Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Brian Woo

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The Toll-like receptor (TLR) family is a key component of the host innate immune response to foreign microbes. In the cell, TLRs localized to endolysosomes (termed intracellular TLRs) recognize microbial nucleic acids, and recognition of these microbial products then invokes an immune response to a myriad of bacterial and viral pathogens. One regulator of intracellular TLR activity that my project aims to characterize is Unc93B1, a chaperone protein that is currently understood to traffic intracellular TLRs to their correct endolysosomal compartments. This summer, my goal is to elucidate the role […]

Emily Duan

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The activation of the adaptive immune system in host-tumor interaction mediates the efficiency and strength of the host anti-tumor response. Necroptosis, a form of programmed cell death, has the ability to moderate the development of antitumor tolerance versus immunity due to its pro-inflammatory properties. However, in what ways and to what extent do the products of necroptosis trigger the activation of the immune system is not well understood. I am interested in using a necroptotic tumor vaccine overexpressing RIP3, a cell death protein, to study the effect of necroptosis on […]

Jonathan Chu

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The non-coding genome has traditionally been viewed as junk, with little to no significance in everyday biological functions. However, recent advances have demonstrated clear functional importance of the non-coding genome in both development and disease. Of particular interest are the retrotransposons (RTs), mobile genetic elements that copy themselves through RNA intermediates. One class of RT, the Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs), occupies nearly 8% of the human genome, yet has lost its to ability to retrotranspose or jump throughout the genome. The inactivity of ERVs despite their high density within the human […]

Vladimir Kremenetski

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Quantum computers have the potential to solve several useful classes of problems exponentially faster than their classical counterparts. A group of problems that is of particular interest is the determination of the ground states of strongly correlated quantum systems. Developing a computer capable of running such simulations would have a revolutionary impact on the field of Quantum Chemistry, allowing us to more accurately determine molecular properties for which we currently only have crude estimates. However, this field of research faces a number of logistical and technological barriers; such as the […]

Bridget Hua Bui

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Since the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system in prokaryotes, Cas9 proteins have been used as a genome editing tool in a wide variety of organisms and promise to provide new solutions to long-standing, unsolved problems in human disease. However, despite the great potential CRISPR technology holds, concerns remain about the risk of unwanted edits in the human genome that could lead to genetic disease. Therefore, my project aims to find anti-CRISPR proteins that serve as off-switches for Cas9 activity to ensure gene editing safety and prevent malicious use […]

Emily Wang

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Bai Juyi (aka Bo Juyi, ca. 8th9th century CE), one of the most renowned poets in Chinese history, was also a well-connected civil bureaucrat from a family based in the Tang capital. Past studies have focused principally on the deeds and accomplishments of the Tang aristocracy, but their social interactions remain largely unstudied. My project proposes to investigate the social network of the late Tang elites by conducting a social network analysis of Bai Juyi. The evidence for Bai Juyis social interactions can be assembled from a range of sources, […]

Nikko Jeffreys

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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 engineered controls that a researcher needs to effectively study the disease. Systems that precisely simulate the activities of the human endocardium in response to IE are in dire need to […]

William Kumler

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All animals are multicellular, but why? My research this summer hopes to answer a part of this question by studying animals’ closest living relative: choanoflagellates. These organisms can be either unicellular or colonial, and it’s been theorized that this discrepancy is due to specific predation- where predators prefer either colonial or unicellular choanoflagellates. This predation could provide an evolutionary pressure that encourages the formation of colonies, a predecessor to true multicellularity.

Eva Lopez

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Investigating the conditions that allow for bubble nucleation and bubble growth is significant for improving our understanding of volcanic eruptions and forecasting how they evolve over time. This research investigates how the presence of Iron Oxide (FeO) microlites may influence the nucleation of bubbles in rhyolitic melts as a function of temperature and at room pressure. It aims to shed light into the relationship between nucleating gas bubbles and the presence of, distance from, and relative size of, FeO microlites. It will thus allow for an understanding on how the […]

Julia Lipson

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Imagine a person plays two games, Game A and Game B, each with a higher probability of losing than winning, in some sequence. A possible sequence might be Game A, followed by Game B, followed by Game A, etc. Surely, playing any sequence of these two games will result in an overall loss. Against intuition, this turns out not to be the case. In fact, by playing these games in certain sequences, over time a player will experience an overall increase in capital. This phenomenon is called Parrondos Paradox, a […]