Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Ashley Tang

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Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition in which the eye is unable to focus distant objects correctly due to a mismatch between the power of the eye and the length of the eyeball. The outermost layer of the eye, the sclera, is responsible for maintaining eye size. Thinning of the sclera is a leading cause of ocular complications in people with myopia, and even low levels of myopia may increase the risk for other ocular pathologies. Our research focuses on the use of scleral miRNAs (small non-coding molecules within cells) […]

Ian Ferguson

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In the eye, Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) cells are important in maintaining the health of photoreceptor cells. RPE defects can lead to early photoreceptor cell death which is linked to several vision disorders, including Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The Gong Laboratory has previously linked the protein NHE8, a proton/sodium ion transporter mostly localized to protein secretory pathways, to retinal degeneration that is associated with RPE and photoreceptor cell loss. It is hypothesized that NHE8 mutant proteins lose the ability to exchange protons and sodium ions in intracellular compartments or vesicles, […]

Kristen Wilson

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My project looks at American Children’s Literature from the 1990s-2000s. In this period, there is a remarkable shift in not only the tone of American Children’s Literature (turning away from moralistic and didactic traditions of the form), but in its popularity, gaining millions of adult readers. My research looks specifically at A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (1999-2006), a series in which three orphans face all manner of horrific and absurd obstacles as they attempt to survive alone in a world whose true order and shape is beyond […]

Sally Littlefield

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My summer research seeks to understand how American culture conceives of adolescent female sexuality through analyzing popular film. Looking at American teen films from the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, I will explore when, how, and by whom it is considered acceptable or problematic for teenaged women to engage with their sexuality. Once I’ve conducted a thorough film analysis, I’ll be able to explore what effects these cultural beliefs have on teenaged girls through collecting oral histories of young women in the fall. My finished project will tie these two pieces […]

Sy Bocalbos Jordan

Filipinos living in the Philippines today are made of of more than 175 ethnic groups, and are an amalgamation of its indigenous populations, migrants from neighboring countries and the descendants of distant colonizers. For my research, I will use a critical race and gender lens to examine Filipino Identity. What was the process of racialization for the indigenous peoples of the archipelago into Filipino nationalists? How do the colonial legacies of the country persist in the Filipino identity? How and why are Filipinos imagined as a mono-ethnic group? The framework […]

Cee Gould

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This summer, I will be conducting research on an astronomy project involving the data reduction and analytical characterization of several Hubble images of edge-on protoplanetary disks (dust around newly formed stars). This is a topic of interest since the study of pre-planetary systems lends clues to the still unsolved mysteries of the formation of planetary bodies, as well as life in the universe. Comparing high-resolution scattered light images of edge-on diskswith synthetic images from radiative transfer modeling is a powerfulapproach to constrain the disk mass, structure and dust content. By […]

Jacqueline Woo

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My research aims to examine the development of joint attention in infants. Joint visual attention (JVA) refers to the ability to share attention to a common object with another partner and is vital to an infants capacity to learn, as it facilitates various kinds of communication. JVA has been connected to both language and social-emotional development. My study explores two major issues in the development of joint visual attention. First, it investigates what brings about infants increased ability of responding to and initiating joint attention beginning the second year of […]

Logan Rudd

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The LUX-ZEPLIN dark matter experiment is currently investigating the use of PTFE (Polytetraflouroethylene) best known as Teflon, for the internal walls of its liquid xenon detector, due to its high reflectivity for 175 nm light. In order to streamline research and development of the PTFE to be used in the detector, a new apparatus is currently being developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to quickly measure the relative reflectivity of multiple samples of PTFE against 175 nm light in liquid xenon. My goals for the summer are to aid in […]

Sarah Bhattacharjee

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The field of fetal surgery, though it remains the best hope for expecting parents whose child might have dangerous complications, is impeded by the amniotic sac’s inability to heal following rupture. The Messersmith Group, in which I work, has proposed both a sealant, which draws inspiration from the chemical properties of the adhesive secreted by mussels to attach themselves to their surroundings in the underwater environment, as well as “presealing,” an innovative manner of delivering the sealant to the surgical area. This summer I shall be developing a benchtop method […]

T. Christopher Crandall

The purpose of my research is to examine the current status of trauma-informed mental health treatment and practices, and to explore emerging and best practices in the field. Of particular interest is the provision of services to victims and survivors of interpersonal violence (IPV) by mental health practitioners and social service providers who identify as survivors of violence themselves. This appears to be a new area of research as little in the way of literature is currently available on the subject. My data will be drawn from a questionnaire widely […]