANC-1, Syne Homology) proteins. Recent studies have suggested significant differences between SUN1 and SUN2... Read More

Development of a “preferred retinal locus” in response to a simulated central scotoma: visuomotor adaptation or strategy?

Tiffany Fung : Molecular and Cell Biology Summer 2017

Patients with central vision loss (scotoma) often rely on a location outside the scotoma for seeing, the preferred retinal locus (PRL).  We investigated whether the development of a “PRL” in response to a simulated scotoma in normally sighted individuals is the result of oculomotor adaptation, as is the case in patients with a real scotoma.  We used a gaze-contingent... Read More

Engineered In Vitro Infective Endocarditis Modeling with a Human iPSC-based Cardiac Microphysiological System

Nikko Jeffreys : Bioengineering Summer 2017

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... Read More

Investigating Cellular Responses to Extracellular Proteotoxicity

Daniel Jong Hyun Choi : Molecular and Cell Biology Summer 2017

With advances in health care and changes in lifestyle, humans are living healthier, longer. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Despite decades of study, the mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis remain unknown and effective treatments elusive.

... Read More

An in-depth field investigation of shallow landslides and slope stability in a sedimentary landscape

Mariel Nelson : Geophysics Summer 2017

Shallow landslides, a major geologic hazard, can be initiated by periods of heavy rainfall or as a result of land use. Physical processes that occur during a landslide, however, are notoriously difficult to interpret because landslides are rarely witnessed and often occur as single events. During February 2017, an intense storm generated approximately 400 landslides in... Read More

Interspecies Interactions Resulting in Induced Antibiotic Production

Yein Ra : Microbial Biology and Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

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... Read More

Host regulation of Chlamydia trachomatis TARP by signal peptide proteolysis

Blake Sanders : Molecular and Cell Biology Summer 2017

Chlamydia trachomatis is an intracellular pathogen that infects approximately 150-300 million people worldwide, where it is estimated that 9 million people have become blind as a result of an infection by this pathogen. Such statistics show the necessity for basic research into the fundamental processes of infection by this pathogen in order to pave the way for new... Read More

Improving the Biosensor Properties of an AraC-Type Transcriptional Activator

Nima Sedaghatian : Bioengineering Summer 2017

The field of metabolic engineering seeks to rationally design microorganisms to produce specific compounds, usually through the heterologous expression of non-native enzymes and modifications to native metabolism. A commonly employed experimental approach is to randomly mutate enzymes of interest and screen for a desired phenotype. However, this method is constrained... Read More

Toward Swimming Medical Microrobots: Design and Characterization of a MEMS Motor for Electrostatic Actuation in Fluid

Ryan Shih : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Summer 2017

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are sub-millimeter structures that combine electrical and mechanical principles to produce novel sensors, actuators, and transducers for complicated tasks at the microscale. While most MEMS research focuses on devices operating in air, biomedical applications and the parallel growth of microfluidics have stimulated efforts towards... Read More

Evolution Strategies as Derivative Free Alternative to Deep Reinforcement Learning

Alvin Wan : Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Summer 2017

Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) has seen state-of-the-art results with Atari games, spoken dialogue systems, and a differentiable neural computer. However, excessive amounts of computer power are required to attain such results. My work concerns potential simplifications of DRL so that more advanced tasks are feasible, leveraging alternative evolutionary strategies... Read More

Teeth as Sensory Organs: 3D Correlative Analysis of Nerves and Vasculature in the Periodontal Ligament

Lynn Yang : Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cognitive Science Summer 2017

The periodontal ligament (PDL), which surrounds the tooth in its bony socket, is unique amongst mammalian tissues as one of the only ligaments that is both innervated and vascularized. Nerves and vasculature are involved in inflammatory and sensory transduction processes in the PDL of patients who seek orthodontic treatments, such as braces, who generally undergo... Read More