Biomedical and Life Sciences Summer Fellowship – UROP Symposium

Biomedical and Life Sciences Summer Fellowship

A Look Into the Genetic Profile of Trees Impacted by the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident

Daniel Clevenger | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Daniel Clevenger and Lynn Carpenter

Nuclear power plant disasters provide unique opportunities to study the impacts of radiation on the environment, particularly to long-lived species. Trees typically live for decades and are potentially sensitive enough to retain a genetic signal of an environmental perturbation while being resilient enough to recover from minor exposures. These genetic signals occur through somatic mutations that happen throughout the tree’s lifetime…




Behavioral Effects of Network- Targeted Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (HD-tDCS) of the Cortical Visuomotor Grasping Circuit

Jordan Raschi | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Jordan Raschi, Elana Goldenkoff, Katy Michon, Michael Vesia

Voluntary motor control is mediated by functional connectivity in specific cortico-cortical pathways. The cortical prehension network is comprised of strongly interconnected parietal and frontal areas which control skilled hand movements. High-definition transcranial direct current stimulation (HD-tDCS), a low cost, well tolerated, new form of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), is capable of modulating neuroplasticity within targeted brain networks by manipulating neuronal firing patterns. However, the effects of targeted parieto-motor brain pathways and skilled motor performance have yet to be tested. The proposed study will examine whether network-targeted HD-tDCS can increase functional connectivity among distributed parietal and motor areas involved in action-related processes and concomitantly improve skilled hand movements…




Beyond Medicalization: Unexplored Themes in the Lived Experience of Epilepsy

Melanie Chen | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Melanie Chen, Megh Marathe




CanVaxKB: The first web-based cancer vaccine knowledge base and its data analysis

Chloe Darancou | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Chloe Darancou, Eliyas Asfaw, Asiyah Yu Lin, Siqi Li, Anthony Huffman, Bin Zhao, Farah Reyal, Edison, Zuoshuang Xiang, Yongqun He

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and has become a global public health problem. Cancer is the abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cells in the body caused by mutations of DNA within cells. In many cases cancer is characterized by the growth of a tumor within the body; however, in cancers such as Leukemias, a tumor is not always present. In recent years, there have been extensive studies experimenting with the concept of cancer vaccines. Cancer vaccines can either be used to prevent or treat cancer through injection of antigens or cancer cells, in order to stimulate an immune response in a patient…




CanVaxKB: Web-based Cancer Vaccine Database Development and Systematic Analysis

ekas | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Eliyas Asfaw, Chloe Darancou, Yongqun Oliver He

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and has become a global public health problem. Cancer is the abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cells in the body caused by mutations of DNA within cells. In many cases cancer is characterized by the growth of a tumor within the body; however, in cancers such as Leukemias, a tumor is necessarily present.




Coronavirus Vaccine Data Collection, Annotation, and Ontology Representation Analysis

Lauren Austin | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Lauren Austin, Anthony Huffman, Edison Ong, Yongqun He

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented public health concern which has made the rapid development of a safe and efficient vaccine essential. SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, is closely related to two other relevant beta-coronaviruses: SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Vaccines for these pathogens have been investigated in the past, thus providing a foundation for current SARS-CoV-2 vaccine research. We have collected information on 62 total vaccines for SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 using data obtained via literature search through PubMed. Information such as adverse events, immune response, and experimental model were entered into the Vaccine Investigation and Online Information Network (VIOLIN)…




Effects of Targeted Genetic Deletions on Long Bone Superstructure

Elijah Paparella | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Elijah Paparella, Connor C. Leek, and Megan Killian, Ph.D.

Bone superstructures are protrusions of various shapes and sizes which act as stable attachment sites for tendons and dissipate localized mechanical loads at the interface between muscle and bone. Recent studies have shown that these superstructures initiate during embryonic development from cellular signaling of a progenitor pool of cells and continue to grow during perinatal development in response to mechanical loading. The purpose of my research is to investigate how two novel genetic modifications in mice influence the size and shape of superstructures on long bones…




Health Equity Management Repository

Kennedy Rogers | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Kennedy Rogers; Elisabeth Michel, MPH; Ebbin Dotson, Ph.D., MHSA




Molecular features of therapeutic sensitive and resistant pancreatic cancer cells

Daeho Kim | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Daeho Kim, Zeribe C. Nwosu, Marina Pasca di Magliano

Background: Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. Gemcitabine is one of the main drugs used for pancreatic cancer therapy, and acts by disrupting DNA replication. However, some pancreatic cancer cell lines develop resistance to gemcitabine making the treatment ineffective. Here we aimed to determine molecular differences between gemcitabine resistant and sensitive cell lines.




Multichannel Carbon Fiber Electrode Arrays for Selective Stimulation and Recording of Sensory-Motor Signals in Peripheral Nerve Interfaces

Jagienka Timek | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Jagienka Timek, Dan C. Ursu, Paras G. Patel, Elissa Welle, Cynthia A. Chestek, Paul S. Cederna, Stephen W.P. Kemp

Advanced motorized prosthetic limbs are capable of fine multiple joint manipulations and possess the potential to emulate the intricate functions of the native extremity. Equipped with force or pressure sensors, these devices are also able to provide sensory information to the user. However, increasing a prosthetic’s manipulative degrees of freedom requires additional controlled inputs from the amputee in the form of electrical signals from severed nerves. The development of a reliable interface between amputee and a prosthetic device is therefore crucial for closing the motor-sensory feedback loop between human and machine. The Regenerative Peripheral Nerve Interface (RPNI) and Composite-RPNI (C-RPNI) are biologic nerve interfaces designed for stable integration of a prosthetic device with transected peripheral nerves in a residual limb…




Ontology-Based Classification and Analysis of Adverse Events Associated With the Usage of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine for Treating COVID-19 and Other Diseases

Jamie Ngai | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Jamie Ngai, Yongqun He

BACKGROUND: With the 2019 novel coronavirus, the world has been evaluating many already existing drugs for their efficacy in COVID-19 treatment and prophylaxis. Beginning late March 2020, two antimalarial quinoline drugs, hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate, have been approved for use to treat COVID-19 patients within a hospital setting. On June 15, the FDA revoked the emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 patients due to the significant risk of cardiac adverse events/effects (AEs).




POMC efferent neuronal projections: Insights into their distribution and complex physiological roles

Preetam Vupputuri | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Preetam Vupputuri, Surbhi Gahlot, Malcolm Low

The hypothalamus has been widely implicated in the regulation of an organism’s basic functions, namely food intake and energy homeostasis. With peripheral signaling being essential for communicating energy states and homeostatic requirements, the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (ARC) plays an important role in integrating these signals and relaying information to the rest of the central nervous system (CNS). The population of ARC proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons in particular, along with the agouti-related peptide (AgRP) neurons located next to them, have been shown to be critical in this process…




Social Media Comments on Influencer Profiles

Erica Williams | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Erica Williams, Ellen Selkie

Introduction: Social media is used almost globally and use can lead to numerous mental health consequences. Insecurity, depression, and even suicide have all been described in users of social media platforms. Most social media users do not realize the negative effects of using the platforms, only the excitement and attention it brings to their fingertips. Users who have been negatively affected by social media may continue to use it, in particular if they have a large following of other users. The purpose of this study is to describe the scope of influencer content and comments on Instagram. Influencers are the main subjects of this research because they are constantly posting content for their fans/ followers, openly accepting likes and comments from everyone’s point of view…




Targeting Glutamine Metabolism in Pancreatic Cancer

Ayush Trivedi | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Ayush Trivedi, Peter K. Kim, Costas A. Lyssiotis

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers with no effective therapies, and an overall five-year survival rate of 10%. One major obstacle against effective therapies is the tumor microenvironment, which can make up to 90% of the tumor cellularity. The tumor microenvironment is responsible for the high intratumoral pressure, which collapses the vasculature. This inhibits effective drug delivery and also leads to a nutrient-poor environment. To survive and proliferate in the austere tumor microenvironment, pancreatic cancer cell reprogram their metabolism. Thus, elucidating this metabolic rewiring could reveal metabolic vulnerabilities that may be targeted for therapy…




Utilizing Machine Learning for the Identification of Biomarkers and Potential Therapeutics to Mitigate Neuroinflammation following Intracortical Microelectrode Implantation

Jadan Law | Biomedical and Life Sciences

Jadan Law




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