Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Branda Brehm

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I am researching the relationship between Marcel Prousts la recherche du temps perdu and cinema in light of how each produces images. The prose of Marcel Proust is often termed cinematic, yet it is executed in a medium that is vastly different from film. What is it then about the image at this point in its history that allows for a comparison between this major work of literature and the fundamental techniques of the cinema? To answer this question I am researching the underlying philosophy of Prousts imagery of time […]

Jane O

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Because any given cell carries an overwhelming excess of genetic information, they need a way to selectively pinpoint what they need, when they need it. Silencing entire regions of the genome via chromatin modifications is one method that eukaryotes have developed to great effect. The four SIR (Silent Information Regulator) genes are absolutely critical to silencing in yeast. Wild-type Sir3 typically requires Sir2s deacetylation activity, and not just the deacetylation itself, in a mechanism that is still unclear. I will use sequencing and protein structural analysis to study PCR generated […]

Julia Selezneva

The core goal is to identify the origin of antibiotic drug-resistance determinants, with the hypothesis that drug-resistance determinants, in particular integrons carrying gene cassettes coding for drug resistance, from bacteria that is ingested through uncooked food (spinach, animal meat) can horizontally transfer to commensal bacteria in the human intestine, and under selective pressure of antibiotics, and ultimately lead to complicated multi-drug resistant bloodstream or urinary tract infections. Integrons are mobile genetic elements, found on transposons, plasmids and chromosomes that capture and express gene cassettes by site-specific recombination. This summer I […]

Chung Yan Cheung

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Development of the nervous system depends on the migration, differentiation, and axonal projections of neurons to their appropriate targets. In the dorsal spinal cord where many sensory and interneurons are born, signaling cues specify the development of neuronal precursors into an array of cell types. However, the process by which these signals regulate neuronal growth is still unclear. This summer, I will examine the function of the Gremlin2 gene, which is expressed in a specific population of dorsal interneurons. Taking advantage of Gremlin2 knock-out mice, I will use immunocytochemistry to […]

Seita Onishi

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My project is to design, test and construct an electronic amplifier customized for data-taking in low temperature experiments (liquid helium cooled) at the Quantum Nanoelectronics Laboratory. Electrical signals from experiment samples are too weak to be measured directly, so this amplifier will make the signals stronger. For the transistor, the essential part of the amplifier, I will use a commercial Silicon-Germanium transistor, which is known for its low cost. Using computer simulations and testing of the amplifier characteristics, amplifiers for various experiments in the lab demanding different frequency ranges can […]

Roxana Sandoval

Mexican students have lower levels of educational attainment when compared to other groups. Parental involvement is essential for the success of students, thus it is important to understand how Mexican mothers in Oakland, California perceive the educations system and the obstacles they face. In addition, analyzing how mothers in Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico understand and navigate the educational system can illuminate the experiences Mexican mothers have in their home country. Through my comparative study, an understanding of how Mexican mothers view the educational system in the US can be […]

Andrea Chiem

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Studies have shown that cabbage aphids (Brevicoryne brassicae) that eat black mustard (Brassica nigra) can sequester toxic compounds to ward off their predators. This summer, I am building on these studies by examining the eco-physiological costs to aphids of processing and sequestering these toxins. The concentrations of the toxins will be analyzed to determine the difference in chemical load for aphids that eat broccoli (Brassica oleracea) versus mustard. My main goal is to study the physiological costs of this chemical load by examining differences in development and reproduction of aphids […]

Deborah Owen

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Women in Peru have one of the highest chances of dying from childbirth in all Latin America. Maternal mortality is devastating at both the familial level and the national level, as it is an indicator of health and development. Research on maternal health in Peru focuses on either rural areas or the Lima metropolis. This binary does not provide a complete understanding of the complexities of maternal health within the nation. Therefore, this study will examine maternal health in Piura, a small city with considerable poverty. I will document how […]

Karina Sakanaka

Cognitive control is the mechanism of coordinating actions with internal goals. I am primarily interested in the role of cognitive control in decision-making, particularly how internal states such as economic preferences can influence decision-making under probabilistic outcomes. Individuals differ in their tolerance for the amount of uncertainty in decision-making, and behavioral economic models, such as expected utility functions can create parameters that capture preference or aversion for risk and ambiguity. Using the choice history of each subject between pairs of gambles, my project will investigate how economic preference parameters may […]

Amanda Cook

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I am studying how decision-making structures affect participation in heterogeneous worker cooperatives. Worker cooperatives are businesses or organizations owned and democratically managed by their workers. Previous research on worker cooperatives indicates a tendency towards homogeneity, meaning that worker-owners in a given cooperative share very similar backgrounds. However, since these studies were conducted in the 1970’s and 1980’s, worker cooperatives have become more diverse. A recent case study on a large and diverse worker cooperative suggests that formalizing decision-making structures might facilitate widespread democratic participation. I will expand upon this research […]