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2018 UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 1


2 | University of Minnesota


Undergraduate Research Symposium 2018 The Undergraduate Research Symposium is coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of Undergraduate Research. Karen Hanson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Robert McMaster, Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Paul Siliciano, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research Vicky Munro, Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) Coordinator Rachel Rodrigue, Assistant to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Laura Nygren, Graphic Designer for Office of Undergraduate Education Alyssa Lotspaih, Communications Intern for Office of Undergraduate Education Heidi Fahning, OUR Graduate Assistant Thomas Tang and Dani Caldeen, OUR Undergraduate Assistants

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is sponsored by: Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education College of Biological Sciences College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences College of Design College of Education and Human Development College of Liberal Arts College of Science and Engineering Carlson School of Management School of Nursing University of Minnesota Libraries Sigma Xi Phi Beta Kappa

Thank you to the college UROP Coordinators (Twin Cities Campus) for supporting our students with finding faculty members, writing proposals, and preparing students for opportunities to present their research results. Jacob Moore, College of Biological Sciences Josh Borowicz, College of Continuing Education Joel Rudney, School of Dentistry Kady Johnson and Kate Maple, College of Design Nicole Shopbell, College of Education and Human Development Bill Ganzlin, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Wendy Nicholson-Kotas, College of Liberal Arts Theresa Taylor, Carlson School of Management Ann Garwick, School of Nursing Daniel Harki, School of Pharmacy Erin Parsons, College of Science and Engineering Mark Rutherford, College of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 3


Symposium Participants

A

Aliza Beverage

21

Nicole Biagi

21

Abbi Blais

22

Emma Boehm

22

Amanda Borowski

23

Andrew Aaberg

10

Krista Brackman

23

Pierre Abillama

10

Mikaela Brandt-Fontaine

24

Grusha Agarwal

11

Lindsay Breidenbach

24

Asma Ahmed

11

Bayla Breningstall

25

Samir Ahmed

12

Sam Bullard

25

Leah Alemu

12

Colin Bunner

26

Lensa Ali

13

Conor Burke-Smith

26

Hosam Alkhatib

13

Samir Bushra

27

Kathryn Almquist

14

Lauren Bystrom

27

Alecia Alto

14

Pedro Angulo-UmaĂąa

15

Oana Capatina

28

Jonathon Antonsen

15

Michelle Caputi

28

Seyoung Cha

29

B

C

Johanna Back

16

Neelam Chandiramani

29

Tsvetelina Baryakova

16

Katherine Chen

30

Bat-Orgil Batsaikhan

17

Tiffany Cheng

30

Joshua Bayer

17

Tabitha Chettupally

31

David Begelman

18

Matthew Chrostek

31

Sara Behmanesh

18

Julia Clarin

32

Nicola Beilman

19

Joshua Condon

32

Scott Berens

19

Carissa Coudray

33

Molly Bergum

20

Andrew Crawford

33

Celina Berndt

20

Nicole Cronin

34

4 | University of Minnesota


Emily Engelbrecht-Wiggans

47

Marisa Erickson

47

Julia Erkens

48

D Britta Dahl

34

Christina Dailey

35

Niklas Damberg

35

Kathryn Fajardo

48

Namrata Damle

36

Alexai Faulkner

49

Antoinette Danku

36

Jessica Faulkner

49

Elizabeth Degefe

37

Blake Fauskee

50

Dingwei Deng

37

Luke Feeley

50

Nitsa Dereskos

38

Alexander Fenton

51

Alyssa Diaz

38

Mariana Ferreira

51

Bridget Dillon

39

Jack Fischbach

52

Savannah Dimick

39

Chanel Flower

52

Grace Ditch

40

Kathryn Fox

53

Ruifeng Dong

40

Katharina Fransen

53

F

Kurt Dostal

41

Abigail Franz

54

Garrett Draper

41

Paul Fritton

54

Melissa Drown

42

Chelsea Drown

42

Meg Gable

55

Madison Duffy

43

Audra Gaikowski

55

Justin Dunnell

43

Joshua Gallop

56

Lauren Duval

44

Jesus Garcia Garcia

56

Kemunto Gekonge

57

E

G

Hannah Ebersole

44

Priya George

57

Radhika Edpuganti

45

Frances Gibson

58

Baila Elkin

45

Steven Goodman

58

Cameron Eller

46

Samantha Gray

59

Madeline Ellert-Beck

46

Winston Guo

59 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 5


Pankhuri Gupta

60

H

K Braxton Haake

60

Paige Hartman

Raeesa Kabir

72

61

Carolyn Kalinowski

73

Haley Hauptman

61

Natasha Kallish

73

Evelyn Hayhurst

62

Ishita Kamboj

74

Yumiao He

62

Megan Kazynski

74

Hailey Held

63

Ryan Keenan

75

Eva Henningsen

63

Leslie Kent

75

Lexi Herman

64

Mitchell Kohler

76

Katherine Hill

64

Annika Kohrt

76

Meghan Hill

65

Sa Kong

77

Mark Houle

65

Megan Korne

77

Bin Huang

66

Adam Kostanecki

78

Colleen Hutchison

66

Jacob Kosyakovsky

78

Nick Hyde

67

Alyssa Krueger

79

Kevin Lam

79

Luke LaMoore

80 80

I

L Hammad Ismaeel

67

J Ayushi Jain

68

Abigail Larson

Kristy Jay

68

Kate Lauer

81

Anders Jenson

69

Giang Le

81

Blake Johnson

69

Samantha Lee

82

Chloe Johnson

70

Sarah Lentz

82

Kellen Johnson

70

Jack Leschisin

83

Kristine Johnson

71

May Li

83

Samantha Johnson

71

Christine Lian

84

Madeline Jones

72

Hao Liang

84

6 | University of Minnesota


Ajinkya Limkar

85

Sabrina Mulder

98

Karena Lin

85

Dane Munson

99

Xiao Liu

86

Julia Myjak

99

Kelvin Loke

86

Samuel Lombardo

87

Anna Nagel

100

Mengdi Lou

87

Akshay Naik

100

Nguyen Lu

88

Saumik Narayanan

101

Connor Neill

101

N

M Charlie Mackin

88

Anna Nelson

102

Danica Maile

89

Kerri Newcomer

102

Ravi Maisuria

89

Jessica Nhan

103

Jarrett Mansergh

90

Shi Ni

103

Shabnam Mansur

90

Ryan Nicholson

104

Marta Markowicz

91

Cara Nix

104

Logan Massman

91

Leah Novik

105

Morgan McCullough

92

Sydney Nygaard

105

Mikayla McDonald

92

Ian Nykaza

106

Abby McGovern

93

Amber McLaughlin

93

Bethany O’Bryan

106

Alison Miller

94

Catherine Ogilvy

107

Lauren Miller

94

Sewon Oh

107

Hannah Milos

95

Emma O’Leary

108

Luke Minske

95

Bjorn Olmanson

108

Sagal Mohammed

96

Alison Oosterhuis

109

Neema Moin Afshar

96

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

109

Sihoon Moon

97

Reed Grace Owens-Kurtz

110

Christian Moses

97

Nahom Mossazghi

98

O

P Ellen Paatela

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Levi Palmer

111

Ben Reynolds

124

Neha Panigrahy

111

Lynn Risser

124

Justin Panka

112

Jake Robinson

125

Andrew Park

112

Ingrid Rodriguez Aragon

125

Joe Parkhill

113

S

Puja Patel

113

Akshat Sarkari

126

Amy Paulson

114

Elisheva Savvateev

126

Clairice Pearce

114

Sienna Schaeffer

127

Lauren Pelkey

115

Mikhail Schee

127

Megan Petersen

115

Danielle Scherb

128

Malina Peterson

116

Jonah Schiestle

128

Gwen Phung

116

Austin Schleusner

129

Divya Pillai

117

Laura Schulz

129

Amy Prichard

117

Elayna Shapiro

130

Allison Prill

118

Elizabeth Shaver

130

Monica Punzalan

118

Hannah Simerly

131

Sajya Singh

131

Q Nan Qin

119

Charles Smith

132

Hannah Quarnstrom

119

Arnav Solanki

132

Elliott Quast

120

Evan Son

133

Veronica Sondervan

133

120

Livia Songster

134

Emily Rankine

121

Trey Sorensen

134

Sabrina Ratsamy

121

Eric Souto

135

Wahid Ratul

122

Katherine Spurlock

135

Joseph Rauzi

122

Jamin Stagg

136

Emilie Reard

123

Trevor Steiner

136

Laura Reimann

123

Elizabeth Stencel

137

R Abhismitha Ramesh

8 | University of Minnesota


Carl Stone

137

T

Ziyuan Wang

149

Riley Wedan

150

Margaret Werba

150

Shravika Talla

138

Samuel Willard

151

Tutku Tazegul

138

Daija Williams

151

Hok Sreng Te

139

Joshua Wissbroecker

152

Rohan Thakur

139

Sara Wixon

152

Warut Thawinrak

140

Alicia Wong

153

Cassandra Tieman

140

Wing Yi (Pinki) Wong

153

Michaela Tonsager

141

Ryan Wong

154

Matt Tran

141

Ian Wright

154

Ananya Tripathi

142

Corissa Wurth

155

Kelli Wysoglad

155

V Y

Prateek Vachher

142

Vinit Vaghani

143

Emily Yaklich

156

Jack Van Sambeek

143

Serdar Yalvac

157

Leah Vaughn

144

Lila Yokanovich

157

Savanna VerBout

144

Maxwell Yurs

158

Grace Vieth

145

Sophia Vrba

145

Mrunal Zambre

158

Xinger Zeng

159

W

Z

Brandon Wagner

146

Yiwen (Ophelia) Zhang

159

Xinran Waibel

146

Tab Zhang

160

Sereen Waletski-Nazzal

147

Ziyue Zhang

160

Lindsey Walker

147

Kasey Zhou

161

Ruyuan Wan

148

Emily Wang

148

Kathleen Wang

149 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 9


Andrew Aaberg

Pierre Abillama

History, English, Latin American Area Studies University of Minnesota Morris May 2020 Mentor: Ben Narvaez Mentor's Department: History

Computer Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Jonathan Ravdin Mentor's Department: Medicine, Infectious Diseases

Race, Imperialism, and Freedom: The United States’ Encounter with Cuba’s Ten Years’ War

Utilizing Biostatistical Analysis of Case Management Data to Enhance Future Outcomes of the Youth and AIDS Projects

Through an analysis of nineteenth-century American newspapers, magazines, travel memoirs, and U.S. government documents, this project seeks to understand American responses to the Ten Years’ War. My project answers several interrelated questions. How did the American government respond to Cuba’s first war of independence? Why didn’t the American government actively insert itself into this war if Cuba was central to U.S. foreign policy at this time? How did the American public respond to the Cuban struggle for independence and how did this response compare to and interact with the U.S. government’s response to developments in Cuba? Moreover, how did concepts of race, freedom, and imperialism during the rise and fall of Reconstruction in the United States shape these positions? Preliminary research suggests that the American public and U.S. government understood these conflicts differently in that the public viewed the Cuban fight for independence as similar to the American Revolution a hundred years before, while the government viewed Cuba as a powerful economic force and geographic point of defense, but ultimately these differences and the U.S.'s relationship with Spain constrained American policymakers and produced official American neutrality.

In the United States, there is a great disparity between the percentages of HIV-infected youth linked to medical care (25%), the percentage of HIV-infected youth retained in care (11%) and finally those achieving viral suppression (6%). In contrast, successful case management can be associated with a higher retention rate in care and better outcomes for HIV+ clients. Data for residents with HIV of all ages from the Minnesota Department of Health for 2016 of indicates 71% are retained in care and 63% achieve viral suppression. However, youth data is not available. The purpose of this research is to provide analytical data to improve the effectiveness of the Youth & AIDS Projects (YAP) case managers in linking and retaining HIV-infected youth to medical. This will be achieved by retrospective analytics of case managers’ data over at least a 3 year interval while collaborating with CTSI to perform a statistical analysis of the retrospective data obtained from our observational cohort. We can then identify characteristics of YAP clients and case managers that result in clients achieving HIV viral suppression. By following up on all YAP case management clients (80) from 2014 -2016, we will also determine individual client characteristics (age, sex, demographic background, mental illness, depression …) that are associated with YAP’s effectiveness in linking HIV-infected youth to health care. Our measure of success will be clients achieving viral suppression for a minimum of 12 months.

10 | University of Minnesota


Grusha Agarwal

Asma Ahmed

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Deniz Ones Mentor's Department: Psychology

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Thomas Chase Mentor's Department: Mechanical Engineering

Organizational Pro-Environmental Initiatives in India

Hydraulic Pump-Motor Employing Partial Stroke Piston Pressurization

Increasingly, organizations are concerned with adapting their operations to enhance environmental sustainability, especially in light of climate change and ensuing societal awareness regarding the similar issues. Popular view on sustainability raises concern over the prioritization of economic gains over the environment emphasizing the need for organizations to use financial resources for preventing environmental degradation. Moreover, studies have shown that economic and environmental development go hand in hand such that more sustainable organizations also tend to be more financially successful. With India emerging as one of the fastest growing economies, it is imperative to look into the green initiatives undertaken by companies in India and understand the sustainable measures they focus on and any areas of concern that they would need to address. To this end, this study uses a critical incidents method approach to record pro-environmental behaviors reported on the websites of top 100 India-based companies. The resulting data was used to conduct factor analyses and evaluate how different types of industries took steps towards making their organizations more sustainable and the types of behaviors they focused on. This in turn, would provide a greater understanding of what matters to organizations and thus, can be used to develop tailored performance management and employee development human resource management strategies aimed at sustainability. As an example, more focus on compliance-focused versus change-oriented green initiatives would indicate that Indian companies are more concerned with reactive behaviors exhibited to meet regulatory requirements as opposed to innovating and transforming.

The focus of this project is to maximize efficiency of hydraulic pump-motors by employing a technology called ‘partial stroke piston pressurization’ (PSPP). This technique addresses issues with commercialized pump-motos by decreasing leakage losses and substituting complex electrical valve controls with a hydromechanical fluid control system. The control system consists of a pilot spool valve with a helical construct that allows for selective communication with multiple main stage valves. Consequently, the main stage valves operate as the drivers of the system by increasing or decreasing the net power based on relative location of the pilot spool valve. Each main stage valve goes between cycles of power and return strokes. Conventionally, high pressure is utilized throughout the power stroke making power input greater and thereby increasing overall cost as well as the leakage losses in the system. In a PSPP pump-motor, high pressure is only turned on half way into the power stroke minimizing both cost and losses. The design of this pump-motor is presented both theoretically and graphically.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 11


Samir Ahmed

Leah Alemu

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Ian Tonks Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Peter Bitterman Mentor's Department: Medicine

Synthesis of Novel Bio-Derived Polyesters Through the Development of New Electron Deficient Palladium Catalyst

Developing 3D Collagen I Gels for the Study of Extracellular Matrix Effects on Fibrotic Phenotype

Carbonylation reactions of alkenes constitute the most important industrial processes in homogeneous catalysis. Despite the tremendous progress in this transformation, the development of advanced catalyst systems to improve their activity and widen the range of feedstocks continues to be essential for new practical applications. PPh3-based state-of-the-art ligands such as (tBu)2P2(CH2)2Ph, (dtbx), as well as species reported by Mecking et al. and Beller et al. display the use of various phosphine electron rich bulky ligands in applications ranging from hydroesterifications to carbonylation polymerizations to a potential methyl methacrylate production. The role of ligand electronics in hydroesterification chemistry is still not fully understood, and thus research in this area is of interest of both from a fundamental and practical perspective.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and fatal form of fibrosis occurring in the lungs that is responsible for killing 40,000 people in the U.S. each year. The disease is characterized by the pathological accumulation of fibroblasts and extracellular matrix (ECM) components in the interstitium, and stiffening the lung ultimately leading to death by asphyxiation. Fibroblasts in IPF tissue have been shown to have down regulated expression of microRNA-29 (miR-29) (a master negative regulator of stromal genes) and upregulated production of hyaluronic acid (HA) however, the molecular mechanism of the disease remains unknown. Our goal was to develop a 3D collagen I gel system in which both stiffness and HA concentration could be modulated, and determine the effects of each property on miR-29 expression and HA. Our study suggests, that 3D collagen I gels of increased stiffness down regulate miR-29 expression-consistent with what is observed in vivo, as does increased molecular weight of HA.

12 | University of Minnesota


Lensa Ali

Hosam Alkhatib

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Emilyn Alejandro Mentor's Department: Integrative Biology & Physiology

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Douglas Mashek Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

The Effect of the Deletion of mTOR in Placental Trophoblasts

Investigating Fatty Acid Export Following Lipid Droplet Degradation in Skeletal Muscle

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disorder characterized by the inability of the pancreatic beta-cells to produce sufficient amounts of insulin coupled with insulin resistance in peripheral tissues to control glucose levels. The ability of beta-cells to produce sufficient insulin is dependent on multiple factors including total beta-cell number (mass) and function (insulin secretion). Beta-cell mass is thought to be set early in life, and the maternal environment in utero has been shown to regulate this process. Previous studies have shown that the offspring of female mice with placental-insufficiency (i.e. due to low-protein diet or calorie restriction throughout pregnancy) are born smaller and show reduced beta cell mass and insulin secretion defects and susceptibility to T2D. Reduction in beta-cell mass at birth was associated with reduced placental mTOR, a nutrient-sensing kinase important in cell growth and development. We hypothesized that mTOR regulates placental growth and function that impacts beta-cell growth of the growing fetus. To test this genetically, we deleted mTOR in placental trophoblasts using the Cre recombinase system. We analyzed morphological differences in the different layers of the placenta by performing hematoxylin and eosin staining in the placenta of mTOR-KO and control mice. Deletion of mTOR reduced total placental weight by 30% on gestation day 17.5. We observed a significant reduction of the junctional zone, critical for fetal growth since these cells regulate placental function such as nutrient transfer from the mother to the fetus. In conclusion, mTOR signaling is sufficient to alter total placental mass and specific area within the placenta.

Fat accumulates in the form of lipid droplets (LDs) in numerous tissues including muscle. Excessive intramyocellular LD accumulation contributes to the development of insulin resistance and other metabolic abnormalities. Degraded LDs release fatty acids (FAs) into the cytoplasm that can be metabolized through mitochondrial beta-oxidation. LD degradation in skeletal muscle has not been extensively studied, and it was conventionally thought that FAs released from LD degradation are directly transferred from LDs to mitochondria. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the mechanism of LD turnover in skeletal muscle. We used a radioactive tracer to track FA trafficking in skeletal muscle under varying conditions. C2C12 myotubes were lipid-loaded with oleate containing a radioactive tracer ([14C]oleate) during a 16-hour “pulse”. The pulse is replaced with media differing in nutrient content or containing various inhibitors of lipid-catabolic pathways for a six-hour “chase”. The media and cells were harvested for lipid extraction analysis using thin-layer chromatography. The radioactivity in each lipid fraction was measured, making it possible to locate and quantify each lipid fraction following the experimental treatment. Our findings show that myocellular FAs are exported from the cell, termed “fatty acid efflux.” Further, these findings suggest that this FA efflux may occur prior to mitochondrial oxidation. Finally, we show that lipophagy, the recently discovered mechanism responsible for LD turnover in hepatocytes, is not responsible for LD turnover and FA efflux in skeletal muscle. The mechanism responsible for fatty acid efflux is unknown and is the focus of our ongoing work.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 13


Kathryn Almquist

Alecia Alto

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Wei Shen Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Health Sciences University of Minnesota Rochester May 2018 Mentor: Rachel Olson Mentor's Department: Center for Learning and Innovation

Synthesis of PDMS with Fluorescent Beads for Analysis of Muscle Cell Contraction

Improving Patient Experience Through Investigation: A Collaboration Between University of MN Rochester and Mayo Clinic

This project involves the production of a PDMS, or polydimethylsiloxane, film and the incorporation of fluorescent beads into this film to allow for detailed analysis of the contraction of muscle cells in three-dimensional culture. The current methodology used to analyze such contractions involves attaching one end of the muscle cell culture to a rigid post and the other end to a force transducer. This method can provide information about the force exerted by the muscle cells over the course of the contraction, but it is difficult to use for high-throughput screening as a large number of transducers would be needed. The goal of this project was to develop a method that will allow for continuous, high-throughput analysis of muscle cell contraction. This new method involves synthesizing a durable, flexible, and biocompatible PDMS film with embedded fluorescent beads by resuspending the beads in Sylgard 527, a type of PDMS, and curing the mixture in a Teflon mold to produce films that are 100 µm thick. Ultimately, these films will be attached at one end to cultured muscle cells and at the other end to a rigid support. As the cells are electrically stimulated and contract, the PDMS film will be stretched, causing the fluorescent beads to move. This movement can then be tracked and analyzed to gain information about the strength of the muscle cells’ contraction continuously as the contraction progresses.

Participation in undergraduate quality improvement research allows dedicated future health professionals to acquire foundational skills that enhance and prepare them for a career in medicine. Competency in clinical and patient experience can be gained through novel research and observation, which formulates a broad perspective of patient, provider and system integration. The University of Minnesota Rochester Chapter of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) carries out a variety of quality improvement projects to better the overall healthcare experience for patients and providers. The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) IHI Chapter was established in 2009, the same year students populated UMR’s campus. Recently, students have completed two projects focused on: 1) The relationship between patient time spent in the clinic and overall satisfaction and this relationship in conjunction with provider type and 2) The prescription refill process and possible inefficiencies. They will also discuss current research projects, goals and application of experiences toward future careers in medicine. This Chapter’s relationship with Mayo Clinic Rochester is orchestrated by Dr. Bachman and research projects are guided by Drs. Bachman and Olson.

14 | University of Minnesota


Pedro Angulo-Umaña

Jonathon Antonsen

Physics, Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Peter Olver, Jeff Calder Mentor's Departments: Mathematics

History, Political Science University of Minnesota Morris December 2018 Mentor: Stephen Gross Mentor's Department: History

Computational Bone Fracture Analysis and Relation to Agent of Breakage

The East Bethel Booster Club and the Agents of Provincial Progress

The interactions between early hominins and carnivores is of decidedly great interest in anthropology. An understanding of this dynamic can reveal an enormous amount about hominin development. A primary method used to develop this understanding is bone fracture analysis. By analysis of the way a bone sample is broken, certain conclusions can be made as to the agent of breakage. In particular, the angle at which the bone is broken—the angle formed by the bone’s exterior surface and the plane of bone exposed by the breakage—is thought to depend on whether the bone was modified via a localized impact, such as a primitive weapon, or by steady pressure, such as by a carnivore extracting meat. Rather than relying on physical measurements done on the bone samples, elements of computational geometry can be used to extract information about the bone from three-dimensional scan data. This will be done by the calculation of quantities inspired by the geometry of surfaces: principal curvatures, normal vectors, torsion, etc. These quantities can then be used to calculate the break angles of each break face on the bone sample, and determine the correlation between break angle and agent of breakage.

The year was 1957: The United States economy was booming, unemployment was shrinking, suburbs were expanding, and opportunity was plentiful. The precipice of progress that the “soaring sixties” represented brightened the hearts of Americans—illuminating what American historian W.J. Rorabaugh called the “promise of the sixties.” During the summer of 1957, this promise would breathe new life into a small township in rural Minnesota. In northern Anoka County, the United States federal government had plans to erect a new military base near the Bethel township. As quickly as residents had received the news, the township incorporated as East Bethel, and with the victory of incorporation, the East Bethel Booster Club was born. The Booster Club threw fundraisers, dances, and even advertised their community in magazines like the Wall Street Journal to attract businesses and other organizations to their community. Their story prompts a question: what purpose does a small town have for a boosting organization? Scholarship on booster organizations during American Suburbanization in the 1960s is scant, so this project compared the East Bethel Booster Club to the booster organizations of the Gilded Age. This turned out to be incredibly useful: booster organizations of the Gilded Age allowed a small town to progress into the modern era while also protecting their provincial roots. However, I find that boosters will then sow the seeds to their demise by allowing “foreign” influence into their communities. This model holds true with the East Bethel Booster Club, but it is a complicated story.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 15


Johanna Back

Tsvetelina Baryakova

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Mark Thomas Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Benjamin Hackel Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Blocking Relapse-related Behavior in Cocaine Addicted Mice

Design of Improved Peptidoglycan Hydrolases via Statistical Modeling of Natural Protein Sequences

Drug abuse, characterized by the compulsive use of a drug despite its negative consequences, hijacks mechanisms in the brain normally used for experience-dependent synaptic plasticity and creates drug-evoked synaptic plasticity. As a result, drug addiction is increasingly being regarded as an abnormal form of learning. Enhanced Îą-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) function is observed in many studies involving drug administration, especially when looking at periods of withdrawal. When a challenge dose of cocaine is given, terminating withdrawal, endocytosis of the GluR2 containing AMPARs occurs, resulting in long term depression (LTD) of the synapse. However, it has yet to be discovered what specific role these AMPARs play in relapse-related behaviors. Here we show that blocking the endocytosis of GluR2 containing AMPARs with a peptide results in an enhancement of synaptic transmission, ultimately decreasing cocaine-seeking behavior. Previous studies showed that this peptide was able to block the expression of LTD in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), abolishing the expression of behavioral sensitization, defined as enhanced motor activity induced by repeated administration of drugs of abuse. However, self-administration, involving the voluntary intake of cocaine, has been found to cause longer-lasting glutamatergic adaptations in the brain. Our results show evidence of a connection between the endocytosis of GluR2 containing AMPARs and drug seeking behavior caused by relapse.

The widespread administration of antibiotics has led to the inadvertent selection and prevalence of resistant strains of bacteria, due in part to the frequent horizontal intra- and inter-species transfer of resistance genes. The benefit of using engineered anti-microbial proteins (AMPs) to combat bacterial infection is multifold. AMPs can be rationally designed and are not limited by their natural prevalence, as is the case with traditional antibiotic discovery. They can also be made to target a metabolic product with a complex synthesis, thus significantly reducing the chances of the pathogen developing resistance over therapeutically-relevant timescales. In this work, the AMP of interest is a lysin derived from a vancomyocin-resistant enterococci (VRE)-specific bacteriophage. We leverage an established computational method that effectively scores one- and two-body residue energy contributions to a so-called evolutionary energy using natural sequence information. We aim to extend the usefulness of this model beyond predicting the effects of several, site-specific residue mutations to select for redesigned, locally-optimized lysin sequences with improved physical properties over the wildtype. Moreover, we aim to probe how the prediction efficacy of the method relates to the diversity of natural sequences supplied. The selected sequences are screened for specific lytic activity against VRE through the use of an optimized, mid-throughput plate assay. The thermal and lytic properties of active variants are characterized further via yeast surface display thermal challenge assay and measurement of the decrease in optical density of a mixture containing VRE owing to lysis, respectively.

16 | University of Minnesota


Bat-Orgil Batsaikhan

Joshua Bayer

Computer Science, Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Qi Zhao Mentor's Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Uzma Samadani Mentor's Department: Neurosurgery

Generative Adversarial Network for Videos and Saliency Map

Traumatic Brain Injury: Identification in a Pediatric Population

I present two different applications of the Generative Adversarial Network (GANs): VideoGAN and SalGAN. VideoGAN tries to predict and generate future frames of the video given an input image. SalGAN is a saliency model for predicting a human visual fixation, which is where people tend to look when they see a picture. I provide an open-source implementation of these models in PyTorch. In addition, I summarized my observations related to the architecture of the models, training process, and loss functions.

Unlike many other medical conditions that offer objective diagnostics for severity, the diagnosis of brain injury is overly reliant on subjective information. Multiple objective measures such as blood tests and EEG are currently being investigated for brain injury, and among the newest of these is eye tracking. Using ocular motility and related domains of brain function, eye-tracking is a methodology that provides insight into cranial nerve function and is indicative of brain injury. As a completely external source, eye-tracking using a mounted infrared camera, follows a patient’s eyes as they watch a video on an adjacent monitor. Segmentation and disconjugacy of the eyes is measured and can provide clinicians with a non-invasive approach to trauma assessment. Eye tracking has been used most predominantly in adult populations and previous work by Samadani et al. has showed eye-tracking can detect disconjugacy in patients with concussive and structural brain damage. In an adult population, eye-tracking metrics correlate with scoring using the Standardized Assessment of Concussions (SAC). However, eye-tracking has not yet been used frequently in populations under the age of 18, with use inversely proportional to age. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine whether eye-tracking is a viable assessment tool in children age 12 and under and whether there are differences between children with brain injury, and normal controls. This can then be compared against adult populations to determine whether or not the same correlation exists between eye tracking and SAC scores.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 17


David Begelman

Sara Behmanesh

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Sylvain Lesne Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Matthew D. Johnson Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering Research Partner: Krista Brackman

Quantification of Soluble Amyloid- Species and Oligomers within Tg2576 and J20 Mouse Models

Analyzing Gait in a Non-Human Primate MPTP model of Parkinson’s Disease during Deep Brain Stimulation in the Globus Pallidus

Neurotoxic elements that lead to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are composed of aggregate misfolded proteins. Accumulation of Aβ peptide in the form of soluble non-fibrillar oligomers has been shown to initiate a molecular cascade of events instigating cell death, neuronal dysfunction, and memory impairment. Different assays, such as homotypic and heterotypic ELISA, western blot, and dot blot, are used to assess the concentrations of Aβ40, Aβ42, and oligomers present within extractions of intracellular, membrane bound (MB), and extracellular brain layers of 6 month and 12 month Tg2576 and J20 mouse models. The Tg2576 mouse model expresses a human APP695 variant with the Swedish mutation (KM670/671NL) via the hamster prion protein (PrP) promoter resulting in memory deficits without neuronal loss and increased SDS soluble Aβ at 6 - 14 months old as well as abundant neuritic plaques and non-SDS soluble Aβ diffuse plaque species at ages greater than 14 months old. The J20 mouse model contains a Swedish and Indiana mutation (V717F) driven by the platelet derived growth factor (PDFG-β) promoter that expresses the transgene with highest levels in the neocortex and hippocampus. This mouse line experiences aggressive amyloid pathology leading to Aβ deposits as early 5 - 7 months along with synaptic loss. Currently, there is little quantitative knowledge on the relative abundance and intrinsic position of Aβ oligomers present within different stages of AD. The experiments conducted will address this important issue and provide information that may be used as a tool for future diagnostic purposes.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from the depletion of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. PD is characterized by many motor symptoms: bradykinesia, limb tremor, postural imbalance, and freezing of gait. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the globus pallidus (GP) can be an effective therapy for PD patients; however, stimulation effects on gait behavior and the underlying neurophysiology are not well understood. In this study, we used the MPTP non-human primate model of Parkinson’s disease to study the effects of GP-DBS on gait. To evaluate natural ambulation during parkinsonism and DBS conditions, a parkinsonian non-human primate walked freely in a 3.66m-by-0.75m testing apparatus. In the floor of the testing device, an HR-4VersaTek pressure walkway system (Tekscan,Inc) rapidly quantified the force production and temporal dynamics of gait. Gait variables included center-of-pressure, swing/stance time, and stride-to-stride variability. The parkinsonian non-human primate had a 32-contact DBS lead implanted in the GP with contacts in the internus (GPi), externus (GPe), with four stimulation conditions (DBS-OFF, GPe-DBS, GPi-DBS or GPe/GPi Border-DBS). Data analysis confirms therapeutic differences on gait during different DBS conditions (One-Way Anova p=0.03). Furthermore, akinetic events significantly increased in duration during the GPi-DBS condition as compared to control. Differences in stride time, cadence and pressure oscillations of the limbs during gait initiation were also characterized. This study confirms the validity of using our testing apparatus to study gait in an animal model of PD, while also providing a better understanding of the neurophysiological underpinnings of parkinsonian gait and freezing behaviors.

18 | University of Minnesota


Nicola Beilman

Scott Berens

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: William Engeland Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: David Poerschke Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Determining Adrenal Cell Proliferation versus Cell Hypertrophy in Adrenal Bmal1 Knock-Out Mice

Influence of Fe and Mg-doped Silicate on Garnet Phase Formation on Thermal Barrier Coatings

The adrenal cortex produces steroid hormones, including glucocorticoids. Due to patterns in the environment, animals have developed a 24-hour circadian rhythm. Adrenal cells express a molecular clock which follows this rhythm. Within adrenal cells, the Bmal1 gene is a clock gene required for a functional rhythm. There is increasing evidence that clock genes play a role in a functioning cell cycle (Shostak, 2017). To test the importance of the Bmal1 gene in circadian rhythms and the cell cycle, a Bmal1 knock-out (KO) mouse was developed. The KO mice are SCC Cre/+::Bmal Fl/Fl mutant mice. Bmal1 is cleaved out of the cells where the cholesterol side-chain cleavage (SCC) enzyme is found. The SCC enzyme is found specifically in the adrenal cortex. This results in Bmal1 being knocked out of the adrenal cortex. In other tissues, the reduction of clock genes has shown a decrease in cell proliferation (Yang et al., 2009). This implies that a functional circadian clock promotes cell proliferation, yet in cancer cells, a downregulation in the Bmal1 gene accelerates the cell proliferation (Zeng et al., 2010). Therefore, in healthy cells, Bmal1 promotes cells proliferation, and in cancerous cells, a decrease in Bmal1 promotes cell proliferation. In experiments done in the Engeland-Kofuji lab, the adrenal weights of male and female Bmal1 KO mice were greater in the KO mice than the control mice (SCC +/+::Bmal fl/fl). The goal of this research is to determine if cell proliferation, cell hypertrophy, or both are causing the increase in adrenal weight.

The increasing implementation of hot-gas turbine engines has catalyzed the need for more robust thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). This requires a better understand the influence of the varying silicate composition on the preferential formation of either the apatite or garnet structure that occurs as a result of molten silicate of the TBCs. To simulate and observe this phenomenon, synthetic silicates, based on a 1:1 Ca:Si ratio, were synthesized with varying MgO, Fe2O3, and Al2O3 content, by annealing at 1150 for 24 h in an alumina crucible. The synthetic silicate (dust) mixture and the TBC powder will be forced into a 0.15 g pellet, comprised of 25 mol% TBC (either Y2O3 or Y2Zr3O12 in separate trials) and 75 mol % silicate. The pellet will be covered with platinum foil and suspended from a platinum wire in a furnace at 1300 for 50 h. The pellet will be analyzed with x-ray diffraction to determine whether the apatite and garnet structure are present. It is hypothesized that increased concentrations of both iron and magnesium will increase the instances of garnet crystal formation relative to that of the apatite crystal structure.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 19


Molly Bergum

Celina Berndt

Plant Science, Biology, Society and Environment College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Jacques Finlay Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Urban Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology

The Effects of Discharge on Carbon Cycling in the Mississippi River

Social-media Learning Environments and Middle School Science Student Engagement

The complex interactions dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) have with their riverine environments will be modified by the changing precipitation and discharge regimes projected to accompany climate change. This study focuses on the effects discharge has on DOC and DIC processes in the Mississippi River. Samples were collected weekly from the Mississippi River and analyzed for DIC and DOC concentrations and optical characteristics that serve as proxies for factors of DOC origin. DIC had a strong inverse relationship with river discharge. DOC was positively correlated with discharge, antecedent precipitation and specific UV absorbance (SUVA254). The inverse relationship between DIC and discharge is likely due to an increased effect of groundwater DIC under low flows or more degassing under high flows. The positive relationship between DOC and discharge could be indicative of more DOC leaching from terrestrial inputs. Precipitation averages over multi-week periods better related to DOC than instantaneous precipitation, suggesting a lag time for terrestrial DOC transport. The positive trend between SUVA254 and DOC suggests that greater DOC concentrations can be attributed to more terrestrial DOC because SUVA254 increases with aromaticity, a quality of terrestrial DOC. If the Mississippi River experiences more frequent precipitation and greater discharge under a changing climate, the river could accept greater inputs of terrestrial DOC and carry less DIC.

Minnesota boasts some of the best scores in education in comparison with other states, but there are also significant educational gaps between white students and students of color, especially in science education. In this study, I am investigating the relationship between the implementation of a social-media learning environment (SLE), Flipgrid (flipgrid.com), and immigrant and minority middle school student science engagement with the goal of finding ways to reduce the opportunity gap in science education. The students involved are immigrant and minority students at Farnsworth Aerospace Pre K-8 and Anne Sullivan Middle School, which are part of the St. Paul Public School District and the Minneapolis Public School District, respectively. The social-media learning environment has been implemented for both in-class activities with students and and out-of-class activities with students and parents, so I will also specifically investigate the relationship between parental involvement in SLE and student engagement. My research questions are as follows: What is the relationship between participation in SLE activities and science engagement among immigrant and minority middle school students? What is the relationship between parent participation in SLE activities and science engagement among immigrant and minority middle school students? Student engagement has been measured and will be analyzed using direct classroom observations, survey results from the Modified Attitudes towards Science Inventory (mATSI), the STEM Careers Interest Survey, and student/parent responses from SLE activities. This survey data was collected by researchers as part of the ESPRIT (fostering Equitable Science through PaRental Involvement and Technology) project in 2017 and 2018. The direct classroom observations are ongoing through March of 2018. The analysis of this study will contribute to existing research about how technology and parental involvement can be useful tools in minimizing the educational opportunity gap.

20 | University of Minnesota


Aliza Beverage Astrophysics, Physics College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Claudia Scarlata Mentor's Department: Physics and Astronomy

Nicole Biagi Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Robert Blair Mentor's Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

The Evolution of Galaxy Merger Fraction in the WISP Survey Since z ~ 1.5

Breeding Season Bird Mortality from Window Collisions: Comparing Species-Specific Abundance with Mortality Rates

We present a sample of spectroscopically identified emission line galaxy pairs up to z ~1.5 from the WISP (WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel) survey using high resolution direct and grism images from the Hubble Space Telescope. After searching 483 WISP fields, we compile a sample of merging galaxies. From these data, the merger fraction, and thus merger rate, of galaxies as a function of cosmic time is determined, along with the mass-ratio of each pair. We also investigate star formation in merging galaxies as compared to isolated galaxies using their H-alpha luminosities.

The second largest anthropogenic cause of bird mortality in North America is bird-window collision, which kills 100s of millions of birds every year in the United States alone. Many studies have focused on documenting species-specific collision occurrences during the migration seasons, which are commonly thought to be the time of year with the highest rate of mortality. However, few studies have been conducted during periods when birds are sedentary. Similarly, only a small number of studies have attempted to compare collision occurrence to local abundance. To help fill these gaps, data on bird-window collisions were collected in a downtown business district including the collection of carcass (i.e. collisions) and local point counts (i.e. species frequency) during the summer breeding season. In total, 15 species were observed but only three (house sparrow, house finch, and American robin) were observed both alive and dead. The other 12 species were either detected alive but not found dead or found dead but not detected alive. This finding suggests that there is a discrepancy in collision likelihood among species that should be further studied to determine which traits are shared among those that collide more or less often relative to their abundance. Some traits that could be studied include species origin (i.e. native or introduced), foraging style, nesting habits, mating patterns, flocking, age, or sex. With improved understanding of traits that make some species more prone to collisions than others, city planners and developers may be able to improve development strategies to decrease bird-window collisions.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 21


Abbi Blais

Emma Boehm

Animal Science, Pre-Veterinary Medicine College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences December 2019 Mentor: Jaime Modiano Mentor's Department: Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Ruth Shaw Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Investigating Gene Signatures to Stratify Canine Osteosarcoma Tumors into Two Previously Defined Phenotypes

Investigating Maternal Effects in the Annual Legume Chamaecrista Fasciculata

Osteosarcoma (OSA), a primary tumor of bone, is common in large and giant dog breeds. Previously, we characterized two distinct groups of canine OSA with more aggressive and less aggressive behavior. However, there are no practical tests available to assign dogs into these categories. My hypothesis for this project is that a subset of genes will allow for an abbreviated gene expression test to determine into which group a tumor sample falls. Secondarily, I hypothesize that the absence of the tumor-suppressing PTEN gene will correlate with the development of more aggressive OSA. To test my hypotheses, I will use banked samples from dogs with OSA that showed a broad range of survival times. Thus far, 1) suitable housekeeping gene controls were established 2) an optimal concentration of cDNA for assay testing was determined, and 3) a test of gene signatures using 7 genes (GAPDH, AURKA, AURKB, CCNA2, CCNB2, BUB1B, TOP2A) with previously-studied OSA cell line samples solidified the reliability of the genes for later use. Looking ahead, a subset of samples will be tested for expression of the PTEN gene to evaluate its correlation with OSA aggressiveness. I expect that dogs lacking the PTEN gene will have more aggressive OSAs and shorter survival times. I also expect to identify a subset of genes from the previously-defined prognostic OSA gene clusters, which can be developed as a clinical diagnostic test. Potential obstacles to this research include a small initial sample size, and selection of gene sets that will have limited utility.

Expression of plant phenotypes may differ due to perturbations in environment, and could contribute to persistence in rapid climate changes. One explanation for these phenotypic changes is phenotypic plasticity, in which environmental variation acts on the genotype to cause differential trait expression. A specific mode of plasticity is the effect of maternal environment on offspring traits. Maternal effects are genetic contributions of the maternal plant beyond chromosomal inheritance and the environmental influence prevailing over the maternal plant to the phenotype of the offspring. Native prairies are often subject to spatial obstacles causing habitat fragmentation and impeding dispersal to more favorable conditions. As survival depends on response within their environment, detecting the presence of adaptive maternal effects in prairie plants such as the annual prairie legume, Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea) may elucidate population persistence and inform conservation strategies. Seed from two pedigreed maternal C. fasciculata populations in experimental field plots, one subject to drought through rainout shelters and the other to ambient watering, were planted in both watering treatments in the greenhouse. Drought treatments were imposed via watering on every third day whereas ambient plants were watered every other day. We hypothesized that individuals planted in conditions that matched their maternal plant would have higher fitness than offspring from maternal plants in the other plot. Fitness proxies included germination success, flowering date, height, and surface leaf area (SLA). Initial findings along with further analysis will be available at the time of presentation.

22 | University of Minnesota


Amanda Borowski

Krista Brackman

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Joe Gaugler Mentor's Department: Nursing Research Partner: Jake Robinson, Megan Petersen

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2021 Mentor: Dr. Matthew Johnson Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering Research Partner: Sara Behmanesh

Augustana Care Learning Lab

Analyzing Gait in a Non-Human Primate MPTP model of Parkinson’s Disease during Deep Brain Stimulation in the Globus Pallidus

The ALL program has the potential to link older adults and their family members to appropriate technologies that can support at-home living. A large majority of participants and their care partners were satisfied with the ALL class and planning activities, and some participants retained usage of the recommended technology after one month. These findings support the usage of informational classes to facilitate technology readiness in older adults and their families, as well as the potential of offering technology education that is not offered nor sponsored by one or a handful of for-profit technology providers.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder resulting from the depletion of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. This can result in debilitating motor symptoms such as rigidity, limb tremor, postural imbalance, or gait dysfunction. Current therapies for advanced PD include targeting the globus pallidus nucleus with deep brain stimulation (DBS), but for some patients this therapy can fail to improve their ability to walk. This experiment focuses on evaluating DBS in different regions of the globus pallidus and the corresponding gait changes in the non-human primate MPTP model of PD. To evaluate natural ambulation, a parkinsonian non-human primate was allowed to walk freely in a 3.66m-by-0.75m testing apparatus containing a pressure walkway (Tekscan, Inc). The pressure walkway automatically quantifies typical gait variables such as center-of-pressure, swing and stance time, and stride-to-stride variability. A 32-contact DBS lead was implanted in the globus pallidus such that electrode contacts were directed towards the globus pallidus internus (GPi), the globus pallidus externus (GPe) and contacts that targeted both. Four stimulation conditions were tested: DBS-OFF, GPe-DBS, GPi-DBS and GPe/GPi-DBS. Preliminary data analysis shows therapeutic differences on gait during different DBS conditions, including significantly increasing the duration of akinetic gait events during GPi-DBS as compared to DBS-OFF. This study confirms the validity of using our testing apparatus to study gait in a non-human primate model of PD. This is an important step in our goal of better understanding the neurophysiological underpinnings of parkinsonian gait and freezing behaviors. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 23


Mikaela Brandt-Fontaine

Lindsay Breidenbach

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Zachary Zeidler Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Laurie Parker Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Targeting the Ventral Hippocampus for a Novel Mouse Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Developing a BTK Terbium Biosensor to Easily Identify Kinase Inhibition

Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of focal chronic seizure disorder. Seizures as a result of mesial TLE often begin in the hippocampus. The mouse hippocampus is commonly divided into dorsal and ventral domains, associated more with cognitive and limbic function, respectively. A common model of TLE in mice uses a dorsal intrahippocampal kainate injection (IHKA). However, evidence suggests the ventral hippocampus may be more clinically relevant target for an epileptogenic insult. This study characterizes a model of TLE that uses a ventral hippocampal injection. The model was characterized by examining seizure activity, behavior, and anatomic pathology and comparing that to the standard dorsal hippocampal injection model. The results of seizure analysis show no significant difference in behavioral seizures induced in the dorsal versus ventral model. Analysis of memory deficits show significant difference in hippocampal dependent memory between the saline injected mice and both kainate injected models, but no significant difference is seen between the dorsal and ventral models. Anatomical pathology, though not yet quantified, was evident in both models. These data suggest behavior deficits in kainate injected mice, and memory deficits present in both dorsal and ventral models. More research is necessary to determine if a ventral hippocampal kainate injection does create a distinct model of TLE that more closely resembles human TLE.

Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) causes cancerous growth in mature B lymphocytes and B cells. B-cell antigen receptor (BCR) creates pro-cancer microenvironments by secreting cytokines, signaling growth for nearby cells, and promoting cells adhesion. BTK is a crucial downstream kinase to BCR, involved directly in adhesion and found exclusively in B-cells. Because this protein is specific to B cells and play such an important role in CLL proliferation, it is a prime target for inhibition. In fact, inhibitors for BTK, like Ibrutinib, already succeeded in slowing disease progression. However, CLL cells mutate quickly and overcome these drugs. Terbium biosensors fluoresce more in the presence of phosphate. Thus, terbium biosensors can determine how effectively a kinase will be inhibited in a high-throughput setting. A substrate that BTK specifically phosphorylates is needed for this biosensor to target and measure it’s activity, however no substrates are currently known. Kinase Assay Linked with Phosphoproteomics (KALIP) will be employed to find BTK substrates. This method exposes multiple peptides to the desired kinase. The resulting phosphopeptides are pulled out of solution via magnets. The phosphopeptides are then analyzed on the mass spectrometer. From here the KINATEST-ID pipeline analyzes KALIP data to find which amino acids at what given position would form the best substrate. It also looks at other kinases and judges how specific the peptide is to BTK. Substrates predicted from KINATEST-ID will be created and tested. Overall, using the KALIP and KINATEST-ID processes, a substrate for a terbium biosensor can be found for BTK.

24 | University of Minnesota


Bayla Breningstall

Sam Bullard

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Mohamud Jama Mentor's Department: International Development

Child Psychology College of Liberal Arts Spring 2019 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology Research Partners: Corissa Wurth, Evan Son, Chanel Flower

Challenges and Strategies of Mental Healthcare in Kenya: The Case of the Coast

Fostering Equitable Science through Parent Involvement & Technology

Previous analyses, governmental and otherwise, of situational public mental healthcare in Kenya describe glaring deficiencies. These include lack of access in rural communities, inadequate human resource availability, and funding deprioritization. In recent years, there have been efforts to make policy improvements to public mental healthcare as a development priority. These planned changes have included integration of the health sector and community leadership, educational outreach, and better mental health training for healthcare providers of any kind. This qualitative survey sought to learn from a practical perspective how these changes have impacted mental healthcare in Kenya, especially in impoverished areas. Methodology consisted of observation of patient care in multiple centers for mental healthcare in Mombasa over a 3 week period, as well as interviews with key informants about their work and community interaction. The research found that due to stigmatization and lack of awareness about mental illness presentation and treatment, many Kenyans do not access care. Additionally, educational programs struggle to receive funding, and few providers bear responsibility for a large number of Kenyans. Most mental healthcare is provided in private practice, causing affordability issues for a significant segment of the population. This indicates that there remains a gap between ideals regarding human rights and healthcare and provision of treatment for people with mental illness in Kenya.

The ESPRIT (Fostering Equitable Science through PaRent Involvement & Technology) project focuses on closing the achievement gap in STEM through engaging classroom activities that seek the involvement of middle school students’ families. More specifically, students are asked to record videos on a social media platform, Flipgrid (Flipgrid.com), to reflect on their learning in science classes. The current article is a branch off the ESPRIT project and focuses on how language and engagement in these video assignments differ when the students record from home (with their families) versus when they record at school. Our analysis will involve viewing a group of middle school students’ submitted Flipgrid videos where they reflect on the prompts posed by their teacher that ask them to reflect on ideas covered in their science class and how they are relevant to their everyday lives. We will code for language that focuses on scientific or on experience-based vocabulary. We predict students would use more experience-based vocabulary when recording the videos at home and more scientific jargon when recording in an academic setting. The purpose of this analysis is to get an idea of how students are reflecting on their science learning and how this reflection is affected by their environment. This work has important implications for the field of education research because it will highlight variations in how students are using social media platform to support their science learning. The outcomes will be important for those interested in teacher practices, home-school connections, and student learning outcomes in STEM.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 25


Colin Bunner

Conor Burke-Smith

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Ilja Siepmann Mentor's Department: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Rwoof Reshi Mentor's Department: Neurology

Gibbs Ensemble Monte Carlo Simulations Probing the Miscibility Gap in Water/Hydrogen Mixtures at High Temperatures and Pressures

Diabetic Status and the Effectiveness of Glucose Regulation for Hyperglycemic Patients in Acute Ischemic Stroke

To explore fluid-fluid immiscibility in the binary system H2O/H2 under extreme conditions, NPT-Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo simulations of an equimolar mixture are carried out at temperatures above the critical point of neat water (650 to 900 K) and pressures of 1.8 and 2.6 GPa. The simulations, using molecular mechanics force fields that treat both molecules as rigid and nonpolarizable but quantitatively reproduce the critical points of the neat compounds, support the presence of a miscibility gap under these conditions, in agreement with a recent experimental study that found two distinct immiscible phases in olivine inclusions. Analysis of the atom-atom radial distribution functions for H2O in the H2 -rich phase highlights the microheterogeneous structure, with significant H2O aggregation. Examination of the cluster size distribution of these H2O aggregates shows that the free energy penalty associated with increasing the cluster size is a driving force for immiscibility and that the miscibility gap is closed by the onset of a percolating cluster. The distribution of H-bond energies and geometries also reveals the weakening of the H-bond network in these mixtures under extreme conditions. (When typing this up for the booklet, can you please italicize "NPT" and subscript the 2 in both H2O and H2? Thank you!)

High admission serum glucose portends poor prognosis in acute ischemic stroke (AIS), and animal studies demonstrate hyperglycemia increases infarct size after ischemia. While expert opinion is currently to normalize blood glucose after AIS, all prospective trials testing the efficacy of this treatment have failed to show a benefit to this practice. The lack of success from these trials remains to be explained. This study investigated whether the diabetic status of a patient may affect their response to glucose control. To do this, one of these trials was reanalyzed using diabetic status to form new subgroups for comparison. Non-diabetic hyperglycemic (NDHG) patients who received tight glucose control were compared to NDHG patients who received less tight glucose control. It was hypothesized that glucose normalization in the NDHG subgroup could actually be producing a negative effect, as hyperglycemia may be part of a natural stress response to stroke. Data from the Glucose Regulation in Acute Stroke Patients (GRASP) Trial was made available to us for reanalysis. However, this trial was not powered to assess efficacy, and thus we could not find significant differences between the outcomes of NDHG patients who had tight or less tight glucose control. This method of analysis will be completed for the larger trials in the near future.

26 | University of Minnesota


Samir Bushra

Lauren Bystrom

Financial Markets Labovitz School of Business and Economics, Duluth May 2018 Mentor: Jason Turkiela Mentor's Department: Finance & Management Information Sciences

Neuroscience, Genetics and Cell Development College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Patrick Rothwell Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Is The Interest In Short Interest Coming Up... Short?

Dose Dependent Oxycodone Conditioned Place Preference in Mice

Within financial markets, the practice of short selling remains controversial. This is because some view short selling as a predatory act that enacts certain negative feedback loops for the stock price and the underlying company. Meanwhile, others view short selling as a mechanism to make stock prices more accurate by accounting for negative informations and make the markets more efficient. Recent theoretical research has suggested that short selling may especially affect financial firms due to both their higher leverage and natural maturity mismatch. Additionally, financial institutions uniquely often have leverage constraints, short term creditors, contagious bank runs, and the perception of a possible large bank bail out for those institutions deemed “too big to fail”. To date, little has been done to empirically test the aforementioned factors effects on and effects from short selling. The purpose of this research is to empirically test if both the stocks of financial institutions, and the financial institutions themselves, are more vulnerable to short selling than those in other sectors. We’ll examine if short selling especially affects banks by looking at the stock returns of both highly shorted and minimally shorted banks, in addition to examining the traits of both on a fundamental and technical level. This research is important because banks and financial institutions are crucial for a well functioning economy, acting as the funnel and incubator of both capital and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Therefore, short selling can potentially affect the whole economy, making this paper distinctly policy relevant.

Opiate-based analgesic drugs, such as morphine and oxycodone, are regularly prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain. These drugs are extremely addictive and their overuse has led to an opioid abuse epidemic in the United States. There has been a lot of research done on the how morphine may promote changes in the brain chemistry that leads to addiction. Oxycodone has been studied a lot less than morphine, however in clinical practice, it is being prescribed more often. In this study a Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) assay was used because allows researchers to measure a drug’s reinforcing properties, which in turn may develop into abusive behaviors and addiction. In this study, 16 adult mice were exposed to two novel environments on alternating days with each environment paired to either 10 mg/kg oxycodone or saline. There were a total of four conditioning days followed by a test without any injections. Preference was determined by looking at how much time was spent on the drug or saline paired environment compared to baseline. Initial data shows a 9.4% increase in time spent on the drug paired side, indicating that exposure to oxycodone induces CPP and has possible reinforcing properties. This research is critical because by better understanding the factors that affect rewarding and reinforcing properties of oxycodone, we can better understand the development of abuse and addiction. The conclusions from this project can then be used to further develop new therapeutic strategies to begin to ameliorate the drug epidemic this country now faces.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 27


Oana Capatina

Michelle Caputi

Classical and Near Eastern Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Patricia Ahearne-Kroll Mentor's Department: Classical and Near Eastern Studies

Kinesiology, Psychology College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Diane Wiese-Bjornstal Mentor's Department: Kinesiology

Dendara: Ptolemaic Patronage and the Cult of Hathor

Serve Return Performance Enhancement Through Video Training and Self-Efficacy in Division III Tennis Players

The purpose of my research is to examine the ways in which the Ptolemaic Dynasty, a Greek ruling class, repurposed Egyptian temples to propagate their political identity and ideological platform. The temple at Dendara was the foremost site of cultic activity in Lower Egypt, an area known for its diverse ethnic background and rich cultural history. My research paper examines the hieroglyphic images and texts on the temples of Dendara, the ritual activities performed at the temple, and the history of the Ptolemies’ patronage of the site (including their restructuring of the temple’s economy and priestly infrastructure) in order to better understand the cross-cultural exchanges that occurred at religious centers in Hellenistic Egypt. The primary methodologies employed will be the following: an art historical analysis of the reliefs and cultic statues at the site; a ritual analysis of the mortuary practices and of the cult of Hathor at Dendara; and a textual analysis of Egyptian hieroglyphics and Greek contracts regarding the temple’s renovations. Dendara is a site that has been well-excavated over the years, but its connection to the Ptolemaic dynasty has largely been ignored by Egyptologists. My research intends to shed light on the interrelationship between the Ptolemaic kings and the rich cultic centers of Lower Egypt in the Hellenistic age.

Video training has been shown to improve athletic skills such as decision-making and anticipation (Broadbent, Causer, Williams, & Ford, 2015). Development of these skills has resulted in athletes reporting higher levels of confidence regarding their abilities (Caserta & Singer, 2007). However, self-efficacy and video training deliberate practice techniques have not been studied together during both practice and competition situations. Although part of a larger study, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether video training affects competition serve return performance through self-efficacy perceptions in men’s and women’s Division III tennis players. The 19 participants (9 male, 10 female) were randomly assigned to either the serve return video intervention group or the reaction time control group. Participants audio recorded responses to open-ended questions about their current serve return perceptions before and after each practice match. It is anticipated the participants with higher self-efficacy perceptions prior to their match will have more efficient serve returns during their match. It is also anticipated that the serve return intervention group will have higher self-efficacy perceptions than the control group. The results of this study will apply to tennis players and coaches who use video-based training to improve on-court performance.

28 | University of Minnesota


Seyoung Cha

Neelam Chandiramani

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: David Largaespada Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Sehoya Cotner Mentor's Department: Biology, Teaching, and Learning

Development of a Novel Doxycycline-Controlled Sleeping Beauty Transposase System Using Chimeric Mice

Investigating the Interactions and Engagement of Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposase system has been widely used as a model to study the genetic factors involved in cancers1. SB transposase is an enzyme capable of mobilizing a transposon from a donor site to various locations of the host’s cell genome5. When paired with a mutagenic SB transposon, like T2/Onc, tumors can manifest in the host, and those tumors can then be sequenced to determine what genes the transposon affected leading to tumor development3. Once tumors from multiple mice are studied, common insertion sites, and candidate cancer genes, may be identified8. The transposase system was first developed by Dr. Perry Hackett at the University of Minnesota5, and was utilized by Dr. David Largaespada for forward genetic screens in mice1. A new SB transposase system, called SB100, offering more control over transcription and mutagenesis of the mouse genome has been developed7. This new transgene consists of a construct that is a doxycycline-dependent promoter followed by a loxP-flanked polyadenylation signal capable of stopping translation, leading to the Sleeping Beauty transposase gene. A tissue-specific cre recombinase transgene has also been implemented2, so that the removal of the polyadenylation site and eventual transcription of the SB100 gene will be specific to the tissue-of-interest. In this project, the purpose is to create a mouse-line that has the SB100 transposase gene with the doxycycline dependent promoter and is capable of producing future progeny with the same gene.

Undergraduate biology labs for non-biology majors play an important role in creating a hands-on environment through application of the concepts taught through the course. Undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants play a critical role in students' learning and outcome The main purpose of this study will be to understand how the educational level of the teaching assistant, undergraduate versus graduate, affects the behavior of students. Through the use of the segmented observation protocol, the Laboratory Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (LOPUS), the role of the teaching assistant will be analyzed. Using this protocol will allow the behaviors of the students to be characterized based on the engagement, communication, and instructional styles of the teaching assistant. My hypothesis is: graduate TAs will have more interactional and one-on-one engagements with students than undergraduate TAs. Data will be interpreted within the context of LOPUS coding and scoring, and examine effectiveness of TA instruction.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 29


Katherine Chen

Tiffany Cheng

Genetics Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Yasuhiko Kawakami Mentor's Department: Genetics Cell Biology and Development

Violin Performance College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Matthew Rahaim Mentor's Department: Music

Genetic Interactions Between Sall4 and Plzf Regulate Appendicular Skeletal Development in Mice

Contemporary Intergenerational Transmission of Music in the Communities of the Indigenous Taiwanese Peoples

The development of the appendicular skeletal elements represents a paradigm in which a small number of progenitor cells undergo proliferation, patterning and differentiation, to lead to the formation of each element with a distinct position and a unique morphology. We have previously found that conditionally inactivating Sall4 (Sall4 cKO), which encodes a transcription factor, during gastrulation by T-Cre caused defects in the formation of the proximal-anterior skeletal elements, such as the femur, tibia and anterior digits. In contrast, Sall4 cKO at later time in the lateral plate mesoderm using Hoxb6Cre caused only the loss of the anterior digit. After generating Hoxb6cre; Sall4; Plzf compound mutants, and comparing them to Hoxb6cre; Sall4 cKO and Plzf KO mice with skeletal staining and gene expression patterns, we found that Hoxb6cre; Sall4 cKO hindlimbs exhibited a loss of the anterior digit (d1). Plzf null mice developed extra anterior digit and/or posteriorization of the most anterior digit, and Hoxb6Cre; Sall4; Plzf double knockouts exhibited defects in the anterior-proximal skeletal elements, such as the femur and tibia. These defects resemble that of T-Cre; Sall4 cKO mice. Through whole mount gene expression analysis, we detected a reduction of marker genes in Hoxb6Cre; Sall4; Plzf double knockout (dKO) embryos, which mimicked T-Cre; Sall4 cKO embryos. The results support the idea that the combined function of Sall4 and Plzf is necessary in regulating the development of early limb bud cells into anterior-proximal skeletal elements.

“Our songs were just part of our daily life, we just learned them as we worked the fields and gathered together.� Without any need for sheet music, songs were indirectly transmitted generation to generation in the tribes of the indigenous Taiwanese peoples. However, under the kuomingtang’s 40 years of martial law, the institution of policies, such as the prohibition of ethnic languages and rituals, were particularly damaging to this method of indirect oral transmission, to the point where many members of indigenous tribes are unable to fluently speak their tribal language outside of commonly used words and phrases and the lyrics of important ritual songs. The democratization of Taiwan has led to the reversal of these policies, allowing for the performance and speaking of native songs and languages. Additionally, the migration of young indigenous adults from rural villages into cities in search of jobs have left many children in the care of their relatives back in the village. This has led to the creation of small musical youth groups, providing communal support and an avenue for the preservation of traditional song and dance. Furthermore, the development of tourism and the commercial music industry have created demand for and monetary support for performances of indigenous Taiwanese music. These factors have created an environment transforming intergenerational transmission of music within indigenous Taiwanese tribes from a passive practice to an active one, purposefully creating bonds between the community and preserving tribal language and customs through traditional song and dance.

30 | University of Minnesota


Tabitha Chettupally

Matthew Chrostek

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Uzma Samadani Mentor's Department: Neurosurgery

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences September 2018 Mentor: Walter Low Mentor's Department: Neurosurgery

Crush Injury: An Unrecognized Impact

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as a Cell-Based Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Traumatic brain injury, often referred to as TBI, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. TBI’s can result from a violent blow to the head or body and can result in consequences such as elevated ICP and cranial nerve palsy that affects extraocular movements. Previous studies have demonstrated the critical use of eye tracking technology in detecting TBI as it can catch even the slightest changes in ICP as well as conjugacy in ocular movement. In the case of crush-injured patients, it typically goes completely unsuspected that these patients would experience effects to their intracranial compartment. Eye tracking data from two thoraco/abdominal crush-injured patients, however, has shown indications of elevated ICP and thus impact on the brain by crush injury. This suggests that crush patients display similar dysfunction to patients with typical TBIs, bringing to the surface a previously unrecognized and overlooked consequence of crush injury.

Tissue organoids grown from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) offer a novel source of dopaminergic neural progenitors which could be used in cell-based therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD). We have developed midbrain organoids from hiPSC cultured in Cell-Mate3D hydrogel matrix in E8 medium. Over six weeks of growth in vitro, immunostaining of the midbrain organoids revealed cell markers characteristic of the developing midbrain, FOXA1, LMX1A, ALCAM, NURR1, and OTX2, as well as markers for dopaminergic cells including PITX3, DAT, and TH. RNA-seq. analysis confirmed the expression of markers characteristic of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and progenitors. Organoids were dissociated into a single-cell suspension for transplantation into the striatum of immunosuppressed 6-OHDA lesioned rats and unlesioned controls. Functional recovery was assessed every two weeks using the amphetamine induced rotation task. Transplantation of midbrain organoids into 6-OHDA lesioned rats led to functional recovery. Eight weeks following transplantation, neither group displayed adverse effects and histological analysis revealed no tumorigenicity from the transplanted organoids. Immunostaining of the transplanted brains detected the presence of human cells using the STEM121 antibody, indicating engraftment and survival of the transplanted cells. Immunostaining also revealed the presence of myelin basic protein co-label with STEM121, indicating the presence of a surviving oligodendrocyte lineage amongst the transplanted cells. These results demonstrate that hiPSC can be used to generate midbrain organoid-derived cell preparations that can survive transplantation and produce functional improvements in 6-OHDA lesioned rat models of PD. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 31


Julia Clarin

Joshua Condon

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Dr. David Wood Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Megan McCarthy Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular biology, and Biophysics

Quantifying Sickle Cell Delay Time Using Microfluidics

Impact of Arrhythmogenic Mutations of Calmodulin in Regulation of Calcium Release

The mechanical stiffening of red blood cells that occurs in sickle cell disease typically leads to reduced blood flow velocities as blood becomes deoxygenated throughout vascular transit. However, it was theorized that individual sickle red blood cells experience a stochastic lag between initial deoxygenation and onset of mechanical, cellular stiffening, known as sickle delay time. Furthermore, it was theorized that if the delay time was found to be longer than the transit time of sickle blood cells through the microcirculation, mechanical stiffening would not impair the flow of whole blood. However, we believe that while this occurs in individual sickle cells, the stochastic nature of delay time leads to a whole blood rheological response that is no longer dictated by the mechanical impairments of individual cells stiffening. To test this theory, we developed a microfluidic platform to mimic in vivo blood flow of the microcirculation and perfused whole sickle blood through the device while varying oxygen tensions. We controlled blood transit times through our microvascular channels and quantified blood flow velocities at oxygenated and deoxygenated levels. We found deoxygenated blood velocities were significantly reduced compared to the fully oxygenated controls. This indicates that while delay time may exist for individual cells, delay time of individual sickle cells does not dictate the rheological function of whole sickle blood. These results also suggest that the mechanics of sickle blood rheology are imperative to further our understanding of sickle cell disease.

CPVT is a devastating inherited disorder characterized by stress�induced ventricular arrhythmias in young patients with structurally normal hearts[3]. In addition to mutations in RyR, mutations in an important modulator, calmodulin (CaM) have recently been associated with CPVT[4, 5]. Although these mutations in CaM have been attributed to alteration in CaM-mediated modulation of RyR, which leads to increased Ca leak from the SR, the mechanism of altered regulation remains poorly understood. I hypothesize that these functional effects on RyR are caused by measurable structural changes in the CaM-RyR complex, and that elucidation of these structure-function connections will be crucial in the analysis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. FRET data analysis helped determine whether my original hypothesis was correct.

32 | University of Minnesota


Carissa Coudray

Andrew Crawford

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Patricia Frazier Mentor's Department: Psychology

Economics College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Mike Kilgore Mentor's Department: Forestry

Moderators of Treatment Response to an Online Stress Management Intervention

State Timber Harvesting Notification Laws: A Summary

High levels of stress are common among college students and are linked to negative outcomes including mental health problems. Online interventions may be one way to reach students who lack access or may not seek help otherwise. Previous research has demonstrated the overall efficacy of these interventions. However, some students may not be distressed enough to benefit from these interventions. It is therefore important to examine potential moderators to better understood for whom these interventions are effective. A common technique for examining the effect of a moderator requires the investigator to operationalize arbitrary levels of this moderator to represent 'low', 'moderate', and 'high' points along the continuum. Typically, this amounts to selecting points at the mean and one standard deviation above and below the mean to delineate these ranges. Alternatively, the Johnson-Neyman technique examines all points along the continuum of a moderator and derives the specific value at which point the effect transitions to significance. Using this technique, we examined initial scores on mental health measures as potential moderators of treatment response to an online stress management intervention. Results indicate that there are specific cutoff scores on measures of perceived stress, stress, anxiety, and depression below which point the effect of the intervention was not significant, and cutoff scores for present control above which the intervention was not significant. This suggests that online stress management interventions may be better suited for an indicated rather than universal prevention approach. Future analyses will examine the potential costs associated with these findings.

Timber harvest notification laws (THNL) are used in 40% of US states to notify the state and local government when, where, and how much timber is being harvested. While detailed information on state THNL exists, to my knowledge a comprehensive assessment of their administrative policies and procedures has not been prepared. To address this information gap, my project entailed researching each state’s THNL to describe how each is administered. I gathered data on every state’s laws and identified the similarities and differences among the laws and how they are administered. I compiled the information in a table summarizing the key provisions. The table has five key provisions: (1) agency to notify, (2) the waiting period of notification approval, (3) names, location, volume, and maps, (4) penalty for failure to notify state, (5) if the harvest was done by a qualified timber harvester. Lastly, I emailed state forestry departments to track usage in each state for 2016. I found that 20 states now have timber harvest notification laws compared to 14 recorded in 2014. This study shows that THNL are becoming more widely used, specifically in the northwest and northeast regions of the US. State timber harvest notification laws are extremely useful within the study of forestry because they provide accurate measures of the amount, location, and timing of timber harvesting activity on private forest land.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 33


Nicole Cronin

Britta Dahl

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Naoko Shima Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Global Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Danielle Dadras Mentor's Department: Global Studies

Testing the Functional Interplay of Translesion Synthesis and Dormant Origin Firing Against UV- Induced Mutations in Mouse Cells

Anarchists, Activists, and Refugees: Reclaiming the Right to Visibility in the Heart of Athens

UV radiation causes lesions in the DNA in skin cells which, when left unrepaired by Nucleotide Excision Repair (NER), can induce cancer-causing mutations. This is because UV-induced lesions are often replicated by error-prone polymerases instead of the replicative DNA polymerases in the S phase of the cell cycle. This mechanism known as Translesion Synthesis (TLS) is regulated by the enzyme RAD18 and is inherently mutagenic. Alternatively, we hypothesize that cells use another process that involves dormant (“backup”) origin firing to bypass UV-induced lesions without causing mutations. This process allows cells to re-starts DNA synthesis past UV-induced lesions by generates new replication forks. Failures to bypass UV-induced lesions by disabling either TLS or dormant origin firing are expected to increase chromosome damage after UV exposure. The goal of this study was to determine the role of dormant origins in UV-induced lesions using Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts (MEFs). Therefore, we measured spontaneous and UV-induced chromosome damage in MEFs with a reduced activity of dormant origins (Mcm4 chaos3/chaos3 MEFs) using immunocytostaining and fluorescent microscopy. Wild-type and Rad18 -/- MEFs were also used as negative and positive controls, respectively. We found that similar to Rad18 -/- MEFs, Mcm4 chaos3/chaos3 MEFs displayed a significantly higher level of UV-induced chromosome damage when compared to wild-type MEFs. These findings will provide reasoning to study functional interplay between dormant origin firing and TLS using Rad18 -/- Mcm4 chaos3/chaos3 MEFs as well as human cells in NERdeficient conditions.

The influx of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe during 2015 and 2016 has strained an already failing asylum system within the European Union. In March 2016, countries north of Greece began closing their borders to stop the migration of refugees and asylum seekers predominantly from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan from detention centers in Syria’s neighboring countries to Western and Northern Europe where they would have access to improved living conditions, education systems, and employment opportunities. The enactment of the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016 prevented further migration into the EU, which trapped an estimated 60,000 refugees in Greece waiting for their asylum applications to be processed. Citing poor living conditions in refugee camps and the failing asylum application process, an anarchical society based in the Exarchia neighborhood of Athens is challenging refugee integration processes. Anarchists and activists in this neighborhood reclaim commercialized land at the heart of the city-center of Athens for refugee housing. By commandeering private real estate abandoned as a result of the financial crisis, this collective provides housing for refugees in the urban landscape, where they have access education, employment, healthcare, and more opportunities to engage with Greek citizens. The right to reside in a metropolitan environment signifies the demand to change refugee integration policies in Europe and the necessity to re-imagine how grassroots initiatives operate in Europe today to ensure that the international community is accountable for resettling and integrating refugees and asylum seekers within the confines of Europe.

34 | University of Minnesota


Christina Dailey

Niklas Damberg

Genetics, Cellular Biology & Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Douglas Mashek Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics

Biology College of Biological Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Emilyn Alejandro Mentor's Department: Integrative Biology and Physiology

Fatty Acid Trafficking in Brown Adipose Tissue: It's BAT-y

OGT Loss Fosters Beta-Cell Dedifferentiation Through Decreased Oxidative Stress Coping Mechanisms

Lipid droplets represent the primary storage form of fat in most cell types. During energy demand, fatty acids are released from lipid droplets and are thought to directly traffic to mitochondria for their subsequent oxidation to yield energy. However, preliminary data from our laboratory has suggested that autophagy of lipids droplets produce fatty acids that are effluxed from the cell prior to re-uptake and use by the mitochondria as observed in hepatocytes. The objective of this study is to determine the role of fatty acid efflux in brown adipose tissue, a tissue highly dependent on fatty acid oxidation. The optimal protocol for differentiating brown adipocytes was determined. Following this, the oxygen consumption rate of cells under varying conditions was measured using an Agilent Seahorse analyzer. After injecting carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP) to increase the oxygen consumption rate (OCR) of brown adipocytes, the addition of bovine serum albumin (BSA), which sequesters effluxed fatty acids in the media, was able to drastically lower the OCR by about 50% compared to an injection of media. When BSA was coupled to fatty acids (FA) prior to injection, the OCR decrease was around 20% compared to a media control. Since the injection of BSA drastically lowered the OCR of brown adipocytes, it can be concluded that brown adipocytes efflux FA at some capacity prior to the oxidation. Knowing that FA are effluxed from the cell can aid in future research regarding the extent of efflux and the regulation of energy production in brown adipocytes.

Diabetes is classified by hyperglycemia induced by decreased insulin secretion from the pancreas. Found in pancreatic islets, beta-cells secrete insulin in response to increased blood glucose levels. Beta-cell failure is a driver of hyperglycemia. One driver of beta-cell failure and impaired insulin secretion is pancreatic beta-cell dedifferentiation - when a mature beta-cell reverts to a progenitor-like state, often in response to stress. Some of these dedifferentiated beta-cells may revert to other cell types and begin producing hormones other than insulin, creating a bihormonal cell state. O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT) is a nutrient-sensor molecule that regulates O-GlcNAcylation, a post-translational protein modification that is upregulated by energy metabolism and cell stress. It has been shown that mice possessing a beta-cell OGT deletion fall subject to severe hyperglycemia due to impaired insulin secretion. Full mechanisms behind the beta-cell failure are unknown. Here, we show by immunofluorescent staining that mice possessing OGT-compromised beta-cells have increased islet bihormonal (insulin+/glucagon+) cell numbers and amplified oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation, 4-HNE staining). We hypothesized OGT is important in beta-cell fate maintenance under metabolically stressed conditions, including oxidative stress driven by increased mitochondrial metabolism under hypernutrient conditions. However, adding the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid to high fat diet mouse chow did not improve insulin secretion defects compared to high fat diet alone in a partial beta cell OGT loss (OGT Het) mouse model. Understanding the role of OGT in maintaining beta-cell fate is important because oxidative stress and beta-cell dedifferentiation have both been implicated in type 2 diabetes. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 35


Namrata Damle

Antoinette Danku

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: David Largaespada Mentor's Department: Genetics Cell Biology & Development

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Kathleen Thomas Mentor's Department: Child Development

In Vivo Evaluation of Drug Candidates that are Selectively Toxic to NF1- Deficient Human Schwann Cells for the Treatment of Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors

Investigating Attention in Children Missing Half their Cerebral Cortex

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant genetic condition which affects 1 in 3,500 births worldwide (Le et al., 2011). NF1 is thought to be caused by a mutation in the NF1 gene found on chromosome 17, and while half of the cases diagnosed are inherited, the other half arise de novo (Viskochil, 2002). This disorder predisposes individuals to develop a wide array of symptoms including cafÊ-au-lait macules, skinfold freckling, Lisch nodules, scoliosis, optic pathway gliomas, plexiform neurofibromas and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors otherwise known as MPNSTs (Gutmann, 2017). NF1 patients have a 10% chance of developing MPNSTs sometime in their lifetime, and current treatment options for these are usually broad-spectrum chemotherapy or surgical resection both of which are invasive and taxing on the patient’s quality of life (Gregorian, 2009) (Jett, 2010). NF1 is a tumor suppressor gene lost in tumors that develop from patients’ Schwann cells which lose the wild-type copy of the NF1 gene. Furthermore, because NF1 is genetic, using therapeutic drugs is a good solution which needs to be explored further. In a recent screen, we identified 22 drug compounds with promising selective lethality to NF1 deficient Schwann cells compared to wild-type Schwann cells. Here we show how Digoxin, LB-100, and DMAPT affect high-grade peripheral nerve sheath tumor and MPNST growth in a genetically engineered mouse model (Dhh Cre; Nf1 fl/fl; Pten fl/fl) and a xenograft model respectively.

Abnormal attention is one the biggest psycho-social concerns in our society. This issue affects parents, teachers, health care professionals, and entire communities. The development of higher order attention skills requires mastery of early attention milestones. As social animals, humans begin reacting to social cues from others in early post-natal development. Outside the womb, 90% of inputs to the brain come from the eyes. In the normative condition, eye contact and gaze drives attention development. Human infants learn to follow gaze as early as 3 months of age. This ability directly impacts the acquisition of joint attention, vocabulary range, and early learning. Children with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism or epilepsy often show learning problems early in life. Evidence shows that children with epilepsy, a condition characterized by repetitive seizures, struggle with higher order social concepts. Most of the literature in this area focuses on children with symptoms managed by medication. In contrast, children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy undergo surgery to remove the foci of the seizures. However, little research has been done on the social ramifications of surgical intervention on development. In this study, we investigated the attentiveness of children that experienced both pharmacoresistant epilepsy and sustained the surgical removal of one hemisphere using the spatial cueing paradigm. Here we show that children missing one-half of their cerebral cortex show little benefit from social or non-social cues while typically developing children do. We also report that children perform differently based on age of surgery and seizure onset.

36 | University of Minnesota


Elizabeth Degefe

Dingwei Deng

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Deniz Ones Mentor's Department: Psychology

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Rui Zhang Mentor's Department: Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems

Cross-Cultural Reliability Generalization of Counterproductive Work Behavior Measures

Obtaining Adverse Effects of Drug Supplements Through Twitter Data Extraction and Sentiment Analysis

This study used meta-analytic methods to separately examine the effects of national culture on the mean, variance, and internal consistency reliability of counterproductive work behavior measures. The national variables examined included a selection of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and tightness-looseness to predict variability in reliability, mean, and variance values across several countries. While the relationships between culture and variance were in the hypothesized direction, the relationships with reliability were counter to our predictions. Possible explanations are discussed.

About half of U.S. adult easily rely on these supplements in an attempt to improve their health according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. However, many supplements have strong active ingredients that can cause unexpected complications to a person’s health instead, such as skin irritation from vitamin overdose. Many of these side effects go unreported each year, hindering the FDA’s ability to create counter measures from the lack of data. . The objective of this project is to develop a post-marketing surveillance system on dietary supplement adverse events by mining social media. The obtained information will provide more information to enforce more regulations on the supplements. The research plan involves obtaining a refined corpus from Twitter tweet data. For each month, I obtained a list of tweets that matches the top 25 most common drug supplements. I then took that sample size and further categorized them into groups that contained adverse effects. After annotating the data for a base error rate, and factoring the error rate for false positives, I will then conduct NLP machine learning techniques to further increase my rate of accurate retrieval. The deliverable for this project will be a database of information pertaining to the data supplements and their related adverse effects along with the techniques used for retrieval.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 37


Nitsa Dereskos

Alyssa Diaz

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Chris Lenhart Mentor's Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Anthropology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Jean Langford Mentor's Department: Anthropology

Comparing Phosphorus Uptake of Three Plant Types in Wetland Mesocosms

An Exploration of Birthing Practices Used by Samoan Women: The Viewpoints of a Sample of Traditional Birth Attendants and Midwives

Wetlands are a type of ecosystem that are saturated with water and contain characteristic vegetation types. They perform many ecosystem services, including water storage and filtration of nutrients, such as phosphorous. Phosphorous is often a limiting factor for plant growth, and frequently present in agricultural surface water runoff, as it is used in fertilizer to grow crops. Excess nutrients in water bodies harm the broader aquatic ecosystem, causing eutrophication and poorly oxygenated water. Wetlands can assist with removing phosphorous from the environment by storing it within the vegetation. The purpose of this study is to compare phosphorous uptake in wetland mesocosms among three species of plants, characterized by growth type: a cold season grass, Canada blue-joint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis); a warm season grass, prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata); and a sedge, tussock sedge (Carex stricta). The plants have been grown in mesocosms, and have been dried in an oven to determine their dry weights before their phosphorous content is determined. The results of this research can be applied to the design of treatment wetlands, improving water quality downstream by removing excess nutrients from the water.

Samoa holds a unique position regarding the integration of traditional Samoan customs and non-traditional customs and structures. Currently, Samoa utilizes traditional birthing practices through Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). These birthing practices take place alongside deliveries which occur in western modeled medical facilities. This study examined current birthing practices available to Samoan women through the perspectives of TBAs and registered midwives. It also explored the current relationship between the two birthing professionals. Research was conducted through semi-structured in depth interviews of three TBAs and three registered midwives over a period of two days in November of 2017. Data was analyzed using qualitative techniques and the talanoa research methodology. The study revealed the continuing, collaborative relationship between TBAs and midwives with the safety of the mother and baby and right to choose central to their practice. These findings are important regarding further research in examining the relationship of traditional birth attendants and midwives, as well as maternal health in Samoa.

38 | University of Minnesota


Bridget Dillon

Savannah Dimick

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Alessandro Magli Mentor's Department: Medicine

Neuroscience, Spanish College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Karina Quevedo Mentor's Department: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Research Partner: Monica Punzalan

Determining Whether Msgn1, Myf5, and Pax3 are Chromatin Bound During Mitosis

Self-Face Processing After and Before Neurofeedback in Youth with Varying Levels of Depressive Symptoms

During mitosis gene expression is greatly diminished and most transcription factors are evicted from the mitotic chromatin. However, it has been observed that some transcription factors remain chromatin bound during mitosis in order to efficiently reactivate cell specific gene expression in the newly divided cells. This class of transcription factors is referred to as “mitotic bookmarks� and includes several important regulators of embryonic development. Skeletal myogenic progenitors are committed in the dermomyotome, a paraxial mesoderm derivative. Msgn1, Pax3, and Myf5 represent important regulators of this process: Msgn1 is essential for specification of the paraxial mesoderm; Pax3 plays a role in the initiation of the myogenic program through the activation of Myf5. Due to the hierarchical relationship between these transcription factors and their role in myogenesis, we asked whether their function involves mitotic bookmarking. In order to test this hypothesis, we generated doxycycline-inducible murine embryonic stem cell lines expressing Msgn1-GFP, Pax3-GFP or Myf5-GFP fusion proteins. Upon differentiation and doxycycline induction, GFP positive cells were isolated and cultured as a monolayer to assess their ability to activate the skeletal myogenic lineage by immunostaining and western blot for the myogenic-specific gene Myogenin. Cells expressing GFP-fusion proteins were then cultured on glass-coverslip chambers for imaging using confocal microscopy equipped with objective for super resolution. Preliminary live cell imaging data demonstrated that only Msgn1 is chromatin bound during mitosis while Pax3 appears to be excluded from the chromatin. Further data is being collected in order to further support these observations and to determine the status of Myf5.

After and before a neurofeedback (NF) task, adolescents with varying depressive symptoms completed a self vs. other- facial recognition task to test changes in self-processing elicited by NF. Youth (N=52) were assessed using a psychological interview to determine depressive symptoms. Afterwards, they completed a task [Emotional Self Other Morph (ESOM) task] in the scanner. During the ESOM task participants identified their own or an unfamiliar face across 3 expressions (happy, neutral, sad). This task was administered before (ESOM_Pre) and after (ESOM_Post) the NF task. Youth either received feedback from the amygdala and hippocampus while looking at their own happy face and recalled positive memories, or counted backwards while looking at an unfamiliar face and received no fMRI feedback. A mixed repeated measure GLM (general linear model) examined brain activity with 3 within-subject factors: 2 Times (Pre, Post) by Self (Self-face, Other-face) by 3 emotions (Happy, Neutral, Sad). During ESOM_Pre, (i.e. before NF), youth showed more activity in multiple cortical and limbic areas compared to ESOM_Post (i.e. after NF). During ESOM_Pre, youth had similar activity for self- and other-face recognition, but during ESOM_Post, they had more activity during self- than other-face recognition in the Middle and Medial Frontal Gyrus, Cingulate Gyrus, and Parietal Lobe. During ESOM_Pre, youth had more activity towards neutral faces and similar activity towards happy and sad faces. During ESOM_Post, they had more activity towards happy faces than neutral or sad faces in the Anterior Cingulate and Inferior Parietal Lobule.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 39


Grace Ditch

Ruifeng Dong

Forest and Natural Resource Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Matthew Russell Mentor's Department: Forest Resources

History, Asian Language & Literature College of Liberal Arts December 2018 Mentor: Paul Rouzer Mentor's Department: Asian Language & Literature

Determining the Effectiveness of Cluster Plantings for Regenerating Northern Red Oak in Northern Minnesota

Zen/Chan Buddhist Thoughts in Tang Chinese Poetry

Under changing climate conditions, forest types featuring northern red oak (Quercus rubra) are expected to increase their ranges to the north. Because of red oak’s increasing range in northern Minnesota, it will be important to be able to manage for the species for its wildlife, timber, and ecosystem potential. Regeneration of northern red oak however, has proven to be difficult in Minnesota because of herbivory from white-tailed deer. This project investigates the efficacy of cluster planting in northern red oak regeneration utilizing data from a group planting trial initiated in 2007 at the Cloquet Forestry Center in Cloquet, MN. The experiment consists of three group plantings that are protected from deer browse with fencing, three group plantings that are not protected, and one plot of traditionally spaced seedlings that is not protected (control). Seedling diameter, height, browse, and vigor measurements were collected in 2007, 2008, and 2013. All of these data were recorded but were never revisited for further analysis. This project examines browse pressure and seedling growth across treatments and time to determine if group planting is an effective regeneration strategy for northern red oak that can reduce the impact of deer browse on seedlings. The results of this project have the potential to guide future management considerations in the forests of northern Minnesota as they are impacted by climate change. More information on northern red oak regeneration strategies will be helpful to forest managers in the future to ensure successful regeneration.

As an artistic apex of Chinese literature, poetry in Tang China is an important and valuable object to study and Chan/Zen Buddhism is indispensable to poetic study focusing on Tang Dynasty. After Buddhism was firstly spread into China during Han Dynasty (202 B.C.E.—220 C.E.), it gradually became part of Chinese culture and in the Tang Dynasty (618 C.E.—901 C.E.), Chan/Zen Buddhism thrived unprecedentedly in China at that time, affecting many fields of Chinese culture, especially on poetic literature. This research is both a translation and analysis of some Buddhist poetry composed by Jia Dao (779-843), who was one of the most famous Chinese poets in late ninth century China and latter. The translation and analysis focus on specific Zen Buddhist allusions and images in Jia Dao’s Buddhist poetry. An introduction to the background of a poem is attached to those poetry. A conclusion summarizes features of Jia Dao’s Buddhist poetry, and places Zen Buddhism in a historical context.

40 | University of Minnesota


Kurt Dostal

Garrett Draper

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Dr. David R. Johnson Mentor's Department: Community Integration

Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Branden Moriarity Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Examining the Inclusive Summer Camp Environment as an Opportunity for Developing Social and Self-Determination Skills of Youth with Disabilities

Treatment of ZNF217-Expressing Osteosarcoma Cells with Chemotherapeutic Agent Triciribine

Important developmental aspects in adolescence include the ability to acquire and cultivate friendships, proficiencies, healthy lifestyle habits, and an overall purpose and meaning in life. Inclusion provides each child an equal opportunity to develop in a normal and integrated environment. Participation in stimulating and intrinsically motivating recreation and leisure activities offers a central means for the growth of this development in children with and without disabilities. The social and self-determination skills of youth with disabilities were hypothesized to develop and improve as the youth became more actively involved and engaged with other children, daily activities, and the experiences of an inclusive summer day camp program. The sample was composed of 29 youth participants with various disabilities, aged 6-14. The frequency of participation and level of engagement for the above measures was recorded weekly over the participants' involvement in inclusive summer camp programs. The average length of enrollment in the summer camp programs was 4.31 Âą 1.47 weeks. The frequency of participation and level of engagement for each study measure of the Youth Participation and Engagement Scale was positively correlated with the involvement of youth with disabilities in an inclusive summer camp program. While the correlations did not showed significant regression values, each measure indicated a positive growth of each skill. The results of this study show the benefits of the inclusive and recreational setting for the development of all youth, but especially for those with disabilities.

Osteosarcoma, or cancer of the bone, arises from the misregulation of the pathway involved in bone formation. There are many transcription factors and signaling molecules involved in maintaining proper function of this pathway, as well as more general cell growth and proliferation pathways. The Zinc Finger Protein 217 (ZNF217) has been identified as a transcription factor that when overexpressed, leads to hyperactivation of these pathways, contributing to the onset of a cancerous phenotype. However, the detailed mechanism through which ZNF217 functions in osteosarcoma is generally unknown. Here we show that osteosarcoma cells expressing higher amounts of ZNF217 require higher levels of treatment with the Akt-inhibiting drug triciribine to decrease their proliferation and migration. We found this to be in contrast to previous studies where cells expressing higher amounts of ZNF217 were more sensitive to treatment with triciribine. There is evidence that ZNF217 is involved in the expression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor ERBB3, but its influence of downstream signaling pathways seems to vary between cancer types. Our results indicate that the use of ZNF217 as a biomarker for the predicted efficacy of triciribine treatment should be based on the type of cancer present. The striking difference concerning levels of ZNF217 and the efficacy of triciribine in results from our study in osteosarcoma and other studies in breast cancer show the need for further investigation into the pathways impacted by varying ZNF217 levels.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 41


Chelsea Drown

Melissa Drown

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Christopher Faulk Mentor's Department: Animal Science

Ecology Evolution and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Christopher Faulk Mentor's Department: Animal Science

Evaluation of Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation to Mouse Dams in Gestation on Offspring Birth Weight and Growth Variation

Epigenetic Changes in Avy Mice in Response to Chronic Decitabine Exposure

Intraunterine growth retardation and high variation within litter birth weights is increasing in the swine industry today. This is due to genetic selection for sow lines that have an increased number of piglets born per litter. There are a number of potential factors that can contribute to this phenomena such as the limited spacial capacity of the uterus or the nutrition of the sow. This phenomena is seen in many litter-bearing species. Our lab has observed sows housed at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, MN have a within-litter birth weight coefficient of variation (CV) of approximately 20%. However, sow trials can be very long and come with a high cost so a different model was looked into. Mice are a litter-bearing species that also exhibit intrauterine growth retardation and in a previous trial we have observed genetically identical mice of the Wild Type Agouti strain have a within litter birth weight CV of approximately 10%. Due to the short gestation length, 19 days, and relatively low cost mice were used as a model to evaluate the effects of supplementing the leucine metabolite, beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), on within-litter birth weight variation. Mouse dams were allocated to one of four dietary treatments: control (CON), 3.5 mg HMB/day (HMB LL), 35 mg HMB/day (HMB HL), or 3.5 mg HMB/day on gestational days 6-10 (Pulse). Birth weights of offspring were collected and within-litter birth weight CV were calculated. Statistical analysis on these parameters are being completed.

Decitabine (DAC), a derivative of azacidadine, is a commonly used chemotherapy drug for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes in humans and is a known DNA-hypomethylating agent, which decreases global methylation by interfering with DNA methyltransferase (DNMT). As a current method for altering the epigenome, investigating the role of hypomethylating agents like DAC are essential to understand if the reactivation of silenced genes causes phenotypic changes over time. This study considers the effects of chronic DAC exposure of Avy mice, a commonly used model for epigenetic research, over a seven week period. The Avy strain of mice are all genetically identical but show five different coat color phenotypes based on variable DNA methylation at the Avy locus. In addition, individuals with low methylation at the Avy locus have a higher risk of obesity and diabetes. Demonstrated here is the ability of DAC to be used as a hypomethylating agent shown by 1) shift in coat color distribution in Avy mice after chronic exposure and 2) measurable differences in global DNA methylation of blood between DAC exposed and control mice (given saline). This research will be the foundation for future projects aiming to understand the effects of hypomethylation on the epigenome caused by the presence of DAC over time.

42 | University of Minnesota


Madison Duffy

Justin Dunnell

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Naoko Shima Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Genetics Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: David Largaespada Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, Pediatrics

Skin Cancer Prevention Mechanisms: The Role of Dormant Origins

Validation of Candidate Drivers of Osteosarcomagenesis with High-Throughput In Vitro Screening

UV radiation is unavoidable for humans because it is mainly encountered by sun exposure. This is the leading cause of skin cancer. The damage inflicted by UV-radiation causes two forms of lesions, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and (6-4) pyrimidine photoproducts (6-4PP), which can stall the replication process. Eukaryotic cells normally replicate their genomes from areas in the DNA called origins of replication where synthesis DNA is initiated. However, alternative measures must be used to overcome the stalled forks to prevent prolonged stalling will collapse the fork and lead to DNA breaks, mutations, and cell death. Due to the error-prone nature of the REV1 TLS pathway to bypass 6-4PPs we begin to look at alternative mechanisms of bypass in hopes of reducing the risks of skin cancer development. Here we show that dormant origins are critical to suppressing cancer-inducing chromosomal damage during replication. We found that the amount of chromosomal damage increases in the absence of dormant origins after UV exposure indicating that dormant origins are a major player in the bypass of UV-induced lesions. It utilizes an error-free mechanism by using the sister chromatid as a template for replication. In comparison with error-prone REV1 TLS, we found that the two mechanisms work independently of one another. Our results demonstrate how UV-lesions can be successfully bypassed and what consequences are encountered in the absence of dormant origins and the REV1 protein. We anticipate our results to be a starting point to altering the current prevention and treatment of skin cancer.

Osteosarcoma (OS) is a rare form of bone cancer with a peak incidence during adolescence. The genetic mechanism of OS tumorigenesis, progression, and metastasis are still poorly understood. As a result, OS has a poor prognosis and development of new therapies has been difficult. Our lab previously conducted a Sleeping Beauty forward genetic screen to identify potential drivers of osteosarcomagenesis. To validate these drives as well as identify new ones, we conducted a CRISPR/Cas9 screen in a human OS cell line, U2OS. The top 36 potential genetic drivers were chosen for further validation and mutations that are identified to increase OS cell survival and growth will be evaluated further for their potential as for therapeutic targets

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 43


Lauren Duval

Hannah Ebersole

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Dr. Henry H. Balfour Mentor's Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Pediatrics

Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Satoshi Ishii Mentor's Department: Biotechnology

When is a Patient with Infectious Mononucleosis Most Infectious?

A Legislative Approach to Control Migratory Bird Populations to Ensure Water and Food Safety

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is a double-stranded DNA gamma herpes virus that is the most common cause of infectious mononucleosis. Each year over 280,000 cases of infectious mononucleosis occur in U.S. college freshmen. Presumed ongoing viral replication occurs during a 42-day incubation period after initial infection. Upon onset of acute illness, common symptoms of pharyngitis, lymphadenopathy, fatigue, and fever last approximately 21 days. Throughout the period of infection and illness, individuals shed copies of viral DNA in their oral cavity and are capable of transmitting the virus to susceptible individuals. Since naked DNA is not protected inside of a capsid, it is hypothesized that it is more likely to be degraded by body fluids. Encapsidated DNA is protected by a protein shell, and therefore predicted to withstand catabolism by body fluids and be able to infect cells. Thus, it is proposed that the higher the proportion of encapsidated DNA is with in an oral wash sample, the greater the likelihood that an individual is infectious. In this study, researchers used oral wash samples collected during acute and convalescent phases of infectious mononucleosis to determine when the proportion of encapsidated vs. naked viral DNA is greatest. With these findings, we will be able to have a better understanding of when an individual is most infectious and able to transmit EBV, a finding of great public health value.

The impact that migratory waterfowl droppings have on water quality and food safety endangers human health, primarily in the risk of pathogen infections. Current policies on bird population and migratory range stem primarily from the United States' federal legislation in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, signed in concurrence with the Canadian parliament and later amendments implemented treaties between the United States and Mexico(1). It is illegal to take, possess, import, export, sell, and purchase any migratory bird or their parts, nests, or eggs except under the terms of valid permits issued in compliance with federal regulations(2). Controlling or limiting the populations of migratory waterfowl, including species who pose a risk to human health, is illegal within the bounds of federal legislation but change can be implemented by amendments to federal policies and a shift from federal to state jurisdiction(3). By studying research on migratory species, weighing heavy international perspectives, and policies and regulations on both the federal and state level, a process to transition towards an adaptable strategy to protect human health in the form of new and amended legislation will protect against the threat that migratory waterfowl pose to water bodies and agricultural fields.

44 | University of Minnesota


Radhika Edpuganti

Baila Elkin

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts Fall 2018 Mentor: Dr. Uzma Samadani Mentor's Department: Neurosurgery

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: GW Gant Luxton Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Can We Predict In-Hospital Criticality?

Conserved SUN-KASH Interfaces Mediate LINC Complex-Dependent Nuclear Movement and Positioning Events

When a patient is enrolled into the Emergency Department the effect that a head trauma had on the patient is measured using Glasgow Coma Scale. This is a numerical scoring that is to help determine the criticality of the patient in the department and to see how well they are predicted to do following the event. However, there is a lot of doubt in this scoring since 1997 due to the qualitative way of scoring based on observation, and there should be a more proper and quantitative way of predicting the patient's experience in the hospital. Therefore looking at past studies I am proposing that by adding lactate levels and arterial-systolic blood pressure with GCS this will help give a better prediction of the critical state of the patient in the ED.

The best-known mechanism for nuclear movement and positioning involves the conserved Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC) complex, which is composed of SUN and KASH proteins, and transmits cytoskeleton-generated forces across the nuclear envelope. The LINC complex is important for many fundamental cellular processes including regulating the cytoskeleton, chromatin organization, and cell migration, and is implicated in diseases such as ataxia, cancer, deafness, muscular dystrophy, and premature aging. Modeling studies have identified several residues in SUN2 proteins predicted to be important for LINC complex function. In this study, we use rearward nuclear positioning in wounded fibroblasts to investigate the physiological importance of these residues. We studied a conserved SUN2-KASH disulfide bond, and three residues (C613, S653, and Y719) in the KASH-binding hydrophobic pocket in SUN2. We found the disulfide bond to be necessary for actin-dependent nuclear positioning, which supports models of its importance in transmitting forces across the LINC complex and points to a potential LINC complex regulation mechanism. Initial experiments into the hydrophobic pocket indicate that two residues (C613 and S653) are necessary for actin-dependent rearward nuclear positioning. Surprisingly, we did not find similar results for Y719. Since the LINC complex is vital for various cellular processes, insights into the molecular structures important for its function have broad implications both in fundamental cell biology and in therapeutic approaches to diseases associated with malfunctions of the LINC complex.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 45


Cameron Eller

Madeline Ellert-Beck

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Eugene Borgida Mentor's Department: Psychology

College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Yue Jin Mentor's Department: Plant Pathology

Cognitive Dissonance and the 2016 Presidential Election

Rust Resistance: Reaction to Puccinia graminis Infection in Established and Derived Midwestern Oat Varieties

This study examines two questions regarding the effect of cognitive dissonance in the 2016 presidential election: did cognitive dissonance provide an account of vote choice over time, and are there variables that act as a moderator on the spreading of alternatives? Data was taken from a multi-wave, longitudinal survey that tracked voters’ opinions on candidates throughout the election cycle. Voter perceptions of candidates leading up to, then following the election will provide information regarding whether or not cognitive dissonance was involved in the latter assessments. Previous research indicates that cognitive dissonance will likely be at play. Further, a number of variables, such as “need for cognitive closure” and “cynicism,” will be examined to determine whether or not they acted as moderators on the spreading of alternatives.

The fungus Puccinia graminis leads to a multitude of diseases known collectively as “rust”, which hinder the growth of cereal crops such as oats. Identifying genes which convey resistance to these plant pathogens is the primary method of managing the impacts of these diseases. Resistance genes for both crown and stem rusts are often found at similar loci when they occur together in a single plant. Two derived oat lines, MNBT1020-1 and MNBT1021-1, contain crown rust resistance at a known locus. These lines also have the potential to harbor stem rust resistance genes. However, the full spectrum of stem rust resistance in MNBT1020-1 and MNBT1021-1, and the location of resistance genes, is unknown. Here we show the newly derived line MNBT1020-1 likely possesses either Pg1, Pg4, or Pg8, and shows resistance behavior similar to that of the parental strand, Deon. MNBT1021-1 displays more extensive resistance, but not as much as that of the other parental strand, PI 258731; these lines likely have a combination of resistance genes. Other oat lines found in the Midwestern portion of the country display similar resistance, suggesting a limited number of resistance genes available for breeding programs in this geographical area. The discovery of slightly modified resistance in the derived oat lines indicates the ability of breeding efforts to expand resistance in cereal crops. In order to fortify existing cropland, these breeding programs must be supplied with even more diverse stock to ensure resistance to a wider rand of potential infection strains.

46 | University of Minnesota


Emily Engelbrecht-Wiggans

Marisa Erickson

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Mark Bee Mentor's Department: Ecology

Mass Communication, Digital Media Studies, Creative Writing College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: V.V. Ganeshananthan Mentor's Department: Creative Writing

"Reverse" Sexual Dichromatism in Golden Rocket Frogs

Welcome to the Ardain

Sexual dichromatism is a phenomenon in which the males of a species are more brightly colored than their female counterparts. In "reverse" sexual dichromatism, as observed in golden rocket frogs (Anomaloglossus beebei), females exhibit bright colorations, while males tend to be more muted with neutral colorations. Sexual dichromatism may be the result of sex-role reversal or mutual selection in the species in which it occurs. In this study, "reverse" sexual dichromatism within A. beebei was documented, as was the darkening of males when calling. A. beebei were found to not exhibit habit matching behaviors. Further research could be done examining the ultimate causes of these color differences and studies that investigate the predation rates between males, females and juveniles.

"Welcome to the Ardain" is a fictional short story that I have written for my Honors thesis. Drawing inspiration from virtual reality technology and traditional role-playing games, it follows the perspective of a woman who is transported into a video game-esque world. My presentation will center around my writing and editing process of "Welcome to the Ardain". Additionally, I will explain my progression from early conceptions and ideas to the final finished product in order to inform aspiring writers.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 47


Julia Erkens

Kathryn Fajardo

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Harry Lando Mentor's Department: Public Health

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Neil Olszewski Mentor's Department: Plant and Microbial Biology

Access to Obstetric Care in Rural United States: Obstetric Health Outcomes for Women

Investigating the Role of Tomato SPY in GA Signaling

Maternal health outcomes are still a major public health problem in the United States and especially resource poor areas such as rural communities carry a higher proportion of these adverse health outcomes. Research has shown that access to obstetric services throughout a woman’s prenatal and postnatal period greatly increases favorable health outcomes. Preventative obstetric care, prenatal services, and abortion services for women in rural communities in the United States are the major access barriers that influence birth outcomes. The discussion around whether or not healthcare is a fundamental human right continues to be a debate in our country, which greatly impacts access to healthcare services. Research, collaboration, and policy are all of the major factors that allow researchers to ask what services people are in need of, where the services are most needed, develop policies to serve that community, and monitor the outcomes. Opening the dialogue to resources for rural communities is a great way to discover new ideas and policies that can benefit these areas of the country. The conversations about rural obstetric care needs to be happening at the local, state, and federal level as well as in public health institutions around the country. Women are going to continue having babies no matter where they live; the time to focus on safe and accessible practices is now.

Research done with Arabidopsis thaliana has shown that the SPY protein is involved in the regulation of plants growth and development. SPY serves as a negative regulator of gibberellin (GA) signaling. This hormone promotes growth in plants as well as regulate other plant functions such as seed germination. Paclobutrazol is a GA biosynthesis inhibitor which results in dwarfism in plants. Studies have shown that spy mutants are resistant dwarfing by paclobutrazol, indicating the restoration of GA signaling. Although well studied in the Arabidopsis, SPY's role in tomato plant (Solanum lycopersicum) and its interaction with GA signaling has yet to be explored. To study the function of tomato SPY (slSPY) via reverse genetics, an 11 base pair (bp) deletion was made in the 5’ end of the SPY sequences using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR). Homozygous slspy and wild type tomato plant will be compared, to determine role of slspy and if it has similar phenotypes to Arabidopsis spy mutants. Paclobutrazol treatment compared to a control treatment will be observed for resulting phenotypes, testing for resistance to paclobutrazol. We hypothesize that the 11bp deletion will be sufficient in deactivating slspy. We also hypothesis that paclobutrazol treated slspy will show similar phenotypes to Arabidopsis plants and grow taller than wildtype tomatoes.

48 | University of Minnesota


Alexai Faulkner

Jessica Faulkner

Plant and Microbial Biology College of Biological Sciences December 2019 Mentor: David Moeller Mentor's Department: Plant & Microbial Biology

Nursing College of Liberal Arts May 2021 Mentor: Joachim Savelsberg Mentor's Department: Sociology Research Partner: Elizabeth Stencel

Adaptive Evolution of Prairie Plants in Response to California Drought

Quantifying Genocide Denial

Climates are changing worldwide, and there is a need in the ability to more accurately predict how native plant populations will respond to these changes. In order to survive, populations must either track climatic changes through dispersal or adapt to novel climatic conditions in their previously fundamental niche zone. Adaptation can occur over fairly short timescales, and an effective method of observing this rapid adaptive evolution in natural flora is through “resurrection studies.� In these studies, cohorts of plants from before and after some selective event (fragmentation, warming, drought, etc.) are reared and compared for some set of traits. Contemporary environmental anomalies provide us with a natural selection experiment which, when exploited for a resurrection study, helps aid us in predicting general responses to increased frequency of certain climatic anomalies. This resurrection study utilizes seed banks from three separate Clarkia xantiana populations at three different time points at the beginning of, during, and directly following the recent California drought to explore whether xantiana populations show evidence of rapid adaptive evolution in response to drought.

This project examines denial of the Armenian Genocide. Our research team examined hundreds of cases of denial documented on the French website Collectif VAN and methodologically coded instances of denial. Collectif VAN is a website that archives any instance of denial of the Armenian Genocide through news entries. Documentation in this archive begins in 2006 and is still being updated to this day. After qualitatively coding the VAN cases, our team established a quantitative coding instrument and coded the cases with the goal of statistically analyzing patterns of genocide denial and acknowledgement. Within these categories, we coded along various variables such as the type of person expressing denial or acknowledgment, the country they represent, and the form of denial. Analysis of this data allows for the identification of patterns and possibly causal factors are contributing to denial. Patterns began to emerge when we connected an instance of denial to an instance of recognition or acknowledgement that the denial was in response to. Many times these denialist cases link to legislative events such as countries recognizing the genocide passing laws to criminalize denial of the genocide. By going through these coding mechanisms and continuing to work on this project, we are beginning to see some patterns of denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 49


Blake Fauskee

Luke Feeley

Biology College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Dr. Amanda Grusz Mentor's Department: Biology

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Satoshi Ishii Mentor's Department: Soil, Water, and Climate

Polyploidy and Apomixis: Examining Range-Wide Genotypic Diversity in a New World Desert Fern

The Use of Manganese Oxidizing Microbes in the Bioremediation of Agricultural Wastewater

Asexual organisms have obtained a reputation as “evolutionary dead ends” (Grusz 2014 and citations therein). They are typically clonal and lack the genetic diversity required to adapt via natural selection to dynamic environments. However, recent evidence from microsatellite data in ferns suggests that independent assortment and/or recombination may play a role in generating genetic diversity in asexual lineages (Grusz 2014), particularly in polyploids. One polyploid, Myriopteris lindheimeri; a desert-adapted apomictic triploid fern, has been the focus of previous studies interested in asexual genetic diversity, due to its uncharacteristically high levels of genetic diversity (Grusz 2014). The range of M. lindheimeri extends from the southwestern United States throughout Mexico. Whereas Grusz (2014) documented the population diversity of M. lindheimeri across its American range, this study served to reveal the population diversity of M. lindheimeri across its Mexican range using microsatellites. Ultimately, this study presents a clear and complete picture of the genetic population-level diversity of the asexual triploid, M. lindheimeri, which may help researchers elucidate the role of sex-like recombinant processes in generating genetic diversity. Moreover, these data may assist researchers in discovering to what extent multiple origins of asexuality has contributed to the curiously high levels of genetic diversity in this lineage.

Manganese is an essential part of human health and is used to regulate biological processes ranging from enzymatic activity to the activation of molecular complexes. Although it is important to human health, in high enough concentrations it can have detrimental health effects. Multiple studies have shown the negative effects of inhaled manganese, specifically a condition called “manganism”, which is characterized by irreversible intellectual impairment and “Parkinsons-like” symptoms. As for the toxicity of waterborne manganese, no set conclusion has been reached, although some studies have demonstrated a noticeable decrease in mental activity after consuming manganese contaminated water. Even though a conclusion has not been reached, the 1998 report on southwestern Minnesota’s groundwater has already shown the levels of manganese in most of the major southwestern Minnesota aquifers to be approaching or above the 2012 Health Risk Assessment Limit, 300 μ g/L vs. 500+ μg/L. There are also economic risks associated with this increase in manganese concentration. At a certain point, dissolved manganese will come out of solution and give the water a dark color and metallic taste. This could lead to peoples’ clothes being stained while washing and an inability to use any water-based public works, among other problems. Due to these factors, the removal of dissolved manganese from groundwater aquifers should be a state priority.

50 | University of Minnesota


Alexander Fenton

Mariana Ferreira

Biology, Society and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Mark Distefano Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Physics, Economics College of Liberal Arts May 2020 Mentor: Lindsay Glesener Mentor's Department: Physics

Synthesis of a Photoactivatable Protecting Group for Biological Thiol Activation

Flare-Related Jets and Acceleration of Electrons on the Sun

Photo-cleavable protecting groups (PPGs) are molecules that release chemically reactive or bioactive molecules upon irradiation with light. Typically, either one-photon or two-photon excitation may be utilized to induce photocleavage; however, two-photon efficiency is of particular importance due to the spatial precision and minimal phototoxicity associated with this technique. Because thiol-containing biomolecules play a critical role in many physiological processes, including post-translational modification of proteins, we previously demonstrated that nitrodibenzofuran (NDBF) is an efficient PPG for the caging and subsequent photo-release of thiols. In an effort to add further utility to NDBF-based systems, we proposed that installing an electron-donating amine functionality onto the NDBF scaffold would result in a bathochromic absorbance shift, giving the derivative unique photolabile properties. Toward this goal, we designed the synthesis of dimethylamino-nitrodibenzofuran (aNDBF) from commercially available dibenzofuran through a series of reactions encompassing a variety of techniques and transformations. Optimization of this synthesis will be described, including the introduction of a nitro group that is reduced to the key amine intermediate, as well as a benzylic bromination required for later conjugation of aNDBF to a thiol of interest. After completing the synthesis of aNDBF, we characterized its spectral properties and determined that the Îťmax was 450 nm, 100 nm longer than the parent NDBF. The distinct absorption profile of aNDBF as compared to NDBF can be exploited for a number of applications, including orthogonal uncaging of different thiols in one experiment.

It is believed that magnetic reconnections trigger electron acceleration during solar flares. These reconnections release magnetic energy and a significant fraction of it goes to the acceleration of particles. Moreover, flare related jets in which electron acceleration occurs usually emit different wavelengths such as hard X-rays (HXR) and type III radio bursts. However, it is not known what fraction of flare related jets causes the acceleration of electrons into the interplanetary space. This study aims to do a statistical analysis on flare-related jets and the emission of accelerated electrons. That will be achieved by making a list that will have information of the flare-related jets and emissions of HXR and type III radio bursts.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 51


Jack Fischbach

Chanel Flower

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Paula Ludewig Mentor's Department: Rehabilitation Medicine

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Education Psychology Research Partners: Evan Son, Corissa Wurth, Samuel Bullard

Does Anatomy Impact the Stress and Strain of the Supraspinatus during Functional Reach: A Finite Element Investigation

Language Differences by Environment in STEM Classroom Engagement Activities

The purpose of this finite element (FE) study was to determine the effect of patient-specific anatomy on the stress and strain outputs on the supraspinatus tendon during functional reach. I hypothesize: individual anatomic variations will significantly affect the stress and strain outputs on the supraspinatus tendon (SST). Multiple FE models were created in FEBio from patient-specific anatomical models of the scapula, humerus, and supraspinatus. All anatomical models were meshed within HyperMesh (TET4) before being imported into FEBio. The supraspinatus tendons were modelled as incompressible fiber-reinforced hyperelastic material with one fiber groups and a Mooney-Rivlin ground matrix. The supraspinatus muscles were modelled as a transversely isotropic Mooney-Rivlin fiber-reinforced hyperelastic material with one fiber group. A prescribed active 50% contraction (90 kPa) of the supraspinatus muscle was used to apply a constant force to the passive tendon elements. A custom MATLAB code was used to transform standardize functional reach kinematic data into quaternions which were then implemented into each FE model. The maximum stress and strain output along with the location of the maximum stress and strain output was recorded at 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, and 150° of functional reach. The maximum stress and strain outputs of each model along with their locations were compared at each functional reach angle. Our models suggest there is a significant differences in the maximum stress and strain outputs between the different shoulder anatomies while the location of the maximum stress and strain occurred at the similar locations across functional reach.

The ESPRIT (Fostering Equitable Science through PaRent Involvement & Technology) project focuses on closing the achievement gap in STEM through engaging classroom activities that seek the involvement of middle school students’ families. More specifically, students are asked to record videos on a social media platform, Flipgrid (Flipgrid.com), to reflect on their learning in science classes. The current article is a branch off the ESPRIT project and focuses on how language and engagement in these video assignments differ when the students record from home (with their families) versus when they record at school. Our analysis will involve viewing a group of middle school students’ submitted Flipgrid videos where they reflect on the prompts posed by their teacher that ask them to reflect on ideas covered in their science class and how they are relevant to their everyday lives. We will code for language that focuses on scientific or on experience-based vocabulary. We predict students would use more experience-based vocabulary when recording the videos at home and more scientific jargon when recording in an academic setting. The purpose of this analysis is to get an idea of how students are reflecting on their science learning and how this reflection is affected by their environment. This work has important implications for the field of education research because it will highlight variations in how students are using social media platform to support their science learning. The outcomes will be important for those interested in teacher practices, home-school connections, and student learning outcomes in STEM.

52 | University of Minnesota


Kathryn Fox

Katharina Fransen

Animal Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Erin Dickerson Mentor's Department: Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Benjamin Hackel Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Beta Adrenergic Receptor Antagonists Alter Mitochondrial Activity and Reduce Angiosarcoma Cell Viability

Method for High-Throughput Analysis of Protein Aggregation Propensity

Human angiosarcomas are aggressive, soft tissue tumors that often carry an unfavorable prognosis. Current standard of care includes surgical removal along with radio- and/or chemotherapy; however, these treatments often result in short-term success rates, as relapse often occurs. A new approach using a beta-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) antagonist, propranolol, has been shown to promote tumor regression and prolong overall survival in angiosarcoma patients, yet the mechanisms by which propranolol inhibits tumor growth are not well understood. Because the β-AR agonist, epinephrine, activates glycolytic and lipolytic pathways, we hypothesized that propranolol would inhibit metabolic pathways important for tumor cell survival. Propranolol is a non-specific antagonist targeting β1- and β2-ARs; therefore, we also treated cells with the β1- and β2-specific antagonists, nebivolol (β1) and ICI-118551 (β2), to better define the receptor-specific contributions to cell survival pathways. We used an MTS assay to determine the effects of the drugs on cell viability, and TMRE and Seahorse Mito Stress assays to evaluate changes in mitochondrial activity. While all three drugs reduced viability in a concentration dependent manner, nebivolol and ICI-118551 reduced viability to the greatest extent. Metabolic assays showed that all antagonists diminished ATP production and promoted mitochondrial uncoupling, but nebivolol and ICI-118551 induced mitochondrial uncoupling more effectively compared to propranolol. Our data suggest that the drugs reduced angiosarcoma cell viability, at least in part, by altering mitochondrial activity. Additional studies using in vivo models will be needed to assess the anti-tumor activity of nebivolol and ICI-118551 for clinical translation.

Engineered proteins are valuable tools for clinical therapeutics and diagnostics as well as for other biotechnology applications. The physicochemical robustness of a protein is an important factor in its utility. For example, protein solubility is advantageous for production, conjugation, formulation, and use; yet numerous engineered proteins exhibit suboptimal solubility due to the formation of protein aggregates. For the technological aim of identifying superior reagents and the scientific goal of elucidating protein sequence – function relationships, we are developing a method for high-throughput analysis of protein aggregation. The method uses yeast surface display in which the protein of interest (POI) is coupled to the surface of a S. cerevisiae yeast cell via an extended ‘PAS40’ polypeptide linker to the native yeast mating protein Aga2p, which binds to the yeast-bound Aga1 membrane protein. Meanwhile, the DNA encoding the POI is retained inside the yeast thereby creating a phenotype-genotype linkage that enables independent evaluation of millions of POI variants with simple DNA sequencing to reveal the identity of functional variants after aggregation analysis. Aggregation analysis utilizes Foerster resonance energy transfer (FRET) in which an excited donor fluorophore transfers energy to a nearby acceptor fluorophore. The acceptor and donor fluorophores are attached near the N-terminus of the POIs, allowing aggregating POIs to bring the fluorophores within the necessary radius for energy transfer and subsequent acceptor fluorescence. Measurement of the fluorescence of the acceptor protein allows for the aggregation analysis of the POI, which can be performed in high-throughput (100 million per hour) via flow cytometry. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 53


Abigail Franz

Paul Fritton

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Lana Yarosh Mentor's Department: Computer Science

Civil Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Kimberly Hill Mentor's Department: Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

PowerToken Wearables for Recovery

Effects of Interstitial Fluid Rheology on the Flow Behavior of Particle Slurries

Does dedicated physical technology better facilitate social connection than commodity systems such as mobile apps? I began the exploration of this question by building the PowerToken system. The PowerToken system combines two existing technologies for a seamless experience. The WEconnect app allows recovering addicts to set goals and track their progress. The Fitbit Flex is a wearable device that tracks personal fitness goals, such as number of steps. The goal of this project was to create an interface between the WEconnect app and the Fitbit Flex, effectively tracking recovery with a physical device. My role in this project was to build the software which will be used in future studies of the research question.

This project examined the effects of shear-thinning interstitial fluid rheology on the pore pressure, flow behavior, and entrainment of particle slurries. We were particularly interested to relate our experiments to the study of debris flows, very dangerous phenomena similar to rock slides and avalanches. In debris flows the interstitial fluid is known to have shear-thinning properties. A mixture of the polysaccharide xanthan gum, water, and small zirconium silicate beads was used to imitate the interstitial fluid found in natural flows. Using a two-dimensional tabletop flume, a mixture of beads, water, and gum was released towards an erodible bed, composed of saturated beads. The movement of individual beads was captured by a high-speed camera, allowing us to obtain data related to particle velocity, entrainment, and shear stress. Several pore pressure sensors measured the pressure at various points in the bed over the duration of the experiment. Experiments were repeated for different concentrations of xanthan gum in the fluid mixture and for different angles of inclination of the flume. Experiments and analysis of results is currently ongoing, but it likely that flows with higher concentrations of xanthan gum (larger shear-thinning behavior) have prolonged duration due to increased mobility of the beads in the erodible bed.

54 | University of Minnesota


Meg Gable

Audra Gaikowski

Agriculture and Food Business Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Melanie Waite-Altringer Mentor's Department: Biology

Health Science University of Minnesota Rochester December 2019 Mentor: Dr. Kristin Osiecki & Dr. Jessie Barnett Mentor's Department: Public Health Research Partners: Bethany O’Bryan, Hannah Quarnstorm

The Effect of Buffer Zones, Flower Variety, and Flower Coverage on Beneficial Pollinating Insects

Affordability of Food as a University of Minnesota Rochester Student

Over 120 counties realize the important role pollinators have in our global economy; yet the crisis of their decline continues. Combating the negatives effects of pesticides and herbicides along with protecting and restoring habitat is vital to supporting these species into a healthy future. The purpose of this study was to compare the positive effect of various flowering environments on the population and diversity of beneficial pollinating insects. The main question addressed was: “Does the variety of flowering plants, in buffer and non-buffer zone areas, effect beneficial pollinating insect counts?” The prediction was that if the variety of flowering plants in buffer and non-buffer zones influence beneficial insect counts, then a site planted in the buffer zone, with the greatest diversity of flowering plants, would attract a greater variety (eH’) and higher counts of beneficial pollinating insects. Insect counts were gathered at three sites of various acreages every 5-7 days from June 29 until July 31, 2017. Data analysis indicates that an increase of plant variety did not have a significant impact on the quantity or variety of pollinators, but an increase of flowering plant coverage did increase the variety of beneficial pollinating insects with the greatest amount of pollinating insects being at the buffer zone.

According to the Hunger on Campus Report, food insecurity is problematic for students because it interrupts learning by decreasing concentration and increasing tardiness and absences due to illnesses. This lack of food availability also leads to a decrease in academic performance. The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) is the newest addition to the University of Minnesota system, and has been in existence for 12 years now. Due to close proximity to Mayo Clinic, a non-permanent downtown setting for the University, and the high cost of building, staffing, and maintaining a cafeteria, one was not created when construction for UMR began. Thirty-seven percent of UMR students receive Pell Grants, and the only grocery within walking distance of campus is unaffordable for most students. The nearest food options for UMR students, those who live on and off campus, are the non-sit down restaurants around the downtown area for Mayo Clinic employees. This leaves many students unable to afford quick and easy food options while on campus. Furthermore, a survey conducted by student housing concluded that first-year student’s greatest fear to attending UMR was learning how to purchase, cook, and sustain themselves with healthy food options. This, and information collected from this study will help support an initiative for a student food pantry on the UMR campus.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 55


Joshua Gallop

Jesus Garcia Garcia

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Suzanne McGaugh Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Biology and Physiology College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Shernan Holtan Mentor's Department: Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation

Premature Termination Codons Lead to Loss of Eyes and Pigment

Long-term Health Care Burden of Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: An Analysis of Different Graft Sources

The Mexican tetra Astyanax mexicanus consists of cave and surface forms of the same species and has become an important model system. Yet, the mechanisms behind the evolution of cave phenotypes are poorly understood. Here we used whole genome resequencing of cave and non-cave populations to identify genes containing stop codon polymorphisms. We found 3,809 stop codon polymorphisms across 44 individuals from three cave and two surface populations. We identified premature termination codons that are strong candidates for contributing to the cavefish phenotype by filtering our dataset to those that are derived in Astyanax and present at a high frequency in a least one cave population. From this filtered dataset, we identified 28 genes with a premature termination codon that may be responsible for the cave phenotypes related to eyes and pigment. Using CRISPR-cas9 in zebrafish, we functionally validated the role of three genes associated with the most iconic cavefish phenotypes: pigmentation reduction and loss of eyes. In the Molino cave population, we found premature termination codons in the genes Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 4 and connexin 44.1. Mutating these genes in zebrafish resulted in markedly lighter individuals than wild-type and decreased eye structures respectively. In Tinaja and Pachรณn cave populations, we identified a premature termination codon in the gene G-protein coupled receptor 61. Mutants of this gene resulted in visible reduction of eyes. Our study provides a unique demonstration of how population genomic data can yield rapid discovery of potentially causal genes underlying of severe phenotypes.

The financial burden of cancer care is a major barrier to achieving the best long-term outcomes. Cost of therapy may lead to delay or inability to receive the best treatment for some patients. For many patients with hematologic malignancies, the only known cure is allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), which is a difficult and expensive treatment, particularly for patients without a matched sibling donor. Recent evidence demonstrates that recipients of allogeneic HCT have high short-term health care burdens. The long-term health care burden of allogeneic HCT survivors is not well understood. In order to determine the healthcare burden of allogeneic HCT recipients over time, this study will summarize the patterns of healthcare utilization before 100 days post-HCT, between 100 days and 2 years post-HCT, and beyond 2 years post-HCT, stratified by graft source. We hypothesize that long-term survivors of allogeneic HCT after umbilical cord blood transplantation will have a similar burden as compared to those who receive grafts from matched siblings, while recipients of peripheral blood stem cell grafts from unrelated donors will have a higher long-term healthcare burden. This study will determine which donor graft source yields best, most cost-effective treatment over time (up to 5 years) by reducing doctor visits and limiting post-HCT complications, including graft-versus-host disease and relapse.

56 | University of Minnesota


Kemunto Gekonge

Priya George

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Science and Engineering December 2019 Mentor: Abdennour Abbas Mentor's Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Biology, Public Health Minor College of Biological Sciences May 2021 Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Howard Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Thyme Oil Encapsulation For At-Home Solution To Food Spoilage

Studying the Global Trends of Polio Titers in Internationally Adopted Children

This project focuses on Thyme oil and its ability to counter cell growth on strawberries. Essential oils (EOs) are not chemically stable and are highly prone to oxidative deterioration. Stabilizing essential oils by encapsulating them is a possible way that the first two months of this project have proven to be effective.The goal of this study will be to curb fresh fruit and vegetable spoilage in households by using encapsulated thyme. The first step of this project was antimicrobial testing on bacteria (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis) and fungi (Mucor). Testing was conducted by preparing microbial cultures on liquid broth and exposing them to free essential oil. Results of these tests were determined by cell counting via spectrophotometry. The encapsulation of the thyme was realized by coacervation, with alginate as the wall material. The final step will involve antimicrobial and sensory testing with real food. Strawberry samples were placed in a sealed environment with the sachet containing the beads. Over the course of time, observation and photo taking have been done to monitor cell growth, most specifically, mold. With continuous studies, this project is set to include the addition of acetic acid to improve the action of thyme. Slight changes have been noticed, in that cell growth and browning is a lot less with acetic acid included. The acid is however separately placed in the sealed environment. Once more reading material is combined, the acid will be included in the encapsulation process and better results will be expected.

Background: Polio is an infectious disease that affects the nerve cells and can lead to paralysis. We analyzed trends of polio neutralizing antibody levels in internationally adopted children, stratified by region to see if socioeconomic status affected vaccination response. We hypothesized that countries of lower socioeconomic status will have children with a lower likelihood of polio immunity. Methodology: We included international adoptees that completed their adoption screening at the Adoption Medicine Clinic, University of Minnesota. 215 participants were screened between January 2000 and December 2016. Socio-economic factors from the Human Development Reports database were used to analyze adoptees by gross national income, multidimensional poverty index, life expectancy, under 5 year old mortality, and inequality in income. Results: Children from Latin America/Caribbean had 0.215 times the odds ratio of immunity to Polio 1 compared to children from Asia in the adjusted odds ratio. There were no significant relationships with any of the socioeconomic indicators; all had a p value greater than 0.5. Conclusions: Generally, children from Asia had a stronger immune response to all Polio vaccination types than those from Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America/Caribbean. The most important trend is the independent predictor of titers in children from Latin America/Caribbean vs Asia. Both the adjusted and unadjusted odds ratio find that children from Asia have better immunity to Polio 1 than those from Latin America/Caribbean. Surprisingly, there was no significant correlation to show that specific socioeconomic indicators affect Polio immunity. Further testing with larger data sets is necessary. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 57


Frances Gibson

Steven Goodman

Earth Science, Secondary Education College of Science and Engineering December 2018 Mentor: Kent Kirkby Mentor's Department: Earth Science

Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Lucy Dunne Mentor's Department: Apparel Studies

Misconceptions Within Earth Science Among Differing Student Groups

Selective Haptic Feedback Garments for Visual Accessibility

Misconceptions about climate change were tested among differing student groups using surveys given out in introductory Earth Science courses. The results were used to understand if a background and interest in science would be able to predict which misconceptions would be believed and how deeply. This study allows for professors to better understand the knowledge students enter the classroom with and better prepare to teach to deeply held misconceptions.

Recent advances in haptic feedback sensing systems and devices have been the source of promising improvements in accessibility and quality of life for blind and visually-impaired people. However, due to the limited usability and practicality of these devices, the level of comfort and flexibility most users desire hasn’t yet been attained. An obvious way to solve the problem of sensing device usability would be to spread the technology over the body by integrating these devices into comfortable, everyday garments. Utilizing a unique manufacturing method for affixing electronic components directly onto stitched electronic textiles, circuit designs can be sewn directly into a garment using conductive thread, then required sensors and haptic components can then be soldered directly to this thread. However, a drawback of this solution involves a lack of precision in where on the body haptic feedback can be registered and recognized by the user. As the garment is meant to be lightweight and wearable, some haptic motor locations will provide better feedback than others due to the body’s positioning within the garment. This project explores using the skin as a switch for prioritizing these more desirable haptic motors, and for diverting power away from the less desirable ones. The effectiveness of this method is then explored through testing in comparison to a traditional unbiased method of powering the haptic motors.

58 | University of Minnesota


Samantha Gray

Winston Guo

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Anna Mosser Mentor's Department: Biology Teaching and Learning

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Reuben Harris Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Student Perceptions of Active Learning Courses

Elucidating the Molecular Mechanism Regulating APOBEC3 Localization

Active learning encompasses a broad spectrum of strategies that engage students in the learning process. College faculty are encouraging the use of active learning strategies in the classroom. The transition from traditional lecturing to active learning techniques is a significant change that may face a critical audience ㄧ the students in the classroom. Students may resist these strategies which prevent them from realizing the benefits, but the reasons for student resistance to active learning is unknown. Here we show that although active learning techniques implemented are quite different than the traditional lecture method, students do not respond with resistance to these courses. Students in two different introductory active learning biology courses were surveyed near the end of the semester. One course was taught by the flipped classroom method in a lecture hall and the other was taught by active learning techniques in an active learning classroom. Students responded positively to the vast majority of survey questions on their course instructional method in regards to the value of the class, fair exams and grading, instructor behavior, group work, individual motivation, and participation. Though the overall responses were affirmative, students in the active learning classroom rated questions in each of these categories lower than students in the flipped classroom indicating a greater potential for resistance. The positive survey responses demonstrate an overall acceptance of active learning among biology students. I anticipate that this study will provide further support for the utilization of active learning techniques in the biology classroom.

The human genome encodes the APOBEC3 family of cytosine deaminases, which canonically defend against viruses and DNA-based transposons by catalyzing cytosine-to-uracil mutations in single-stranded DNA. However, two members of this family, APOBEC3B (A3B) and APOBEC3H (A3H), have recently been implicated as endogenous sources of mutation in primary tumors and metastasis in several cancer types. A3B and A3H are also the only family members known to exhibit strong nuclear, or nucleolar, localization. However, very little is known regarding the regulation of these nuclear import mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that A3B requires two distinct surface-exposed patches within the N-terminal domain (NTD) to gain access to the nuclear compartment. We also show that a positively-charged basic batch of residues, which has been previously implicated in RNA-binding and dimerization, is required for nuclear import of A3H. These findings may lead to novel therapeutic strategies that target nuclear import as a means to counteract the mutagenic potential of these enzymes in tumor evolution.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 59


Pankhuri Gupta

Braxton Haake

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Dr. Stephen Rice Mentor's Department: Microbiology and Immunology

History College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Saje Mathieu Mentor's Department: History

Effect of Glycoprotein C on the Extracellular Stability of HSV-1 Virions

Contemporary Reactions to the Delta Blues

The goal of my research project is to determine the effect of viral protein glycoprotein C on the extracellular stability of HSV-1 virions. Stability plays a major role in infection of viruses during cell free spread, and glycoprotein C is an important protein that aids in the infection process. From previous studies, there is evidence that HSV-1 strains with mutated glycoprotein C show decreased release of progeny virions into the cell culture medium, which suggests that glycoprotein C enhances cell-free spread.1 Hence, in this study I will determine how the presence and absence of glycoprotein C, in wild type and mutant strains respectively, change the stability of the extracellular virions. My hypothesis is that glycoprotein C provides maximum stability to extracellular virions, consistent with its ability to enhance cell-free spread. To test this hypothesis, I will use KOS1.1 (WT strain of HSV-1) and d44 (gC deletion mutant) strains of the virus and prepare their extracellular virions by infecting Vero cells and incubating at 37C for 24 hours. The supernatant, containing progeny virions, will be removed and incubated at room temperature or 37C. Aliquots will be taken out at various time points, frozen at -80C with sterile milk, and plaque assays will be conducted. After the plaque assays, titers of the viral strains will be determined by staining and counting the plaques, allowing me to make a stability curve. The stability curve will allow me to measure the difference in stability of wild type vs mutant virus strains. My prediction is that the wild type strain virions will be more stable compared to the mutant strain as glycoprotein C would be present in the former.

Nearly all popular American music today, be it Rock, Hip Hop, Rap, or Metal, can trace some portion of its roots back to the Delta Blues of the lower Mississippi River Valley in the early decades of the twentieth century. Given its extraordinary influence, the Delta Blues has become legendary to contemporary historians and musicians alike. From Jack White to Led Zeppelin, countless chart-topping artists have cited Delta Blues as an inspiration for their writing and style. At the time the genre was first being recorded in the late 1920s and 1930s, however, the Delta Blues rarely received such recognition. When Delta Blues first proliferated in the Jim Crow South, it was subject to ardent criticism and was often dismissed by both the black press as well as religious and conservative leaders of the African American community. This dismissal was largely justified on two grounds: the first, that Delta Blues, a rural genre, was unsophisticated, backwards, or otherwise low-brow compared to other popular musical movements of the day. The second, that blues was sinful; that it was the “Devil’s music,� anti-Christian, and prone to scandalous lyrical themes. Many blues artists internalized these prejudices, and themselves reinforced the notion that blues music was somehow inferior to other genres. While many blues artists from the Delta endeavored to dissociate themselves from the genre, attempting to avoid the prejudices associated with the music of their home, others embraced the stereotypes, and made them their own.

60 | University of Minnesota


Paige Hartman

Haley Hauptman

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Bharat Thyagarajan Mentor's Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2020 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology

Prevalence of Clinically Actionable Disease Variants in Exceptionally Long-Lived Families

The Effect of Familial Interaction on Students' Science Scores

My updated abstract is "Currently, there are efforts to extend genetic sequencing beyond targeted-patient populations to those with no family history with subtler clinical presentations. Incomplete understanding of phenotypic penetrance is a major challenge in expanding sequencing from targeted groups to the broader population. For example, an Ashkenazi Jewish centenarian study showed that variants considered to be pathogenic were not necessarily associated with reduced longevity or elevated risks of diseases. To assess generalizability of these findings, we evaluated the prevalence of pathogenic variants in the Long Life Family Study (LLFS). Variants from 25 genes associated with Mendelian-inherited disorders were evaluated for pathogenicity using American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMGG) guidelines. Boot-strapping and Fisherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exact test determined whether allele frequencies were comparable between LLFS and a general population. Pathogenic autosomal dominant variants were found in BRCA1 and SDHC. The BRCA1 variant was significantly increased in LLFS as compared to the general population (0.03% vs. 0.0008%; p<0.05). SDHC variant prevalence did not differ from the general population (p>0.05). Pathogenic autosomal recessive variants in CPT2, ACADM, SUMF1, WRN, ATM, and ACADVL were similar or higher in LLFS as compared to the general population. Our results reaffirm previous findings that long-lived families have similar or higher prevalence of pathogenic variants as compared to the general population. This suggests that penetrance of pathogenic variants may be different between a general population compared to targeted patient populations. Further research is needed to better understand the penetrance of pathogenic variants before expanding large scale genomic testing to asymptomatic individuals.

If talking with your parent could increase your science scores, would you do it? Flipgrid.com is a social learning environment that is being used to see if this outcome is possible. Teachers post prompts related to class content, and students record a short video response. Some teachers have begun prompting students to include family members in their responses. Data is currently being analyzed to test the hypothesis that students who interact with their family more when discussing science prompts on Flipgrid perform better on learning outcomes than students who have less familial interaction. In ongoing analyses, I will look at videos to see whether students and families are engaging in productive interactions, and develop a coding scheme to classify the types of responses students and parents create. Then, I will determine how often students engage in productive interactions with their parents as they use Flipgrid. I predict that students who have more productive interactions with their family members while using Flipgrid will show a significant improvement in their science grades over the year. This research is focusing on students who are typically hurt by the achievement gap, so an improvement in their science scores via family interactions on Flipgrid would suggest a way of reducing this gap. If it is shown that productive interactions increase studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; grades in their science classes, use of this technology could be implemented in more classrooms with minimal curriculum disruption to help struggling students achieve, and to help all students improve their science ability.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 61


Evelyn Hayhurst

Yumiao He

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Elizabeth Borer Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Tai Mendenhall Mentor's Department: Family Social Science

Vector Preference in Single and Multi-Host Systems and Implications for Disease Dynamics: Letting Aphids Vote With Their Feet

The Effects of Romantic Relationships on Academic Performance: A Pilot Investigation of University Students

The spread of vectored diseases can be affected by the behavior and preferences of the vector, which can change based on viruliferous status. Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) is an excellent model for studying this type of interaction because it is a particularly prevalent disease, affecting cereal crop harvests and wild grassland populations worldwide, and aphids are the primary disease vector. The spread of BYDV in grasses depends almost entirely on the aphid vectors, and some evidence suggests that virus acquisition can alter vector behavior and preferences. Though BYDV does not alter aphid survival or fecundity, viruliferous aphids (individuals vectoring the pathogen) have been shown to prefer non-infected plants, while noninfective aphids prefer BYDV-infected plants. The full extent of the influence of aphid preference on disease spread is unknown. Here, we show that non-viruliferous aphids show a preference for BYDV-infected tissue and annual tissue. In comparison, viruliferous aphids show no preference for infected versus healthy plant tissue but do show a strong preference for perennial tissue. Aphids do exhibit preference for either healthy or infected tissue, or annual or perennial tissue, based on their viruliferous status. The preference by viruliferous aphids for healthy plants aids in transmission of the virus, and preference for perennial plants creates long-term virus reservoirs that aid virus acquisition by other aphids. This can be viewed as a starting point for other examinations of vector preference in disease models, which can play a crucial role in predicting and modeling the spread of vectored infectious diseases.

Both intimate relationships and academic success are major parts of college life. However, few studies have looked at the correlations and/or causal relationships between relationship status and academic performance. In order to clarify the relationship(s) between relationship status and academic performance, we start with the following research question: Does being in a romantic relationship affect (for better or worse) academic performance?

62 | University of Minnesota


Hailey Held

Eva Henningsen

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Hiroshi Hiasa Mentor's Department: Pharmacology

Plant Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Melania Figueroa Mentor's Department: Plant Pathology

Determination of the Activity of Prulifloxacin, a Prodrug of a Clinically Important Antibacterial Drug Ulifloxacin

Identification of Novel Sources of Genetic Resistance Against Oat Crown Rust

Fluoroquinolones are broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs that target bacterial type II topoisomerases, gyrase and topoisomerase IV. Fluoroquinolones target a covalent topoisomerase-DNA complex, a catalytic intermediate, and trap this complex on DNA to inhibit DNA replication and generate double-strand breaks. This unique mode of fluoroquinolone’s actions is referred to as ‘topoisomerase poisoning’. Prulifloxacin, the prodrug of ulifloxacin used to improve pharmacokinetics, is an antibacterial agent that has been used in Japan and Europe for the treatment of urinary tract infections. After administration, prulifloxacin is metabolized by esterase’s to ulifloxacin, an active form of a fluoroquinolone. Dr. Hiasa and his collaborators recently obtained preliminary results indicating that prulifloxacin without biotransformation might be active against some microbial pathogens. Based on these observations, I hypothesize that prulifloxacin is active against both gyrase and topoisomerase IV, although its activity may be lower than that of ulifloxacin, and that prulifloxacin can poison either gyrase or topoisomerase IV. I performed a series of biochemical assays to directly test these hypotheses. I used E. coli gyrase, the primary target of fluoroquinolones in E. coli, as a model enzyme. The supercoiling assays showed that prulifloxacin was almost as active as ulifloxacin in inhibiting the supercoiling activity of gyrase. The DNA cleavage assays revealed that both prulifloxacin and ulifloxacin poisoned gyrase. These results demonstrated that prulifloxacin C-7 prodrug group did not interfere with the binding of prulifloxacin to gyrase. We are conducting further studies to determine the activity of prulifloxacin against topoisomerase IV, the second target of fluoroquinolones.

Eva Henningsen (1), Eric Nazareno (1), Sheshanka Dugyala (1), Susan Rottschaefer (1), Ruth Dill-Macky (1), Shahryar F. Kianian (1,2), Melania Figueroa (1). 1) Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul; MN, USA; 2) USDA-ARS, Cereal Disease Laboratory, St. Paul; MN, USA Oat crown rust (Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae (Pca)) is a pathogenic fungus that threatens global oat production. One of the best methods to control infection is to grow oat varieties (Avena sativa) containing resistance genes that shield against Pca. To provide breeding programs with genetic material for introgression, we are working to identify new resistance genes in domesticated oat and wild relatives. In this experiment, 40 accessions of oats were screened using two highly virulent Pca races, 15MN15-3 and 15MN21-3, collected in Minnesota in 2015. The oat accessions were selected, among a collection of 191, for their previously demonstrated resistance against a broadly virulent Pca isolate 12SD80. Physiological race assignments of 15MN15-3, 15MN21-3, and 12SD80 were completed after scoring disease phenotypes in a set of oat differentials. The three Pca isolates displayed different race assignments, indicating distinct genetic makeups. Assessment of genetic resistance to Pca identified 30 oat accessions as resistant to 15MN15-3 and/or 15MN21-3, in comparison to the susceptible checks ‘Marvelous’ and ‘Saber’. To map resistance-associated genes and study the mechanisms of oat immunity, several crosses between resistant oat accessions and the high yielding variety Saber were performed. Current work includes selfing F1 progenies and screening F2 and F3 offspring for resistance with each Pca isolate. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 63


Lexi Herman

Katherine Hill

Art College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Christina Schmid Mentor's Department: Art

Biology, Psychology, Spanish College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Jonathon Gewirtz Mentor's Department: Psychology

It's a Flat World After All

Developing New Classical Conditioning Models of Drug Addiction in Mice

We are at the wrong time, the timeless, the infinite, the out of time, the flat. Flatness is a symptom of a reality where objects cannot hold time or space. The artisanal blast-from-the-past physicality collides with the infinite cloud of inevitable memes from the future, negating our familiar markers of a perceived objective reality. Questioning what is real in a "post-factual" world the wall (Facebook wall, gallery wall, domestic wall, etc.) becomes a site of investigation. The wall acts as a catalyst for flattening, blurring the lines between physical and the virtual realities by forcing objects and images to confine to the two dimensional and complicating our material relationship with the "real". Explored materially and conceptually, flatness continues to be proven and disproven by its own creation.

Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) is one of the models most frequently used to study drug use and addiction in animals such as mice and rats. CPP has a number of advantages, including low cost, ease of use and versatility. However, the model also has disadvantages: the novelty confound, difficulty in creating dose-effect curves, and inability to study discrete cues. It is important to determine whether alternate classical conditioning models can eliminate some of the limitations of CPP while maintaining its advantages. Here we were unsuccessful in demonstrating conditioned preference to odors. However, we successfully demonstrated both taste aversion and taste preference. We found that mice did not spend more time investigating a scent after it had been repeatedly paired with morphine. Mice did develop an aversion for flavored food after it had been paired with morphine, which is consistent with previous research. Most importantly, when mice were given repeated injections of morphine to postpone withdrawal, they developed a preference for flavored food that was paired with morphine. Our results demonstrate that it is possible to produce a taste preference for food paired with a drug, despite the fact that previous research has almost exclusively shown taste aversion. Demonstrating the plausibility of producing taste preference is the first step in establishing CTP as a viable model for drug abuse. Although more research is needed to further develop the model, CTP could soon serve as a useful complement or even replacement for CPP.

64 | University of Minnesota


Meghan Hill

Mark Houle

Neuroscience, Psychology College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Jose Pardo Mentor's Department: Psychiatry

Environmental Science Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Diana Karwan Mentor's Department: Forest Resources

Apolipoprotein E Genotype Effects on Cognition in Healthy and Pathological Aging

Seasonal Variation in Fallout Radionuclide Wet Deposition

Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment are disorders characterized by debilitating cognitive decline. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) e4 allele has been identified as a risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary studies suggests the APOE e2 allele may be protective against Alzheimer’s disease. Previous research has examined differences in cognitive function between e4 carriers and non-carriers; however, little has been done to assess the effects of specific genotypes across diagnostic groups. The aim of this study is to analyze the associations of APOE genotype and various domains of cognitive function in healthy and pathological aging. Cognitive assessment performance, self reports, and informant based questionnaires of elderly adults from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative were studied to assess the risk factors of pathological aging in order to increase the potential for personalized prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Demographic factors, neuroanatomical volumes, glucose metabolism, and amyloid deposition were also studied as possible mediating variables. Future research is warranted to study additional contributing factors such as tau and other genetic and environmental factors; understand the underlying mechanisms of these relationships; and analyze the effects of APOE on cognition throughout the lifespan.

Fallout radionuclides are naturally occurring, radioactive particles found in the atmosphere. They come from a variety of sources, and some are very useful in chemical fingerprinting with a variety of applications in hydrology, such as tracking erosion rates and sources and atmospheric pathways. Relatively few studies have quantified the wet deposition of these fallout radionuclides on a local scale over time. In many hydrologic studies, a basic assumption of constant deposition in precipitation throughout the year is used. This study aims to learn more about the seasonal variation in fallout radionuclide deposition in precipitation, known as wet deposition, to provide more accurate information for hydrologic studies in the Midwest. Lead-210 and Beryllium-7 are examined in this study because of their consistent generation, short half-life, and affinity to bind to soil particles. Rain was collected from the St. Paul Weather Station on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus and analyzed using a gamma ray spectrometer to count radioactive activities. Precipitation samples were collected from July 2016 to October 2017 to provide more than a full year’s worth of data to learn about seasonal variations, which can occur due to weather patterns; land use such as agricultural tillage; and rainfall frequency, type, and intensity.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 65


Bin Huang

Colleen Hutchison

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Esther Krook-Magnuson Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Mark Thomas Mentor's Department: Neuroscience & Psychology

LINCs: Characterization of a Novel Inhibitory Neuron Population in the Hippocampus

Measuring and Manipulating Circuit-Specific Plasticity at the Ensemble Level Using Optogenetics

The most common form of epilepsy in adults is temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), characterized by spontaneous seizures that generally originate from the hippocampal formation. There are 39 million cases of TLE worldwide. Potential treatment options need to be investigated because many patients do not experience seizure relief with current therapeutic approaches. Previous research using on-demand optogenetics to activate light sensitive opsins that cause excitation in an inhibitory neuron subpopulation have shown a decrease in seizure duration. Inhibitory neurons are largely responsible for the coordination of activity throughout the central nervous system. Long-range inhibitory neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)-expressing cells (LINCs) are a novel cell type in the hippocampus that have a possible role in TLE in reducing neuronal excitability. LINCs can be characterized by their molecular markers and location within the hippocampal formation. Molecular markers are crucial to identifying inhibitory neuron subtypes and determining developmental origins. Together with morphological and electrophysiological properties, molecular markers can be used to interpret the function of this novel cell type. From examining the location of LINCs within the hippocampal formation, we can better understand how they are connected to other neurons and their functional contribution. This research aims to fill an important gap in our understanding of inhibitory neuron diversity in the hippocampus.

Measuring strength of synaptic transmission between neurons, or synaptic plasticity, is a daunting technical challenge. Neurobiologists have historically resorted to electrophysiological recordings of post-synaptic responses evoked by electrical stimulation. In other words, regarding post-synaptic responses elicited from the same stimulation, the degree of change that occurs from a plasticity-inducing intervention has often served as a way to assay plasticity itself. Although, measuring plasticity merely as a change in response from baseline is generally only useful for within-subject comparisons. Researchers have made strides in developing single-measurement assays that can capture the strength of synaptic transmission, enabling studies of experience-dependent forms of plasticity useful for between-subject comparisons. Unfortunately, these assays rely on single-cell-level intracellular recordings that are generally measured terminally and ex vivo. Evoked field recordings at the population ensemble level are readily accessible in vivo yet have been limited to measures of plasticity that are short-windowed and within-subject. In this study, we developed a new approach to this problem using optogenetics. We first introduced Chronos, a light-sensitive-cation-channel, to the infralimbic (IL) sub-region of the prefrontal cortex in mice. As an ex vivo proof of principal experiment, we recorded light-evoked activity in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh). We were able to characterize pre- and post-synaptic components of activity in this circuit, as well as develop and validate a single-measurement assay of circuit-specific plasticity at the ensemble level useful for between-subject comparisons. This new approach can take advantage of the many cross-sectional and multi-circuit tools available through optogenetics and in vivo/ex vivo electrophysiology.

66 | University of Minnesota


Nick Hyde

Hammad Ismaeel

Music College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Rudy Perrault Mentor's Department: Fine Arts

Mathematics, Computer Application College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Dennis Hejhal Mentor's Department: Mathematics Research Partner: Malik Nusseibeh

Octaviolinium: Arranging Rock Music in the Style of a Classical Violin Concerto

The MNIST Database

Octaviolinium is a first of its kind musical piece. There are only a few electric violin concertos that currently exist, even though the electric violin has been around for over 40 years now, and they are all originals works. I sought to do what no one has done before, which is arrange the 24-minute-long epic rock piece Octavarium (Dream Theater) into a violin concerto, complete with analog effects and electronic accompaniment. Octavarium arranged for violin is appropriately called Octaviolinium.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a measurement standards laboratory, and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce. The NIST issues the MNIST database that is commonly used for training various image processing systems. The database is also widely used for training and testing in the field of machine learning. We attempt to use a vector support machine to minimise the error rate of the predicted results. We have used Rosenblatt's perceptron principles, similar to that used by researchers in 2004 that resulted in the lowest error rate of 0.42.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 67


Ayushi Jain

Kristy Jay

Psychology College of Liberal Arts August 2017 Mentor: Shmuel Lissek Mentor's Department: Psychology

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Brian Van Ness, PhD Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Sex Differences in Aspects of Fear Conditioning

Novel Mutations within the FOXP1 Gene Provide Insight to the Regulatory Function of the 3' Untranslated Region

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of disorders in the United States (Kessler et al., 2005). Not only this, but the demographic of people who have them are mostly women-- 60% to be exact (Kessler et al., 1994; Wang et al. 2005). Current research shows that these differences may lie in various aspects of fear conditioning, such as fear generalization and fear extinction. Disparities may be caused by issues in fear discrimination or hyperarousal as a result of anxiety (Lynch, Cullen, Jasnow, & Riccio, 2013). Currently, a large area of research is hormonal differences in males and females (Lynch et al., 2013). Further down this stream of research, some studies reveal differences in levels of cortisol when men and women are exposed to stressful stimuli (Jackson, Payne, Nadel, & Jacobs, 2006). Because of these findings, numerous researchers have also focused on the mediating effect of stress on gender differences in fear conditioning, and have found interesting evidence to increase our understanding of sex differences. Disparities have been found in how males and females respond to fear-eliciting stimuli both physically—such as when analyzing psychophysiological measures—as well as emotionally—such as when reviewing self-reported anxiety levels in questionnaires. These differences are important to understand so that preventative measures can be taken for the disadvantaged gender, and so that treatment for mental disorders can be better shaped around each sex to accommodate their needs (Jackson et al., 2006).

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder associated with delayed speech, deficits in motor control, and abnormal social/emotional behavior. The FOXP1 gene belongs to the forkhead-box (FOX) family of transcription factors, coding for proteins associated with development, metabolism, immunology, cell cycle regulation, and cancer development. Both FOXP1 and FOXP2 have been implicated in ASD and Language Disorder development. Previous research by Hamdan et al. indicated that FOXP1/P2 heterodimers allow for protein variability and may regulate targets associated with language development. We are investigating a familial case study involving an affected individual, his parents, and sister. Whole exome sequencing revealed possible mutations within the FOXP1 gene. The region of interest was amplified using PCR and submitted for Sanger Sequencing at the University of Minnesota Genomics Center. Results confirmed genotypes observed in exome sequencing. A two-base deletion within a CA rich repeat region was reported in the affected individual and a two-base insertion was reported in the father, at identical locations in the 3' untranslated region (UTR). Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the mutations were near the binding site of microRNA 486, which may be involved in transcriptional regulation. Research by Dong-Hyoung et al. indicated that CA rich clusters in the 3' UTR of bcl-2 were binding sites for heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein L (hnRNP L), associated with the packaging and transport of messenger RNA. Research completed by Huelga et al. confirmed FOXP1 as a target of hnRNP. Future studies will seek to define the functional characteristics of the 3' UTR of FOXP1.

68 | University of Minnesota


Anders Jenson

Blake Johnson

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Robert Tranquillo Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Chemical Engineering,Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Aditya Bhan Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Optimization of the Development of Tissue Engineered Venous Valves

Mechanism of Aromatic Dealkylation in Small Pore Zeotype Catalysts

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), is a commonly occurring condition that affects over seven million Americans, where the insufficient venous valve allows varying degrees of reflux as blood is pumped back to the heart. In the most severe cases, CVI can lead to ulcers, stroke and even require amputation. The ideal replacement venous valve for these patients would be durable, non-thrombogenic, have similar hemodynamics to the native valve and have no immunologic complications. This research was focused on optimizing the development of tissue engineered venous valves (TEVV), grown from dermal fibroblast seeded in fibrin gel. New mold designs were constructed and 3-D printed to streamline the growth cycle for the TEVV. A MATLAB script was created to analyze various hemodynamic results of the newly developed TEVVs from data captured using a custom-built pulse duplicator system (ViVitro System Inc). The results from the TEVV testing were compared to native venous valves from animal models to evaluate hemodynamic performance. The leaflet motion and pressure drops of the TEVV compared favorably to the native jugular venous valves tested, suggesting that the new generation TEVV designs could serve as a potential treatment option for patients with CVI. However, further testing to assess the non-thrombogenic nature and durability of the TEVV should be conducted in an animal model, preferably on an ovine model due its high thrombogenic nature, before the TEVV can be used as a treatment for malfunctioning venous valves.

The selective conversion of methanol to light olefins, ethylene and propylene, on nanoporous zeotype acid catalysts represents the final step in feedstock agnostic upgrading of renewable, abundant carbon sources to universally utilized chemical precursors. Previous investigations have concluded that methyl-substituted benzenes, entrained within the pores of the catalysts, undergo acid-catalyzed dealkylation to give ethylene and propylene. The mechanisms describing these dealkylation reactions, however, remain unresolved. We propose to resolve the mechanism for methyl-substituted benzene dealkylation using a meticulous isotopic tracing study. Our approach combines gas-solid reaction studies using transient isotope switching, gas chromatography in tandem with electron ionization mass spectrometry, reverse-phase flash chromatography, and quantitative Bloch decay 13C NMR spectroscopy to experimentally access both global and site-specific isotopologue distributions of gas-phase products, i.e., ethylene and propylene, and entrained methyl-substituted benzenes. This study enables experimental evaluation of proposed reaction mechanisms for methyl-substituted benzene dealkylation and demonstrates the utility of isotopic tracing studies to detail organic transformations occurring within nanoporous, inorganic hosts on a molecular level.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 69


Chloe Johnson

Kellen Johnson

Animal Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Fall 2018 Mentor: Paul Laizzio Mentor's Department: Surgical Science

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Andreas Stein Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Biochemical Response of Esophageal Tissue at Varying Pulse Lengths of Irreversible Electroporation

Synthesis, Nanocasting, and Characterization of Cerium-UiO-66

Cardiac diseases affect millions of individuals in their day to day life. There are many different interventions from pharmaceuticals to surgical interventions. One of the most common forms of cardiac diseases known as atrial fibrillation (AF), which affects an estimated 2.7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6.1 people yearly. AF is caused when the heart develops an irregular conduction pathway that causes the heart to function inefficiently. This can lead to reduced quality of life for patients and in extreme cases cause strokes. If pharmaceutical based interventions fail, an ablation can be performed to restore normal conduction to the heart. Through ablation, cells in the heart are treated with one of many different technologies to cause cell death. This has typically been heating or cooling of the tissue, but lately high voltage DC energy has been investigated (electroporation). Through electroporation, irreversible electroporation (IRE) was developed as a treatment plan for various diseases such as cancer. The purpose of these studies was to determine if IRE caused any damage to the soft tissue surrounding the heart, and what biomechanical properties might change in the tissue through this damage. Through IRE ablation of esophageal tissue from swine, dogs, and sheep, it was found that IRE little to no irreversible effects of esophageal tissue. With these results, it can be concluded that IRE can cause controlled cell killing of cardiac tissue without spreading, and damaging other tissues of the surrounding organs.

UiO-66 is a common metal-organic framework (MOF) composed of a square bipyrimidal arrangement of clusters, typically consisting of [Zr6O4(OH)4] oxozirconium clusters connected by organic aromatic rings as shown in the model below. The purpose of the experiments conducted here was to first modify the Zr-UiO-66 framework by replacing the oxoirconium clusters with oxocerium clusters, which will allow the MOF to take advantage of the mixed oxidation state properties of Cerium. The experiment would then utilize nanocasting techniques used previously on Zr-UiO-66 MOFs to determine their effectiveness of the Ce-UiO-66 MOFs. The nanocasting techniques were designed to replace the organic peptide chains linking the oxocerium clusters with more robust silica structures, thereby allowing the MOF to maintain its structure and avoid cluster aggregation at higher temperatures than would otherwise be expected with organic linkers.

70 | University of Minnesota


Kristine Johnson

Samantha Johnson

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Apparel Design College of Design, College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Abdennour Abbas Mentor's Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Health Science University of Minnesota Rochester May 2018 Mentor: Kristin Osiecki Mentor's Department: Public Health

Synthesis of Charged Nanoparticles on Porous Sorbent Materials for Desalination Applications

Disparaging the Heartland of America: Disparate Environmental Justices in the Delta Region of Rural Illinois

The development of scalable, inexpensive, and effective desalination techniques is an ongoing challenge with the potential for significant global impact. This project evaluates the use of charged ions in desalination through the direct and independent capture of sodium and chloride ions in solution. Charged metal ions are grown on porous sorbent materials, including polyurethane and polyamide sponges, through thermochemical deposition processes. To capture chloride anions, an initial solution of magnesium (II) chloride (MgCl2) and aluminum (III) chloride (AlCl3) salts is reacted to deposit positively charged magnesium nanoparticles on the porous structure. Similarly, charged manganese nanoparticles are grown on the porous structure from an initial solution containing manganese (II) chloride (MnCl2) salts. This sponge configuration is used to adsorb sodium cations. This paper presents an optimized protocol for magnesium and manganese nanoparticle growth. It further evaluates the impact of polyurethane and polyamide functional groups on the adsorbency of the porous material. It concludes with an assessment of the potential application of magnesium and manganese nanoparticles to desalination systems.

The rural residents of the sixteen counties comprising the Mississippi River Delta Region (Delta region) of Illinois are among the poorest in the United States. In comparison to other Illinois areas such as Cook County, residents of the Delta region have greater negative health outcomes. Environmental and health disparity research is evolving towards a cumulative exposure model that analyzes community susceptibility and the degree to which environmental exposures affect that community. The cumulative exposure model is unable to adequately describe patterns of inequitable environmental hazards. Identifying the regions of environmental disparity involves analyzing regional health status in relation to environmental hazards and social vulnerability as determined by cumulative framework models. This research analyzes how current literature may not reflect an accurate depiction of rural health. Within this study, I reviewed current literature and determined that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) environmental screening tool, EJ SCREEN, has parameters that adequately describe the disparities in rural regions. The objective of this study was to devise better methods for analyzing health disparities in rural communities. It has the potential for further application to broaden the indices of future environmental justice screening tools to express potential hazards within rural communities. I will present my findings on environmental justice disparities within the Delta region.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 71


Madeline Jones

Raeesa Kabir

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Mark Thomas Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Alptekin Aksan Mentor's Department: Mechanical Engineering

Cocaine and Morphine Produce Different Long-Lasting Disruptions in Economic Decision-Making Strategies

Susceptibility of Damage in Proteins due to their Secondary Structure

Individuals recovering from addiction struggle with making bad decisions that lead to relapse - a poorly understood process. Using a neuroeconomic approach, we designed a decision-making task for use in an animal model of addiction that could capture separable aspects of the conflict between wanting versus knowing better. Mice were trained on a limited time budget to choose between food reward offers of varying costs (delay) and of varying value (subjective flavor preferences). Decision conflict was measured when animals were faced with economically unfavorable offers (high cost) for highly favored rewards (preferred flavors). We found that following prolonged abstinence from repeated drug exposure, cocaine-abstinent mice spent more time deliberating before ultimately accepting high cost offers while morphine-abstinent mice were less likely to correct snap-judgements for high cost offers when given the opportunity. We model these results as disruptions in dissociable decision-making valuation algorithms which are thought to arise from distinct neural circuits. This work highlights need for novel therapeutic interventions tailored to different forms of addiction.

In order to carry on long term studies of cancer related biomarkers, it is essential that the biospecimen are stable and can be stored in cost effective conditions. Currently, biomarkers are stored in cryogenic conditions, which can lead to damaging the biomarkers while thawing. Using Trehalose and other lyo-protectant additive based sugar matrix has been shown to stabilize human serum in non-cryogenic conditions. Isothermally vitrifying the lyo-protectant matrix and human serum solution to form a â&#x20AC;&#x153;glassâ&#x20AC;? can halt all biochemical reactions. Thus, this method stabilizes the proteins in the serum. We found that proteins like Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) and Interleukin-6 (IL-6) can be stabilized and stored in room temperature conditions for up to 3 months, whereas other proteins like Osteopontin (OPN) and Neuropilin (NRP) can not. Analyzing their secondary structures, it was seen that OPN and NRP have more beta sheets and more disorder in their structure. On the other hand, LDH and IL-6 contains more alpha helices and have more order in their structure. We hypothesized that some proteins, like OPN and NRP-1, are more susceptible to overall damage due to the accessibility of oxidizable amino acid residue sites as they are more disordered in terms of their secondary structures. This hypothesis was tested by conducting oxidation and denaturation experiments on model proteins like lysozyme, and concanavalin a that contains all alpha helices and mostly beta sheets respectively.

72 | University of Minnesota


Carolyn Kalinowski

Natasha Kallish

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Emilie Snell-Rood Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Journalism College of Liberal Arts December 2018 Mentor: Maura Adshead Mentor's Department: Politics & Public Administration

Trangenerational Effects of Sodium on Pieris Rapae

The Efficacy of Peer Support and its Implications Within a University Context

Roads and highways have far-reaching impacts for roadside ecosystems and the organisms that inhabit them. In addition to creating physical barriers within ecosystems, road salts used in the deicing of roads enter roadside habitats through runoff and ice melt, which is then accumulated by plants. This can expose organisms to higher levels of sodium than they have previously experienced. As a limiting nutrient for herbivores, increases in sodium can have direct influences on development and tissue investment. The importance of sodium for herbivores has shaped their evolution, with many foraging behaviors specific to sodium across species. In butterflies, males will mud-puddle in order to accumulate sodium that will be transferred to females and on to their offspring. While both the effects of nutrients across generations and the effects of sodium specifically have been studied in butterflies, there is little known about how the effects of differing sodium levels interact across generations. In this study, we use butterflies to observe the interactions between the amount of sodium in individual and parental diets and the effects on fitness. We reared two generations of butterflies on fully factorial high and low sodium diets, and observed the effects on physiological traits including body size, eye size, and egg size and number. While results are still pending, understanding the impacts of sodium across generations can help further our knowledge of how roadsides impact surrounding ecosystems and herbivore populations.

Research by UNICEF indicates that Ireland has the fourth highest teen suicide rate in the EU. With increasing rates of enrollment in higher education, it does not come as a surprise that the demand for college counseling has jumped 40 percent in the last decade. As a result, universities across Ireland have been looking for new ways to accommodate the growing needs of their students and to provide preventative care before mental health problems exacerbate. One solution to mitigate the growing demand on counseling services has been to implement peer-driven emotional support programs. Because of their adaptable nature, these programs can be applied in a variety of settings. However, there is a gap in the literature on the efficacy of peer support within a university context. I conducted a systematic review that examined existing literature not only assess whether peer support programs are an effective approach to mitigating mental health issues but also to summarize the potential benefits of implementing these programs within universities on a larger scale.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 73


Ishita Kamboj

Megan Kazynski

Materials Science & Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Eray Aydil Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Neuroscience, Psychology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Karina Quevedo Mentor's Department: Psychiatry Research Partner: Shabnam Mansur

Nickel Nanoparticle Synthesis via Hot Injection Chemical Methods

Neurofeedback and Emotional Regulation in Adolescents with Varying Levels of Depression

Coauthors: Eray Aydil, Chris Leighton, Joseph Batley, and My Nguyen

This study tested how neurofeedback changes brain activity in depressed adolescents, who often have trouble controlling their emotions. Neurofeedback through real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging presents a possible intervention to reduce depression and increase emotional regulation.

Magnetic nanoparticles are ubiquitous in modern technology, and are relevant for a wide range of applications, such as information storage, medical diagnosis via magnetic resonance imaging, magnetorheological fluids, high performance bearings and seals, and wastewater treatment. The magnetic properties of ferromagnetic nanoparticles vary strongly with size. For example, magnetic coercivity, or the ability of a material to resist changes in magnetization, increases sharply with particle size, scaling as r6 where r is the particle radius, reaching a maximum, and then decreasing as 1/r. Therefore, studying magnetic properties as a function of nanoparticle size requires tight control over the size distribution and shapes of nanoparticles. The purpose of this study is to establish a robust, reproducible, and consistent nickel magnetic nanocrystal synthesis that allows control over their size and size distribution. The synthesis is based on hot injection of nickel (II) acetate dissolved in oleylamine into trioctylphosphine at 200-220 oC. The ratio of trioctylphosphine to oleylamine, reaction temperature, and synthesis duration are varied to study the effect of each variable on the nanocrystal size and size distribution. The resulting magnetic properties are then measured, and we will report various structure-property relationships.

74 | University of Minnesota

METHODS. Participants were assessed with psychological interviews to determine their levels of depressive symptoms, then completed an neurofeedback task with both feedback and control conditions. In the feedback condition, participants recalled happy memories when the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;happyâ&#x20AC;? appeared on a screen, simultaneously viewing their activity in the amygdala and hippocampus. Before and after the task, participants completed rumination and depression questionnaires. ANALYSIS. A multiple regression model was conducted, including these predictors: depression severity at intake, change in depression before vs after neurofeedback, change in rumination before vs after neurofeedback. RESULTS. Decrease in rumination after neurofeedback was associated with lower activity in the mid cingulate gyrus, superior and inferior temporal gyrus, frontal gyrus, putamen, and insula in more severely depressed adolescents. Activity in these areas was not seen among participants with less severe depression during rumination change. Lower activity in the middle temporal gyrus was seen in all participants, regardless of depression level. Greater change in depression after neurofeedback was associated with higher activity in superior and inferior parietal lobule for all participants. Greater depression severity at intake was associated with lower activity in the bilateral superior and middle temporal gyrus, inferior and middle frontal gyrus, caudate, insula, putamen, and precentral gyrus.


Ryan Keenan

Leslie Kent

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Sharon Jansa Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution and Behavioral

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Jonathan Ravdin Mentor's Department: Medicine

Sahul Old Endemic Rodent Phylogeny Reconstruction

Determining Factors that Promote HIV Acquisition in Youth in the Twin Cities Area

Not much is known about how species’ colonizing of new habitat affects evolutionary processes such as species diversification and morphological evolution. If habitat is limited, secondary colonists will typically diversify slower compared to primary colonists, because available ecological niches in that habitat are already inhabited by the primary colonists. We can test this phenomenon in natural systems by comparing two sister clades, a secondary colonist and a primary colonist of a particular geographic region. The cloud rats and earthworm mice of Luzon Island exhibit this phenomenon. During the late Miocene Era, rodents (subfamily Murinae) dispersed from the Sunda shelf to the Philippine island of Luzon. The descendants of the first colonizing wave are encompassed by the cloud rats. The descendants of the second colonizing wave are encompassed by the earthworm mice. To examine the relationship between the cloud rats and the earthworm mice, I will compare them to a sister group – the Sahul (New Guinea and Australia) old endemic rodents. However, there is a lack of understanding of the Sahul old endemic rodents’ evolutionary framework. My directed research project creates a time-calibrated phylogenetic reconstruction of the Sahul old endemic rodents to fill this gap. I’ve worked alongside Dr. Sharon Jansa and graduate student Dakota Rowsey. My directed research helps to elucidate biogeographic phenomenon in an important location of Mammalian evolutionary history and also benefitted graduate student Dakota Rowsey's own research.

Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has been a pressing problem around the world for decades and continues to be endemic. According to the CDC, in 2014 in the United States there were an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV with 37,600 new cases [1]. Treatment for HIV requires lifelong multidrug therapy to suppress the virus. As such, minimizing transmission through preventative measures is essential for eliminating new cases of HIV/AIDS. Youth, commonly defined as ages 13-24, has been shown to have one of the highest risks of HIV acquisition [2]. One of the many groups working to combat HIV transmission is the University of Minnesota Youth and AIDS Projects (YAP), which focuses more specifically on youth living in the Twin Cities area. A cross sectional study was used to analyze data collected on clients through a self-reported survey. YAP clients included in this study were individuals ages 13-30 who were either living with HIV, unaware of their HIV status, living with someone with HIV, or at high risk for getting HIV when they started coming to YAP. Client were split into groups based on if they were HIV+ or HIV-, and responses to the survey were analyzed for correlations between specific factors relating to the identity, living situation, behaviors, and knowledge of HIV/AIDS of youth living in the Twin Cities. Factors which showed statistically significant differences were considered correlated with being HIV+ or HIV-.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 75


Mitchell Kohler

Annika Kohrt

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Joseph Zasadzinski Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Material Science

Linguistics, German College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Dustin Chacรณn Mentor's Department: Linguistics Research Partner: Trey Sorensen

Investigating Phase Fractions of DPPC-Hexadecanol Monolayers Using Fluoresence Microscopy of Langmuir Films

Constructing Filler-Gap Dependencies Into Adjunct Clauses

Surfactant is an essential part of the respiratory system, allowing the lungs to expand and contract while remaining hydrated. Gaining an understanding of its mechanisms is essential to treating many respiratory-related illnesses. This project endeavors to study samples containing three lung surfactant components dipalmitoylphosphatidicholine (DPPC), hexadecanol, and cholesterol - in varying ratios. The samples are spread on water to create a one molecule-thick monolayer, which may be compressed or expanded to change the surface pressure. As the surface pressure increases, the components co-crystallize, changing the solid and liquid phase fractions of the monolayer. Through the use of confocal microscopy and Langmuir monolayer compression, samples at various surface pressures may be imaged, processed, and analyzed. The solid and liquid phase fractions may be measured, and the relationship between surface pressure and phase fraction can be plotted. By testing multiple sample compositions, the larger relationship between sample composition and sample properties may be examined.

In processing filler-gap dependencies (FGDs), comprehenders actively seek gaps (Crain & Fodor 1985; Stowe 1986; Traxler & Pickering 1996). However, it is unclear whether active gap pursuit relies on prediction mechanisms triggered at the filler, or an incremental search with a higher-ranking for integrating gaps over lexical material (see Aoshima et al 2004; Omaki et al 2015). We present results on two experiments examining the processing of FGDs into adjuncts. Because adjuncts are syntactically optional, comprehenders are only likely to construct FGDs into them through detecting a semantically suitable gap site bottom-up. Generally, adjunct clauses are islands (Cinque 1990). However, Truswell (2007) shows that FGDs may cross into non-finite adjunct clauses, if the main clause and adjunct clause predicates can compose into a single event ("type-compatible"). In Experiment 1, we show that participants accept FGDs into non-finite adjunct clauses. In Experiment 2, we find a reverse plausibility mismatch effect (i.e., plausibility increases processing difficulty), if the FGD can plausibly resolve with a gap in an adjunct clause, and if the main verb is type-compatible. We argue that this demonstrates that initially, no gap is predicted in the adjunct clause. However, if the semantics of the sentence permits, the comprehender will reanalyze the sentence to construct the FGD into the adjunct clause, increasing processing difficulty. Thus, comprehenders search for gaps prospectively, which is partially gated by semantics.

76 | University of Minnesota


Sa Kong

Megan Korne

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Richard Nho Mentor's Department: Medicine

Biochemistry, Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Pete Lefebvre Mentor's Department: Plant and Microbial Biology

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Causes Imbalance in Main Pulmonary Cell Lines

Identifying Flagellar Assembly Genes through DNA Sequencing and Reverse Genetic Analysis of a Library of Mutant Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by the overproduction of type I collagen and the presence of cell death resistant fibrotic fibroblasts resulting in permanent lung scarring and stiffening. Previous data suggests that after radiation treatment, the IPF fibroblasts remain more viable than the control fibroblasts and that unlike control fibroblasts, IPF fibroblasts produce more collagen. We found that the increased viability is due to the FoxO3a/ FoxM1 and Rad51/BRCA2 axis. In IPF, downregulation of FoxO3a causes an upregulation of FoxM1, which increase the expression of DNA repairing proteins, Rad51 and BRCA2. Currently, we’re looking further into the role of IPF fibroblasts, control fibroblasts, and alveolar epithelial cells to understand the pathobiology of IPF. We hypothesize that the epithelial cells will show a greater sensitivity to radiation induced cell death as compared to IPF and control fibroblasts leading to an imbalance in the main pulmonary cell types driving the progression of IPF. Preliminary viability assay of these cells supports the hypothesis. To further understand the mechanism, after radiation at 9 Gy, lysates and total RNA will be extracted from the cell lines after 0, 6, and 24 hours. We will examine the levels of FoxO3a/ FoxM1/ BRCA2& Rad51 using western blot, and the total RNA level of type I collagen will then be measured using real time PCR. Understanding the cytotoxic effects of radiation on epithelial cells will allow us to better understand the disease progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Flagella and cilia are structurally similar organelles commonly found in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. The main function of flagella is to move in a whip-like fashion to propel the cell forward through its environment, while cilia are primarily used to move fluids over the surface of cells. Mutations in the cell’s genome can result in the deformation or absence of these organelles, hindering the cell’s ability to function normally. In humans, mutations in cilia are thought to be the cause of diseases such as epilepsy, retinal degeneration, obesity, and primary ciliary dyskinesia. The goal of this project is to identify genes that play a role in flagellar assembly and/or function so that their mechanisms and potential mutations can be further studied. A library of mutant Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was created using glass bead transformation. The DNA cassette inserted into C. reinhardtii contains a gene for paromomycin resistance as well as sites for restriction enzyme MmeI, making it easy to identify which gene the cassette was inserted into. The phenotypes of the mutant library were determined using phase-microscopy. The mutants that had an observed phenotype of flagellaless, paralyzed flagella, short flagella, long flagella, or single flagella had their DNA extracted and are currently being prepared for PCR. The DNA will then be sequenced and the genes that contain an insertion will be analyzed further.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 77


Adam Kostanecki

Jacob Kosyakovsky

Plant and Microbial Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: David Moeller Mentor's Department: Plant and Microbial Biology

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Jared Fine Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Investigating the Genetic Heterogeneity of Urban Ambrosia Artemisiifolia Populations

Intranasally Administered Deferoxamine as a Potential Treatment for Neurodegenerative Disease

Urbanization results in environmental changes that impose biotic and abiotic selective pressures on urban plant populations. A low presence of pollinators and a highly fragmented landscape can establish a difficult environment for pollination and therefore limit successful seed production. Further, cities experience higher temperatures, CO2 concentrations, and pollution, relative to rural areas, which can affect the rates of survival and reproductive success of urban plant populations. These ecological differences make studies of adaptive evolution in urban populations of particular interest, especially as urban environments can simulate the broader effects of global climate change. Within urban environments, populations are often fragmented and occupy a diverse array of microhabitats, that may exert distinct selective pressures and result in differentiation among populations. Differences in phenotypic traits have been observed in plants growing in urban environments, when compared to rural populations. In a study by Gorton et. al. (unpublished), common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) populations in urban Minneapolis exhibited genetic differentiation in flowering time and seed production. I have investigated this further by studying A. artemisiifolia grown from seeds gathered from urban and rural populations of St. Louis, MO, in order to assess the genetic heterogeneity of urban plant populations. I hypothesize that A. artemisiifolia gathered from urban populations will exhibit greater phenotypic variation in germination, male flowering spike count, and mature fruit count, compared to plants from rural populations that receive the same treatment. This would indicate urban ragweed populations exhibit higher phenotypic diversity due to higher relative genetic heterogeneity.

Intranasally administered deferoxamine (IN DFO) has been shown to decrease memory loss in rodent models of neurodegenerative disease and brain injury. DFO is a metal chelator with a high affinity for iron and aluminum. In terms of its mechanism, DFO is known to decrease free iron’s availability to produce free radicals, prevent apoptosis induced by glutathione depletion and oxidative stress, induce heme-oxygenase 1, be anti-inflammatory, and block the neurotoxic effects of hemoglobin. It has also been demonstrated to activate HIF-1α and the response to hypoxia as well as lead to decreases in GSK-3β. In vivo studies have found that DFO has protective effects in animal models of ischemic stroke, intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, administration of DFO intranasally (IN) may more advantageous than intraperitoneal (IP) administration due to greater efficacy of delivery through the blood brain barrier (BBB) as well as the potential for fewer side effects. Overall, we are studying the efficacy and safety of IN DFO as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease before we can move on to eventual clinical trials.

78 | University of Minnesota


Alyssa Krueger

Kevin Lam

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Bonnie Klimes-Dougan Mentor's Department: Psychology

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: David Flannigan Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Associations and Outcomes of Positive Emotion Socialization in the Children of Mothers with Unipolar and Bipolar Depression

Preparation and Structural Characterization of Exfoliated Transition Metal Dichalcogenides

Emotion socialization (ES) is the way in which influential individuals in a child or adolescent’s life react to, discuss, and express emotions, which in turn influences the child’s own emotional responses and expression. Supportive positive emotion socialization more specifically has a cumulative effect that beneficially affects multiple levels of not only cognitive functioning and well-being, but also coping with various stressors and adversity. However, parents with depression have a well-established pattern of dysregulated parenting, which is thought to be associated with their children’s later maladjustment and increased levels of psychopathology. Based on these patterns of dysfunction, it seems possible that utilizing the opposite strategies, that is being responsive and positive with their children, could act as a protective factor for children of parents with depression. This archival study aims to analyze if children of mothers with unipolar and bipolar depression perceive different levels of positive emotion socialization compared to children of control mothers. Additionally, the study will longitudinally assess if children that experience increased perceptions of positive emotion socialization will exhibit less psychopathology and increased well-being compared to children with decreased perceptions of positive emotion socialization.

Due to their unique electrical properties and semiconducting nature, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD’s), have been largely studied recently. Specifically, for TaS2, the mechanism of charge density waves produced at a set number of layers is currently being studied. As a layered material, TMD’s are held together by Van der Waal forces and can exist with a large range of layers. It has been seen that the electronic properties of TMD’s shift with varying number of layers. To study this property, mechanical exfoliation was used in which adhesion strength breaks apart the layers held together by Van der Waals forces. The sample preparation of TMD’s onto a grid was assessed in this project regarding both quantity and quality. Different adhesive materials, with varying strengths, were tested on a bulk TaS2 specimen, while keeping the preparation technique constant. The amount of transferred TaS2 for each sample preparation was quantified by comparing optical microscope images before and after mechanical exfoliation. Both extremes of small and large adhesion strengths resulted in minimal transfer while intermediate strengths led to large transfer quantities. The most successful adhesion strength for TMD transfer was found to be 21700 N/m2, with adhesion strengths in the range of 8100 N/m2 – 54300 N/m2 leading to successful results as well. Adhesion strengths below and above both resulted in minimal to no TMD transfer onto the grid.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 79


Luke LaMoore

Abigail Larson

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2019 Mentor: Peter Marchetto Mentor's Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Yasushi Nakagawa Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Sensing via Voltage between Combinations of Electrode Pairs

Role of Retinoic Acid Degradation in the Maturation of Inhibitory Neurons in the Mouse Prefrontal Cortex

Nitrate loading in waterways is a concern for the public and the environment. It can lead to eutrophication, creating algal blooms that deplete the water of oxygen resulting in a loss of biodiversity and an unaesthetically pleasing site. The hypothesis was that nitrate, or any chemical compound, could be quantitatively detected using voltage or resistance and help determine which areas of a waterway have the most pollution and the best management practice to implement. By creating a database of voltage and resistance readings from different electrode pairs for chemical compounds in various concentrations, we could analyze the discrepancy between the readings and find a set of electrode pairs that the quantity of the compound in question could be determined. This was tested by creating an array of electrodes and setting the array in a sample of water with various concentrations of chloride, nitrate, and phosphate and measuring the voltage and resistance between two electrodes via a digital multimeter (DMM). After graphical analysis of each pair, four were chosen as having distinguishable differences for each chemical and these were tested to determine their accuracy in a mixed sample of chemicals. The results were not as expected, but the distinctions are still present. While we can not currently identity quantitatively the amount of nitrate in a sample, we do believe that since there are definitive patterns for some electrode pairs, with the proper technique, the quantity of nitrate or any other chemical compound can be measured using voltage.

The purpose of this study was to determine how retinoic acid (RA) signaling affects the maturation of paravalbumin (PV) interneurons in the postnatal prefrontal cortex (PFC). RA plays an important role in early development of the brain and abnormal RA signaling has been associated with schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorders. Due to the important role RA plays in the brain, the Nakagawa Lab has been studying the roles RA signaling plays in the development of interneurons in the PFC, which are important regulators of excitation-inhibition balance and synchronous firing which forms the basis of our cognition and emotion. We have found that in mice that are deficient of the Cyp26b1 gene, which encodes a RA-degrading enzyme, the number of a subtype of interneurons, called PV interneurons, is increased in postnatal PFC but there is a non-significant difference in survival, indicating that in normal brains RA may promote the maturation of PV interneurons. The goal of my research project is to determine how PV maturation differs in mice with excessive RA signaling, i.e., Cyp26b1 mutant mice. An increase in the number of PV neurons surrounded by perineuronal nets will indicate accelerated maturation. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been shown that the number of cells that express PV mRNA is increased in mutant mice at P14 and P21 and the protein is also increased at P14 in the mutants. Therefore, I first focused on these stages and compared the number of PV neurons and perineuronal net positive cells between the Cyp26b1 knockout mice and control littermates.

80 | University of Minnesota


Kate Lauer

Giang Le

Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Reuben Harris Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Edward Cussler Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Material Science

Differential RNA Interactions for Related DNA Deaminases APOBEC3C and APOBEC3H

Ammonia Absorption Study to Improve Haber-Bosch Ammonia Synthesis Process

The APOBEC3 protein family is a group of seven cytosine deaminases that convert single-stranded DNA cytosines to uracils. While their endogenous role is virus restriction as part of the innate immune response, misregulated APOBEC3 enzymes also damage genomic DNA and contribute to cancer mutagenesis. APOBEC3H (A3H) is particularly intriguing because it is the lone APOBEC implicated in both HIV-1 restriction and cancer mutagenesis. Recently, it was discovered that A3H forms an RNA-mediated dimer and becomes monomeric and less effective at restricting Vif-deficient HIV-1 when RNA binding is impaired, revealing an essential role for RNA in regulating the activity and function of A3H. However, it is not understood whether the A3H RNA binding mechanism is conserved in related APOBEC3 enzymes. Here, we show that a related enzyme, APOBEC3C (A3C), has similar structural and electrostatic properties but does not appear to bind RNA. Altering the analogous RNA binding residues in A3C has no effect on DNA mutation activity in an E.coli-based mutation assay where A3H mutants are hyperactive. Size-exclusion chromatography suggests A3C is monomeric in comparison to dimeric A3H. Additionally, we show that mutating A3H RNA binding residues results in consistent hyperactivity, implying RNA interactions are specific to wild-type residues. These findings suggest RNA plays unique and specific roles in regulating each APOBEC3 enzyme and that characterizing these interactions may translate to a better understanding of the APOBEC family as a whole, ultimately contributing the development of novel viral and cancer therapeutics.

Being the main ingredient of fertilizers, ammonia production is essential for food production. Ammonia is one of the top ten manufactured chemicals in the country; efforts to improve its current production can be commercially rewarding. In addition to its agriculture value, ammonia has potential to be an alternative fuel. Ammonia is compared to hydrogen fuel as less expensive per unit of stored energy, easier for handling and distribution Ammonia absorption offers a promising prospect of improving in the traditional Haber Bosch ammonia synthesis process efficiency by combining reaction and separation in one system. This research focuses on finding an effective ammonia absorbent for such a system, using samples prepared by impregnation of a metallic salt on a porous support material.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 81


Samantha Lee

Sarah Lentz

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Branden Moriarity Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Hiroshi Hiasa Mentor's Department: Pharmacology

Rapid Generation of Multiplexed and Conditional CRISPR Transgenic Mouse Models

Crossing the Evolutionary Boundary: Switching Topoisomerase-targeting drugs from Bacterial to Human Targets

Cancer is a genetically heterogeneous disease in which altered expression of genes result in a disruption in normal somatic cell growth. Researchers have developed numerous mouse models of cancer that rapidly and accurately model the disease. This has largely relied on the generation of transgenic mice expressing the Cre recombinase system, which can be used to delete or activate specific genes in a particular cell/tissue type in the mouse. This is very laborious and time consuming to generate the best Cre based models of cancer developing, most requiring the breeding of 3-4 different transgenic models into a single mouse. This barrier has largely precluded their use for pre-clinical drug testing. To address this barrier, we plan to utilize the CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease system to delete or activate specific genes that will produce cancer in the same exact fashion as the Cre based models. Critically, we will implement multiplexed CRISPR gRNAs that can target 10 or more genes at one time, with a single transgenic mouse. We will also target CRISPR activity in a conditional manner, allowing us to target only the cells or tissues we desire. Using this method, we will be able to generate experimental mice from a single breeding regardless of the number of genes to be deleted or activated, removing the need for laborious and costly breeding schemes to generate mouse models of cancer based on the Cre system. We will engineer this CRISPR system in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells that will be used to generate our multiplexed conditional CRISPR (MCC) transgenic animals. Subsequent MCC mice will be bred and aged for tumor development to validate our system.

Topoisomerases are responsible for controlling DNA topology and play essential roles in many biological processes. The importance of topoisomerases is underscored by the fact that they are the cellular targets of clinically important antibacterial and anticancer drugs. Fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs directly interact with DNA gyrase and topoisomerase IV only through a Mg2+-water bridge between their C-3/C-4 diketo moiety and the GyrA/ParC subunit. A new fluoroquinolone, UING-5-249 (249), contains a 3-(aminomethyl)pyrrolidin moiety at the C-7 position, which appears to interact with the TOPRIM domain of the GyrB/ParC domain. The TOPRIM domain is conserved between bacterial and human topoisomerases. Thus, I hypothesize that modifications at the C-7 position of a fluoroquinolone may convert it into a drug that can target human topoisomerase II. I tested if the interaction between 249 and the TOPRIM domain alone is sufficient to inhibit DNA gyrase. The supercoiling assays showed that the activity of decarboxyl-249 against DNA gyrase was more than 100-fold lower than that of 249. Therefore, this interaction alone was not sufficient to inhibit DNA gyrase. Next, I determined the activities of 249 analogs with different C-7 sidechains. I found that an analog with a 3-aminopyrrolidin moiety at the C-7 position inhibited human topoisomerase II. These results demonstrated that the introduction of a C-7 sidechain that could interact with the TOPRIM domain would convert an antibacterial fluoroquinolone into a human topoisomerase II inhibitor. Our results provide useful insight into the structural-functional relationship of type IIA topoisomerase-targeting antibacterial and anticancer drugs.

82 | University of Minnesota


Jack Leschisin

May Li

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Nicola Grissom Mentor's Department: Psychology

Sociology College of Liberal Arts December 2018 Mentor: Elizabeth Boyle Mentor's Department: Sociology

Substantial Individual Differences, but no Sex Differences, in Discounted Decision Making in Mice

The Impact of the Nativity of Health Professionals on Targeted Health Outcomes in Africa

In addition to deficits in social function, individuals affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often demonstrate abnormalities in motivated behavior and decision making. Autism spectrum disorders have long been reported to affect males at a dramatically higher rate compared to females (a ratio of about 4: 1 according to the CDC). These findings raise the question of whether sex-linked differences in the neurobiology of decision making may be connected to increased male vulnerability to autism. As a first attempt to detect differences in motivated decision making between sexes, groups of male and female mice completed a delay discounting task. Mice were given the choice between a large food reward available after a short delay or a smaller food reward available immediately. The delay for the large reward was shifted within each session so the impact of delay on choice evaluation could be assessed. As expected, the length of delay significantly affected tendency to choose the larger reward. However, no significant differences were found between sexes, regardless of delay order presentation (ascending or descending delay). This similarity suggests that baseline differences in motivation and ability to assess reward values are minimal between sexes. The same mice are currently being tested using a probability discounting paradigm to determine whether a willingness to take risk may affect the way mice evaluate reward value and decide between choices. If significant differences are detected between sexes, it may offer hints to help explain the strong sex bias found in autism spectrum disorder diagnoses.

The impact of low levels of health professionals in Africa correlate with negative health consequences. The literature review showcased many case studies of countries in which the migration of health professionals away from African regions negatively impacts health outcomes. This research looks into the consequence of the levels of nativity in health professionals on targeted health outcomes such as the likelihood of women receiving adequate antenatal care. Medical â&#x20AC;&#x153;brain drainâ&#x20AC;? occurs when low income countries invest resources to educate health professionals and workers who later migrate to more affluent or wealthier regions. Nativity will be used as an indicator of brain drain in a region. By merging IPUMS Demographic and Health surveys with IPUMS International censuses, the relationship of the nativity of health professionals and health variables can be analyzed. For the analysis of Zambia, it was determined that nativity of health professionals was not statistically significant to the antenatal care received while the nativity of health workers was statistically significant to the antenatal care. The countries of Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia were chosen to be further analyzed based on survey and census availability.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 83


Christine Lian

Hao Liang

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Sehoya Cotner Mentor's Department: Biology Teaching & Learning

Economics College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Keisha Varma, Julie Brown Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology, Curriculum and Instruction

Gender and Student Perceptions of Teaching Assistants

The Overall Exploration of Middle School Students’ Parental Involvement in STEM Education with Technology

Instructor gender is known to influence student confidence in the student’s ability to perform well in science classes. I analyzed Likert-scale survey responses as well as open-ended student comments to further understand how gender influences student perceptions of their teaching assistants. I hypothesized that student perceptions of the competency, approachability, etc. of their teaching assistants would be influenced by gender, that of both the student and the teaching assistant. Male teaching assistants received significantly more positive feedback from students on the Likert-scale responses regardless of the student’s gender. Open-ended comments from students about their teaching assistants were qualitatively analyzed with a two-step coding process to explore the relationship between student perceptions and teaching assistant gender. I will discuss implications of our findings in the context of biology teaching laboratories.

Despite considerable STEM-related occupations these days, the interest and academic achievements in STEM among racial minority students have lagged far behind its corresponding importance. This study examines the influence on students’ scientific achievements after increasing parental involvement by using a technology-enhanced learning environment, Flipgrid. Specifically, I observe students make course-related Flipgrid responses with parents before class, watch some Flipgrids as public materials in class, and assess their experiments after class. Corresponding to students’ learning processes, I will analyze 4 influencing factors on students’ academic achievements of this mechanism: (1)Whether it enhances students’ interests. Does showing greater parental cultural diversities attract students? Does irrelevant information inside the Flipgrid relieves the course difficulty by providing more relaxed atmosphere and reducing knowledge information density? (2) Whether it offers students a better understanding. Does parental involvement bring more life-related applications? (3) Whether it facilitates memorizing. Does each Flipgrid’s unique sign, by Memory Palace, help students memorize the factual knowledge? As a higher stimulus frequency, does multi-scenario videos contribute to memorization? (4) Whether it nudges students’ metacognition. Does making Flipgrid responses to assess their experiments induce metacognition? For middle school students, more vivid, unpredictable, diversified information and life-related application could stimulate their interests, creativity, and avoid rote memory in scientific disciplines. Mobilizing greater parental engagements with Flipgrid, this project is meant to bolster racial minority students’ scientific achievements and interests in science as well.

84 | University of Minnesota


Ajinkya Limkar

Karena Lin

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Marco Pravetoni Mentor's Department: Medicine

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Rita Perlingeiro Mentor's Department: Medicine

Development of Conjugate Vaccines for Treatment of Opioid Abuse Using E. coli-Expressed Carrier Proteins Suitable for GMP Manufacturing and Scale-Up

Myofiber Composition of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Myogenic Progenitors Upon in vivo Transplantation

In the United States, 2.6 million people are dependent on heroin and prescription opioids leading to > 50,000 opioid-related fatal overdoses in 2017. Although safe and effective medications are available, only 1 out of 5 opioid addicts benefits from pharmacotherapy. To address this unmet medical need, our group has developed a series of vaccines against heroin and prescription opioids. Vaccines containing opioid-based haptens conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) elicit high concentration of high affinity opioid-specific serum IgG antibodies that block opioid distribution to the brain, and reduce opioid-induced behavioral effects in mice and rats. Lead vaccines do not interfere with endogenous opioids or prevent the use of opioid-based medications. We are currently seeking FDA approval to conduct clinical evaluation of two lead vaccines against heroin and oxycodone abuse. To ensure vaccine translation, our efforts have focused on GMP components and qualifying assays compliant with FDA release criteria for conjugate vaccines. In this study, we tested and characterized opioid vaccines consisting of an oxycodone-based hapten (OXY) conjugated to several carrier proteins. The leading vaccines consisted of the OXY hapten conjugated to the E. coli-expressed (Eco) diphtheria cross-reactive material (EcoCRMTM) and nontoxic tetanus toxin fragment (rTTHc). These immunogens effectively induced expansion of hapten-specific B cell lymphocytes, generated oxycodone-specific serum IgG antibodies, which reduced oxycodone distribution to the brain in mice. In contrast to KLH, unconjugated and conjugated EcoCRMTM and rTTHc are easily characterized by SEC-HPLC, DLS, and MALDI-TOF. Opioid vaccines containing EcoCRMTM and rTTHc are candidate immunogens for further development.

The human body is composed of 40% skeletal muscle, which differ in metabolic and contractile properties, due to the presence of different myofiber types. These largely fall into two categories: oxidative slow-twitch, expressing Type I Myosin Heavy Chain (MyHC), and glycolytic fast-twitch, expressing Type II MyHC. Additionally, embryonic MyHCs are expressed during development (Schiaffino et al, 2011). Many muscle degenerative disorders, such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), involve disruption of fiber type composition, leading to compromised muscle function (Talbot et al, 2016). Thus, an understanding of the mechanisms underlying fiber type maintenance is essential for developing effective therapies. Cell replacement therapy using myogenic differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) is a promising avenue of research, as this method circumvents the need for gene-specific therapy. Previously, our lab used conditional expression of the myogenic transcription factors Pax3 and Pax7 to generate doxycycline-inducible myogenic progenitors. Upon transplantation to injured mouse muscles, these progenitors give rise to new myofibers, seed the muscle stem cell compartment, and provide functional muscle improvement (Darabi et al, 2008). In this study, we investigated the ability of PSC-derived myogenic progenitors to generate different fiber types upon transplantation in a mouse model of DMD. We evaluated expression of MyHC isoforms in donor-derived myofibers and compared fiber type composition to developmental references. Moreover, we assessed whether the ability to give rise to different fiber types is altered upon transplantation into secondary recipient mice. Altogether, these studies provide understanding of the potential of PSC-derived myogenic progenitors to restore endogenous myofiber composition. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 85


Xiao Liu

Kelvin Loke

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Xiang Cheng Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Material Science

Neuroscience, Mathematics College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Araque Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Dynamics and Energy Scaling of Granular Explosion Cratering

Astrocytic Calcium Levels are Regulated by Estradiol

As a ubiquitous phenomenon, granular cratering is involved in many natural and industrial processes. The impact-induced cratering and explosion-induced cratering are two major categories in granular cratering. Although the impact-induced cratering has been well studied due to its relevance to asteroid impact craters, much fewer experiments have been conducted on explosion cratering through air blast processes. Here, we study the dynamics and energy scaling of explosion cratering in both of quasi-two-dimensional and three-dimensional granular systems. The explosion events are triggered by injecting short pulses of pressurized air into the granular media and recorded by a high-speed camera. For quasi two-dimensional events, we investigate the dynamics of explosion events at different pressures, duration and burial depths. Based on the analysis, we identify two regimes - the bubbling and eruption regimes, investigate the morphology of final craters, and perform the energy scaling of the sizes of explosion craters. In the three-dimensional system, we explore the events at different pressures and burial depths and analyze the relation between the experimental parameters and sizes of resulting craters.

Estrogen is a hormone commonly associated with reproductive and sexual development, but has been more recently tied to neuronal activity in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region in the brain largely known for its vital role in the creation and storage of new memories. Introducing doses of estrogen to hippocampal brain slices have been shown to modulate neuron activity, generating slow inward cation currents. Astrocytesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a class of neuroglial cellâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;are known to up and downregulate neuron impulses as well in the hippocampus. Astrocytes are activated via a number of mechanisms, including neurotransmitters and mechanical stimulation, and in turn release neurotransmitters which affect postsynaptic neuronal activity. A comprehensive understanding, however, of what initiates astrocytic activity and astrocytic control of neurons has not been established. This experiment was designed to establish the responsiveness of astrocytes to estrogen applied. Estrogen applications in the hippocampus were used to examine the effect estrogen stimuli has on astrocyte activity; recordings were analyzed to determine the likelihood and frequency of calcium events. It was found that astrocytes do indeed respond to estrogen application. Our results reveal astrocytes as a novel target for estrogen. These findings may be broadened to include studies into different signaling molecules and the role that astrocytic activity has on neuronal signaling.

86 | University of Minnesota


Samuel Lombardo

Mengdi Lou

Environmental Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: William Arnold Mentor's Department: Civil Engineering, and Geo-Engineering

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Jonathan Ravdin Mentor's Department: Medicine

Hydroxyl Radical Production from Sulfidic Pore Water upon Exposure to Oxygen

Relationship between Demographic Information and Retainment in Medical Care for HIV+ Youth in the Twin Cities

Hydroxyl radical production is an important mechanism for the degradation of organic molecules in the environment. It is an indiscriminate oxidant. There are various sources of production, including photolysis and oxygen reduction. One possible reductant leading to hydroxyl radical production is hydrogen sulfide. There are several environmental systems, such as the pore-waters of northern Minnesota, which have sulfur-rich waterways. There is an oxic-anoxic interface that could harbor much sulfide oxidation. In such systems, the kinetics of hydroxyl radical production can be important for degradation models used by environmental scientists and engineers. The goal of my research is to use a probe on a high-pressure liquid chromatograph to quantify how quickly sulfide reacts with oxygen. The probe is terepthalic acid, which converts at a constant 35% rate to a specific hydroxy terephthalic acid isomer, which can be measured using a fluorescence detector. Moreover, I used an ion-chromatograph to determine what redox state the hydrogen sulfide is oxidized to. These key pieces of information can be used for the determination of reaction schemes and rate laws. My research continues the work of post-doctoral student Amanda Vindehahl and Professor William Arnold.

The cascade of care is a phenomenon present among HIV-infected persons in which each subsequent level of medical care, with the end goal of viral suppression, experiences a significant loss of infected persons as compared to the previous level. In particular, we noted that a subsection of HIV+ individuals (or clients) followed by case managers are not retained in medical care, and are thus more likely to have a higher risk of transmittance to sexual partners. The objective of this study is to determine the demographic factors that may be associated with a youth client (ages 13-31) in the University of Minnesota’s Youth and AIDS Projects (YAP) avoiding medical care while still being retained in case management. Clients were classified as “retained in medical care” if they had attended at least two HIV-related medical appointments in the past year. Statistical analysis was performed on client demographic information and certain risk indicators. Clients who had been with YAP for four years were found to have a higher likelihood of being retained in medical care during their second year with YAP as opposed to their fourth year (96% and 58% respectively; P = 0.013). Additionally, non-African American clients were found to be less likely to be continuously retained in medical care than African-American clients (20% to 43% respectively; P = 0.064). This information could help YAP case managers identify and invest more resources into clients with a higher risk of avoiding medical care so as to improve their overall medical outcome.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 87


Nguyen Lu

Charlie Mackin

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Lorene Lanier Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Psychology, Art College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology

Induction of Arborization in Medium Spiny Neurons through the Dopaminergic Gq Pathway

Choices in Games: How Agency Affects Retention

During neurodevelopment, medium spiny neurons (MSNs) undergo arborization to increase the complexity of their dendritic spines. The branching of MSNs is influenced by signaling molecules in its environment and proper arborization of MSNs is important for the prevention of diseases like Huntington's and Parkinson’s. Addition of dopamine to the environment of growing MSNs in-vitro has been shown to induce complex arbors that are similar to in-vivo models. However, the exact pathway through which dopamine signaling induces arborization in MSNs is not currently known. This paper has found that activation of the dopaminergic Gq pathway is key to inducing increased arborization in MSNs. Our results demonstrate that activation of the Gq pathway through the use of DREADDs and CNO induces increased arborization in striatal-cortical cultured MSNs to the level that is similar to MSNs found in vivo. The data presented in our investigation provides further evidence for the D1-D2 heteromer model of dopamine signaling and shows the potential this pathway has for manipulating MSN development. The elucidation of how dopamine influences dendrite development in MSNs can help produce novel techniques to rescue underdeveloped neurons that rely on the dopaminergic pathway. These new techniques can potentially prevent or cure neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington's and Parkinson’s.

Classrooms across the country have started to use educational games to increase student performance (Wastiau, 2009). Understanding the specific game mechanics that lead to better learning outcomes is important for the future development of educational games. A game mechanic is "any part of the rule system of a game that covers one, and only one, possible kind of interaction that takes place during the game, be it general or specific" (Lundgren & Björk, 2003). This study examines the implementation of choice as a game mechanic to find the relationship between agency in games and content retention. Students at the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities were randomly assigned to one of two short educational computer games; one of which used choices to give the player agency. The Students filled out posttests immediately after playing, and one week later to test content retention. We hypothesize that students who have agency in their games will be able to retain more educational material after playing.

88 | University of Minnesota


Danica Maile

Ravi Maisuria

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Erin Carlson Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Psychology, Chemistry College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: G.W. Gant Luxton Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

A Search for Antibacterial Agents through Soil Sample Screening

The Relationship Between LAP1 and LINC Complexes with Varying Substrate Stiffness to Identify TorsinA’s Role in Mechanotransduction

Currently, there has been a devastating increase in antibiotic resistant infections due to bacteria's rapid replication time and adaptability. Because of this, new antibiotics are greatly needed. The Carlson Lab works to develop novel antibacterial compounds through the examination and characterization of novel bioactive natural products produced by microorganisms which are extensively used as commercial antibiotics. This poster will outline how soil samples from northern Wisconsin and Minnesota were screened for organisms of interest based on unusual phenotypes and antagonistic inter-organismal interactions. These organisms were used to create a microbial library of lead organisms. We have worked to trigger the production of novel secondary metabolites by culturing an organism of interest alongside the other organisms in the library to attempt to activate natural product gene clusters not active in pure culture. This was seen in three different organisms which were then analyzed via mass spectrometry. Looking forward, further mass spectrometry, NMR, and DNA sequencing can be utilized to further characterize and identify novel compounds and the organisms of interest.

Torsin ATPases are part of the AAA+ family and contribute to a variety of cellular activities. Though similar, Torsins are considered outliers of the family due to their diverse and unique characteristics. Specifically, TorsinA is an important member of the family and is involved with cellular architecture and nuclear movement regulation. The most common mutation of TorsinA is TorsinAΔE. This mutation is directly responsible for dystonia (DYT1). Furthermore, TorsinAΔE has been seen to compromise the nuclear envelope (NE) and cytoskeleton filaments which, ultimately, have been shown to interfere with neurotic networks. Proper functioning of TorsinA is mediated by its cofactors: lamina-associated polypeptide 1 (LAP1), LULL1 (luminal domain-like LAP-1) along with linker of nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton (LINC) complexes, which are comprised of Nesprin proteins. In regards to neurotic networks and associated neurodegeneration, it is evident that axon growth is not only chemical, but mechanosensitive to their environment; revealing a mechanotransduction relationship involving LINC complexes. Recent research has revealed that axons grow faster, straighter, and more parallel on stiffer substrates. Here, we wish to understand the relationship between LAP1 and LINC complexes with varying substrate stiffness to identify TorsinA’s role in mechanotransduction.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 89


Jarrett Mansergh

Shabnam Mansur

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering December 2018 Mentor: Valerie Pierre Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Karina Quevedo Mentor's Department: Psychiatry Research Partner: Megan Kazynski

Recycling Phosphate using Gadolinium Metal Complexes

Neurofeedback and Emotional Regulation in Adolescents with Varying Degrees of Depression

Phosphate is an essential anion for the function and growth of living organisms. For this reason, phosphate rock is often used in fertilizers throughout in the world. However, the runoff from this fertilizer is causing excess amounts of phosphate to accumulate in waterways. This results in an algal bloom that blocks the sun from entering the water and decreases the oxygen level available for aquatic life. Moreover, the overabundance of algae creates toxins harmful to humans and vertebrates. In addition, the world supply of phosphate rock is diminishing rapidly, thus phosphate rock is increasing in price. These problems create the need to find a method that captures excess phosphate in water sources in such a way that it can be recycled as fertilizer. This recycling method is being explored with lanthanide metal complexes as a way to bind phosphate and release it in an acidic reaction to form a slow release fertilizer. It has already been determined that the complex, Gd-TREN-MAM, is capable of recycling phosphate at concentrations relevant to the levels in waterways. To further efficiency, it has been determined that an increased concentration Gd-TREN-MAM can bind phosphate at levels similar to plant cells. Future work involves determining the optimal metal complex that is selective for phosphate and capable of releasing the anion in acidic conditions.

This study tested how neurofeedback changes brain activity in depressed adolescents, who often have trouble controlling their emotions. Neurofeedback through real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging presents a possible intervention to reduce depression and increase emotional regulation. METHODS. Participants were assessed with psychological interviews to determine their levels of depressive symptoms, then completed an neurofeedback task with both feedback and control conditions. In the feedback condition, participants recalled happy memories when the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;happyâ&#x20AC;? appeared on a screen, simultaneously viewing their activity in the amygdala and hippocampus. Before and after the task, participants completed rumination and depression questionnaires. ANALYSIS. A multiple regression model was conducted, including these predictors: depression severity at intake, change in depression before vs after neurofeedback, change in rumination before vs after neurofeedback. RESULTS. Decrease in rumination after neurofeedback was associated with lower activity in the mid cingulate gyrus, superior and inferior temporal gyrus, frontal gyrus, putamen, and insula in more severely depressed adolescents. Activity in these areas was not seen among participants with less severe depression during rumination change. Lower activity in the middle temporal gyrus was seen in all participants, regardless of depression level. Greater change in depression after neurofeedback was associated with higher activity in superior and inferior parietal lobule for all participants. Greater depression severity at intake was associated with lower activity in the bilateral superior and middle temporal gyrus, inferior and middle frontal gyrus, caudate, insula, putamen, and precentral gyrus. Results will be discussed in more detail and interpreted in the poster.

90 | University of Minnesota


Marta Markowicz

Logan Massman

Computer Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2021 Mentor: Stephen Guy Mentor's Department: Science and Engineering

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Paulo Kofuji Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Optimal Robot Motion Planning in Dynamic Environments

Depression and Neurogenesis: An Interaction of Light and Social Environment

In order for robots to efficiently perform a wide variety of tasks, they must be able to work in parallel with humans. A key component of such integration of robots into the human world is the successful navigation of robots in their environment, which is full of stationary objects such as walls and desks, but also dynamic obstacles such as humans. With such navigation a robot can avoid dangerous collisions and maneuver to their desired location. An important aspect of robot navigation is motion planning, the determination of what path will be taken to get from point A to point B and what actions the robot will use to do so. An important development in path planning has been the introduction of rapidly-exploring random trees (RRT), a class of algorithms that efficiently build a space-filling tree around obstacles in a robotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environment. However, the RRT algorithm, as well as its many variations, have not been able to efficiently solve the problem of integrating dynamic obstacles into path planning. A new algorithm, column space-time RRT (CSTRRT), is presented. This algorithm results in a more efficient path and fast computing time. Furthermore, unlike existing alternatives, it does not need to recompute the path every time an obstacle moves but can instead navigate around predicted likely trajectories of humans and other dynamic obstacles in their environment.

Light has been known to provide strong regulation of the circadian rhythm within animals for some time now. Recent evidence has emerged that exposure to light can have a variety of behavioral effects on animals and a significant body of literature has pointed to light exposure and circadian disruption as being correlated with human mood disorders. The mechanistic link between light-induced acute animal behavioral changes and chronic aberrant light-related human mood disorders has been, until now, unexplored. Here we use a combination of behavioral analysis and adult hippocampal neurogenesis quantification to demonstrate that light can have behavioral effects in animals independently of reducing neurogenesis suggesting divergent pathways in the acute regulation of behavior and the chronic changes associated with mood disorders.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 91


Morgan McCullough

Mikayla McDonald

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Julie Ostrander Mentor's Department: Medicine

Agricultural and Food Business Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Molly McCue Mentor's Department: Veterinary Medicine

Characterizing the PELP1 L798Cfs*14 Mutation in Breast and Colorectal Cancer Models

Correlation Between Three Height Loci and Equine Metabolic Syndrome in Three Pony Breeds

While many new treatments are allowing for more positive prognoses in cancer, and research discoveries have resulted in an increased understanding of tumor formation and progression, cancer remains a significant health issue. The Ostrander laboratory has been extensively studying proline, glutamic acid, and leucine rich protein 1 (PELP1) and its role in breast cancer initiation and progression. Throughout natural development, PELP1 serves as a coordinator of transcription factors and histone remodeling complexes, however its altered location to the cytoplasm and overexpression have been observed in breast cancer. In breast cancer, cytoplasmic PELP1 functions as a scaffolding molecule that promotes tumor migration/invasion and proliferation. Cytoplasmic PELP1 also confers tamoxifen resistance and promotes stem cell-like qualities in cancer cells. PELP1 mutations are infrequent, however a collaborator recently identified a PELP1 mutation in 10/10 breast cancer metastases that results in a leucine to a proline amino acid chance at position 798 (L798P). While a query of the cBioPortal database to find out if the PELP1 L798P mutation had been observed in other tumor sequencing studies did not find this mutation in other sequencing databases, a recurring base pair deletion resulting in a frameshift was observed at the L798 site in 4 stomach adenocarcinoma and 8 colorectal cancer patients (L798Cfs*14). This study aims to characterize this mutation in breast and colorectal cancer cells to assess any possible changes in PELP1 localization and interaction with other cancer-related genes, as well as any migratory, proliferative, and cancer stem cell properties it may confer to cancer cells.

Ponies, horses characterized by short stature, are highly susceptible to equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), a clustering of signs including hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance and adiposity. These signs are similar to Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) in humans. In MetS, there is an inverse correlation between leg length-to-torso ratios and metabolic derangements including insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and adiposity. Similar to humans of short stature, ponies have higher fasting insulin concentrations and are more insulin resistant than horses. Our collaborators have recently identified three non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) associated with height in ponies (gene names cannot be disclosed due to protected intellectual property). Variants in gene A cause short stature in humans gene B plays a role in obesity and its effects on metabolism, and gene C is overexpressed in obese and insulin-resistant mice. With the correlations between these SNPs and height, and the known biologic function of these genes; we hypothesize that one or more of these SNPs also play a role in the metabolic dysfunction associated with short stature in pony breeds. We are genotyping ponies from three breeds, the Welsh Pony, Shetland and American Miniature Horse, to determine if these SNPs are correlated with height and metabolic traits in ponies. To date, twenty-three individuals are genotyped for SNP A, fifteen genotyped for SNP C, and we are optimizing the genotyping assay for SNP B. Genotype data from these SNPs will be used to identify correlations between these SNPs, height and 11 EMS phenotypes.

92 | University of Minnesota


Abby McGovern

Amber McLaughlin

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Kevin Dorfman Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Neuroscience, Philosophy College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Mark Thomas Mentor's Department: Neuroscience Research Partner: Colleen Hutchison

Protocols for Reagent Delivery and Characterization of Flow Behavior through Microfluidic Chips

Strength of IL-NAcSh Circuit Selectively Mediates Foraging Valuation Algorithm

Microfluidic technology provides a uniquely effective method for DNA extraction, requiring smaller reagent volumes and less processing time than conventional techniques. As part of this process, cells and reagents are delivered sequentially to microfluidic chips. The objective of this project was to develop an effective protocol for delivering reagents to microfluidic chips, and to observe and characterize flow behavior in high-resistance micro- and nanochannels. The polydimethylsiloxane microfluidic chips used in this project feature dual inlet ports for simultaneous delivery of multiple reagents, followed by an intersection where reagents mix, and a subsequent set of high-resistance nanoslits designed to trap long strands of DNA released by the reaction. Initial tests used distilled water and microbeads to model the flow of cells and reagents. Both a Fluigent microfluidic control system and a Harvard Apparatus syringe pump were tested as possible driving forces for reagent transportation. A protocol for dual-inlet fluid delivery was developed, and flow behavior was characterized in terms of degree of reagent intermingling and time required for the empty chip to completely fill with fluid. Further tests will apply this fluid-delivery protocol to deliver cells in order to characterize cell and DNA behavior in the microfluidic chips.

Recent data suggest that multiple decision making processes are responsible for distinct valuation systems that mediate motivation and impulse control. These systems are thought to arise from separate neural circuits that may work to regulate one another and allow for new information to direct changes in reward driven behavior. The infralimbic cortex (IL) to nucleus accumbens shell (NAcSh) pathway has been associated with reward and valuation. However, the distinct role of this circuit and how it works to mediate self-control remains unknown. Using optogenetics to induce LTD, we weakened glutamatergic IL-NAcSh projections in mice trained on a task that separated decision making processes across space and time. A behavioral metric was used to identify two distinct valuation methods (foraging and deliberative) and show the effects of stimulation from baseline recordings. Mice receiving LTD showed significant changes in foraging behavior, while deliberative function remained unchanged. Weakened IL-NAcSh circuits correlated with higher wait-zone thresholds, which measure willingness of the mouse to follow through with original deliberative decisions. However, deliberative decisions themselves remained unaffected. Our results suggest that altering cell-type-specific plasticity in the IL-NAcSh pathway selectively mediates a distinct valuation modality involved in re-evaluation while remaining neutral in deliberative processes. These findings support the claim that different valuation algorithms arise from separate circuits.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 93


Alison Miller

Lauren Miller

Biology, Society, and the Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Alexander Rothman Mentor's Department: Psychology

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: William Engeland Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Health Message Framing in Student E-mails

The Role of the Adrenal Clock in the Stress Response

The purpose of this project is to determine what type of message frame produce a change in the email open rate in our target population. We will look at how the different types of email subject lines, either gain frame with action instruction, non-loss frame with action instruction, or action instruction only, affect the open rate of emails promoting the Stress Check-In program sent to UMN students. This can help us understand how to craft emails that students are more likely to open. It was found that students were more likely to open the emails with action instructions only in the subject line.

The adrenal gland is responsible for the production of glucocorticoids, which are crucial for both regular physiological function and a normal stress response. Glucocorticoids are secreted following an internally regulated, ~24 cycle. The adrenal circadian timing system, like other peripheral clocks, is regulated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Previous research suggests the adrenal clock influences adrenal sensitivity to signals from upstream components of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, like adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary gland. However, the role of the adrenal clock in modulation of the stress response has yet to be elucidated. In contrast to previous findings, we have discovered a novel, heightened response to stress in animals lacking an adrenal clock. Furthermore, it appears this increase in adrenal responsiveness is not correlated with the increase in adrenal mass found in clock knockout animals. We anticipate the adrenal clock serves as a multiplier for ACTH signaling, thus augmenting the glucocorticoid response to stress. Our results demonstrate the need for continued research on the adrenal clock and its mechanism for influencing the stress response.

94 | University of Minnesota


Hannah Milos

Luke Minske

Forest and Natural Resource Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Peter Reich Mentor's Department: Forest Resources

Theatre Arts College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Tom Isbell Mentor's Department: Theatre

Woodchips Suppress Grass Establishment Following Buckthorn Removal by Forestry Mowing

Sound: A Full Length Play

European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is an exotic invasive shrub that is commonly found throughout Minnesota. It is known for outcompeting native plants, degrading native habitats, and a lack of natural enemies. There are multiple methods of controlling buckthorn, but in particular, the use of forestry mowers is becoming increasingly popular. The efficacy of control methods, like forestry mowing, have received greater attention than the following rehabilitation of affected areas. In particular, it is not known how the layer of woodchips produced by forestry mowing affects revegetation and how this effect differs between light and shady sites. In this study, I systematically sampled plots at six experimental forest sites seeded with herbaceous plants following buckthorn removal to determine how different species of herbaceous plants respond to light and woodchip conditions. Woodchips and light availability had interactive effects on grass establishment: Spring wheat and annual rye were more abundant where more light penetrated the forest canopy to reach the ground, but only where woodchips were sparser. Continuous, thick woodchip layers were associated with low grass establishment in all light conditions.These results suggest that, even where light levels are adequate for grass establishment, woodchips produced by forestry mowing may lead to lower success of re-vegetation efforts in the year immediately following buckthorn removal.

The purpose of my project was to present the topics of communication and selective mutism through an original play called Sound. The play is intended to be a full length in format and it's intention is to bring attention to a condition known as selective mutism, which occurs in individuals of all ages. This condition renders a person unable to speak in certain social conditions. The play centers around a high schooler named Peter who has selective mutism, after suffering from the recent death of his mother, moves in with his father who had partial custody of him until that point. Together the father and son must learn to communicate with one another and accept the other for who they are.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 95


Sagal Mohammed

Neema Moin Afshar

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Abdi Warfa Mentor's Department: Biology Teaching and Learning Research Partner: Vinit Vaghani

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences Fall 2018 Mentor: Lorene Lanier Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Teacher-Initiated Discourse Moves in Reformed Undergraduate STEM Learning Environments

Effects of Dopamine and Dopamine Receptor Agonists on Dendritic Arborization of Medium Spiny Neurons

Active learning strategies have shown to improve student achievement outcomes in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses. Also, instructors tend to enact activities that guide student engagement and positively impact student learning in active learning classrooms compared to traditional lecture halls. Rather than simply focusing on characterizing the teaching practices in classrooms, this study works to explicitly measure the instructorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of various discourse moves that guide student thinking and learning. The specific conversational strategies that instructors use to foster development and understanding of content knowledge are called Teacher-Initiated Discourse Moves (TDMs). Through the transcription of classroom video data, qualitative code development of TDMs, and analysis, their specific implications can be determined. There are two objectives of this study: characterize the nature of TDMs in reformed undergraduate STEM learning environments and to develop classroom discourse observation protocol (CDOP) to quantify TDMs in these environments. For qualitative data analysis, 14 literature review based codes have been generated and 8 codes were added based on six class transcripts. The 22 codes will be validated using video data collected from 31 STEM undergraduate class sessions. The broader implications of this study are to further understand which moves students learn best from and increase the frequency of those moves by developing an educational plan with the opportunity to train faculty members on the most effective discursive practices.

Medium Spiny Neurons (MSNs) are the major neuronal population in the Striatum, an area seen to play an important role in motivation, motor planning/execution, and memory. Previous studies have indicated that MSN morphology is important in proper functioning of the striatum and have demonstrated different pathways that lead to increased dendritic arborization of the MSNs. MSNs contain three types of dopamine receptors that interact with different trimeric G-proteins that cause different downstream pathway activation or inhibition. In this study, we examine the effects of dopamine and dopamine receptor agonists on the different dopamine receptors within MSNs grown in co-culture with cortical neurons. Our results indicate that dopamine has a significant effect on the dendritic arborization of MSNs. Agonist drugs such as SKF 81297 which specifically target the D1 receptor or Quinpirole a D2 receptor agonist were unable to replicate the effects of dopamine. These results demonstrate that activation of the D1 or D2 receptor independently or paired is not sufficient in recreating the effects of dopamine. Thus, a third group of receptors should be important for MSN growth. Future studies can be preformed to examine the effects of the D1/D2 heteromer on MSN dendritic arborization.

96 | University of Minnesota


Sihoon Moon

Christian Moses

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Vivian Ferry Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Animal Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Raymond Newman Mentor's Department: Fisheries & Wildlife

Localized Surface Plasmon Spectroscopy on Self-Assembled Au@Silica–Pd Heterodimers

Performance of the Milfoil Weevil on Hybrid Watermilfoil Genotypes

When light hits the surface of a gold nanoparticle, it excites a collective oscillation of surface electrons, known as a localized surface plasmon. Localized surface plasmon excitation is maximized by a wavelength of light known as the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). The LSPR is sensitive to nanoparticle size, shape, composition, and local electromagnetic environment. Surface plasmon spectroscopy uses the later to study physical and chemical changes at the single particle level. Surface plasmon spectroscopy can therefore study the heterogeneities present between individual particles and elucidate the significance of these in determining the bulk properties of the ensemble. In this work, gold nanorods (GNRs, length: 74 ± 6 nm, width: 21 ± 1 nm) were synthesized and passivated with a thin silica shell (6 ± 1 nm). These were self-assembled with palladium nanocubes of different sizes (13 ± 4 nm, 41 ± 5 nm, and 66 ± 7 nm). Solution phase UV/Vis were taken of the gold nanorods (LSPR: 777 nm). Particles were imaged under scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). Dark-field scattering spectra were taken with a custom in-house setup and correlated with dark-field microscope and SEM images. After further tuning the self-assembly to increase dimer yield, the results presented will enable a large-scale study of how heterogeneities across individual palladium nanoparticles affect bulk properties of the larger ensemble. Understanding this is essential for fully realizing the potential of palladium nanomaterials in catalysis in energy storage.

The Eurasian watermilfoil is an invasive aquatic plant that has caused multiple issues in waterways both in Minnesota and across the United States. Researchers have discovered that the invasive species has been hybridizing with our native variant, the Northern watermilfoil. The milfoil weevil specialist herbivorean Coleoptera that is currently being considered as a potentially viable form of biocontrol for the invasive species and hybrid. The Northern variant is believed to have developed evolutionary defenses to its natural predator, the weevil. The purpose of this study was to determine how the hybridization of watermilfoil might impact the weevils ability to prey upon the plant. We hypothesized that the change in selective pressure and predation due to hybridization would be minimal. Hybrids from three different locations in addition to one pure Eurasian and Northern watermilfoil (controls) were isolated in growth chambers and had a weevil egg(s) introduced to them, subsequent stem degredation and weevil life cycle were recorded. The results of this study supported our hypothesis therefore further supporting the milfoil weevils canidacy as a viable form of biocontrol.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 97


Nahom Mossazghi

Sabrina Mulder

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Suhasa Kodandaramaiah Mentor's Department: Mechanical Engineering

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Liza Meredith Mentor's Department: Psychology

Cranial Prostheses for Chronic, Pan-Cortical Two-Photon Imaging in Behaving Mice

The Effects of a Relationship-Focused Gratitude Intervention on Individuals' Gratitude, Mental Health, and Relationship Outcomes

Chronic long term imagining of neurons has become increasingly important in recent years to understand and comprehend how information is encoded in the central nervous system at the single and population level. There have been several technological strides made to help neuroscientist visualize spontaneous and stimulated neuron firing but have been limited to small regions of observation. To address the limitations current chronic cranial imaging window preparations, we have developed 3D printed morphologically realistic, transparent cranial prostheses that allow cellular resolution optical access to the entire dorsal cortex. We have validated the ability to implant these 3D printed cranial implants for long durations, and preliminary experiments indicate a capacity to perform 2P imaging in the chronically implanted Thy-GCaMP6f mouse and detect Ca2+ activity in individual neurons. Implanted mouse was trained in motorized disc treadmill, while simultaneously carrying out in vivo optical 2POI imaging. Future work includes extending 2POI to the whole dorsal cortex and histological analysis to assess the inflammatory response of chronic implantation. In addition, we plan to use this technology to study mesoscale and cellular scale activity of defined cell populations in an animal model. The tottering mice (tg/tg) are mouse model used to study Episodic Ataxia type 2, a disease caused by a mutation in the CACNA1A gene and exhibit several characteristics including transient motor ataxia which can be triggered by stress, caffeine, and alcohol.

Recent research in positive psychology has provided evidence that interventions are effective in increasing participantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gratitude, which can then have subsequent positive effects on overall well-being and mental health. However, little research has been done on whether this effect is also applicable to romantic relationships and relationship outcomes. This study examined the efficacy of an online, relationship-focused gratitude intervention on improving individuals' gratitude, mental health, and romantic relationship outcomes in 130 college undergraduates at a large university. Participants, who were required to be in a romantic relationship of at least three months, were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or an active comparison group and completed a two-week online intervention about either gratitude in relationships or relationship education, respectively. Participant outcomes were analyzed via online assessment surveys taken once before and once after the intervention which included measures such as perceived stress, life satisfaction, gratitude, and relationship quality. The intervention group demonstrated significantly greater increases in both general gratitude and gratitude toward oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partner than the active comparison group from pre- to post-intervention. This study supports prior literature in demonstrating the efficacy of online interventions in improving gratitude, and it furthers this body of research by providing evidence that gratitude interventions can be applied in romantic relationship contexts.

98 | University of Minnesota


Dane Munson

Julia Myjak

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Nobuaki Kikyo Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Anna Lee Mentor's Department: Pharmacology

FkbpA as a Target for Chemotherapy in Rhabdomyosarcoma

Protein Kinase C Epsilon (PKCε) Involvement in Nicotine Addiction

Rhabdomyosarcoma is one of the most prevalent pediatric soft tissue tumors. There are two subsets: embryonic and alveolar. Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) is the more aggressive, more prone to metastasis, and more chemotherapy resistant subset. In the last decade, there have been few advancements in chemotherapy treatments for this cancer, which has led to low survival rates. FkbpB has been associated with cell differentiation and proliferation pathways, making it a possible target for a novel chemotherapy. In vitro and in vivo effects of shRNA knockdown and SAFit2, an FkpbB inhibitor, were tested to see if proliferation could be slowed. Rh30 and Rh41 cell lines were used as models of ARMS. Both shRNA and SAFit2 showed significant slowing in Rh41 cells, but only SAFit2 showed slowing in Rh30. In vivo assays were inconclusive. Xenograft assays of the two cell lines measured by IVIS 100 and calipers were not definitive for either cell line, but final tumor weights showed slower proliferation in SAFit2 trials for Rh41. The discrepancy between the in vivo and in vitro data can potentially be explained by the quick metabolism of SAFit2 in mice, with a half-life of only 10.6 minutes. Future research should focus on extending the therapeutic window of SAFit2.

Alcohol and nicotine addiction are often co-morbid with no single drug currently available to treat both conditions. Protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) is known to act upon the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which are involved in the mechanisms of alcohol and nicotine addiction. All current approved therapies for nicotine addiction target the nAChRs. Previous studies have shown that male mice with a genetic deletion of the PKCε gene (knockout mice) have reduced nicotine consumption compared to wild-types. The consumption of nicotine in female mice has not yet been tested. In this study, we evaluated nicotine consumption of in PKCε knockout and wild-type female mice using a voluntary oral consumption procedure. Our voluntary oral consumption method is a better representation of human consumption compared to investigator- administered nicotine. Mice underwent a two-bottle choice experiment with access to nicotine in 2% saccharin solution and a 2% saccharin solution for four weeks. The concentration of nicotine did not change over the four weeks. We found there was a genotype difference when compared with the previous results in males. Female PKCε knock-out mice consumed more nicotine compared with wild-type mice in the first week. Thereafter, female PKCε knock-out mice had similar nicotine consumption compared with wild-type mice. Our results indicate that a sex by genotype difference exists in the contribution of PKCε to nicotine consumption. These experimental results contribute further knowledge of the role of PKCε in nicotine consumption and may play a role in future development of treatment options for nicotine addiction.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 99


Anna Nagel

Akshay Naik

Ecology, Evolution, and Behaavior College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Emma Goldberg Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Aerospace Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2023 Mentor: James Flaten Mentor's Department: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Environmental Dependence of Reinforcement in Spadefoot Toads

A Mathematical Model of Solar Energy, Temperature and Altitude: An Application for High Altitude Balloons

If recently diverged species come into contact with each other, they may hybridize. When hybrids are less fit than the parental species, species may evolve isolating mechanisms in a process termed reinforcement. However, reinforcement is not guaranteed because it may be overwhelmed by other evolutionary forces. In spadefoot toad species, Spea multiplicata and S. bombifrons, reinforcement appears to have occurred in most cases. Individuals from areas with only one species do not prefer to mate with their own species while in regions of range overlap they prefer their own species, with the exception of S. bombifrons in shallow ponds. When ponds are shallow the more slowly-metamorphosing S. bombifrons is hypothesized to have a heterospecific preference that increases offspring fitness by avoiding desiccation before tadpole metamorphosis. However, it remains unclear how this could evolve in theory. Using spadefoot toads as empirical inspiration, I use a population genetics model to examine whether reinforcement could conditionally occur, depending on environmental conditions. I find that coexistence of two species given less fit heterozygotes and assortative mating is unstable. Further, adding a locus that experiences directional selection may change which species persists, but coexistence remains unstable. This suggests that understanding reinforcement outcomes may require understanding what leads to stable coexistence in empirical systems. Additionally, results may be sensitive to the genetic structure of the model.

One important application of solar panels is the powering of vehicles or payloads in outer space. Weather balloons can carry payloads to space-like conditions in the stratosphere at much lower cost and can serve as testbeds for solar-powered systems. At stratospheric altitudes from 60,000 to 120,000 feet, solar panels are exposed to increased sunlight but temperatures that can reach as low as -60 . Both reduced temperature and increased exposure of sunlight result in increased production of power from solar panels. The purpose of this project is to experimentally determine the mathematical altitude-dependent relationship between temperature, sunlight intensity, and the amount of power produced by solar panels during stratospheric balloon flights. First, a prototype box was constructed to examine solar panel power production under decreasing temperatures with stable lighting conditions. Next, a payload box was constructed which compared the production of power from solar panels at increasing altitudes during a balloon flight in both constant-temperature (i.e. actively-heated) and decreasing-temperature (i.e. exposed) conditions. Non-linear fits were used to characterize the relationship between the production of power and the altitude from the solar panels. The results demonstrate that the relative impact of changes on solar panel power from temperature and changes in light intensity can be discerned from one another. This project allowed for a better understanding of the correlation between altitude and the production of power from solar panels and may allow for solar-energy-powered payloads on future stratospheric balloon flights.

100 | University of Minnesota


Saumik Narayanan

Connor Neill

Computer Science, Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Svetlana Yarosh Mentor's Department: Computer Science

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Sehoya Cotner Mentor's Department: Biology Teaching and Learning

Analyzing Health Journeys of Cancer Patients in Online Health Communities

Women in Introductory Chemistry Labs: Quantifying the Participation Gap

Online Health Communities expand the ability for patients to interact with friends, family, others with a similar health condition, or even strangers. However, research into certain aspects of use for these online health communities has been limited. One of our goals was to explore the direct effect that expressive writing and user support has on site engagement, including how long users stay on the site, and the quality of the posts. Due to the nature of the site, literal death of the site's users have a noticeable effect on our analysis, so a portion of the research was devoted to classifying the sites that end in death, and treating them separately in our analysis. Secondly, we worked on creating a model for a user's health journey itself, through qualitative coding of a sample of users, and extending our findings through the entire site. These results will allow researchers to more conclusively classify patients using Online Health Communities for improved results in further research.

Female students have long been a minority at the undergraduate level in most science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Uniquely, American undergraduate chemistry classes are now approximately 50% female. However, female chemistry students do not perform academically at the same level as their male counterparts and are more likely to leave STEM majors as a result of poor grades than males. All of these factors contribute to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;leaky pipelineâ&#x20AC;? effect, in which fewer women than men progress to each subsequent step on the academic ladder. Studies at multiple public universities have found that female students verbally interact with instructors in undergraduate STEM classes at disproportionally low levels compared to their male peers, but unpublished data from biology classes at the University of Minnesota do not exhibit this trend. The reason for this discrepancy is unknown, although it may relate to the threshold effect in which female studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; verbal participation increases when the proportion of female students in a class passes a particular threshold. Here we quantify verbal participation of female students in introductory chemistry labs at the University of Minnesota to assess the presence and severity of the participation gap and to determine the effects of gendered group compositions on female participation. Female students participated at disproportionally low levels in five of 27 labs, and did so most commonly in equal-gender groups. These findings agree with past studies at other universities and support the presence of the threshold effect, despite the relative gender parity of undergraduate chemistry.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 101


Anna Nelson

Kerri Newcomer

Environmental Science Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Tom Micheals Mentor's Department: Horticulture

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2021 Mentor: Somayeh Dodge Mentor's Department: Geography, Environment, and Society Research Partner: Wing Yi (Pinki) Wong

Ideal Crop spacing of Romaine Coastal Star Lettuce

Dynamic Visualization of Patrolling Tigers

During the summer an experiment was done on lettuce and crop spacing. Cornercopia Student Organic Farm was curious to find which crop spacing was the best method for growing romaine. The current spacing used was a six inch spacing, however they were curious whether a pattern such as the six inch pattern which has minimal space in-between the lettuce plants was better or if a larger space between the lettuce plants was a better method for growing lettuce. The main reason why they wanted to know which spacing was better because of its maintenance implications as well as yield production. With a smaller crop spacing, it has been predicted that this would mean less weeding as well as a higher yield because there would be less space for weeds to grow in the beds. This would be beneficial for the farm because if there is less maintenance and higher yield it would increase revenues. It was concluded that the six inch crop spacing was indeed the best spacing for growing lettuce.

My research aims to produce a visual analysis tool that will show the patrolling patterns of tigers or other animals and how they relate to interactions with other members of the same species. Essentially, where and when they approach their borders and what factors influence them. This tool will be used to answer the following questions: Are there any regularities in patrolling strategies of tigers in space and time? How do the patrolling patterns of nearby tigers affect boundary visits? This tool will be applicable to patrolling species other than tigers as well, making it useful for a wide variety of behavioral analysis. Constructive use of this new function for analysis of movement patterns is the main goal of this study.

102 | University of Minnesota


Jessica Nhan

Shi Ni

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2020 Mentor: Anne Blaes Mentor's Department: Medicine

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Maria Gini Mentor's Department: Computer Science

Vascular Function of Breast Cancer Survivors on Aromatase Inhibitors Over Time

Improve the Ability of Amazon Alexa to Answer Questions

Background: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) have been an effective method of reducing breast cancer mortality in estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer patients. However, AIs have been associated with risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Methods: 18 postmenopausal women (9 on AIs, 9 healthy controls) had physical measurements collected at baseline, 4 weeks, 12 weeks, and 52 weeks. Results: At baseline, the AI group had higher median weight (78.1 kg vs 63.9 kg) and insulin level (10 units vs 5 units), suggesting that they may start at a higher risk for CVD than the controls. The median of changes from baseline to 52 weeks of the AI group and control group were measured for total cholesterol (3 mg/dL vs 3.5 mg/dL, p=0.54), LDL (-10 mg/dL vs -2.5 mg/dL, p=0.92), HDL (1 mg/dL vs 8.5 mg/dL, p=0.31), blood pressure (systolic -3 mmHg vs -10 mmHg, p=0.037; diastolic -1 mmHg vs -6.5 mmHg, p=0.47), lean body mass (0.46 kg vs 0.034 kg, p=0.37), total fat mass (-0.10 kg vs 0.27 kg, p=1), and percent body fat (0.7% vs -0.3%, p=0.32). Conclusion: These results suggest the use of AIs for ER+ breast cancer treatment may adversely increase the risk for CVD. However, one of the limitations of this study was the small sample size.

With the recent developments in Artificial Intelligence, more and more artificial intelligent products have came to the market and in our lives. Examples are Google Now, Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa. They are artificial intelligent products that use NLP (Natural Language Processing), Voice Recognition, and Semantic Analysis, to support question/answers in natural language [1]. So many technologies are used in these products! Among these products, the most popular is Amazon Alexa. Alexa is a personal assistant software that has become popular because of its use in the Amazon Echo products. It can help people do some things quickly only using voice. If we want to listen to music, we just need to say “Alexa, Play Music”. Alexa will play music to us. “Alexa, What is the weather today?”, “Alexa, Where is Minnesota”, “Alexa, How many people are in America?”. Alexa will answer us what we asked after it has received voice orders. It sounds very great! People do not need to use hands to type any more. We just speak, and Alexa will answer. What is more important, it can help blind people to get information. It can help anyone to get answers to questions. It helps our life and frees our hands! Too good to be true?

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 103


Ryan Nicholson

Cara Nix

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: James Dutton Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Mathematics, Political Science College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Dr. Mark Reimers Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Direct Reprogramming of Human Cells Using Pdx1, Ngn3, MafA, and MafB

Improving Automated Methods for Cell Identification in Calcium Images

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the loss of insulin producing β-cells of the pancreas, causing dependence on exogenous insulin for those affected. β-cell transplantation has been a promising treatment method, though lack of donor cells and 5-year success rates of only 60% highlights the need for improved treatment methods. Reprogramming general cell types to a β-cell-like phenotype in the hopes of generating a reliable transplant bank has become a focus of research in recent years. The pancreatic transcription factors Pdx1, Ngn3, and MafA have been combined previously in an adenoviral vector (Ad-PNM) and used to induce insulin expression in rodents. However, few studies examining the reprogramming of human cell types have been met with success. Here, we attempt to reprogram human pancreatic epithelial ductal (HPDE) cells with human and MafB variants of the Ad-PNM virus (Ad-hPNMb and Ad-hPN), establishing a base set of genes for future reprogramming studies to work with. We found that the three-gene combination in the Ad-hPNMb virus caused approximately 70% of cells to express the viral genes. No insulin production was seen for any of the virus treatments, establishing that these three genes are not sufficient to induce insulin expression in HPDE cells. It remains possible that these genes are necessary for reprogramming, and future research should attempt to reprogram human cells using a vector containing additional genes.

New optical imaging technologies have the potential to revolutionize neuroscience, but are hindered by inaccurate automated cell identification. We are comparing results from current automated cell-sorting methods to careful human judgment. We are investigating the current algorithms which use singular value decomposition and non-negative matrix factorization. We are calculating single pixel statistics which are aiding our efforts to improve the automated methods in identifying neurons. We are exploring the correlations within the background noise of multiple neurons to augment our ability to identify, and then remove, the unnecessary background noise.

104 | University of Minnesota


Leah Novik

Sydney Nygaard

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Chun Wang Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering Research Partner: Savanna VerBout

Speech Language and Hearing Sciences College of Liberal Arts December 2018 Mentor: Lizbeth Finestack Mentor's Department: Speech Language and Hearing Sciences Research Partner: Laura Schulz

Assessing the Role of Biocompatible Polymer Wafers in Aiding Gene Transfection

Kid Talk

Vaccinations are successful medical interventions against diseases and have virtually eradicated many illnesses. Currently, vaccines are administered via injections or ingested, but these methods are not compatible with newly-developed vaccines that use biologics such as proteins and plasmids. These macromolecules are delivered through gene transfection, in which the cell itself produces the molecule of interest, thus providing immunity. This project examines the use of non-ionic, mucoadhesive polymer matrices for transfection of cells with DNA polyplexes. Through the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmids on NIH3T3 fibroblasts, transfection efficiency can be determined based on degree and amount of fluorescence. Various non-ionic polymers that allow for both polyplex stabilization and delivery to mucosal membranes were screened based on their transfection efficiency. Previous experiments have shown positive transfection above the control when using Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) wafers, verified by fluorescence microscopy. Current research focuses on the quantification of transfection efficiency in varying environments through flow cytometry. The effects of differing serum concentrations, forms of PVA, and polyplex addition are being tested to determine optimal wafer composition and method of administration. The eventual goal of this research is to use such polymers in a clinical setting for sublingual gene delivery in patients.

Children, ages 4 to 6, will be asked to complete two experimental probes. In each probe, children will be taught a novel grammatical form. One form will be a gender marking, the other form will be a person marking. One of the forms will be taught with explicit instruction and one form will be taught with implicit instruction. We predict that children will show an advantage for learning with explicit instruction.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 105


Ian Nykaza

Bethany O'Bryan

Genetics, Cellular Biology & Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Zohar Sachs Mentor's Department: Hematology and Oncology

Health Sciences University of Minnesota Rochester May 2018 Mentor: Jessie Barnett and Kristin Osiecki Mentor's Department: Public Health Research Partners: Audra Gaikowski, Hannah Quarnstrom, Makayla Afinison

Inhibition of the Immunoproteasome to Target NRAS Activated AML

Affordability of Eating as a University of Minnesota Rochester Student

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a deadly disease with a five year survival rate of less than 50%. Standard cytotoxic therapies frequently induce complete remission, but patients frequently relapse and die of the disease. Leukemic Stem Cells (LSCs) are the only leukemia cells with self-renewal capabilities and the ability to recapitulate the disease. We previously showed that activated NRAS facilitates self-renewal in AML and that mTORC1 is important for this effect. Recently, we have found that mTORC1 induces immunoproteasome formation. Pan-proteasome inhibitors, such as carfilzomib and bortezomib have been used in the treatment of many cancers and show some activity in AML. We are interested in the specific inhibition of the immunoproteasome as a method to target NRAS mediated self-renewal in LSCs. We found that immunoproteasome-specific inhibitors (ONX0914 and ML604440) diminish colony formation in our murine model of AML. Next, we sought to investigate the impact of proteasome inhibition on signaling pathways that have been implicated leukemia self-renewal signaling. We found that the immunoproteasome-specific inhibitors suppress levels of NF B more effectively than the pan-proteasome inhibitor, carfilzomib. Further, using high-parameter mass cytometry (CyTOF), we found that carfilzomib treatment accentuates -catenin levels in leukemia stem cells and that ONX0914 and ML604440 treatment diminished this effect. These data support suggestions that immunoproteasome inhibition may specifically target leukemia stem cell self-renewal in malignancies with hyperactive mTOR.

According to the Hunger on Campus Report, food insecurity is problematic for students because it interrupts learning by decreasing concentration and increasing tardiness and absences due to illnesses. This lack of food availability also leads to a decrease in academic performance. The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) is the newest addition to the University of Minnesota system, and has been in existence for 12 years now. Due to close proximity to Mayo Clinic, a non-permanent downtown setting for the University, and the high cost of building, staffing, and maintaining a cafeteria, one was not created when construction for UMR began. Thirty-seven percent of UMR students receive Pell Grants, and the only grocery within walking distance of campus is unaffordable for most students. The nearest food options for UMR students, those who live on and off campus, are the non-sit down restaurants around the downtown area for Mayo Clinic employees. This leaves many students unable to afford quick and easy food options while on campus. Furthermore, a survey conducted by student housing concluded that first-year studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest fear to attending UMR was learning how to purchase, cook, and sustain themselves with healthy food options. This, and information collected from this study will help support an initiative for a student food pantry on the UMR campus.

106 | University of Minnesota


Catherine Ogilvy

Sewon Oh

Psychology, Spanish College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Anne Hoffman-Gonzalez Mentor's Department: Spanish

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Karina Quevedo Mentor's Department: Psychiatry

Prolonged Maintenance of the Spanish Language in Immersion Students

Neurofeedback During Self-Face Processing in Depressed Versus Healthy Adolescents

Language acquisition is a widely researched topic within the field of linguistics, and there has been an increasing amount of literature on Spanish language acquisition due to its prevalence within the United States. Language abilities have been traditionally distinguished into two categories: early learners (L1) or those who acquire the language between birth and puberty, and late learners (L2) or those who acquire the language after puberty occurs (Wexler & Calicoes, 1980). However, more recent studies have illustrated that these categorizations are not as discrete as previously thought. Typically, these studies fixate on the L1 category and differentiate those fluent in a language versus heritage learners who learn the language through a cultural connection (Polinsky & Kagan, 2007). The intent of my research is to investigate the maintenance of the Spanish language in immersion students and distinguish whether they should be viewed as a type of L1 learner, a type of L2 learner, or have their own intermittent category. While enrollment rates in immersion programs are generally low in the U.S., as of 2015 there has been an increase in the number of students in these programs, following suit of typical European language programs (Devlin, 2015). The most common type of immersion program within the U.S. for English speaking students is Spanish immersion, and out of these programs dual-language immersion has shown to be most effective. This type of program is defined by having course material taught in both languages, expanding terms and concepts beyond a typical language course, and dual-language students significantly outperform non-dual-language L2 learners in Spanish language abilities (Montague, 2010). While dual-language programs are most common in elementary education, possibly categorizing the students as L1 learners, they can also extend to four-year high school programs, categorizing the students as L2 learners. The heightened exposure to the language dual-language students receive is a probable reason as to why they are successful in acquiring the language. However, immersion programs do not extend throughout life, so there is a possibility of losing these acquired abilities. At the same time, it is possible that certain skills will remain intact throughout life, and dual-language students will continue to outperform traditional L2 students. The goal of my study is to determine how much, if any, of language skills are maintained after dual-language programs and distinguish the appropriate category for dual-language students.

The aim of current study was to determine differences in brain function during a neurofeedback task between adolescents (ages 13-17) with and without significant depressive symptoms. We were interested in how neural activity in areas supporting emotion regulation would differ between adolescents with and without depression. Adolescents were evaluated for psychiatric symptoms during a first session and classified as either depressed (N=34) or healthy controls (N=19). Adolescents underwent a fMRI session during which they received neurofeedback (NF) from the amygdala and the hippocampus while watching their own smiling face and recalling happy memories to change the brain activity in the scanner. During control condition, they saw an unfamiliar teen face, counted backward (CB), and received no NF. Using SPM12, we compared diagnostic groups during NF and CB with IQ as a covariate. The results show a main effect of condition, with all participants evidencing, higher cortical activity for NF versus CB. There was a group by condition interaction whereby the depressed group had more activity during the NF versus CB compared to controls in the inferior parietal lobe, cuneus, and fusiform. Extractions for areas of significant activity were correlated with changes in rumination and depression before and after NF. Results suggest that NF during self-face processing and recall of positive memories elicit more activity in midline cortical structures that enable emotion regulation, proprioception, and motor function. However, depressed youth showed more activity during NF versus CB, compared to healthy controls, in areas supporting self-processing, perception of facial emotions, and language. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 107


Emma O'Leary

Bjorn Olmanson

Environmental Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2018 Mentor: Tim LaPara Mentor's Department: Civil, Environmental and Geomechanical Engineering

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Victor Barocas Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Does the Disinfection of Public Water Supplies Increase Antibiotic Resistance Levels?

A Device for Simultaneous Stress Relaxation Testing and Imaging of Collagen Networks

The purpose of this study is to quantify antibiotic resistance genes in public water supplies with different forms of disinfectionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;chlorine, chloramine, and no disinfectantâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;from up to fifteen different ground water sources. The study compares five water supplies disinfected with chlorine, five water supplies disinfected with chloramine, and five water that are not disinfected. This research tests the hypothesis that the disinfection of drinking water has the unintended consequence of selecting for antibiotic resistance, which has been recently reported in literature, albeit with a new, untested method (shotgun metagenomics) and with only a small number of samples. The topic of research is also pertinent to the State of Minnesota, which has numerous public water supplies disinfected with chlorine, chloramine, or not at all.

Stress relaxation tests are often used for determining viscoelastic properties of tissue on the macroscopic level. However, what occurs on the microscopic level to collagen fibers, a main structural component of extracellular matrix in tissues, is not well understood. To characterize this behavior, a device was designed to perform stress relaxation tests while simultaneously imaging the collagen networks using second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. SHG microscopy is an optical process that relies on the non-centrosymmetric nature of collagen to produce clear, 3D image sets at the fiber network level. The testing device affixes to the microscope stage via a modular, custom 3D-printed base and is driven by a stepper motor. A lead screw coupled to the motor moves a parallel rod that is constrained with linear bearings within the base. One grip actuated by the rod and one stationary grip are used to hold and stretch collagen gel samples. An Arduino microcontroller powers the motor and allows the user to control manual positioning, speed, and a switch for running pre-programmed tests. SHG images with this device will be analyzed with an algorithm to determine the network geometry at each time point. A custom Matlab code can then be used to track the network deformation and observe changes in fiber reorganization. These results will provide insight into how collagen fibers reorganize during stress relaxation, which has applications in better understanding and simulating material properties at the collagen network and tissue scales.

108 | University of Minnesota


Alison Oosterhuis

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

Spanish Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Ana Forcinito Mentor's Department: Spanish

Plant Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Candice Hirsch Mentor's Department: Agronomy and Plant Genetics

Humanizing Sexuality: The Appropriation of Human Rights Discourse in the Colombian LGBT Movement

Understanding the Relationships between Grain Yield and Potential, Realized Grain Yield, and the Environment Using Maize as a Model System

The movement for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights across Latin America is characterized by recent and rapid change. In the past twenty years, multiple countries have passed legislation that places them on the cutting edge of the international struggle for LGBT tolerance. However, this progress is strikingly uneven. While some countries fully embrace gay people’s rights, others have only decriminalized homosexuality within the last decade. The movement is also defined by a distinct gap between law and reality. Luminous legislation supposedly protects sexual minorities from discrimination, but homicides and police brutality still run rampant across even the most progressive countries. This gap is especially prevalent in Colombia. While Colombia legalized gay marriage and included LGBT communities in its proposed peace accords in 2016, LGBT people are still second-class citizens, especially in the wake of a brutal 50-year armed conflict. Why does this gap between legal discourse and lived LGBT experience exist? One possibility is the use of international human rights discourse in LGBT advocacy. In recent years, LGBT movements across the globe have begun employing language of universal human rights in their own endeavors – a language that is sometimes not accepted locally, depending on the sociocultural context. This essay explores the extent to which Colombia Diversa, Colombia’s leading LGBT rights organization, appropriates this discourse in its struggle for legal and social change. This analysis points to general conclusions about the implications of human rights discourse in LGBT movements and the possibilities for the Colombian movement in the future.

As a crop plant, maize has seen consistent yield improvements, yet the ceiling for grain yield has not been reached. Further, extreme and unpredictable environmental conditions are resulting in increasingly negative impacts on realized grain yields. To meet the demands for increased crop production in the face of adverse environmental conditions, it is imperative that the mechanisms that drive both yield potential (i.e. the genetic potential of an individual under ideal conditions) and the realized yield (i.e. the yield that results from the interaction of the individual’s genome and its growing environment), as well as their relationship with the growing environment are understood. Phenotypic data is important in evaluating many of these yield component traits. This project aimed to analyze the accuracy of an algorithm designed to extract phenotypic data from high resolution images. Hand measurements would need to be taken to create the thousands of data points the algorithm extracts, taking both time and labor resources. To evaluate algorithm accuracy, hand measurements of ear and cob circumference, kernel depth, and number of kernels were taken from images of the cross sections of un-pollenated ears of corn. The measurements were taken using the imaging platform ImageJ and then evaluated against the data points extracted by the algorithm. It was determined through this project that the algorithm’s accuracy is not yet at the desired standard. It is suggested that the algorithm be adjusted and re-evaluated using the hand measurements taken throughout this project.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 109


Reed Grace Owens-Kurtz

Ellen Paatela

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Anthony Baughn Mentor's Department: Microbiology

Microbiology, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Nobuaki Kikyo Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Antibiotic Resistance and Pantothenate Availability in M. Tuberculosis

Treatment of Rhabdomyosarcoma Using Selective FKBP5 Inhibitor SAFit2

Tuberculosis, caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), affects millions globally. Bacterial resistance to first-line antibiotics necessitates new and better treatment options. One of the first-line antibiotics, pyrazinamide, shortens treatment and kills non-replicating bacteria that survive other antibiotics. Identifying pyrazinamideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mechanism of action is of interest for drug development to address pyrazinamide resistance. Synthesis of a metabolic precursor, pantothenate, has not been shown to be pyrazinamideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s target, but the Baughn lab has found that resistance of pantothenate-auxotrophs to pyrazinamide supports the involvement of pantothenate in the mechanism of action. I examined the role of an uncharacterized gene, rv2585c, in pantothenate-mediated antagonism of pyrazinamide. I hypothesized that this gene produces a membrane-associated transport protein that is involved in pantothenate uptake by the bacterium, increasing its intracellular pantothenate concentration to lead to pyrazinamide antagonism. Analysis of the rv2585c locus in other pantothenate-auxotrophic MTB strains identified the same mutation in two out of four strains, but antibiotic assays demonstrated that this mutation does not directly cause pyrazinamide-resistance. I also generated a novel strain of attenuated wild-type MTB expressing the mutant allele of rv2585c. Antibiotic assays with this mutant strain supported my results that the mutation does not confer pyrazinamide-resistance. Because of its independent acquisition in multiple strains, the rv2585c mutation appears to be advantageous to pantothenate-auxotrophic strains and therefore remains of interest for understanding the relationship between pantothenate and pyrazinamide.

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is an aggressive pediatric soft tissue sarcoma originating from skeletal muscle cells with poorly differentiated, and rapidly proliferating phenotypes. Localized RMS can be surgically removed but recurrent and metastatic cases are virtually incurable. Current chemotherapy drugs are not cell type-specific and have severe side effects. The interactions between cell cycle regulator protein CDK4 and muscle regeneration proteins, along with the multifunctional capabilities of FKBP5, have been extensively studied in cancer and other systems. We recently found that FKBP5 interacts with CDK4 and HSP90 to regulate cell proliferation in a mouse myoblast model. It is unknown, however, how FKBP5 is regulating cell proliferation in RMS, and if the novel FKBP5 inhibitor SAFit2 has any therapeutic potential for treatment of RMS8. Here we show that KD of FKBP5 inhibited the proliferation of all six RMS cell lines we tested in vitro. In addition, SAFit2 also inhibited the proliferation of all the RMS cell lines in a dose-dependent manner without affecting normal myoblasts. Furthermore, SAFit2 delayed the growth of the tumors formed by some RMS cell lines in a xenograft model. These results indicate that SAFit2 could be a novel effective drug against a wide range of RMSs in combination with other drugs.

110 | University of Minnesota


Levi Palmer

Neha Panigrahy

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Renee Frontiera Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Chemistry, Physiology College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Emilyn Alejandro Mentor's Department: Physiology

The Effects of Pairing Plasmonic and Structural Color

Assessment of eIF4G1 Mediated Modulation of Pancreatic Beta Cell Mass

Plasmonic color is generated by the photoexcitation of metallic nanostructures, enabling resonance. Depositing these nanostructured metals onto and in structurally-colored materials often produces interesting properties. However, the effects of pairing the two non-surface colors has never been mapped. An understanding of how the two structures interact within a material to produce color can be applied in many technological and optical applications. Therefore, it is hypothesized that pairing the two forms of color will enhance particle resonance to yield an increased optical response. To investigate this plasmonic/structural interaction, butterfly wings of various colors, silver nanoparticles, and an analyte are investigated with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. The butterfly wings were highly selective when generating Raman signal in regard to the method of silver nanoparticle deposition. It is apparent that the surface pigments, which aid in producing wing color, are altered by a solution-based application of silver nanoparticles and pyridine. An observation of particle dispersion on the substrates and wing microstructure is achieved by incorporating scanning electron microscopy. Due to species-dependent wing structure, this study requires the inclusion of two plasmonic-excitation wavelengths- both 633 and 785 nm. Results indicate increased Raman enhancement while pairing the (observed) structural and plasmonic colors.

Failure of pancreatic β-cells to produce sufficient amount of insulin, an anabolic hormone that regulates the influx of glucose into the peripheral tissues, plays a central role in the development of type 2 diabetes. The ability of β-cells to make sufficient insulin is dependent on the total number of β-cells (mass) and their capacity to secrete insulin in a regulated manner. Eukaryotic translation Initiation Factor 4 Gamma 1 (eIF4G1), a scaffolding protein of the translation initiation complex, is required for protein translation. In β-cells, in vitro studies show that eIF4G1 is critical in regulation of insulin maturation, through translation of carboxypeptidase E, an enzyme which processes proinsulin to insulin. We hypothesized that eIF4G1 plays an important role in modulating β-cell mass. To test this in vivo, we generated a mouse model harboring a β-cell specific loss of eIF4G1 (βeIF4G1 KO), using the rat insulin 2 promoter driven Cre-Lox recombination system. Our data show that βeIF4G1 KO mice display glucose intolerance, suggesting a defect at the β-cell mass level. Preliminary data suggests reduction in the average β-cell size in male and female βeIF4G1 KO mice, compared to that of control. Current study focuses on the characterization of β-cell mass in βeIF4G1 KO by assessing the relative total number of β cells through immunostaining of insulin positive cells in the pancreas. This is a critical step to elucidate the role of eIF4G1 as a regulator of growth, proliferation and apoptosis, independent to its previously described contribution to insulin processing pathway.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 111


Justin Panka

Andrew Park

Bioproducts & Biosystems Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Julie Grossman Mentor's Department: Horticulture

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Anath Das Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Determination of the Effect of Agricultural Production, Specifically Legume Sowing, on Biological Nitrogen Fixation, Nodulation, and Soil Health in Frogtown Farm

Polar Localization Studies of VirB4 in Type IV Secretion System

Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), nodulation, and soil health are important factors to look at when using organic farming practices. Biological nitrogen fixation (the fixing of nitrogen from the atmosphere into a plantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tissues) and nodulation (the attaching of nitrogen fixing bacteria to a legumeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roots) are two processes that can provide benefits to soil health on organic farms. These processes provide benefits such as soil nitrogen regeneration and soil organic matter formation. To determine the effect of legume sowing on BNF, nodulation, and soil health, I used various legumes (hairy vetch, red clover, yellow pea, and soybean) grown in plant culture units with soil dilutions, soilless media, and nitrogen free nutrient solution. The use of different legume species allowed us to see the effect of historical legume cultivation on biological nitrogen fixation, nodulation, and soil health in Frogtown Farm. The results showed that legume cultivation increased biological nitrogen fixation and nodulation. Legume cultivation also improved soil health.

Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a gram-negative bacterium, is a plant pathogen. It is responsible for causing crown gall disease, which is characterized by the formation of tumors on infected plants. The pathogenesis mechanism that A. tumefaciens utilizes involves the transfer of a DNA segment (T-DNA) of its tumor-inducing (Ti) plasmid into a host through conjugation machinery known as the type IV secretion system (T4SS). The T4SS is composed of 11 VirB proteins that form a translocation channel that facilitates the transfer of substrate (e.g. T-DNA and proteins) from the bacterium to the host. Amongst these VirB proteins is our protein of interest, VirB4. Previous studies have shown that all VirB proteins, including VirB4, localize to a cell pole in A. tumefaciens when forming the T4SS. However, much was unknown about the mechanism of this polar targeting. Subsequent studies on elucidating the mechanism identified two polar localization domains (PLDs) in the VirB4 protein that direct it to the cell pole. In this study, we utilize a GFP-VirB4 fusion protein and random PCR-driven mutagenesis to identify specific residues within the 592-789 PLD that are essential for the polar localization of VirB4. The mutants were screened using fluorescent microscopy. We were able to find three mutants with disrupted/delayed polar localization that had single point mutations at residues 619, 669, and 745. These results suggest that the 619-745 region contains residues especially important for VirB4 polar targeting and is worthy of further investigation.

112 | University of Minnesota


Joe Parkhill

Puja Patel

Mathematics, Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Victor Reiner Mentor's Department: Mathematics

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Professor Robert Tranquillo Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

The Probability of Randomly Generating a Traversable Maze

Evaluation of Leaflet Washout in Vein Valves

A maze can be thought of as a collection of nodes which are junctions for pathways that can be used to travel to other portions of that maze. Thus, a solution to a maze is simply a pathway through these junctions that allows one to traverse from a designated start point “s”, to a designated end point “e”. We examine empirically and analytically the probability that a randomly generated MxN maze will have at least one such solution. Java code was used to generate random mazes, which were solved by a depth first search algorithm. Generating functions and recursive functions were used to describe the formulas for special case MxN mazes, such as 1xN, 2xN, and 3xN. Additionally, terms are provided for NxN mazes and special case MxN mazes.

Professor Tranquillo’s Lab in the Biomedical Engineering Department is developing engineered tissue vein valves. Vein valves are composed of two leaflets that open and close in low pressure situations. For cases where vein valves become inefficient (including hypertension), artificial vein valves can be implanted. When creating engineered vein valves, a lot of testing must be conducted to determine if the vein valves are ready for implantation. One test that can be performed is washout testing. This test is performed by putting a valve in a closed flow loop, injecting dye behind the valve’s leaflets, and then cycling fluid through the flow loop while measuring the amount of time it takes for the dye to washout from behind the leaflets. Washout testing is used to determine if all of the fluid behind the leaflets washes out at given flow rates (usually flow rates commonly found in the body). For example, the flow rate chosen could be around 400 mL/min, which would correspond to the flow rate of a person resting in the supine position. Washout at this flow rate would indicate that the flow behind the valve’s leaflets does not become stagnant. The goal of this project is to determine the optimal leaflet length and valve design using washout testing, by creating various vein valves and conducting washout testing on each of the vein valves. The washout times and any observations will be compared to determine the optimal design for the vein valve.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 113


Amy Paulson

Clairice Pearce

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Igor Nestrasil Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Neuroscience, Violin Performance College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts December 2019 Mentor: Walter Low Mentor's Department: Neurosurgery

Investigation of Alterations in Brain White Matter of Individuals Diagnosed with Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome and Sjรถgren-Larsson Syndrome

Zika Virus as a Potential Adjuvant in Medulloblastoma Treatment

Sterol and Isoprenoid (STAIR) diseases are a group of rare disorders affecting less than 1 in 100,000 live births. These diseases have debilitating effects on multiple organ systems including central nervous system (CNS). One such symptom observed is the evidence of alterations to the white matter in the brain resulting in mental disability. With magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) becoming a new non-invasive method for studying the impact of such disorders, this study analyzed brain MRI scans to quantifying the white matter disease and provide crucial data for evaluating the effects of ongoing and future therapies.

Zika Virus (ZIKV) has been thought to cause microcephaly in infants of infected mothers, because fetal neural stem cell death has been shown to be mediated by the virus. Since it is known that neural stem and brain tumor cells possess similar properties, we explored the feasibility of utilizing ZIKV as an oncolytic virus against human brain tumors. Specifically, we sought to characterize ZIKV infectivity in the medulloblastoma cell line (DAOY), as this cancer is the most prevalent amongst children and has been proven difficult to treat through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgical procedures. DAOY cells were incubated with ZIKV for 3 days, and RNA was isolated and used for qRT-PCR. Envelope, NS2, and NS5 proteins characteristic of the virus demonstrated a fold change of 10,000 or greater, indicating high viral infectivity. ZIKV presence within DAOY cells was also observed by immunocytochemistry. Viral kinetics were further assessed by means of a viral plaque assay. We observed an absence of plaques, indicating that ZIKV may not be released from infected cells. Thus, ZIKV could be better used as an adjuvant in stimulating the immune system for tumor targeting rather than as a solely oncolytic virus. We then tested the ability for ZIKV to act as an adjuvant in a murine model of glioma (GL261). Results demonstrated increased survival of mice injected with ZIKV in conjunction with a vaccine immunotherapy as compared to those only injected with ZIKV. These results provide support for the potential of ZIKV as a mechanism in medulloblastoma-targeted treatment.

114 | University of Minnesota


Lauren Pelkey

Megan Petersen

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Lorene Lanier Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Genetic and Cell Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Joe Gaugler Mentor's Department: Nursing Research Partners: Amanda Borowski, Jake Robinson

Dopamine Enhances Dendritic Branching in the Medium Spiny Neuron by a Gq and Phospholipase C Dependent Mechanism

Augustana Learning Lab

The Medium Spiny Neuron (MSN) is the primary neuron of the striatum in the brain. MSNs are GABAergic interneurons that modulate the movement and reward pathways. Cortical and substantia nigra pars compacta neurons release glutamate and dopamine (DA) on MSNs, respectively. These inputs are required for the MSN to grow into its typical highly branched, spiny morphology. The Lanier lab found that DA increases dendritic branching and spine density in the developing MSN. The goal of this study is to find the mechanism by which DA enhances MSN dendritic branching. The hypothesis is DA increases MSN dendritic branching by binding a D1-D2 heteromer coupled to Gq and activating phospholipase C (PLC). A cortical-striatal co-culture prepared from day 16 mouse embryos was used to grow MSNs with their afferent cortical neurons. MSN dendritic branching in response to SKF82958, a DA receptor agonist, and quinpirole, a D2 receptor agonist, together and in isolation, was compared to MSNs grown with DA. Another experiment activated Gq by administering Clozapine N-oxide to DREADDs expressing MSNs. In the third experiment, DA was administered with U73122 (PLC antagonist). After 19 days in vitro, co-cultures were fixed and treated with antibody to DARPP-32 to identify MSNs, and Sholl analysis was used to quantify dendritic branching. It was found SKF82958 and quinpirole, neither in isolation or together, could replicated the increased branching effects of +DA MSNs. Gq activation increased dendritic branching almost as much as +DA MSNs. U73122 sufficiently attenuated DA's effects.

The ALL program has the potential to link older adults and their family members to appropriate technologies that can support at-home living. A large majority of participants and their care partners were satisfied with the ALL class and planning activities, and some participants retained usage of the recommended technology after one month. These findings support the usage of informational classes to facilitate technology readiness in older adults and their families, as well as the potential of offering technology education that is not offered nor sponsored by one or a handful of for-profit technology providers.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 115


Malina Peterson

Gwen Phung

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Yasuhiko Kawakami Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

Animal Science College of Biological Sciences, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Richard Nho Mentor's Department: Medicine

Sall4 Regulates Differentiation of Neuromesodermal Progenitors

Ionizing Radiation Increases Type I Collagen Matrix Production in Cell Death-Resistant Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Fibroblasts

During embryonic development, the embryo extends from anterior to posterior through the proliferation of cells at the posterior end of the embryo. In the past decade, a bi-potential cell population, neuromesodermal progenitors (NMPs), was discovered in the caudal progenitor zone that contributes to the paraxial mesoderm and neuroectoderm of the posterior body. Because paraxial mesoderm and neuroectoderm form muscle, vertebrae, dermis, and spinal nerves, NMPs may contribute to significant portions of the posterior body. Although NMPs derivation has been achieved in vitro, exact mechanisms of NMP maintenance and differentiation remain unclear. Here we show the role of Sall4 in regulating differentiation of neuromesodermal progenitor cells. We found that Tcre;Sall4 cKO embryos exhibit truncation, unbalanced formation of paraxial mesoderm to neuroectoderm, and downregulation of mesodermal genes and upregulation of neural genes. Because Sall4 expression overlaps with the spatiotemporal location of NMPs, we propose Sall4 promotes differentiation of NMPs into paraxial mesoderm over neuroectoderm to promote the proper balance of tissues to enable body axis extension and formation. Our results demonstrate that in conjunction with T, Wnt, Tbx6, Sox2, and Retinoic Acid, Sall4 is involved in posterior body formation during embryonic development. Because the exact mechanisms of NMP maintenance and differentiation remain unclear, we anticipate that identifying upstream and downstream factors to Sall4 may contribute to our understanding of NMP biology. This understanding may contribute to the creation of NMP-derived tissue of mesodermal and neural origin in the trunk for regenerative medicine research and application.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal lung disease that shows clinical signs such as difficulty in breathing caused by scarred lung tissue. Relentless production of extracellular matrix (ECM), especially the type I collagen matrix, was found to be one of the crucial features that contributes to the highly proliferative and anti-apoptotic properties of IPF fibroblasts (Im, et. al. 2016). The exposure of lung fibroblasts to DNA damaging ionizing radiation in the course of lung cancer treatment is thought to be associated with the progression of IPF (Beach, et. al. 2017). Therefore, this project attempts to study type I collagen production in IPF fibroblasts that are exposed to ionizing radiation. It was hypothesized that ionizing radiation triggers an increase in type I collagen rich-ECM production in IPF fibroblasts compared to the levels of collagen in non-IPF fibroblasts (control fibroblasts). To test my hypothesis, type I collagen secretion and the viability of irradiated and unirradiated control and IPF fibroblasts were examined in response to type I collagen ECM to recapitulate pathological conditions. My result showed an enhanced viability in irradiated IPF fibroblasts compared to that of control fibroblast by 20%, indicating that IPF fibroblasts are more resistant to ionizing radiation induced cellular damages, which leads to reduced apoptosis. The preliminary results further indicate that there is a potential increase in type I collagen production in IPF fibroblasts compared with that of control fibroblasts after ionizing radiation. These findings suggest that IPF fibroblasts become resistant to ionizing radiation-induced cell death and that the presence of pathologically altered fibrotic fibroblasts may further enhance the progression of lung fibrosis.

116 | University of Minnesota


Divya Pillai

Amy Prichard

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Joshua Hou Mentor's Department: Ophthalmology & Visual Neurosciences

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: David Kirkpatrick, Duncan Clarke Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development

Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency: Growth vs. Donor Factors

Effects of histone H3 tail modifications on Meiosis in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Limbal stem cell deficiency has been known to cause certain infections, chemical burns, and other causes. The purpose of this project is to analyze the growth of limbal stem cells and compare the growth to specific donor factors for future clinical use. Limbal tissue, from donor corneas, was plated on tissue culture plates with fetal bovine serum media and analyzed over a 7-day period. Cell growth was then analyzed using phase contrast microscopy and stem cell characterization was done with immunofluorescent stem cell markers (p63a and ABCG2). Correlation between donor factors and cell growth was then tested using statistical analysis. Immunofluorescence staining showed expression and colocation of p63a and ABCG2 markers. Statistical analysis showed significance between cell growth and donor factors such as arcus, exposure, and death to cooling time. There was no statistical significance with days in storage, age, and diabetes. Cell growth evidence of stem cell morphology and a significant correlation between growth and donor factors.

Histone tail phosphorylation can have diverse effects on a myriad of cellular processes, including cell division, and is highly conserved throughout eukaryotes. During mitosis and meiosis, histone H3 is phosphorylated at threonine 3 (T3). Phosphorylation of histone H3 at the centromere is known to be required during mitosis in order to promote proper chromosome segregation; however, its function in meiosis is not yet fully understood. Preliminary evidence shows that in Saccharomyces cerevisiae from the W303 laboratory strain, sporulation efficiency and tetrad viability are significantly decreased when histone H3 T3 is substituted with an alanine residue so that it cannot be phosphorylated; however, chromosome segregation is not affected. This research aims to clarify the mechanism by which histone H3 T3 phosphorylation affects meiosis and sporulation and to determine whether these effects are specific to T3 phosphorylation or whether other histone H3 tail modifications act in similar ways.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 117


Allison Prill

Monica Punzalan

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Bo Hu Mentor's Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Biology College of Biological Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Karina Quevedo Mentor's Department: Psychiatry Research Partner: Savannah Dimick

Photosynthetic Biofilm Beactor (PBR) for Nutrient Removal from Wastewater

Self-Face Processing After and Before Neurofeedback in Youth with Varying Levels of Depressive Symptoms

Excess phosphate from first and second-point pollution sources easily enters water systems, causing serious severe problems like eutrophication. The consequences of excess nutrients in water systems can result in rapid decline of many populations due to lack of oxygen and other complications. In this experiment, Phormidium bohneri, was tested in its ability to bind to itself to form a biofilm and its ability to remove excess phosphate from media. P. bohneri was cultivated using different media and matrix. It was shown that a high binding efficiency could be achieved by using an EDTA-containing media with cotton-polyethylene matrix. These results suggest that P. bohneri would be a useful biofilm and suggests that the species has the ability to remove excess phosphate from wastewater.

After and before a neurofeedback (NF) task, adolescents with varying depressive symptoms completed a self vs. other- facial recognition task to test changes in self-processing elicited by NF. Youth (N=52) were assessed using a psychological interview to determine depressive symptoms. Afterwards, they completed a task [Emotional Self Other Morph (ESOM) task] in the scanner. During the ESOM task participants identified their own or an unfamiliar face across 3 expressions (happy, neutral, sad). This task was administered before (ESOM_Pre) and after (ESOM_Post) the NF task. Youth either received feedback from the amygdala and hippocampus while looking at their own happy face and recalled positive memories, or counted backwards while looking at an unfamiliar face and received no fMRI feedback. A mixed repeated measure GLM (general linear model) examined brain activity with 3 within-subject factors: 2 Times (Pre, Post) by Self (Self-face, Other-face) by 3 emotions (Happy, Neutral, Sad). During ESOM_Pre, (i.e. before NF), youth showed more activity in multiple cortical and limbic areas compared to ESOM_Post (i.e. after NF). During ESOM_Pre, youth had similar activity for self- and other-face recognition, but during ESOM_Post, they had more activity during self- than other-face recognition in the Middle and Medial Frontal Gyrus, Cingulate Gyrus, and Parietal Lobe. During ESOM_Pre, youth had more activity towards neutral faces and similar activity towards happy and sad faces. During ESOM_Post, they had more activity towards happy faces than neutral or sad faces in the Anterior Cingulate and Inferior Parietal Lobule.

118 | University of Minnesota


Nan Qin

Hannah Quarnstorm

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Jon Weissman Mentor's Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Health Sciences University of Minnesota Rochester May 2019 Mentor: Kristin Osiecki Mentor's Department: Public Health Research Partners: Bethany O’Bryan, Audra Gaikowski

A Dynamic-Quorum Based Consistency Protocol

Affordability of Eating as a University of Minnesota Rochester Student

In the traditional implementation of the quorum-based protocol, the numbers of read and write quorums are fixed, and the quorums are randomly chosen. In contrast, the network traffic and system’s workload are changing dynamically. Therefore, the statically configured quorum may not be the best way in terms of achieving a low latency. In this study, we proposed a method that adjusted the number of write/read quorums at runtime according to the users’ access pattern. Also, this method could select the correct quorums for read/write operation by analyzing users’ geographic distribution. We implemented this dynamic quorum protocol based on our Wiera system, which is a policy-driven distributed storage system. We would show how did we analyze the users’ requests, and let the quorum protocol fit users’ behavior in order to reduce the access latency.

According to the Hunger on Campus Report, food insecurity is problematic for students because it interrupts learning by decreasing concentration and increasing tardiness and absences due to illnesses. This lack of food availability also leads to a decrease in academic performance. The University of Minnesota Rochester (UMR) is the newest addition to the University of Minnesota system, and has been in existence for 12 years now. Due to close proximity to Mayo Clinic, a non-permanent downtown setting for the University, and the high cost of building, staffing, and maintaining a cafeteria, one was not created when construction for UMR began. Thirty-seven percent of UMR students receive Pell Grants, and the only grocery within walking distance of campus is unaffordable for most students. The nearest food options for UMR students, those who live on and off campus, are the non-sit down restaurants around the downtown area for Mayo Clinic employees. This leaves many students unable to afford quick and easy food options while on campus. Furthermore, a survey conducted by student housing concluded that first-year student’s greatest fear to attending UMR was learning how to purchase, cook, and sustain themselves with healthy food options. This, and information collected from this study will help support an initiative for a student food pantry on the UMR campus.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 119


Elliott Quast

Abhismitha Ramesh

Genetics, Cell Biology, & Development, Spanish Studies College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts December 2019 Mentor: Jeremy Chacón Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: John Obsorn Mentor's Department: Integrative Biology and Physiology

Spatial Variability of Bacterial Colony Size Changes in Polyculture Envirtonments

Ovariectomy Potentially Disrupts Glucose Handling in High Fat Fed female BPH/2J Mice

Bacterial communities inhabit every ecosystem on Earth, where they interact among themselves and other species in these structured environments, such as the human gut or agricultural microbiomes. A pressing question is how spatial structure alters bacterial interactions. Here, we quantify competition between Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica in a spatially-structured environment, as well as measure whether or not spatial variability in colony size changes in a polyculture setting. We find that the strength of competition depends on the media resource, for example with E. coli facing stronger interspecific competition with Salmonella on glucose than on LB. Importantly, we find that a change in competition can also change the spatial effect: the variability in colony size across an environment. These results will offer increase insight into the factors affecting complex, multispecies interactions in bacterial communities in defined ecological environments

Background: In hypertensive diabetic patients, renal nerve denervation (RDNX) has been shown to improve glucose handling. However, our studies found that RDNX in hypertensive obese female Schlager mice (BPH/2J) adversely affects glucose handling. With the anatomical proximity of the renal and ovarian nerves in mice, we hypothesize that, removing ovarian nerves in female BPH/2J will adversely affect glucose handling. In this study, I investigated the effects of ovariectomy (OVX) on fasting glucose levels, glucose tolerance and the insulin tolerance in obese female BPH and BPN mice. Methods: After 10 weeks of high-fat diet, fasting blood glucose in the BPH/2J and control (BPN/3J) mice, was measured on week 11. The mice then underwent bilateral surgical removal of ovaries (ovariectomy or OVX) in some mice and sham surgery in the rest. Two weeks after OVX/Sham surgery, fasting blood glucose and glucose tolerance test (GTT) was measured. One week later insulin tolerance test (ITT) was performed. Results: At 18 weeks of age and with the high-fat diet, the weight of BPH/2J mice (23 ± 1 g, n=6) was lower than the control BPN/3J mice (51 ± 14 g, n=3). The OVX/sham surgery did not significantly affect the body weight in mice. The fasting blood glucose levels in BPN mice after two weeks of sham surgery was (78.75 ± 7.432 mg/dl, n=4) and ovariectomy was (84.67 ± 19.64 mg/dl, n=3). In contrast, the OVX procedure increased fasting glucose levels in BPH/2J mice (97.25 ± 11.16, n=4) compared to sham BPH/2J mice (69.33 ± 5.948 mg/dl, n=6).The OVX procedure also caused a slight increase in the area under the curve for the GTT and a slight decrease in the ITT curve in BPH/2J mice but it was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Ovariectomy increased fasting blood glucose in BPH/2J mice similar to renal denervation suggesting a role of ovarian nerves in glucose regulation.

120 | University of Minnesota


Emily Rankine

Sabrina Ratsamy

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Brian Van Ness Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Beverly Smith-Keiling Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Identifying RNA Expression Profiles for Proteasome Inhibitor-Responsiveness in Single Cells of Multiple Myeloma Tumors

Mixed-Methods Analysis of a Biochemistry Lab Course: Writing Impacts on Self-Efficacy and Managing Stress in STEM

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a blood cancer distinguished by the abnormal growth of plasma cells in the bone marrow. A class of drugs called proteasome inhibitors (PI) have been successful in treating MM, but their long-term effectiveness is limited due to the emergence of PI-resistance in most patients, a form of the disease termed refractory MM. The high mutation rate in multiple myeloma leads to genetic heterogeneity and the outgrowth of tumor subpopulations that vary in response to the same drug treatment. Thus, identifying the genetic expression of PI-sensitive and -resistant tumor subpopulations has become a key step to improving treatment methods for refractory patients. This study utilized qRT-PCR analysis of single cells using a 42-gene panel in 6 multiple myeloma cell lines. Bioinformatic analysis using R identified genes that differentiate between PI-sensitive and PI-resistant cell populations. The result was the creation of an RNA expression signature that can predict PI response of single tumor cells.

Stress is common amongst undergraduate students. When not managed, it may trigger individual feelings of helplessness and develop into Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (MEB-D). One in three students have a mental health diagnosis; potential educational curriculum and policy interventions can help students manage stress. Baseline data from a writing-intensive, upper-division biochemistry lab student population used mixed-methods to measure intervention outcomes within Social Cognitive Theory conceptual framework e.g. self-efficacy influences. Pre/post-surveys revealed higher confidence in males, but higher stress levels amongst underrepresented groups. Writing-based curricular interventions of expressive, reflective, and a final post-course free response were employed to increase meaning-based coping for managing stress. Other interventions aimed at decreasing stress, increasing self-efficacy, and advocating policy change to help students manage stress. Based on our hypothesis, students who wrote expressively or formulated reflective personal statements (PS) to critically think about their post-graduation futures, would exhibit increased confidence and decreased stress. These were examined with respect to specific demographics, including gender, ethnicity, English Language Learner (ELL), and First Generation (FG), quantitatively coded with Pennebakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) analysis, and qualitatively using a quasi-deductive, open-coding method to identify themes of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stress. Student self-reported Likert scale mean comparisons along with demographic examination revealed that males, Asians, ELL, or FG students reported better focus towards their futures. LIWC-analyzed writings along with pre/post-responses identified classroom sources of student stress. Iterative semester values compared to baseline monitored how structural changes that occurred during the semester proved to be more beneficial to specific demographics. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 121


Wahid Ratul

Joseph Rauzi

Economics, Statistics College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Satis Devkota Mentor's Department: Social Science, Economics

Biosystems and Bioproducts Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Laura Zhang Mentor's Department: Biosystems and Bioproducts Engineering

Impact of Conditional Cash Transfer on Maternal Health Outcomes in Bangladesh

Attachment of Methanotrophic Bacteria to Structural Materials for Methane Emission Reduction

Using the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS) data for the year 1999 to 2014, this paper studied the impact of Shombob on the use of appropriate maternal health service in Bangladesh. Shombob was a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to improve nutrition, which was implemented from April 2002 to December 2013 throughout the country in Bangladesh. The hypothesis of the study is that through its effect on nutrition, Shombob indirectly influences the utilization of maternal health service. To examine differences in utilization of prenatal and postnatal services and the institutional delivery among pregnant women during the survey recall period, I used the logistic regression analyses and compared the predicted outcome for women with and without exposure to Shombob. Predicted probabilities were calculated and indirect effects were estimated. Over the study period, the proportion of pregnant women reporting the utilization of prenatal service, institutional delivery, and the post-natal services has increased significantly. Shombob, educational attainment of the pregnant women and her husband, household wealth, and the family size are positively associated with the utilization of those services. Even though the nutrition has no direct effect on the utilization of maternal health services, the conditional cash transferred to provide better nutrition may compensate the opportunity cost in the form of wage loss and travel cost, that might ultimately encourage the pregnant women for appropriate utilization of prenatal, institutional delivery and the postnatal services.

Methane from livestock farming is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. As a greenhouse gas, methane is estimated to be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat on the earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface. Methanotrophic bacteria have been explored as a possible method for reducing methane emissions. These bacteria oxidize methane to carbon dioxide under aerobic conditions. This UROP project focused on using methanotrophic bacteria to reduce agricultural methane emissions by attachment to structural materials. If successful, these materials could be applied in agricultural settings with attached methanotrophic bacteria.Two bacterial samples were used in attachment tests: one was a wild sample taken from an anaerobic digester, and the other was a purchased pure sample of Methylosarcina fibrata. The materials selected for attachment tests included polypropylene, wood, and hemp rope. The surface area of all materials was 2cm2. Samples were cultured in 150mL serum bottles liquid nitrate mineral salts media using 0.75% methanol as the carbon source. Methanol is a much safer carbon source for culturing methanotrophs. Culture time ranged from one to two weeks. After the samples finished culturing, biomass attached to the materials was assessed using the dry mass of the materials before and after testing. Preliminary results have shown an average increase of 1.2mg in the mass of the attachment materials after testing with the wild sample. Hemp rope had the largest average increase of 1.5mg. However, these results only include one attachment test with the wild sample.

122 | University of Minnesota


Emilie Reard

Laura Reimann

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Jonathan Ravdin Mentor's Department: Medicine

Child Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Ann Masten, Dr. Rebecca Shlafer Mentor's Department: Child Development, General Pediatrics

Evaluating Case Management Strategies in Reducing Demographic Risk Factors in HIV+ Youth in the Twin Cities

Intersections of Parental Incarceration and Homelessness: Academic Risk Factors

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease (AIDs) affect individuals across the nation and through the state of Minnesota. HIV/AIDS patients who have unmet psychosocial needs tend to have lower rates of medical care retention (Gardner et al., 2014). The University of Minnesota’s Youth and AIDs Project (YAP) provides services, including case management, to HIV+ youth in the Twin Cities. The HIV Case Management Program works to identify and address unmet psychosocial needs in order to help their clients achieve higher rates of retention in medical care. This study aimed to prove that data collected in acuity assessments - a state-mandated scale of demographic factors - can be used to better understand the effectiveness of the HIV Case Management Program. The seven factors identified as highly likely to impede case management in this acuity assessment (homelessness status, disease progression, presence of a new diagnosis, diagnosis of mental illness, enrollment in medical care, adherence to medication, and substance abuse) were compared over individuals’ first two years of case management. Because case managers gave clients the assessment yearly, three time groups were compared: intake (0 months), 12 months, and 24 months. When comparing intake and 12 months, disease progression, mental illness, enrollment in care, and substance abuse all improved significantly (p<0.10). When comparing intake and 24 months, disease progression, mental illness, and enrollment in care all improved significantly (p<0.10). These results can be directly applied to improve YAP’s HIV Case Management Program and compared to other case management programs’ strengths in order to best serve HIV+ patients.

Background: Approximately 5 million children have experienced parental incarceration. Experiences of homelessness or parental incarceration are associated with elevated risk for lower academic achievement in students, and high rates of parental incarceration have been reported among children experiencing homelessness. However, little is known about the co-occurrence of parental incarceration and homelessness in general student samples and associated risks for school problems. Methods: Data were drawn from the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, a statewide survey of 8th, 9th, and 11th grade students (N = 117,254). Youth reported their history of parental incarceration, homelessness, and academic outcomes. Descriptive statistics and logistic regressions, controlling for key demographic characteristics, were used to examine risk among youth who had experienced parental incarceration, homelessness, both, or neither. Results: Approximately 15% of the sample reported a history of parental incarceration and 3% of the sample reported a period of homelessness, with 1.5% reporting both. Preliminary logistic regression indicated that youth who reported homelessness were 1.8 times as likely to get poor grades and 1.6 times as likely to receive disciplinary actions as youth with no risks. Youth who experienced parental incarceration were 2.4 times as likely to receive low grades and 2.4 times as likely to receive disciplinary action. Youth who experienced both risks were 3.2 times more likely to receive poor grades and disciplinary action than youth with neither. Conclusion: Parental incarceration and experiences of homelessness were associated with lower grades in school and more disciplinary actions, with experiences of both associated with even higher risk. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 123


Ben Reynolds

Lynn Risser

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Erin Carlson Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Christine Salomon Mentor's Department: Center for Drug Design

Investigating the Effects of NMC Nanoparticles on Shewanella Oneidensis

Metagenomics and Biocontrol: Addressing the White Nose Syndrome Epidemic

Nanomaterials are increasingly being used in the mass manufacturing of common products. In particular, lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) nanoparticles are a common cathode material in hybrid and electric car batteries. Despite the increased use of NMC nanoparticles in the transportation industry, the potential environmental impacts of NMC are not well understood. Here, we use the soil-dwelling bacterium Shewanella oneidensis, known for its unique ability to reduce metal ions, as a model organism to study the effects of NMC exposure. Previous research has shown that NMC significantly impairs S. oneidensis bacterial population growth. However, preliminary data suggests that the bacteria can overcome the harmful effects of NMC and, in effect, become “resistant” to NMC in future exposures. We are especially interested in determining what genes and biochemical pathways are being perturbed in this process. In this study, we attempt to use quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to look at gene expression levels between wild-type, NMC-exposed, and ions-exposed bacterial populations of S. oneidensis. Approximately 25 genes involved in metal ion transport, oxidative stress, and energy pathways were selected for investigation based on previous literature and using bioinformatics databases. The three different populations of S. oneidensis were cultured in minimal media: wild-type, NMC-exposed (5 mg/L), and equivalent ions-exposed. Then, total RNA was extracted and reverse transcriptase was used to create a library of cDNA. Finally, gene expression levels between the samples were assessed using qPCR. The results of these experiments are still being analyzed at the time of writing.

Since the start of the epidemic in 2006, millions of North American bats have been killed by White Nose Syndrome, or WNS. This devastating illness is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which not only infects bats, but grows in caves even when bats are not present. The Salomon lab is working on developing a microbial biocontrol product to inhibit the growth of P. destructans. This requires culturing and characterizing microbes with antifungal properties, and developing an understanding of the microbial ecosystems present in caves. My research uses metagenomic analysis of Minnesotan cave prokaryotes to address those two priorities. This investigation has revealed that Minnesota’s major bat caves are sources of significant diversity, but that a handful of clades tend to dominate the ecosystem. Some of the more industrially significant antifungal bacteria have a limited presence in our state’s caves, and require extra effort to isolate. Other bacteria in the larger clades have also shown antifungal properties and can be isolated more readily. These results can help guide our continuing search for antifungal bacteria and future efforts to make a product which minimally disrupts the microbial ecosystem.

124 | University of Minnesota


Jake Robinson

Ingrid Rodriguez Aragon

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Joseph Gaugler Mentor's Department: Nursing Research Partners: Amanda Borowski, Megan Peterson

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Yuk Sham Mentor's Department: Integrative Biology and Physiology

Augustana Learning Lab Evaluation

Alpha Blockers: New Insights from Biomolecular Modeling and Simulation of Alpha-1 Adrenergic Receptor with Prazosin

Objectives: The goal of this project is to determine how well received home-based technologies are among older adults who participate in the class-based AugustanaCare Learning Lab (ALL) program in Minneapolis. Additional aims are to track how satisfied older persons and their care partners are with the Augustana Learning Lab class-based and care planning activities, and whether they actually utilize the technology recommended and for how long. Methods: Older adults with dementia and their caregivers were surveyed a) at baseline upon taking a technology readiness class at Augustana Learning Lab, b) one month thereafter, and c) three months thereafter. Scalar questions regarding quality of living and open ended questions on the topic of utility of technology were employed at each time interval post class. Conclusion: The ALL program has the potential to link older adults and their family members to appropriate technologies that can support at-home living. A large majority of participants and their care partners were satisfied with the ALL class and planning activities, and some participants retained usage of the recommended technology after one month. These findings support the usage of informational classes to facilitate technology readiness in older adults and their families, as well as the potential of offering technology education that is not offered nor sponsored by one or a handful of for-profit technology providers.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States. There is no available cure for hypertension. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the economic impact of hypertension at $46B per year. Mismanagement of hypertension can lead to stroke, vision loss, heart failure, sexual dysfunction, and kidney disease. Alpha blockers are one of the therapeutic options for treating hypertension. It targets alpha-1a adrenergic receptors (α1A) of smooth vascular muscles, resulting in reduced arteriolar resistance and increased venous capacitance, thus lowering blood pressure. However, alpha blockers can also affect cardiac α1A receptors, that offer cardioprotection and prevent pathological remodeling of heart failure, leading to increased risk of heart failure. Since α1A receptors are located primarily on the nuclear membrane of cardiac muscles, re-designing alpha blockers with reduced cellular permeability can potentially reduce the risk of heart failure. We have developed a homology model of α1A. Our goal is to examine how alpha blockers bind to α1A receptors and to identify essential molecular parameters that can be exploited for structure-based drug design. Through homology modeling, docking, and molecular dynamics simulation, our preliminary model complex suggest for the first time 1) the burial of the terminal aromatic core within the hydrophobic pocket α1A receptor and 2) the salt bridge interaction between its charged ammonium group with ionized aspartate are essential for ligand binding. This finding provides invaluable insight into future iterative design of novel alpha blockers.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 125


Akshat Sarkari

Elisheva Savvateev

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Emil Lou Mentor's Department: Hematology and Oncology

Kinesiology College of Education and Human Development May 2018 Mentor: Thomas Stoffregen Mentor's Department: Kinesiology

Tunneling Nanotube Formation is Upregulated in Pancreatic Cancer and Mediates a Novel LongDistance Method of Intercellular Drug Efflux

The "Driver-Passenger" Effect in Head Mounted Virtual Reality

Intercellular communication plays an important role in cancer progression, yet its correlation with cellular stress responses are largely unknown. Well established mechanisms of cellular crosstalk such as gap junctions, exosomes, and soluble signaling proteins contribute to the invasive capacity of various malignant cells. However, recent studies have elucidated the role of tunneling nanotubes (TNTs) in enhancing long distance intercellular communication. TNTs are long, F-actin-based membrane protrusions that facilitate direct cell to cell communication between cancerous cells. Methods: We investigated the rate of TNT formation in pancreatic carcinoma in response to varying concentrations of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. Results: Doxorubicin increased nanotube formation in all dosage concentrations within 48 or 72 hours of exposure (p<0.0001). A peak in TNT index occurred in both cell lines at a concentration of 800 ng/mL. Dosage concentration was optimized such that a physiological relevant concentration could be utilized. Additionally, we discovered that TNTs facilitated drug redistribution between connected cells in both pancreatic and ovarian cancer. Conclusions: Increased TNT formation in response to doxorubicin implicates chemotherapeutic drugs as potential catalysts for increased intercellular communication due to induction of stress response.

Motion sickness is a commonly experienced phenomenon that many commuters face on a daily basis. For passengers, research has shown that the likelihood of them being what is commonly referred to as â&#x20AC;&#x153;carsickâ&#x20AC;? is much greater than for the driver of the vehicle. Research on role-related motion sickness susceptibility during vehicle travel has been shown in participants driving an actual vehicle, but also when the driving is immersed in a virtual environment. Participants in this study participants were exposed to a virtual reality driving video game for up to fifteen minutes. The thirty-six participants in this study were assigned to either a Driver or Passenger role. The Driver and Passenger participants completed their sessions independently, but were yoked into Driver-Passenger pairs for the data analysis. Within each pair, the Driver drove the vehicle through a virtual environment while the system recorded the video from the Driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective. The Passenger participant in the pair then watched the previously recorded video from the paired Driver for up to fifteen minutes. The Passenger did not control the vehicle, but could look around the virtual environment. When the participant completed the fifteen minute session or discontinued before time expired, they completed a Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ). The SSQ is used to assess the degree to which common symptoms of motion sickness affect the participant and can be analyzed to determine whether a person was motion sick following the end of their virtual experience. We are currently in the stage of data collection for this study. We expect our results to build upon findings such as Munafo, Diedrick & Stoffregen (2017) which found that passengers are more likely to experience the symptoms of motion sickness during game play.

126 | University of Minnesota


Sienna Schaeffer

Mikhail Schee

Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, Spanish College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Ann Rougvie Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology and Development

Physics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Dylan Millet Mentor's Department: Land and Atmospheric Science

In Vivo Analysis of Oscillating Gene Expression Pattern in C. Elegans Development

Formaldehyde Concentrations Over India

Development of multicellular organisms is a complex process that requires the harmonious synchronization of a myriad of cellular systems. Biological clocks ensure that developmental events occur at the correct time. In C. elegans, developmental timing is regulated by the heterochronic pathway, which controls a series of microRNA (miRNA) switches that govern the transition from one developmental stage to the next. LIN-42, a homolog of the mammal and insect circadian rhythm protein PER, is a member of the heterochronic pathway that negatively regulates the transcription of miRNAs, allowing developmental events to occur at the correct time. LIN-42 shares homologous domains and an oscillatory expression pattern with PER. However, the function of the domains shared with PER are unknown in LIN-42. The lin-42 regulatory sequences and transacting factors which lead to the oscillatory expression pattern are also unknown. Investigating the function of LIN-42’s domains, regulatory sequences, and more will be facilitated by the creation of fluorescently tagged LIN-42, so that its endogenous expression patterns can be visualized in wild type and regulatory mutant backgrounds. Here we have tagged the lin-42 locus by inserting green fluorescent protein coding sequences at its 3’ end using a CRISPR/Cas9 mediated knock-in system. We have utilized this strain to visualize the oscillatory expression pattern characteristic of LIN-42. This strain will provide a valuable tool for the continued study of the regulation and function of LIN-42 and other components of the C. elegans heterochronic pathway.

India's recent industrialization has led to increased air pollution. Levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) are significantly higher in comparison to similarly industrialized locations elsewhere in the world. There is a significant lack of data being collected on India’s atmospheric composition. Without accurate information, it will be difficult to form a plan to alleviate the situation. Formaldehyde (HCHO) is a high-yield product of VOC oxidation and can be measured with satellites. Therefore, satellite measurements of HCHO in the atmosphere can be used as a proxy measurement for reactive VOC emissions. This project is part of a larger effort within professor Millet's group led by Sreelekha Chaliyakunnel to form a high resolution version of the GEOS-Chem global chemical transport model over India to observe possible trends in HCHO over the past decade. The main focus of this project will to identify any trends in HCHO over the remote Pacific, far from any significant anthropogenic VOC sources. These measurements will act as a baseline and be used to calibrate the high resolution model. The background trends may also help establish if the HCHO levels over India are due to anthropogenic causes.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 127


Danielle Scherb

Jonah Schiestle

Health Science College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Kristin Osiecki Mentor's Department: Center for Learning Innovation

Physics, Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Paul Crowell Mentor's Department: Physics

Factors Affecting Health Disparities in Rural Populations in the Mississippi River Delta Region

Measuring Magnetic Properties of Thin Films using the longitudinal Magneto-Optic Kerr Effect

The purpose of this proposed study is to identify what factors affect the health disparities in the rural areas of the Mississippi River Delta Region (The Delta). The findings of this study can provide key information as to why the health disparities for the rural residents in The Delta are so much greater than their urban counterparts. On a larger scale, this research could give insight as to why rural areas across the country face different health disparities.

An apparatus was built to measure the Kerr rotation resulting from the longitudinal Magneto-optic Kerr Effect. Thin film Heusler alloys were placed on a stage inside an electromagnet and a series of polarizers, analyzers, and waveplates were used to focus s-polarized light onto the alloys and measure the Kerr rotation of reflected light. Using the Kerr rotation data, hysteresis loops were created for the thin film Heusler alloys. The apparatus will be used by Professor Paul Crowellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s research group to understand the anisotropy of thin films used in their devices.

128 | University of Minnesota


Austin Schleusner

Laura Schulz

Physics College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Dan Dahlberg Mentor's Department: Physics

Speech-Language-Hearing-Sciences College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Lizbeth Finestack Mentor's Department: Speech-Language-Hearing-Sciences Research Partner: Sydeny Nygaard

Development of a Robust Magnetostrictive Ferromagnetic-Polymer

Kid Talk: How Do Kids Think About Language?

Magneto-strictive materials are materials that exhibit a change in their physical dimensions or length when placed in a magnetic field. This occurrence can be quantified as the strain which is the extension of a material divided by its length (â&#x2C6;&#x2020;L/L). In 2017 Aaron Hamann and E. Dan Dahlberg published a report on how ferromagnetic iron rods in a gelatin will align with an induced magnetic field resulting in expansion up to 20 percent. However, this material broke down over multiple trials as the rods ripped the gelatin. To improve upon these findings, this study used a silicone-based rubber in place of the gelatin. Trials were taken for three different brand-name silicone rubbers to find the softest (least resistant to the strain produced by the rods and field). Once the optimal rubber was found, variations in silicone thinner were tested to identify the optimal percent mass of thinner for maximized percent expansion. Variations in mass of iron rods included were also tested, but this was secondary to finding the softest polymer. Lastly, percent expansion over time was tested through repeated trials. It was found that EcoFlex 00-10 (produced by Reynolds Advanced Materials) was the softest. Thinner added to 28% of the polymer mass continued to produce higher expansion percentages. The point of iron content saturation was not reached. Over repeated trials no significant loss of expansion percentage was observed in any of the silicone polymers.

Children, ages 4 to 6, will be asked to complete two experimental probes. In each probe, children will be taught a novel grammatical form. One form will be a gender marking, the other form will be a person marking. One of the forms will be taught with explicit instruction and one form will be taught with implicit instruction. We predict that children will show an advantage for learning with explicit instruction.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 129


Elayna Shapiro

Elizabeth Shaver

Nutrition College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Renee Rosen Mentor's Department: Food Science and Nutrition

Child Psychology College of Liberal Arts Spring 2020 Mentor: Rebecca Shlafer Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Food for Thought: A Report on Food Insecurity at the University of Minnesota

Community Supervision and Health: A Scoping Review

While many students qualify as food insecure, many still are unaware of this fact. The qualifications of food insecurity are not as well known. Leaving the problem unaddressed can impact students health over time. Therefore, it is essential that college campuses increase their understanding of food insecurity and how it may affect their student population. This research project looks at addressing food insecurity at the University of Minnesota through analyzing research gathered at the Nutritious U Food Pantry. Research from pantry participants indicated a high number of food insecure students were utilizing the pantry's resources. Identifying at-risk students and implementing resources can help address the problem. Addressing this problem during college years, a formative time for most people could reduce the risk of developing certain diet-related diseases later in life by giving people the skills and resources to access nutritious food.

The majority of adults involved in the criminal justice system are not currently incarcerated, but are instead supervised under community supervision (i.e., probation and parole). A growing body of research has documented the intersections between incarceration and health, yet there has been less research identifying the intersection between community supervision and health. The aim of the present research is to better understand the current state of the literature regarding the collateral consequences of community supervision on health. This scoping review is a continuation of the existing work that the Grand Challenges team did during their “Research Sprint” in early January 2018. Specific search criteria were used to identify research in the following databases: PsycInfo, PubMed, etc. Over 2000 articles were imported into Rayyan, a systematic review software. Within Rayyan, two students reviewed every abstract based on the study’s inclusion and exclusion criteria. This poster will summarize initial results of our scoping review. An additional component of the review was to identify potential consequences of community supervision for children and families. In the scoping review, articles were tagged “Children and Families” in order to better understand the current state of the literature and how community supervision impacts children and families.

130 | University of Minnesota


Hannah Simerly

Sajya Singh

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2019 Mentor: Chun Wang Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: R Scott McIvor Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Thrombus Dissolving Gold-Silica Nanoparticles Activated by Near Infrared Light

Biodistribution of Therapeutic AAV Vector Encoding Human IDUA or IDS in Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I and II Murine Models with Neurodegeneration

Silica-gold nanoparticles exhibit a quantum mechanical phenomenon called surface plasmon resonance (SPR). With correct dimensions, the gold can be incinerated with a simple near-infrared light. This research focuses on how to incorporate a tissue plasminogen activating enzyme into the gold-silica complex. With a particle like this, tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) can be safely delivered to thrombi without disrupting the rest of the body. The TPA can be released once its gold barrier is incinerated by a near infrared light shining from outside the body. Silica particles were functionalized with carboxyl groups using a ring-opening reaction with succinic anhydride. Tissue plasminogen activator was purified and covalently bonded to the functionalized silica. The Turkevich method was used to reduce gold chloride solution onto the particle and grow the gold shell. Upcoming experiments include testing the particles efficacy in releasing the drug and quantifying its SPR characteristics.

The mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a set of conditions each caused by deficiency in a different lysosomal enzyme essential for catabolism of a crucial extracellular matrix component, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). A pathogenic mutation in the IDUA gene, encoding alpha-L-iduronidase, results in MPS I. Hunter syndrome or MPS II is associated with disease-causing variants in the IDS gene, which encodes iduronate-2-sulfatase. These systemic conditions can lead to early mortality and neurological deficits. Current treatments for MPS I and II, enzyme replacement therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplant, have improved the quality of life for many patients; however early treatment is the current therapeutic paradigm given the accepted thought that loss in neurological function cannot be recovered. For MPS, gene therapy can provide a long-term source of the deficient enzyme by introducing functional copies of the associated gene. To test if neurocognitive function can be improved using this technique, a human IDUA or IDS-containing vector was administered via intracerebroventricular injection into MPS I and II mouse models respectively after progression of neurological deficit. We found the adeno-associated modified viral vector (AAV9) was distributed throughout the brains of treated animals. These results correlate with an increase in enzyme activity levels and a reduction in GAG accumulation. Recovery from neurodegeneration after disease progression remains provocative, yet presence of the vector here is correlated with improvement of cognitive function. The collected data are evidence of the real potential of gene therapy to provide long-term treatment for MPS I and II patients.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 131


Charles Smith

Arnav Solanki

Cell and Molecular Biology College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Huai Deng Mentor's Department: Biology

Electrical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Marc Riedel Mentor's Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Role of Keap1 and CncC in Chromatin Regulation

Prediction and Simulation of Origami through Boolean Satisfiability

Nrf2 and Keap1 are central transcription factors that regulate xenobiotic and oxidative responses in order to protect cells from both internal and external toxins. These two genes are closely related to a multitude of human diseases, in particular, different kinds of cancer (1). Keap1 and Nrf2 can both counteract and promote the progression of oncogenesis, of which the mechanisms remain to be fully uncovered. Recent studies show that Keap1-Nrf2 can regulate cellular processes other than xenobiotic responses, including many developmental pathways and mechanisms (2, 3). Identifying novel functions of Keap1/Nrf2 proteins will help understand their intricate roles in diseases (1, 4).

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of folding paper into 3 dimensional shapes. Over the past century the advent of computer technology and use of mathematics have allowed the art to greatly expand beyond producing simple animals or flowers. Origami has a vast spectrum of applications in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s society besides art, from huge telescope lens brought into orbit in space down to contractible robots to patrol the human body for medical purposes. Here I introduce the art as a mathematical problem and discuss the use of fundamental logic theory to formulate a specific Origami model as a computer simulation problem. The complexity of predicting a model from an initial plane and then simulating its folding steps are delineated, and the use of techniques such as Craig Interpolation and minimal logical synthesis are brought up to reduce the said complexity. Beyond simply predicting and designing Origami models and procedures, this work can be applied into a variety of problems, like protein folding, manufacturing designs or multi-dimensional folding.

132 | University of Minnesota


Evan Son

Veronica Sondervan

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology Research Partners: Corissa Wurth, Samuel Bullard, Chanel Flower

Plant Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Shahryar Kianian Mentor's Department: Plant Pathology

Language Differences by Environment in STEM Classroom Engagement Activities

Developmental Impact and Heritability of Induced Organellar DNA Variation in Brachypodium Distachyon, a Model Organism for Wheat

The ESPRIT (Fostering Equitable Science through PaRent Involvement & Technology) project focuses on closing the achievement gap in STEM through engaging classroom activities that seek the involvement of middle school students’ families. More specifically, students are asked to record videos on a social media platform, Flipgrid (Flipgrid.com), to reflect on their learning in science classes. The current article is a branch off the ESPRIT project and focuses on how language and engagement in these video assignments differ when the students record from home (with their families) versus when they record at school. Our analysis will involve viewing a group of middle school students’ submitted Flipgrid videos where they reflect on the prompts posed by their teacher that ask them to reflect on ideas covered in their science class and how they are relevant to their everyday lives. We will code for language that focuses on scientific or on experience-based vocabulary. We predict students would use more experience-based vocabulary when recording the videos at home and more scientific jargon when recording in an academic setting. The purpose of this analysis is to get an idea of how students are reflecting on their science learning and how this reflection is affected by their environment. This work has important implications for the field of education research because it will highlight variations in how students are using social media platform to support their science learning. The outcomes will be important for those interested in teacher practices, home-school connections, and student learning outcomes in STEM.

Signaling between the nucleus and the mitochondria and chloroplasts, known as nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions (NCI), plays an essential role in cell functioning, development, and stress response. Although there are a wide variety of organellar DNA types among wheat relatives, due to the domestication process, all modern wheat varieties contain the same organellar DNA. The loss of the nuclear-encoded gene MSH1 is linked to increased recombination events and genome rearrangements in mtDNA and results in plants exhibiting diverse traits such as increased stress tolerance, delayed maturity, and enhanced vigor. This experiment used viral-induced gene silencing (VIGS) on MSH1 to induce variation in the mtDNA of Brachypodium distachyon, a fast-cycling model organism for wheat. Two distinct fragments from the Brachypodium MSH1 gene were each sub-cloned into the barley stripe mosaic virus γRNA vector (to create two independent constructs) and verified by sequencing. Comparative qRT-PCR assays were designed and tested to identify changes in gene expression for MSH1 and the VIGS control gene phytoene desaturase (PDS). VIGS experiments with PDS and MSH1 are ongoing in B. distachyon. Following confirmation of MSH1 knockdown by comparative qRT-PCR, plants will be selected to phenotype in subsequent generation(s) for novel, heritable traits. VIGS knockdown of MSH1 in Brachypodium will provide an important tool for functional genomics work to investigate organellar diversity and mechanisms of NCI. These results will increase our understanding of plant NCI and heritable epigenetics, and potentially lead to the development of improved plant varieties that would be protected from current controversy surrounding genetic modification. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 133


Livia Songster

Trey Sorensen

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Margaret Titus Mentor's Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Linguistics College of Liberal Arts December 2018 Mentor: Dustin Chacón Mentor's Department: Linguistics Research Partner: Annika Kohrt

Role of MyTH4-FERM Myosin in Filopodia Initiation Within Dictyostelium Discoideum

Constructing Filler-Gap Dependencies Into Adjunct Clauses

Filopodia are dynamic cellular structures consisting of bundled actin filaments that allow cells to detect chemical cues and interact with their environment. MyTH4-FERM (MF) myosins are essential for filopodia assembly across distant species, but their mechanism in filopodia initiation is not well understood. The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is being used as a model to determine the role of an MF-myosin, DdMyo7, in filopodia initiation. Wild-type D. discoideum extend multiple filopodia, whereas myo7-null cells extend none. Full-length GFP-tagged DdMyo7 localizes to filopodia tips of wild-type cells and rescues filopodia formation in myo7-null cells. To determine if DdMyo7 requires a lever arm (3IQ) and dimerization domain (DD) for filopodia formation, two GFP-tagged DdMyo7 mutants were made, one with a DD deletion (ΔDD) and the other with a 3IQ and DD deletion (Δ3IQ-DD). Both mutants rescue filopodia in myo7-null cells, so this project aimed to test the role of the MF2 domain in these mutants. Mutants without MF2 were expressed in wild-type and myo7-null cells and protein expression was confirmed by western blot. Live-cell confocal microscopy was used to image both mutants. ΔDD-MF2 can localize to filopodia tips in wild-type cells, but Δ3IQ-DD-MF2 cannot. Neither mutant rescues filopodia in myo7-null cells. The deletion of MF2 results in a loss of cortical localization in both mutants and thus appears to disable DdMyo7 targeting and function. In homologous structures, the MF2 domain binds partner proteins, so this data is consistent with a model where binding to another protein promotes and stabilizes DdMyo7 dimer formation.

In processing filler-gap dependencies (FGDs), comprehenders actively seek gaps (Crain & Fodor 1985; Stowe 1986; Traxler & Pickering 1996). However, it is unclear whether active gap pursuit relies on prediction mechanisms triggered at the filler, or an incremental search with a higher-ranking for integrating gaps over lexical material (see Aoshima et al 2004; Omaki et al 2015). We present results on two experiments examining the processing of FGDs into adjuncts. Because adjuncts are syntactically optional, comprehenders are only likely to construct FGDs into them through detecting a semantically suitable gap site bottom-up. Generally, adjunct clauses are islands (Cinque 1990). However, Truswell (2007) shows that FGDs may cross into non-finite adjunct clauses, if the main clause and adjunct clause predicates can compose into a single event ("type-compatible"). In Experiment 1, we show that participants accept FGDs into non-finite adjunct clauses. In Experiment 2, we find a reverse plausibility mismatch effect (i.e., plausibility increases processing difficulty), if the FGD can plausibly resolve with a gap in an adjunct clause, and if the main verb is type-compatible. We argue that this demonstrates that initially, no gap is predicted in the adjunct clause. However, if the semantics of the sentence permits, the comprehender will reanalyze the sentence to construct the FGD into the adjunct clause, increasing processing difficulty. Thus, comprehenders search for gaps prospectively, which is partially gated by semantics.

134 | University of Minnesota


Eric Souto

Katherine Spurlock

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Effie Tsilibari Mentor's Department: Neuroscience

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Julie Eisengart Mentor's Department: Pediatrics

Effects of Serum from Patients with Gulf War Illness on Neuronal Cell Cultures

Cognitive Outcomes in Hurler Syndrome Following Transplant Before Age 12 Months

Gulf War Illness (GWI) is a disease of unknown origin that has affected thousands of military personnel and civilian contractors deployed to Iraq during the Gulf War. The disease is characterized by chronic physical and cognitive complaints including fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, mood disorders, and neurocognitive dysfunction. Previous study has revealed that veterans afflicted with GWI lack some or all of the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) protective alleles, which are pivotal for antibody formation. We hypothesized that without these protective alleles, proper antibodies could not be formed to eliminate the harmful pathogens to which Gulf War veterans were exposed. Hence, the persistent antigen hypothesis was proposed, stating persistent antigens present in the blood of Gulf War veterans that could not be eliminated. This led to chronic, low-grade inflammation, supported by the presence of inflammation markers, which eventually led to disease. This research aims to examine potential neurotoxic effects of serum from GWI patients on neuronal cell cultures. Additionally, we tested whether GWI-induced toxicity could be neutralized by serum from healthy, control Gulf War veterans. Our findings suggest the neurotoxic effects of GWI serum can be reduced by healthy serum. These results can enhance our understanding of the etiology of GWI and work towards the development of a treatment for afflicted veterans.

Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MSP I) was added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in 2016 due to overwhelming evidence that early treatment results in improved outcomes. The severe form of MPS I, Hurler syndrome, is characterized by progressive neurological involvement, which follows a predictable trajectory of normal cognitive development in the first year of life, slowing in the second year, and rapid decline thereafter. Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) stabilizes this deterioration and dramatically extends survival. Younger age at HCT is one of the strongest predictors of favorable cognitive outcomes, although the literature is limited regarding outcomes of patients transplanted during this first year of normal development. Previous data from our institution across a wide age range suggest a mean loss of 3.64 IQ points per year may be expected in the 2 years following HCT. To understand if earlier HCT could improve cognitive outcomes, we examined the IQ scores of all Hurler patients who underwent HCT at the University of Minnesota prior to age 12 months and had longitudinal neuropsychological follow up at least two years post transplantation (N=8). We found IQ scores at 2 years following HCT were the same as baseline IQ scores (p = 0.63), with baseline mean of 91.6 and 2-year post-HCT mean of 93.4, providing evidence there was no loss in IQ points from the time period prior to HCT to 2 years afterward. These results quantify a likely cognitive benefit when transplant is conducted at younger than 12 months of life, an important finding at the dawn of newborn screening. Longer-term analyses of a larger cohort are needed to determine if these cognitive outcomes remain superior from those transplanted at older ages. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 135


Jamin Stagg

Trevor Steiner

Physics University of Minnesota Morris May 2020 Mentor: Sylke Boyd Mentor's Department: Physics

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Russell Holmes Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Simulating Snow Albedo by Modifying a Ray-Tracing Algorithm

Tuning the Wavelength of Spontaneously Formed Gratings in an Organic Small Molecule

When snow melts, the dirt below it starts to surface. These dirt particles, or LAPs (Light Absorbing Particles), lower the albedo of the snow. Albedo is known as the fraction of backscattered solar intensity over incident ray intensity. The lower the snows albedo, the more energy the snow will absorb and the faster it will melt. To model the effect of the LAPs depth and concentration on the snows albedo we are developing a computer program. The program simulates light scattering based on reflection and refraction on the surfaces of groups of geometric objects. An absorbing component is added to the program to represent the LAPs. A system of hexagonal particles with random positions and orientations is generated to represent the layer of snow. Our computer program traces light rays of three different wavelengths through those objects and gathers statistics for backscattered, transmitted, and absorbed light intensities. A varying number of LAPs are placed in one layer at a time to model the depth and concentration of the LAPs with the snow’s albedo. I will present my methods and preliminary findings for the simulations of the influence of dark particles on the albedo of a snow layer in a poster. I also present plans on how to improve the methods for this type of simulation.

Periodic patterns such as gratings are typically fabricated through photolithographic techniques, which provide excellent spatial resolution but have high cost. The ability to spontaneously form gratings is an attractive goal, as it could reduce processing costs and improve scalability. Notably, these self-assembled gratings could be used in distributed feedback organic lasers, enabling new applications such as disposable lab-on-a-chip diagnostics. It was recently discovered that thin films of the organic semiconductor, 2,2′,2"-(1,3,5-Benzinetriyl)-tris(1-phenyl-1-H-benzimidazole) (TPBi) will form aligned periodic ridges with a wavelength of approximately 1.2 microns when annealed. In this work, we investigate different methods to control the wavelength of these gratings. The ability to tune the properties of these gratings at will would greatly increase their potential for applications. To understand the mechanism of grating formation, various underlayers were studied. The underlayers that were used had varying glass transition temperatures, changing the thermal behavior of the initial several nanometers of the film. The underlayer results indicated no strong correlation between the glass transition temperature and the wavelength of the grating. Along with varying the underlayer, the annealing temperature was varied from 155°C to 190°C with additional tests being completed above and below these limits that did not form the desired pattern. It was determined that there was a direct correlation between the wavelength of the pattern and the annealing temperature. Future research will focus on confirming the temperature reliance of the surface grating as well as understanding the mechanism that causes the surface grating to form.

136 | University of Minnesota


Elizabeth Stencel

Carl Stone

Sociology, Special Education College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts May 2020 Mentor: Joachim Savelsberg Mentor's Department: Sociology Research Partner: Jessica Faulkner

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Michael Sadowsky Mentor's Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Quantifying Genocide Denial

New Bioinformatics Methods in Fecal Bacteria Source Tracking

This project examines denial of the Armenian Genocide. Our research team examined hundreds of cases of denial documented on the French website Collectif VAN and methodologically coded instances of denial. Collectif VAN is a website that archives any instance of denial of the Armenian Genocide through news entries. Documentation in this archive begins in 2006 and is still being updated to this day. After qualitatively coding the VAN cases, our team established a quantitative coding instrument and coded the cases with the goal of statistically analyzing patterns of genocide denial and acknowledgement. Within these categories, we coded along various variables such as the type of person expressing denial or acknowledgment, the country they represent, and the form of denial. Analysis of this data allows for the identification of patterns and possibly causal factors are contributing to denial. Patterns began to emerge when we connected an instance of denial to an instance of recognition or acknowledgement that the denial was in response to. Many times these denialist cases link to legislative events such as countries recognizing the genocide passing laws to criminalize denial of the genocide. By going through these coding mechanisms and continuing to work on this project, we are beginning to see some patterns of denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Fecal contamination can be traced through the environment by sequencing DNA from environmental samples and comparing it to that of species present in common animal fecal sources. To minimize the impact of sequencing errors, high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequence reads are clustered together by similarity into Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs), which can obscure the biological significance of variant DNA sequences. A new bioinformatics pipeline called DADA2 uses common errors in Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing to infer the sample sequences before amplification introduced errors. These amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) are accurate to single-nucleotide resolution and are biologically-significant representations of the metagenome of a sample. This project uses DADA2 to characterize the fecal microbiota of waterfowl and wastewater effluent in the Duluth area and compare the accuracy and specificity of an ASV-based approach to analysis previously done with OTUs. Here we show that DADA2 decreases the number of singleton OTUs and increases taxonomic resolution compared to QIIME2 and mothur. More accurate characterization of environmental samples can provide greater accuracy to downstream analyses, and DADA2 metagenomic data, compared to QIIME2 and mothur, input into SourceTracker showed a decrease in unknown fecal source taxa. These results show that DADA2 is more accurate than QIIME2 and mothur for bacterial community characterization, and pipelines of other bioinformatics software are also made more accurate by using DADA2. This can provide a closer look into rare organisms and their roles in microbial ecology.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 137


Shravika Talla

Tutku Tazegul

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences December 2019 Mentor: Anthony Baughn Mentor's Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: David Odde Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Antibiotic para-Aminosalicylic Acid Selectivity in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

Development and Use of an Image Processing Algorithm to Analyze Glioma Cell Protrusion Dynamics

Infectious disease-causing Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been known to become increasingly resistant to antibacterial drugs, leading to a potential public health problem regarding the treatment of patients with tuberculosis. para-Aminosalicylic acid (PAS) is a structural analog of para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), a compound used in the folate biosynthesis pathway for bacteria, that has an additional hydroxyl group. PAS has been found to inhibit the folate biosynthesis pathway of M. tuberculosis, but not in other bacteria such as E. coli. In E. coli, PAS is used in lieu of PABA. Still, the mechanistic basis for PAS selectivity in M. tuberculosis can be further examined. Here we show that the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) in M. tuberculosis accounts for this selectivity. It has also been shown that PAS antagonizes the activity of multiple drugs used to treat patients with HIV. These data suggest that PAS selectivity for M. tuberculosis is due to the DHFR enzyme. These results elucidate why M. tuberculosis is susceptible to the clinically used antibiotic PAS. With the rise of drug resistant strains, this information can be applied to understand the resistance to antifolates. Furthermore, knowledge that PAS reduces the function of HIV treatment drugs shows implications for HIV patients infected with M. tuberculosis.

The Odde Lab is in the process of developing a cell migration simulator in an effort to predict cell migration patterns and incorporate cell migration consideration into glioblastoma therapies. The simulator models a cell as a central body with multiple modules as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;motor-clutchâ&#x20AC;? system that migrates through a cyclic process of cell membrane protrusion, adhesion of these protrusions to a substrate, force transmission of myosin motors through the protrusions, and rear-release of the protrusion-substrate adhesions. Although the cell migration simulator has successfully predicted certain cell migration patterns, there are some biophysical parameters associated with cell migration that are not well understood. My project focuses on refining and improving a software program that automatically tracks cell protrusions, and using this software to collect and analyze experimental data from cells in different environments (varying substrate stiffnesses, chemotherapy drugs). I have been using this experimentally collected data to elucidate the physical rules that cell protrusions follow, and will implement these rules into future versions of the cell migration simulator.

138 | University of Minnesota


Hok Sreng Te

Rohan Thakur

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Maneesh Bhargava Mentor's Department: Medicine

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2021 Mentor: Ajay Kumar Dixit Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering

Biosignature of Clinical Outcome Status in Sarcoidosis

Effect of CCL-2 on Cancer Cell Proliferation

Sarcoidosis is a systemic granulomatous disease of unknown cause, with variable clinical manifestations and outcomes. Significant disparities in outcomes exist by race and sex, with a higher mortality in African Americans and in women. Following the research recommendations of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Instituteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sarcoidosis workshop, we examined the clinical characteristics of the University of Minnesota (UMN) sarcoidosis cohort for the application of â&#x20AC;&#x153;omicsâ&#x20AC;? to identify biomarkers of high-risk sarcoidosis phenotypes. Our cohort has a higher proportion of persistent disease due to cardiac involvement and is well-suited for the development of biomarkers of cardiac sarcoidosis. We hypothesized that plasma exosomes released from granulomas in the heart contain cardiac-specific markers and explain disease variability. Our objectives are 1) to optimize the isolation of exosomes in plasma and 2) to perform proteomic profiling of plasma exosomes using the UMN cohort to develop exosomal markers of cardiac sarcoidosis.

Pancreatic cancer is the world's most lethal cancer and the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States alone, with a survival rate of less than 8%. It is the only cancer so far with a survival rate of less than 10%. There are currently no effective treatments available for patients with advanced disease who are ineligible for surgery, a prognosis representing the majority of pancreatic cancer diagnoses. Pancreatic cancer is significantly more resistant to chemotherapy in comparison to other cancer types, leaving patients with fewer options when it comes to treating the disease in its earlier stages. Currently, the treatment of choice, for pancreatic cancer patient is complete surgical resection, a procedure only viable to fewer than 20% of those diagnosed. Many patients who undergo with surgery has higher chances of disease relapse and succumb to the disease, pointing to the great need for more powerful treatments that account for and eliminate any residual, post-op presence of the cancer itself in order to prevent eventual relapse. Chemokines are a family of small and secreted proteins that play pleiotropic roles in inflammation-related pathological diseases including cancer. Among the identified 50 human chemokines, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) is of particular importance in cancer development since it serves as one of the key mediators of interactions between tumor and host cells. Cancer cells and multiple different host cells within the pancreatic tumor microenvironment produce CCL2. CCL2 mediates tumorigenesis in many different cancer types.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 139


Warut Thawinrak

Cassandra Tieman

Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Jeff Calder Mentor's Department: Mathematics

Environmental Science, Policy, and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Kyungsoo Yoo Mentor's Department: Soil, Water, and Climate

High-Order Filtered Schemes for the Hamilton-Jacobi Continuum Limit of Nondominated Sorting

Survey of Invasive Earthworm Species Along the Root River in the Driftless Region of Minnesota

We investigate high-order finite difference schemes for the Hamilton-Jacobi equation continuum limit of nondominated sorting. Nondominated sorting is an algorithm for sorting points in Euclidean space into layers by repeatedly removing minimal elements. It is widely used in multi-objective optimization, which finds applications in many scientific and engineering contexts, including machine learning. In this paper, we show how to construct filtered schemes, which combine high order possibly unstable schemes with first order monotone schemes in a way that guarantees stability and convergence while enjoying the additional accuracy of the higher order scheme in regions where the solution is smooth. We prove that our filtered schemes are stable and converge to the viscosity solution of the Hamilton-Jacobi equation, and we provide numerical simulations to investigate the rate of convergence of the new schemes.

Invasive European earthworm species have become prominent in a variety of Northern US forest soils including the Driftless Area of Southeastern Minnesota. This research seeks to determine the variety of species found along the Root River located in this previously unglaciated region. Earthworms were sampled using liquid mustard extraction at three separate locations along the Root River in early October of 2017. The site locations included a floodplain, a picnic area, and a heavily forested spot near a bike trail that follows the river. Soil samples were also collected at these sites. Soil pH, moisture content, and calcic granules were all measured to determine the impact of invasive earthworms on soil properties. The earthworms were preserved by anesthetizing the worms in alcohol and then identified during the following winter. A wide variety of species were identified from the Lumbricidae family including many juvenile earthworms, however, no native species were identified despite the area being unglaciated. All soil samples had a slightly alkaline soil pH between 7.43-7.83 conducive to European earthworms. To expand upon this survey sampling outside the range of human activities in the Driftless could determine if native species can be found.

140 | University of Minnesota


Michaela Tonsager

Matt Tran

Biology College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Huai Deng Mentor's Department: Biology

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Steven Stovitz Mentor's Department: Family Medicine and Community Health

Imaging CncC and Pannier Interactions in Drosophila

Statistical Testing of Baseline Differences in Sports Medicine RCTs: A Systematic Evaluation

My research involved looking at molecular interactions between the Drosophila transcription factors, CncC and Pannier. CncC and Pnr are both associated with human homologs, Nrf2 and GATA respectively. Pannier is responsible for controlling heart development and CncC is involved in a xenobiotic response pathway. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) imaging was used to visualize the interactions between the CncC and Pnr transcription factors in living cells. CncC and Pnr were both fused with an N-terminal or C-terminal fragment of YFP, a florescent protein. Fluorescence is produced when the two proteins interact, bringing the terminals of YFP together. Using the UAS-GAL4 gene expression system, I crossed the flies with various driver lines, allowing for the expression of the BiFC in specific tissues. I then visualized the formation of the BiFC complexes under a florescent microscope. Interactions between CncC and Pnr suggest that there is interaction between xenobiotic response factors and cardiovascular developmental factors. Testing these interactions could reveal novel functions of Nrf2 detoxifying factor in heart development and diseases.

The CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) statement discourages reporting statistical tests of baseline differences between groups in randomised controlled trials (RCTs). However, this practice is still common in many medical fields. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of this practice in leading sports medicine journals

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 141


Ananya Tripathi

Prateek Vachher

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: David Thomas Mentor's Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2021 Mentor: Lana Yarosh Mentor's Department: Computer Science & Engineering

Optimizing the Malachite Green Assay Protocol to Assess Drug Effects on Myosin ATPase Activity in Myofibrils

Identification and Clustering Family Pictures using Relationship Networks

The objective of this study was to develop and apply a colorimetric assay to measure myosin ATPase activity in myofibrils. This protocol could be used to evaluate how drugs used for various clinical conditions affect myosin function in intact myofibrils. The malachite green assay for actin-activated myosin ATPase activity was optimized for time, buffer type, temperature and protein concentrations to accurately test enzymatic function. We determined that a 3 minutes time course assay with approximately 0.3 土 0.1 μM of myosin prepared and ran at 25℃ yielded the most consistent results. We tested two drugs on the myofibrils: MYK-461, a drug under trial to treat cardiac hypertrophy, and Mitoxantrone, a drug to treat multiple sclerosis. Preliminary data collected on actin-activated myosin ATPase activity in solution shows that the aforementioned drugs inhibit myosin enzymatic function in both skeletal and cardiac muscle systems. When tested with the developed protocol, both the MYK-461 and the Mitoxantrone showed inhibition of myosin activity by about 66%, which agrees with data previously collected from purified muscle protein systems. The results of this work establishes a method to study the mechanism of clinical drugs’ side effects on muscle functions in vitro.

How many digital photos will be taken in 2018? It’s predicted there will be 7.5 billion people in the world in 2017, and about 5 billion of them will have a mobile phone. Let’s say roughly 80% of those phones have a built-in camera: around 4 billion people. And let’s say they take 10 photos per day – that’s 3,650 photos per year, per person. That adds up to more than 14 trillion photos annually (14,600,000,000,000)*. Storage and organization of these pictures is a nightmare for most people. Accessing the specific memory with the special one is about scrolling through 1000’s of images to find the one. The project talks about, means for identification and clustering family pictures by building a relationship network, in turn helping users access their desired images faster. The relationship network is a means for developing and predicting connections between people and providing them with the predicted model. Clustering of images, based on CNN Face Similarity data is the foundation of this research topic. The secondary goal of this project is to minimize the use of web API’s for privacy purposes. The entire research project is estimated to run on a cluster of personal handheld computation device, such as Raspberry Pi’s (storage + processing). *Data Source: InfoTrends Worldwide Consumer Photos Captured and Stored, 2013 – 2017

142 | University of Minnesota


Vinit Vaghani

Jack Van Sambeek

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Abdi Warfa Mentor's Department: Biology Teaching and Learning Research Partner: Sagal Mohammed

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Russell Holmes Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Teacher-Initiated Discourse Moves in Reformed Undergraduate STEM Learning Environments

Investigating Solution Based Testing of OLED Emitter Molecules

Active learning strategies have shown to improve student achievement outcomes in undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses. Also, instructors tend to enact activities that guide student engagement and positively impact student learning in active learning classrooms compared to traditional lecture halls. Rather than simply focusing on characterizing the teaching practices in classrooms, this study works to explicitly measure the instructorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s use of various discourse moves that guide student thinking and learning. The specific conversational strategies that instructors use to foster development and understanding of content knowledge are called Teacher-Initiated Discourse Moves (TDMs). Through the transcription of classroom video data, qualitative code development of TDMs, and analysis, their specific implications can be determined. There are two objectives of this study: characterize the nature of TDMs in reformed undergraduate STEM learning environments and to develop classroom discourse observation protocol (CDOP) to quantify TDMs in these environments. For qualitative data analysis, 14 literature review based codes have been generated and 8 codes were added based on six class transcripts. The 22 codes will be validated using video data collected from 31 STEM undergraduate class sessions. The broader implications of this study are to further understand which moves students learn best from and increase the frequency of those moves by developing an educational plan with the opportunity to train faculty members on the most effective discursive practices.

Organic Light Emitting Devices (OLEDs) are at the forefront of display technology. In addition to their superior picture quality, they allow for the fabrication of thin, light, and efficient displays. OLED technology is also used in lighting applications to create efficient light sources with tunable color temperature. Blue emitters currently present the biggest challenge to the OLED industry due to their short lifetimes and poor efficiencies relative to green and red OLEDs. Because of this, a major goal in the OLED industry is to find new blue emitter molecules to improve device stabilities and lifetimes. Fabricating OLEDs to test these emitters is time consuming and expensive, while solution based testing could save both time and money. Monitoring photoluminescence (PL) of an emitter in solution is investigated as a method to study and compare the stability and lifetimes of different emitter molecules. The results of these solution based tests can be compared to the performance of the emitters in solid state devices to determine if solution PL data can be used as a metric for OLED performance.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 143


Leah Vaughn

Savanna VerBout

Fisheries, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: John Fieberg Mentor's Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Chun Wang Mentor's Department: Biomedical Engineering Research Partner: Leah Novik

Spatial and Temporal Partitioning of Carnivores in Northern Minnesota

Assessing the Role of Biocompatible Polymer Wafers in Aiding Gene Transfection

Carnivores play an important role in their environment by establishing community structure and dynamics through top-down processes. Understanding the role of predators in communities is important for predicting how ecosystems will respond following predator loss or restoration. Here, we sought to understand how carnivore species (i.e. marten (Martes americana), fisher (Pekania pennanti), bobcat (Lynx rufus), grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), wolf (Canis lupus), and coyote (C. latrans)) that have overlapping diets and habitat requirements in Minnesota can co-exist. We hypothesized that 1) species that have similar habitat requirements will exhibit different temporal activity patterns, and 2) species which exhibit similar temporal activity patterns will occupy different areas. We summarized the diel activity patterns of carnivore species from camera trap data collected in northern Minnesota during fall 2016. Red fox, grey fox, and coyote displayed similar activity patterns (all were most active at night), but demonstrated spatial avoidance. Grey fox and red fox were present at only 6 and 3 out of the 19 stations where coyotes were observed and had higher activity levels at additional 19 and 15 stations where coyotes were absent. Other species, such as the fisher and marten, displayed temporal portioning within coniferous-dominated forest habitat. Fishers were present at 15 out of 20 stations where martens were observed, but at different times of day than the marten. Temporal and spatial portioning can serve as a mechanism leading to niche differentiation of interspecific species, and can offer an explanation for how these species can co-exist.

Vaccinations are successful medical interventions against diseases and have virtually eradicated many illnesses. Currently, vaccines are administered via injections or ingested, but these methods are not compatible with newly-developed vaccines that use biologics such as proteins and plasmids. These macromolecules are delivered through gene transfection, in which the cell itself produces the molecule of interest, thus providing immunity. This project examines the use of non-ionic, mucoadhesive polymer matrices for transfection of cells with DNA polyplexes. Through the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmids on NIH3T3 fibroblasts, transfection efficiency can be determined based on degree and amount of fluorescence. Various non-ionic polymers that allow for both polyplex stabilization and delivery to mucosal membranes were screened based on their transfection efficiency. Previous experiments have shown positive transfection above the control when using Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) wafers, verified by fluorescence microscopy. Current research focuses on the quantification of transfection efficiency in varying environments through flow cytometry. The effects of differing serum concentrations, forms of PVA, and polyplex addition are being tested to determine optimal wafer composition and method of administration. The eventual goal of this research is to use such polymers in a clinical setting for sublingual gene delivery in patients.

144 | University of Minnesota


Grace Vieth

Sophia Vrba

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Jeffry Simpson Mentor's Department: Psychology

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Yuying Liang Mentor's Department: Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

A Study Partner Intervention to Improve Well-being

Development of a Pichinde Virus-Based Vaccine Vector for the Treatment of Tuberculosis

The purpose of the current study is to examine whether a structured opportunity for students to form friendships within discussion sections will lead to increased well-being, feelings of social-belongingness, course engagement, and academic outcomes within the course. We specifically expect that introverted students will show the most benefit from the intervention. Introduction to Psychology students (N=400) were assigned study partners and asked to take surveys at three points across the semester to track changes in reported well-being and other variables listed above. Students in the experimental condition were instructed to complete a short get to know you activity with a fellow student and then subsequently encouraged to meet with their study partner throughout the semester. The surveys enable me to test whether individuals in the experimental groups have a better well-being, course engagement, and stronger friendships than individuals in the control groups. If my predictions are supported, study partner assignments could be implemented across discussion sections in Psychology 1001 and other predominantly-freshman courses. Students who build strong social connections at the beginning of college are more likely to thrive throughout the rest of their college careers.

Tuberculosis (TB), caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. The current vaccine for TB, the BCG vaccine, is only effective against the most severe forms of childhood disseminated TB and has limited effectiveness in adults and adolescents. Therefore, there needs to be another effective prophylactic and therapeutic method. To address this need, a trisegmented Pichinde Virus-Based Vaccine Vector (rP18tri) was developed for the prevention and/or treatment of TB. Control of TB infection is mediated primarily by cellular immune responses, and the rP18tri-based viral vector can strongly induce both humoral and cellular immunity. The virus vector is composed of three single strands of RNA. The L RNA segment contains the RNA polymerase and the Z protein; S1 contains the nucleoprotein in the negative sense, and the TB antigen, Ag85, in the positive sense; S2 contains the envelope glycoprotein precursor in the positive sense, and the TB antigens EsxA and EsxH in the negative sense. The vaccine vector plasmids were created through traditional cloning techniques and the live viral vaccine was generated after plasmid transfection. Expression of the three TB antigens, Ag85, EsxA, and EsxH, in the viral vaccine-infected cells was detected by western blot analysis with TB antiserum. A survival assay was preformed on immunized mice challenged with an infectious strain of TB to assess protection. Future experiments will include direct flow cytometry (FACs) to characterize the rP18tri-induced TB-specific T cell immune response.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 145


Brandon Wagner

Xinran Waibel

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Timothy O'Connell Mentor's Department: Integrative Biology and Physiology

Computer Science, Mathematics College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Eric Shook Mentor's Department: Geography, Environment & Society

Free Fatty Acid Receptor 4 is Required for an Adaptive Response to Pathological Pressure Overload-Induced Heart Failure in Mice

Scaling Big Geospatial Data Analytics using Spark

Previously the O’Connell lab showed that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) prevents interstitial fibrosis and pathological remodeling in the transverse aortic constriction (TAC) model of pressure overload induced heart failure. The conventional mechanism of action for EPA is membrane incorporation, however, EPA is not incorporated into the membranes of cardiac myocytes or fibroblasts in vivo. The lab then found that a G-protein coupled receptor for long-chain fatty acids, free fatty acid receptor 4 (Ffar4), was expressed in cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts. In primary cultured cardiac fibroblasts, Ffar4 was sufficient and required to block TGFβ1-induced fibrosis, indicating that Ffar4 may regulate the cardioprotective effects of EPA. To investigate Ffar4’s functionality in the heart in vivo, we studied Ffar4 knockout (Ffar4KO) mice without EPA supplementation after TAC. In male Ffar4KO mice, TAC produced a greater pathological response compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Specifically, TAC generated greater hypertrophy in male Ffar4KO mice, and led to worse systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Yet TAC did not produce greater interstitial fibrosis in male Ffar4KO mice compared to WT mice. Our data suggest that Ffar4 is required for an adaptive response to pathological pressure overload in male mice. The absence of a more severe fibrotic response in our Ffar4KO mice was unexpected due to our previous results indicating that Ffar4 prevents TGFβ1-induced fibrosis, a result that suggests that the worsened contractile dysfunction in Ffar4KO mice is independent of fibrosis and involves a direct effect on cardiac myocytes.

Forest (For Expressing Spatial-Temporal) is a domain-specific language that adds parallel spatio-temporal computing to Python and is designed for parallelizing spatial data processing using a combination of primitives and patterns. However, Python has several disadvantages that affect the performance of Forest. The main issue is that Python, as an interpreted language, has a much slower execution speed than compiled languages such as C and C++. As a result, the speed of Forest slows down substantially when large amounts of spatial data have to be accessed in parallel. Therefore, Apache Spark, an open-source big data processing framework, is implemented as a computational backend for Forest, and Apache Avro, a data serialization framework that supports rich data structures, is adopted in order to process data from Geotiff files and shapefiles in Apache Spark.

146 | University of Minnesota


Sereen Waletski-Nazzal

Lindsey Walker

Physiology, American Indian Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Carter Meland Mentor's Department: American Indian Studies

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Abdi Warfa Mentor's Department: Biology, Teaching, and Learning

Implications of Historical Trauma

Instructional Practices in Reformed Undergraduate STEM Learning Environments: A Study of Instructor and Student Behaviors in Biology Courses

Health disparities in native communities today are undoubtedly related to effects of historical trauma, which is described as the wounding of generations due to traumatic experiences such as boarding schools, forced displacement, and genocide. Responses to this distress manifest in various social issues including abuse, depression, domestic violence, and suicide. A comprehensive understanding of historical trauma is required to understand the current state of these communities. As this transcends generations, the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Native American populations is important to consider and can be viewed as an indication of historical trauma. ACEs refer to traumatic events that occur during childhood, such as abuse and neglect. In Minnesota, it was found that 27% of Native Americans report high ACE scores as opposed to only 7% in the white population. Additionally, health conditions that are pervasive in native communities, such as depression, anxiety, diabetes, and obesity, are all positively correlated with ACE scores. While these disparities are extensively documented, they are not truly addressed in the clinical setting. However, the possibility of using mind-body healing - a holistic approach that emphasizes the interconnection of the mind, body, and spirit - is promising. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) provides the largest program in the world to train others in mind-body medicine techniques. Their model directly addresses population-wide trauma and is designed to integrate these techniques into the cultural healing traditions of communities. This project investigates the impacts of historical trauma, current interventions, and clinical considerations.

There is strong evidence that active-engagement instruction positively affects student achievement outcomes and success in undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Previous studies have used classroom observation protocols to compare and characterize the range of STEM teaching practices in mostly traditional lecture classrooms to active learning classrooms. This study examined the instructional practices occurring in an active learning oriented undergraduate STEM learning environment at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Thirteen STEM faculty and 37 video-recorded class sessions were analyzed using the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS). Instructors guided students (58.4%) almost three times more than they lectured (20.4%) in an average class session. In contrast, students spent roughly equivalent amounts of time listening (35.4%), working individually or in groups (36.5%), and talking to the whole class (20.7%). Further analysis showed statistically significant variations in student and instructor behaviors between instructors. Finally, grouping of instructor guiding behaviors allowed us to develop an illustrative model that demonstrated high active-engagement classrooms having more dynamic behaviors than moderate active-engagement classrooms. Instructors in this study used multiple active-learning strategies to create learning environments where students can construct an understanding of sophisticated STEM concepts. Although instructors in this study used many evidence-based teaching strategies to promote student behavioral engagement, there were still missed opportunities for students to independently think and talk about biology. Insights from these findings have implications for improving evidence-based teaching practices in STEM departments.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 147


Ruyuan Wan

Emily Wang

Statistical Practice College of Liberal Arts June 2018 Mentor: Meng-Hsuan Wu Mentor's Department: Statistics

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Richard Lee Mentor's Department: Psychology

Amazon Fine Food Reviews Analysis and Recommendation System

Sociocultural and Genetic Influences on Binge Drinking Among Asian American College Students

The problem I am going to solve is how to help users select products which they may like and to make a recommendation to stimulate sales and increase profits. Inspired by the recommendation system of online shopping, which is very magic and convenient for most customers, I plan to analysis a large amount shopping records and develop a recommendation system. First, I decided to choose the Amazon Fine Food Reviews dataset which consists of 568,454 food reviews Amazon users left up to October 2012 as my dataset. Second, my recommendation system is based on users rating prediction and the correlations between food items and each customer. Then, I implemented several models and algorithms, like collaborative filtering and sparse matrix to achieve my goal.

Rates of alcohol abuse are significantly increasing among Asian American young adults. While the unique experience of the "Asian Flush" (i.e., the ALDH2 gene) has a protective effect on alcohol use, this effect is diminished in the college population. This study examines the protective mechanism of the ALDH2 gene, specifically if it weakens the relationship between sociocultural and peer predictors and binge drinking among Asian American college students. Asian American college students (N = 72; 61 females; ages 18-24 years) completed measures of acculturation, ethnic identity, peer alcohol use, "Asian Flush" symptoms, and binge drinking. Symptoms of "Asian Flush" did not moderate the association between any of the sociocultural and peer factors and likelihood of binge drinking. However, we found a significant interaction between being teased about the "Asian Flush" and ethnic identity behavioral engagement, and this effect was replicated with two different measures of ethnic identity behavioral engagement (exp(B)s = .253, .143; ps < .05, .01). Increased teasing about "Asian Flush" was a protective factor for individuals with high ethnic identity engagement but a risk factor for those with low ethnic identity engagement. Instead of biological mechanisms, the psychological experience of the "Asian Flush" significantly impacted binge drinking.

148 | University of Minnesota


Kathleen Wang

Ziyuan Wang

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Courtney Aldrich Mentor's Department: Medicinal Chemistry

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Ford Denison Mentor's Department: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Empirical and Computational Studies Drive Complete Understanding of the Mechanism of Silane-Mediated Reductions of Phosphine Oxides

Characterizing the Relationship Between Genotype and Phenotype in Sympatric Bradyrhizobium a Varying in the Tendency to Accumulate Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in Soybean Nodules

Phosphorus(III) compounds are widely used in organic chemistry as catalysts to promote a wide range of reactions. Frequently, these reactions rely on the strength of the phosphorus-oxygen to drive the reaction to completion, resulting in the generation of stoichiometric amounts of phosphorus(V) oxides which frequently complicate purification of desired products. Current work in this field has focused on the in-situ regeneration of the active phosphorus(III) catalyst with reported by employing silanes as a chemoselective reductant. Recently, we disclosed the discovery of a novel silane reducing agent, 1,3-diphenyldisiloxane (DPDS), which presents unparalleled chemoselectivity with mild conditions, placing it at the forefront of green, industrially-desired phosphine oxide reductions. However, during our efforts to compare this novel reduction system with previously-reported silane-mediated reductions, we noted that the kinetic schemes governing these reductions did not correlate with the purported mechanism. Instead, we propose an alternative mechanism that proceeds through a lower-energy, 6-membered transition state, featuring a stabilizing hydrogen bond between the phosphine oxide and the reducing agent, in addition to the hydride transfer typical of these reactions. To further probe the mechanistic underpinnings of this reaction, empirical and computational experiments were conducted to identify key electronic and energetic effects. Herein we report kinetic and thermodynamic evidence that corroborates experimentally-observed trends and supports our proposed mechanism.

Rhizobia are gram-negative bacteria that form a symbiotic relationship with legume plant hosts. When they live freely in the soil, they reproduce freely and experience natural selection. While in root nodules on plant roots, they are able to convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, which can then be assimilated into various components essential for plant growth. When the environment provides limited carbon or oxygen, many bacteria, including rhizobia can produce a polymer composed of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), that can act as the reservoir of energy. The ability to produce PHB differs among strains, and one possible cause is the genes that regulate the production of PHB. An alternative hypothesis is differences in genes related to alternate energy sinks, including N2 fixation. The goal of this project is to first develop and systemize the method of DNA sequencing of rhizobia genes, starting with 16S ribosomal RNA. These are standard methods but not currently used in the Denison lab. The next step is to apply this method to sequence selected genes of single colony isolates of the root nodules collected from Bradyrhizobium spp. and compare the results to see whether there is a connection between the difference in PHB accumulation and sequence differences in several target genes.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 149


Riley Wedan

Margaret Werba

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Karina Quevedo Mentor's Department: Psychiatry

Psychology, Human Resources Devevlopment College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Deniz Ones Mentor's Department: Psychology

Neurofeedback Using Images of Self in Adolescents with Varying Depressive Symptoms

A Personality Model of Test Anxiety

We tested whether neurofeedback (NF) targeting self-processing cues (i.e. the self face) could affect levels of depression and rumination in teens with depressive symptoms. Negative self-processing is a core symptom of depression and predicts suicide, the third leading cause of death for adolescents in the US. NF using Real-Time Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging allowed us to give feedback to patients as they viewed their own face and recalled arousing positive memories and attempted to change activity in neural structures that support self-processing (amygdala and hippocampus). Severity of depression (CDRS) was obtained at intake. NF from the amygdala and hippocampus was provided to 53 adolescents, [Healthy (CDRSâ&#x2030;¤42, N=31) and Depressed (CDRS>42, N=22)]. Adolescents attempted to change their brain activity when they saw their own face, or counted backwards (CB) and received no feedback when viewing an unfamiliar face. Regressions in SPM12 tested which brain areas (after subtracting the CB condition from the NF condition) were associated with change in rumination and depression after NF. Rumination change was associated with higher activity in parietal lobe and supramarginal gyrus (NF-CB). Rumination change for participants with higher depression at intake was associated with lower activity in the superior and inferior parietal lobules (NF-CB). For participants with lower depression at intake, change in depression was associated with higher activity in cuneus and precuneus (NF-CB). Higher CDRS was associated with higher activity in midline cortical and limbic structures (NF-CB). We conclude that there are interesting short-term effects of neurofeedback that require further investigation.

The goal of the present study was to find a personality model that can predict test anxiety. In large amounts, test anxiety has been shown to be detrimental to academic performance. However, there has been no research on how the ten aspects of the Big Five personality traits and the different dimensions of perfectionism relate to test anxiety. The present study used a combination of questionnaires in a survey to find where subjects fall on the ten Big Five aspects, nine dimensions of Perfectionism, and test anxiety. We collected data from a combination of participants of all ages via Amazonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mechanical Turk and undergraduate students via the Psychology REP program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Multiple regression analyses and model selection procedures were conducted to find a model of personality factors that best predict test anxiety.

150 | University of Minnesota


Daija Williams

Samuel Willard

Communications University of Minnesota Crookston May 2018 Mentor: Megan Bell Mentor's Department: Liberal Arts and Education

Plant and Microbial Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Jonathan Schilling Mentor's Department: Plant and Microbial Biology

Does Social Media Influence College Student GPA

Itasca in a Bottle: Understanding the Role of Bacteria in Wood Decomposition Reactions

My research question asks the following: Is there a correlation between grade point average (GPA) and time spent using social media? Current research shows that there is positive correlation between social media use and academic performance. The results will identify if there is a positive correlation on a laptop university campus. This research can be beneficial to most current college students or future college students as well as parents who will utilize the results. The findings of this study can help college students understand social mediaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s influence on their college GPAs. This study is highly important as it could affect future college students if social media has a negative impact on academic performance. The survey has been distributed campus-wide with currently 190 student responses. My first hypothesis is that students who use social media for academic purposes there will have a positive correlation between frequent use of social media with higher college student GPA. My second hypothesis is that non-academic use of social media will positively correlate with lower college student GPAs. There has not been a current study related to college student GPA and social media.

Every time a tree falls, different fungal and bacterial decomposers begin to break down the wood. The overall goal of breaking down plant material for growth for each individual colony is similar across most species. However, the mechanism by which each of these decomposers varies greatly. Brown and white rots make up the category of fungal decomposers and differ in the way they break down wood. Brown rot produces soil which is free of carbohydrates while circumventing lignin. White rot, on the other hand, can break down lignin to access sugars. Both fungi are common in northern forests and have various factors which contribute to the type of tree they colonize. Another key contributor in the process of decomposition is bacteria. Although the bacteria associated with decay work along with fungi, bacteria do not typically produce lignin-degrading enzymes and generally produce very low activities of the enzymes required to decay wood. We have learned in the last few years that 'cheater' bacteria in systems like wood can live productively by stealing sugars from decay fungi, notably brown rot fungi that are 'loose' with their mechanisms. We hypothesized that fungal productivity is limited by bacteria, because of their ability to steal unprocessed sugars. Furthermore, we hypothesized that different bacteria will have a different effect on fungal decomposition. In this home and away study, we measured the decomposition productivity of two brown-rot and two white-rot fungal species in the presence of familiar bacteria versus those found with the opposite fungal group.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 151


Joshua Wissbroecker

Sara Wixon

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering December 2018 Mentor: Max Harper Mentor's Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Christine Salomon Mentor's Department: Center for Drug Design

Creating a Better Natural Language Recommender User Experience

Rot, Wilt, & Blight: Reducing Copper Sulfate Toxicity with Natural Products

Recommender systems, systems that predict new material for a person, such as Netflix, are well established for web-based interfaces, but little has been done to use natural language queries as a mode of interaction. A traditional recommender system would likely offer a combination of checkboxes and text-boxes allowing a user to select genre, tags, actors, etc, in order to form a search query, but with a natural language query, a user would say something like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Show me some funny movies with Jennifer Aniston in them.â&#x20AC;? A natural language recommender would then have to find a way to parse out the fact that the user wants Jennifer Aniston to be an actor in the movie, and the movie should be funny, and then return a list of recommendations that match this search. This study is focused on exploring how users prefer to interact with natural language recommenders, in the context of movie recommendations. To conduct this study, a prototype system was iterated on and developed to use for the study. The prototype system consists of an Amazon Echo that participants can speak to, in addition to a television that displays any search results. The system uses two separate conditions, one in which the Echo talks back to the user in addition to the television display, and one in which the Echo is silent and all information is conveyed visually. Study participants will evaluate both conditions and provide feedback about which condition is preferred and why it is preferred.

Copper sulfate is a commonly used fungicide that can have toxic effects on the environment, especially in aquatic ecosystems. As a heavy metal, copper accumulates in the soil, run-off pollutes freshwater systems, and target organisms have started to exhibit copper resistance. One way to decrease copper sulfate toxicity is by combining it with other antifungals, yielding additive or synergistic interactions. We tested the antifungal supernatant of Streptomyces CES-254B with copper sulfate against fungal plant pathogens. Here we show that there was little evidence for a positive interaction between copper sulfate and the supernatant. In most cases, the antifungal effects of the supernatant were dubious alone, and inconclusive with copper sulfate. The results demonstrate that the supernatant produced under the culture conditions tested may have limited antifungal activity. Secondary metabolites, like the antifungal secreted by Streptomyces CES-254B, can be difficult to elicit in conventional laboratory conditions and vary greatly depending on the culture conditions. Nevertheless, natural products remain an attractive source of antifungals and further manipulation of culture conditions could be more fruitful.

152 | University of Minnesota


Alicia Wong

Wing Yi (Pinki) Wong

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences December 2018 Mentor: Emilyn Alejandro Mentor's Department: Integrative Biology and Physiology

Computer Science College of Liberal Arts December 2018 Mentor: Somayeh Dodge Mentor's Department: Geography, Environment, and Society Research Partner: Kerri Newcomer

The Role of OGT in Pancreatic Islet Health and Development

Visual Analytics of Movement Data

The specific deletion of O-GlcNac Transferase (OGT), a nutrient-sensor enzyme in pancreatic β-cells, results in diabetes (severe hyperglycemia) and functional β-cell failure. Because it is the sole enzyme that catalyzes an O-GlcNAcylation modification on proteins critical to β-cell health (i.e. transcription factor Pdx1), we hypothesized that OGT plays a central role in pancreatic and islet cell development. To test this hypothesis, OGT was deleted separately in pancreatic (Pdx1Cre, OGTKOPanc) and endocrine (Ngn3Cre, OGTKOEndo) progenitors in mice. We demonstrated that in the absence of OGT in the pancreatic progenitors, neonates display pancreatic agenesis and significant reduction in β-cell mass, which may be attributed to increased apoptosis. Additional deletion of p53, an anti-tumor protein, in OGTKOPanc yielded similar results, suggesting that β-cell loss is independent of p53 function. The few mice that survive into adulthood exhibit a diabetic phenotype, β-cell failure, and reduced β-cell mass. In contrast, mice lacking OGT in endocrine progenitors were seen to have normal pancreas and β-cell mass at birth. Interestingly, α-cell mass seemed to be reduced. As young adults, the same mice became diabetic and showed significant loss of β-cell mass. Together, these data strongly suggest a temporal role of OGT in regulating pancreas and β-cell development. Specifically, deletion of OGT in pancreatic progenitors is detrimental to β-cell development, while deletion in endocrine progenitors, which occur later in development, reduces α-cell mass. These results provide a novel perspective from which to study developmental defects associated with pancreatic agenesis.

The main purpose of this study is to develop and implement open source visual analytic tools to explore movement patterns of animals. In particular, this project advances DYNAMO (an existing prototype software package developed by the faculty mentor) with advanced visual analytic functions and applications for both research and educational purposes. The visualization tools developed through this research will contribute to the understanding of animal’s movement patterns. As a case study, this project will utilize existing GPS tracking data of tigers in Thailand Western Forest Complex, a United Nations World Heritage site. With the development and implementation of visual analytics tools, this project will investigate the following research question: What are the geographic and environmental factors that influence the shape and size of tigers’ home-ranges and their patrolling patterns? In particular, to investigate the above research questions, this project aims at developing and implementing visual analytics functions, including (1) visual analytics of animal home ranges, and (2) visual analytics of animals’ patrolling patterns. The study will generate new insight into the interaction of animals with their environment, and how tigers utilize their home range. It will lead to an open source and publicly available visualization software package, and sharable educational lab materials.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 153


Ryan Wong

Ian Wright

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Banjamin Hackel Mentor's Department: Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Vinod Srinivasan Mentor's Department: Mechanical Engineering

Effect of Linker Composition on Efficiency in Cellular Selection

Flow Visualization and Velocity Measurements in Low Viscosity Jets

Yeast surface display is one of the major techniques used for selection and evolution of binding protein scaffolds against various target molecules [1]. In spite of the advances in cell panning strategies from the Hackel lab [2], weak binders can only be recovered against mammalian cells that express one million target molecules per cell, which is almost ten-fold higher than expression of the majority of cancer targets. The motivation of the project is to study the effect of varying linker length and composition on recovery of weak binders on cells that express fewer target molecules per cell. In this study, linkers with an additional 20 or 40 amino acids using a flexible linker based upon a PAS#1 motif [2] or a new rigid alpha helical EAAAK motif [2] were incorporated into the yeast surface display construct and tested in an EGFR-binding model system. Preliminary data indicates that the addition of either the 20 or 40 amino acid rigid linker provides significant increase in both yield (5.8 ± 1.0% and 3.4 ± 0.9% vs. 0.61 ± 0.01%; p = 0.01 and p = 0.03) and enrichment (105 ± 18 and 119 ± 29 vs. 15 ± 12; p = 0.003 and p = 0.01), indicating that the optimal linker length for such selections has not yet been reached. Additionally, the ability of the rigid linkers to significantly outperform their flexible counterparts suggests that some linker rigidity is beneficial in a cell panning context, possibly due to increased average length imparted by the alpha-helical region. Reference: 1. Case, B. A. & Hackel, B. J. Synthetic and natural consensus design for engineering charge within an affibody targeting epidermal growth factor receptor. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 9999, n/a–n/a (2016). 2. Stern, L. A. et al. Geometry and expression enhance enrichment of functional yeast-displayed ligands via cell panning. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 113, 2328–2341 (2016).

Mixing of a liquid jet into a surrounding fluid is a commonly encountered phenomenon in both natural and engineering systems. Understanding the influence of viscosity ratio on jet stability can help design fluid systems with enhanced mixing characteristics. Experiments were conducted with low viscosity axisymmetric liquid jets to characterize the behavior of instabilities as a function of viscosity ratio. In the experiment, viscosity ratios M (ambient-to-jet) from 1 to 37 were investigated in a constant density environment at jet Reynolds numbers ranging from 500 to 2000. Jet flow was captured using fluorescent dye imaging and hot film velocity measurements. It was found that for a viscosity ratio of 37 the jet exhibited breakup of a helical mode, whereas a matched system with M=1 exhibited typical axisymmetric vortex shedding breakup. The scaling of the non-dimensionalized wavelength of the unstable mode is reported as a function of the Reynolds number, viscosity ratio and non-dimensional boundary layer thickness at the nozzle exit.

154 | University of Minnesota


Corissa Wurth

Corissa Wurth

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Thomas Brothen Mentor's Department: Psychology

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor's Department: Educational Psychology Research Partners: Chanel Flower, Evan Son, Samuel Bullard

The Effect of Class Mode on the Relationship Between Academic Self-Efficacy and Class Performance

Language Differences by Environment in STEM Classroom Engagement Activities

Online classes have become increasingly popular in recent years with 29.7 percent of college students taking online classes currently. As a result, educational research has focused on differences between online and traditional (in-person) classes and performance in said classes. This study focused on academic self-efficacy, how it predicts class performance, and how that differs depending on three class modes (online, in-person/traditional, hybrid). The final grades of students in three class sections of an Introduction Psychology course were compared. Results did not indicate that final points varied significantly between the different class sections. Additional analyses looked at the academic self-efficacy measures used. The literature emphasizes that self-efficacy is best measured when content-specific. Thus, the reliabilities of a longer and shorter version of an academic self-efficacy scale were compared. Reliability was not lost (and actually improved) in the shorter version.

The ESPRIT (Fostering Equitable Science through PaRent Involvement & Technology) project focuses on closing the achievement gap in STEM through engaging classroom activities that seek the involvement of middle school studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; families. More specifically, students are asked to record videos on a social media platform, Flipgrid (Flipgrid.com), to reflect on their learning in science classes. The current article is a branch off the ESPRIT project and focuses on how language and engagement in these video assignments differ when the students record from home (with their families) versus when they record at school. Our analysis will involve viewing a group of middle school studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; submitted Flipgrid videos where they reflect on the prompts posed by their teacher that ask them to reflect on ideas covered in their science class and how they are relevant to their everyday lives. We will code for language that focuses on scientific or on experience-based vocabulary. We predict students would use more experience-based vocabulary when recording the videos at home and more scientific jargon when recording in an academic setting. The purpose of this analysis is to get an idea of how students are reflecting on their science learning and how this reflection is affected by their environment. This work has important implications for the field of education research because it will highlight variations in how students are using social media platform to support their science learning. The outcomes will be important for those interested in teacher practices, home-school connections, and student learning outcomes in STEM.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 155


Kelli Wysoglad

Emily Yaklich

Genetics Cell Biology & Development, Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Melissa Gardner Mentor's Department: Genetics Cell Biology & Development

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Gary Gardner Mentor's Department: Horticultural Science

Phosphoregulation of Kinetochore Proteins Underlies Centromeric Tension Sensing During Metaphase

Characterization of a Hemerythrin Gene in UV-B Photomorphogenesis of Etiolated Arabidopsis Thaliana Seedlings

During mitosis, motors associate with microtubules to exert forces that push spindle poles apart, establishing a mitotic spindle. These pushing forces cause tension in the chromatin that connects oppositely attached sister chromatids. This tension has been hypothesized to act as a mechanical signal that allows the cell to detect chromosome attachment errors during mitosis. However, the magnitude of tension detected by the cell to initiate an error correction response during mitosis has not been measured. Thus, the underlying mechanics of a tension-based error detection pathway remains unknown. Previous work done in our lab generated and measured a gradient in tension over multiple isogenic budding yeast cell lines by genetically altering the magnitude of motor-based spindle forces. This allowed us to quantitatively elucidate the mechanics of a tension-based error detection pathway in mitosis. We found that a decreasing gradient in tension led to an exponentially increasing gradient in rates of kinetochore detachment and anaphase chromosome mis-segregration. This study focuses on further elucidating the mechanism of tension sensing. Previous work has shown Aurora B kinase to be a key effector in tension sensing. Specifically, this work studies the targets of Aurora B. We additionally mutated the Aurora B phosphorylation sites on the target proteins in our wild type and tension mutant strains, so that these sites cannot be phosphorylated. In these strains, a decreasing gradient in tension does not lead to an exponential increase in rates of kinetochore detachment. This furthers our understanding of the mechanism of tension sensing.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are a key component in plant growth, as they fuel photosynthesis, but extreme exposure can be detrimental to the organism. UV-B light (280 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 320 nm) can be especially harmful to plants when overexposure occurs. In etiolated (dark-grown) seedlings of the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana, UV-B inhibits hypocotyl length due to cell cycle arrest caused by photodimer accumulation. Our lab previously found a mutant (named 2B4B) which shows a hyposensitive (less sensitive) hypocotyl response to UV-B. This mutant contains a T-DNA insertion in a gene homologous to a bacterial gene containing a hemerythrin domain. In bacteria, hemerythrin domains absorb UV-B light; however, we do not know if the identified hemerythrin insert is responsible for the 2B4B phenotype or what role the hemerythrin gene plays in higher plants. This project aims to characterize the 2B4B mutant in parallel with T-DNA insertion mutants and RNAi knockdown lines for the hemerythrin gene in order to understand the role of this gene in UV-B photomorphogenesis. First, we carried out UV-B fluence response curves for 2B4B and hemerythrin T-DNA mutants and the hemerythrin RNAi lines. Our second approach was to characterize the growth phenotypes of wild-type plants, 2B4B, hemerythrin T-DNA mutants, and hemerythrin RNAi lines grown in normal light with or without supplemental UV-B light. Finally we tested, mutagen sensitivity for the hemerythrin lines using either bleomycin or mitomycin. Our work will provide a foundation for the characterization of the 2B4B mutant and the hemerythrin gene in Arabidopsis.

156 | University of Minnesota


Serdar Yalvac

Lila Yokanovich

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2020 Mentor: Steven Kass Mentor's Department: Chemistry

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Kaylee Schwertfeger Mentor's Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Determining the Reactivities of Catalysts by UV-spectroscopy

CD44 Signaling is a Key Modulator of Inflammatory Response in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Synthesis in chemistry can make way for useful creations that contribute to our daily lives, especially when reactions are carried out in a systematic and planned way. Species called catalysts are utilized in reactions to attain more efficient results in shorter periods of time. While increasing product selectivity sustainability, they also decrease cost by speeding up chemical transformations. Following a biologically and environmentally friendly procedure helps enhance sustainability by reducing energy usage. Since these catalysts have beneficial environmental effects, thoroughly analyzing their properties is necessary, so they can be utilized in an effective way. My research mainly focuses on this aspect. In particular, I synthesized a sensor that responds differently to catalysts with varying structures. The catalystsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; sensitivity to the sensor was explored with a UV spectrometer through titration. The effect of acidity on the change in peak wavelength values were reflected on the spectrums, specifying which species are more reactive, and therefore more efficient. By experimenting with several acids and thioureas, a large amount of data was obtained. Different trends of wavelength vs concentration were seen. This relates to the acidities of their reaction sites, which might lead to more complicated results depending on specific band gap energies. More samples were analyzed to have a better idea on this phenomenon, and how it works with different structures. All in all, my research examined the reactivity of different catalyst by using a sensor for UV spectroscopy measurements. Thus, I was able to determine their efficiencies to maximize their usefulness.

During breast cancer progression, tumor cells produce soluble factors that contribute to alterations in the extracellular matrix (ECM). In doing so, tumor cells create a cancerized microenvironment that facilitates further growth and metastasis. Previous studies by our laboratory have implicated various ECM components as facilitators of tumor cell proliferation and survival, the most notable of which is the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA). Specifically, the fractionation of HA has been linked to increased tumor burden and lower survival rates. This study will focus on CD44, which is a major receptor for HA. CRISPR-Cas9 technology was utilized to create a CD44 knockdown model in Hs578T and MB-MDA-231 cells, which are triple negative breast cancer cell lines. Initial analysis of these cells demonstrated increased production of inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, we hypothesized that CD44 signaling is a critical inflammatory modulator in breast cancer tumor progression. The results of this study have demonstrated increased activation of the NFkB pathway, along with increased RNA expression levels of CXCL1, which is a potent neutrophil chemoattractant, by CD44 knockdown cell lines. Future directions include examining CD44 knockdown cells in vivo to determine whether increased levels of CXCL1 results in neutrophil recruitment and stunted tumor growth. Further understanding the role CD44 plays in tumor growth and survival has the potential to impact future therapeutic approaches in triple negative breast cancer.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 157


Maxwell Yurs

Mrunal Zambre

Physics College of Continuing and Professional Studies, College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Lindsay Glesener Mentor's Department: Physics and Astronomy

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2020 Mentor: Gordon Legge Mentor's Department: Psychology

Investigation of Radiation Detector Design Validity Using Geant4 (MEGAlib) Simulations for the EXACT CubeSat

Evaluating the Visual Accessibility of Stairs in Public Spaces

The Cesium Iodine Thallium-doped Incident Energy Spectrometer (CITIES) is a high energy radiation detector for the Experiment for X-ray Characterization and Timing (EXACT) small satellite and other platforms. This work presents the findings from creating and implementing a simulation of the CITIES detector using the MEGAlib toolkit to characterize its response through Monte Carlo methods in Cosima, a Geant4 based simulator. The response was analyzed through Revan, Mimrec, and Spectralyzer, three analyzers within MEGAlib. This simulation will be used to determine ideal variations to CITIES for different applications.

Approximately 14 million Americans aged 12 years or older have self-reported visual impairment, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Visual impairment has a high prevalence in old age, hence, mobility hazards, such as stairs, pose a major challenge to this group. This challenge is not well recognized by architects while designing indoor steps. In this project, I am proposing that there are certain factors, such as low contrast, and poor contrast, in the design of steps and their interactions that make their visibility difficult. HDR images of stairs in university buildings, which aim to capture the contrast sensitivity of the human eye, are processed using a pre-programmed MATLAB code. The stimuli factors included in the images are distance from the stairs, natural/artificial lighting in the space, and viewpoint (from top/bottom). Images are filtered to four levels of reduced visual acuity, simulating the corresponding levels of visual impairment. Human subjects will be asked to analyze the visibility of the filtered images using a rating test. Their judgments will be analyzed to determine which photographs were rated most visible. This would help decide factors in the design of the stairs that were most helpful in improving the detectability of the steps. The expectation is that these factors that preserve the contrast in the critical transition regions of the steps are associated with better visibility of the steps. The results of this study would be beneficial to architects to increase their understanding of factors that affect the visibility of stairs.

158 | University of Minnesota


Xinger Zeng

Yiwen (Ophelia) Zhang

Plant Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Dec 2018 Mentor: Cindy Tong Mentor's Department: Horticulture

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Oscar Baldelomar Mentor's Department: Social Science

Can the Production of Cauliflower be Increased During Summer in Minnesota?

A Structural Equation Model: The Influence of Family Relationship on Sense of Coherence among Chinese International Students

In order to promote the summer production of cauliflowers, an experiment was taken with using heat-resistant variety to produce cauliflower curds. Treatments include vernalization, Solar Ice plastic, different location experiment plots, and controls.

As the number of Chinese international students rapidly increases in U.S. colleges, it becomes important to understand the factors that contribute to their mental health, especially during their first semester of adjustment to the new culture. This study tested the expectation that family relations predict Chinese international students’ sense of coherence (SOC, the overall capacity of handling tension derived from life stressors), with sociocultural adaptation working as a mediator during their first semester. Data were collected from a cohort of 34 freshman Chinese international students at the beginning and at the end of their first semester, at a university in the Midwest. Participants completed self-report questionnaires that included the SOC scale, the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales measuring parent-child relationship, and the Sociocultural Adaptation Scale measuring adjustment performance. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) confirmed the hypothesis that family relationship was a potential predictor of Chinese international students’ SOC through their first semester while the process of acculturation was predictive of their SOC and mediated the impacts of parent-child relationship on students’ SOC. This study contributes to an understanding of the literature on the association of well-being and family relationship from the perspective gathered from Antonovsky’s theory of SOC in the sample of Chinese international students.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 159


Tab Zhang

Ziyue Zhang

Computer Science College of Liberal Arts Dec 2019 Mentor: Michael Levin Mentor's Department: Civil Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Nursing School of Nursing May 2018 Mentor: Rozina Bhimani Mentor's Department: Nursing

Variable Speed Limits

Efficacy of Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid Compared to Cytology-Based Cervical Cancer Screening for Detecting the Precancerous Changes in Women

Connected autonomous vehicles (CAVs) improve traffic flow and reduce the environmental impact by advancing the use of Variable Speed Limits (VSLs), speed limits that change based on road, traffic, and weather conditions. Enforcing VSLs helps reduce traffic congestion and reduce environmental impacts, but the effectiveness is limited when used with human-driven vehicles because human drivers have limited precision in maintaining speed limits. Although CAVs could easily comply with VSLs, it will be a long time before they reach full market penetration. Our objective is to study VSLs under partial CAV market penetration, when there are both compliant vehicles (ie. CAVs) and non-compliant vehicles (human-driven vehicles) on the road. Compliant vehicles follow VSLs but non-compliant vehicles maintain free flow speed when possible. In some cases, compliant vehicles may form a moving bottleneck to enforce VSLs for non-compliant vehicles. The main component of this study is the development of a cell transmission model with moving bottlenecks formed through VSLs.

Early detection is the key to preventing cervical cancer before it turns into invasive cancer. While effective cytology-based screening programs have led to a significant reduction in the morbidity and mortality rates, visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid is widely recommended for cervical cancer screening in the developing countries. Objectives: This paper presents a literature review of current evidence on accuracy and efficacy of visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid and Pap smear in women between the age of 18 and 65. Methods: The Ovid Medline and the PubMed databases were searched from January 1998 to June 2017 using a combination of keywords. A total of 8 original research studies were eligible for the review. Results: Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values estimates of visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid ranged from 0.37 to 0.96, 0.08 to 0.95, 0.57 to 0.93 and 0.88 to 0.97 whereas those of Pap smears ranged from 0.10 to 0.75, 0.60 to 0.97, 0.76 to 0.99, 0.43 to 0.97, respectively. The cost of visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid in detecting a true lesion is lower ($4.93 to $14.75) compared to that of cytology ($50-$200). Conclusions: Visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid has favorable characteristics that could be valuable in the detection of precancerous lesions of the cervix in low-resource settings. It is more affordable, requires fewer resources, and has higher sensitivity. Yet, false positive results are common in visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid, which may lead to high rates of unnecessary referrals and overtreatment.

160 | University of Minnesota


Kasey Zhou Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Atsushi Asakura Mentor's Department: Neurology

Conditional Gene Knockout of VEGF Receptor-1 (Flt-1) on Muscle Regeneration Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive muscle disorder resulting in the loss of the dystrophin-associated complex and thus muscle damage due to the absence of dystrophin. Since vascular smooth muscle also lacks dystrophin, angiogenesis, the growth of blood vessels, and myogenesis, the formation of muscular tissue, serve as two essential targets in potential DMD therapy to alleviate the characteristic muscle phenotype in DMD. Vascular endothelial growth factor, VEGF, is a mitogen for vascular endothelial cells. VEGF and its negative receptor, Flt-1, regulate angiogenesis through inhibition of VEGF-induced mitogenesis. Previous research confirmed that heterozygous knock-out of Flt-1 in mice resulted in elevated angiogenesis and increased vascular density. In terms of myogenesis, possible therapies include muscle stem cell transplantation into DMD patients to potentially replace the damaged muscle tissue. As such, muscle stem cells, or satellite cells, migrate, activate their cell cycle to rapidly divide, and fuse with existing fibers to serve as a form of muscle repair. The Asakura lab and other groups previously identified Pax7, exclusively expressed in skeletal muscle stem cells, is down-regulated after myogenic differentiation. Pax7 holds an essential role in regulating the myogenic potential and function of satellite cells. The modification of expression of Pax7 may affect the maintenance skeletal muscle stem cells. This project focuses on studying Flt-1 gene knockout in Pax7-expressing satellite cells and their role in muscle regeneration, as well as the potential for future benefits to cell therapy for DMD patients.

Undergraduate Research Symposium | 161


This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Contact the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education: (612) 626-9425. Undergraduate Research Symposium | 163

2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium Booklet  
2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium Booklet  
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