2016-2017 Undergraduate Research Grant Recipients

Nasim Abedelwahab

Nasim Abedelwahab
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Ramesh Guduru

Research: Supercapacitors from Recycled Industrial Mill Scale Waste

Abstract: The steel industries produce metal oxide based waste materials during the manufacturing processes, known as mill scale, which are of a grave concern from the environmental pollution point of view due to the lack of recycling options. The composition of mill scales are similar to the metal oxide based supercapacitor electrodes, and therefore, in this project, we will investigate the mill scale for supercapacitor electrode applications. The mill scale based supercapacitors will be tested for electrochemical performance and then compared with the commercial supercapacitors. This project will have a positive impact on reducing mill scale waste and environmental pollution.


 

Aleksander Allen

Aleksander Allen
Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Weihang Zhu and Dr. Hassan Zargarzadeh

Reseach: Design and Improvement of a 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand

Abstract: The objective is to design and improve a 3D printed prosthetic hand, which can be used to replace a lost hand, or help stroke survivors in restoring hand functions through rehabilitation exercises. The mentor’s group has developed a prosthetic hand with rotational motors and steel tendons which had the shortcomings of slow movement, low torque, and material fatigue. To overcome these problems, this project will attempt to design and improve a new prosthetic hand with linear motors and Kevlar tendons. This project will eventually help millions of people in US and world suffering motor disability from neurological diseases.


 

Isaac Angeron

(not pictured)

Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Keivan Davami

Research: Design and Fabrication of 3D Printed Metamaterials as Energy Absorbers for Head Injury Protection

Abstract: There are many improvements that can be made to the modern day helmets that are used everyday by people such as motorcyclists. The focus of this proposal is to find an alternative to the materials used today that would increase the effectiveness of the helmet by enabling it to withstand high-velocity impacts without compromising its ability to dampen low-velocity impacts effectively. The materials that will be the focus of the research will be 3D printed mechanical metamaterials made of polymer. Metamaterials are artificial structures which get their properties from their structure rather than their composition. This material will provide better and more broad protection than commonly used helmets today.


 

 

Lindsey Antley, Karen Corbello, Sidney Onwuharonye & Tanasha Slack

(Not Pictured)

Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Mentor: Dr. M. Diane Clark

Research: Black Deaf Individual and Interpreters as Allies: An Autobiographical Project

Abstract: Black Deaf individuals are doubly oppressed, excluded from African American culture because of being deaf and excluded from Deaf culture because they are black.  The research regarding Black Deaf individuals is extremely limited.  Given this lack of knowledge; two Black Deaf ASL students and two white interpreting students are analyzing how Black Deaf individuals make meaning in their lives and how interpreters function to become allies for their clients, peers, and friends who are Black Deaf.  The project is using an autoethnographic methodology to create a counter narrative that places Black Deaf individuals at the center of the story.


 

Quaid Campbell

Quaid Campbell
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Ramesh K. Guduru

Research: Hydrophobic Structural Steels

Abstract: Structural (mild) steels are extensively used in many applications, including bridges, suspension springs, and automobile bodies etc. These steels have a problem of corrosion upon exposure to moisture/humid conditions, thereby weakening the structures. In this project, the hydrophobic surfaces on the structural steels will be developed by creating micro and nanostructured rough surfaces through chemical etching process, minimizing the contact angle between water and steel surfaces because of the air entrapped between the nanostructures and the water droplet. This allows water to slide off the surface with minimal resistance. These hydrophobic structural steels are expected to last longer in corroding environments.


Kirby Clayton

Kirby Clayton
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Chun-Wei Yao

Research: Investigation of Enhanced Water Harvesting of Superhydrophobic Nanostructured Surfaces

Abstract: Examples of global climate change have become increasingly more apparent in today's world, and is presently one of the biggest problems society is facing.  As the average international temperature continues to rise, accessing fresh water for individual and agricultural use proves to be progressively more problematic.  The goal of this project is to fabricate and characterize superhydrophobic nanostructured surfaces to study the underlying physical mechanisms responsible for enhanced water harvesting. If successful, nanostructured surfaces will be used in a portable atmospheric water generator which could extract water from humid ambient air.


Brooke Cleveland and Kelsey Burt

Kelsey Burt and Brooke Cleveland
Speech-Language Pathology, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Mentor: Dr. Nandhu Radhakrishnan

Research: Early Detection and Intervention of Voice Problems in School Teachers

Abstract: Voice problems are common among professional voice users. Teachers, singers, politicians, and sales representatives are some of the professionals in this category. Vocal health is crucial for these people to perform their job. School teachers are the most commonly seen population in a voice clinic. Early detection and intervention can help teachers prevent voice disorders and save their job. This project intends to identify school teachers developing a voice problem and implement a group therapy regimen. Voice analysis will be performed before and after therapy to study the efficacy of the intervention program.


Christian Dao

Christian Dao
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Keivan Davami

Research: Scalable Fabrication of Strong Lightweight Plate Metamaterials

Abstract: Strong and lightweight materials are a premium in engineering with a wide range of applications such as in aerospace and automotive industries, solar cells, etc. Nanoscale mechanical metamaterials are the most recent development in the ongoing quest for strong and lightweight materials.  Their unusual mechanical properties are attributed to their geometry and hierarchical design as well as the concept of “smaller is stronger” where materials at nanoscale become stronger. Fabrication of nanoscale mechanical metamaterials at macroscale is facing a great challenge due to their usually complex geometries and fabrication method limitations. In this proposal we take advantage of 3D printing and thin film deposition to manufacture nanoscale plate mechanical metamaterials that are nanoscale in thickness and macroscale in their lateral dimensions.


 

Alec Defeo

Alec Defeo
Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Roland Barbosa

Research: Preparation of Copper-Manganese Catalysts for Methanol Steam Reforming

Abstract: Hydrogen is considered the clean fuel for the future but the difficulties of its distribution and storage thwarts its widespread use. An approach to circumvent these problems is the use of methanol as a hydrogen source via on-board reformers. Cu-Mn catalysts have superior activity and thermal stabilities for this process. In this work, CuMn-based catalysts will be prepared via oxalate co-precipitation and subsequent thermal decomposition. Modification on the relative amounts of metal precursors, gas environments and decomposition rates will be done to determine its effect that will allow us to design of an optimized CuMn-based catalysts for methanol steam reforming.


Stephanie DeMeyer

Stephanie DeMeyer
American Sign Language & Corporate Communication, College of Fine Arts and Communication

Mentor: Dr. M. Diane Clark and Dr. Natalie T.J. Tindall

Research: PSA: The importance of a second hearing screening for infants

Abstract: More than 50% of infants who are suspected to have a hearing loss are lost to follow-up. This project will focus on identifying the barriers, constraints and questions that expectant mothers may have regarding hearing loss, Deafness and language development. This research will use focus groups to obtain data that will be the basis for a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about the importance of follow-up hearing screenings. A second series of focus groups will be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the PSAs.


John Ellis

John Ellis
Computer Information Systems, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Kami Makki

Research: An Investigation of Successful Information Technology Practices for Non-Profit Organizations and Small Businesses (Based on Findings from DCI-Member Drum & Bugle Corps Programs)

Abstract: Drum Corps International, a nonprofit organization in Indianapolis, Indiana annually hosts educational clinics and performance events for students in the United States and beyond. Its main function is an annual summer tour featuring over 42 drum & bugle corps from across the country (also nonprofit programs). This research will observe how the participating organizations successfully assess the challenges of mobility, data security, and digital communication posed by the DCI summer tour through their IT infrastructures. These findings will provide information on how other nonprofits and small businesses can use information-communication-technology solutions that are effective, efficient, and cost-effective.


Shelby Garbee

Shelby Garbee
Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Education & Human Development

Mentor: Dr. Mamta Singh

Research: Elementary Pre-Service Teachers and Renewable Energy Education

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate knowledge and attitudes of elementary pre-service teachers towards renewable energy resources. Participants will be students enrolled in the College of Education and Human Development. Content knowledge pre-posttests and energy attitude survey will be used to measure the research objectives. As a result of this study, elementary pre-service teachers will be educated on renewable energy resources and will also be able to develop energy related lesson plans that will be taught in elementary classroom.


Federico Gasbarri

Frederico Gasbarri
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Keivan Davami

Research: Design and Fabrication of a Vapor-Liquid-Solid Growth System for the Synthesis of One-Dimensional Nanostructures

Abstract: Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century as a result of burning fossil fuels to produce energy. As awareness about environmental issues is spreading, the necessity of green energy production becomes clearer every day. Thermoelectric devices without moving parts can convert thermal energy from a temperature gradient into electrical energy which makes them attractive for clean energy harvesting.  This research aims to building up a nanowire growth system for the synthesis of alloy nanowires that have shown a significant potential for thermoelectric energy conversion. This system will allow the user to adjust various properties of nanowires by simply manipulating the growth temperature and nanowire alloys. In addition to energy conversion devices, such one-dimensional nanostructures can be incorporated in a wide range of applications.


Amina Gibic

Amina Gibic
Advertising & Marketing, College of Business

Mentor: Dr. Vivek Natarajan, Dr. Kabir Chandra Sen & Dr. Nandhu Radhakrishnan

Research: Fast and Last: An experimental vocal analysis of forming of risks versus appeals in tobacco and alcohol consumer television ads

Abstract: Advertisements promoting tobacco and alcohol products have been and continue to be a controversial topic. In particular, critics argue that advertising of these products causes cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, especially among teenagers. However, research evidence over the past 40 years from an array of disciplines including economics, marketing, communications, and psychology indicates that advertising is not a significant casual influence on initiation behavior. Rather, family, friends, and peers are the primary influencers when it comes to the usage of tobacco and alcohol products. However, the certain manner in which these advertisements for harmful substances are crafted – undermining risks and highlighting the selling proposition – may indeed be influencing consumers.


 

John Gust

John Gust
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Keivan Davami & Dr. Ali Beheshti

Research: Two-dimensional Phase Changes: Synthesis and Characterization of Atomically-Thin Diamond Films from Few-Layer Graphene

Abstract: The gemological and industrial applications of diamond and the cost of natural diamonds have created immense demand for synthetic bulk and thin film diamond.  Diamond thin films have potential uses in numerous applications such as cutting tools, electronic cooling, etc. due to their exceptional electronic, optical, mechanical, and thermal properties. Graphene-to-diamond phase transformations have undergone extensive theoretical study, but experimental reports are limited. Thus, further research into novel synthesis methods and characterization of synthesized diamond films is required.  This research will focus on chemical transformation of graphene to diamond thin films and determination of their atomic structures and mechanical properties.


 

Andrew Hunt

Andrew Hunt
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Ali Beheshti

Research: Nanoparticles as Lubricant Additives for Friction Reduction in Internal Combustion Engines

Abstract: Friction is the main cause of power and efficiency loss in the form of unnecessary heat, wear, and system failure in almost every mechanical system, especially the internal combustion engine. All of this leads to costly repair and operational inconvenience. These issues call for modern methodologies to reduce friction as much as possible especially in view of current concerns about fossil fuel and materials consumption as well as their environmental effects. The proposed research seeks to investigate the effect of dispersing nanoparticles into oil on friction reduction in the most important piece of the powertrain; the internal combustion engine.


Julia Lin

Julia Lin
Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Helen Lou

Research: A Novel Methodology for Inherent Safety Assessment in the Process Design Stage

Abstract: Safety is an important concern in manufacturing processes, aiming to design a low hazard, environmentally friendly and sustainable environment. This research introduces the Comprehensive Inherent Safety Index, an object-oriented approach to quantify process safety in the early design stage, to evaluate equipment safety scores for individual units based on three factors: chemical, process, and connectivity. Two case studies, biodiesel and methyl methacrylate production will be analyzed using the Aspen Plus software. The results will be used to compare the two processes based on inherent safety and can serve as an aid to identifying areas for improvement in a root-cause analysis.


Yuangao Liu & Rachel Thompson

Yuangao Liu
Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Ian Y. Lian

Research: Development of Novel Cancer Migration Assay Platform for Drug Screening Applications

Abstract: The combined phases of basic science research, animal testing and clinical trials for drug development often cost more than a billion dollar and over ten years to complete. One major reason for the inefficiencies and costs is the limitation of cell-based assays. We will conduct a time-lapsed study to quantify the toxicity and efficacy of novel pharmacological agents with the goal of developing an innovative cell-based drug screening protocol. The metastatic potential of the cancer cells will be measured using cancer-migration assay under a physiological relevant microenvironment. The results will be analyzed for differences in the effectiveness of one and a combination of nanoparticles agents, extent of anti-tumor properties, and cancer cell selectivity against healthy cells.  


Qiuyi Ma

Qiuyi Ma
Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Harley Myler

Research: Autonomous Robotic Remediation of the Invasive Red Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta)

Abstract: The invasive red fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) has been an ecological threat since introduction to the US in the late 1930’s. The current use of chemical (pesticide) remediation techniques is considered effective but potentially damaging. The ant is also a threat to indigenous species, most notably the Texas Horned Lizard, and is credited with being the primary reason for
deteriorating populations of this species. This research will focus on challenges associated with the autonomous operation and control of a robot capable of killing fire ants by photonic heating that is environmentally responsible in energy conservation and impact to the ecosystem.


Hostin May

(not pictured)

Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Matthew Hoch

Research: Effect of Sea Surface Temperature on Microbiomes of Corals in Seagrass Habitats of Belize

Abstract: Global warming is detrimental to seagrass meadows and coral reefs that protect and provide resources to tropical coastal communities. Small increases in sea surface temperature (SST) can initiate disease processes in corals that may lead to death. The microbiome of some reef corals can change in response to SST rise, favoring growth of coral pathogens. But does this happen in corals of seagrass meadows which experience greater SST ranges than on the reef? To address this, microbiomes of common corals from seagrass habitats of contrasting local SST ranges will be characterized using targeted metagenomics and analyzed for coral pathogens.


 

Caitlin McAlister

Caitlyn McAlister
History, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Bryan Proksch

Research: Sousa’s Correspondence and Business Papers

Abstract: John Philip Sousa was an important composer and bandmaster as well as an early celebrity in American popular music. Yet despite his standing, virtually all of the primary source materials relating to his life remain unpublished and relatively unknown. The present proposal funds archival research at the University of Texas at Austin, which holds a substantial part of Sousa’s professional correspondence that remains unexamined some 80 years after his death. This proposal seeks funding to examine the materials from an interdisciplinary perspective (both as a history major and a music minor) in a way that will produce presentable and publishable research as part of a larger effort in support of continuing my studies in graduate school.


Amy Morris

Amy Morris
Studio Art - Painting, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Mentor: Dr. Donna Meeks & Mr. Kurt Dyrhaug

Research: Encaustic Wax Painting Research

Abstract: Encaustic is an ancient Greek painting technique using hot wax and pigments. It is most famously known for use in Egyptian funerary portraits, arguably the most well-preserved paintings in antiquity. The qualities of wax also bring sculptural depth, texture, and volume to a painting as no other medium can. I encountered encaustics upon viewing an Egyptian funeral portrait display at the Menil Collection in Houston last fall. Since then, I have looked into the current uses of encaustics in painting. My research is geared to cultivate a technical understanding of different encaustic techniques for integration into my current artwork.


 

Caroline Nwandu

Caroline Nwandu
Biochemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. P. Chandrasekaran

Research: Removal of toxic mercury ions from polluted water using thioether sacrificial ligands

Abstract: Mercury and its compounds are toxic. Mercury species are introduced into water sources by industrial processes, or through bioalkylation of inorganic mercury catalyzed by metalloenzymes. Over the years, several adsorption materials and membranes were developed for mercury removal from contaminated water, however they have limitations. We are proposing to develop alternative efficient solvent extraction method for mercury ion removal from higher concentrated industrial wastewater is using thioether sacrificial ligands. Extracted mercury complexes in organic phase can be converted into less toxic inorganic mercury compounds thermal decomposition.


Emily Ochoa

Emily Ochoa
Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Dr. Cengiz Sen

Research: An implementation of Perl scripting language as a wrapper in simulations of manganese oxides

Abstract: Study of manganese oxides (also called manganites), materials where a manganese ion is shared with oxygen ions, requires simulations of realistic microscopic models that include spin, phonon, and electronic degrees of freedom[1]. Recent results
using a cool-down algorithm, where the temperature is lowered in a controlled manner as the simulation progresses, have been published before[2]. However, the effects of slowly increasing the temperature are yet to be investigated. In this
manuscript, I propose a warm-up (temperature increase) algorithm to be written in Perl scripting language, which will be used as a front-end for the simulations and test the results of the cool-down method.


Sidney Onwuharonye, Tanasha Slack, Lindsay Antley & Karen Corbello

Tanasha Slack and Sidney Onwuharonye
American Sign Language, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Mentor: Dr. M. Diane Clark

Research: Black Deaf Individual and Interpreters as Allies: An Autobiographical Project

Abstract: Black Deaf individuals are doubly oppressed, excluded from African American culture because of being deaf and excluded from Deaf culture because they are black.  The research regarding Black Deaf individuals is extremely limited.  Given this lack of knowledge; two Black Deaf ASL students and two white interpreting students are analyzing how Black Deaf individuals make meaning in their lives and how interpreters function to become allies for their clients, peers, and friends who are Black Deaf.  The project is using an autoethnographic methodology to create a counter narrative that places Black Deaf individuals at the center of the story.


Aaron Phillips

Aaron Phillips
Mathematics & Physics, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. P.J. Couch

Research: Thor Sequences as a Platform for Interaction Between Relations and Their Components

Abstract: A graph G = (V,E,F) where V is the vertex set, E is the edge set, and F assigns a pair of vertices to each edge. Given a set of vertex weights, a Thor sequence T is a sequence of graphs on n vertices and m edges such that the vertex weights of G induce the edge-weights of G1, the first term in the sequence, which induces the vertex-weights of G2, the second term, and so on. This research focuses on determining the properties of these sequences.


Fredrick Ryans

Fredrick Ryans
Computer Information Science, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Sujing Wang

Research: Improved K-means Clustering Algorithm on Hadoop for Big Data Analysis

Abstract: Big Data introduces several computational challenges. Due to the increased workload to process large data, and the speed of which new data are created. It is extremely difficult to process large-scale data on a single computer. However, Hadoop has provided an efficient technique to address the challenges that Big Data presents. Hadoop uses MapReduce, a programming paradigm, to effectively handle large data by dividing the data into a manageable size to be process by multiple computers in a parallel fashion. Thus, this project will focus on improving a MapReduce-based Clustering algorithm for Big Data analysis.


Tanasha Slack, Sidney Onwuharonye, Lindsay Antley & Karen Corbello

Tanasha Slack and Sidney Onwuharonye
American Sign Language, College of Fine Arts & Communication

Mentor: Dr. M. Diane Clark

Research: Black Deaf Individual and Interpreters as Allies: An Autobiographical Project

Abstract: Black Deaf individuals are doubly oppressed, excluded from African American culture because of being deaf and excluded from Deaf culture because they are black.  The research regarding Black Deaf individuals is extremely limited.  Given this lack of knowledge; two Black Deaf ASL students and two white interpreting students are analyzing how Black Deaf individuals make meaning in their lives and how interpreters function to become allies for their clients, peers, and friends who are Black Deaf.  The project is using an autoethnographic methodology to create a counter narrative that places Black Deaf individuals at the center of the story.

Lauren Smith

(not pictured)

Nursing, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Pipkins

Research: Expressive Art and Stress Levels in Cancer Patients: A Mixed Methods Study

Abstract: Therapeutic work involving holistic complementary alternative therapies are utilized to calm and balance the mind, body, and spirit. Research suggests art therapy may improve quality of life and patient vitality (Hattori et al., 2011). An outcome of the positive effects on the human autonomic nervous system is enhanced relaxation (Heuberger et al., 2001). Art therapy has been researched for the positive effects of decreased biophysical markers (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels). Stress is a common psychological factor that affects physiological factors in cancer patients.


 

Rachel Thompson & Yuangao Liu

Yuangao Liu
Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering

Mentor: Ian Y. Lian

Research: Development of Novel Cancer Migration Assay Platform for Drug Screening Applications

Abstract: The combined phases of basic science research, animal testing and clinical trials for drug development often cost more than a billion dollar and over ten years to complete. One major reason for the inefficiencies and costs is the limitation of cell-based assays. We will conduct a time-lapsed study to quantify the toxicity and efficacy of novel pharmacological agents with the goal of developing an innovative cell-based drug screening protocol. The metastatic potential of the cancer cells will be measured using cancer-migration assay under a physiological relevant microenvironment. The results will be analyzed for differences in the effectiveness of one and a combination of nanoparticles agents, extent of anti-tumor properties, and cancer cell selectivity against healthy cells. 


 

Julian VanDevender

Julian VanDevender
Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Education & Human Development

Mentor: Dr. Julia Yoo

Research: The Effect of Cooperative Learning in High School: Student Learning Achievement and Motivation and Challenges from Teachers

Abstract: 

This study will examine the effect of cooperative learning among teachers and students in core departments in a southeast Texas regional high school. Surveys and observations will be used to collect the data from both teachers and students. The aim of the research is to investigate the relationship between teacher competencies for cooperative learning and student learning achievement and motivation. Data will be collected through surveys, and observation. Also, student learning outcomes will be collected. In order to see the effect of cooperative learning, multiple regression analyses will be used. For the observation data, qualitative data coding will be used.

An Vo

An Vo
Psychology, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Jeremy A. Shelton

Research: Biometric Analysis of Ego Depletion

Abstract: The resource model of ego depletion states self-control is a limited resource that is depleted after a period of exertion. Recent research, however, questions what the actual “resource” is that powers self-control and is supposedly depleted with repeated use. The limited resource model indicates blood glucose is the limited resource, whereas, the process model indicates dopamine (produced via intrinsic motivation) is the resource and is not limited. The proposed research project will explore this controversy by testing whether ego-depletion produces measurable biometric changes (i.e., reduced blood glucose levels and evoked pupillary responses).


Suzanne Wheeler

Suzanne Wheeler
Physics, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Cristian Bahrim

Research: Finding the Composition of Selected Medical Plants using Spectroscopy of Absorption

Abstract: Spectroscopy of absorption is the field of optics where we analyze the light absorbed by various media. This method is difficult because it requires the subtraction of weak photon signals from a strong background light. We intend to analyze the absorption spectra of various medicines and medical plants in three settings: (1) embedded into a Planck radiation produced by flames; (2) in commercial teas (solid substances boiled in water); (3) in solutions using plants from our area.  The purpose of this research is finding similar light patterns of chemicals in medical plants and teas, as well as in selected over-the-counter medicines for suggesting alternative cures.


Eric Yeager

Eric Yeager
Biology, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Ashwini Kucknoor

Research: Investigation of inflammatory response of prostate cancer cells to stimulation by Trichomonas vaginalis

Abstract: Trichomonas vaginalis (Tv) is a protozoan parasite that causes Trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted disease in humans. This organism is capable of penetrating the mucosal lining of the genital epithelium. But, many people, especially men, show no symptoms of having this STD. Studies have shown that long term hoarding of the pathogen has been linked to prostate cancer. Tv has been found in patient tissue of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and is suggested to cause chronic prostatitis. The aim of this proposal is to investigate whether Tv induces inflammatory responses in prostate epithelial cell lines that promotes indefinite cell growth and proliferation. Understanding the inflammatory responses will shed light on the molecular mechanism of pathogenesis of this parasite, and will provide potential targets for chemotherapy.


 

Christopher York

Christopher York
Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences

Mentor: Dr. Valentin V. Andreev

Research: Optimizing Inferential Basis for Determination of Kinase Inhibitor Selectivity

Abstract: As the heterogeneous nature of cancer began to emerge, scientists started advocating molecular therapies based on a multi-pronged attack on tumors; of central clinical importance then is whether the derived clinical impact is likely to have side effects. Zhang and Fernandez have shown that the binding of a kinase against a set of inhibitors is highly correlated to the structural information of the kinase. It was then discovered that knowing the interaction between a small subset of kinases suffices to determine the specificity of a given inhibitor. Using current information on kinase inhibitors, we intend to optimize the basis of kinases for determining inhibitor selectivity.


Category: Grant Recipients