Undergraduate Research Symposium 2020

Poster 137: Susanna Tang – High-Temperature Kinetics of Single Graphite and Graphene Nanoparticles Using Nanoparticle Mass Spectrometry (NPMS)

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Faculty mentor: Scott Anderson
With the Nanoparticle Mass Spectrometry (NPMS) method, individual nanoparticles (NPs) can be trapped and we can determine single nanoparticle’s mass, charge, and thermal emission spectra with precision. We can monitor mass vs. time at various temperatures and conditions, and determine sublimation, oxidation, and growth rates of graphite and graphene NPs. This allows for understanding of NP reaction kinetics and how NP surfaces change.
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Poster 36: Xintong Liu – Comparison of Centralized and Decentralized Features Exchange in Federated Learning

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Faculty mentor: Mingyue Ji
Our research investigates the feasibility of the decentralized features exchange training approach in federated learning in comparison with the centralized approach. We also emphasize on the privacy protection ability of the training model and simulate the training process by using TensorFlow with Keras package.
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Poster 107: Hayley Lind – Spatial Variation of Starch and Sugars in Ponderosa Pine

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Faculty mentor: Rich Fiorella
Starch and sugar concentrations, along with oxygen and carbon isotope ratios, can tell us what information about precipitation patterns gets recorded in tree rings. We have performed analysis on ponderosa pine trees from two places, one site in Arizona and one in Utah, to see how spatial precipitation variations impact tree growth and water use.
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Poster 82: Adam Dickson – Effects of Farnesyltransferase Inhibitors on Endothelial Cell Function in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM)

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Faculty mentor: Anthony Donato
Elucidating the effects of FTI Lonafarnib as a potential therapeutic treatment for CCM by increasing endothelial cell resistance and decreasing permeability to reduce capillary vessel “leakage.” We used a mouse model and immunocytochemistry, as well as, CT scan analysis and ECIS measuring to visualize the effects of Lonafarnib treated cells.
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Poster 132: Christopher Nielson – Bond Dissociation Energies of Early Transition Metal Borides

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Faculty mentor: Michael Morse
Bond dissociation energies are a property that is crucial to our understanding of chemical processes. These can be difficult to measure in transition metal species due to the complexity of their electronic structure. This has led to a lack of experimental data. This research focused on group 3-5 diatomic transition metal borides, and presents the first measured bond energies of these species. Quantum calculations were also performed to deduce, where possible, the ground state of these molecules.
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Oral 3: AJ Bull – Robotic Grasp Control using Tactile Feedback

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Faculty mentor: Tucker Hermans
Using a robot hand with tactile sensing, I was able to control the hand in a way that automatically targeted appropriate grasp strength for objects and adjusted the hand position accordingly.
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Poster 99: Kayla Navarro – Cerebral Small Vessel Disease and Right Heart Dysfunction: Preliminary Data

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Faculty mentor: Adam de Havenon
To quantitatively investigate whether worsened right-heart dysfunction is associated with worse cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD).
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Poster 46: David Whittaker – Phase Change of Niobium Carbide through High-Temperature Annealing

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Faculty mentor: Dinesh Shetty
Niobium carbide (NbC) has the potential to overtake tungsten carbide as an ultra wear-resistant material, which is used industrially in earth-drilling (bits) and in manufacturing (tools and dies). While possessing comparable hardness and fracture toughness, NbC is less dense, non-toxic, and could offer up to twice the wear-time while in use. This research explores one NbC compound through high-temperature annealing at different lengths of time in order to find optimal mechanical properties.
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Poster 27: Andrew Falkowski – Quantifying Uncertainty in Bulk Modulus 
Predictions Using Bayesian Neural Networks

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Faculty mentor: Taylor Sparks
Machine learning is being used in materials science to accelerate the design and discovery of novel materials for advanced applications. Two Bayesian neural networks were developed to quantify uncertainty in predicting bulk modulus. These were shown to perform well compared with traditional ML approaches and accurately calculate uncertainty. This research is valuable to experimentalists who rely on uncertainty estimates to make informed decisions when synthesizing new materials.
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Poster 38: Soren Nelson – Optics-free imaging of QR codes with Deep Learning

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Faculty mentor: Rajesh Menon
We examine optics-free imaging of QR codes by training Artificial Neural Networks to interpret the raw sensor data. We use an image sensor to take images of the QR codes displayed on a monitor. These are used as input to train the Artificial Neural Network to reconstruct the original QR code or classify it by the first character of its encoding. We test the robustness of the reconstruction systems with various colors, and changes in the gap, translation, and rotation of the sensor.
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Poster 90: Ria Kaddu – Intrauterine Growth Restriction and Supplemental DHA Alter Rat Hepatic Histone Methylation

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Faculty mentor: Lisa Joss-Moore
My project examines the sex-divergent pattern of histone methylation in IUGR rats. Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), or the inability of the fetus to achieve its full growth potential, dysregulates circulating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the fetus and neonate. DHA is a fatty acid important for development in the neonate. IUGR dysregulates hepatic function and one-carbon metabolism. This project aims to understand how IUGR and supplemental DHA alter hepatic histone methylation in the rat.
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Poster 120: Jacob Capener – How Does GRK2 Control The Hedgehog Pathway in Development and Cancer?

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Faculty mentor: Benjamin Myers
The role of GRK2 in the Hedgehog pathway is unknown despite the fact that it is necessary for pathway activation. My project seeks to illuminate GRK2’s activity within the Hedgehog Pathway through mutational analysis of phosphorylation sites in cell culture and zebrafish.
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Poster 62: Erica Hill – Play and Language Development in Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Faculty mentor: Stacy Manwaring
In typical development, young children’s play is linked with several critical developmental areas including language. Research examining the play of preschoolers with developmental delays including Autism Spectrum disorder has revealed differences in the play of these children, however very little is known about the play of toddlers with delays. This project examines the play of 18-month-old toddlers with language delay with and without ASD outcomes compared to their typically developing peers.
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Poster 77: Kishan Bhakta – CRIPTO Antagonist ALK4L75A-Fc Inhibits Breast Cancer Cell Adaptation to Stress, Tumor Growth and Metastasis

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Faculty mentor: Benjamin Spike
CRIPTO has been shown to exert its effects through binding to GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein 78. We hypothesize that glucose deprivation and other stressors coincide with an increased localization of GRP78 to the cell-surface in breast cancer cells and that a novel blockade protein ALK4L75A-Fc can inhibit the promotion of oncogenic events (including proliferation, EMT, and increased stem cell-like phenotypes) that occur as a functional consequence of a CRIPTO induced signaling cascade.
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Poster 145: Michael Broughton – Monitoring Small Mammal Populations at Utah Bottoms

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Faculty mentor: Isaac Hart
As human activity continues to affect ecosystems across the world, it is important to study and understand the ecosystems that have yet to be substantially disturbed by human activity. In this study, I aim to obtain an accurate census of the local rodent population along the Dolores River Corridor of the Colorado Plateau to identify the relationships they have with their local ecosystem. I census the rodent populations by live-trapping in different microhabitats and seasons.
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Poster 5: Brynn Adams – Queer Resilience in Action: The History of an LGBT Student Club at Brigham Young University

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Faculty mentor: Claudia Geist
An oral history of BYU’s queer students and queer organization, USGA, through the voices of its eight past and current presidents.
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Poster 116: Galen Bergsten – Probing Explosive Enrichment via Supernova Remnants

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Faculty mentor: Gail Zasowski
One pathway in the lifecycle of a star is the supernova, when a star explodes and becomes so bright it can outshine a galaxy. By exploring the structures these explosions left behind, supernova remnants (SNRs) can tell us about the complex processes involved in the chemical enrichment of the Milky Way. This project uses infrared starlight that passes through SNRs to identify an emission feature characteristic of material within a remnant.
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Oral 1: Matthew Froberg – Security Design in Markets with Risk: Price and Allocational Efficiencies

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Faculty mentor: Elena Asparouhova
This research examines the impact of security design on the allocational efficiency of markets. Security design is the correlation between financial securities in the market. In financial experiments, participants are endowed with financial securities that have uncertain payoffs as well as some cash and then they trade the risky assets amongst each other. The focus of this project is to induce positive, negative, and zero correlation between the assets and see how trading outcomes change.
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Poster 7: Alexander Hirai – Loss Associated with Japanese American Incarceration

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Faculty mentor: Annie Fukushima
My project focuses on the loss associated with Japanese American incarceration during WWII. Specifically, how the archives at the University of Utah spoke about incarceration, and how those who make up these collections felt about their experience in camps and life afterwards.
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Oral 20: Jackson Turner – Computation of Eigenfunctions on Various Domains

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Faculty mentor: Elena Cherkaev
The purpose of this research is to better understand the eigenfunctions that satisfy the time-independent Shrodinger Equation for a stationary particle in various restricted domains in two dimensions and on a range of energy levels. We researched a specific method, referred to as the “expansion method” to calculate the eigendata of these domains.
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Poster 96: Syrenna Lisonbee – Evaluating Executive Functioning in Older Adults with the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test

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Faculty mentor: Robert Welsh
Previous studies have shown that the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure test can be used to evaluate drawing organization on a visuospatial plane. This study aims to examine if organizational strategies used by older adults on the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test are associated with neuropsychological measures related to executive functioning. This study was conducted using a multivariate regression analysis, controlling for age, sex, and education.
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Poster 91: Ayesha Khan – A Comparison of Cryoballoon Ablation Techniques For Atrial Fibrillation Treatment

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Faculty mentor: Ravi Ranjan
Cryothermal ablation techniques were compared in regard to treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). AFib is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia in the U.S. and the most common cause of fatal cardiac diseases. Successful ablation is measure by the isolation or amount of chronic scar created around pulmonary veins in the left atrium. Two ablation techniques were compared: freeze-thaw-freeze and single freeze. LGE-MRIs of 25 human patients were analyzed to compare both ablative methods.
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Poster 68: Maia Southwick – The Experience of Feeling Heard in Conflict Across Relationships

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Faculty mentor: Monisha Pasupathi
This project sought to answer the question, “Are different types of relationships related to different factors that make us feel heard in conflict?” Using participant responses collected from an online survey, results showed that across relationships, people feel heard in conflict when they feel understood, get what they want, and show that they understand others; however, being able to repair was related to contributing more to feeling heard in conflicts with peers as opposed to parents.
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Poster 22: Jake Collins – Cellular Communications for Utility Distribution Network Assets

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Faculty mentor: Masood Parvania
A cellular router is used to transmit data from a control center to field assets through an IPsec tunnel. Transmission occurs via a secure path inside an unsecure network. Data is routed using distributed network protocol (DNP) via ethernet and serial connection through a real-time automation controller (RTAC). The RTAC acts as a data concentrator to allow for multiple reclosers to be polled and operated remotely and efficiently through one hub.
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Poster 9: Jocelyne Lopez – Hablemos Salud

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Faculty mentor: Annie Fukuahima
Mental health is a serious topic, however members of the Latinx community don’t talk about it. Through my project I found that there are various reasons why but the most important one is lack of understanding. I wanted to give members of the community to gain an understanding through podcast recordings where hopefully they can take the information I provide to their community and families. Accessibility is a huge part in the lack of understanding and I hoped to make the information accessible.
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Poster 70: Henry Allen – Content Analysis: Newspaper Coverage of Colony Collapse Disorder

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Faculty mentor: Sara Yeo
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a widely reported phenomenon where commercial colonies of the European honeybee experience sudden and significant decline due to the loss of adult worker bees.
I conducted a content analysis exploring several ways that newspapers framed CCD.
I gathered a sample of CCD newspaper articles based on certain criterion, then combed each one for the presence (or lack of) for three variables: importance explanation, behavior promotion, and cause/fix responsibility.
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Poster 29: Sierra Freitas – Using Microspheres to Understand the Effect of Particle Geometry in Freeze Casting

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Faculty mentor: Steven Naleway
Freezer casting is a material fabrication process that employs ice crystals to create porous ceramic scaffolds. Most commonly, freeze cast scaffolds are created using irregularly shaped particle frit. For our project, we used irregularly shaped soda lime glass frit along with soda lime glass microspheres to create these freeze cast scaffolds. Using this frit, we created these scaffolds by freezing them using a copper rod and liquid nitrogen. From there, they were freeze dried, sintered and cut.
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Poster 166: Kristianna Radley – Searching for the Fountain of Ute: Childhood/Early Adulthood Neighborhoods and Longevity in Utah

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Faculty mentor: Ken Smith
How is your risk of mortality as an adult affected by your childhood or young adulthood neighborhood? We found that mortality risks vary based on an individual’s location residence in 1940. We explored individual and familial characteristics and interactions were analyzed as possible explanations for these spatial longevity differentials. We found that when controlling for individual and familial factors, childhood and young adult neighborhoods still contribute to adult mortality risk.
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Poster 31: Andrew Gunnell – Gait Analysis of Amputee Subjects While Wearing Microprocessor Knee Prostheses

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Faculty mentor: Tommaso Lenzi
My hypothesis is that by understanding how amputees walk on their passive prostheses, we can then improve the control strategies of powered prostheses. The limitations of passive knee prosthetics suggest that research in the area of powered prosthetics has the potential to provide a significant impact in improving amputee biomechanical symmetry by reducing the need for compensatory movements.
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Poster 14: Alex Son – Strengthening Communities

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Faculty mentor: Annie Fukushima
Strengthening Community: Sharing knowledge of Participatory Action Research from Cambodia to Utah
This research aimed to used auto-ethnographically data on PAR conducted in the Ratanakiri village to be compiled and shared to online medias for the Wat Buddhikaram temple community. The goals were to address the yearly declining population of community members attending events as well as the lack of engagement from the younger generation resulting in fears of the community’s future.
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Oral 14: Julia Vonessen – The Relationship Between Listener Attitudes and the Comprehension of Nonnative-Accented Speech

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Faculty mentor: Rachel Hayes-Harb
Native speakers often find it difficult to comprehend nonnative-accented speech and often exhibit negative attitudes toward nonnative speakers. This project examines the relationship between comprehension and listeners’ attitudes toward nonnative talkers and their accents. The study demonstrates the existence of a relationship between comprehension and attitudes toward particular nonnative-accented talkers, where more positive attitudes correspond to higher rates of comprehension.
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Poster 11: Tiya Mahi – Performance as Solidarity

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Faculty mentor: Hokulani Aikau
Indigenous peoples around the world are working toward regaining their culture, as well as, supporting others in their cultural resurgence endeavors. This support comes in many different forms. My research specifically focuses on how the mutual support of activism through performance between Kānaka Maoli and Native American peoples at Mauna a Wākea and Standing Rock is important and how this solidarity amplifies efforts toward breaking down colonial barriers.
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Poster 170: Kylie Shearer – Maternal Sensitivity to Distress Versus Nondistress as Predictor of Dysregulation in Infants

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Faculty mentor: Lee Raby
Sensitive caregiving is characterized as responsiveness to infant cues in a consistent and appropriate manner. Prior studies suggest that a mothers’ responsiveness to their child’s distress may foster their ability to appropriately self-regulate. This study aims to examine whether maternal sensitivity to distress versus nondistress cues at 7 months are uniquely associated with infant dysregulation at 18 months. Dysregulation early in life forecast problems later in life.
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Poster 47: Laura Ziegler – Imaging Thinly Myelinated White Matter Pathways

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Faculty mentor: Michael Pritz
To better understand the evolution of white matter pathways in the brain, we need to study the pathways in crocodilians. To study the pathways in crocodilians, we need to visualize thinly myelinated white matter pathways. We used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and tractography to visualize the white matter pathways in a crocodilian. This project demonstrates how DTI can be used to visualize thinly myelinated white matter pathways in the crocodilian brain.
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Poster 103: Rachel D’Agostini – Fabrication of an Electrocatalytic Ceramic Probe for Bacteria Destruction

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Faculty mentor: Krista Carlson
In this study, we used localized treatment using an electrocatalytic ceramic probe made of TiO2 nanotubular structures.The disinfection mechanism includes the production of oxidants due to applied voltages causing the defect of the TiO2 structures to undergo chemical reactions and leading to bacteria shredding. The disinfection of Staphylococcus Aureus was done through testing a range of voltages, 2-6 Volts, and a time range from 5- 90 seconds.
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Poster 18: Misha Bekeris – Block Copolymers and Nanosphere Lithography as a Bottom-Up Fabrication Tool for Nanoscale Particle Separation Arrays

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Faculty mentor: Roseanne Warren
The use of block copolymers and nanosphere lithography are explored as an alternate fabrication tool for creating deterministic lateral displacement particle separation arrays. Feasible process designs are created for these two methods and fabrication is attempted using nanospheres. A design of experiments is conducted on the nanosphere process to obtain more conformal nanobead coverage. Particle separation capabilities are analyzed via COMSOL Multiphysics.
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Poster 83: Lauren Ericksen – Altered Right Nucleus Accumbens and Right Insula Functional Connectivity: Sex by Chronic Pain Interaction

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Faculty mentor: Tiffany Love
Chronic pain is a condition that affects ~30% of the US population, and little is known about the underlying neurobiological mechanisms. In this study, we used resting state fMRI data to investigate the connectivity between the nucleus accumbens and other reward-related parts of the brain. We found that there is a sex by chronic pain status interaction between the right nucleus accumbens and right insula. This indicates that chronic pain may affect the role affect has in salience assignation.
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Poster 117: Maggie Brueggemeyer – Towards Identifying the Signaling Partner of Photoactive Yellow Protein

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Faculty mentor: Matthew Kieber-Emmons
Photoactive yellow protein (PYP), a light sensing protein found in Halorhodospira halophila, undergoes a unique structural change in response to blue light. PYP is believed to play a role in signaling the negative phototactic behavior of the bacteria; however, its signaling partner has not been identified. This work describes the adaptation of the Bacterial Adenylate Cyclase Two-Hybrid method to test the interactions of PYP with potential partner proteins and elucidate its signaling mechanism.
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Poster 45: Lia Westermann – Quantification of Hip Biomechanics in Collegiate Athletes at Risk for Developing Femoroacetabular Impingement Syndrome

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Faculty mentor: Joseph Mozingo
The overall objective of this study is to quantify the relationship between hip structure and hip function to reduce the prevalence of chronic hip pain in collegiate athletes who are at risk of developing FAI Syndrome. We wanted to be able to predict which athletes would develop FAI syndrome based on their hip shape.
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Oral 24: Tausoa Mulitalo – Polynesian Youth and their Polydimensional Experience within Native and Westernized Spaces: An Examination of Pacific Islander Youth and the Cultural Factors that Affect their Experience of Levels of Suicidal Ideologies and Cultural Shame

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Faculty mentor: Leilani Taholo
This presentation is focused on research that has been done on Pacific Islanders, the Pacific Islander culture, and Pacific Islander perspectives to examine the inequalities experienced among their youth within their native and westernized spaces. These factors help explain how Polyneisan youth experience levels of suicidal ideologies and cultural shame, and help identify what protective measures there are or that are needed in order to disrupt the shame and suicidal processes among the Pacific.
Watch my research presentation below.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: soamulitalo@gmail.com

View my Presentation Slides HERE 
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