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

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Biological Sciences Participates in the Meeting of the Minds

Natalie Straight
Natalie Straight

On May 5, 2010, Carnegie Mellon University hosted their annual symposium celebrating undergraduate research, the Meeting of the Minds. Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, this event allowed undergraduates to display their research to the entire campus community and visiting industry professionals.

During the Meeting of the Minds, Sigma Xi, the international honorary research society, sponsored an annual poster competition. Numerous biological sciences undergraduates participated in this event, since it was open to any student presenting a poster in the quantitative sciences. From among 49 posters in this year’s competition, two biological sciences undergraduates received awards. Senior Natalie Straight, from the Berget lab, won first prize for her poster entitled “Towards the Understanding the Dye Activating Mechanism of Fluorescence Activating Proteins (FAPs).” Junior Kellie Kravarik received an Honorable Mention for her presentation of “The Effect of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Disruption on Drosophila Pupal Wing;” her advisor was Dr. Brooke McCartney.

Besides the Sigma Xi competition, numerous other biological sciences undergraduates received awards at the annual symposium. A STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Award was awarded to Katherine Fu for her work with Carnegie Mellon Nutritionist Paula Martin. Fu's presentation was entitled “New Outlook on Student Health: Student Engagement Through Effective Visual Communication Tools.” The STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Award is bestowed upon a student project that explores the intersection of art, technology, science and society as well as impacts the local or global communities.

Senior Timothy Helbig was one of three recipients for the Richard Schoenwald Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Research Award. Helbig presented his work from University of Pittsburgh faculty member Stephen Tonsor's lab in the poster entitled “Developmental Differences in Response of Arabidopsis thaliana to Thermal Stress.” The Schoenwald Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Research Award is only given to members of the honor society.

The Yahoo! Undergraduate Research award was awarded to Senior Honray Lin. Lin’s advisor was Herbet A. Simon Professor of Human Computer Interaction Robert Kraut and her poster was entitled “Pen-It: An Online Collaboration Application Study.” The Yahoo! Award focuses on projects in the areas of web information management and software services, including applications in sciences, business and more.

In addition to the undergraduates, the Biological Sciences department supported this outreach event in numerous capacities. Emily Stark, Associate Teaching Professor and Assistant Head for Departmental Affairs, served as organizer of the Sigma Xi competition. Assistant Head for Undergraduate Affairs Maggie Braun and Associate Professor Russell Schwartz as well as postdoctoral fellows Jill Blankenship and Daniel Brown were among the Sigma Xi judges. Associate Professor A. Javier López judged the Richard Schoenwald Phi Beta Kappa Undergraduate Research Prize, while Teaching Professor Linda Kauffman served on the SURG/SURF Selection Committee.

View more photos of this year’s Sigma Xi Poster Competition.

Complete Listing of Biological Sciences Student Participants

Karen Akasaka
Exploring Molecular Correlates of Primary Visual Cortex Development
Advisor: Justin Crowley

Katherine Chen
Development of an Intracellular Fluoromodule using the scFv K7 and Dimethylindole Red
Advisor: Peter Berget

Lynley Doonan
Understanding the Role of Protein DRS1 in Ribosome Assembly
Advisor: John Woolford

Katherine Fu
A New Outlook on Student Health: Student Engagement Through Effective Visual Communication Tools
Advisor: Paula Martin

Amy Fuller
Analysis of Double Null APC Clonal Distribution in Normal and p35 Wings
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Tim Helbig
Assessment of the Environmental Risks of Nano-Silver
Advisor: Stephen Tonsor

Tim Helbig
Developmental Differences in Response of Arabidopsis thaliana to Thermal Stress
Advisor: Stephen Tonsor

Joanna Hong
Post-transcriptional Gene Silencing Using siRNA Delivered from Star Nanostructured Particles
Advisor: Abiraman Srinivasan

Christine Jones
The Effect of Secure Base Support During Challenging Independent Activity
Advisor: Brooke Feeney

Rupinder Khandpur
Lemon Draw – Ink Base Drawing Tool for Tablet-PC
Advisor: Ananda Gunawardena

Ana Kim
Desire
Advisor: Susanne Slavik

Brian Kim
Plasti BoneTM: A Faster Way to Heal Bone and Cartilage in a Rabbit Radial Defect Model at 8 Weeks of Life
Advisor: Sean McBride

Sefa Kploanyi
Exploring the Structure and Function of an RNA-Editing Enzyme
Advisor: Mark Macbeth

Kellie Kravarik
The Effect of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Disruption on Drosophila Pupal Wing Development
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Honray Lin
Pen-It: An Online Collaboration Application Study
Advisor: Robert Kraut

Shih-Dun Liu
Protein Kinase C Dependent Modulation of Dendritic Spine Dynamics
Advisor: Justin Crowley

Tamar Melman
Detecting Gene Conversion Events in Multidomain Proteins
Advisor: Dannie Durand

Charles Miller
Synthesis of a PNA with the Goal of Targeting Pu48, a Section of the Promoter Region of PDGF-A
Advisor: Bruce Armitage

Anna Park
Understanding the Role of Protein DRS1 in Ribosome Assembly
Advisor: John Woolford

Orr Rozov
Characterizing Cortical Actin Dynamics in the Drosophila Syncytial Blastoderm
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Natalie Straight
Towards the Understanding the Dye Activating Mechanism of Fluorescence Activating Proteins (FAPs)
Advisor: Peter Berget

Prashanth Swamy
Putative Regulation of NF2 Gene product Merlin through PPM1B and PIP2
Advisor: Tina Lee

Amy Wang
Exploring the Structure and Function of an RNA-Editing Enzyme
Advisor: Mark Macbeth

Elizabeth Young
The Role of the Heat-shock Protein Hsp27 on Programmed Cell Death in Drosophila melanogaster
Advisor: Jonathan Minden

Fangyuan Zhouzheng
Studying the Effects of Site-Directed Mutants of APC2 in Drosophila Development
Advisor: Brooke McCartney

Additionally, Professor Jeffery Hollinger and Assistant Professor Justin Crowley each advised a non-biological sciences undergraduate who presented at the Meeting for the Minds.