Biological Sciences Participates in the Meeting of the Minds-Department of Biological Sciences - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Biological Sciences Participates in the Meeting of the Minds

Meeting of the MindsThe Meeting of the Minds, Carnegie Mellon’s annual symposium celebrating undergraduate research, took place on May 6, 2009. Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, this event allows undergraduates to display their outstanding research to the entire Carnegie Mellon community and visiting industry professionals.

Sigma Xi, the international honorary research society, sponsors an annual poster competition, open to any student presenting a poster in the quantitative sciences. From among 49 posters in this year’s competition, three Biological Sciences undergraduates received awards. Shelley Kucherer and Cecilia Westbrook shared second place. Kucherer, co-advised by Drs. Gordon Rule and Michael Lotze, entered the poster, “MALDI-TOP Mass Spectrometric Detection of the Acidic Tail of High Mobility Group Box Protein-1 [HMGB1] in Human Serum as a Biomarker of Metastasis.” Westbrook presented a poster entitled, “Mindfulness in Adolescents at Risk for Depression;” her advisor was Dr. Jennifer Silk. Additionally, Rohit Ramnath, advised by Dr. Nathan Urban was named runner-up for his poster “Tracking Morphology Changes in the Developing Mammalian Accessory Olfactory Bulb.”

In addition to the undergraduates, the Biological Sciences department supported this outreach event in numerous capacities. Emily Stark, Associate Teaching Professor and Vice President of the Carnegie Mellon Chapter of Sigma Xi, served as organizer of the competition. Faculty members Maggie Braun, Veronica Hinman, Tina Lee, and Russell Schwartz, postdoctoral fellows Joseph Ayoob, Elane Fishilevich and Shoba Subramanian, and graduate student Corey Flynn were among the judges.

Associate Professor A. Javier López also served as a judge for the Richard Schoenwald Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Research Prize.

Click to view photos from the Meeting of the Minds and Sigma Xi Competition.

Biological Sciences Undergraduate Participants

Danielle Eytan
19F MRI Detection of Acute Cardiac Allograft Rejection using in situ Perfluorocarbon Labeling of Immune Cells
Advisor: Chien Ho

Debtirtho Ghosh
Base of the Thumb Domain has a Role in Epithelial Sodium Channel (ENAC) Gating
Advisor: Amy Burkert

Gregory Newby
Development of a Fluorescent Protease Biosensor Based on a Single Chain Variable Fragment
Advisor: Peter Berget

Andrea Poon
Does Causal Ambiguity Affect Exploratory Play in Preschool Children?
Advisor: Anna Fisher

Parth Dalal
Effect of Stress Hormones on Cell Cycle Regulation in Breast Cancer Cells
Advisor: Adam Linstedt

Laurent Lorenzi
Faces Verses Words: Flip Sides of the Brain?
Advisor: Marlene Behrmann

Steven Reilly
Functional Analysis of a Non-exonic Recursive Splice Site by Gene Replacement
Advisor: A. Javier Lopez

Kathleen McCann
Genetic Polymorphisms Associated with Schizophrenia Affect Alternative Splicing of the Human Dopamine Reuptake Transporter
Advisor: A. Javier Lopez

Olga Strachna
Identifying Molecular Components Underlying the Mechanical Forces that Generate Cell Shape Changes During Ventral Furrow Formation in Drosophila Melanogaster Embryos
Advisor: Jonathan Minden

Megan Martik
Mechanisms Involved in the Regulation of the Sea Star Post Oral Lobe
Advisor: Veronica Hinman

Lauren Campbell
Novel Genomic Variation in the Relaxin Genes
Advisor: Gordon Rule

Charlotte Jennings
Polyketide Synthase: Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Evolution of New Functions
Advisor: Veronica Hinman

Leon Zheng
Role of HPV-16 E7 in Modulating SCF Ubiquitin Ligase Activity
Advisor: Gordon Rule

Tahlia Wolfgang
Star Nano-polymer Delivery of Encapsulated Sirnas for Targeted MRNA Knock Down
Advisor: Abiraman Srinivasan

Allison Retotar
Spatial and Temporal Characterization of Proteobacteria in the Pittsburgh Water Distribution System
Advisor: Jeanne VanBriesen

Jonah Klein
Stat3 as a Therapeutic Target for Endothelial Cells in the Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Heather Chalfin
Testing for Manganese Binding to the Manganese-regulated Golgi Protein GPP130
Advisor: Adam Linstedt

Lena Yoo
The Effects of Human Versus Video Instruction
Advisor: Anna Fisher

Richard Chang
The Effects of Stress and Coping Styles in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes
Advisor: Vicki Helgeson

Kirstie Fung
Type 2 Diabetes: A Couples Study
Advisor: Vicki Helgeson

Orr Rozov
Understanding Microtubule Dynamics at the Cortex of Syncytial Drosophila Embryos Using TIRF Microscopy
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Kellie Kravarik
WNT-dependent Changes in Cell Fate and Tissue Morphogenesis in the Wing Imaginal Epithelium Result from Loss of the Drosophila Homologues of the APC Tumor Suppressor
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Patricia Shaw
SIRNA Encapsulation and Delivery by Degradable Cationic Star Nano-polymers
Advisor: Abiraman Srinivasan

Shelly Kucherer
MALDI-TOP Mass Spectrometric Detection of the Acidic Tail of High Mobility Group Box Protein-1 [HMGB1] in Human Serum as a Biomarker of Metastatis
Advisor: Michael Lotze

Cecilia Westbrook
Mindfulness in Adolescents at Risk for Depression
Advisor: Jennifer Silk

Samuel Kim
Isolation and Purification of MG1.5 Single Chain Variable Fragment for Structural Determination by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy
Advisor: Peter Berget

Lauren Krogh
The Effect of Action on Causal Perception in 3- and 4 ½ Month-old Infants
Advisor: David Rakison

Katherine Farner
The Effect of Cardiovascular Reactivity to and Recovery from Stress on Immune Response
Advisor: Sheldon Cohen

Rohit Ramnath
Tracking Morphology Changes in the Developing Mammalian Accessory Olfactory Bulb
Advisor: Nathan Urban