Past SROP Scholars

Arturo Aldarondo Quinones

Arturo Aldarondo Quinones

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Kathleen Sluka
Project title
Establishing relationship between impedance and the best site for TENS treatment
Abstract

Strong relationships have being established between TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and pain relief for both acute and chronic pain conditions. TENS activates opioid receptors along the neural pathways in the brain and spinal cord. Increases pain thresholds have been demonstrated in healthy human subjects when using Pressure Pan Threshold as an outcome measure. With this relation established, we investigated if it made difference where we placed the electrodes for a 30 minute treatment to the right forearm.

Jaclyn Arencibia

Jaclyn Arencibia

Trinity College
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Daniel Tranel
Project title
The effects of damage to the basal ganglia and insula on subjective measures of smoking behavior in patients who quit smoking immediately post-stroke
Abstract

Nicotine addiction is a leading preventable disease and cause of death in the United States. Addressing the critical components that propagate the process of addiction could serve to bring about novel and innovative forms of treatment. Of particular interest is the role of the insula in modulating smoking addiction. A seminal study revealed that stroke patients with damage to the insula were able to quit smoking with ease and without urge. This disruption in smoking allowed them to remain abstinent to a greater extent than those with non-insula damage.

Angello Astorga

Angello Astorga

Ohio State University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Aaron Stump
Project title
Verified Abstract Machines
Abstract

Programming languages are essential for creating software products such as mobile applications, and computer programs. Although there are many powerful languages available, very few offer the ability to verify the correctness of the program. To ensure programs work correctly, programmers today use testing: they run the program on sample inputs or in sample scenarios, and confirm that the program produces the proper output or expected behavior.

Matthew Boddicker

Matthew Boddicker

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Anton Kruger
Project title
Radio Humidity Sensor
Abstract

Radios can be used as point sources of signal energy. Using this fact allows measurement of electromagnetic signal attenuation and delay due to a local environment. This project tests the idea of using small radios to measure changes in time of flight delay caused by air humidity.  By sending a simple message to a radio which echoes the message back, one can measure the time of flight. This will allow an indirect means of measuring water vapor in air. Our research measures delay using a frequency counter for precision.

John Bonilla Hernandez

John Bonilla Hernandez

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Laura Frey Law
Project title
Effects of acute strength and endurance training on co-activation patterns during a fatigue task
Abstract

Muscular co-activation is defined as opposing muscle activity (e.g. hamstring) when the main contracting muscle is active (e.g. quadriceps). This mechanism has been shown to stabilize joints and improve accuracy during voluntary movements. However, literary evidence suggests that muscular co-activation can speed up muscular fatigue and may be detrimental in people with joint-related injury or disease. In addition, some research has demonstrated that muscular co-activation increases during a fatiguing task.

Donald Brown

Donald Brown

Mississippi State
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Horace Porter
Project title
President Obama Is Not the Only Mutt
Abstract

My research uses Ellisonian ideology to evaluate an article in the Sunday, June 17 2012 article in The New York Times. The article by Rachel L. Swarns, “Meet Your Cousin, First Lady” examines the complexity of America, and particularly hones in on the issue of race mixing. The Obama family epitomizes the hope America has to be the greatest experiment ever, and President Barack Obama’s multiracial heritage brings many complex issues to the forefront of public discourse. However, who knew his wife’s family history was just as complex as his, if not more so?

Juan Castillo

Juan Castillo

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Carl Frank
Project title
Identification and Characterization of Genetic Interactors of Cav2.1 Calcium Channels
Abstract

Homeostatic regulation of neural activity is an elegant system whose effect is finely tuned to maintain stability of synaptic or circuit function. This type of regulation counteracts external perturbations to maintain a set point of activity. The molecular mechanisms by which such regulation takes place are largely unknown. Included in this regulatory system are CaV2.1 calcium channels, which are encoded by the cacophony (cac) gene found in Drosophila melanogaster (Davis, 2012). We used the Gal4-UAS system to identify interactors of the cac gene by use of RNAi.

Tracy Chappell

Tracy Chappell

Xavier University, Cincinnati
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Todd Kopelman and Matthew O'Brien
Project title
Assessment and treatment of problem behavior across natural and clinic-based environments
Abstract

Functional analysis procedures are an assessment tool used to identify the antecedents that evoke problem behavior and the reinforcers that maintain such behavior. In the clinic-based environment there are limitations with replicating a natural environment where problem behaviors typically occur. For example, use of an analogue setting may produce false negatives (i.e., when no identifiable function is identified for a behavior, but for which a social function exists) at a greater rate than in the natural environment.

Angela Cohen

Angela Cohen

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Melissa Duff
Project title
I Would Tell You a Story If I Could: The Role of Hippocampal Declarative Memory in Narrative Construction
Abstract

The hippocampus, an important structure in the medial temporal lobe, has long been considered critical to declarative memory. Loss of oxygen to the hippocampus may result in damage and subsequent anterograde amnesia (i.e. an inability to form new memories). Anterograde amnesia compromises the ability of amnesics to create, update and juxtapose mental representations that can be used in service of declarative memory.

Samantha Concepcion-Roman

Samantha Concepcion-Roman

University of Central Florida (transfer)
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Hank Qi
Project title
Identification of the domain (s) mediating the proteasome dependent degradation of histone demethylase PHF8.
Abstract

The aim of this study is to identify the domain that is important to maintain the stability of PHF8. PHF8 (Plant Homeodomain Finger protein 8), which is a JmjC domain containing histone demethylase, it removes the histone methylation marks such as mono-methylated histone H4 lysine 20 and histone 3 lysine 9 demethylase around the transcription start sites. PHF8 positively regulates gene expression, which mostly depends on H3K4me-3 binding PHD and the JmjC catalytic domains.

Musa Condah

Musa Condah

Virginia Commonwealth
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Christopher Morphew
Project title
Representations diversity in images and text on university websites
Abstract

The objective of this study is to determine how IHEs portray or show diversity on their online web pages, and to see how institutions with different racial demographics choose to display diversity. For this study the researcher compares four IHEs in the state of Virginia, which include The College of William and Mary, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and Virginia State University. For each collegiate website the researcher looked at four specific pages.

Yanique Conie

Yanique Conie

Delaware State University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Andrean Burnett
Project title
Glucose Metabolism is Correlated with Response to Perifosine in Head and Neck Cancer Cells
Abstract

Protein Kinase B (Akt) is involved in many different intracellular functions including, cell cycle progression, cell survival, and glucose metabolism. Akt is also found to be upregulated in numerous cancer types, more especially in Head and Neck Cancers (HNSCC). Perifosine is an oral chemotherapeutic drug that affects tumor proliferation and viability by inhibiting the Akt pathway. However, Perifosine’s use within the clinics has been limited due to the development of tumor resistance.

Faithe Day

Faithe Day

Wesleyan College
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Andre Brock
Project title
Stuff Natural Girls Say: Identifying Natural Hair Care Blogs and the Formation of Online Communities
Abstract

Background: Natural Hair Care Blogs demonstrate that Black women are using the Internet to promote cultural, individual, and communal expression. The Black female natural hair online community was formed due to the lack of information about maintaining natural hair both online and offline. Blogging is an especially useful platform for creativity and community engagement because the author of a blog represents both herself and the community to which she belongs.

Liliana Diaz Pla

Liliana Diaz Pla

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Marizen Ramirez
Project title
A Case Series of Youth Suicides in Los Angeles, California (2005-2010)
Abstract

Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) has identified suicide as the third leading cause of death among children and young adults between the ages of 10 to 24 years old. A number of risk factors have been identified for suicidal behavior, such as gender differences (more males commit suicide and more females attempt suicide), age, ethnicity, family and social factors.

Ariel Estwick

Ariel Estwick

Tulane University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Kristine Fitch Munoz
Project title
The African-American Alpha Male
Abstract

Non-Verbal cues are the signs and signals that a sender unconsciously displays. The message, which can convey status, as well as a plethora of other interpersonal relations, received depends on the receiver’s interpretation. In today’s society, overt displays of dominance or leadership are often interpreted as aggressive or threatening among bystanders of other races, instances of African-American male dominance are often misconstrued. This is due to the common misconception that African-American men hold low status socially and professionally.

Nicole Filloon

Nicole Filloon

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
David Bills
Project title
Why Do Working Adults Return to School? How Employees Understand the Relationships Between Educational Credentials and Employment Opportunities
Abstract

This study examines community-level differences in how working adults gather and interpret information about labor markets. I focus on various sources of educational information in three Midwestern towns. The work reported here is part of a larger study which analyzes locally available educational information sources and interviews with 30 adult workers to understand how accessible and accurate information informs their perceptions of the relationships between education and work.

Jordan Gaither

Jordan Gaither

Grambling State University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Horace Porter
Project title
The Composition of a Poet
Abstract

My research is based upon the essays of Ralph Ellison. Ralph Ellison wrote short stories, essays, and is most known for his novel Invisible Man. I myself write poetry and throughout the last eight weeks, I’ve written poems in addition to essays. The essence of a poet is more than one who possesses the ability to make thoughts and ideals fit into a certain rhythmic pattern on paper. A poet is one who must master who he/she is as an individual. We can see the same concept in short stories and novels written by Ralph Ellison.

Krystel Gonzalez

Krystel Gonzalez

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
John Manak
Project title
Elucidating the role of Drosophila myb in regulating heterochromatic structure and function
Abstract

Heterochromatin is DNA that is tightly packed with histones and other proteins and its stability is important for maintaining genome integrity and function. Heterochromatin is generally gene-poor and provides a repressive environment for transcription. Drosophila myb is the fly homologue of the c-Myb proto-oncogene and contributes to the condensation of euchromatin, the promotion of cell division, and the replication of polytene chromosomes under certain situations.

Edmarielis Gonzalez

Edmarielis Gonzalez

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Anne Kwitek
Project title
Genetic Regulation of Ddah1 in the Dahl Salt Sensitive Rat
Abstract

According to the American Heart Association (2012), about 30% of adults in the United States has hypertension, which is a major risk factor for myocardial infarction (MI), or a heart attack. The Dahl Salt Sensitive (SS) rat is a salt induced hypertensive rat model that also is susceptible to ischemia/reperfusion injury (IR), stroke, and end organ damage. Previous studies found that SS hearts are susceptible to global IR injury, whereas hearts from Brown Norway (BN) and SS-2BN consomic strains (an SS rat with chromosome 2 from the BN rat), are significantly protected.

Madeline Gonzalez-Morales

Madeline Gonzalez-Morales

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Lawrence Fleckenstein
Project title
Validation of a Sensitive HPLC Method for the Determination of Ivermectin in Human Plasma
Abstract

Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal nematode whose infection affects more than 50 million people worldwide. Strongyloidiasis usually occurs in immunocompromised hosts and can cause gastrointestinal and pulmonary symptoms as well as hypoalbuminemia. Ivermectin is an antiparasitic agent used in humans for the treatment of strongyloidiasis. Ivermectin binds avidly to plasma proteins, especially albumin, leading to a low levels of free drug. Free levels are important because they are responsible for toxicity and therapeutic outcomes of the drug.

Bryan Gonzalez-Rivera

Bryan Gonzalez-Rivera

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Maureen Donovan
Project title
Modulation of OCT2 affects cimetidine uptake in the nasal mucosa
Abstract

Purpose: The objective of this study was to investigate the role of organic cation transporters (OCT-2) in the uptake of small, hydrophilic molecules across the nasal epithelium. Immunohistochemistry studies performed previously confirm the presence of OCT-2 in the bovine respiratory and olfactory mucosa. Cimetidine, an OCT-2 substrate, was used as a model to evaluate the activity of this transporter in the olfactory and the respiratory tissues.

Alyse Gray

Alyse Gray

Ohio State University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Ryan Lalumiere
Project title
Glutamate receptor blocked in the nucleus accumbens shell impairs extinction of cue-induced cocaine seeking behavior
Abstract

Cocaine addiction is frequently modeled in rats using drug self-administration, extinction, and reinstatement. However the precise brain structures involved in extinction in cocaine seeking behavior are currently unknown. In this study, we investigated whether the nucleus accumbens (NA) shell is involved in the extinction process in cocaine seeking behavior. Male rats underwent surgery, where intravenous catheters were implanted in the rat, followed by cannulas entered in the brain aimed at the NAshell.

Isaul Hernandez

Isaul Hernandez

University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Charles Brenner
Project title
Nicotinamide Riboside Analogs: Probes for Cell Biology, Metabolism and Malignancy
Abstract

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is the major redox co-factor in all cells. Synthesized from tryptophan or vitamin precursors, NAD is also a consumed substrate of signaling enzymes including sirtuins and poly(ADPribose) polymerase. In addition to the classically identified compounds, nicotinamide and nicotinic acid, nicotinamide riboside (NR) is an additional vitamin precursor of NAD, which was shown to be active in fungal and vertebrate systems in 2004.

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Melissa Duff
Project title
Is the ability to produce metaphor a sole product of the right hemisphere?
Abstract

Often thought to be restricted to literature, metaphor is in fact ubiquitous in everyday language. Neuro-linguistic studies of figurative language use suggest a critical for the right hemisphere (RH). Traditionally, studies have corroborated this linkage using lists of prevalent metaphors and asked RH patients to explicate the literal meanings. The current study takes a unique approach to the study of metaphor looking at its spontaneous production (instead of recognition) in five patients with RH trauma and four healthy comparison participants completing a collaborative referencing task.

Darius McDaniel

Darius McDaniel

Alabama A & M University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Edwin Dove
Project title
Principle Dynamic Mode analysis of Heart Rate Variability as an indicator of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) control of the Heart
Abstract

Hypoplastic Left Heat Syndrome (HLHS) is a common congenital heart defect (average 1 of 4300 live births). Problems develop due to the left side of the heart being critically underdeveloped. If born with this syndrome, the heart cannot function effectively to pump blood to both the lungs and the rest of body. Without treatment HLHS is uniformly fatal. Treatment includes a three-stage surgical procedure. Mortality rate after the first stage is 20%-30%. Our hypothesis is that the autonomic nervous system of the infants who do not survive is different from those who survive.

Ashley Membere

Ashley Membere

Rice University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Amy Kristof-Brown
Project title
A Meta-Analytic Investigation of Leaders' Goal Orientation and Followers' Motivational States
Abstract

This poster presents a meta-analysis of the relationship between leaders’ goal orientation, leadership behaviors and styles, and motivational outcomes for their followers. This research provides evidence of goal orientation as a dispositional influence on leader performance and positive motivational outcomes for followers. Goal orientation will be used either as a two-factor model (learning and performance) or a three-factor model (learning, performance approach, or performance avoidance).

Edwin Mercado

Edwin Mercado

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Participation year
2012
Mentor
H. S. Udaykumar
Project title
Tracking Mechanism for Scheffler Reflector Solar Cooking Device in Rajasthan, India
Abstract

In India, burning wood is the traditional way to cook, but this practice is affecting the environment in this country. Due to rapidly increasing deforestation, ecological and sociological concerns—largely that of early deaths of women and children because of cooking smoke-- demand a solution to stop both the rampant transformation of forests to deserts. To solve this problem a solar cooker needs to be designed, to take advantage of the warm climate rather than the rapidly decreasing forest wood.

Tashina Peacock

Tashina Peacock

Western Illinois University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Stefan Strack
Project title
Interactions of Mitochondrial Fission Proteins
Abstract

Mitochondria are rod-shaped organelles that supply the cell with energy by changing nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The fragmentation or fission of mitochondria decreases the energy within the cell. Due to the lack of energy, the cell becomes unhealthy and may die. We are interested in the effect of mitochondrial fission in neurons in relation to damage caused by stroke.

Gabriella Perez

Gabriella Perez

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Jean Gordon and Eileen Finnegan
Project title
Perceptual and Acoustic Characteristics of the Aging Voice: Implications for Age-Related Stereotypes
Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to examine whether perceptual and acoustic characteristics of the voice are affected by the age of the speaker in order to understand why and how negative stereotypes of the aging population exist.

Sacha Perez Acevedo

Sacha Perez Acevedo

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Ed Wasserman
Project title
Can Pigeons Choose the Correct String in the Gap Task?
Abstract

Are animals smarter than we think? Studies have demonstrated that many animals are capable of learning conceptual tasks; in our research we explored pigeon learning in the string task. The string task is a process in which a subject is presented with two or more strings, usually with a reward attached to at least one of the strings. The subject solves the task by selecting the string that has the reward.

Jessica Phillip

Jessica Phillip

Emory University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Tonya Peeples
Project title
Investigating Atrazine: In Situ Reverse Transcription Protocol Development for Gene Expression in Microbial Biofilms
Abstract

Atrazine, 2-chloro-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine, is an herbicide widely used to control the pre- and post- emergence of broad-leaf weeds in major crop lands. Due to the compounds high mobility in soils and its persistence, atrazine is often detected as a contaminant in surface and ground water systems and is the cause of many adverse health effects. In the search for bioremediation options researchers have isolated the bacterium Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP (ADP), which can remove atrazine from contaminated reserves. This organism has been found to grow as a biofilm.

Morgan Price

Morgan Price

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Corrine Peek-Asa
Project title
Using Geographic Information Systems to Map Teen Driving Errors
Abstract

Background: Young drivers have higher crash risk due to inexperience, immaturity and tendency to engage in high risk driving behaviors (Williams, 2003). Although crash risks maybe low while young drivers are learning to drive, they are typically driving with an adult. The crash risk increases tenfold when independent driving begins (Mayhew, Simpson & Oak, 2003).

Objectives: The study’s objective was to use GPS coordinates from DriveCam event capturers to map and analyze locations of events.

Marie Roman Martinez

Marie Roman Martinez

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Steven Green
Project title
CGRP and Cochlear Sensitivity to Sound and Noise
Abstract

The cochlea adjusts sensitivity depending on the loudness of the environment, increasing sensitivity in quiet environments and decreasing sensitivity in loud environments. Cochlear sensitivity is regulated in part by olivocochlear efferent (OCE) neurons that transmit the signals from the brain to the cochlea. The OCE system uses multiple neurotransmitters and the different roles of each of these are not completely understood. CGRP is a peptide neurotransmitter used by the OCE system.

Natalia Sola-Aviles

Natalia Sola-Aviles

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Jennifer Fiegel
Project title
Quantification of total protein and phospholipids in Infasurf- a natural pulmonary surfactant
Abstract

The stability of human lungs depends on a complex mixture of lipids and proteins called the pulmonary surfactant. This surfactant layer reduces surface tension of the alveolar fluid and avoids alveolar collapse. Although the functions of the pulmonary surfactant are relatively well known, its exact components are not as well characterized. It is important to characterize these components in order to understand surfactant alterations in a diseased state and its interactions with foreign materials.

James Stewart

James Stewart

University of Maryland/Baltimore
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Daniel Tranel
Project title
Olfactory and Higher Cortical Functioning
Abstract

Identifying biomarkers is an effective way to reach a more concrete diagnosis in medicine for idiopathic diseases. Recent research has shown that smell presents itself as a possible signaling mechanism for Alzheimer’s disease. A decrease in olfactory functioning has been shown in early Alzheimer’s disease patients, but it is still unclear if the severity of an individual’s olfactory deficit correlates to the condition of their higher cortical functioning. The higher cortical functions being examined in this study are emotional memory and decision-making.

Ruffin Tchakounte

Ruffin Tchakounte

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Daniel Quinn
Project title
Fluorescence evaluation of umbelliferones and 7-hydroxy-N-methylquinolinium
Abstract

Organophosphates (OPs) are organic compounds containing a phosphorous-based ester that are used as pesticides but also have the capability to be used as deadly nerve agents. The OP nerve agents Sarin and Soman affect both the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). AChE’s primary function is the rapid hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh). Direct inhibition of AChE by OPs can be fatal. Reactivation of AChE inhibited by OPs can be achieved by treatment with oximes such as 2-PAM.

Jasmin Valentin Morales

Jasmin Valentin Morales

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Songhai Chen
Project title
Screening for small molecule inhibitors of G-proteins to block breast tumor cell growth and migration
Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of death among women. In addition to growth factors and growth factor receptors, accumulating evidence indicates that aberrant activation of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and G proteins is involved in the initiation, proliferation and metastasis of breast cancers. GPCRs are the largest family of cell receptors that transmit signals through heterotrimeric G proteins composed of α, β and γ subunits. Gβ and Gγ form a dimer and associate with Gα in the inactive state.

Jordan Washington

Jordan Washington

University of Iowa
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Susanne Morton
Project title
Quantifying reaching deficits in individuals with stroke and sensorimotor impairments
Abstract

Clinical scales exist to measure the severity of cerebellar ataxia. However, there are no clinical scales that diagnose cerebellar ataxia and differentiate it sensorimotor characteristics from other impairments. The long term goal of this work is to develop a clinical scale that will discriminate ataxic from non-ataxic motor signs. In this multi-site project, our lab is testing whether specific reaching deficits expected in ataxia patients are also observed in patients with cerebral stroke who have paresis, somatosensory loss, and/or spasticity.

Vanessa White

Vanessa White

Florida State University
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Kathryn Gerken
Project title
The mental health needs of high school youth in one Iowa high school
Abstract

The purpose of the overall study is to determine the mental health needs of high school students in Iowa. Phase I of the study was conducted in a high school of 1400 students (""City high school,"" n. d.). The high school is located in a city of 67,862 people (""United states census,"" 2012) and the school district has one of the highest numbers of minority students in the state.

Shavea Zapata Juan

Shavea Zapata Juan

University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Participation year
2012
Mentor
Aliasger Salem
Project title
Gene delivery to bone marrow stromal cells using polyethyleneimine as a non-viral gene carrier
Abstract

Objective: This research consists of preparing and examining polyethyleneimine (PEI)/ DNA nanoparticles to deliver genes of interest to bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) for production of growth factors.