Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Elena Kharitonova

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Aryl esters are a class of organic molecules that have a wide range of applications. They are common active ingredient of pharmaceuticals, food flavorings, perfumes, and cosmetics. They are useful building blocks for other molecules in synthetic chemistry, structural elements in material science, and components of many biological tools. Traditionally, these esters are prepared by the addition of strong electrophiles to arenes under harsh conditions, often for long periods of time. Because of the harsh conditions, these classical reactions occur with a very limited scope. In addition, the reaction occurs […]

Weirui Xiao

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Women who are on birth control pills are at higher risk for Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) infection than women not on birth control pills. There is also evidence that women whose endometrium is decidualized during the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle are more susceptible to Ct infection compared to women in other phases of their cycle. However, the basis for this susceptibility to Ct infection is poorly understood at a molecular level. We have previously shown that an increase in the availability of the fatty acid oleic acid (OA) to […]

Michael Yi

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Chemotherapy is one of the most widely known treatments for cancer, both for its effectiveness yet fatal side effects. Doxorubicin, a common type of chemotherapy drug, has the ability to kill malignant tumor cells, but is limited by the harmful interactions excess molecules cause towards human tissue. Various resins and activated carbons are being tested for drug capturing mechanisms, as many drug molecules are shown to have high binding capacities towards them. Doxorubicin, however, is more complex due to its ionic nature, and requires the use of ion exchange and […]

Sanyum Channa

Honeycomb iridates are a class of compounds that were theoretically predicted to be spin liquids, i.e. materials that lacked magnetic ordering due to their magnetic spin interactions. However, due to real-world deviations from theory, compounds like Lithium Iridate have been extensively studied to show fascinating forms of magnetism (like spiral and zig-zag orderings). Taking inspiration from this recent research, the goal of my project is to synthesize a new iridate – Ag2IrO3 (Silver Iridate). The motivation for this is to see how the metal, Ag, interacts with the underlying magnetism […]

Alex Oanta

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Metal-promoted reactions are frequently utilized in the syntheses of complex organic products that are vital to the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries. With the intention of discovering new, more efficient chemical pathways to otherwise inaccessible or costly organic chemicals, many inorganic chemists devote their careers to the synthesis and study of discrete molecular compounds centered on a well-defined metal ion. Previous reactivity studies on such molecular metal-based compounds support the conjecture that electronically saturating the valence orbitals of a metal with multiple ligands can enhance the reactivity of the electrons involved […]

Dae Woong Ham

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The current theory we are interested that is applicable in radiobiology uses a mathematically lacking model for specifically modelling dose and effect relationship. This lacking model is especially inappropriate for settings where the dose effect relations are highly curvilinear, which will seriously hinder many researchers from developing synergy theory, a concept of interest to many radiobiologists. We propose a better and more appropriate model to do synergy theory and modelling. My SURF research, which will build from the research I have already been doing with my mentor, will continue to […]

Dylan Stover

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Plant communities respond to disturbances in many ways; with the increase in disturbance events in California such as fires and droughts, these community responses have increasingly led to unexpected shifts in dominant plant species that negatively affect their ecosystems through each species ecosystem services. In a drought and fire prone place such as Tejon Ranch in Californias central valley, it is vital for the lands managers to understand every plants response to disturbances. My project focuses on a native Californian shrub that, though common on the ranch, has not yet […]

Cecelia Di Mino

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Indigenous language revitalization (LR) work comes from the heart. Whether done by a documentary linguist or an indigenous community member, LR is a labor of love, usually done in someones spare time, with little to no financial compensation. While their linguistic and/or cultural knowledge may be vast, such individuals usually lack pedagogy training and experience. As the nature of LR work is already immense and taxing, providing its practitioners with a structured but adaptable program detailing how best to implement the pedagogical aspects of LR would be a major innovation. […]

Vivek Narayan

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Within the last decade, research on the microbiota has begun to shed light on the immense contribution of gut microbes to host health, metabolism, immunity, and reproduction. Even more recently, studies have identified systems in which animals that are exposed to a toxin have acquired gut bacteria that confer resistance to the animal host. I am particularly interested in ammonia, a chemical that is toxic in high concentrations to most animals. All life on earth requires nitrogen, yet the multi-step nitrogen cycle relies primarily on bacteria to carry out steps […]

China Ruiz

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In September 2016, Governor Jerry Brown passed a bill that called for the implementation of an Ethnic Studies program in California public high schools. This moment follows decades of student-led movements fighting for a culturally relevant education. The implementation of this bill necessitates an examination of the ways current Ethnic Studies curriculums are being practiced. As Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales alerted us to in Toward an Ethnic Studies Pedagogy, this celebration comes with an urgency to address Ethnic Studies pedagogies given the number of teachers who will be placed in these classroom […]