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2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 1


2 | University of Minnesota


Undergraduate Research Symposium 2016 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, Faculty Director of Undergraduate Research Vicky Munro, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Coordinator Rachel Rodrigue, Assistant to the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Laura Nygren, Communications Associate for Office of Undergraduate Education Kelly Li and Haley Wotzka-Olsen, UROP Graduate Assistants Jessica Schalz and Joseph Halbeck, UROP Undergraduate Assistants Kathryn Gruse, Tyler Meyer, Valeriia Voloshyna, and Erica Yarbrough; OUE Undergraduate Assistants

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is sponsored by: The Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education The College of Biological Sciences The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences The College of Design The College of Education and Human Development The College of Liberal Arts The 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. Kelaine Haas, College of Biological Sciences Josh Borowicz, College of Continuing Education Joel Rudney, School of Dentistry Lucy Reile, 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 Earl Dunham, School of Pharmacy Joe Nieszner, 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.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 3


Symposium Participants

Kayla Boumeester 

21

Martin Branyon  

22

Kelly Braumberger 

22

Simon Brown 

23

Cody Bruggemeyer 

23

Michael Brush 

24

Justin Buksa 

24

Michaela Bunke 

25

Conor Burke-Smith 

25

Session 2, Poster 80 Session 2, Poster 16

A Nakul Aggarwal 

Session 1, Poster 60

Adeel Ahmad 

Session 3, Winchell

Kat Albrecht 

Session 1, Poster 6

Annamarie Allen 

Session 2, Poster 23

12 12 13 13

Nicholas Ambrosius 

14

Matthew Amert 

14

Session 1, Poster 53 Session 4, Poster 46

Brian Anderson 

15

Talia Anderson 

15

Session 2, Poster 31 Session 1, Poster 10

Haley Anderson 

Session 2, Poster 40

16

Janine Andrys 

16

Jacob Arndt 

17

Session 4, Poster 57 Session 3, Winchell

Alyssa Axelrod 

Session 4, Poster 9

17

Session 1, Poster 54

18

Akshina Banerjee  

18

Drake Bauer 

19

Session 1, Poster 5 Session 1, Poster 32

Patrick Becker 

Session 1, Poster 28

Kelsie Becklin 

Session 3, Poster 18

Nicole Biagi 

Session 1, Poster 38

Michael Blazanin 

Session 4, Winchell

4 | University of Minnesota

Session 4, Poster 3 Session 2, Poster 82 Session 3, Poster 10 Session 4, Poster 66 Session 2, Poster 17 Session 1, Poster 61

C Julian Cagnazzo 

26

Riley Capizzi 

26

Samuel Carlson 

27

Eva Carlson 

27

Praloy Carlson 

28

Henry Carras 

28

Yucai Chang 

29

Shanting Chen 

29

Christopher Cheng 

30

Yixuan Cheng 

30

Session 4, Poster 24 Session 1, Poster 62 Session 4, Poster 7 Session 1, Poster 63 Session 3, Poster 27

B Apurva Badithela 

Session 2, Poster 50

19 20 20 21

Session 1, Poster 15 Session 2, Poster 83 Session 1, Poster 29 Session 1, Poster 51 Session 1, Poster 51

Brian Chi 

31

Yoke Ching Chin 

31

Marines Chinchilla 

32

Session 1, Poster 42 Session 4, Poster 62 Session 2, Poster 29


Justine Chu 

32

Session 2, Poster 74

Cynthia Chweya 

33

Session 4, Poster 4

John Connelly 

33

Zachary Cosenza 

34

Bridget Curtin 

34

Session 3, Poster 35 Session 4, Poster 51 Session 4, Winchell

D

E Alexis Elfstrum  

42

Ryan Emenecker 

43

Session 4, Poster 28 Session 3, Poster 12

F Cole Feagler 

43

Session 4, Poster 67

Alexandria Felix 

44

Dona-Carla Forester 

44

Kevin Fox 

45

Session 1, Poster 39

Amanda Dahl 

35

Forrest Dalbec 

35

Rohan De 

36

John Dewey 

36

Alexander Dewey 

37

Sundeep Dhanju 

37

Meg Diedrick 

38

Dillon Diering 

38

Nick Dockendorf 

39

Nina Domingo 

39

Hanna Dort 

40

Lauren Douglas 

40

Matthew Dries 

41

Melissa Drown 

41

Kirthica Dutta 

42

Session 1, Poster 59 Session 4, Poster 44 Session 3, Poster 40 Session 4, Poster 53 Session 1, Poster 1 Session 3, Poster 52 Session 2, Poster 52 Session 4, Poster 38 Session 1, Poster 55 Session 3, Poster 37 Session 1, Poster 69 Session 1, Poster 64 Session 1, Poster 33 Session 2, Poster 53 Session 1, Poster 18

Session 2, Poster 68 Session 4, Poster 50

G Addison Galagan 

45

Ming Gao 

46

Mira Garner 

46

Avery Garon 

47

Alex Garvin 

47

Kate Geschwind 

48

Rachel Gewiss 

48

Shreya Ghoshal 

49

Alexi Glenn 

49

Andrew Gonzales 

50

Madelyn Gray 

50

Elizabeth Grein 

51

Abby Gross 

51

Meghan Grover 

52

Session 2, Poster 2 Session 1, Poster 50 Session 3, Poster 4 Session 4, Poster 69 Session 2, Poster 65 Session 1, Poster 85 Session 4, Poster 15 Session 1, Poster 30 Session 3, Poster 44 Session 2, Poster 18 Session 3, Poster 1 Session 3, Winchell Session 4, Poster 12 Session 2, Poster 20

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 5


Ronny Guerrero 

Session 2, Poster 30

52

H

Reilly Hostager 

63

Alexander Hotz 

64

Session 4, Poster 14 Session 3, Poster 42

Braxton Haake 

53

Austin Hovland 

64

Joesph Habeck 

53

65

Tiffany Hamidjaja 

54

Yinyin Huang  Session 1, Poster 12 Huang Huang  Nathan Huempfner 

66

Samuela Huerta 

66

Kai Hui 

67

Peter Humbert 

67

Noah Hummel-Hall 

68

Session 1, Poster 11 Session 4, Poster 64 Session 4, Poster 40

Sugan Hamud 

Session 4, Poster 11

Nadia Handler 

Session 1, Poster 65

Jessica Hanneman 

Session 4, Poster 26

Amy Harms 

Session 2, Poster 10

Brian Harrison 

Session 1, Poster 66

Session 4, Poster 13

54

Session 2, Poster 33

55

Session 2, Poster 5

55

Session 4, Poster 30

56

Session 4, Poster 65

56

Session 1, Poster 3

Tegan Harty 

57

Allison Harvey 

57

Session 4, Poster 1 Session 2, Poster 34

58

Margaret Haws 

58

Session 1, Poster 67

Paige Hazelton 

Session 2, Poster 54

Megan He 

Session 3, Winchell

Kyle Hemmingsen 

Session 3, Poster 41

Mackenzie Herzig 

Session 1, Poster 68

Louis Hey 

Session 4, Poster 5

Allison Hitchcock 

Session 2, Poster 69

Benjamin Hoenes 

Session 3, Poster 38

Kaelyn Holgerson 

Session 4, Poster 33

Eric Holton 

Session 4, Winchell 6 | University of Minnesota

Victoria Idowu 

Gabriel Jacobs 

69

Jacob Jensen 

69

Christian Jensen 

70

Diana Johnson 

70

Isaac Johnson 

71

Heena Joo 

71

Matthew Jorgensen 

72

Shilvi Joshi 

72

Soojin Jun 

73

Session 3, Poster 26

59

Session 2, Poster 85

60

Session 2, Poster 81

60

Session 2, Poster 75

61

Session 3, Poster 14

61

Session 1, Poster 86

62

Session 2, Poster 56

62

Session 1, Poster 24

63

68

J Session 3, Poster 39

59

65

I Session 2, Poster 24

Hannah Hauan 

Session 1, Poster 35

Session 2, Poster 41


K Sammy Kallenbach 

Session 2, Poster 57

DaHee Kang 

Session 2, Poster 22

Harmanpreet Kaur 

Session 3, Poster 48

Jacob Kautzky 

73 74 74 75

Session 4, Poster 58

Alex Keddy  

Session 4, Poster 56

Katie Kelly 

Session 2, Poster 60

Meg KenKnight Burman  Session 3, Poster 29

Rachel Keszycki 

Session 3, Poster 3

Suboohi Khan 

Session 3, Poster 7

Nicole Kiel 

Session 1, Poster 31

Edward Koleski 

Session 3, Poster 45

Broc Kokesh 

Session 4, Winchell

Gabe Korinek 

Session 4, Poster 47

Amanda Kriese 

Session 1, Poster 16

Stefanie Krueger 

Session 2, Poster 6

Jason Kuennen 

Session 3, Poster 15

Benjamin Kuhnke 

Session 1, Poster 25

John Kurtz 

Session 1, Poster 43

Kelly Kwong 

Session 1, Poster 80

75 76 76 77 77 78 78 79 79 80 80 81 81 82 82

Session 1, Poster 41

Audrey Lane 

Session 4, Poster 31

84

Kai Larsen 

84

An Le 

85

Giang Le 

85

Will Le 

86

Session 3, Poster 5 Session 3, Poster 32 Session 4, Poster 16 Session 3, Winchell Session 4, Poster 68

Alysha Lee 

86

Eng Hock Lee 

87

Samantha Lee 

87

Sujung Lee 

88

Alex Leeds 

88

Session 2, Poster 61 Session 2, Poster 79 Session 3, Poster 16 Session 1, Poster 2 Session 2, Poster 1

Philip Leung 

89

Dante Leyva Lundberg 

89

Shengjie Li 

90

Sheri Li 

90

Session 4, Poster 36 Session 3, Winchell Session 2, Poster 3 Session 3, Poster 19

Christina Lindemann 

91

Cassandra List 

91

Edward Liu 

92

Yang Liu 

92

John Loftus 

93

Tayler Loiselle 

93

Allison Loken 

94

Dylan Loomis 

94

Session 2, Poster 51 Session 2, Poster 32 Session 4, Poster 52 Session 2, Poster 63 Session 2, Poster 64 Session 2, Poster 7

L Justice Lambon 

Matt LaPrade 

83 83

Session 2, Poster 35 Session 2, Poster 70

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 7


Sarah Lucas 

95

Daniel Muldoon 

105

Benjamin Lueck 

95

Mehdijaffer Mulla 

106

John Lundquist 

96

Bhavani Murakonda 

106

Madeline Murphy 

107

Session 4, Winchell Session 4, Poster 22 Session 4, Poster 10

M

Session 2, Poster 55 Session 1, Poster 75 Session 4, Poster 70 Session 1, Poster 17

Ben Ma 

96

N

Zahra Mahamed 

97

Kimberly Nagel 

107

Gregory Mannino 

97

Anant Naik 

108

Qingqing Mao 

98

Aane Nakashima 

108

Sharacol Marcellino 

98

Nikhath Parveen Nazir Ahmed 

109

Session 1, Poster 36

Session 3, Poster 21

Session 3, Winchell Session 4, Poster 37 Session 2, Poster 37 Session 3, Winchell

Alexia Martin 

Session 1, Poster 73

Rachel Marusinec 

Session 3, Poster 20

Logan Massman 

Session 2, Poster 58

Symone McClain 

Session 2, Poster 25

Libby McGraw 

Session 1, Poster 47

Nina Meltzer 

Session 2, Poster 8

99 99 100

Connor Mikre 

Session 1, Poster 34

Scott Miller 

Session 4, Poster 19

Ayesha Mitha 

Session 1, Poster 4

Kalkidan Molla 

Session 4, Poster 43

8 | University of Minnesota

Elizabeth Nelson 

110

Andrea Newell 

110

Session 1, Poster 76

100

Zi Yao Ngai 

111

Jacob Niederer 

111

Session 3, Poster 36

101

Session 4, Poster 29

101

Nikki Niewold 

Session 2, Poster 71

102

Session 3, Poster 27

109

Session 1, Poster 14

Benjamin Meyer  Rebecca Meyer 

Lydia Negussie 

Session 3, Poster 3

102

Session 4, Winchell

Session 3, Poster 49 Session 2, Poster 4

Makaela Mews 

Session 1, Poster 74

Session 3, Poster 1

O Parker O’Brien 

112

John O’Leary 

113

Tori Odhiambo 

113

Alex Odom 

114

Monica Olivier 

114

Bennett Olupo 

115

Session 3, Poster 46

103

Session 2, Poster 77

103

Session 1, Poster 23

104

Session 3, Poster 43

104

Session 3, Poster 33

105

112

Session 4, Poster 21


Jason Ostergaard 

Session 1, Poster 77

115

P

Q Emily Quick 

125

Grant Quilling 

126

Session 4, Poster 21

James Palesch 

116

Praveen Pallegar 

116

Marc Parenteau 

117

Rahul Parhi 

117

Rachael Pearson 

118

Kayla Pederson 

118

Session 4, Poster 59 Session 1, Poster 81 Session 2, Poster 46 Session 2, Poster 78 Session 3, Poster 23 Session 1, Poster 78

Jocelyn Perry 

119

Tyler Peterson  Session 4, Poster 6 Malina Peterson 

119 120

Christopher Phenicie 

120

Session 2, Poster 26

Session 3, Poster 11

Session 3, Winchell

Jamie Piepenburg 

121

Taylor Pitel 

121

Grace Polverari 

122

Akansha Prasad 

122

Nitin Prasad 

123

Grace Pratt 

123

Amy Prichard 

124

Vikram Puram 

124

Hannah Pursley 

125

Session 1, Poster 79 Session 1, Poster 46 Session 1, Poster 7 Session 4, Poster 71 Session 1, Poster 56 Session 4, Poster 8 Session 2, Poster 42 Session 3, Poster 50 Session 2, Poster 43

Session 3, Poster 6

R Melanie Raphael 

126

Natalie Risch 

127

Andre Robinson 

127

Timothy Rose 

128

Brandon Rosen 

128

Margarita Rudenko 

129

Session 2, Poster 39 Session 4, Poster 42 Session 4, Poster 2 Session 4, Poster 39 Session 4, Poster 25 Session 3, Poster 51

Mark Ruprecht 

129

Byron Rusnak 

130

Session 4, Poster 45 Session 1, Poster 37

S Calandra Sagarsky 

Session 4, Poster 20

130

John Sakizadeh 

131

Jason Sakizadeh 

131

Nikita Salovich 

132

Alexander Sarkis 

132

Oren Sasson 

133

Sara Scarbro 

133

Collin Schladweiler  

134

Nicholas Schleif 

134

Amy Schoenhofen 

135

Session 4, Poster 49 Session 4, Poster 17 Session 2, Poster 12 Session 2, Poster 66 Session 3, Poster 30 Session 3, Poster 3 Session 1, Poster 40 Session 4, Poster 54 Session 1, Poster 82

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 9


Peter Schroedl 

135

Jeremy Steinman 

146

Zach Schultz 

136

Spencer Sterling 

147

Mariah Schumacher 

136

Alec Stewart 

147

Daniel Schwalen 

137

Nicole Stumpf 

148

Jordan Sell 

137

David Sundaram 

148

Benjamin Severseike 

138

T

Paul Shafer 

138

Xinci Tan 

149

Iram Shafqat 

139

Ammanuel Taye 

149

Sammy Shaker 

139

Lauren Tebben 

150

Elayna Shapiro 

140

Marissa Thill 

150

140

Tobey Thomas 

Session 1, Poster 58 Session 4, Poster 34 Session 2, Poster 9 Session 3, Poster 28 Session 4, Winchell Session 3, Poster 17 Session 2, Poster 47 Session 2, Poster 44 Session 3, Winchell

Session 2, Poster 13 Session 4, Poster 60 Session 1, Poster 48 Session 2, Poster 21 Session 1, Poster 83

Session 4, Winchell Session 3, Poster 8 Session 1, Poster 44 Session 1, Poster 27

Session 4, Poster 72

Julie Sherman 

Session 2, Poster 65

151

Session 1, Poster 84

Alvin Jia Jie Sim 

141

Thang Tran 

151

Sajya Singh 

141

Audrey Tseng 

152

Jacquelyn Smale 

142

V

Michelle Smeaton 

142

McKenzie van der Hagen 

152

Molly Smith 

143

Alex VanBuren 

153

Dylan Smith 

143

Abigail Vanderheiden 

153

Michael Sobin 

144

Allison VanDerWal 

154

Rachel Soble 

144

Jennifer Vang 

154

Sara Speier 

145

Vanessa Villarroel 

155

Diksha Srishyla 

145

Kathryn Vlasic  

155

Sydnie Stackland 

146

Bhavesh Viswanath  

156

Session 4, Poster 48 Session 2, Poster 45 Session 3, Poster 34 Session 4, Winchell Session 2, Poster 19 Session 3, Poster 47 Session 2, Poster 38 Session 4, Poster 23 Session 4, Poster 2 Session 4, Poster 27 Session 4, Poster 41

10 | University of Minnesota

Session 4, Poster 35 Session 4, Winchell

Session 4, Poster 55 Session 2, Poster 15 Session 3, Poster 9

Session 2, Poster 36 Session 2, Poster 62 Session 2, Poster 84 Session 4, Winchell Session 4, Poster 74


Joseph Voth 

Session 3, Poster 2

156

W

Yihan Wu 

167

Session 2, Poster 14

X

Karoline Wagner 

157

Joy Xie 

Wyatt Wagner 

157

Y

Hezhi Wang 

158

Mengxi (Maggie) Yang 

168

Jay Wang 

158

Qing Yang 

168

Qi Wang 

159

Amy Yi 

169

Selena Wang 

159

Samantha Young 

169

Yue Wang 

160

Z

Erin Weathers 

160

Morgan Zander 

170

Jinchuan Wei 

161

Drew Zasada 

170

Zachary Weinstock 

161

Yingxin Zhong 

171

Rena Weis 

162

Yuqi Zhou 

171

Michaela Wermers 

162

Haleigh Ziebol 

Kendra Wheeler 

163

Thomas Wheeler 

163

Corey Wheelock 

164

Peter Wilkinson 

164

Bridget Williams 

165

Paul Wollersheim 

165

Alyssa Worley 

166

Albert Wu 

166

Session 2, Poster 65 Session 3, Poster 22 Session 1, Poster 57 Session 4, Poster 61 Session 4, Poster 73 Session 1, Poster 20 Session 1, Poster 21 Session 1, Poster 19 Session 4, Poster 63 Session 4, Poster 32 Session 2, Poster 76 Session 3, Poster 24 Session 1, Poster 13 Session 2, Poster 73 Session 2, Poster 48 Session 2, Poster 28 Session 3, Poster 25 Session 1, Poster 49 Session 1, Poster 9 Session 1, Poster 52

167

Session 3, Poster 13

Session 2, Poster 59 Session 4, Poster 18 Session 2, Poster 65 Session 1, Poster 71

Session 1, Poster 72 Session 2, Poster 49 Session 1, Poster 45 Session 2, Poster 67 Session 1, Poster 8

172

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 11


Nakul Aggarwal

Adeel Ahmad

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Jerrold Vitek Mentor’s Department: Neurology

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Anne-Marie Leuck Mentor’s Department: Medicine

Coordinated Reset Deep Brain Stimulation of the Subthalamic Nucleus in Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease: Uncovering Possible Mechanisms and Establishing Efficacy Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is regarded as the gold standard for treatment of advanced stage Parkinson’s disease (PD). Despite its unprecedented efficacy in alleviating PD-associated motor symptoms and restoring normalcy in lives of countless patients, the definitive mechanisms by which DBS functions are still heavily debated. Numerous studies, through a variety of means including primate models, in vivo imaging, and electrical manipulation, have revealed DBS likely operates at multiple mechanistic levels, inhibiting overactive subthalamic neurons, disrupting pathological oscillatory neuronal firing patterns, restoring thalamo-cortical-basal ganglia connectomes, and modulating whole-brain plasticity and connectivity. The emerging synergistic nature of PD pathophysiology has sparked innovation in DBS treatment, including the novel therapy of coordinated reset deep brain stimulation (CR-DBS). As CR-DBS remains a relatively recent advancement, further characterization of its efficacy is needed. Here we report that CR-DBS is not even half as effective as traditional DBS in relieving Parkinsonian symptoms in a primate model. This finding suggests that CR-DBS requires additional study to clearly establish its accompanying physiological actions and true therapeutic benefit. Second, we present an in-cage task apparatus for primate models that may reduce transport-related stress and thus afford more reliable data collection. We hope that future experiments – perhaps with the aid of this novel device – will deepen our understanding of the putative mechanisms of CR-DBS and make way for more streamlined treatments, ultimately leading to enhanced quality of life for the millions affected by PD.

12 | University of Minnesota

Disruption Of Enterococcus Faecalis Biofilms On Ventricular Assist Device Drivelines Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are implantable pumps given to heart failure patients to maintain blood flow. LVADs require an external power source, the driveline, which is connected to the device by a silicone cord. Unfortunately, long term LVAD use is often complicated by infection of the driveline. These infections are caused by biofilms, which are bacteria embedded in an extracellular matrix and adherent to a surface. Enterococcus faecalis is one type of bacteria that causes driveline infections. Enterococcal biofilms are difficult to treat because the extracellular matrix shields the community of bacteria from the host’s immune system and from most antibiotics. Therefore, more effective treatment options are needed. We are evaluating the efficacy of the bacteriophage NPV-1 as a candidate treatment for E. faecalis biofilms in vitro alone or in combination with ampicillin. Silicone disks are incubated in human serum and then placed in liquid cultures of E. faecalis for 24 hours to form biofilms, and then 108 pfu/mL NPV-1 is added for an additional 24 hours. Planktonic cell concentrations are quantified from the liquid medium, and the biofilm cells are removed from the coupons by means of sonication and vortexing. Serial dilutions for quantitative culture are then made from the harvested biofilm and planktonic cells. Analysis of variance will be used to compare the efficacy of NPV-1, ampicillin, and a combination of both. These results may help to guide future, more effective therapies for LVAD driveline infections.


Kat Albrecht

Annamarie Allen

Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Robert Silberman Mentor’s Department: Art History

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Thomas Hays Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Are You Scared?: Analyzing Genre Theory and Audience Engagement in Horror Film

Investigating the Role of TSC1 in Axonal Transport

Looking at the top grossing films in Hollywood, horror films are conspicuously absent. For example, in the year 2013 only one of the top 50 films was marketed as a horror film. This project explores two questions: first, I try to define what makes a horror film a horror film and second, I try to parse out why that matters and to whom. The first part of this research deals with genre theory and trying to identify intersections between horror, comedy, thrillers, and more extreme torture films. The second part of my project asks questions about advertisements, marketing, and theatrical trailers. I argue that different types of horror film pitch themselves differently based on their intended audiences, but more so that this difference can be analyzed through narratives about audience engagement in advertising campaigns. Using a combination of print advertisements, theatrical trailers, scholarly literature, and empirical cinematic statistics I analyze pairs of films in extreme horror, horror-thriller, and comedy horror categories.

Disruption of motor proteins or additional proteins that regulate axonal transport plays a role in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The retrograde motor complex dynein is loaded onto the plus-ends of microtubules found within terminal boutons of Drosophila motoneurons for the transport of cargoes to the cell body. Disruption of dynein results in accumulation of membrane organelles within these terminal boutons. A visual RNAi-based screen was carried out in Drosophila to identify proteins involved in axonal transport of autophagosomes. This screen was based on the phenotypic observation of autophagosome accumulation in terminal boutons. From this screen Tuberous Sclerosis 1 (TSC1) was identified as a potential candidate protein involved in axonal transport of autophagosomes. Mutations in TSC1 or its interacting protein TSC2 can cause tuberous sclerosis, a complex disorder. In Drosophila motoneurons we have found that a general neuronal membrane marker accumulates in addition to autophagosomes when TSC1 is depleted. This suggests that loss of TSC1 causes a general transport defect rather than one specific to autophagosomes. In addition, when TSC1 is depleted in motoneurons we observe a decrease in the percentage of dense core vesicles that travel in a net retrograde direction compared to controls, while their retrograde velocity is unaffected. Currently, we are investigating if TSC2 also plays a role in transport. Additionally, we are testing whether TSC1depletion affects the plus-ends of microtubules on which retrograde cargoes are loaded. Taken together our findings suggest a novel role for TSC1 in regulating general retrograde transport in Drosophila motoneurons. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 13


Nicholas Ambrosius

Matthew Amert

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Brenda Ogle Mentor’s Department: Biomedical Engineering

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering December 2016 Mentor: Abhishek Chandra Mentor’s Department: Computer Science

Improving the Stability of Stimuli Responsive Capsules for Spatiotemporal Delivery of Soluble Factors

Dynamic Peer-to-Peer Edge Cloud for Mobile Devices

Programmable release capsules pioneered by Dr. Michael McAlpine (UMN, ME) allow for precise spatial and temporal control of the delivery of soluble factors to cells in a 2D or 3D environment. The goal of this work is to modify the formulations of these capsules in order to increase their stability in an aqueous environment for longer term cell-based experiments.

This project’s goal is to reduce internet usage, increase battery life, and increase app responsiveness for mobile phones by forming a local peer-to-peer cloud with other nearby phones. With this pure peer-to-peer cloud, phones can exchange app data and information with each other, effectively making the local peers into a cache of data. When an app on the phone needs to retrieve some data from the internet, they have the additional option to access this mobile cloud cache. Because of the locality, this should be faster and more efficient while also saving on battery and internet usage, and initial experimental data reinforces this hypothesis.

14 | University of Minnesota


Brian Anderson

Talia Anderson

Forest and Natural Resource Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Matthew Russell Mentor’s Department: Forest Resources

Geography; Spanish Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Dan Griffin Mentor’s Department: Geography

Stand Dynamics in a 190-Year Old Red Pine Study at the Cloquet Forestry Center

An Extension of Annual Tree-ring Growth and Climate Response in Abies Guatemalensis

Pinus resinosa (red pine, Norway pine) is an important tree species in Minnesota’s forests, both ecologically and economically. Covering about four percent of Minnesota’s forest as of 2015, it is the secondmost harvested tree by volume in Minnesota, and by far the largest provider of sawlogs. Old-growth red pine stands are rare in Minnesota and the greater Lake States region due to harvesting of pine forests that began in the late 1800s. One old-growth red pine stand exists at the University of Minnesota’s Cloquet Forestry Center near Cloquet, Minnesota. A two-acre growth and yield plot measuring the growth and volume of all pine species within the plot was established in 1912, and has been measured seven additional times in 1917, 1922, 1927, 1932, 1962, 1973, and 2015. This study assessed stand dynamics over the course of the 103 years of data, including tree density measures, growth (volume and basal area), mortality, and species composition, and compared those stand dynamics to published stand dynamics of red pine forests—particularly with those of older red pine stands.

Long-term climate records are particularly limited in the tropics, specifically Guatemala, due to the relatively recent implementation of meteorological instruments. When there is an absence of data, paleoclimatic studies involving environmental proxy records can be used to recreate past models of climate. This study analyzes tree-rings from Abies Guatemalensis to expand research in dendroclimatology in Central America. To demonstrate the utility of A. guatemalensis as a proxy for past climate records, statistics including correlation coefficients were computed for ring-width measurements from individual trees. A total of 45 cores from 22 trees successfully crossdate at the Totonicapán site, creating a ringwidth time series for A. guatemalensis that extends from 1793 to 2010. The tree-ring time series is compared with local climate data in order to gain a deeper understanding of limiting conditions for annual growth and to confirm whether or not it has been affected to a greater degree in more recent years than in the past. The results will provide relevant historical and environmental knowledge surrounding a tree species highly regarded for its ecosystem services and role in the Guatemalan economy. The increased awareness from this research will help inform future resource management decisions.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 15


Haley Anderson

Janine Andrys

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Jane Glazebrook Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Earth Sciences College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Marc Hirschmann Mentor’s Department: Earth Sciences

Investigating the Epistasis Between Calmodulin-like and Immune Regulator Genes in Arabidopsis Thaliana

Solubility of Water into Feldspars

Plants and their pathogens have evolved combative strategies for survival. Calcium signals, used during stress responses, are interpreted by various types of calcium sensors, including the calmodulin family of proteins. Fifty CML genes, which encode calmodulin-like proteins are distinctly present in Arabidopsis thaliana, indicating an expansion in these signaling pathways. Salicylic acid (SA) production is an important response to bacterial infection in plants. Two genes, CBP60a and CBP60g, have been identified as both calmodulin-binding and regulators of immunity. A third gene SARD1 is partially redundant with CBP60g. Two CML genes are indicated as possible regulators of SA-related immunity: cml46 and cml47. A set of combinatorial T-DNA insertion mutants of these genes will be used for a bacterial growth assay with Pseudomonas syringae pv. maculicola (Pma) ES4326.

Feldspar is the most common mineral in the Earth’s continental crust and is nominally anhydrous. However, recent studies have discovered that small amounts of structural water occur naturally in feldspars. The solubility of water into feldspar has not been widely researched, and is the aim of this study. Multiple experiments were conducted using a piston cylinder apparatus to exert high pressure and temperature onto a capsule containing liquid water and feldspar crystals. The crystals were then polished and examined using the Fourier-Transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer at the University of Minnesota. Absorption spectra were acquired in the region between ~3600 and 2900cm-1 to determine hydrogen contents in the feldspar crystals.

16 | University of Minnesota


Jacob Arndt

Alyssa Axelrod

Geography; Music College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Scott St. George Mentor’s Department: Geography, Environment, and Society

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Sehoya Cotner Mentor’s Department: Biology Teaching and Learning

The Influence of Upper-Air Winds and The El Niño-Southern Oscillation on Commercial Air Travel

Homosexuality in Male Bean Beetles: Sometimes the Bottom is on Top

Commercial air travel is routinely affected by short-term weather events, but it is not clear how long-term aspects of climate affect flight times. Here we examine how climate variability influences zonal winds at cruising altitude (200mb) and how wind strength affects flight times in the Minneapolis-Seattle corridor. We obtained flight-time statistics for four airlines flying between Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between 1990 and 2015 from the United States Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. We computed the mean difference between eastbound and westbound flight times (ΔT) to gauge the effect of atmospheric variability on flight duration, and minimize the influence of changes in airline operations or technology. Zonal wind speed data for the same time period was obtained from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis and was used to create a spatially averaged 200mb zonal wind index (u) over the region. Interannual variability in ΔT is consistent across all four airlines, and nearly 84% of the variance in ΔT is explained by u. After removing the seasonal cycle from both series, we observed several intervals of anomalously low ΔT lasting from 4 to 12 months, most notably in 1997-98 and 2009-10. These events, which are characterized by weak upper-level winds and modest ΔT, coincide with major El Niño events, suggesting that mode has a discernable influence on atmospheric circulation in this corridor. Based on our findings, it appears seasonal and annual variations in atmospheric circulation may be relevant to commercial airline operations in North America.

Homosexual behavior has been exhibited in a multitude of species and over a wide range of taxa. Though the majority of research done in this field involves mammals and birds, homosexual behavior is also relatively common in insects. The evolution of this behavior is problematic, given that it is by definition not fitness-enhancing. This study focuses on the fitness effects of homosexual copulation between aggressor (top) males and submissive (bottom) males in determining whether the trait is evolutionary advantageous. Here we show that aggressor males incur fitness costs by having a shorter lifespan, taking longer to copulate with females, and fertilizing fewer eggs than do submissive males; evidence that position taken in a homosexual copulation can affect fitness. These results reject the idea that homosexual copulation is done as practice for copulation with females, as the aggressor males had lower fitness than submissive males. In addition, there was no difference in size between aggressors and submissives, evidence that mate decisions are size-independent. This data could change the way that homosexual behavior is studied in other species as it provides a new perspective on the trait. It also implies that homosexual behavior may actually be advantageous for some males and could have arisen as an evolutionary strategy to increase fitness. Furthermore, this data gives reason into furthering this type of research in other animals to assess whether or not homosexual behavior impacts the fitness of individuals in other taxa.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 17


Apurva Badithela

Akshina Banerjee

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Peter J. Seiler Mentor’s Department: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Economics, Linguistics College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Brian Reese Mentor’s Department: Institute of Linguistics

Actuator Modeling for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Sentiment Analysis: Feature Addition and Accuracy Improvement

An actuator is a device that is commonly used in controls engineering that responds to an input command with a mechanical displacement. A servo is an actuator with a control loop. Servos are essential components because they are used to maneuver the control surfaces in an aircraft. My research at the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Laboratory was on studying the dynamics of some commonly used UAV actuators under loaded and unloaded conditions. I used a Teensy 3.1 to direct PWM commands to the actuator and measured its position response using a potentiometer. I derived mathematical models for the actuator by analyzing the experimental data using System Identification techniques in MATLAB. The dynamics of an actuator provide useful information for control and fault detection purposes. This can be used to improve the reliability of the aircraft.

Sentiment analysis refers to the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract the opinion of the writer of a text. Such texts generally either bear a positive, negative or neutral mood. Text classification process: A text with a sentiment is the input and a feature extractor gives an output of the text representation of the input. An algorithm is fed into the output which then classifies it to produce a sentiment label. Text-representation is a key element of the whole process and this is where something called the ‘Bag of Words’ (BoW) approach steps in. BoW method refers to a set of words that is chosen before the text classification. The words from the text are matched to the existing words (and the sentiments that they denote) in BoW and then the classifier gives a prediction of the sentiment. Since this approach does not involve the employment of any linguistic structure, it is simple and popular. Research Question: Though the above approach has proven to be a good estimation of sentiment in many cases, the dependence on just a bag of words (BoW) has received much criticism. It is because, the main assumptions of BoW are (a) Word order/ word position does NOT matter, (b) Lexical category of words does NOT matter. These assumptions leave out important information. My research, thus, seeks to add more linguistically informed features to the existing model to check whether that improves accuracy of classification of a text. In it, dependency pairs will be extracted from the input text and used for sentiment labeling. So though the complete syntactic structures of sentences won’t be considered, my model will give some importance to word-order.

18 | University of Minnesota


Drake Bauer

Patrick Becker

Neuroscience, Psychology, Educational Psychology College of Continuing Education May 2017 Mentor: Sashank Varma Mentor’s Department: Educational Psychology

Sustainable Systems Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Blaine Brownell Mentor’s Department: Architecture

Measuring Executive Function to Inform Science Interest and Achievement

The Feasibility and Sustainability of Architectural Biomaterials

There is a renewed focus on examining the cognitive abilities underlying science learning. The recently released Next Generation Science Standards highlights the need for K-12 students to engage in the practice of science. These practices include scientific reasoning skills and strategies such as designing valid experiences, interpreting data, generating explanations, and drawing conclusions. Our lab has been investigating the cognitive predictors of scientific reasoning skills and science achievement in middle-school students. The best single predictor has turned out to be the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST), a classical measure of “cognitive flexibility” associated with frontal-lobe function. The current research project will identify the executive functions (EFs) that drive WCST performance. The three EFs that will be investigated are shifting, updating, and inhibition. My poster will focus on the piece of the project for which I am responsible: The development of new versions of an updating measure (the Keep Track task) and a shifting measure (the Local-Global task) that are suitable for classroom administration. The relationship between the EF measures and performance on the WCST will be analyzed using multiple regression. In addition, the degree to which EF and WCST predict scientific reasoning (as measured by a new test based on the cognitive science and science education literatures) and predict science achievement (as measured by science class grades and science achievement test scores) will be evaluated using multiple regression. The results have the potential to inform educational interventions targeting the cognitive abilities underlying scientific reasoning.

This study is aimed at exploring and cataloging the newest materials in the built environment, particularly those that are innovative and environmentally friendly. Exploring materials research through industry publications and research networks, several hundred materials were added to a database where they were cataloged. Each entry includes detailed technical information, recommended applications, early production sample specifications, photographs, and contact information for the creators. Biomaterials and materials with a metabolic or distinctly sustainable characteristics represent a large proportion of the materials in the study. Application of biomaterials and recycled materials can significantly reduce the impact of construction and the waste it generates. However, this application depends directly on the influence of architects in the design process, specifically material selection. The usage of the Transmaterial series, as a resource, can provide designers, architects, contractors, and end-users with access to cutting-edge materials that are changing the built environment. Biomaterials, renewables, and composites represent the future because population growth and expansion of human populations necessitates the usage of materials that further the existence of humanity, rather than threaten it. Innovative materials can transform spaces, structures, and surfaces in ways that are not only technologically superior to their predecessors, but that are also environmentally friendly. Through the collaboration of undergraduate, graduate, and faculty researchers, Transmaterial Next contains the details behind the materials of the future. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 19


Kelsie Becklin

Nicole Biagi

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Branden Moriarity Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Ingrid Schneider Mentor’s Department: Forest Resources

Validation of Candidate Osteosarcoma Genes Using the CRISPR System

Exploring Knowledge of and Information Sources Related to Emerald Ash Borer Among Outdoor Recreationists

Osteosarcoma is the most common bone malignancy, which has a high tendency to metastasize, and these metastasis are the main cause of death among patients. While progress has been made to uncover mechanisms and pathways following oncogenic transformation that leads to osteosacomagenesis, it is often difficult to elucidate precursors and genetic derangements that are causative. The Sleeping Beauty (SB) transposon mutagenesis system has emerged as a powerful tool for cancer gene discovery. Mutagenic transposons can be mobilized in mouse somatic cells by a transposase enzyme and insert themselves randomly into the genome and mutate cancer genes. Identification of candidate cancer genes is carried out using the transposon as a molecular tag through analysis of recurrent insertion sites termed common insertion sites (CIS). This straightforward identification of candidate osteosarcoma genes has not been possible with other mouse models of osteosarcoma or human tumor samples, which makes this approach highly innovative. To this end, we previously performed a forward genetic screen in mice using the SB transposonbased mutagenesis system to identify genes that promote osteosarcoma development and metastasis. For the first time, the genes promoting osteosarcoma development and metastasis were directly identifiable by use of transposon insertion mapping. In an attempt to further study our candidate cancer genes (CCGs), we have implemented the CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease system to perform a medium throughput screen of all candidate metastasis tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) identified in our screen. To this end, we have previously generated and validated CRISPR gRNAs to target all metastasis TSGs identified in our osteosarcoma SB screen (~38 genes). Using a human osteosarcoma cell line (HOS), we are targeting all these genes and screening for their ability to increase colony formation in soft agar and migration in a Boyden chamber transwell assay. Genes that score positively in the soft agar and/or transwell assays will be further tested for xenograft tumor formation and metastasis formation in immunodeficient mice. This focused CRISPR screen on osteosarcoma candidate metastasis TSGs is ongoing and new results will be reported.

In the U.S., Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has killed more than 10 billion ash trees since 2002. Visitors can prevent EAB transport, if they know about it. Onsite surveys at a destination Metro-area park revealed most visitors knew at least something about EAB and identified key information sources.

20 | University of Minnesota


Michael Blazanin

Kayla Boumeester

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Michael Travisano Mentor’s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Environmental Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Bill Arnold Mentor’s Department: Environmental Engineering

Experimental Evolution of Bacterial Motility

MLAC Wastewater Treatment Alternative Analysis

Bacteria are ubiquitous in the biosphere, and bacterial motility plays a vital adaptive role in numerous contexts, including ecological adaptation and pathogenicity. Bacterial motility in response to chemical stimuli — chemotaxis — can be positive or negative, if the bacteria move towards or away from higher stimuli concentrations, respectively. Despite the importance of chemotaxis, little is known about the effects of common selective pressures on this process, including selection for motility towards nutrients or away from bacteria-specific viruses. We selected for motility towards nutrients in Escherichia coli, where positive chemotaxis is known to occur for the amino acids Serine and Aspartate. 10,000 generations of experimental evolution for increased taxis towards one of the amino acids and away from the other were performed. Compared to the ancestral strain, evolved isolates showed increased chemotactic responses either specifically to the selected-for amino acid or non-specifically, but all isolates demonstrated highly concentration specific responses. We selected for motility away from bacteriaspecific viruses in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, where positive and negative chemotaxis exists for a wide variety of compounds. Bacteria and lytic bacterial viruses were inoculated into a soft agar plate spatially separated and allowed to spread before transferring a series of equidistant points to new media. Over time, the bacteriavirus coevolution led to a stable spatial structure: resistance to the virus decreased with distance from the initial viral inoculation point, while motility increased with distance. Future work will determine if there exists a fitness tradeoff for P. aeruginosa between resistance and motility.

This research focuses on an alternative processes that is more economical and cost effective to treat and reduce hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the contaminated groundwater that flow into the Minnesota Library Access Center (MLAC). The MLAC sits 70 feet below ground level under Andersen Library of the University of Minnesota on west bank. Contaminated ground water drains into this area which stores over 1 million of the University and the state of Minnesota’s books. A ‘horizontal well design’ runs perpendicular to the groundwater flow and collects the water before it reaches the MLAC caverns. This groundwater is collected and treated using Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) beds to remove volatile organic contaminants and a coupled air stripper system and vapor phase GAC to remove Hydrogen sulfide before it is released into the Mississippi River. Out of the two current treatment processes, hydrogen sulfide removal is easiest to manipulate. To reduce the amount of maintenance required in this system, chemical oxidation of hydrogen sulfide is explored. Proposed oxidants, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and ferrous chloride (FeCl2), will convert hydrogen sulfide into elemental sulfur or sulfate ions that can further be removed by flocculation or filtration before it is released to the Mississippi River.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 21


Martin Branyon

Kelly Braumberger

History; Political Science College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: David Chang Mentor’s Department: History

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Kristin Boylan Mentor’s Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

“Refusal to Hire” - The Minneapolis FEPC and Discriminatory Practices in Employment against African Americans, 1947-1967

Investigating the Function of the Intracellular and Extracellular Domains of Nectin-4 in Ovarian Cancer Progression

Following the failure of congress to extend the Federal FEPC of the 1940s to the post war environment, States and local governments took it upon themselves to implement FEPC’s of their own. This paper will focus on the struggle to implement an FEPC in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the commission’s ability to combat discrimination in employment practices against African Americans from its inception in 1947 to the creation of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in 1967.

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy in the U.S. It is often not diagnosed until it has progressed to a latestage disease, by which time the cancer cells have proliferated and migrated into the surrounding vital organs. In previous studies, the cell adhesion molecule Nectin-4 was shown to be overexpressed in ovarian cancer tissues. Nectin-4 is comprised of an extracellular domain, a transmembrane domain, and an intracellular domain which is linked to the actin cytoskeleton. This study was designed to investigate the significance of the structure of Nectin-4 to its potential proliferative and migratory functions in ovarian cancer progression. Two cell lines were created from the human NIH:OVCAR5 ovarian cancer cell line that had previously undergone shRNA-mediated Nectin-4 knockdown (Nectin-4 KD). One cell line expressed full-length Nectin-4 (Nectin-4 Rescue), while the other cell line expressed only the extracellular and transmembrane domains (Nectin-4 ECD), but lacked the intracellular domain. Proliferation assays demonstrated reduced proliferation in Nectin-4 KD cells and Nectin-4 ECD cells compared to shRNA control cells and Nectin-4 Rescue cells. A significant decrease in cell migration was observed when Nectin-4 was knocked down compared to the shRNA control cells and Nectin-4 Rescue cells. Interestingly, the level of migration observed with the Nectin-4 ECD cells was intermediate between the Nectin-4 KD cells and the Nectin-4 Rescue cells. These results suggest that the Nectin-4 intracellular domain plays an important role in cell migration, likely through signal transduction pathways that recruit the actin cytoskeleton.

22 | University of Minnesota


Simon Brown

Cody Bruggemeyer

Neuroscience; Political Science College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Marilyn Carroll Mentor’s Department: Psychiatry

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Amy Skubitz Mentor’s Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Altering Impulsivity for Cocaine in Male Rats

The Effect of Nectin-4 on Ovarian Cancer Cell Proliferation and Migration

Introduction: Cocaine addiction is largely prevalent in the United States today. However, there continues to be a lack of FDA-approved treatments to help cocaine addiction. By implementing treatments that have been successful at reducing impulsivity (atomoxetine; ATO) or drug seeking behavior (progesterone; PRO), it may be possible to treat cocaine abuse. This study evaluates the effects of PRO and ATO in a delay discounting model, which is used to measure impulsivity, for cocaine and for sucrose pellets. Method: Male rats were given the choice between a small immediate outcome, providing instant gratification, or a large delayed (0,7.5, 15, 30, 60 sec) outcome. This study ran two experiments in tandem, one for iv cocaine infusions (0.3 vs 0.9 mg/kg), and another for sucrose pellets (1 vs 3 pellets). Following a baseline assessment of impulsive choice for cocaine or sucrose pellets, the rats were given daily injections of a set of treatment combinations (vehicle (VEH)/ saline (SAL), PRO/SAL, VEH/ATO, or PRO/ATO). Treatment was continued until impulsive choice could be measured once again. Results: Rats were less impulsive for cocaine following treatment with VEH/ATO. This is shown by a higher proportion of large cocaine choices. However, no other treatment led to a decrease in impulsivity. Additionally, no treatment altered impulsive choice for sucrose pellets. In general, rats were less impulsive for cocaine than for sucrose pellets. Conclusions: These results indicate that impulsive choice for cocaine could be reduced by treatment of atomoxetine. This implies that this may be an effective treatment for drug abuse.

The cell adhesion molecule Nectin-4 is overexpressed in ovarian carcinoma; despite this, little is known about how Nectin-4 specifically affects cellular behavior. We conducted a series of functional assays in order to investigate the function of Nectin-4 in cell proliferation and migration. Experiments were conducted with the human ovarian cancer cell line NIH: OVCAR5, which was engineered to knockdown Nectin-4 expression with shRNA, or overexpress a full-length Nectin-4 construct. The rate of cell proliferation was determined by the Cyquant proliferation assay (Life Technologies®), and cell migration was tested in a wound healing assay using ibidi® culture inserts. NIH: OVCAR5 cells transfected with shRNA against Nectin-4 (OV5-N4 KD) express 85 to 100 percent less Nectin-4 compared to cells transfected with control shRNA. We found that OV5-control shRNA cells proliferate at a rate significantly greater than OV5-N4 KD cells at 24 and 48 hour time points. This was confirmed for three separate OV5-N4KD cell lines. In contrast, NIH: OVCAR5 cells which overexpress Nectin-4 showed no significant increase in proliferation. Migration assays showed that shRNA control cells advanced at a velocity significantly greater than OV5-N4 KD cells over a period of 20 hours (61.7µm/hour vs 3.5µm/hour). Preliminary analysis of the migration data suggests that cells rely on Nectin-4 to maintain directionality. These studies show Nectin-4 plays a role in the proliferation and migration of ovarian cancer cells, which has potential applications in modifying cell behavior to optimize treatments.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 23


Michael Brush

Justin Buksa

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Yasuhiko Kawakami Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, The Stem Cell Institute

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Patrick Alford Mentor’s Department: Biomedical Engineering

The Role of Chemokines on Cardiomyocyte Migration During Heart Regeneration in Zebrafish

Mechanics of Cells of Varying Aspect Ratios

Adult zebrafish possess a significant ability to regenerate damaged heart tissue through proliferation of pre-existing cardiomyocytes. This is in contrast to adult humans, which possess a limited proliferative ability. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is an excellent model system for heart tissue regeneration, and application of their intrinsic regenerative mechanisms on the mammalian system presents a potential therapeutic outlet. Recent research on heart regeneration demonstrated that local cardiomyocyte migration to the injury site is essential in the regenerative process, in addition to de-differentiation and proliferation of cardiomyocytes. Migration of cardiomyocytes is regulated by the chemokine ligand cxcl12a, expressed in the epicardium, and the chemokine receptor cxcr4b, expressed in cardiomyocytes. This study aimed to further understand the process of cardiomyocyte migration by disrupting the Cxcl12a ligand gradient. We also investigated the role of Cxcr7b, a pseudoreceptor for the Cxcl12a ligand, which disrupts the concentration gradient by sequestering the Cxcl12a ligand. Using heat inducible transgenic zebrafish lines, hsp:cxcl12a and hsp:cxcr7b, we found that ubiquitous expression of both cxcl12a and cxcr7b increased proliferation of migrating cardiomyocytes during heart regeneration. Induced transgenic expression of cxcl12a and cxcr7b also causes mislocalization of proliferating cardiomyocytes, and may prevent complete regeneration of the damaged myocardium. This study provides further insight into the mechanisms that regulate cardiomyocyte proliferation and migration in adult zebrafish in the heart regenerative process.

Blood vessels within the body are comprised of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells (VSMC). VSMCs contract during the cardiac cycle to maintain a constant blood pressure. The general shape of VSMCs is long spindled. Depending on the function and location of the blood vessel, the aspect ratio of the cells varies. VSMCs that located in the muscular arteries have the aspect ratio of 15:1, compared to VMSCs in elastic arteries that have an aspect ratio of 9:1. The aspect ratio is the ratio of the cell’s length compared to its width. That ratio is a core indicator of characteristics of the VSMCs. The specific characteristics being looked at are the shape of the nucleus, alignment of the actin, and the number and size of focal adhesions. To test these characteristics, VSMC’s were individually seeded at different aspect ratios: 1:1, 2:1, 4:1, and 8:1. The cells were then stained with antibodies to highlight the cell’s nucleus, actin, and focal adhesions. MATLAB was then used to calculate the cell’s nuclear eccentricity and actin’s orientation order parameter. For both of these values, there was a positive correlation with increasing aspect ratio. Which meant as the cells became more elongated, so did the nucleus in addition to the actin becoming more orientated around the x-axis of the cell. For measuring the surface area of focal adhesions, the cell pictures were analyzed by Cellprofilier. The outcome was that higher aspect ratios were statistically different to the lower ratios, but statistically the same to each other.

24 | University of Minnesota


Michaela Bunke

Conor Burke-Smith

History College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Howard Louthan Mentor’s Department: History

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Atsushi Asakura Mentor’s Department: Neurology

Reformations and Reformers: Critiquing the Traditional Reformation Narrative through Social Network Analysis

Endogenous Dystrophin Gene Activation Using dCAS9/guide RNA System

The German Reformation is often portrayed by historians as a unique event that dramatically transformed the landscape of late medieval religion. Luther and his allies successfully challenged the monopoly of the Catholic church leading to the creation of a type of religious pluralism that characterizes our world today. Such assertions are simplifications of a far more complicated past. Reformers and reform movements existed for centuries before Martin Luther or John Calvin ever pointed out corruption in the Church. One such movement was the Czech Reformation, which reached its high point with the preaching of the young Bohemian Jan Hus (13691415). The Czech Reformation is especially under-credited for its significance in Europe’s early modern reform movements and the religious groups that developed in this period. My project focuses on the Czech Reformation and will highlight its links and influence on a wide variety of Christian reform movements in the late medieval and early modern periods. This complicated web that predates Luther by more than a century and carries on well past his death, a web that stretches across all of Europe, will clearly demonstrate that the traditional Reformation narrative may be in need of reform itself.

The catalytically inactive dead Cas9 (dCas9), modified from RNAguided Cas9 endonucleases, has been shown to be able to have incredible specificity in DNA binding, while not cleaving the DNA. Transactivators can be attached to the dCas9 to induce or reduce transcriptional activity at specific places in the genome. The dystrophin gene is one of the largest genes in the human genome. This gene codes for the dystrophin protein, which plays a vital role in attachment of muscle cells to the extracellular matrix. It has been shown in previous research that the attachment of dCas9 to the transcriptional activation domain VP64 has been able to cause endogenous transcriptional activation of the dystrophin gene. This study is attempting to optimize this system, by comparing the effectiveness of both three different transcriptional activation systems (MDA-dCas9, dCas9-VP64 and MDA-dCas9-VP64), and three different gRNA sequences in the dCas9 that allow it to bind to DNA. All nine combinations of these two sets of variables will be tested, and the production of dystrophin will be assessed by immunostaining of cells. Understanding the effect of dystrophin gene activation in cells could potentially lead to cell therapies for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 25


Julian Cagnazzo

Riley Capizzi

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Gary Dunny Mentor’s Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Angus MacDonald Mentor’s Department: Psychology

Identifying Genetic Determinants of Antibiotic Resistance in Enterococcus faecalis

Analysis of Reaction Time across Five Basic Task Complexities in Schizophrenia

Antibiotics kill bacteria by targeting cellular processes that are found only in bacterial cells, while leaving human cells unharmed. This requires most antibiotics to have a highly specific mechanism of action, which prevents the antibiotics from harming patients, but also allows bacteria to avoid or tolerate the antibiotics by evolving relatively simple adaptations to their cellular processes. The recent rise in infections caused by multidrug resistant bacteria, coupled with the lack of new antibiotics, is becoming an increasingly concerning problem for the future of medicine. Here we conducted a genetic screen using a library of transposon mutants to identify 7 genes that are thought to be involved in antibiotic resistance in Enterococcus faecalis. By characterizing the function of these genes, we can pinpoint which cellular processes are being altered to allow bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotics. For example, several of the genes identified – bgsB, lepB, dltA, and dltB – have been shown to be involved in the process of lipoteichoic acid synthesis (LTA). The loss of function of these genes has been shown to alter the LTA composition of the cell membrane and cause it to acquire a more negative charge. This allows cationic antibiotics, such as daptomycin, to bind to and kill the cells more effectively. A more precise understanding of the mechanisms by which these genes affect antibiotics resistance is vital to developing new, targeted therapeutic approaches to the increasing number of antibiotic resistant infections around the world.

While delusions, hallucinations, and symptoms of flattened affect constitute hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia, cognitive impairments associated with the disease prove the most persistent and debilitating. Psychometric tests have been used to reveal various cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Debate continues as to whether they represent various specific deficiencies or a general impairment with fundamental cognitive processes. Developing a simple task for cognition in severe mental illness is necessary to detect tracings of an underlying generalized deficiency. Method: Individuals with schizophrenia (N=9), schizoaffective disorder (N=13), bipolar disorder (N=14), and healthy controls (N=10) matched in age, gender, and education underwent a reaction time test with 5 tasks increasing in difficulty. Cognitive slowing in patients across tasks was examined. Preliminary Results: Slowing was observed in individuals with bipolar disorder (Hedge’s g=0.443) and schizoaffective disorder (Hedge’s g=0.338). Surprisingly, individuals with schizophrenia (Hedge’s g=0.014) performed on par with controls. Conclusion: Initial results suggest a promising approach towards the detection of a generalized vs specific mechanism in schizophrenia, but a larger sample size is needed to determine if the initial surprising results will continue to present.

26 | University of Minnesota


Samuel Carlson

Eva Carlson

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: David Thomas Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Plant Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Peter Kennedy Mentor’s Department: Plant Biology

Structure-Activity Relationship of SERCA Inhibitors for Leukemia Therapy

Fine-Root Morphological Adaptations In Oak Species Originating From Across A Broad Climate Gradient

I have used fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize antileukemia compounds synthesized by the Xing lab, and screened them in the Thomas Lab for inhibitory potency, and binding affinity to the intracellular calcium pump Sarco/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA). SERCA’s function is to sequester cytosolic calcium in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which works to help protein synthesis and folding, and to maintain cellular health. High cytoplasmic calcium concentration (mM) causes cell death by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell suicide), and without SERCA pumps, cytoplasmic calcium will kill cells. The Thomas and Xing Labs hypothesize that inhibition of SERCA can be used to treat human cancers, specifically leukemia. I used a cuvette-based fluorescence spectroscopy of tryptophan residues in the transmembrane domain (TRP) and fluorescein isothiocyanate probe of the ATP binding site (FITC) to determine (1) compound binding affinity to SERCA and (2) compound effect on SERCA biochemical state. Fluorescence intensity of TRP or FITC was measured following the addition of enzyme substrates and anti-leukemia compounds. Results indicate that the most potent anti-leukemia compound CXL017 inhibits calcium binding (substrate activation) and phosphate release (product blockage). Thus I have identified catalytic mechanisms for CXL017 inhibition of SERCA’s ability to pump calcium out of cell, thereby causing cell poisoning, and apoptosis. My results will provide valuable information on the potential each compound has as an anti-leukemia agent. I have screened six more compounds for SERCA binding and functional effect, and these results are being applied for the synthesis of new, more potent, anti-leukemia drugs.

Adaptations in leaf and stem traits aboveground have been linked to different resource acquisition and growth strategies. Tradeoffs between the longevity of plant structures and speed of resource acquisition are considered to drive a broad plant spectrum between ‘fast’ traits related to high uptake capacity but low longevity, and ‘slow‘ traits associated with lower uptake capacity but high toughness and long lifespan. The associations between these traits and their success in different environments can help predict plant responses to future environmental change. It has been suggested that a similar spectrum exists for root traits. In this work we examine the variation in root morphology across a broad climate gradient, but within a constrained phylogeny. Six species from the genus Quercus were used in this study with two species from each of the subgroups Lobatae (Q. wizlizeni and Q. castanea), Quercus (Q. lobata and Q. margarettae), and Virentes (Q. virginiana and Q. oleoides). The two species from each subgroup were selected to represent a contrast between a species adapted to an environment with relatively high moisture availability versus one adapted to relatively low moisture availability. Trees were grown in a common garden setting, and samples were analyzed to determine diameter, length, and branching ratios of the distal, first and second order fine roots. Results from this study will help determine the relative importance of species phylogeny compared with local environmental adaptation as drivers of fine-root trait variation among species.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 27


Praloy Carlson

Henry Carras

Biology; Biochemistry Morris May 2017 Mentor: Fumiaki Katagiri Mentor’s Department: Plant Biology

History; Political Science College of Liberal Arts December 2016 Mentor: Anoop Sarbahi Mentor’s Department: Political Science

Mapping Quantitative Trait Loci (Qtl) In Arabidopsis Thaliana That Affect Plant Response To Pathogen Effectors

The People and The Revolution: How Ideology Shapes Domestic Energy Consumption by Civilians in Iran

Plant pathogens deliver effectors into the plant cell to interfere with plant immune signaling. Knowledge of which components in the plant immune signaling network are targeted by pathogen effectors will help generating crops that are genetically resistant to pathogens. It is likely that a population of a plant species has variation in network component genes that quantitatively alters effects of pathogen effectors. We aim to discover such QTL using recombinant inbred lines derived from 19 diverse Arabidopsis accessions (a Multiparent Advanced Generation Inter-Cross, MAGIC, population). We are measuring growth in 512 MAGIC lines of two strains of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, which carry limited sets of effector genes. Based on the obtained bacterial growth data and publicly available genotype data for the MAGIC population, we will map QTL for immunity against each of the strains.

Incentivizing citizens to support the government, which can be done through a multitude of ways, many of which could be categorized as either political, social, or economic advantages. Within oil rich countries this support of the citizenry is sometimes achieved by using the revenue from oil sales to either provide subsidies on the cost of oil or to provide government services for a much cheaper price. This paper attempted to investigate if the rate of consumption increased due to the higher subsidies experienced under Revolutionary Iran, as compared to the Shah regime, an autocracy. In order to measure this, the project looked at household final consumption expenditures in urban and rural areas, looking at in particular the expenditure on fuel and lighting. The rate of growth in these areas was used. This indicated that there did exist a substantial increase between the household energy expenditures of the Shah regime and those experienced in post Revolution Iran. In essence, this indicated that the higher subsidies were effective in changing the spending behavior within Iran in this particular area, especially in terms of rural household energy consumption. It also seemed to show that the revolution’s ideology of providing more for the Iranian people would in fact be an accurate outcome of the changes made by the revolution. Additionally, the revolution ideological imperative to develop rural Iran is definitely expressed by the high growth rate experienced by the rural areas in post-revolution Iran.

28 | University of Minnesota


Yucai Chang

Shanting Chen

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Victoria Interrante Mentor’s Department: Computer Science and Engineering

Psychology College of Liberal Arts December 2015 Mentor: Susan Walker Mentor’s Department: Family Social Science

Human’s Spatial Perception in a Populated Virtual Environment

The Parent Learning Ecology: Evidence of the Parent’s Cross-Boundary Pursuit

In application of VR, if we want the virtual environment to be perfect, it needs to be “dynamic”. That is to say, the virtual environment should not be a static space without any other people. Instead, there can be people walking in the environment, which is a simulation of the real world. However, populating the virtual environment can potentially cause some problems. For example, the spatial perception and functional suitability judgments can be influenced. In my project, I will find out whether populating the environment will influence people’s spatial perception and functional suitability judgments. If it can influence them, I will figure out the extent of the influence. Simply speaking, I will figure out whether people can have the same spatial perception in the populated virtual environment as that in the real world.

The learning ecology perspective (Barron, 2006) the perspective that learning is self-initiated as the individual participates in multiple, dynamic social interactions and contexts. Although parents are known to use a variety of information sources to learn about parenting, little has been studied on how sources are used in complementary ways, or representative of a learning ecology. Using mixed methods analysis, this study identifies parent learning resources inclusive of parent education program participation, and relationship dynamics that characterize source use, and provides evidence of cross-boundary learning. Implications for further study and for parent engagement in learning are offered.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 29


Christopher Cheng

Yixuan Cheng

Materials Science and Engineering; Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Bharat Jalan Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Architecture College of Design May 2017 Mentor: Mary Guzowski Mentor’s Department: Architecture

MBE Growth and Study of Electronic Transport Properties of NdTiO3/SrTiO3 Interfaces

The Art of Architectural Daylighting: Masters of Light

Two-dimensional electron gases (2DEG) that form at heterointerfaces are of / considerable scientific interest, as well as being of significant importance in device / technology. Oxides exhibit a higher level of complexity and there are many unanswered questions regarding the mechanistic details of conduction and their relationship to materials properties. It was demonstrated that the 2DEG carrier density in SrTiO3/NdTiO3/SrTiO3(001) can be accurately modeled over a wide range through composition control, making this system an ideal model to test theories of how the insulator-to-metal transition occurs, and how the transition can be controlled. It is shown that in this system electronic reconstruction precisely accounts for the polar discontinuity at the interface, and that excess O and Nd vacancies can be used to control the interfacial carrier density. Such understanding is critical for achieving predictive control over the carrier density for device applications.

My work with Professor Mary Guzowski is on a daylighting case study analysis of the work of Tadao Ando for a new book Guzowski is writing entitled The Art of Architectural Daylighting: Masters of Light (Laurence King, London). My research on Ando Museum, one case study in Guzowski’s new book is aimed to provide a comprehensive exploration of contemporary daylighting design assessment and analysis methods and tools to inform my design thinking and process. On completion of the research, I will have gained a thorough understanding of the case study protocol I am using for the book, which includes: 1. Daylighting Design Narrative: A written narrative of the architect’s design philosophy and strategies. 2. Qualitative Illustrations: Computer renderings of exteriors and interiors will communicate the relationships between design strategies and the quality and experience of light in space. 3. Concept Diagrams: A series of diagrams will systematically illustrate the sequence of design strategies.

30 | University of Minnesota


Brian Chi Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Brent Dalzell Mentor’s Department: Soil, Water and Climate

Yoke Ching Chin Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Wayland E. Noland Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Comparison and Methods For Estimating Soil Surface Area

Diels-Alder Reactions of 2-Cycloalkenylthiophenes and 2-Cycloalkenylbenzo[b]thiophenes

Soil surface area is an important factor to consider in agricultural and land management practices because it is related to several soil properties that are influenced by: parent material, erosion, and organic matter. There are various methods in which to estimate soil surface area (SSA), one of which includes the popular Brunauer– Emmett–Teller (BET) method. Indirect methods for estimating soil surface area are typically based on measuring clay content (e.g., Ransom et al., 1998). The hydrometer is a simple, cheap, and reliable method to measure soil texture that has been in use for over 100 years. Recently laser particle size analyzer (LPSA) machines have been utilized soil texture. The LPSA is faster and less strenuous than the Hydrometer method when it comes to analyzing soil texture. The research compared both of these methods together to see if the LPSA could accurately predict soil texture and then to see if it correlated with SSA data from a BET machine. Soil samples were taken from Fillmore County, MN. Thirty-six samples in total were analyzed. The LPSA soil texture data didn’t correlate with the data that was given from the hydrometer method. Furthermore, the LPSA data on the percent of clay didn’t correlate with the SSA data from the BET. The hydrometer data on percent clay correlated accordingly with the SSA data showing that clay texture in soil can be used to predict SSA.

2-vinylthiophene 1 and 2-vinylbenzo[b]thiophene2-based heteroaromatic dienes with the vinyl groups fused to five-, six-, and seven-membered cycloalkene rings, underwent [4+2] cycloaddition reactions with substituted N-phenyl maleimides, gave isomerized endo-addition Diels-Alder adducts 6a-d (36-98%). Also isolated fully aromatized Diels-Alder adducts 4a-d (15-25%), and a highly diastereospecific (≥ 98% de) Michael-addition intermediates 5a-d (25-55%). These synthetic routes to prepare annulated thiophenes and benzo[b]thiophenes are versatile and the starting materials are easily prepared. The newly synthesized compounds will be offered to the National Institute of Health (NIH) to explore their anti-tumor activity.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 31


Marines Chinchilla

Justine Chu

Chemical Engineering College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Gunda Georg Mentor’s Department: Medicinal Chemistry

Chemical Engineering; Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Ilja Siepmann Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Progress Towards the Synthesis of Stabilized Pironetin Analogs

Molecular Simulation of Olefin Oligomer Blend Phase Behavior

Pironetin, a naturally occurring product, exhibits cytotoxic activity against ovarian cancer cells that are sensitive and resistant to firstline chemotherapeutics like paclitaxel and cisplatin.1 Pironetin is proposed to covalently bind at the surface of α-tubulin at Lys352, whereas all FDA currently approved tubulin-binding agents target β-tubulin.2 Therefore, α-tubulin is an appealing target for alternative therapeutics that can address the need for new treatments for drug-resistant ovarian cancers. Despite the potent in vitro activity, pironetin was only marginally effective in the single reported in vivo study, which resulted in severe weight loss in the mice, indicating poor pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) properties as well as off target toxicities.3 Our lab has previously demonstrated that pironetin has a very short half-life in liver microsomes and rapidly forms one major metabolite, whose structure was confirmed through microsomal incubation, LC-MS/MS, and semi-synthesis. We are working towards the synthesis of pironetin analogs that block metabolism at this site to improve upon the PK/PD properties. Our synthetic progress towards metabolically stabilized pironetin analogs as novel anti-tubulin agents for resistant ovarian cancers shall be reported herein.

Polymers are substances that consist of long chains of repeating units. The ability to mix several types of polymers to make a polymer blend with specific properties that can be generated in large quantities consistently is something that holds great appeal to scientists and engineers alike. Achieving such a goal does not come without a few challenges, however. One of the biggest challenges facing those trying to generate materials out of different polymers is the limited ability to predict the miscibility of polymers. One way to predict the miscibility of a polymer mixture is to first calculate the cohesive energy densities of the individual components of the mixture and then use these cohesive energy densities with the Flory-Huggins theory. Using Monte Carlo simulations, the cohesive energy densities of three polyolefins, poly(ethylene-alt-propylene), polypropylene, and head-to-head polypropylene, were determined. The results of the simulations showed that the binary propylene and head-to-head propylene oligomer blend exhibits stabilized irregular mixing behavior.

32 | University of Minnesota


Cynthia Chweya

John Connelly

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Reuben Harris Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Environmental Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Paige Novak Mentor’s Department: Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

Posttranslational Regulation of DNA Mutating Enzyme APOBEC3B by Lysine Modification

Hydrophobicity of Chlorinated Natural Organic Matter and its Effect on Reductive Dechlorination

A hallmark of cancer is the accumulation of mutations that lead to uncontrolled cell growth. Errors in replication and imperfect DNA repair are considered the primary sources of mutation in many cancers. However, endogenous enzymes can also introduce mutations into the genome. Elevated levels of APOBEC3B (A3B), a member of the APOBEC3 DNA cytosine deaminase family, contribute to mutagenesis in many tumor types. Despite extensive characterization of A3B enzymatic activity, the regulatory events and mechanisms that govern A3B function in the normal and disease state are largely unknown. Posttranslational modification, a common mechanism of diversifying protein function within cells, is likely to contribute to A3B regulation. In this investigation, we demonstrate that nine individual lysine to arginine amino acid changes in A3B do not impact its predominantly nuclear localization or its DNA deaminase activity. We anticipated additional changes in the functional properties of A3B upon introducing mutations at all nine lysine residues within a single construct. Remarkably, despite the versatile functions of lysine residues, the substitution of all lysine residues for arginine residues does not dramatically impact the functional properties of A3B. The protein retains its DNA deaminase activity and predominantly nuclear localization. Furthermore, the absence of lysine residues does not rescue the protein from SIVmac239 Vif mediated proteasomal degradation. Identifying residues that influence the functional properties of A3B would uncover a facet of the A3B regulatory mechanism and provide a pharmaceutical target to alleviate increased tumor mutation load due to A3B.

Organohalide respiring bacteria are important for the bioremediation of hazardous chlorinated chemicals in groundwater and sediment; however, little research has been conducted on what these bacteria respire in uncontaminated sediments and what naturally produced chlorinated natural organic matter (Cl-NOM) they dehalogenate. This research focused on developing a method to successfully synthesize Cl-NOM fractionated based on hydrophobicity to assess the effects of hydrophobicity on dehalogenation. Previous efforts have only looked at how to optimize the synthesis but not how to separate the compounds into different classes. Hydrophobicity was selected because it may be one property affecting the degradation ability and is a common way use to classify organic chemicals. Two different methods were tested to synthesize fractionated Cl-NOM that were derived from a common method to chlorinate natural organic matter (NOM). Cl-NOM was synthesized by extracting NOM from sediment using an accelerated solvent extractor (ASE), and chlorinating the NOM using chloroperoxidase enzymes. The two methods differ by the stage in the synthetization process in which the Cl-NOM was fractionated. Furthermore, different solvents were used for both methods. According to ion chromatography results, chloride was successfully incorporated into the more hydrophobic fractions for both methods. A method was developed and tested with gas chromatography and electron capture detector to further compare the samples. This study indicates that both methods can be used to synthesize fractionated Cl-NOM based on hydrophobicity but fractionating the organic matter according to hydrophobicity before chlorination is easier and is an easier method to produces higher concentration of Cl-NOM. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 33


Zachary Cosenza

Bridget Curtin

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Praveen Bolini Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Reena Kartha Mentor’s Department: Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

Kinetic and Mechanistic Study of Alkane Dehydrogenation on Zirconia Catalysts

MicroRNAs as Potential Biomarkers for Pediatric Epilepsies

This is a proposal to study the kinetics and mechanisms involved in the dehydrogenation of alkane molecules, specifically hexane and propane, on bulk zirconia catalysts.By studying the effects of DHC (dehydrocyclation) and PDH (propane dehyrogenation) on an amphoteric (acid and base active) catalysts such as ZrO2 we may expand the use of bulk oxide based catalysts in the alkane reforming.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures and high frequency action potentials in the brain. There are no reliable biomarkers for this disease, which leads to late diagnosis and causes patients to have neurological decline, cognitive impairment, and decrease in quality of life. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that play a prominent role in normal development and disease conditions. Disturbances in miRNA expression have been implicated in epilepsy and hence miRNAs can be developed as potential biomarkers and/or therapeutic agents. This project aims to understand miRNA expression in the brain of mouse models of seizures. Seizures were induced in 15- and 45-days old mice either chemically or by high temperature (like fever) and were compared to saline treated control group. These age specific treatments mimic the seizure types commonly observed in the clinic. miRNA expression was determined by sequencing of total RNA extracted from cortex and hippocampus from these mice. Our initial analyses reveal tissue specific changes in miRNAs, which is dramatically pronounced in cortex compared to hippocampus for all experimental treatments. Further we observed that occurrence of fever induced seizures early at day 15, has a long term effect on a later seizure, in terms of miRNA expression. Many of the miRNAs that were upregulated in cortex were involved in cellular proliferation and stemness. The implication of this will be discussed. In summary our preliminary analyses indicate an important role for miRNAs in epilepsies that has the potential to determine outcomes after the occurrence of seizures.

34 | University of Minnesota


Amanda Dahl

Forrest Dalbec

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Linnette Werner Mentor’s Department: Leadership Minor

Chemistry; Political Science College of Liberal Arts; College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Victor Nemykin Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Cultural Globalization

A Re-investigation of the Inter Valance Charge Transfer properties for a Bis-ferrocene Iron (II) Clathrochelate Complex

This research focuses on the globalization of culture influenced by economic, technological, and religious factors. Cultural globalization “refers to the transmission of ideas, meanings and values around the world in such a way as to extend and intensify social relations” (Paul, 2006). A problem with globalization is that it influences a convergence into one global culture that eliminates individualistic human societies. Cultural globalization may destroy the sustainability of diversity within different cultures. Our stance is not to discourage communities from coming together, rather to advocate for preserving cultural identities that are uniquely different across the globe. Through the lenses of three global perspectives - Bali, Indonesia, Brazil, and the United States - the history, current stage, and systems characteristics of cultural globalization have been reviewed. By investigating the systems that reinforce cultural globalization a better understanding of the answer as to how we can preserve cultural diversity emerges.

Clathrochelates are promising molecular complexes that have applications to hydrogen production, singular magnets, transistors, and molecular wires. One property which make the study of clathrochelated ligands so pertinent is that they provide a platform for studying the phenomena of Inter valance charge transfer which may have applications in nanoelectronics. This study focused on one such compound bis-ferrocenylboronate macrobicyclic iron(ii) tris-dioximate, FeDm3(FcB)2, which contains two axial ferrocene ligands. Although previous research into FeDm3(FcB)2 by our group has indicated that the two ferrocenyl irons do not interact with each other, recently it has been found that the choice of solvent and electrolyte can greatly affect the perceived communication between thse ligands. It was our aim to use this new information to determine if there is indeed communication between theses ferrocenyl irons.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 35


Rohan De

John Dewey

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Jiarong Hong Mentor’s Department: Mechanical Engineering

Materials Science College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Bharat Jalan Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PIV/LIF Measurements of the Internal Flows of a Drop Impacting a Solid Surface

“Radical” Molecular Beam Epitaxy for Thin Film Growth of Barium Stannate and Other Perovskite Oxides

Understanding the fundamental physical process involved in drop impacts is important for a variety of engineering and scientific applications. Despite exhaustive research efforts on the dynamics of drop morphology upon impact, very few studies investigate the fluid dynamics induced within a drop upon impact. The present study employs planar particle image velocimetry (PIV) based on laser induced fluorescence (LIF) to quantify the internal flow field of a drop impact on a solid surface. To quantify the internal motion developed within a drop upon impact, the geometrical distortion caused by the curved drop boundary is corrected using a ray-tracing algorithm. PIV analysis using the corrected images have yielded interesting insights into the flow initiated within a drop upon impact. Depending on the pre-impact conditions, characterized by impact number, different vortex modes are observed in the recoil phase of the drop impact. Further, the strength of these vortices and the kinetic energy of the internal flow field have been quantified. Our studies show a consistent negative power law correlation between the vortex strength, the internal kinetic energy and impact number.

A major thrust in microelectronics R&D is the synthesis of thinfilm materials that possess tunable physical properties. Perovskite oxides are a special class of materials that often exhibit tunable magnetizations, electric polarizations, and electrical conductivities, making them strong candidate materials for future oxide-based electronics. This research project involved the development of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of two perovskites, barium stannate (BaSnO3) and strontium iridate (SrIrO3). / Molecular beam epitaxy is an ultra-high vacuum thin-film deposition process in which complex materials such as perovskite oxides are grown layer-bylayer at the atomic scale using a beam flux of elemental constituents. Certain elements like tin (Sn) have low, unstable vapor pressures in the presence of oxygen, and can be relatively difficult to oxidize in the correct perovskite chemical proportions (stoichiometries), making MBE growth of perovskites challenging. One way to address this challenge is to use “hybrid” MBE—the addition of gas-phase organometallic precursor chemicals to the traditional mix of evaporated solid metals. This project extended the hybrid MBE method to tin, resulting in the first successful MBE growth of stoichiometric BaSnO3 using what we call “radical MBE.” This accomplishment involved research and selection of an appropriate chemical tin precursor, MBE growth, and extensive characterization work. Growth characteristics of BaSnO3 were studied during this project, and research is ongoing into the electrical transport properties of lanthanum-doped BaSnO3 thin films. Early work was also started to design and build a new gas inlet system to support SrIrO3 growth using a similar synthesis strategy.

36 | University of Minnesota


Alexander Dewey

Sundeep Dhanju

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Richard Bianco Mentor’s Department: Surgery

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Irina St. Louis Mentor’s Department: Infectious Disease and International Medicine

Review of the Compatibility of the Triflo Trileaflet Mechanical Heart Valve

Radiation- Induced Changes in CELF1 Localization and Function

This is a scientific review of two publications to determine the compatibility of the Triflo trileaflet mechanical heart valve. An ideal heart valve prosthesis, which has both the flow dynamic properties and blood compatibility of a tissue valve prosthesis and the durability of a mechanical prosthesis, does not exist. The Triflo trileaflet mechanical heart valve (MHV; Triflo Medical Inc., Irvine, CA) is a newly developed MHV prosthesis with the following design goals: central flow, minimal flow disturbance and stasis around the hinge region, and durability. Two separate pre-clinical studies were conducted to evaluate the in vivo experience and determine the blood compatibility. The study results on the ovine model showed the Triflo valve to perform to safety levels comparable with those of the standard St. Jude Medical bileaflet design, when implanted in the aortic and mitral positions. The second blood compatibility study, conducted on eight calves, showed excellent blood compatibility of the Triflo MHV was demonstrated.

Following genotoxic stress, cells activate the canonical kinase-based signaling network (ATM/ATR) to arrest the cell cycle and initiate DNA repair. Tumor cells rewire their pathways for survival after DNA damage through post-transcriptional mechanisms. / We hypothesize that the RNA-binding protein CELF1 plays a role in the regulation of mRNA stability during the DNA damage response. Previously we identified that CELF1 binds to and facilitates the degradation of mRNAs that harbor GU-rich motifs in their 3’ untranslated regions. Binding affinity of CELF1 to RNA is regulated post-translationally, through phosphorylation. / In these experiments, malignant T cell lines (H9 lymphoma and Jurkat leukemia), were irradiated with 5Gy of ionizing radiation. mRNA degradation rates and CELF1 intracellular localization were monitored over the course of four days post-irradiation. / We observed that following DNA damage, the phosphorylated CELF1 co-localizes with H2AX in the nucleus, within activated DNA-double strand break repair sites. CELF1 gets hyper-phosphorylated at 4 hours after irradiation which correlates with stabilization and the increase in expression of GRE-containing stress-response mRNA transcripts. We tested the phosphorylation of CELF1 at serine 28 residue and observed the decrease of S28 signal in irradiated cells. Thus, DNA damage kinase pathways (ATM/ ATR) lead to changes in phosphorylation of CELF1, however not at the position of S28. / Altogether, we propose that the retention of CELF1 in the nucleus could contribute to stabilization of GREcontaining mRNAs in cytoplasm. Future research will focus on identification of phosphorylation sites and nuclear function of CELF1 during DNA damage repair. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 37


Meg Diedrick

Dillon Diering

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Thomas Stoffregen Mentor’s Department: Kinesiology

Chemistry College of Liberal Arts, College of Pharmacy May 2017 Mentor: Gunda Georg Mentor’s Department: Medicinal Chemistry

Sex Differences in the Incidence of Motion Sickness Following Use of the Oculus Rift

CatSper Blockage as a Target for Male Contraception

Motion sickness is a growing concern with developments in transportation and visual technologies. This includes virtual reality technology which has applications in home entertainment, rehabilitation, and workplace settings. The Oculus Rift, a gaming device with a head-mounted visual display, is a prominent example of virtual reality technology. There are anecdotal reports of users of the Oculus Rift, especially women, becoming motion sick following use. We asked if the Oculus Rift could induce motion sickness in a laboratory setting using publicly available games and if the rate of motion sickness incidence would differ between the sexes. Participants completed a series of tasks during which their postural body sway was recorded. They then filled out a questionnaire asking them to assess their level of motion sickness symptoms. Participants played one of two games on the Oculus Rift for a maximum of 15 minutes. Upon completion, they filled out an identical post-test questionnaire. Incidence of motion sickness was higher for women for each game. The difference was not statistically significant for the first game. The difference between the rates of motion sickness incidence was significant for the second game in which 33% of males became sick and 77% of females became sick. We demonstrated that the Oculus Rift is able to induce motion sickness and that the rate of incidence is higher for females. This information may be used by developers of virtual reality devices to make their technology more accessible to users.

Two processes, hyperactivation and capacitation, are both required for proper fertilization and are controlled via calcium ion (Ca2+) regulation. Calcium flux into the sperm cell is mediated via the Cation channel of Sperm (CatSper). Given that CatSper negative mice are sterile and that CatSper mutations within humans have been linked to infertility, CatSper blocking compounds offer a promising lead to developing male contraceptive devices. In 2011 35k compounds were run in a high throughput screen with compounds that showed acceptable potency in a Ca2+ influx assay being selected for further development. Of the 35k compounds 6 were selected for structure activity relationship (SAR) by commerce studies, as well as testing via patch clamp electrophysiology. Two compounds that yielded positive patch clamp electrophysiology activity were then chosen for additional SAR studies. A library consisting of 110 analogs of one of the compounds, GPHR-00032750, was synthesized. The analogs were then tested using an influx assay to determine biological activity. This has lead to promising trends that are currently being explored in a second focused library. / The second promising compound, GPHR00213869, is currently in its nascent stages. Instead of creating a full library of final target compounds, a fragment growth strategy is being used. This consists of determining the most promising heterocyclic cores of the compound and elaborating upon them via BuchwaldHartwig chemistry. The most potent compounds from these results will chosen and elaborated upon until desired potency is achieved.

38 | University of Minnesota


Nick Dockendorf

Nina Domingo

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2016 Mentor: Bo Hu Mentor’s Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Industrial Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: William Cooper Mentor’s Department: Industrial & Systems Engineering

Ammonium Recovery From Waste Streams

The Impact of the METRO Green Line on Property Values in the Twin Cities

Animal manure has traditionally been used as fertilizer because it contains a high level of nitrogen. However, intense manure application to cropland is costly because of manure transportation, ineffective uptake of nutrients, and accumulation of contaminants in soil. There are several methods being developed to fractionate manure nitrogen which can be used as fertilizer in a less costly and more environmental friendly way. Manure nitrogen as excreted is split to feces and urine at a ratio of approximately half to half. Urine mostly consists of urea nitrogen, which is readily hydrolysable to ammonium by ureases produced by naturally occurring intestinal anaerobes. Feces, on the other hand, contain over 50% of total nitrogen in solids as protein nitrogen which is relatively stable. The organic nitrogen must be hydrolyzed by extracellular proteases/ deaminases or mineralized in soil before being bioavailable to plants. Once the nitrogen from feces is in a bioavailable form, it is desired to be separated from contaminants and concentrated so as to cut down on transportation costs. This study evaluates the performance of different builds of cathodes’ ability to extract ammonium from solution via converting the ammonium to its volatile form of ammonia, where it can be captured in acid solution on the adjacent side of the gas permeable membrane.

In 2014, the Metro Transit’s Green Line was made available to the public as a means of transportation connecting the business districts of Minneapolis and St. Paul. This study aims to examine whether proximity to the Green Line has had any effect on property values in the Twin Cities. Several linear models have been developed to fit the property’s price per square foot as a function of its relevant physical attributes and its distance from the light rail station. Radiuses of 0.75, 1 and 1.25-km were used to make individual comparisons of the “before” and “after” results, though no effect on the pattern of house prices can be concluded at present. Further analysis of the data will be performed to better understand whether a significant economic impact on property values exists.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 39


Hanna Dort

Lauren Douglas

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Jeannine Cavender-Bares Mentor’s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences Fall 2016 Mentor: Melissa Gardner Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

The Consequences of Biodiversity for Leaf Litter Decomposition

Effect of Microtubule Structure on EB1 Binding

In many terrestrial ecosystems, recycling of inorganic molecules occurs through decomposition of leaf litter and re-uptake of these compounds by plants and microbial organisms. This project explored and examined the consequences of functional biodiversity, phylogenetic biodiversity, and chemical components for leaf decomposition in the Minnesota prairie-forest ecotone. In April 2015, two sets of litterbags representing 12 different taxa were placed at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCR). The first set of these litterbags was retrieved after two months in the field; the second was retrieved after four months. Leaf litter was dried and weighed, and then ANKOM analysis was performed to determine the relative abundance of chemical components within the leaves. Data from the two-month litterbags suggest that having a moderate level of species richness can increase decomposition rates by up to thirty percent. Additionally, data from the second set of bags suggest a relationship between biodiversity and decomposition of leaves’ chemical components.

Microtubule dynamics are important for many cellular processes. End Binding Protein 1 (EB1), acts as the microtubule associated protein “master regulator” by regulating and tracking the plus end of growing microtubules. How EB1 is able to track growing plus ends of microtubules is not fully understood. I investigated how microtubule end structures are playing a role in the binding of EB1 proteins to microtubule ends. Two independent approaches were used to measure the amount of EB1 that binds to microtubules for different hydrolysis states and different degrees of structural variability (tapering) at microtubule plus-ends. I compared the amount of binding on GDP microtubules that were blunt or tapered, as well as, ‘GTP-like’ microtubules made of slow hydrolyzing GTP analogs, GMPCPP and GTPγS, which are blunt or tapered. In my first approach, I performed in vitro reconstitution assays imaged with TIRF microscopy and analyzed the data with original scripts written by members of the Garnder Lab in MATLAB. In my second approach, EB1 binding was measured using a co-sedimentation assay to analyze the amount of EB1 that spun down with each type of microtubule. The results from both approaches indicate higher binding of EB1 on microtubules with ragged end structures versus those with blunt end structures.

40 | University of Minnesota


Matthew Dries

Melissa Drown

Sustainable Systems Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Robert Seavey Mentor’s Department: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Christopher Faulk Mentor’s Department: Animal Science

Symptoms and Solutions for Ice Dams on Cold Climate Roofs

Epigenetic Profiling of Selected and Non-selected Bovine Populations

Ice dams occur on cold climate roofs when warm zones on the roof melt snow, and cold spots simultaneously freeze the water into large ice formations, typically found on eaves. This is a result of improper air sealing, insufficient attic ventilation, and a plethora of design and construction flaws in new and old homes alike. Attic bypass in the winter relates to escaping heat from conditioned portions of the house into the attic as a result of an inadequate vapor and thermal barrier separating the two zones. Inadequate attic ventilation perpetuates ice dams by failing to cool the roof deck and venting moisture out. Non-vented warm and moist air can melt snow unevenly, and in extreme cases lead to frost in the attic. This fate causes a home durability issue, and can remain unfixed for years without proper diagnostics and solutions. This research will quantify and analyze attic ventilation and air sealing effectiveness using zone pressure diagnostics and an attic blaster test on a South Minneapolis home. This information will be analyzed in regards to the design of the house and its pressure and thermal barrier. With this knowledge, possible solutions will be offered to inform homeowners and contractors in efforts to prevent future ice dam issues and other silent home durability issues. /

Epigenetics is a rapidly advancing field that explains heritable gene expression differences by way of genetic and environmental factors. Numerous phenotypic effects in both humans and other species have been found to correlate with various environmental changes including stress, diet, and toxic exposures. While much research has focused on model organisms, there is growing interest in the application of epigenetics and environment in humans and our most important food producing species. Research up to now has focused on breeding for superior genetic traits in cattle, yet we know little about the environmental factors that govern growth rates, body size, and milk production. Even with modern genetic selection and breeding, there is still great variability in phenotype among bovine and other livestock species. In my UROP I have two Aims (1) to use pyrosequencing to measure DNA methylation in Bos taurus (domestic cattle) and (2) to compare epigenetic variability in two populations, an unselected herd, and a modern highly homozygous selected herd. Achieving these goals will give us an understanding the impact of epigenetics and environment in cattle and is a step toward securing food stability around the world. I hypothesize that the unselected herd will show a difference in epigenetic variability as compared to the modern selected herd.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 41


Kirthica Dutta

Alexis Elfstrum

Biology, Society and the Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Jessica Brown Mentor’s Department: SpeechLanguage-Hearing Sciences

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Susanta Hui Mentor’s Department: Radiation Oncology

Effectiveness Of Visual Supports For Naming Items By Individuals With Acquired Brain Injury

Skeletal And Pathological Characteristics Of Bone Metastasis From Two Different Primary Cancers- A Retrospective Analysis

The proposed research study utilized eye-tracking equipment to explore the visual and cognitive processes of people with and without histories of severe TBI (traumatic brain injury). The researchers presented both decontextualized photographic grid displays and contextualized visual scenes to evaluate where and for how long participants looked at various image components before determining the depicted “theme”. Analysis included theme accuracy, visual fixation time and location, and analysis of viewed key components (e.g., people, background details, main content) during search across image types and between groups. To date, data includes four participants with TBI. Current results indicate that most participants demonstrated several overlapping fixations on various components of the contextualized visual scenes prior to making a theme decision. On the contrary, participants focused on almost all individual parts of the grid in the decontextualized photographic grid displays. Accuracy of theme naming does not appear to change regardless of which image type a participant is viewing; however, individual differences exist in the image display preference participants report following study completion. More data will be collected to determine the most efficacious display type to support main idea depiction and identification for adults with TBI.

Bone metastases are a common cause of mortality for cancer patients. Bone is one of the largest but complex organs of the body. Recent studies indicate correlation between structure and function variations between skeletal sites (Scheller et al.). Although bone metastasis is a frequent result of breast and prostate cancer, it was previously unknown whether there are any preferential sites of skeletal metastasis. Therefore, through retrospective patient data, we investigated common sites of skeletal metastasis from breast and prostate cancers. We also determined a timeline for the development of the primary tumor to the time of diagnosis of bone metastases. A University of Minnesota database was used to locate and analyze 346 cancer patients (203 prostate, 143 breast). Upon a complete review of the patients’ charts and pathological data, we compiled pertinent histological and imaging data. Primary data included metastatic sites, time elapsed from initial cancer diagnosis to metastatic diagnosis, and treatment technique. Both breast and prostate cancers showed large metastatic preference for the vertebrae, ribs, and pelvis. Metastatic sites were further analyzed in terms of years since initial diagnosis (0-5 years, 5-10 years, and 10-15 years). Years since initial diagnosis showed extreme differentials within breast cancer, with many metastatic sites being largely unaffected until 10-15 years after the original diagnosis. Prostate patients showed little variation among metastatic sites in terms of years since initial tumor diagnosis. In conclusion, we have quantitatively established that metastatic sites vary with cancer types and time variations.

42 | University of Minnesota


Ryan Emenecker

Cole Feagler

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, Plant Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Neil Olszewski Mentor’s Department: Plant Biology

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Robert Tranquillo Mentor’s Department: Biomedical Engineering

Investigating the Relationship Between Plant Defense and Growth

Design & Development of Commissure to Limit Paravalvular Leak in Tissue-Engineered Transcatheter Heart Valves

Many stresses promote the accumulation of the plant hormone jasmonate (JA), which triggers the defense response. Jasmonate does so by promoting the destruction of a protein called JAZ, which otherwise inhibits plant defense responses. Interestingly, the accumulation of jasmonate also suppresses plant growth. The plant growth pathway utilizes proteins called DELLAs that function to inhibit growth. The plant hormone gibberellin stimulates growth by promoting the destruction of DELLAs. The current model explaining the ability of jasmonate to suppress plant growth has JAZ bind to DELLA in a way that prevents DELLA from suppressing growth. When jasmonates are produced in the response to biotic or abiotic stress, JAZ is destroyed, thus freeing the bound DELLAs to further suppress plant growth. The hypothesis that I will be testing is that the DELLA protein links all JA regulation of plant growth. Alternatively, there may exist a novel DELLA-independent pathway linking plant growth and plant defense.

Since Shinoka et al. demonstrated the applicability of tissue engineering to the design of implantable heart valves in the early 1990s, cardiac tissue engineering has advanced tremendously. Current tissue-engineered heart valve (TEHV) designs can exceed hemodynamic performance of mechanical heart valves, with some valves even being designed to re-integrate into the surrounding tissue following implantation. However, despite these major improvements in durability and hemodynamic performance, nearly all modern TEHVs require open-heart surgery for implantation. Such surgical installation of the valves necessitates a lengthy physical and physiological recovery process, typically precluding elderly or highrisk patients from receiving the devices. / / To address issues of limited patient access and months-long recovery periods, transcatheter TEHVs are beginning to be developed. Unfortunately, early in vivo trials have revealed higher-than-desired levels of paravalvular leakage (PVL), plus potential rapid failure of tissue due to high stress concentrations near the commissures. As such, the goal of this project was to improve commissure design in transcatheter TEHVs, to address those critical shortcomings. / / Using the Tranquillo group’s engineered tissue technology and a custom nitinol stent frame designed by the Lerman group at the Mayo Clinic, several valves were fabricated to test unique commissure protection strategies. Each valve was then tested in a pulse duplicator to failure, and the effects of the commissure design on PVL and durability analyzed. To date, padding of the commissure with polyester mesh has provided most improvement to TEHV durability in accelerated wear testing.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 43


Alexandria Felix

Dona-Carla Forester

Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Mae Davenport Mentor’s Department: Forest Resources

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Christy Haynes Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Responsibility And Personal Obligations: Evaluating Minnesota Farmers’ Intentions to Implement Buffer Strips

Measuring The Toxicity Of Nmc Nanomaterials On S. Oneidensis mr-1 Using Colony Counting Method

In 2015, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton initiated a buffer strip law that requires vegetative strips at least 50 feet wide along waterways throughout the state. Agriculture plays a significant role in Minnesota, and farmers are key players in determining whether or not the goals of this initiative will be met. This study explores farmers’ intent to implement buffer strips in the Red River Basin, located in the northwestern part of the state. It seeks to understand farmer perspectives of water resources by investigating perceptions of responsibility and personal norms, and to examine their effect on environmental behavior (i.e. intent to implement buffer strips). Data from a self-administered landowner survey conducted in spring 2014 was utilized to analyze these farmer perceptions, and to attempt to evaluate factors that influence individual farmer decision-making. The factors explored are derived from current theories in literature such as norm activation theory and value belief norm theory. A linear regression model was constructed to best predict the extent to which farmers intend to implement buffer strips on their agricultural property. Moreover, this model was valuable in evaluating the relationship between intent to implement and independent variables, specifically farmer perceptions of responsibility and personal norms. Beliefs about farmer responsibility for water resource protection and personal obligations to talk to others about conservation practices were significant predictors of farmer intentions to implement buffer strips. Perceptions of state or federal government responsibility for protecting water resources were either negatively associated with intent to implement or not statistically significant. Areas for further investigation and implications for the results are also discussed.

In recent years, nanoparticles have gained popularity. They’re used in a variety of mainstream products, but, because of their popularity, inevitably interact with the environment. The effects the nanoparticles may have on the environment have not been well studied, so the focus of this research is to lift the veil on some of the potential impacts. The nanoparticle in focus is nanoscale LixNiyMnzCo1-yzO2 (0 < x,y,z < 1), a material with great potential and imminent use in lithium ion battery cathodes. To assess the environmental effects of these nanomaterials, S. oneidensis MR-1, a bacteria common to bodies of water and beneficial to the ecosystem, was used as the model biological system. Previous work has demonstrated that this bacterium is killed by the Ni(II) and Co(II) ions released from the nanoparticles. However, not much is known about the short term effects of the nanoparticles upon the bacteria, and this is the focus of this work. By learning the toxic effect of these nanomaterials and characterizing the molecular character of the nanoparticle/bacteria interactions, insight will be gained about the toxicity mechanism and potential avenues of nanoparticle redesign.

44 | University of Minnesota


Kevin Fox

Addison Galagan

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Kechun Zhang Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Architecture College of Design May 2016 Mentor: Rebecca Krinke Mentor’s Department: Landscape Architecture

Engineering Nonphosphorylative Metabolism into E. coli for Biosynthesis of Value-added Chemicals from Lignocellulosic Feedstocks

Bird Bodies

Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant source of raw material for use in the biosynthesis of chemicals. Intrinsic metabolic pathways for lignocellulosic biomass in Escherichia coli involve a large amount of enzymatic steps, require large amounts of ATP and have a low carbon yield. In this work we developed a nonphosphorylative mechanism capable of producing TCA cycle derivatives in less than six enzymatic steps with a carbon flux of 100% towards products. In addition, the lack of a phosphorylation mechanism reduces the dependence on ATP usage during the metabolism. In order to develop a proof of concept for the metabolic design, selected gene clusters were modified in order to produce 1,4 butanediol (BDO) and 5-amino-levulinic acid (ALA) from a feed of D-xylose, L-arabinose, or D-galacturonate. The BDO production was scaled up in a 1.3 l bioreactor, having a maximum titer observed of 17 g/l. ALA production was done using shake flask fermentation and yielded a titer of 0.5 g/l. This work demonstrates a potential for further utilization of this pathway mechanism for the production of various valuable chemicals.

“Bird Bodies” is a creative arts project that has matured from Rebecca Krinke’s professional art practice in the mediums of sculpture and community engagement, directly following her recent project with Northern Spark entitled “Dream Window”. Through our research and her guidance, we are finding a connection between art and human experience through the subject of dreams. Engaging the ideas of the unusual interface, she and I have created situations of uncanny circumstances that hold the potential to awaken areas of the subconscious mind. Through conversations and personal testimony, people have been informing us about their powerful and vivid dream after viewing Rebecca’s work. Between sculpture, public art, and photography, we are exploring this unusual world in which we have found ourselves.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 45


Ming Gao

Mira Garner

Materials Science College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Xiang Cheng Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Jennifer Powers Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Dynamics of Liquid-drop Impact Craters in Wet Granular Media

Legume Leaf Traits Across A Precipitation Gradient In Tropical Forests

Within the field of fluid mechanics, this research models and scales the dynamics of liquid-drop impact craters in wet granular media. It was found how impact crater morphology is related to the size and impact energy of impinging drops, and liquid saturation of the granular beds. In the experiment, a liquid drop with controlled diameter is released above a granular bed packed by soda-lime glass beads of a certain liquid saturation. The process of the impact cratering is recorded by high-speed camera, which is further used for scaling and measurement. After considering several variables regarding to the balance between inertia of impinging drops and the strength of impacted surface, the scaling law for the size of impact crater is determined. It proves that the energy partition for liquid-drop impact cratering in dry granular media also applies to wet granular media. It also shows that compressive stresses, instead of shear stresses, control the process of granular impact cratering. This study is inspired by the natural phenomenon of rain dropping on sand and soil. It provides essential understanding on liquid impact craters, and can be further applied to geology and agriculture with a special focus on drip irrigation and soil erosion.

In tropical dry forests, legume tree species (Fabaceae) tend to thrive despite long dry periods. Anecdotal evidence suggests that besides the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen through symbiosis with bacteria, these plants have mechanisms of water conservation, which aid their survival during these periods of water scarcity. For example, legumes are known for having compound leaves with small leaflets, which help reduce the boundary layer around the leaf, and thus decrease leaf transpiration and temperature. However, empirical evidence determining this mechanism has not been collected. In this study, we addressed this question by determining whether or not functional leaf traits of legumes related to leaf size correlated with precipitation gradients in the tropics. We measured five leaf traits (leaf length and width, leaflet length and width, and petiole length) in 455 legume species using specimens at the University of Minnesota Herbarium as well as various digital herbariums. Leaf traits were not significantly different between nitrogen fixing and non-fixing legumes. However, when these data were combined with an extensive database of tropical forest plots, nitrogen-fixing legumes showed higher relative basal area in dry forests compared to rainforests. Additionally, legume functional leaf traits such as leaf length and size increased unimodally along a gradient of annual rainfall. These data suggest that leaf traits related to water conservation, along with the ability to fix nitrogen, help explain the success of legumes in tropical dry forests.

46 | University of Minnesota


Avery Garon

Alex Garvin

Astrophysics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Claudia Scarlata Mentor’s Department: Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics

Animal Sciences College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Dawn Tanner Mentor’s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Research Partners: Julie Sherman, Amy Yi, Karre Wagner

Modeling and Removing Contamination in WISP Grism Data

Crabby Consequences of Ocean Acidification

I develop and present an improved method for modeling and removing the contamination from WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel (WISP) Survey grism data. WISP takes slitless spectroscopy data, which means that spectra of different objects may overlap in the observations. The current cleaning algorithm assumes a multiGaussian intensity profile for modeling the overlapping objects. The new algorithm I develop calculates the profiles from the direct image of the galaxy. I discuss current shortcomings of my method and where it can be improved. This algorithm will be made publicly available and eventually incorporated into the WISP pipeline. Source code available at dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.49092.

The effects of acidic water on Portunus gibbesii crabs was measured to determine if the predicted future pH of oceans would have a short-term impact on the ability of the crabs to grow in simulated adverse conditions. The experiment was conducted by introducing four Portunus gibbesii crabs to a control tank with historic pH ocean levels of 8.2. The other four crabs were placed in an experimental tank with predicted future ocean pH levels of 7.9. Over the course of six weeks, the water chemistry was measured daily to ensure constant water conditions and the crabs’ weight, carapace length and carapace width was measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. Crab growth was not statistically different between the the control and experimental tanks. However, the mortality rate of the experimental tank was 50% while the control tank was 0%. Ocean acidification is a global event with the potential risk of widespread damage to marine ecosystems. As predicted ocean pH is expected to fall to 7.9, organisms that form exoskeletons such as coral and crabs may be unable to form hard calcium carbonate shells, affecting the whole marine ecosystem as a result.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 47


Kate Geschwind

Rachel Gewiss

Genetics, Spanish College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Amy Skubitz Mentor’s Department: Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women’s Health

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: David Zarkower Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Development of a Biomarker Profile for Ovarian Cancer using Proseek® Multiplex Plates

The Lady Said No: Transgenic Sox9’s Effect in the Adult Mouse Ovary

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. Currently, two serum biomarkers, CA125 and HE4, are used to monitor recurrence of ovarian cancer. However, their specificity and sensitivity are not adequate for detecting early stages of ovarian cancer in the general population. In this project, we used a multiplex approach to identify new candidate biomarkers for early stages of ovarian cancer. We used a Proseek® Multiplex Oncology plate (Olink Bioscience) to analyze the expression of 92 biomarkers in 1 µL of serum collected from 22 women in each of four groups: healthy, benign ovarian tumors, early stage ovarian cancer, and late stage ovarian cancer. Biomarker levels were analyzed by a Proximity Extension Assay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. As expected, CA125 and HE4 showed the highest variation between healthy versus early stage ovarian cancer (AUC=0.981 and 0.844, respectively). Interestingly, 18 additional proteins were identified as potential candidate biomarkers with AUC > 0.70. To validate these results, we plan to test hundreds of serum samples on Proseek® plates. Our ultimate goal is to develop an algorithm of biomarkers that can be used to screen women for early stages of ovarian cancer, when the likelihood of long term survival is greatest.

In mammals, the bipotential gonad undergoes either male or female differentiation following the process of sex determination. The balance of male- and female-specific gene expression is key for proper sexual differentiation. Additionally, recent findings have shown that transdifferentiation of somatic cells within the gonad can occur after sexual differentiation has taken place when certain male- or female-specific transcription factors are expressed in the opposite sex. Previous research has shown that expressing Dmrt1 in the adult ovary can cause transdifferentiation of granulosa cells into Sertoli-like cells. However, it is unknown whether Sox9, another transcription factor involved in male cell fate specification, can also cause granulosa cell transdifferentiation, or any masculinization of a determined ovary. Here we show that transgenic Sox9 is incapable of activating endogenous Dmrt1 within the granulosa cells of 3-weekold mice. Transgenic Sox9 expression does cause an upregulation of male marker Sox8, but its expression does not lead to a reduction of female gene expression. It seems that Sox9 is not capable of causing the same masculinization of the adult ovary as Dmrt1 has been shown to produce. These results help to further elucidate the mechanisms of mammalian sex determination and sex maintenance. Furthermore, a better understanding of sex determination and maintenance pathways may help to provide a molecular diagnosis for individuals with disorders of sexual development.

48 | University of Minnesota


Shreya Ghoshal

Alexi Glenn

Architecture College of Design May 2017 Mentor: Kate Solomonson Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Architecture

Food Process Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2017 Mentor: Gary Reineccius Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Food Science

Student Experience of the Built Environment at the University of Minnesota

Oxidative Stability of Spray Dried Flavorings

What is the center of student life on a college campus? Which buildings have seen the most social activity? How did the design of these buildings influence which spaces students have chosen to occupy? The main focus of this research project is to develop a comprehensive campus history that analyzes the relationship between spaces on the University of Minnesota campus and the ways students have inhabited them. Architectural styles and master planning on campus affect how students experience and interpret spaces and therefore determine which spaces they chose to inhabit; we would like to analyze this relationship, which has never been studied before, and make that information available to everyone. The history of the university has been researched; the drawings for each campus plan through the years have all been drawn. But no research tying the social implications of space to the architectural history has ever been realized and that is the purpose of my research.

While maltodextrin was used as an emulsifier, whey protein was used as a barrier to oxygen on the surface of an orange oil droplet. Increasing amounts of whey protein were mixed into solution to determine the ideal quantity of protein as the barrier. The spray dried orange oil samples with water activity of 0.11, 0.33 and 0.5 were stored at 35`C for 6 weeks. Results showed that increased amounts of whey protein did not act as a barrier to oxygen but rather a pore.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 49


Andrew Gonzales

Madelyn Gray

American Studies College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: David Karjanen Mentor’s Department: American Studies

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Timothy Ebner Mentor’s Department: Neuroscience Research Partner: Anant Naik

When Reagan Left America

The Impact of Stress on Progression of Dystonia Attack in tg/tg Mouse

“When Reagan Left America” is a historical look into the AIDS crisis in the United States. Critiquing the Reagan administration’s response to the pandemic, it also traces the global nature of the disease from a political perspective.

The tottering (tg/tg) mouse is the leading model organism for studies of the human disease episodic ataxia type 2 (EA2), due to an analogous mutation of the Cacna1a gene. This mutation causes a deformation of calcium ion channels across the brain, manifesting in symptoms of mild ataxia, absence seizures, and pronounced episodic ascending dystonic attacks. While the occurrence of these attacks has been noted since the inception of the tg/tg mouse, the exact progression and severity of attacks has not been explored. Here we explore the relation of stress to attack provocation, progression and severity under the hypothesis that placing the mouse in a stressful situation would provoke a severe attack. Potential attacks in the tg/ tg mouse were provoked through injections of saline, caffeine, and movement of the naive mouse into a new cage, with changes of behavior indicating attack progression scored on a four point scale. Some mice were also introduced to a secondary stressor while in the attack. There was no significant difference in the duration and severity of attacks provoked by caffeine and saline and allowed to proceed without a secondary stressor, while new cage attacks were characterized by shorter duration but approximately the same latency. The addition of a secondary stressor mid-attack caused tg/ tg mice to come out of the attack for a brief period, after which they appeared to start a new attack.

50 | University of Minnesota


Elizabeth Grein

Abby Gross

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Nathan Kuncel Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychology

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Craig Packer Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Does Decision-Making Style Relate to Job Outcomes and Individual Differences?: A Meta-Analysis

The Coexistence of Carnivores in Serengeti National Park

The concept of decision-making styles as influential individual difference variables is comparatively new in the psychological literature. This study aims to consolidate wide-ranging the research in this area and provide a complete view of the overall effects of relationships between individual decision-making styles and both work outcomes and other individual difference variables (e.g., personality traits). Results collected from nine studies indicate that decision styles have modest but important relationships with supervisor ratings of job performance. The most extensive evidence available is for the Maximizing/Safisficing decision style, which has important relationships with other aspects of a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personality including optimism and intellectual curiosity as well as life outcomes including happiness, life satisfaction, and self-efficacy.

Central theories in ecology, such as niche theory, predict that similar species within ecological communities should compete with one another and eventually lead to the exclusion of one species. Therefore, the coexistence of similar species within ecosystems remains a perplexing problem. Genetta genetta and Civettictis civetta, highlight the potential for competition due to their overlapping habitat preferences, diet, sociality and temporal activity. However, the fine-scale habitat characteristics that determine their spatial distribution and whether these two species spatially segregate in order to avoid competition are so far unknown. Detection histories for both species were created based on data collected from a camera trap grid located in Serengeti National Park over a 32 months period. With the detection histories, occupancy modeling was used to detect the potential for spatial segregation and to determine habitat characteristics that may explain their spatial distribution. The top models suggest that G. genetta occupies areas near rivers and roads, while C. civetta occupies areas far from river or with low lion risk, and that their spatial distributions were independent of each other. This suggests that due to the terrestrial nature of C. civetta, civets may be more susceptible to lion predation than the more arboreal G. genetta. This differential pressure from lions may allow these two small carnivore species to coexist in Serengeti.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 51


Meghan Grover

Ronny Guerrero

Acting College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Bruce Roach Mentor’s Department: Theatre Arts and Dance

Management Information Systems Carlson School of Management December 2016 Mentor: Corrinne Fiedler Mentor’s Department: Information and Decision Sciences

Girls Like That

Can a Pat on the Back Work? The Effects of Oral and Written Rewards on IT Security

Amber Montgomery, Shaina Ferguson, and Meghan Grover are studying acting with the Guthrie BFA program. They investigated how theatre education can inspire and challenge young people’s esteem and empathy. They produced, toured, and performed Evan Placey’s play, Girls Like That. Girls Like That holds a mirror to issues of feminism, friendship, by-standing, bullying, self-image, social media, and sexuality. Most importantly, it challenges audiences to think about how they understand and treat others. They hoped this play would stir ongoing, positive conversations, and empower its audience to take a stand for their own individuality and for others.

Effective activities and methods to stimulate a person’s intrinsic motivation to follow rules have been studied and developed in many contexts. Yet, there is a lack of empirical evidence to determine the best methods to stimulate employee intrinsic motivation to follow security related rules in Information Technology (IT) contexts. Employee conformance to Information Technology Security Governance (ITSG) is one of the toughest challenges for organizations today. Reports such as IBM (2014) indicate that after a security breach a company will lose about $145 per record that was breached. Target’s breach in 2013 totaled to $191 million in costs related to their breach (2015) and Home Depot estimated its 2014 breach costs at $62 million. This does not include the loss of reputation the company will also need to recover. This study attempts to develop guidelines for actions that management can take to encourage intrinsic motivation to comply with ITSG principles, which will work to prevent security breaches.

52 | University of Minnesota


Braxton Haake

Joseph Habeck

History, Political Science College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Rick McCormick Mentor’s Department: German, Dutch and Scandinavian

Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Peter Seiler Mentor’s Department: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Ernst Lubitsch and Transnational Film

Moment of Inertia Estimation Using a Bi-filar Pendulum

Ernst Lubitsch was a German-Jewish filmmaker who rose from acting in caricatured, self-deprecating comedy bits to eventually becoming the most successful film director in Berlin, all before packing it up and earning fame and acclaim once again in Hollywood. His films spanned four decades; he was at the forefront of Germany’s post WWI film renaissance, left for America like much of the industry’s bests in the years before the nazi’s rise to power, and saw his career flourish again in America during the second World War. Where other biographers have tended to partition and focus on either Lubitsch’s American or German career, Pr. McCormick is writing a book that will offer a comprehensive study of Lubitsch’s entire filmography. In doing so, he hopes to offer more social and political context to Lubitsch’s work, relating his films to their period’s culture, whether that be the Weimar Republic or America during the Roaring 20’s and then the depression. Pr. McCormick also intends to explore Lubitsch’s work as it pertains to his ‘transnationalism,’ a reference to not only his literal geographic movement but also his cultural and ethnic background as an outsider even amongst outsiders.

The moments of inertia of an aircraft are important in understanding its aerodynamic properties and thus its translational and rotational motion during flight. A current method used in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Laboratory to estimate these moments of inertia includes a bi-filar pendulum, which consists of suspending an aircraft from two parallel wires, applying a small moment to the aircraft, then measuring its period of oscillation. Measuring the period of oscillation allows further calculation of the aircrafts angular frequency and – being inversely proportional to the moment of inertia – allows an estimation to be made of its moment of inertia. The objective of this project is to experimentally determine the accuracy of the bi-filar pendulum and its optimal parameters for minimal sources of error.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 53


Tiffany Hamidjaja

Sugan Hamud

Psychology, Sociology of Law Criminology and Deviance College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Rebecca Shlafer Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Pediatrics

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Emilie Snell-Rood Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Trauma-Informed Arrest Policies in the Twin Cities Metro Area

Costs Of Being A Generalist: A Case Study in Cabbage White Butterflies

Research shows that parental incarceration is an adverse childhood experience, with arrests being the first point of intersection between the justice system and the child. Trauma-informed arrest policies attempt to ameliorate the impacts children experience when witnessing the arrest of a parent. This study investigated the existence of trauma-informed arrest policies in law enforcement offices in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Results indicated that no agencies have formally implemented a trauma-informed policy, but many had informal practices designed to mitigate trauma. Agencies expressed interest in training, education, and the formalization of trauma-informed arrest policies. A larger project is being conducted to include all local police departments in Minnesota.

Organisms vary in niche breadth. In fact, any organism has a subset of environmental conditions in which it can thrive, and particular types of food, defense, and breeding sources that it must attain for survival and reproduction. In varying environments however, some organisms are able to use a wide range of resources while others are comparatively more specialized. Though there is a clear advantage in being a generalist, with regards to its capability to thrive in a wide variety of different resources, there are still specialist species. Biologists have thus turned to developmental mechanisms to understand this variation in niche breadth. This project focuses on uncovering the costs and tradeoffs that organisms face as a result of being a generalist species. Cabbage white butterflies were categorized as specialists and generalists based on their survival on two diets: Brassica Rapa and radish. Based on comparisons of fitness levels, generalists were found to face costs in body size and reproductive costs such as egg number. By evaluating the costs of being a generalist, we are able to gain insight into variation in niche breadth. This is crucial for continued scientific advancement and to further our understanding of the many ways by which environmental heterogeneity and change can impact the evolution of genetic and phenotypic diversity at different levels of biological organization.

54 | University of Minnesota


Nadia Handler

Jessica Hanneman

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Adrian Hegeman Mentor’s Department: Horticulture

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Bharat Thyagarajan Mentor’s Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Effects of Increasing Salt Concentration on the Accuracy of Mass Spectrometry

The use of Expanded Next Generation Sequencing Panels in the Clinical Diagnosis of Ataxia

Mass Spectrometry (MS) is used to quantify molecules in complex mixtures by comparing relative signal intensities. This process is complicated by the formation of multiple ions for a single compound. These ions form when cationization occurs with alkali metal ions instead of the addition of a proton and are known as adducts. Due to the high level of sensitivity of MS instruments, this poses an issue for the accuracy of quantification in MS. This experiment sought to determine the sensitivity of specific compounds to adduct formation in increasing concentrations of salt. The compounds tested were significant compounds in plant cells and the salts used included sodium, potassium, and a mixture of the two. The relative intensities of the [M+H], [M+Na], and [M+K] peaks were recorded and the ratios between the adduct peak and the [M+H] were compared at each salt concentration. Thus far, the results show a strong correlation between the salt concentration and the intensity of the salt adduct peaks, as predicted. However, different compounds show a greater sensitivity to this change. Additionally, the sodium adduct peaks have a greater intensity than the potassium adduct peaks for nearly all of the compounds tested. The next step in this project will be test how the salt concentration affects these compounds in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and determine which columns minimize the effects of adduct formation.

Background: Current genetic testing for ataxia identifies a genetic cause in only a fraction of patients. Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), allows simultaneous analysis of hundreds of genes. We evaluated whether a comprehensive neurological disease gene panel would improve the genetic diagnosis in ataxia patients, who tested negative for common repeat-mediated ataxias. Materials: DNA from 61 patients was obtained from the University of Minnesota Ataxia clinic with written patient consent. 601 genes associated with neurological disorders were targeted using a Truesight One library (Illumina Inc.), and samples were sequenced on a HiSeq2500 (Illumina Inc.). Variants were categorized into 5 categories: (1) pathogenic, (2) likely pathogenic, (3) VUS, (4) likely benign, and (5) benign, using ACMGG criteria. Results: The study consisted of 35 women (57%) and 26 men (43%) with 85% (n=52) being unrelated. We identified a genetic cause of ataxia in 9 unrelated participants (17%). The pathogenic mutations in these individuals were in the ANO10, CYP7B1, PMM2, SPG7, and SYNE1 genes. A majority of the unrelated participants (n=46; 88%) had several VUS (mean ± standard deviation: 3.48±2.97). Conclusion: Using a comprehensive genetic panel specific for neurological disorders, we identified a limited number of diagnoses that would not be included in typical ataxia panels. However, the testing identified a large number of VUS that resulted in significant workload for the clinical diagnostics laboratory without any demonstrable benefit to the patients. These results suggest that clinicians and laboratories should carefully evaluate the cost-effectiveness of large-scale genomic approaches before implementing them in clinical practice. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 55


Amy Harms

Brian Harrison

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Richard Lee Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychology

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Jane Glazebrook Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Plant Biology

The Chinese Adoptee Experience: Exploring Ethnic Socialization and Ethnic Identity

Proteins Involved in Plant Immunity

Transnational adoption from China began in 1992, with more than 250,000 Chinese children adopted worldwide. Despite this large-scale dispersal, little research has examined this cohort as the first wave is now reaching adulthood. Prior adoption research has focused on Korean adoptees, especially in regards to their ethnic socialization and ethnic identity as adults. The current study qualitatively examined the ethnic socialization experiences and ethnic identity development of adult Chinese transracial adoptees (n=10). Using thematic analyses, we found six notable themes in a preliminary round of coding, including Development of Ethnic Identity, Ethnic Socialization, and Views of Adoption.

Calmodulin (CaM) is a messenger protein that binds calcium (Ca2+) in eukaryotic cells. CaM transduces Ca2+ signals by binding calcium ions and then modifies its interactions with various target proteins. Three members of the CALMODULIN-BINDING PROTEIN60 (CBP60) gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana plants, CBP60a, CBP60g, and SYSTEMIC ACQUIRED RESISTANCE DEFICIENT 1 (SARD1), are important to plant immunity. CBP60g and SARD1 positively regulate plant immunity via promoting the production of salicylic acid (SA) and regulating the expression of other genes responsible for plant immunity, while CBP60a negatively regulates the plant defense response. This project is centered on identifying proteins interacting with the CBP60 gene family by using a yeast-2hybrid system. / / We will screen a library of Arabidopsis transcription factors including 1,956 pDEST22-TF plasmids obtained from the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC). The bait plasmids that encode CBP60g, CBP60a, or SARD1 were prepared and transformed into the yeast host strain MaV203 respectively, which generated the yeast bait strains. The standard lithium acetate method will then be used to transform the TF library into the yeast bait strain. After transformation, the colonies will be selected for growth on 50mM 3-Amino-1,2,4-triazole (3-AT) and further tested by X-gal assay. The TF clones in the blue yeast colonies will then be amplified using PCR and identified via gene sequencing. Retransformation assays will confirm the result of successful bait/prey interaction by reproducing the reporter gene phenotype when the prey is reintroduced into MaV203 with the original bait plasmid, but not when empty pDEST32 is introduced. Biomolecular Floresence Complementation will be used as secondary in vivo validation.

56 | University of Minnesota


Tegan Harty

Allison Harvey

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Louis Mansky Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Molecular virology

Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Paul Porter Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Agronomy

Investigation of Ribonucleoside Induced Lethal Mutagenesis in HIV-1

Linking Predicted and Observed Soil Properties to Corn Yields in Somalia

At this time I do not have a finished abstract because I am still in the process of collecting the data that will be used in writing the paper. I have attached my goal for the project as well as the hypothesis that I based the research I did on. I can provide an abstract closer to the date of the presentation. Specific aim: To Investigate the mechanism through which ribonucleoside mutagens induce lethal mutagenesis in HIV-1 This aim will test the following hypotheses: Hypothesis #1: 5-azacytidine is reduced and incorporated during HIV-1 DNA synthesis to create G-to-C mutations Hypothesis #2: 5-azacytidine is directly incorporated during HIV-1 DNA synthesis to create G-to-C mutations Hypothesis #3: 5-azacytidine only induces G-to-C mutations when incorporated during minus-strand DNA synthesis Hypothesis #4: Antiretroviral drug resistance to viral mutagens can emerge by selection

In Somalia, governmental instabilities restrict farmers from accessing soil analysis that would serve as a guide for informed land use management. Prior to governmental collapse, there was a functioning Central Agricultural Research Station for the country near the town of Afgoi. This location is one of the few that has continued to perform some degree of agricultural research. Recent scientific efforts in the region have produced corn yield data from 50 farmers from two gu and one deyr growing seasons. Some of the yields have shown inconsistencies between locations, which we hypothesized may be due to differences in soil type. In this project, we test that hypothesis by compiling predicted and measured soil properties in the study region from several sources: 1) legacy data accessed through the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project, 2) soil sample data taken from farmers/villages participating in the study, and 3) predicted soil properties for the area from AfSIS maps generated from remote sensing data. These three data sources will enable us to examine the range in soil properties throughout the entire region, as well as determine whether or not there are robust geographical differences in soil properties between sub-regions or villages in the study area. This information will enable a more detailed analysis of yield data to determine the potential impacts of environmental factors and social practices on crop production.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 57


Hannah Hauan

Margaret Haws

Plant Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Mary Rogers Mentor’s Department: Horticultural Science

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dana Davis Mentor’s Department: Microbiology

Efficacy of Organic Fertilizer on Pieris rapae Herbivory of Brassica oleracea

Are Non-Human Mammals Occupied by a Candida albicans-like Yeast?

Nutrient availability influences plant quality and host plant suitability of insect herbivores. This project aims to investigate the response of imported cabbageworm caterpillars (Pieris rapae) to different types (organic vs. synthetic) and rates of fertilizers in broccoli (Brassica oleracea). A synthetic fertilizer, Peter’s 20-10-20, was given to 12 of the 24 broccoli plants on a weekly basis. Contrastingly, an organic fish emulsion concentration (Neptune’s Harvest) fertilizer was given to the other 12 of 24 broccoli plants. Chlorophyll levels were observed on two occasions. Once the plants reached a level of young maturity imported cabbageworms were released (1 per plant, on 18 of the 24 plants). Head capsules were measured every two days until pupation began. Leaves will be scanned and measured for total surface area eaten per imported cabbageworm. A complete data analysis is still in progress and will be reported on in further detail at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. With this in mind, the study hopes to provide concrete data to explain whether an organic fertilizer or synthetic fertilizer results in the most insect damage.

The yeast Candida albicans, the main cause of candidiasis, is specific to the human host environment and a commensal of the vast majority of humans. Within the human host, C. albicans resides in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the mouth and it is well established that C. albicans undergoes morphological transition between a yeast and filamentous form in the human host. Although C. albicans is human associated, on rare occasions it is found in mammals that reside in human populated areas. It appears that the animals are acquiring C. albicans from humans in their area when the two groups are in close contact. However, it has not yet been widely investigated if animals naturally have a different fungal commensal that is similar in morphological character to C. albicans in humans. Here we show that some yeast strains found in animal scat samples exhibit similar characteristics to C. albicans when grown under the same conditions. Various isolates grew at the same rate as C. albicans when grown in the same nitrogen or carbon source based media and under the same conditions. The results add to current knowledge by demonstrating that the isolates are mammalian commensals rather than environmental contaminants and therefore may occupy the same niche in the animal body as C. albicans does, making them potentially infectious to non-human mammals. These data indicate that it is possible that there is a yeast that occupies non-human mammals that is similar to C. albicans in humans.

58 | University of Minnesota


Paige Hazelton

Megan He

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: David Largaespada Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Pediatric Oncology and Hematology

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: William G. Iacono Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychology

Understanding the Effects of SRGAP2 on Osteosarcoma Metastasis

Cannabis Use and Brain Volumes: A Co-Twin Control Analysis

Osteosarcoma is the eighth most common pediatric cancer, and patients with pulmonary metastases have a long-term survival rate of only 20-25%. A screen was performed in mice using the Sleeping Beauty Transposon system, which identified the gene SRGAP2 as a potential driver of metastasis. To further study this gene, overexpression and knockout lines were created in existing human and murine osteosarcoma cell lines HOS, 143B, K12 and K7M2. Successful protein overexpression and knockout was validated using sequencing, qPCR, and western blot techniques. The lines were then subjected to behavior assays that measured various metastatic characteristics, specifically proliferation, migration and colony formation. The initial findings are inconclusive, but further experiments using these cell lines will be able to elucidate the true role that SRGAP2 plays in the metastases of osteosarcoma, with the potential of using it as a clinical prognostic marker.

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug worldwide, and many states are increasingly legalizing medicinal and recreational cannabis use. Recently, there has been a substantial amount of studies examining the association between cannabis use and changes in brain morphology, with inconclusive results. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the investigative effort by examining differences in regional brain volumes between problematic cannabis users and non-users. Female twin participants (n = 102) from the Enrichment Study of the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research were classified as problematic cannabis users (n = 16) or non-users (n = 86) based on diagnoses for cannabis abuse and dependence assessed at ages 17, 20, and 24. Structural neuroimaging data of the participants was collected at age 24 via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and the volumes of the hippocampus, parahippocampus, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, insula, and cerebellum were obtained. Linear mixed modeling (LMM) analyses that accounted for the nested nature of the twin data indicated that problematic cannabis use was significantly associated with reduced hippocampal volume (p = 0.003), and not significantly associated with differences in other brain regionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; volumes. A co-twin control analysis was then used to assess if this association was due to premorbid risk for problematic cannabis use or due to a neurotoxic effect of cannabis exposure, and results indicated that this association was due to cannabis exposure. Together, these results demonstrate that problematic cannabis use can cause changes in brain morphology.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 59


Kyle Hemmingsen

Mackenzie Herzig

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Cari Dutcher Mentor’s Department: Mechanical Engineering

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Paul Iaizzo Mentor’s Department: Surgery

Using Polymer to Clean Water: Flocculation and Fluid Flow of Clay Suspensions

3D Modeling of Human Left Atrial Appendages via MRI Scans

Flocculation is a process used in water treatment that helps in the separation of solids and liquid with water-soluble polymers. Unoptimized polymer dosing leads to larger costs. The purpose of this research is to reduce cost through the optimization of polymerdriven flocculation water treatment. The efficiency of flocculation is conducted using jar tests in the laboratory. For macroscopic characterization, the degree of impurity removal is quantified and the pH and conductivity of the solution is measured. This research will result in a better understanding of flocculation and will directly impact the use of flocculation as a water treatment in industry; as costs for the treatment plants will decrease as the efficiency of flocculation increases.

The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a small pouch attached to the muscle wall of the left atrium. When the heart contracts, blood is pumped from the LAA and left atrium into the left ventricle. However, little is currently known about the role and function of the LAA. We do know that when atrial fibrillation occurs the electrical impulses that normally control the heartbeat don’t allow the heart to contract properly, therefore, not all the blood from the atrium and LAA is pumped into the ventricle. This causes the leftover blood to pool in the LAA and atrium forming clots. When these clots are pumped out of the atrium, they have the potential to cause strokes. LAA occlusion devices are used to help prevent these blood clots from forming in the LAA by closing it off. To help better define variations in LAA anatomy and utilizations of therapeutic devices 3D models of the LAA can be made. To do this, perfusion fixed human hearts were MRI scanned and the images were imported into MIMICS software. Each modeled appendage was characterized by its shape and then the measurements of the endocardial and epicardial surface areas, volumes of appendages, orifice size, and width and distance between the pectinate muscles were recorded. At this time 16 hearts have been analyzed and have been classified as: five cauliflowers, seven chicken wings, four windsocks and zero cactus.

60 | University of Minnesota


Louis Hey

Allison Hitchcock

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Mikael Elias Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Jane Wissinger Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Characterizing Bacterial Phosphate Binding Proteins Towards a Sustainable Future

Use of a Designer Surfactant for a Colorful Undergraduate Laboratory Experiment: A Green Nucleophilic Aromatic Substitution Reaction

Phosphate is a crucial and limited biological resource. It is often the limiting factor in organismal growth and proliferation and is consequently used as an agricultural fertilizer where it ends up in the water supply. Environmental phosphate pollution causes eutrophication, which is detrimental to aquatic ecosystems. The global phosphate stock is also being depleted at an unsustainable rate. Nearly all phosphate on earth is distributed in rocks and minerals. Mining is the sole source of replenishing phosphate reserves. Projections indicate that the demand for phosphate will exhaust worldwide reserves in the near future, which will jeopardize human food security. Many prokaryotic organisms have evolved to live in extremely phosphate-depleted environments. Prokaryotes possess a high affinity phosphate-specific transport (Pst) system. In the system, an extracellular phosphate binding protein (PBP) binds phosphate and passes it to a transporter. The molecular mechanism of the Pst system is poorly understood. This project aims to quantify different PBP binding affinities and, together with structural data, identify the features that make the PBP family uniquely able to scavenge phosphate from extremely depleted environments. Preliminary results of this project suggest that the affinity of these PBPs could be higher than previously reported. Further work to understand the molecular basis of this high affinity system could be used to engineer a protein capable of bioremediating phosphate from the environment. This would attenuate the effects of both phosphate pollution and worldwide depletion; creating healthier ecosystems and providing long-term security of the human food supply.

A bright orange crystalline product is prepared via nucleophilic aromatic substitution enabled by the use of the nanomicelle surfactant, TPGS-750-M, in water. This provides a “green” alternative to cross-coupling reactions historically run in hazardous dipolar, aprotic solvents. Students will practice recrystallization, extraction, and thin-layer chromatography techniques followed by the analysis of 1H NMR spectroscopy that demonstrates distinct, complex coupling patterns. Green chemistry concepts will be integrated into the curriculum due to the “benign-by-design” surfactant, the production of minimal waste, and the energy efficiency of the reaction.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 61


Benjamin Hoenes

Kaelyn Holgerson

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Matthew Johnson Mentor’s Department: Biomedical Engineering

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Paulo Kofuji Mentor’s Department: Neuroscience

Computational Neuron Model of the Globus Pallidus in Non-Human Primates

Effects of Aberrant Light on Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

The Globus Pallidus interna (GPi) is one of the primary targets for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Stimulation of this region has been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s including bradykinesia, akinesia and rigidity. However, GPi is surrounded by various structures that might cause compromises in therapy or adverse stimulation side effects such as undesirable movements, nausea. These areas, such as the Globus Pallidus externa (GPe) and internal capsule (IC), need to be modeled in order to understand how the levels of stimulation affect the therapeutic outcome of the DBS, and to develop patient-specific DBS therapy. In this study, a computational multi-compartmental neuron model was generated by populating a non-human primate GP mesh extracted from MRI data with several types of GPi and GPe neurons. A DBS array, consisting of eight rows of contacts with four contacts per row, was inserted into the GP mesh from the coronal plane. The voltage at each compartment of every cell was estimated using a Finite Element Model. The obtained voltages were then utilized by the computational neuron model to predict neural activation. The computational neuron model will be verified by comparing the modeling results with experiments that determine the DBS current stimulation threshold to elicit side effects in a nonhuman primate. This model will also be used to predict neuronal activation given a set of parameters i.e number of contacts, lead position, etc.

Light stimuli are received by photoreceptors in the mammalian retina and transmitted to brain centers via the retinal ganglion cells. The intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are a unique subset of these photoreceptors which are the primary source of input for non-image forming visual photoresponses, including light entrainment of circadian rhythms. Projections from the ipRGCs extend to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and other brain regions associated with circadian rhythm and mood regulation. Evidence suggests that the absence of, or aberrant, environmental light is associated with decreased adult hippocampal neurogenesis and a depressive-like phenotype. Additionally, exposure to artificial light at night (LAN) has increased in recent decades. However, it is still unclear if the effects of aberrant light are mediated by ipRGCs. Here I show that the ipRGCs must not be the only input pathway that mediates the effects of aberrant light. Initially, I confirmed the effects of aberrant light on adult hippocampal neurogenesis by exposing wild-type mice to an ultradian (T7) light cycle and found that neurogenesis levels were significantly decreased in these mice. To further investigate my question, I assessed adult hippocampal neurogenesis in a mouse model in which synaptic transmission from ipRGCs is genetically blocked. I found that there was no significant difference in levels of neurogenesis between the transgenic mice and controls. This indicates that other mechanisms must compensate for the loss of signaling from ipRGCs in the context of hippocampal neurogenesis. This discovery will be important in elucidating the mechanisms of aberrant light effects.

62 | University of Minnesota


Eric Holton

Reilly Hostager

Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior College of Biological Sciences December 2016 Mentor: Dr. Peter Tiffin Mentor’s Department: Plant Biology

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Nobuaki Kikyo Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Temperature’s Effects on the Legume-Rhizobia Mutualism

Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts to Neural Cells to Combat Neurodegenerative Diseases

Rising temperatures are a growing concern as climate change perpetuates, imparting new environmental pressures on the planet’s organisms. The legume-rhizobia symbiosis is used here to model the effects of increasing temperatures. Rhizobia are gramnegative bacteria capable of living within the roots of legumes, fixing atmospheric nitrogen into plant-usable nitrates. This mutualism plays a significant role in the nitrogen cycle as legumes both grow wild and are produced in great quantities in modern agriculture. Accessions of Medicago truncatula from hot and cold climates were inoculated with hot- and cold-climate Sinorhizobium meliloti strains and grown in growth chambers at 20° and 25° C for eight weeks before being scored for size and nodule count. These data allowed for the comparison of geographic origin of rhizobia strain and temperature treatment, as well as geographic origin of rhizobia strain and Medicago accession. Nodule count was nearly equivalent across all twelve strain–accession combinations despite ineffectively small aboveground biomass in the plants paired with the Brazilian and Egyptian rhizobia strains. There was not a significant correlation between plant and/or nodule success and a match in geographic origin of rhizobia and Medicago, nor a clear indication that rhizobia performed better in the temperature treatment similar to their native habitat. However, the six geographically-distinct strains produced legumes with significantly different aboveground biomass and height in both temperature treatments.

Direct reprogramming of skin fibroblasts to neurons provides a novel approach to generate neurons that can be used in regenerative medicine. One of the standard protocols transduces three neuronspecific transcription factor genes – Ascl1, Brn2 and Myt1l (called ABM hereafter) – into mouse fibroblasts to generate various types of neurons; however, this approach is slow and inefficient. To overcome these limitations, I studied whether additional genes can promote the reprogramming. In the first experiment, I established this technique in the lab by transfecting the plasmids encoding the ABM genes into the human kidney cells 293FT to prepare the lentivirus encoding the genes. Then I transduced the ABM genes into mouse embryonic fibroblasts with the virus and maintained with neuron-specific culture medium. Although axons and dendrites were not visible morphologically under a phase contrast microscope, immunofluorescence staining for βIII-tubulin, a marker for differentiated neurons, revealed the presence of neural structures after tetracycline induction. Having successfully reproduced the published protocol, I transduced two genes into the fibroblasts along with the ABM genes as the second experiment. One of them was a fusion gene attached to the transactivation domain of the herpes simplex viral protein VP16. The other was an shRNA against an inhibitor of transcription elongation. These two genes were expected to promote the transcription activity of the ABM genes; however, immunofluorescence staining showed no visible difference in filament amounts for these samples compared to the control. I am currently studying the expression of neural genes with quantitative rtPCR. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 63


Alexander Hotz

Austin Hovland

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Jiarong Hong Mentor’s Department: Mechanical Engineering

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: James Dutton Mentor’s Department: Genetics

Designing a Aerodynamically Accurate Model of the University’s 2.5 MW Research Wind Turbine

Directed Differentiation of Mixed Germ Layer Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Progenitors Toward the Oligodendroglial Lineage

Recent work by the research group of Dr. Jiarong Hong at the University of Minnesota has provided never before seen imaging and quantification of flows around a utility scale wind turbine using natural snowfall as tracers for Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). This project aims to design and construct a wind tunnel scale model of the 2.5 MW research wind turbine studied by Hong’s research group which recreates the flow characteristics seen in the field scale. PIV will be done on the model wind turbine in St. Anthony Falls Laboratory’s atmospheric boundary layer wind tunnel for visual and quantitative comparison with the data collected by Hong’s team. As complex wake flows around wind turbines are not yet fully understood, a model which can be aerodynamically compared Hong’s pioneering data set will open many avenues to studying flows around a utility scale wind turbine in a laboratory setting.

Differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells is currently an inefficient process. These cells are required for myelination, which is crucial for proper brain and nerve cord function. Standard methods to recapitulate of in-vivo development in an in-vitro system involves the formation of pure populations consisting of a single germ layer, with molecular signals substituting for the other germ layers. To investigate the developmental genesis of these cells, this project takes a step back from the molecular substitution of the other germ layers and instead incorporates the cellular progenitors of those layers to test if they contribute to an accelerated protocol. Should they do so, we aim to reverse-engineer this process and determine what molecular equivalents are necessary. In order to generate a timeline, cells will be split off from the main culture and characterized using immunostaining. With multiple cell lines at multiple time points, this study aims to carefully characterize cells at each step.

64 | University of Minnesota


Yinyin Huang

Huang Huang

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Kathryn Bushley Mentor’s Department: Plant Biology

Economics, Mathematics College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Ellen McGrattan Mentor’s Department: Economics

Investigate Potential Alkaloid Gene Cluster in the Fungus Tolypocladium Inflatum

What are the Intangible Parts of the Minnesotan Economy? An Application of the CKM Business Cycle Accounting Method and the Construction of Efficiency Wedges on Minnesota State Business Cycle Accounting from 1945 to 2013

Tolypocludium inflatum is an insect pathogenic fungi which produces a wide variety of secondary metabolites. Many bioactive peptides from fungi are produced by non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Functional NRPS modules utilize three core domains, an adenylation (A) domain for substrate recognition and activation by ATP; a thiolation (T) domain, and a condensation (C) domain1. An NRPS (gene=TINF02556) in T. inflatum, whose A-domains groups phylogenetically with the A domain of the ergot alkaloid synthetase (cpps 1-4) in the Claviceps purpurea. T. inflatum contains a Dimethylallyltryptophansynthetase (DMATs) gene, which is the key enzyme in the beginning of the pathway for the alkaloid production, synthesizing the precursor D-Lysergic acid from tryptophan2. We hypothesis this NRPS in T. inflatum that shows sequence similarity with the NRPS producing ergot alkaloids in C. purpurea, will also produce an alkaloid compound.

After World War II, flows of technological development have increased productivity and led to the subsequent economic booms. However, the actual role of technology development in the state economy fluctuation is still unclear and left controversial. A new theory proposed by Chari, Kehoe and McGrattan, the Business Cycle Accounting Method (Chari, Kehoe and McGrattan, 2007, thereafter CKM), can help solve the puzzle. They coined four time-varying wedges that are derived from their assumed prototype neoclassical models based on the U.S. economy. The four wedges are: efficiency, government consumption, labor and investment wedges. Among the four wedges, the efficiency wedges, “the blueprint technology parameter”, specifically suggests the extent to which technology development contributes to the economic fluctuations. This study conducted a quantitative research on the role of technology development in the Minnesota state postwar economy fluctuations, applying the principles of the efficiency wedges in the CKM accounting method. Carrying out this research project result in answering the proposed questions: How is the technology developments correlated with the economic fluctuations in Minnesota? Is the efficiency wedge a good estimator of the intangible economic growth?

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 65


Nathan Huempfner

Samuela Huerta

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Paul Venturelli Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Retail Merchandising College of Design May 2017 Mentor: Marilyn DeLong Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Design, Housing, and Apparel

How the Reproductive Lifespan of Game Fish Varies Along a Thermal Gradient

A Local Look At Compostable Apparel

Longevity is important for sustaining fish populations (Longhurst 2002). Older, and larger females have higher fecundity (SaenzAgudelo et al 2015) and issues with age structure arise with their removal. As the number of mature fish decreases, stock reproduction falls, and the truncation of both size and age structure can occur (Winemiller and Rose). In this study, the goal was to estimate reproductive lifespan of game fish in degree-days, and to identify states and provinces where this lifespan is high. Literature exhibiting the maximum age and age at maturity for game fish in an environment with little fishing pressure was gathered. Coordinates of the water body cited in each piece of literature were used to find the closest climate station. Annual degree-days were found for a base temperature of 5 degrees C. A model developed by Adam Burger illustrating the linear relationship between maturity and longevity in degree-days used these data, along with the age at maturity and maximum age, to calculate longevity and reproductive lifespan in degree-days. Thermal maps for each species were created, showing where reproductive lifespan was about fifteen years. Using these maps and current regulations, it is of interest to continue research to find where the age structure of certain game fish could be at risk.

A Local Look at Compostable Apparel is a research report looking at the problem of apparel landmass and posing the possible solution to it being biodegradable apparel. Biodegradable apparel would address the global issue of apparel landmass, by creating apparel with end of life in mind. Investigation of manufacturers of biodegradable apparel yielded a company in Germany that upon request, sent examples of biodegradable products. For this report I conducted personal interviews and general surveys on the responders opionons about biodegradable apparel. According to industry professionals interviewed a lack of transparency may be the reason for taking little to no responsibility for apparel landmass. An industry belief is that there must be a consumer demand in order to move forward with the adoption of biodegradable apparel.

66 | University of Minnesota


Kai Hui

Peter Humbert

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Brandon Moriarity Mentor’s Department: Pediactrics

Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Maziar Hemati Mentor’s Department: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Validation of Candidate MPNST Genes Using the CRISPR Nuclease System

Applying Prandtl’s Lifting-Line Theory to Formation Flight

Cancer is a genetic disease that has plagued millions of Americans each year and is considered one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Our project focused on malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) and was based upon a previous genetic forward screening conducted by the Largaespada lab using the Sleeping Beauty transposon to identify candidate tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) and oncogenes. Approximately 300 genes were identified to be candidate TSGs and oncogenes associated with MPNST development and progression (Rahrmann et al. 2015). We have implemented a medium throughput method to identify numerous TSGs and oncogenes at a time. This medium throughput method utilizes the genetic technology called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) to systematically conduct gene knockouts (KOs) on the identified TSGs and oncogenes in an immortalized human Schwann cell line. The CRISPR system utilizes guide RNAs (gRNAs) and CRISPR associated nuclease (Cas9), an endonuclease. The gRNAs of the CRISPR system guides the Cas9 endonuclease to a specific portion of the DNA sequence where the Cas9 endonuclease cleaves the sequence of DNA leaving a double stranded break. The two non-homologous double strands then are recombined through non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) resulting in removal of genes and changes in gene expression. The immortalized human Schwann cells with gene KOs were then tested for changes in transformation based on soft agar colony formation and proliferation assays. A CEL-1 assay was performed on the immortalized human Schwann cells with gene KOs to detect mutations within the DNA from the CRISPR nuclease. It was found that 18 genes were found to form more colonies on soft agar, a sign of transformed cells. Of those 18 genes, it was found that three of them (GOSR1, PTCH1, and NF1) were found to be capable of under going xenograft formation.

Energy conservation has recently been the focus of significant attention, and the aviation industry is especially rewarded for improvements in efficiency and their resulting decreases in energy use. It is common knowledge within the aviation community that flying in formation—usually in the context of migrating geese—can save energy. The aviation industry has long considered the applicability of formation flight to fuel savings, and this applicability deserves an additional review in light of the recent surge in efficiency’s popularity. This can be accomplished by simulating the influence an aircraft has on the aerodynamics of nearby aircraft. Several approaches exist for creating such a simulation. For this project, a form of Prandtl’s lifting-line theory is used despite Prandtl’s version not traditionally being used for multiple bodies. / / In lifting-line theory, a lifting surface is defined by one or more horseshoe vortices. This project’s liftingline simulator can solve a system of equations to yield the strengths of these vortices, with the results thus far agreeing with established data. These strength values are then used to directly solve for the aerodynamic forces acting on the lifting surface. This project will continue with (1) an expansion to work with multiple lifting surfaces and (2) the optimization of various geometric and situational variables.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 67


Noah Hummel-Hall

Victoria Idowu

Political Science, History College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Polly Szatrowski Mentor’s Department: Linguistics

Speech-Language-and-Hearing Sciences College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Kathryn Bushley Mentor’s Department: Plant Biology

Back-channel Responses to Preceding Discourse Markers Following a Change-of-State Token

Identification of a PKS Gene Responsible for Production of the Anti-Cancer Compound Colomitide C in Antarctic Cadophora Fungi

Utterances of an interlocutor that take the role of a listener have been classified as “back-channel” (Maynard, 1990). The particles which form connections between discourse are referred to as “discourse markers” (Bolden, 2006). Previous research has elucidated “oh” as a change-of-state token (Heritage, 1984). For the purposes of this research, “oh” will only be examined in its change-of-state form; marking changes in one’s state of knowledge, information, orientation or awareness (Heritage 1984). I argue that, following a change-ofstate token, “oh,” speakers will give back-channel utterances when preceded by an utterance including a discourse marker. Excerpt (1) provides and example: / / (1) [L5461f14-TEL1-ENG1Transcript-NHH] 00:01:00 (A= Alf, male, 20; b= Belle, female, 20: b is calling, A. b informed A that they had been invited by her brother to eat at his house.) / 1A (3.3) But did he //invite (.) us (.) or did he invit||e you. / 2b //I mean it’s only like a tweny- || / (2.2) Us. / 4A Us. #said as a confirming question / 5b He knows you’re coming. / 6A →Oh okay. Change-of-State / 7b Umm. / →(1.4) And, Discourse Marker / (2.0) It’s only like a (.) tweny minute drive to FLATMUS, / So:. / 11A →(1.1) Mhm↑. Back-channel response / A’s change-ofstate is marked by Oh in line 6. It can be seen that quickly following is a discourse marker, And, in line 8. Subsequently the next speaker, A, concludes the sequence with a back-channel response in line 11. / The conversation analysis field might utilize this finding to better understand the functioning of epistemics in conversation.

Colomitide C is a polyketide compound that has been shown to inhibit the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor (FGFR), an overactive signaling pathway found in several types of cancers such as breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer (Solomon, C., 2013). Researchers have discovered that Colomitide C can control some cancer cells by inhibiting the growth of certain FGFR-amplified human breast cancer cell lines (Rusman, Y, 2013). Colomitide C was isolated from an Antarctic strain of the fungus Cadophora luteo-olivaceae (PL123) and is likely produced by a polyketide synthase (PKS), a special enzyme that synthesizes polyketides by stringing together chains of acetate or malonyl CoA (Ben et al., 2003). Using genomic sequence data of both the Colomitide C producing strain of Cadophora luteo-olivaceae (PL12-3) and a non-Colomitide C producing strain of a related species Cadophora malorum (DI3-4), we 1) used a bioinformatics approach to identify PKS gene clusters in both strains and 2) analyzed expression of a number of these PKS genes in the producing strain under conditions that are known to stimulate very high production of Colomitide C. The overall goal of this research is to identify the specific PKS cluster responsible for Colomitide C production.

68 | University of Minnesota


Gabriel Jacobs

Jacob Jensen

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Bin He Mentor’s Department: Biomedical Engineering

Applied Economics College of Biological Sciences, College of Food , Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Li-Na Wei Mentor’s Department: Pharmacology

Comparison of Motor Imagery Schemes for 2 Dimensional Control of an Electroencephalographybased Brain Computer Interface

Exploring the Effects of a High-Fat Diet and Gut Microbiomes on RIP140 Knockdown Mice Resistant to Diet Induced Type II Diabetes

The development of electroencephalography (EEG) based braincomputer interfaces (BCIs) is one of the most rapidly growing fields in neural engineering due to its enormous potential of noninvasive control of virtual and physical devices. Recently, noninvasive BCIs have begun to allow mastery of a helicopter or even a robotic device in up to 3-dimensions. One major interest is how the strategies used by BCI subjects may affect their performance. Recent studies suggest that different motor-imagery strategies used to control the BCI may impact cursor-movement task performance. This study seeks to test this difference by comparing two different motor strategies: one strategy consisting of motor imaginations of the hands and feet (hand-foot or HF) and another strategy consisting of motor imaginations of the hands against a resting state (hand-rest or HR). Subjects completed a random-sequence cursor-movement task in both 1-dimension and 2-dimensions using either the HF or HR motor imagination strategies, alternating between runs. Average group performance showed an insignificant difference between trials when the HF strategy was used compared to the HR strategy. In order for BCI to truly make significant inroads into the public eye, strategies must be developed that make controlling the BCI both practically useful and easily mastered. This study contributes to the broader discussion of how to optimize the performance and comfort of strategies used in BCI control.

We will be studying the effects of feeding macrophage specific RIP140 knockdown mice (MφRIP140KD) a high-fat diet and different types of mice feces. Typically, wild type mice are more prone to diet induced diabetes while MφRIP140KD show less severe symptoms. We hypothesize that a high-fat diet will increase the expression of RIP140, ATM, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Second, when wild type mice are fed the feces of knockdown mice, their gut microbiota’s will alter and make them less susceptible to diet induced diabetes. In contrast, when knockdown mice are fed the feces of wild type mice, their gut microbiota’s will alter and make them more susceptible to diet induced diabetes4.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 69


Christian Jensen

Diana Johnson

Philosophy; Mathematics College of Liberal Arts; College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Michael Kac Mentor’s Department: Philosophy

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Matthew D. Johnson Mentor’s Department: Biomedical Engineering

Musical Expression and the Paradox of Tragedy: An Enhanced Formalist Account

Python-based Open-Source Stereotactic Neurosurgical Planning Software Package

“It seems an unaccountable pleasure,” writes Hume, “which the spectators of a well-written tragedy receive from sorrow, terror, anxiety, and other passions, that are in themselves disagreeable and uneasy.” Here, Hume raises an aesthetic problem now commonly known as the paradox of tragedy: Given that we commonly avoid activities that evoke negative emotions, why do we engage with works of art that seemingly do just that? Why, for example, would we subject ourselves to the emotional turmoil that (for most of us) unavoidably accompanies watching a performance of King Lear, viewing a print of van Gogh’s At Eternity’s Gate, or listening to a recording of the first movement of Mahler’s Second Symphony? In all three of these examples, the pleasure derived from engagement with the artwork appears to be, as Hume puts it, unaccountable. My project begins from the assumption of what Peter Kivy terms “enhanced formalism,” the notion that absolute music “represents no objects, tells no stories, gives no arguments, [and] espouses no philosophies,” (Kivy) while still, in some cases, being emotionally expressive. Beginning from the premise of enhanced formalism, I argue that our approach to the paradox of tragedy with respect to music must be different than that with respect to other art forms. I show how several classic and contemporary proposals for grappling with the paradox fall short when applied to musical tragedy and must be in some way modified in order to account for the unaccountable pleasure offered by tragic music.

The anatomical targets for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) are usually only a few millimeters across and are commonly located next to structures that elicit adverse side effects upon stimulation. Therefore, accuracy of electrode placement is crucial to the success of DBS implants [1]. To visually aid the DBS electrode placement, a software tool, Cicerone, was developed by Miocinovic et al. in 2007 [2], and is still considered the state-of-art surgery preparation tool for preclinical stereotactic DBS neurosurgical planning, recording, and visualization. However, due to the structure of the original Cicerone framework, additional functionalities are extremely challenging to implement. Hence, the goal for this project was to redevelop Cicerone into an object-oriented programming language (Python 2.7) with new and improved functionality, and set up a framework for an open-source software package. In addition to a more flexible and streamline user interface, to demonstrate the improved functionality for the new open-source Cicerone framework, a volume selection tool was implemented to select regions of interests (ROI) and side effect (SE) regions to use as input for stimulus parameter selection (programming) algorithms. The Cicerone structure is improved in the following ways: 1) more powerful interface, 2) more efficient memory management, and 3) open- source platform in Python for integrating new features including DBS programming algorithm integration or other custom code in either Python or MATLAB. The redeveloped Cicerone package provides new opportunities for integration of computational models of other neuromodulation modalities (e.g. TMS and FUS).

70 | University of Minnesota

References: [1] Bari, Ausaf A., et al. “Improving outcomes of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease.” Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics ahead-of-print (2015): 1-10. / [2] Miocinovic, Svjetlana et al. “Stereotactic Neurosurgical Planning, Recording, and Visualization for Deep Brain Stimulation in Non- Human Primates.” Journal of neuroscience methods 162.1-2 (2007): 32–41. PMC. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.


Isaac Johnson

Heena Joo

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Kechun Zhang Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemical Engineering

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Jeffrey Gralnick Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Microbiology

Dehydration Reaction for Adhesive

Anaerobic Formate Oxidation Generates Proton Motive Force in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1

Three methods for performing a dehydration reaction on methyl 2-hydroxy-2-methyl-3-oxobutanoate were tried. This chemical can be produced in a bioreactor using E. Coli. If the dehydration reaction were possible, the resulting chemical could serve as an adhesive because the chemical structure would resemble that of an acrylate. The three catalysts tried were: sulfuric acid, phosphorous pentoxide, and zeolite NaY. GC-MS was used to analyze the resulting mixtures. The desired product could not be definitively identified in any of the reaction mixtures.

Dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria (DMRB) can utilize extracellular metals as electron acceptors during anaerobic respiration, changing the oxidation states of various metals in the environment. One DMRB, Shewanella oneidensis, is a facultative anaerobe known to reduce radioactive and/or carcinogenic metals such as Cr(VI), U(VI), Pu(V/VI), and Tc(VII). Since potential bioremediation applications of S. oneidensis depend on its respiratory mechanism, it is crucial to understand the electron flow that feeds into this process. Here, we investigate how S. oneidensis utilizes the electrons generated from formate oxidation under anaerobic conditions. Single, double, and triple deletions of the formate dehydrogenase complexes were made and studied. Results show that formate oxidation increases the growth rate and yield of S. oneidensis, suggesting energy conservation through the proton motive force. These findings shed more light on the anaerobic physiology of S. oneidensis in hopes of better understanding and engineering strains for future bioremediation efforts.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 71


Matthew Jorgensen

Shilvi Joshi

Microbiology; History College of Biological Sciences; College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Ryan Langlois Mentor’s Department: Microbiology

Neuroscience; Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Aaron LeBeau Mentor’s Department: Pharmacology

MicroRNA Targeting in Influenza A Virus

Targeting Prostate Cancer Lesions Using Cyclic Peptide Inhibitor of Aminopeptidase N (APN)

Influenza A virus (IAV) has monumental effects on global health. After infection, the virus can have detrimental effects on the hosts respiratory system. For the immunocompromised, infection can lead to death. The virus can replicate in both the lower and upper respiratory tract. Certain microRNAs have high expression in these areas, specifically miR-10a in the lower tract and miR-499a in the upper tract. Creating a construct that incorporates the target sites for host microRNAs in the specific area of the respiratory tract allows for this research on the specific pathology of IAV in specific areas of the host due to hampering the virus’s natural tropism during infection by silencing viral replication. MicroRNA target sites can be cloned into viral mRNA in order to prevent infection of the lower respiratory tract the upper respiratory tract. The main research questions I wish to answer is how does the pathology of the virus differ between lower and upper respiratory tract. To do this, I want to research the effects when replication is silenced from either of those areas, and test how sick the hosts get when the virus cannot replicate in the upper or lower respiratory tract. I will test this in a mouse model and determine how sick the hosts get by evaluating weight loss and morality. I hypothesize that blocking viral replication in the lower respiratory tract would result in reduced sickness in the host compared to blocking viral replication in the upper tract.

A common hallmark of aggressive cancer is increased proteolysis in the peritumoral environment resulting from the overexpression of cancer-associated proteases. Prostate cancer in particular contains a number of unique proteases such as Aminopeptidase N (APN), a cell surface protease that cleaves small hydrophobic amino acid residues from the amino terminus of bioactive peptides. Due to its important role in the development of metastases and angiogenesis, APN has been considered a viable target for Prostate cancer imaging and therapy. Using structural imaging and multiplex substrate profiling of APN peptides containing HSPW sequence were found to show high affinity with APN. Further cyclic LHSPW was the only cyclic form to show high affinity and function as an inhibitor of APN by blocking the active site. Fluorogenic assays found that truncated versions of cLHSPW did inhibit APN, however at higher IC50, suggesting that the entire peptide sequence is needed to effectively block the active site. Further analysis found that cLHSPW acts as a non-competitive inhibitor and blocks the active site of APN rather than completely occupying it. Our findings suggest that cLHSPW does function as an effective inhibitor of APN and can be used to block activity of APN but also for targeting and imaging of prostate cancer lesions.

72 | University of Minnesota


Soojin Jun

Sammy Kallenbach

Accounting; Management Information Science Carlson School of Management May 2016 Mentor: Marina Aleixo Mentor’s Department: International Initiatives and Relations

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Geoffrey Ghose Mentor’s Department: Neuroscience

Exploring the College Experience of International Students at a Large Research University

Identifying Cortical Regions Significant in the Ability to Discriminate Between Particular Faces

According to the University of Minnesota Office of Institutional Research 6,654 international students enrolled in Spring 2015, which is 10.7% of total student enrollment and the second largest enrollment ethnicity at the University of Minnesota (OIR, 2015). International students contribute to the diversity of the campus community, and enhance global perspectives as they bring their different cultures and background. However, research also shows international students are struggling to merge into the new U.S culture and feel a sense of belonging to their home campus. When international students were asked how often they interact with American students outside of the classroom, over 70 percent of students confessed to “never, rarely, or sometimes” (Strengths & Challenges, 2013). The purpose of this research is to understand the challenges that international students are facing on campus depending on their exposure time to a new environment, and to understand different ways they overcome these challenges. Understanding the experience of international students is necessary to take appropriate actions and to magnify the cultural benefits to domestic students on campus, to schools, and to the US community.

The ability to focus one’s attention is important in how we perceive the world. Using past experiences and situational cues allows one to devote perceptual resources to stimuli with the most behavioral relevance. This phenomenon is exemplified each time we search for a friend’s familiar face amongst a crowd of people. Previous research on attention and the visual system has focused largely on spatial attention, whereby processing of a specific location in the visual field is sensitized and proportional changes in responsiveness are observed. This type of processing happens in low level visual cortical areas on the Van Essen diagram (1991). When searching for a face, we need to be able to find it irrespective of its spatial location and thus attend to features, a characteristic associated with high level visual areas. Our study examines whether the same mechanism for spatial attention applies to featural attention. Human subjects are scanned in a 7T magnet for fMRI analysis while attending to a video of previously exposed familiar faces within a sequence of familiar and unfamiliar faces. The sex and facial expression of the faces in the video vary in a cyclic manner to observe for increased activity in brain regions associated with these characteristics. The data will allow us to determine neuron population selectivity to higherorder features and even individual faces. We will then observe for attentional enhancement of responses in selective neuronal populations which best represented the attended feature and whether attention influences the feature selectivity of these neurons.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 73


DaHee Kang

Harmanpreet Kaur

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Kim Johnson Mentor’s Department: Design, Housing, and Apparel

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Loren Terveen Mentor’s Department: Computer Science

Changing Cultural Context: Body Image and Body Satisfaction and Ties to Retail Therapy Behavior in Young Korean Women

Feed Without Friends

According to past research, Koreans and Americans hold different ideas about what physical attributes comprise ideal beauty for women. These two populations also differ in desire to achieve those ideals. As many young women pursue college degrees outside of their home county, the change to a new culture may impact their thoughts about their bodies and their self-perception. In addition, changes in body satisfaction may motivate shopping behaviors designed to alleviate negative emotions. Therefore, this research was designed to 1) explore how a change in cultural context affects young women’s ideal beauty image and their body satisfaction and 2) investigate the relationships between these young women’s body image, body satisfaction, and retail therapy behaviors. In order to achieve objectives of this research, a qualitative study was designed and 15 in-depth interviews were completed with young women representing three different groups: Korean women who have lived in the US for 5 or less years, Korean women who have lived in the US for more than five years, and Korean women who never left Korea. The research revealed relationships between ideal beauty standards and body satisfaction in relation to a change in cultural context. Moreover, a strategy (exposure to diverse cultural image) was identified to assist in building healthy appearance ideals in young Korean women.

Information streams or “feeds” are a widely used content medium on the Web. They allow site designers to dynamically convey information to users in ways that are useful and interactive. Quite often feeds are “social,” so users see content from a social graph they are connected with, like in social networking sites (e.g., Facebook News Feed). However, many item-based sites (like Netflix which caters to movies, or Amazon for products, or Goodreads for books) do not have social integration, so incorporating a feed is challenging. We dedicated this work to designing a “feed without friends” and learning what users would like to see in such a feed. We explored generalizable ideas for creating a non-social feed, which we implemented in a movie recommendation site and collected feedback on via a survey study of the site’s users. We present the feed preferences we discovered, including affinity for new and trending site content, but divergence regarding personalized content. We discuss implications for design that provide insight into building optimal non-social feeds to supplement existing site content.

74 | University of Minnesota


Jacob Kautzky

Alex Keddy

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Tom Hoye Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemistry

Electrical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Marc Riedel Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Kinetic Analysis of and Total Synthesis Utilizing the Hexadehydro Diels-Alder Reaction

Creation of Statistical Digital Signals via Polynomial Roots of Probabilistic Circuits

The Hexadehydro Diels-Alder (HDDA) reaction is a powerful transformation for forming benzyne in situ from a triyne that can then react further to create a multitude of different products. Herein, a kinetic analysis was performed to determine what effect attaching an electron donating or withdrawing group to an aromatic ring conjugated to a triyne has on the rate of the HDDA reaction. It was discovered that there was a small (~2.5) fold rate increase when switching from electron donating groups (methoxy) to electron withdrawing groups (trifluoromethyl). Additionally, progress is being made toward the synthesis of Selaginpulvins B-D, a class of natural products found to be potent phosphodiesterase four inhibitors. The key step in the synthesis is an HDDA reaction to demonstrate the HDDA reactions potential use in synthesis. If successful the pathway could also be used to create a variety of drug analogues to attempt to optimize the compound for potential use in a pharmaceutical.

Statistical digital signals, digital signals where the value is represented as a probability of each bit being a one versus a zero, allow the potential calculation of complex operations with relatively simple digital logic. Such signals are also very robust against random bitflip noise, and many tools developed for them can be applied to nondigital computation. The research presented herein focuses on the exploration and development of compact circuits that can generate statistical signals by creating probabilistic equilibria. Also explored is methods for using feedback in statistical circuits. Polynomial function models for common gates were developed and combined to create circuit blocks and associated polynomials with at least one root in the range [0:1], when all inputs and the output are set to the same variable. Sequential simulations were performed on blocks recursively organized as levels to verify that the signal approached the root value. Simulations were also performed on a two level system, wherein the output of the lower level was manipulated and used as an input in the feeding level. Simulations indicated that a many level model converged for any non-constant initial input, and that a unit delay was sufficient to create orthogonal signals. Two level circuits were determined to be too sensitive to looping behavior for simple delay feedback, but a small memory cell with a shuffling circuit prevented looping behavior. Safeguards in the memory cell were also used to eliminate convergence to roots of zero and one, and make seeding of the circuit unnecessary.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 75


Katie Kelly

Meg KenKnight Burman

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Ryan Hunter Mentor’s Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Nursing School of Nursing May 2016 Mentor: Martha Y. Kubik Mentor’s Department: Nursing

Determining Regulatory or Related Elements of the chiC Gene and Product in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Strain UCBPP-PA14

Correlates of Parent Healthy Role Modeling of Sugary Drink Consumption By Children

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen often found in chronic airway infections and burn wounds. Its success in host colonization is often attributed to its multiple virulence factors, which allow it to evade the host immune system and suppress other competing microbial populations. An endochitinase, ChiC, has been associated with these virulence factors (e.g. pyocyanin, cyanide, proteases), yet the specific function of ChiC in the context of human disease—a context largely void of chitin—has not been elucidated. This study aimed to determine the genetic factors regulating chiC expression in order to understand the genetic context in which it is expressed. This was determined through a transposon mutagenesis screen in P. aeruginosa UCBPP-PA14 which suggested direct regulation by the multiple virulence factor regulator, MvfR (also: PqsR). Further research is currently underway to purify MvfR to determine direct attachment to the upstream regulatory region of chiC through an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). In addition, purification of ChiC is in progress for subsequent use in antimicrobial activity assays against microbial populations commonly found in the CF lung.

The purpose of this research was to determine factors associated with parent healthy role modeling of sugary drink consumption. Research supports a strong association between sugary drink consumption and excess weight gain among children. Social Learning Theory supports a link between parent role modeling and child dietary practices. The theory suggests that behavior and attitudes of parents regarding food are likely reflected in choices made by their children. This cross-sectional, exploratory study used baseline survey data collected in 2014 (n=31) and 2015 (n=21) from child/parent dyads who were participants in a community-based healthy weight management study for children with body mass index (BMI)-forage ≥ 75th percentile. Parents reported how often they drank sugary drinks around their child. Children reported how often their parent drank sugary drinks when they were with their parent. We assessed concordance of parent and child responses and created a dichotomous outcome variable, healthy parent role modeling (parent/child both answered almost never or sometimes) versus less healthy role modeling (parent/child where ≥ one answered almost always). Child SE to drink fewer sugary drinks was a 3-item variable (alpha=0.73). Associations between parent role modeling and child SE and sociodemographic characteristics were analyzed with chisquare (categorical) and t-tests (continuous).

76 | University of Minnesota


Rachel Keszycki

Suboohi Khan

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Marilyn Carroll Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychiatry Research Partners: Sara Scarbro, Lydia Negussie

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Anja Bielinsky Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Evaluating the Sex Differences in Reduction Of Nicotine Reinstatement After Implementing Individual and Combined Progesterone and Varenicline Treatments

Role of K117 Ubiquitination of PCNA in Human Cells

One of the leading causes of preventable mortality in Western countries is caused by tobacco use. A need for more effective pharmacological treatments exists because the rates of relapse are high. Progesterone (PRO) is a female hormone that reduces use of stimulants, but its effects on alleviating tobacco addiction are unknown. The drug varenicline (VAR) reduces tobacco use. In this study, VAR was used in combination with PRO as a way to decrease relapse. A rat model was used to examine the sex-specific effects of VAR and PRO on relapse to tobacco addiction (shown here in nicotine reinstatement),. .Adult male and female Wistar rats were trained to self-administer nicotine (NIC; 0.03 mg/kg/infusion), the primary component in tobacco, by pressing on a lever. Rats were given 14 days to self-administer NIC that preceded an extinction period of 21 days, where the cues and levers administering the drugs were inactive. Rats were then separated into the four treatment groups (VEH+SAL), PRO alone (PRO+SAL), VAR alone (VAR+VEH), and a combination of PRO and VAR (PRO+VAR). Following the extinction period, reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior by injections of NIC or CAF, the presentation of CUES alone, and drugs with the cues (i.e. NIC+CUES) were tested. Both females and males showed similar consumption of nicotine and responding during extinction, and an increased response to CAF+CUES during reinstatement. However, only males demonstrated an increased sensitivity to reinstatement during the NIC+CUES condition. VAR was effective by itself, and showed the same effect when combined with PRO.

DNA replication is a meticulous process regulated by a multitude of proteins. DNA damage caused by UV light, chemical mutagens or nucleotide shortage causes replication stress, which ultimately halts the DNA replication machinery. Prolonged stalling of the replication fork causes fork collapse and produces double stranded breaks in the DNA that can lead to chromosomal rearrangements, common hallmarks of cancer. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a component of the DNA replication machinery, is ubiquitinated in response to replication stress and sets two DNA damage tolerance (DDT) pathways in motion. These pathways are crucial to restarting the replication fork before it collapses, and are dependent on the ubiquitination of the lysine-164 (K164) residue on PCNA. Mutations in the DDT pathways cause individuals to be prone to skin cancer, since UV-induced replication stress cannot be remedied through these pathways. The aim of this project is to explore the role of a second ubiquitination site recently discovered in humans, K117, which may work in conjunction with, or as a backup for, K164. The results will inform future experiments comparing K117 dependence in normal cells and cancerous cells, potentially providing a target for anti-cancer treatments.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 77


Nicole Kiel

Edward Koleski

Architecture College of Design May 2018 Mentor: Mary Guzowski Mentor’s Department: School of Architecture

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Will Pomerantz Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Experiential Architecture: Peter Zumthor’s Use of Daylighting

Investigating Protein-Protein Interaction Inhibitors Using a Novel NMR Method

Although light is intangible, it is one of the most effective tools in any architect’s design process. How an architect uses daylighting is crucial to the intended program of a space. This research begins to develop a rule set for the significant impacts of light in architecture and how it affects the atmosphere of space. In particular, it identifies daylighting techniques one can use to evoke experiential architecture by analyzing the work of Peter Zumthor. Three of his designs, in particular, are well known for their exquisite use of daylighting - St. Benedict Chapel, Bruder Klaus Field Chapel, and the 2011 Serpentine Pavilion. Each is small in size and contains no artificial light. Thus, techniques such as contrast, material, form, site, circulation, and especially daylight are what give each case study such a dynamic experience and contemplative atmosphere. Using St. Benedict Chapel and Bruder Klaus Field Chapel as comparative studies, this research primarily focuses on the 2011 Serpentine Pavilion and how its use of daylight in the summer months are so particular to its location and use. Thus, one can start to truly understand methods to optimally use daylight as a source of atmosphere evocation.

Protein-protein interactions (PPI’s) are central to nearly all biological processes, including cell growth and development. When misregulated, PPI’s have been linked to various diseases, including cancer. This research focuses on the KIX domain of the CREB binding protein (CBP), a model protein whose misregulated interaction with CREB has been linked to acute myeloid leukemia. There exist few potent small molecules to further study this PPI. This work sought to improve the affinity of a small molecule (11E7), the lead compound previously discovered using a novel protein-observed 19F NMR (PrOF) screen. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) of the lead compound was investigated by synthesizing a series of derivatives from which one analog (EK-4) bound with greater affinity than the lead compound. To complement the existing fluorinated protein and to more fully understand KIX-binding interactions, we also explored a dual-labeled (3FY, 4FF) KIX construct, which provided an additional probe within the protein. Results from the multiple labeling strategy were consistent with results of the previously used singlylabeled protein. In summary, a more potent inhibitor of KIX PPI’s was synthesized, and a dual labeling PrOF NMR technique was developed that can be applied to a wide variety of PPI’s related to many different disease states.

78 | University of Minnesota


Broc Kokesh

Gabe Korinek

Biology; Geology Morris May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Tracey Anderson Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biology

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2016 Mentor: Tim Kowaleski Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Mechanical Engineering

The Influence of Spines on Predation and Surivorship of Devonian Atrypid Brachiopods

Development of Soft Robotics for Transcatheter Procedures

An understanding of the selective pressures that lead to the innovation of evolutionary novelties for defense is critical for studying predator-prey interactions through time. From the Late Devonian (Frasnian) Lime Creek Formation in north-central Iowa, brachiopods that sported large spines (Atrypa rockfordensis) and those that were spineless (Atrypa devoniana) were members of the same marine community. To assess how spines may have influenced predation of these brachiopods, I examined predator-induced injuries in the form of boreholes and scar markings preserved on the valve surface. Results demonstrate that A. rockfordensis was only attacked at smaller body sizes (length<17 mm) whereas A. devoniana experienced attacks regardless of size, suggesting that spines may have been an efficient defense against predators. Furthermore, A. rockfordensis experienced proportionally higher levels of attach from drilling predators and had a relatively high juvenile mortality. A. devoniana experienced more standard injuries, suggesting that spines only protected against scar-forming attacks later in life. These findings provide evidence of attempted predation as a means of discerning interactions among prehistoric organisms and are useful in understanding the evolution of spines. This study is also the first of such research to assess these paleoecological relationships for brachiopods within the same genus.

The focus of this project is to build a catheter robot out of compliant material in order to improve the ease, time, and safety of transcatheter procedures. The catheter robot is constructed from a series of flexible tubes which are each wrapped with multiple layers of thread in a specific manner in order to produce a controlled movement when pressurized. To enable efficient minimization, a single pressure rail is used to independently control each segment which requires novel control algorithms and greatly increases the complexity of said algorithms. The ongoing work on this project includes automation of the manufacturing process used to wrap the actuators, manufacturing technique of actuators, and design and construction of the spool valves to gain independent control of each segment on the robot. Future work will include force - pressure response of actuators, material testing for expanded manufacturing options, construction and demonstration of prototypes, and further improvements and automation to the manufacturing processes.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 79


Amanda Kriese

Stefanie Krueger

Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences; Child Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Lizbeth Finestack Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: SpeechLanguage-Hearing Sciences,

Youth Studies College of Education and Human Development December 2016 Mentor: Mike Baizerman Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Youth Studies, Social Work

An Examination of the Metalinguistic Skills of 3- to 8-year-old Twins

How Teenagers Identify Problems in Their Peers; A Preliminary Study of How Young People Name Mental Health

Metalinguistic skills, which includes the ability to think about and reflect on language, is related to language development such that children with strong metalinguistic abilities tend to be children with strong language skills. Evidence supporting this relationship comes from studies revealing that children who are bilingual have stronger metalinguistic skills than children who are emerging bilinguals and that children who are emerging bilinguals have stronger metalinguistic skills than children who are monolingual speakers (Bialystok, 1988). There is also evidence suggesting that children who are poor language learners, such as children with significant language impairment have weak metalinguistic skills (Fujiki, Brinton, & Dunton, 1987; Kamhi, Lee, & Nelson, 1985; Redmond & Rice, 2001). Research suggests that children who are twins are more likely to exhibit language delay (Thorpe, 2006). Compared to children who are singletons, children who are twins significantly lower scores on both cognitive and language measures. However, little is known regarding the metalinguistic skills of children who are twins. Thus, this study compared the metalinguistic of children who are twins and those who are singletons. Participants included eight sets of twins and 16 singletons matched on age and socioeconomic status. Analyses revealed no significant metalinguistic differences for the younger age groups. The 7- and 8-year-old twins demonstrated significantly lower syntactic metalinguistic scores than matched singletons. Results suggest differences in the cognitive and language development of twins may persist with age.

This study aims to identify the level of mental health language and awareness that young people have. Students included in this study are currently residing and attending school in the greater Twin Cities area and range from ages 13-18. This study gathered information through one-on-one interviews with fifteen young people of different sexes, ages, races, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds in hopes of gaging information on young peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s general ability to identify peer troubles through mental health frames. Our study concluded that the sex and race of a peer could change the perception of mental health issues within an individual. It appears that all young people have the ability to recognize troubles in their peers, but their ability to label these troubles with mental health terminologies greatly changes based on the young persons personal experience within their families, peer groups, schools, and media with mental health.

80 | University of Minnesota


Jason Kuennen

Benjamin Kuhnke

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Ted Ozersky Mentor’s Department: Biology

Economics; Management Information Systems Carlson School of Management May 2018 Mentor: Russell Funk Mentor’s Department: Management

Primary Productivity in St. Louis County

Access to Accountable Care Organizations in Low Income Areas

There is little information available on under-ice primary productivity in winter months, partly because the consensus has been that nothing happens during these times. Recently, however, research has shown that there can potentially be significant biological production in freshwater environments during winter months. Still, measurements of under ice primary production rates are relatively rare, providing motivation for such work in diverse ice covered systems. This project was designed to investigate primary production conditions rates in two contrasting ice-covered portions of the St. Louis River estuary, a highly turbid area (the Pokegama Bay) and a relatively clear area (the Duluth Harbor). This work will provide some of the first data for winter primary productivity in these and other local Minnesota waterways, which may be especially important as climate change permanently alters ecological conditions in the state.

ACO’s are a new organizational form in healthcare, and studying them is important because old theories about healthcare and organizations many not apply. Knowing which ACO configurations work well especially for disadvantaged groups, is imperative because ACO’s need to do more than just provide more care to people who already have access to excellent care.This entailed two phases the first was measuring the geographic area of ACOs. The second phase of my research involved measuring ACO provider density compared to income.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 81


John Kurtz

Kelly Kwong

Nutritional Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Chi Chen Mentor’s Department: Food Science and Nutrition

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: David Largaespada Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Analysis of Rapeseed Metabolites in Pig Digesta and Serum Samples through LC-MS-based Metabolomics

The Role of the Canonical ß-catenin Signaling Pathway and its Effect in NF1 Schwann Cell Tumorigenesis

A collaborative effort between UMN (Drs. Chi Chen and Jerry Shurson) and Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Dr. Margareth Overland) has been dedicated to understand the effects of feeding rapeseed meal and its associated challenges. In one feeding trial with 40 landrace castrated farrow male pigs, half of them were fed a traditional diet with soybean meal (control), while the other 20 were given a diet containing Norwegian rapeseed meal (treatment). Digesta samples from the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, and colon, and serum samples have been collected from these pigs after 3 weeks of feeding. / The goal of this UROP research project is to identify and quantify rapeseed compounds and their metabolites in digesta and serum samples from abovementioned feeding trial. Because of the diversity and complexities of rapeseed compounds, a platform of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based metabolomics will be adopted to identify major rapeseed compounds and their metabolites. Working with Ms. Dana Yao (Research Fellow in Dr. Chen’s lab), I have performed a test run on the digesta samples and was able to identify the presence of sinapic acid and its malic acid conjugate. These are metabolites that are found in rapeseed but not within the soybean meal. I will use a similar approach to study other undefined metabolites in pigs fed rapeseed meal.

Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common inherited neurological disorders that can be characterized by benign tumor growth along the peripheral nervous system which causes scoliosis, learning disabilities, and hypertension. Certain subsets of these tumors progress into malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs), which are the leading cause of death in NF1 individuals. The understanding of the biological pathway that drives the formation of MPNSTs is the basis for developing more effective targeted therapies to treat the disease. One promising pathway is the Wnt/βcatenin signaling pathway, which is involved in tumorigenesis for many cancers, including NF1 tumors. The goal of this experiment is to identify the genes in immortalized human Schwann cells under the control of β-catenin. This will be accomplished by using a lentiviral vector that carries an allele of CTNNB1 (the gene which encodes β-catenin) that codes for a version of the protein that has an S33Y amino acid substitution, which is stabilized and active in cells. We have packaged this vector (and an empty vector control) into lentiviral particles using 293T cells. The viruses were then harvested and transduced onto HSC1λ cells and transduced cells were selected for using puromycin resistance and examined for GFP expression. We then purified mRNA from these cells and performed qPCR and RNAseq to determine the genes under the transcriptional control of β-catenin; genes that are found to be specific to the cell line are under the control of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and could be potential targets for future drug developments.

82 | University of Minnesota


Justice Lambon

Audrey Lane

Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Nic Jelinski Mentor’s Department: Soil, Water and Climate

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Melena Bellin Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Potential of Handheld Magnetic Susceptibility Meters to Inform and Predict Sampling for Lead in Urban Soils

Incidence of Microvascular Complications Following Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Autotransplantation

Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal that is found in soils and in most natural systems which ranges in concentration between 7 and 20 parts per million (ppm). Historically, lead has been used in a wide range of common products, particularly paint and gasoline, as well as emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites. Prior to federal bans on lead-based paints and leaded gasoline in the mid to late 1970’s, increased use of these products resulted in significant accumulations of lead in the soils of urban areas. Human exposure to soil lead can be a contributing factor to elevated blood lead levels, especially in children and pregnant mothers. Despite its detrimental effect on human health, much less information is available on lead distributions at the scale of individual urban properties in the Twin Cities Metro Area (TCMA). To fill this gap, Handheld Magnetic Susceptibility Meter has been proposed, but how well does the (HMSM) measurements correlates with lead concentrations? The research is conducted using 500 archived old samples in the lab and 200 fields measurements. Measured data is compared with X-Ray Fluorescence(XRF) data. The study shows data from Magnetic Susceptibility Meter measurements do not show a definite correlation with readings from XRF. Thus, the highest concentration of lead (Pd) does not necessarily correlate with the highest Susceptibility measurements and the vice versa.

Background information: To treat severe chronic pancreatitis, a total pancreatectomy with auto-islet cell transplantation (TP/IAT) may be performed.This can be followed by diabetes with of variable severity. We compared the incidence of microvascular complications in patients who had TP/IAT to populations of Type 1 Diabetics. Materials and Methods: A self-reported survey was given to TP/IAT patients annually. Using the 6-8 year follow-up survey responses (average length of follow up 6.45 years) for forty individuals we calculated the incidence of retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. This was compared to the incidence found by the DCCT trial and a additional study using a two population proportion z-test (α=0.05). Results: The incidence of retinopathy was 0.025 and was not significantly different from either DCCT group. It was significantly lower than the incidence in Eppens et.al. The incidence of nephropathy in TP/IAT patients was 0.125 and is significantly higher than all the comparison populations. The incidence of neuropathy was 0.2 and statistically higher when compared to the DCCT’s primary cohort intensive therapy group but was not significantly different when compared with the DCCT’s primary cohort conventional therapy group or Eppens et.al. Discussion: This study indicates TP/IAT patients may be at a greater risk for nephropathy than type 1 diabetics. The study is limited by it’s self-reporting nature. Considering the variable diagnostic criteria for neuropathy, further investigation as to the accuracy and consistency of the diagnosis within this population would be insightful.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 83


Matt LaPrade

Kai Larsen

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Mark Bee Mentor’s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Satoshi Ishii Mentor’s Department: Biotechnology Institute

Noise Induces Errors in Animal Communication

Into Thin Air: Oxygen Dependency of Arcobacter Growth

Acoustic communication mediates many essential interactions among animals, such as conflict, sexual advertisement, and care for young. The presence of noise greatly complicates the ability to communicate accurately among animals, and can lead to costly communication errors. Cope’s gray treefrogs, or Hyla chrysoscelis, mate in loud, sizeable choruses, where females select males based on their call properties. Female H. chrysoscelis are faced with two complicated problems, mating with the best male available, and mating with a male of the correct species. Previous studies have not thoroughly analyzed the call preferences of females in realistic noise. Here we show that increasing noise levels significantly increases the number of errors in call rate, but not pulse rate, discrimination. We also found that error rates increase when alternatives are similar in value. Our results indicate that females are somehow more able to correctly discriminate between pulse rate values in noise compared to call rate. It is likely because making mistakes about species identity is much more costly than making mistakes about male quality. It is possible that selection has acted in the past to prevent pulse rate discrimination errors. Additionally, these results suggest that selection is weaker in nature than is suggested by studies performed in quiet lab conditions. These results will have important implications in the field of animal communication as a whole, because noise affects all types of communication.

The bacterial genus of Arcobacter is a currently emerging zoonotic pathogen of the family Campylobacteraceae. Gram­negative, spiral shaped,oxidase positive bacteria, it is believed to be a leading agents in human infection worldwide, particularly food poisoning. In this experiment I analyzed the effects of oxygen concentration on six strains of Arcobacter.

84 | University of Minnesota


An Le

Giang Le

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Anindya Bagchi Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Chemical Engineering; Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Phil Buhlmann Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemistry

Exploring the Roles of HIF1a in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Development of Polycationic Polyacrylamide Sensor for Water Remediation

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) has been known to be the fourth most common cause of caner-related deaths in the United States due to its notorious characteristics: nonspecific symptoms, high metastatic rates, and high resistance to radio- and chemotherapies. Previous studies have shown that the formation of desmoplasia plays a remarkable role in blocking the assess of radioand chemotherapies. Moreover, the presence of desmoplasia creates a hypoxic environment for pancreatic tumor cells, which in turn promotes the upregulation of hypoxia inducible-factor (HIF1) gene. With that idea in mind, two mouse models, containing functional HIF1 gene and knockout HIF1 gene, were created to determine the role of HIF1 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Based on our collected data, it was surprisingly shown that the mouse strain containing a knockout HIF1 gene had a shorter life span and experienced a more aggressive pancreatic tumor compared to the one with a functional HIF1 gene. With this data, we hypothesized that the absence of HIF1gene promotes the upregulation of another subunit within HIF family in order to maintain the invasion of PDA.

Polyacrylamide is a flocculant agent and has been used in water treatment. The polymer binds heavy metal nanoparticles, resulting in the agglomeration of the polycationic polyacrylamide nanoparticle, which can be removed from water. However, overuse of polyacrylamide can be harmful to the environment. Polycationic polyacrylamide detection is essential to control the removal process to determine the amount of polymer needed to remove heavy metal nanoparticles without adding excessive amounts of polymer. With a polycationic polyacrylamide -selective sensor, this process can be regulated and be effectively used as a method to remove heavy metals from contaminated lakes and rivers. Two models of ion-detection, potentiometry and voltammetry, were studied for polycationic polyacrylamide detection. Based on similar published works, different polymeric membrane compositions were selected to implement in the potentiometric sensors to find the one most effective in detecting polycationic polyacrylamide. Potentiometric sensors could detect the target ion but had low precision and sensitivity. Voltammetric sensors demonstrated a lower detection limit and higher sensitivity. The voltammetric sensors were made from gold electrodes coated with a layer of ion conducting polymer (poly (3-octylthiophene)) and a polymeric layer of ETH500, nitrophenyl octyl ether and polyvinyl chloride. Alterations in the polymeric compositions and coating method were examined to find the optimized method to assemble the sensor.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 85


Will Le

Alysha Lee

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Robert Tranquillo Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biomedical Engineering

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Ryan Hunter Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Microbiology

Real Time Monitoring of Heart Valve Hydrodynamic Parameters in Pulse Duplicator

Antibiotic Resistance Determinants in the Cystic Fibrosis Pathogen Achromobacter xylosoxidans

Each year, there are approximately 280,000 patients worldwide undergoing heart valve replacement surgery. The far majority of these procedures involve mechanical or porcine/bovine fixed pericardium valve replacement, which have critical weaknesses regarding hemocompatibility, calcification or durability. Thus, there is no clear solution for pediatric and young-adult patients. To tackle these problems, the Tranquillo Lab is researching on a novel tissueengineered heart valve (TEHV) that could recellularize, integrate itself into native tissue and consequently grow with the patient. This project aims at creating a testing apparatus that can characterize heart valve parameters in real time in vitro system using Labview and pulse duplicator. Bioprosthetic valve requirements according to ISO standard including orifice area, regurgitant fraction, number of cycle and duration of peak pressure difference will all be incorporated into the code. Implementation of the working monitoring system has proven to be successful. This tool allows researchers to match real time video data (or observation) with valve hemodynamic statistics, in doing so provides a much more useful insight to valve functionality than post-experimental data processing. The system also store values for the whole duration of extensive fatigue testing, which gives more exact indication of valve performance.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal, recessive disease caused by a mutation in the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) causing an increase in mucus viscosity. This creates an ideal environment for microbial colonization resulting in the establishment of a diverse microbial community. Achromobacter xylosoxidans, an opportunistic pathogen often associated with nosocomial infections, has been implicated in later disease states in CF patients. It has proved resistant to a broad range of antibiotics, transmissible between patients, and shows robust biofilm formation as well as other virulence factors, increasing its importance as a pathogen and creating difficulties in identifying effective therapeutic strategies. Despite its relevance in disease, little is known regarding mechanisms involved in pathogenicity, including antibiotic resistance. Here, we used transposon mutagenesis to identify genes contributing to antibiotic resistance in a transmissible, multidrug-resistant, clinical isolate of A. xylosoxidans. In the presence of the minimum inhibitory concentration of four antibiotics (ampicillin, gentamicin, chloramphenicol, and ciprofloxacin), we screened approximately 10,000 mutants, representing 90 percent of A. xylosoxidans genome, for drug resistance determinants. Genes identified include efflux pumps, transcriptional regulators, and hypothetical proteins. One particular gene of interest was a HTH-type transcriptional regulator, dmlR. This gene confers resistance to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and chloramphenicol. With this information, we can tailor future studies toward characterizing the role of these genetic determinants in antibiotic resistance, which will potentially inform the design of novel therapeutic strategies.

86 | University of Minnesota


Eng Hock Lee

Samantha Lee

Physics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Tony Low Mentor’s Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Branden Moriarity Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Theoretical Investigation of Phonon – Polariton Modes in the Cylindrical Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Homologous Recombination at Human and Mouse Dihydrofolate Reductase Loci for Induction of Resistance to Methotrexate

Phonon–polariton is a quasi-particle that resulted from the strong coupling of infrared photon and optical phonon. In hexagonal boron nitride nanostructures it has shown to highly confine phonon– polariton modes with much lower losses due to its natural hyperbolic properties, as comparison to the plasmon-polariton modes in Graphene. In this paper, we examine theoretically the optical properties of cylindrical hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) in the midinfrared frequencies regime. We find that the cylindrical symmetry along φ direction give rise to an infinite sets of phonon-polariton modes on both Reststrahlen bands.

Cancer is a genetically heterogeneous disease in which altered expression of genes result in a disruption in normal cell growth. Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is an enzyme that plays an essential role in cellular metabolism and cell growth in eukaryotic systems. Antifolates, such as methotrexate (MTX), competitively inhibit DHFR and are effective, known chemotherapeutic agents against rapidly proliferating tumors, in particular against childhood leukemia. Cells can become resistant to MTX by amplification of the DHFR gene, overexpression of DHFR or expression of mutant forms of MTX-resistant DHFR. A substitution of the amino acid leucine-22 by tyrosine results in an enzyme that is 500-fold resistant to MTX, yet retains 15% of the normal level of catalytic activity. Introduction of cDNA sequences encoding DHFR (L22Y) by plasmid transfection or viral transduction confers resistance of cells to MTX. In this study, Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) targeting DHFR/Dhfr were electroporated into cells with a plasmid targeting vector to induce double stranded breaks (DSBs) and homologous recombination (HR) to introduce the Leu->Tyr mutation. Gene edited cells were then treated with MTX to select for gene edited cells. Editing the DHFR gene for MTX resistance is a powerful system to easily and quickly test the effectiveness of different targeting molecules at inducing HR. The results from our experiments will contribute to our knowledge on the DHFR gene, MTX resistance, and HR in mammalian cells.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 87


Sujung Lee

Alex Leeds

Sociology; Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Jeylan Mortimer Mentor’s Department: Sociology

Creative Theory & Inter-disciplinary Media College of Continuing Education May 2016 Mentor: Diane Willow Mentor’s Department: Art

The Influence of Social Class Background on Asian International Students’ and American Students’ Educational Decisions

Almost Here

American society has become more diverse now than ever before, and international students are an increasingly important source of diversity on college campuses (Zhao, Kuh & Carini, 2005). In particular, the growing number of Asian international students enrolled in American colleges and universities has received much attention (Zimmermann, 1995). Nonetheless, although many scholars have emphasized the benefits of having many international students on campus, little attention has been given to the social class factors that influence international students’ educational decisions: their decision to attend the University of Minnesota and their major choice. In this study, I will compare the social class backgrounds of Asian international students and American students, based on three criteria: parental education, occupation, and financial support from the family. Also, I will examine the relationship of educational decisions of Asian international and American students to their parents’ or siblings’ educational status. Eventually this study will investigate whether social class background influences Asian international and American students differently. My hypothesis is that Asian international students will be greatly affected by their parents’ financial support and educational background when they make educational decisions. Since high tuition is a burden to Asian international students, most of them will be financially supported by their parents. Financial dependency would not allow Asian international students to make their own decisions freely. Therefore, the opinions and voice of their parents would have a strong influence on their educational decisions. And since I expect that the majority of Asian international students would go back to their home countries after they pursue degrees, their parents would expect them to have similar majors and seek jobs in the same fields as their own when they settle down in their home countries. In contrast, American students would be influenced by their family’s capacity to support them financially but they would be less dependent than Asian international students. American students would expect to pay less tuition than Asian international students, and most of them would have part-time or full-time jobs, whereas not many international students have jobs, due to language barriers or their non-U.S. citizen status.

According to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the act of observation changes the observed. When the mind turns inward, the mind is changed, therefore never being able to truly “know” itself, only certain snapshots of previous selves (even if that means milliseconds ago). The more it looks inward, the more it changes itself. What then is the self? And what happens when we externalize the internal, represent it in different visual forms, and let a person converse with past versions of themselves? How can a visual representation of our thoughts, emotions, and subconscious – fed back on itself, take the minds inherent feedback loop in new directions? “Almost Here” refers to the fact that our sense of self can only be constructed from memories, and that there is an inherent limit to how close we can get to understanding our present self. This project uses a computer brain interface to create dynamic visualizations of the user’s brain waves, which is presented back to the viewer.

88 | University of Minnesota


Philip Leung

Dante Leyva Lundberg

Biochemistry; Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Chengguo Xing Mentor’s Department: Medicinal Chemistry

Plant Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: James Kurle Mentor’s Department: Plant Pathology

A Mechanistic Analysis of the Application of Dihydromethysticin as a CarcinogenDetoxifying Agent

The Effect of Inoculation Method and Environmental Conditions on Variety Response to Infection by Fusarium Virguliforme

It has been shown that DHM reduces the carcinogenicity of the carcinogen NNK by lowering toxicity and activating Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors (AHR) in cell cultures. AHR is currently thought to play a role in carcinogen detoxification. The project quantified the activity of CYP1A1 enzyme in vivo through a 7-Ethoxyresorufin (EROD) Enzymatic fluorescence assay. The activity of CYP1A1 enzyme is a good indicator of AHR activity in vivo because CYP1A1 is largely regulated by AHR. CYP1A1 activity in mouse liver tissue was increased by DHM administration when compared to controls, and this effect was observed to be amplified in the presence of NNK.

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) caused by the fungus Fusarium virguliforme is an important disease of soybeans causing both root rots and foliar symptoms. The most effective management method, varietal resistance, utilizes markers for partial resistance identified by phenotyping of plant resistance to pathogen infection. In previous research, variety resistance rankings changed markedly when differing inoculation methods and environmental conditions were imposed to cause disease. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of inoculation method and environmental condition on results obtained in resistance screening. Seedlings of Noir and Minsoy, soybean varieties resistant and susceptible to SDS were transplanted into soil inoculated with sorghum or cornmeal infested with F. virguliforme. Inoculation treatments were divided into two groups; one watered to field capacity daily, the other saturated continuously by submerging pots in ½ inch deep water. Uninfested sorghum, corn meal, and a soil-only treatment were included as controls. SDS foliar symptoms were evaluated daily and shoot and root growth measured 14 days after planting. Foliar symptom severity rankings of continuously saturated treatments were the inverse of the rankings of the daily watering treatment. Our results indicate that conditions imposed for resistance phenotyping may produce spurious symptoms that would be useless for identifying resistance markers or would highlight markers associated with characteristics unrelated to SDS resistance. The results also emphasize the importance of incorporating proper control treatments in experimental design to distinguish between the effect of inoculation treatment and environmental conditions. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 89


Shengjie Li

Sheri Li

Apparel Design College of Design May 2016 Mentor: Lucy Dunne Mentor’s Department: Design, Housing and Apparel

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Hassan Ibrahim Mentor’s Department: Medicine

Designing an Unobstrusive Transportable Mannequin

Fibroblast Growth Factor-23 After Kidney Transplantation: Is it Really Injurious?

Traditional mannequins made from foam and fiberglass are awfully heavy and expensive to transport. Some companies produce inflatable mannequins which are much easier to transport, however, these blow-up mannequins available on the market are neither anatomically correct nor visually pleasant. Being an apparel design student with a passion for solving real-world design challenges, I’m proposing to design an inflatable mannequin which enables easy setup and disassembling. In-depth research on existing mannequins on the market is investigated. Various textiles and patterning methods are also tested during the development of the mannequin design. The outcome of the project would potentially help small fashion business or apparel design students/faculty to showcase their product more conveniently at any location, and significantly reduce the costs of shipping and storage.

FGF-23 has been associated with graft loss and early mortality in the post transplant period. We set out to describe associations of FGF levels both pre- and post-transplantation and stratified by treatment in participants of Angiotensin II Blockade for Chronic Allograft Nephropathy Trial. We evaluated the association between baseline and change in FGF-23 and the primary composite outcome of doubling of interstitium or ESRD from interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IF/TA). Subjects underwent FGF-23 testing, iothalamate GFR, and urine albumin to creatinine (ACR) measurements annually for 5 years in addition to an allograft biopsy at baseline and 5 years. Our results show no significant differences in FGF-23 values pre and post transplantation in the treatment group compared to placebo [32.6 (IQR 4.2-36.2) vs. 35.8 (5.5-29.8)]. In adjusted, time-varied regression models, FGF-23 levels were not associated with the composite outcome of doubling of the interstitium, ESRD or death (OR 1.00; 95% CI 0.99-1.01, P = 0.81), nor were associated with all-cause ESRD (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98-1.01, P = 0.87). Change in FGF-23 was positively associated with change in serum creatinine (r = 0.35, p = 0.004), change in urinary protein (r = 0.27, p = 0.04) and inversely associated with change in eGFR (r = -0.27, p = 0.03), but was not associated with extent of fibrosis on protocol biopsies. We concluded that FGF-23 levels declined after kidney transplantation, however were not associated with treatment group or adverse outcomes post transplantation.

90 | University of Minnesota


Christina Lindemann

Cassandra List

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Kaylee Schwertfeger Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Lab Medicine and Pathology

Environmental Science, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Gary Johnson Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Forest Resources

Fibroblast Growth Factor Contribution to Bone Metastatic Breast Cancer

Effect of Site Characteristics on Urban Trees in Minneapolis/St. Paul

One of the cornerstones of cancer is the ability of tumors to metastasize to other regions of the body. This metastasis can be specific, with different types of cancer often having tropisms for particular body parts. Breast cancer demonstrates this tropism through frequent metastasis to the bone in affected individuals. In this bone metastasis, tumor cell invasion of the bone stimulates osteoclast activity. This osteoclast stimulation promotes bone resorption and increases the space for more tumor cells to invade and proliferate. Thus, a positive feedback cycle is created that promotes the formation of more bone metastatic lesions. Currently, there is a poor understanding of the interactions between the osteoclasts and tumor cells that are creating this cycle. In our research, we show that bone metastatic breast cancer cells secrete factors that increase activation of ERK, a part of the FGF/FGFR pathway, in osteoclasts. However, the dependence of this ERK activation on FGF/FGFR was inconclusive. Further research on what is leading to this increased ERK activation could lead to a better understanding of the positive feedback cycle that is occurring between osteoclasts and tumor cells. This understanding could eventually lead to treatments to halt or even eradicate metastasis of cancer from the breast to the bone.

This research looks at the planting site characteristics of urban trees in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area and the effects they might have on the survival and short-term performance on the trees. Each tree was analyzed using the Rapid Urban Site Index (RUSI) protocol. This included conditions of the tree crown, stem, and roots, as well as the ratio between the tree stem and crown. A soil sample was then taken and tested for both organic matter and pH. Upon concluding the research, a correlation between site characteristics and tree performance has been found.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 91


Edward Liu

Yang Liu

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Wei-Shou Hu Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Anthony Baughn Mentor’s Department: Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology

Mathematical Modeling of the Gluconeogenesis Pathway in Hepatocytes

Combatting the “Forgotten Plague”: Understanding the Mechanism of a Front-Line Drug to Identify New Assays for Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis

A mathematical model of the gluconeogenesis pathway in hepatocytes was constructed. This model was based on an existing model of glycolysis in proliferating (fast-growing) cells. This mechanistic model used knowledge of enzyme kinetics to form a system of differential equations, from which the concentration of cellular metabolites were found by numerical methods. The model was analyzed to predict cellular metabolism trajectory based on changes in enzyme kinetics and in concentrations of metabolites.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a pulmonary disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) that affects millions of people worldwide. Treatment for tuberculosis involves a drug-intensive regimen that lasts 6-8 months. One of the frontline drugs, pyrazinamide (PZA), must be converted to its active form, pyrazinoic acid (POA), by the bacteria intracellularly. Drug resistance against PZA leads to longer treatment times with more dangerous medication. Based on unpublished data, ferrous iron, zinc, nickel, and copper are able to bind to PZA. We hypothesized that PZA could function by binding divalent metals, sequestering them inside the cell and causing cell death through metal toxicity. Death curves were set up with varying concentrations of PZA, POA, and metals. After 2 weeks of growth on plates, colonies were counted for growth. Based on the data collected, treatments with zinc+POA resulted in complete cell death, whereas treatment with POA allowed for POA resistant bacteria to grow. Based on the data collected, zinc synergizes with POA to potentiate cell death. Zinc may also be used to develop assays to help determine PZA resistance in settings where modern methods, such as PCR and genomic sequencing, are not able to be used.

92 | University of Minnesota


John Loftus

Tayler Loiselle

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Susan Everson-Rose Mentor’s Department: Medicine

Child Psychology College of Education and Human Development , College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Keisha Varma Mentor’s Department: Educational Psychology

Rural-Urban Differences in Access to Preventive Health Care in Publicly-Insured Minnesotans

Examining the Relationship between Science Learning, Academic Achievement, and Motivation in Middle School Students

Background: Public insurance, including Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP), is associated with barriers to care and outcome disparities. Rural residence compared to urban is also associated with barriers and worse outcomes. The objective of this study is to investigate rural-urban differences in MHCP enrollees regarding barriers and access to care. Methods: This is an analysis of a 2008 state-wide survey of MCHP adults and children (n=4388) investigating barriers associated with low utilization of preventive care. Sampling was stratified with oversampling of racial/ethnic minorities. The survey was administered with a community-based participatory research approach. Results: White and American Indian populations were more highly represented in rural areas, while black and Asian populations were greater in urban areas. Rural enrollees were more likely to be married, non-immigrants, and higher socioeconomic status. Controlling for sociodemographic variables, rural enrollees were more likely to report no past year preventive care compared to urban enrollees (OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.05-1.93). Barriers associated with low use of preventive care among rural enrollees included discrimination (OR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.4-3.8), cost of care (OR=1.8, 95%CI: 1.1-3.0), and uncertainty about care being covered by insurance (OR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-2.9). These and additional provider-level barriers were also identified among urban enrollees. Conclusions: Rural MHCP enrollees are less likely to use preventive care compared to urban enrollees. Discrimination, cost of care and uncertainty about insurance coverage inhibit access in both the rural and urban samples. More research is needed to understand the causes of access disparities based on rural-urban residence.

The global need for a STEM workforce is increasing, yet almost three quarters of eighth grade students in the United States scored at or below proficiency levels on the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (National Science Foundation, 2014). Therefore, gaining insights into factors related to science performance is an important goal for education research. Since motivation has long been studied as a factor that influences learning, this study examined the relationship between motivational dispositions and academic outcomes related to the areas of science. 48 middle school students completed the Need for Cognition Scale (Petty, Cacioppo, & Kao, 1984), which assess whether individuals engage in and enjoy tasks that require thinking. We compared the students’ NFC scores to their MCA (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment) scores in science and math as well as their final grade in their science class. Results showed a significant positive correlation between students’ scores on the NFC scale, their final science grades, and their MCA science scores. However, there was no significant correlation between NFC scores and MCA math scores. Students’ need for cognition (persistence and enjoyment of critical thinking) seems to be especially important for science learning that, in middle school, may involve tasks requiring more deliberation, problem solving and abstract thinking. The results of this study highlight the unique relationships between individual differences in personality and STEM learning outcomes. As researchers, policy makers, and educators become increasingly interested in addressing educational disparity, it is important to continue to examine the factors that influence learning outcomes. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 93


Allison Loken

Dylan Loomis

Animal Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences December 2016 Mentor: Krishona Martinson Mentor’s Department: Animal Science Research Partner: Abby Neu

Chemical Engineering; Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Marc Hillmyer Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

The Effect of Hay Rake Type on Exogenous Ash Content of Alfalfa Hay

Effect of Block Composition on Structure in Mesoporous Block Polymers

Ash content of legume hay ranges from 6 to 8% dry matter (DM) with higher ash contents indicating hay that is likely contaminated with soil. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of rake type on ash content of hay. Research was conducted in Minnesota in 2015 in an alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) hay field. Prior to harvest and after cutting of first crop, 16 random samples were hand harvested. Post cutting, swaths were assigned to a randomized complete block design with four replicates. Swaths were raked with a wheel, side delivery or rotary rake or a hay merger. After baling, small-square bales from each treatment were cored. All samples were analyzed for ash content by igniting samples in a furnace at 600oC. Statistical significance was set at P ≤ 0.05 and mean separations were determined using Tukey HSD and are presented as percent DM. The mean ash contents of the standing and post-cut hay were 11.2 and 12.8%, respectively. Ash contents were different among hay rakes (P < 0.001) and after baling (P = 0.0059). The merger resulted in the least amount of ash (11.1%) compared to all other treatments. The rotary, side-delivery and wheel rake resulted in 13.4, 13.5 and 15.2% ash and were not different from each other. Post baling, the merger resulted in less ash (11.4%) compared to the wheel rake (14.6%). Farmers looking to reduce ash content of hay should consider using a hay merger when combining swaths.

Mesoporous polymer materials are useful for an array of applications, including liquid separations, catalysis, and energy storage. In these materials, mesopores ranging from 2 – 50 nm can provide high surface area and enhanced selectivity. Mesoporous cross-linked poly(styrene) (PS) with a bicontinuous structure can be easily synthesized from a block polymer precursor, however the glassy nature of the matrix results in a brittle material that limits its broad applicability. The incorporation of a rubbery domain into a glassy mesoporous polymer provides a straightforward route to toughen the matrix. To this end, styrene and divinylbenzene were copolymerized from a poly(lactide)-block-poly(isoprene) macro-chain transfer agent (PLA-b-PI-CTA) to yield a cross-linked block polymer. The initially soluble reaction mixture microphase separates as polymerization occurs, and in situ cross-linking traps the resulting structure. Selective chemical etching of the PLA block reveals a porous network of highly cross-linked glassy PS containing rubbery PI-lined pore walls. We demonstrate that by tuning the volume fractions and molecular weights of the PLA-b-PI-CTA precursors we can access surface areas from 13 – 95 m2 g-1 and morphologies comparable to analogous systems that do not contain PI blocks. This facile synthetic route lends a straightforward approach towards mesoporous polymer materials with potential utility in high performance applications.

94 | University of Minnesota


Sarah Lucas

Benjamin Lueck

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Mark Osborn Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics, Blood and Marrow Transplant

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Kirsten Nielsen Mentor’s Department: Microbiology

Exploring the Use of Bacterial Toxin-Antitoxin System in Gene Therapy

Opsonization and Phagocytosis of the Fungal Pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans

Gene therapy is the use of genetic engineering to correct and cure a genetic disease by replacing a patient’s defective gene with a functional one. This work is carried out in the patient’s stem cells so that the effect of the gene replacement will be permanent and continue throughout the patient’s life. Unfortunately, what makes the stem cells so valuable for gene therapy, also makes them difficult to culture, namely their ability to differentiate. When clumps of stems cells come in contact with one another, this can trigger them to differentiate which makes the cells less viable for use in the gene therapy. We have begun to develop the technology that will prevent this differentiation through the use of bacterial toxin-antitoxin systems. These systems have been shown to function in mammalian cells; however, their application to prevent stem cell differentiation has not been tested. In order to develop this technology, we are in the process of building and testing a construct that constitutively expresses both the toxin and antitoxin in which the latter is turned off once the stem cell starts to differentiate. To determine the most efficacious toxins, eight were screened by transiently infecting 293 and 3T3 cell lines. Using cell lines transduced with the corresponding antitoxins, a dosage study was conducted to quantify the potency of each toxin with VapC being the most potent candidate. Currently, we are engineering a virus to infect the stem cells with our construct. Once the stem cells have been transduced, we expect undifferentiated cells to survive and differentiated cell to die. This work will advance gene correction therapies by demonstrating that the toxin-antitoxin technology can be used to facilitate culturing of pluripotent stem cells.

Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that lives ubiquitously in the environment as a soil saprophyte, meaning it feeds on decaying organic matter. However, C. neoformans is also an opportunistic fungal pathogen capable of causing disease in immune compromised humans. Although C. neoformans has been known to cause disease in humans for over a century, it was not until the advent of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that C. neoformans became recognized as a globally important opportunistic pathogen. It is now estimated that C. neoformans causes 600,000 deaths in HIV+ individuals annually worldwide. Over 500,000 of these deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, making it the leading cause of death of HIV+ individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa. / A major complication of C. neoformans infection in immune compromised individuals is the inability of host phagocytes to clear the fungal burden. Due to the ability of C. neoformans to survive intracellularly, phagocytic uptake without killing can be detrimental, and previous studies have negatively associated phagocytic uptake with patient outcomes. Here we demonstrate methodological improvements to the study of phagocytic uptake of cryptococcal cells, including the development of a robust flow cytometry assay. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of this assay to detect natural variances in phagocytic uptake between closely related clinical strains of C. neoformans. This assay represents an improvement over traditional methods, and we demonstrate that it is sensitive enough to allow for the future studies of both host and cryptococcal determinants of phagocytosis.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 95


John Lundquist

Ben Ma

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Marlene Zuk Mentor’s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Food Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Cindy Tong Mentor’s Department: Horticulture

Recognition of Superparasitism by Pteromalus Cassotis

Testing Correlations between Honeycrisp Apple’s Leaf Chlorosis and Senescent Breakdown by Measuring Soluble Sugar Concentrations

Ptermoalus cassotis is a specialized parasitoid wasps that parasitizes monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) pupae. It is uncertain whether or not these wasps can recognize previously parasitized hosts. Superparasitism could be genetically unfavorable if the oviposited offspring are fertilized upon emergence by the male offspring of the previous parasitoid. Thus, it would be ideal to avoid the host or only deposit unfertilized male eggs to potentially fertilize previously laid eggs. I exposed P. Cassotis wasp to monarch pupae for 24 hours ensuring oviposition. I then swapped the wasp for another female from the same brood and ran the exposure trial for another 48 hours, these wasps were not placed on the host. At the end of the trial the wasps were removed. After emergence, the number of wasps emerged, contents of the pupae, and the sex ratio were determined and compared to previously run trials under similar parameters, one wasp one host and two wasp one host. There was a significant proportion of wasps that did not emerge under this treatment. Total brood sizes were similar over all three trial types. The sex ratio of males to females was nearly identical to one wasp one host trials, whereas the ratio for two wasp one host was significantly higher. This suggests that P. cassotis cannot recognize previously parasitized hosts under these conditions. Further testing could be done on the dynamics of wasp development and competition in the host under super parasitism as well as increasing the sample size for statistical significance.

Apple senescent breakdown is a disorder in which the inside of the fruit turns brown with tissue breakdown while the exterior of the fruit remains normal. Leaf chlorosis is the yellowing of leaf tissue due to the lack of chlorophyll, the green pigment found in leaves. Both fruit senescent breakdown and leaf chlorosis happen in Honeycrisp apples. This study hypothesized that there is an inverse relationship between soluble sugar concentration in chlorotic Honeycrisp leaf and browning fruit with senescent breakdown. The major sugar contents of both Honeycrisp leaves and fruits were measured by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Reflective Index Detector and Megazyme® Enzymatic Assay Kits, and correlation tests were applied to explore the relationship between fruit senescent breakdown and leaf chlorosis. As a result, moderate sugar concentration correlations between normal leaves and senescent break down apple tissues and chlorotic leaves and normal apple tissues were found in Honeycrisp apples. Particularly, sucrose and sorbitol concentrations of normal leaves were positively correlated with those of the browning fruits, which can indicated that the normal leaf sugar metabolism resulted the browning fruits sugar concentrations.

96 | University of Minnesota


Zahra Mahamed

Gregory Mannino

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Muna Sunni Mentor’s Department: University of Minnesota Masonic Hospital

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Chengguo Xing Mentor’s Department: Medicinal Chemistry

Predominance Of Dr3 In Somali Children With Type 1 Diabetes In The Twin Cities, Minnesota

Synthesizing and Evaluating the Biological Effectiveness of Novel Anticancer Agents

Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the US, and pediatric diabetes teams are seeing increasing numbers of Somali children with diabetes.To assess the immune basis of diabetes in Somali children in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. Thirty-one Somali children ≤19yr treated for type 1 diabetes (T1D) at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota underwent analysis of HLA alleles (n=30) and diabetes autoantibodies (GAD65, IA-2, ZnT8; n=31). HLA alleles were analyzed in 49 Somalis without diabetes (controls). Antitransglutaminase autoantibodies (TGA) for celiac disease were also measured. In Somali children with T1D aged 13.5±5yr (35% female, disease duration 6.5±3.6yr), the most common HLA allele was DRB1*03:01 (93%, compared with 45% of Somali controls), followed by DRB1*13:02 (27%). There was a relatively low frequency of DR4 (13%). Controls showed a similar pattern. All 31 participants were positive for at least one diabetes autoantibody. Insulin antibodies were positive in 84% (all were on insulin). Excluding insulin antibodies, 23 (74%) subjects tested positive for at least one other diabetes autoantibody; 32% had 1 autoantibody, 32% had 2, and 10% had 3. GAD65 autoantibodies were found in 56% of subjects, IA-2 in 29%, and ZnT8 in 26%. Four (13%) were TGA positive. The autoantibody and HLA profiles of Somali children with diabetes are consistent with autoimmune diabetes. Their HLA profile is unique with an exceptionally high prevalence of DRB1*03:01 allele and relative paucity of DR4 alleles compared to African Americans with T1D.

Cancer is a deadly disease, caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells. It is often very difficult to treat, and one major reason it is so difficult to treat is due to its ability to become drug resistant; compounds that can efficiently kill cancer cells become ineffective (Hermanson et al., 2015). One way to combat this drug resistance is through the use of chalcones, which are a family of small, organic molecules with the structure E 1,3-diphenyl-2-propene-1-one. These molecules have the capacity to re-sensitize cancer cells to conventional chemo-therapeutics (Zhou & Xing, 2015). This project focused on the synthesis of a chalcone compound, FC77, and analogs through aldol condensation, as well as the evaluation of their cytotoxicity against cancer cells. Literature searches were completed to find a synthesis procedure for these compounds. However, the attempted syntheses were unsuccessful. This could potentially be due to the propiophenone starting material, instead of an acetophenone commonly found in the literature. Because the chalcones were not successfully synthesized, their cytotoxicity could not be evaluated. The first priority is still to synthesize FC77 and analogs and to then to test their cytotoxicity.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 97


Qingqing Mao

Sharacol Marcellino

Nutrition College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Chi Chen Mentor’s Department: Food Science and Nutrition

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Christ Leighton Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Analysis of Amino Acid Metabolism in Young Mice Fed with Green Algae Grown in Waste Water

Growth of Rare Earth and Transition Metal Doped BaSnO3 Thin Films via High Pressure Oxygen Sputter Deposition

Without proper processing, nutrient-rich waste water is an environmental concern. To address this concern, the nutrients in the wastewater from dairy processing facility and slaughter house were harvested by culturing Chlorella Vulgaris, a green algae that is widely used as supplement, food additive, and food coloring for its protein, PUFA, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds. The composition analysis showed that dried Chlorella grown in these two waste water contain more than 70% proteins. In this study, the influences of feeding these high-protein algae on mouse amino acid profile were evaluated by their incorporation into mouse feeds. Through the Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis, amino acid composition in fecal and serum samples from control and algae-fed mice were determined . The analysis confirmed that adding algae into the feed could change the amino acid profile in pellet. Algae cultured from dairy waste water was enriched in alanine, aspartic acid, and glutamate. Algae cultured from Hormel waste water was enriched in glycine, alanine, proline, and phenylalanine. Comparing to control feed (AIN-93G), the enrichment was reflected in the pellet. However, some contrast amino acid distribution in feces suggested that algae feed could affect amino acid absorption.

The recent discovery of high electron mobility (320 cm2V-1s-1) at 300 K in Ba1-xLaxSnO3 single crystals provides a great motivation for achieving similar properties in thin films [1]. But, there still remain some outstanding questions in this context, like choice of dopants or site, and role of dislocations in films, the latter being of significant importance in films because of the dearth perovskite substrates with lattice parameter close to 4.116 Å. The primary emphasis of this work is synthesis of doped BaSnO3 sputtering targets to be subsequently used for growth of epitaxial thin films using high pressure oxygen sputtering. Characterization tools such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) has been extensively used to evaluate the stoichiometry of the targets and films. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to study the surface morphology of thin films. [1] H. J. Kim et al., Applied Physics Express 5, 061102 (2012)

98 | University of Minnesota


Alexia Martin

Rachel Marusinec

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Gary Dunny Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Louis Mansky Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Institute for Molecular Virology

Characterization of Extracellular DNA Release by the Enterococcus faecalis AtlA Mutant

The Effect of Capsid Mutations on HTLV-1 Gag Oligomerization

Enterococcus faecalis is a gram-positive bacterium and a common component of the human intestinal microbiome which has emerged as an important nosocomial pathogen. The pathogenicity of E. faecalis relates to its capacity to form biofilms, surface-associated microbes within an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix, capable of establishment throughout the human body. Extracellular DNA (eDNA) is an integral component of the EPS matrix in E. faecalis biofilms, however, the mechanisms by which the eDNA enters the environment throughout the stages of biofilm formation is unclear. The autolysin, AtlA an N-acetylglucosaminidase, has been previously identified as contributing to eDNA release during biofilm formation in OG1RF. Previous biofilm growth studies have shown that AtlA mutants produce less robust biofilms, however, they have been shown to be as virulent as the wild-type in a rabbit model of biofilm-mediated endocarditis. Here, we used a polycarbonate membrane-based biofilm assay to characterize eDNA release by an AtlA mutant and only observed a minimal decrease in biofilm eDNA content. Further analysis by fluorescent microscopy over time demonstrated the emergence of a wild-type chain-length phenotype in the AtlA mutant between 8-24 hours in planktonic cultures and polycarbonate biofilms. In contrast, biofilms grown on aclar coupons showed the AtlA 24-hour biofilms were phenotypically identical to wild-type 4-hour biofilms. Together, these results suggest the existence of an alternative mechanism active in the absence of a functional AtlA.

Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that can cause human T-cell leukemia and HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/ tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), and is estimated to infect 5-20 million people worldwide. In order to replicate, the virus must undergo assembly, which is primarily driven by the Gag structural polyprotein. In HTLV-1, the Gag polyprotein oligomerizes to form a lattice structure. This structure is needed for virion budding and maturation. During maturation, the Gag polyprotein is cleaved and the viral capsid is formed. While amino acid residues necessary for oligomerization have been identified for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), a closely related human retrovirus, amino acids have not yet been identified in HTLV-1 that are necessary for this process. Several pairs of consecutive amino acids were mutated and caused a change in Gag localization from punctate to a diffuse localization. These data provided support for the conclusion that specific amino acids could impact Gag oligomerization. In addition, amino acid residues implicated in HTLV-1 Gag oligomerization were mapped to the amino-terminal domain of capsid. HTLV-1 Gag mutant proteins will be overexpressed in E. coli and purified to study in vitro oligomerization and further validate the residues involved in Gag-Gag interactions. A long-term goal of this research is to identify potential drug targets for interfering with Gag oligomerization, which will inhibit virus replication.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 99


Logan Massman

Symone McClain

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

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: George Heimpel Mentor’s Department: Entomology

Investigating the Effects of Genetically Disrupting the Molecular Circadian Clock in the Adrenal Cortex

Sex Allocation of the Parasitoid Habrobracon Hebetor on Female Versus male Plodia interpunctella Caterpillars

In mammals, the adrenal gland is responsible for the release of glucocorticoids (GC) in a circadian rhythm as well as in response to long-term stress. The circadian release of GC is entrained by light via the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus which regulates the molecular circadian clock of the adrenal cortex. Using a Cre-Lox system, we were able to selectively eliminate a key factor in the molecular circadian clock, Bmal1, in the mouse adrenal cortex. Under a 12:12 light:dark (Tau “T” = 24, “T24”), we observed no change in phenotype. However under an aberrant light cycle (3.5:3.5 LD, “T7”), we observed an increased pulsatility in GC levels. Additionally, we observed an increased depressive-like phenotype as defined by sucrose anhedonia and decreased neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hypothalamus. In all, we conclude that the adrenal molecular clock is necessary to normalize the circadian release of GC under a T7 light cycle and that the absence of this clock increases the susceptibility to markers of depression such as sucrose anhedonia and decreased neurogenesis. This supports the working hypothesis that the adrenal clock is non-essential under basal conditions but is required to buffer the effects of aberrant light on GC rhythms.

A parasitoid is an insect whose larvae feed in or on a single host, eventually killing the host to complete its development to the adult stage. Many parasitoids have the ability to determine the sex of the egg they will oviposit on the host, and will often place daughters in hosts with higher nutritional quality, which may vary with attributes of the host (e.g. age, size, or sex ). In this experiment, we presented one male and one female Plodia interpunctella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) caterpillar to one Habrobracon hebetor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) female parasitoid wasp in an isolated petri dish. After 24 hours of isolation, the parasitoid was removed, and the female and male caterpillars were separated into individual petri dishes. Upon emergence of parasitoid offspring, the sex of the offspring was determined and recorded. Other factors recorded included the number of initial unemerged offspring, the number of offspring hatched, and the ratio of male to female offspring on the male and female caterpillars. The behavior of the H. hebetor female wasps in regards to sex allocation of offspring on the female and male P. interpunctella caterpillars will be discussed.

100 | University of Minnesota


Libby McGraw

Nina Meltzer

Conservation Biology; Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Kenneth Kozak Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Chemistry College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts December 2016 Mentor: Jane Wissinger Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemistry

Stable Isotope Analysis of Moose Forage in Northeastern Minnesota

Catalyst Exploration for Improving the Synthesis of a Renewable Monomer for a Teaching Lab Experiment

The stable isotope composition of important moose forage species was studied to investigate the change as a function of disturbance type (i.e., burned, clear-cut, insect defoliated, undisturbed) and time since disturbance. Specifically, the change in isotopic signatures of various moose forage species was investigated as time since disturbance increases. The point at which the mean isotopic signatures of disturbed plots resemble those of undisturbed plots was determined. These data allow for the determination of moose preference for the same forage species regardless of disturbance type, and the identification for how long it takes for areas of disturbed forest to become isotopically indistinguishable from undisturbed areas.This study allows us to investigate the potential influence of increasing temperature on animal habitat use behavior; which, in light of recent climate change, is a critical environmental challenge. As climate change progresses, increasing temperatures will have a significant influence on northern-adapted animals. In moose, this will likely result in increased energy expenditure and reduced food intake, both of which would result in loss of body weight or failure to accumulate fat reserves, which are critical for winter survival.

Improvement of renewable monomer, I-S-2, based on isosorbide and succinic anhydride via addition of a greener catalyst was investigated. Catalyst exploration was performed to amend monomer synthesis to teaching lab conditions and time frames. The renewable monomers obtained were characterized via H NMR and physical properties, percent conversions and percent yields were compared. Anhydrous calcium chloride was found to be the most effective catalysts for the monomer synthesis. The monomer formed in this environmentally friendly approach is a precursor to sustainable polymers, which will be used in a novel teaching lab experiment.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 101


Makaela Mews

Benjamin Meyer

Neuroscience; Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: David Greenstein Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Alptekin Aksan Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Mechanical Engineering

Structure-Based Design of TemperatureSensitive Mutations using Genome Editing

Optical Characterization of Colloidal Silica Gels for Encapsulation of Oxygen Producing Cyanobacteria

Defects in the late stages of oocyte development are a major cause of human birth defects, infertility, and miscarriage. Normally, oocyte development arrests at meiotic prophase I and during this period oocytes are generally transcriptionally silent. Thus, translational regulation is central to the control of oocyte maturation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, GLD-2 (germ-line development defective) is the catalytic subunit of a cytoplasmic poly(A) polymerase that functions in multiple stages of germline development and is thought to activate mRNA translation. In order to assess the functional requirements at multiple stages, I used a structure-based approach to target mutations to the hydrophobic core of the protein to design temperature-sensitive mutations. Specifically, I used a degenerate oligonucleotide as a repair template in CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and enriched for repair events through use of a co-CRISPR strategy. With this method, I generated four novel alleles, which ranged in phenotype severity from homozygous viable to maternaleffect embryonic lethal (MEEL). For the MEEL mutants, both were temperature-sensitive displaying generally a MEEL phenotype at the permissive temperature while at the restrictive temperature usually displaying a sterile phenotype. Overall, I was able to generate novel alleles with a range of temperature sensitivity using a degenerate repair template altering buried residues via CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing.

Cyanobacteria are commonly used in biotransformation processes, including synthesis of biofuels, food additives, and pharmaceutical compounds. Silica gel encapsulation provides a mechanical scaffold and protection to the otherwise small and fragile bacteria. To maximize the biotransformation efficiency, the silica gel material needs to be optically transparent and mechanically strong, and the encapsulation process needs to be cytocompatible. We adjusted the properties of the gel by tuning the relative amounts of precursors (silica nanoparticles and silicon alkoxide) in the silica gel composition. The optical transmittance of the gels were tested by UV-Vis spectrophotometry and a 5:1 silica nanoparticle to silicon alkoxide ratio maximized transmittance through the gel. The cytocompatibility of the encapsulation process was tested by oxygen evolution experiments with encapsulated cells using a clark type oxygen electrode (Oxygraph). Light attenuation within the gel due to cells was tested and the results indicated that cell loading density limits oxygen production once the matrix becomes too crowded. Cytocompatibility can also be harmed by ethanol groups, which are a byproduct of silicon alkoxide hydrolysis. Understanding the kinetics of gelation can help to evaluate the exposure of cells to this toxic byproduct and the evolution of the gelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mechanical structure. We characterized the gelation kinetics optically and calculated a gelation time (Tgel) computationally. A rheological study was used to verify the optically determined gelation kinetics.

102 | University of Minnesota


Rebecca Meyer

Connor Mikre

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Karen Oberhauser Mentor’s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Sustainable Systems Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Mary Rogers Mentor’s Department: Horticultural Science

Impact of Climate Change on Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) and its Interactions with the Pupal Parasitoid Wasp, Pteromalus Cassotis

Evaluating the Performance of Biostimulants on Vegetable Transplants in Organic Production Systems

Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) are one of the most studied and charismatic insect species. Climate change will likely affect where prime habitat and suitable climate for monarchs is located. Climate change could also affect monarchs’ interactions with other species, including interactions with their predators and parasitoids. One such species is the monarch specialist pupal parasitoid wasp Pteromalus cassotis. It is still largely unknown how climate change will affect these wasps, and thus, how monarch population dynamics will be affected. It has been shown that climate change may have negative effects on some insects by changing their physiology, phenology, behavior, suitable range, and community structure. I examined the fundamental niche (possible range of suitable temperatures) of P. cassotis by determining their parasitism success rate at different temperatures. My results show that P. cassotis can successfully parasitize monarchs over the entire range of temperatures tested, although with varying rates of success. More research is needed to better understand the effects of temperature on parasitism success and its ecological significance for both P. cassotis and monarchs.

With demand for organic food increasing rapidly, reliable methods are needed to increase crop yields to levels achieved with conventional methods. Progress towards this goal relies heavily on the ability of organic growers to utilize the healthiest possible plants to prophylactically, rather than therapeutically, control weed, pest, disease, and abiotic pressures. New research on symbiotic plantmicrobe interactions suggests that mycorrhizal fungi -- naturally occurring fungi in the root systems of vascular plants -- may positively impact the health of the host plant. The research conducted in this UROP evaluates the performance of three different application methods of mycorrhizal fungi on Celebrity tomato seedlings under artificial drought stress within an indoor organic production environment. Plant performance in this study was measured as a product of plant height, shoot count, and dry weight root biomass for both root and shoot.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 103


Scott Miller Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Richard Nho Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Medicine

The Role of Death Receptors 4 and 5 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an irreversible lethal interstitial lung disease with an unknown cause, killing about 40,000 people per year. In IPF, lung fibroblasts become abnormally activated during tissue repair process, creating excessive scar tissue and avoiding cell death. The results from this research study suggest that the apoptotic pathway mediated by TRAIL (tumor necrosis factor-related apoptotic-inducing ligand) receptors, death receptors 4 and 5 (DR4 and DR5), is aberrant in IPF in the presence of a polymerized collagen matrix. Compared to control fibroblasts, IPF fibroblasts express lower levels of DR4 and DR5, making them more resistant to TRAIL-mediated apoptosis. Furthermore, our study suggests that both DR4 and DR5 may be potentially regulated by the transcription factor FoxO3a. Previous research has shown FoxO3a to be important in determining IPF fibroblast phenotype, and these results further support this idea.

104 | University of Minnesota

Ayesha Mitha Sociology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Cawo Abdi Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Sociology

Somali Refugee Schooling in the Era of School Choice: Ethnocentric Charter Schools in Minnesota The education of young Americans is a crucial shaping factor in their lives. It is one of the most important factors in determining their future life chances. For immigrant children, specifically those from refugee communities, their education can either help them to climb the social and economic ladders, or can hinder them; placing them in the lowest portion of American society. In the educational sphere of Minnesota charter schools are emerging as trend for the Somali American refugee community. The impacts of charter schools on the life chances of these children has not been thoroughly studied in the past. In this project I will assist in the attempt to discover the prevalence and origins of this trend, as well as any potential consequences.


Kalkidan Molla

Daniel Muldoon

Physics College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Michael Garwood Mentor’s Department: Center for Magnetic Resonance Research

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Jakub Tolar Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Development of a Low-Cost Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectrometer to Measure Properties and Heating of Iron-Oxide Nanoparticles

Investigating the Role of MmicroRNA-29 in Wound Healing in Patients with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) are in development in laboratories throughout the world for their capabilities in diverse biomedical applications. 1 IONPs are designed for multifunctional uses, including providing contrast agent in imaging and for delivering therapies. Despite their potential for such applications, much remains to be learned about their physical properties, biocompatibility, and effectiveness for treating cancers using magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH). In this project, we are designing and building a new tool for studying IONP properties and MFH heating. Specifically, we are building a low-cost electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer using only a radiofrequency field. 2 In our studies of IONPs, this system will be used for two purposes: First, we will use it to measure the EPR spectrum of different IONP formulations. Second, we will use our device to investigate the possibility to increase MFH heating using circularlypolarized radiofrequency irradiation to modulate the direction of the magnetization (as opposed to the conventional linearly-polarized RF field).

Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is a congenital disease in which loss-of-function mutations renders the COL7A1 gene nonfunctional. The COL7A1 gene encodes for a critical extracellular matrix protein, type VII collagen. Mature type VII collagen forms anchoring fibrils between the basement layer of the epidermis and the dermis. Without anchoring fibrils, the epidermis and dermis are unable to maintain their connectivity. RDEB presents with severe blistering, fibrosis-derived mitten deformities known as pseudosyndactyly, esophageal strictures, and squamous cell carcinoma due to chronic inflammation. Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) expression has been identified as a disease modulator in RDEB, where higher TGF-β signaling promotes a more severe phenotype. Losartan, an antihypertensive drug, has shown to reduce mitten deformities in RDEB via reduction in TGF-β signaling. We have been investigating impact of losartan on microRNA-29 in the context of RDEB, as we have recently identified microRNA-29 as a regulator of the COL7A1 gene. We have determined that microRNA-29 is reduced in RDEB mice potentially due to increased TGF-β signaling, and it may also influence the progression of mitten deformities in RDEB patients through regulation of other extracellular matrix proteins. We hypothesize that losartan treatment restores microRNA-29 levels in RDEB skin by reducing TGF-β signaling. Ongoing studies will illuminate biological mechanisms regulating fibrosis in RDEB and these in turn may lead to novel approaches for treating or preventing fibrosis, scarring and mitten deformities in RDEB.

References: 1. Lodhia, J et al. “Development and Use of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (Part 1): Synthesis of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for MRI.” Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal 6.2 (2010): e12. PMC. 2. G. Whitfield and A. G. Redfield, Physical Review, 1957, 106, 918.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 105


Mehdijaffer Mulla

Bhavani Murakonda

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Timothy Griffin Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Atsushi Asakura Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Neurology

The Development of a Verifiable Control for Mass Spectrometry-based Proteomics Database Peptide Characterizations in the Galaxy-P Bioinformatics Platform

Platform for Skeletal Muscle Tissue Clearing for Fluorescent Reporters and Immunofluorescence Staining

Mass Spectrometry provides a useful method of identifying and characterizing proteins. Utilizing protein identification data from mass spectrometry can contribute to the field of proteomics, which is the wide-scale study of proteins. The mass spectrometer can not only characterize peptides but also strings of amino acids. Corroborating all of the high throughput data, sometimes referred to as MS/MS, into a software is necessary. The idea is that the data from an unidentified sample of interest can be analyzed and matched to the mass spectrometry data of known peptides or proteins by a computerized software application. However, utilizing software is often problematic since a high false discovery rate occurs. While proteome researchers can invert the sequence of interest to generate a target-decoy database to filter the false positives, a more tangible control is necessary. Thus, the purpose of this study is to analyze the use of the proteome of Pyrococcus furiosus as a control when conducting mass-spec based MS/MS tandem searches. In essence, the goal of this study is to determine whether or not the results of the study conducted by Vaudel et al. (2012) can be replicated on the Galaxy-P framework. The limiting results found within this study indicate the lack of amenability of SearchGUI/PeptideShaker for analysis of the Pfu proteome. Nevertheless, data analyses indicate that overall, the Pfu proteome provides a means of assessing the software tools such as Peptide Shaker and SearchGUI for protein identification using the Galaxy-P platform.

Skeletal muscle is a highly ordered yet complex tissue containing several cell types that interact with each other in order to maintain structure and homeostasis. There are many cellular interactions that occur within the tissue, such as the interaction between satellite cells and blood vessel endothelial cells. These interactions are most effectively studied by imaging the tissue in its native conformation. However, light scattering due to lipids and proteins in the tissue hinder effective imaging through the whole tissue. Recent advances in neuroscience have led to the three-dimensional imaging of whole brain tissue using protocols such as iDISCO, CUBIC or PACT. However, these protocols focus on clearing the high amount of lipids found within the nervous system, making them less efficient for lipid poor, protein rich tissues, like skeletal muscle. This poster describes the process to establish workflow for tissue-clearing protocols using our preliminary data in skeletal muscle as an example. First, we utilized a high throughput screening methods to test the clearing efficiency of various reagents using homogenized muscle tissue. The reagents were then applied to thin sections of whole skeletal muscle in order to assess the preservation of fluorescent reporters. Additionally, muscle cryosections were treated with the reagents prior to being immunostained in order to see if the treatment affected A) antibody sensitivity/specificity and B) the effect on background fluorescence. From this step, the reagents were used to clear cremaster muscle and observe the preservation of fluorescence and clearing efficiency in whole mount samples.

106 | University of Minnesota


Madeline Murphy

Kimberly Nagel

Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Jessica Brown Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: SpeechLanguage-Hearing Sciences

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Alicia Allen Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Family Medicine and Community Health

Exploring the use of High- and Low-Tech Assistive Technology to Support Cognition in College Students with Traumatic Brain Injury

Stress-Induced Progesterone Response in Female Smokers by Menstrual Phase

Deficits that result from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are of particular concern for individuals re-integrating into higher education settings given the high cognitive demands of such environments. One way support for college students with TBI is accomplished is through the adaptation of external cognitive supports either in high- or low-tech forms to support daily task completion. Although many students with TBI rely on strategies or assistive devices to compensate for cognitive deficits, little is known about the rationale for support choice or the direct impact of such selections. Understanding how various features of these materials support residual skills or exacerbate challenges displayed by students with TBI remains largely unexplored. The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) we examined preference regarding types and characteristics of supports of students with TBI and (b) we completed two ten-day trials during which students were to complete five tasks, recorded on their cognitive support of choice, during which their success was measured on a scale factoring different aspects of the tasks. Results from three participants indicated a general preference for high-tech supports over low-tech materials; however, individual differences are present. Additionally, participants demonstrated errors in daily task completion during the trial support material phases indicating that daily planner systems may be best developed, trialed, and selected on an individual basis. Rehabilitation professionals working with this population may consider implementing interview and trial period phases into treatment to select the most efficacious daily planner support option for their clients with TBI in higher educational settings.

Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States, though about 16.8% of the U.S. population still currently smokes cigarettes. While quitting smoking is clearly beneficial, there are several challenges smokers face when attempting to quit, and females especially suffer from increased stress in response to nicotine withdrawal. Progesterone, a female sex hormone, has been shown to attenuate withdrawal symptoms and improve cessation outcomes in women. Progesterone is a neuroactive steroid hormone that has been shown to increase in response to stress and attenuate feelings of anxiety after an acute stressor in a laboratory setting. However, the effects of menstrual phase and smoking status on this stressinduced progesterone have not been explored in a singular study. Therefore, the goal of this study is to characterize the stress-induced progesterone response in female smokers and nonsmokers, as well as in different phases of the female menstrual cycle. Here we show that progesterone increased from pre- to post-stressor, but only in the luteal phase (p=0.0395). There were no significant differences in stress-induced progesterone by smoking status or menstrual phase. Though severely limited by small sample size in the smoking group and questionable validity of the stress task, this study provides further preliminary evidence that female sex hormones change in response to acute psychosocial stress. Further work is needed to determine the exact relationships between progesterone, stress, smoking, and menstrual phase. This information will inform future cessation therapies specific to the needs of women. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 107


Anant Naik

Aane Nakashima

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Timothy Ebner Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Neuroscience Research Partner: Madelyn Gray

Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Anar Akhmedov Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Mathematics

The Impact of Stress on the Progression of Dystonia Attack in tg/tg Mouse

Analyze Geometric Patterns and Physical Structure of Folded and Unfolded Model of Rigid Origami

The tottering (tg/tg) mouse is the leading model organism for studies of the human disease episodic ataxia type 2 (EA2), due to an analogous mutation of the Cacna1a gene. This mutation causes a deformation of calcium ion channels across the brain, manifesting in symptoms of mild ataxia, absence seizures, and pronounced episodic ascending dystonic attacks. While the occurrence of these attacks has been noted since the inception of the tg/tg mouse, the exact progression and severity of attacks has not been explored. Here we explore the relation of stress to attack provocation, progression and severity under the hypothesis that placing the mouse in a stressful situation would provoke a severe attack. Potential attacks in the tg/ tg mouse were provoked through injections of saline, caffeine, and movement of the naive mouse into a new cage, with changes of behavior indicating attack progression scored on a four point scale. Some mice were also introduced to a secondary stressor while in the attack. There was no significant difference in the duration and severity of attacks provoked by caffeine and saline and allowed to proceed without a secondary stressor, while new cage attacks were characterized by shorter duration but approximately the same latency. The addition of a secondary stressor mid-attack caused tg/ tg mice to come out of the attack for a brief period, after which they appeared to start a new attack.

The purpose of the study is to determinant the changes in geometric patterns on rigid origami when it is folded or un-folded. Rigid origami is the origami folds with geometric pattern that is constructed by folding all the line at the same time. My research approach the relationship of folded and un-folded model using geometric and graph theory property of mathematics.

108 | University of Minnesota


Nikhath Parveen Nazir Ahmed Interior Design College of Design May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Abimbola Asojo Mentor’s Department: Design, Housing and Apparel

Lydia Negussie Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Marilyn Carroll Mentor’s Department: Psychiatry Reserach Partners: Rachel Keszycki, Sara Scarbro

Minnehaha Academy High School Library: A 21st Century Library Design

Evaluating the Sex Differences in Reduction of Nicotine Reinstatement after Implementing Individual and Combined Progesterone and Varenicline Treatments

The research we will redesign the Minnehaha Academy high school library to redefine needs of libraries in the 21st Century in high school settings. The library of Minnehaha Academy High School is underutilized as books are seemingly becoming irrelevant to research and recreation. Spatial layout could be reconfigured to better direct circulation and promote successful studying. The research will embrace evidence-based design to offer solutions to the interior of this space for the prospective library design. Many studies have been done on the effect of school libraries on student achievement. Libraries have a great impact on student’s educational success and supports the growth of student’s technology skills and information literacy. It gives students access to the resources and equipment that potentially increases cognitive skills, motivation and increases the overall school’s graduation rate. However, these learning spaces need to attract and inspire both the students and instructors and help them reap the full benefits of this space. Students get attracted to the sense of community, natural lighting and the convenience of work spaces. The learning space has to be equally dynamic and keep the environment updated based on the 21st century learning system. The design will provide a progressive setting that encourages students to utilize the space for new, technological methods of studying, research, group projects, recreational reading, and other resources. /

One of the leading causes of preventable mortality in Western countries is caused by tobacco use. A need for more effective pharmacological treatments exists because the rates of relapse are high. Progesterone (PRO) is a female hormone that reduces use of stimulants, but its effects on alleviating tobacco addiction are unknown. The drug varenicline (VAR) reduces tobacco use. In this study, VAR was used in combination with PRO as a way to decrease relapse. A rat model was used to examine the sex-specific effects of VAR and PRO on relapse to tobacco addiction (shown here in nicotine reinstatement),. .Adult male and female Wistar rats were trained to self-administer nicotine (NIC; 0.03 mg/kg/infusion), the primary component in tobacco, by pressing on a lever. Rats were given 14 days to self-administer NIC that preceded an extinction period of 21 days, where the cues and levers administering the drugs were inactive. Rats were then separated into the four treatment groups (VEH+SAL), PRO alone (PRO+SAL), VAR alone (VAR+VEH), and a combination of PRO and VAR (PRO+VAR). Following the extinction period, reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior by injections of NIC or CAF, the presentation of CUES alone, and drugs with the cues (i.e. NIC+CUES) were tested. Both females and males showed similar consumption of nicotine and responding during extinction, and an increased response to CAF+CUES during reinstatement. However, only males demonstrated an increased sensitivity to reinstatement during the NIC+CUES condition. VAR was effective by itself, and showed the same effect when combined with PRO.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 109


Elizabeth Nelson

Andrea Newell

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Oscar Herreras Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Cajal Institute, Madrid, Spain

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Anja-Katrin Bielinsky Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Effects of Epileptic Seizures on Schaffer Collaterals in Rats

Regulation of DNA Replication by MCM10 in Human Cells

Past research has demonstrated that both recordings of local field potentials (LFPs) along with independent component analysis (ICA) are an effective approach to studying the biophysical mechanisms of neural processing and their abnormal manifestations in pathology (Benito, et al., 2013; Einevoll, Kayser, Logothetis, & Panseri, 2013; Makarov, Makarova, & Herreras, 2010). By leveraging this combined methodology, this study investigated how epileptic seizures (induced by bicuculline, a GABA antagonist) alter the neuronal pathways in the hippocampus of an anesthetized rat. Specifically, the axonal connections between CA3 and CA1 (Schaffer collaterals) were studied given its particular neuronal morphology, discrete localization of neuronal inputs, and the hippocampusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; overall cellular architecture. The results of the experiment showed that the pathway-specific activity of Schaffer collaterals is significantly changed as a result of epileptic seizures. These changes can be clearly seen when comparing the ICA produced LFP generators for both the control and experimental data sets. This finding aligns with past research related to the effects of epilepsy, supports the use of LFPs and ICA for studying neuronal circuits, and provides basic groundwork for future electrophysiological research.

Mini-chromosome maintenance protein 10 (MCM10) is a highly conserved protein that is essential for origin activation and replication fork elongation in DNA replication. Cells that are deficient for MCM10 exhibit problems with replication and telomere maintenance. Specifically, HCT-116 human colon cancer cells that are heterozygous for the MCM10 gene display progressive telomere erosion and eventually succumb to cell death. In order to confirm that the observed abnormalities are due to MCM10 deficiency, my objective has been to introduce a transgene into early passage and late passage HCT-116 MCM10+/- mutants to determine if telomere shortening and DNA replication problems can be reversed. The results of this project will help to determine if loss of MCM10 function is the true source of DNA replication and telomere maintenance abnormalities in these cells. This is important in the evaluation of MCM10 as a potential anti-cancer drug target.

110 | University of Minnesota


Zi Yao Ngai

Jacob Niederer

Environmental Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: William Arnold Mentor’s Department: Civil, Environmental and Geo-engineering

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Noam Harel Mentor’s Department: Radiology, Neurosurgery

Dark Production of Hhydroxyl Radicals by Aeration of Anoxic Prairie Pothole Lake Water

Imaging of DBS Targets at 7T MRI

Hydroxyl radical (•OH) is imperative in natural environment systems because •OH plays an important role in pollutant degradation and in oxidative processing of dissolved organic matter (DOM). Recent research has shown that •OH is produced through nonphotochemical pathways in water. One such pathway is reaction of the DOM in anoxic lake water with oxygen. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the dark production of •OH in anoxic prairie pothole lake water at the Cottonwood Lake Study Area, Stutsman County, North Dakota. The water from different prairie pothole lakes at the Cottonwood Lake Study Area have different water characteristics such as varying sulfide concentration due to different hydrologic connection of the wetlands, which will help to understand the production of •OH under different conditions. The results show that the production of •OH is higher in water that contains higher sulfide concentration. This suggests that the different hydrologic connections of the wetlands will affect the production of •OH. The higher concentration of •OH produced will lead to higher potential for degrading pesticides.

The globus pallidus is structurally divided into two parts, the globus pallidus interna (GPi) and the globus pallidus externa (GPe), which are separated by a thin layer termed the lamina pallidi medialis. For patients with Parkinson disease, the GPi is a target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. Most DBS surgeries still heavily rely on atlases constructed from post-mortem specimens that are superimposed on a patient’s MRI scan, an indirect-targeting method still prevalent to this date. Patient-specific, threedimensional mapping of structures within the basal ganglia core through the use of high-field magnetic resonance imaging may prove to be a valuable pre-operative tool in providing important information for the planning of DBS surgery and targeting specific structures. Due to the variability in the location of basal ganglia nuclei among human subjects and small target structures which generally measure less than 10 mm in most dimensions for the placement of DBS electrodes, comprehensive patient-specific mapping of the globus pallidus using high-field MRI scans of individuals could provide surgeons with significant pre-operative information for DBS surgery planning. Patient-specific visualization of the globus pallidus could provide higher success rates for DBS procedures as the success of such surgical procedures are heavily dependent on the accurate placement of DBS electrodes into the target region of the brain. Reducing the need for multiple microelectrode recording (MER) penetrations during GPi DBS surgery, detailed mapping of the globus pallidus could also serve to minimize the procedural risk of intracranial hemorrhage and damage to axonal tracts. Furthermore, patient-specific information could have a significant impact on the outcome of a much greater number of DBS treatments as the indications for DBS surgeries are expected to increase significantly in the near future. By visualizing the globus pallidus in vivo using high-field 7-Tesla MRI scans with T2 contrast of individual human subjects, the procedural applications of comprehensive patient-specific mapping of the globus pallidus can be validated. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 111


Nikki Niewold

Parker O’Brien

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Erin E. Carlson Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Electrical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Emad Ebbini Mentor’s Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Development of an Untargeted Natural Product Discovery Strategy through Bacterial Analysis

Broadband Focused Ultrasound Transmission Through Human Skull In Vitro

The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is of increasing concern due to the lack of effective drugs to combat these infections. As a result, it is essential that we work to find new therapeutic compounds that may be used to address this growing problem. One potential source of new compound leads is from bacteria and fungi which produce more than 50% of commercially used antibiotics. These microorganisms were the primary sources used during a major period of antibiotic development from the 1950s and 1960s and their examination is now being revived due to the potential of integrating analytical tools like mass spectrometry and NMR to analyze the secreted natural products.

Transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) is being investigated in a variety of therapeutic applications, e.g. stroke, epilepsy, essential tremor. Beam distortion due to the skull can be quite significant at higher frequencies, resulting in loss of targeting accuracy. The potential for skull heating can also be a treatment-limiting factor in thermal therapy applications aiming to form localized lesions, e.g. treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). / / A 64-element concave array (100-mm roc, f_number=0.8) with operating bandwidth of 0.7 – 2.3 MHz generated reference FUS beams in degassed water at several discrete frequencies, 1.1, 1.35, 1.7, and 2.1 MHz. Needle hydrophones were used to measure the acoustic pressure profiles in the focal plane. A human skull sample was then inserted between the array and the hydrophone such that the beam traversed the skull approximately at the intersection of the parietal and temporal bones. Hydrophone scans were performed in the focal plane and parallel planes closer to the skull. The transmission frequency, focus distortion and backpropagation of the waveforms were calculated and measured. / / Example field scans from 1.0-2.1 MHz are shown in the focal plane with and without the skull. The transmission efficiencies at these frequencies were 26.9, 11.6 and 4.2%, respectively. Prefocal field profiles computed by back propagating the focal plane measurements were in excellent agreement with the corresponding profiles measured. These results demonstrate the feasibility of broadband tFUS to improve the localization and therapeutic gain at the target with respect to the skull surface.

112 | University of Minnesota


John O’Leary

Tori Odhiambo

Computer Science College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Victoria Interrante Mentor’s Department: Computer Science

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Dr. Lauren Martin Mentor’s Department: Robert J. Jones Urban Research Outreach Engagement Center

Effect of Room Color on the Perception of Room Size in Immersive Virtual Reality

Protocol Review: Understanding Sex-Buyers through Media Content Analysis

A user’s perception of space and distance within a virtual world has profound effects on his or her experience. For instance, when an individual takes a virtual tour of a new house, he or she needs to make judgements about the feel of the room without physically being there. In order to understand the shortcomings of virtual reality, we test how humans perceive these virtual environments. This paper explores the impact of the color of a room on a user’s perception of its size. A general rule for architecture and interior design dictates that dark colors make a room feel and appear smaller, while light colors make a room larger. However, few papers have analyzed the impact of these effects, and even fewer have applied this idea to the field of virtual reality. The experiments presented utilize a head-mounted display to allow participants to look and move around each room. This immersive experience affords a more complete exploration of each room, and it lends itself to future immersive architectural applications of virtual reality.

The issue of human sex-trafficking permeates not only on an international scale, but a domestic scale as well. Sex-buyers play a critical role is feeding the economy of the demand of sex trafficking victims. Minnesota is not exempt from this reality. This research project examines the formulation of the group protocol established to assess how sex buyers (Johns) are depicted in published Minnesota news articles through coded content analysis. First, a search for news articles with the keywords “prostitution” and “sex trafficking” was conducted; then, a content analysis was carried out using a detailed codebook protocol, which serves as a guideline for identifying sex buyers and sex buyer information in this article pool. This research study focuses on the challenges the research team faced in terms of defining who is a sex buyer and how much information is needed to be identified to specify an individual as a sex buyer in the articles. Since language is varied and different terms can be used to communicate the same meaning, it was important for the research team to agree on which terms would constitute “sex buyer language” in the studied articles. The creation of the research protocol is a guideline for how to code for quantitative data in an effort to communicate qualitative findings from published news articles.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 113


Alex Odom

Monica Olivier

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Cari Dutcher Mentor’s Department: Mechanical Engineering

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Lizbeth Finestack Mentor’s Department: SpeechLanguage-Hearing Sciences

Using Microfluidic Biphasic Flows to Study Aqueous Atmospheric Aerosol Chemical Mimics

Using Eye Tracking to Evaluate Language Learning

In our experiments we sought to obtain a deeper understanding of surface properties of aqueous aerosol particles. Surface tension is a property of particular interest because it influences particle growth due to its effect on vapor pressure of curved surfaces, i.e. the Kelvin effect. Using a microfluidic tensiometer developed by the Dutcher group we were able to observe and measure droplet deformation with a high speed camera. Along with viscosity measurements of the dicarboxylic acids used to mimic atmospheric aerosols, we calculated the interfacial tension of the droplets. The interfacial tensions measured showed a pattern of depression of surface tension of the dicarboxylic acids in relation to pure water that mirrored the predicted values found by the Dutcher group. There were some statistical uncertainties associated with the data analysis, due to relatively small sample sizes, which could be remedied in more extensive experimentation. In future work, the microfluidic device could be subjected to conditions closer to those of the real atmosphere, i.e. low pressure and temperature to measure characteristics of aerosol micro-mimics.

Traditional approaches for teaching grammatical forms to children with language impairment rely on implicit techniques such that the learner is expected to learn target forms at an unconscious level. Recent research suggests that there may be a learning advantage when children are taught with an alternative, explicit approach (Finestack, 2014; Finestack & Fey, 2009). Using an explicit approach, the clinician presents the rule or pattern guiding the target form. For example, if teaching the past tense –ed form, the interventionist would provide the child with the pattern guiding the form by saying, “Whenever you talk about something that already happened, you have to put the –ed sound at the end.” In previous research studies, we have compared the language learning of novel grammatical forms when using explicit or implicit approaches. Results from these studies indicate an advantage for language learning when forms are taught with explicit techniques. However, in these studies not all children mastered the target forms with explicit instruction and not all forms were mastered with equal success. It is important to note that these studies relied on children’s verbal responses to measure learning. Thus, the purpose of the proposed study is to examine the feasibility of using eye tracking measures to evaluate learning and better understand the role of visual attention in learning outcomes. Specifically, this study will evaluate the visual responses of adults learning two novel grammatical forms, one of which will be taught using an explicit approach and the other using an implicit approach.

114 | University of Minnesota


Bennett Olupo

Jason Ostergaard

Biology, Spanish College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2018 Mentor: Jennifer L. Hall Mentor’s Department: Lillehei Heart institute Research Partner: Emily Quick

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: David Largaespada Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Defining the Role of Bromodomain PHD Finger Transcription Factor in the Heart

ARHGAP36 as a Potential Driver of Medulloblastoma

BACKGROUND: Proteins that contain bromodomains have recently been associated with multiple diseases including cardiovascular disease. Bromodomains are a conserved family of protein interaction modules that bind to acetylated lysine residues. OBJECTIVE: To define how the Bromodomain containing PHD Finger Transcription Factor (Bptf) affects heart function in mice. HYPOTHESIS: Deletion of Bptf in the murine heart will alter cardiovascular function. METHODS: To test this hypothesis an inducible Cre-LoxP system is utilized to specifically delete Bptf in the mouse heart. A line of a-myosin heavy chain-MerCreMer mice is being crossed to Bptfflox/ flox mice to generate Bptfflox/flox cre+ mice. Bptfflox/flox cre+ will be fed chow with or without Tamoxifen at 8 weeks of age. Tamoxifen will activate cre at the lox sites to selectively delete Bptf. Genotyping of litters is performed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and western blotting and Real time PCR will be performed to validate loss of Bptf in the heart in mice exposed to Tamoxifen. Cardiovascular function will be assessed in anesthetized mice with echocardiography. RESULTS: Genotyping of the litters was performed by DNA extraction from tissue samples followed by PCR. The PCR products were then run on an agarose gel. Further characterization of the model is under progress. CONCLUSIONS: We are currently genotyping Bptfflox/flox cre+ mice and hope to have echocardiography results by August 1, 2016.

Medulloblastoma is a neural cancer of the cerebellum that affects almost two million people. It primarily affects children and is the most common type of malignant childhood neural tumor. Current treatment regimens of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy afford an average five year survival rate of approximately 70%, but also cause harsh side effects including dementia and stunted development. A better understanding of the genetic drivers of medulloblastoma could lead to the discovery of drug-targetable proteins and the development of novel therapies with reduced side effects. / Recent studies have identified the gene ARHGAP36 as a potential driver of medulloblastoma. The gene is a known activator of the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway, which influences cell division and neural development. ARHGAP36 also shares significant sequence homology with several Rho GTP-ase activating proteins. However, ARHGAP36’s specific protein-protein interactions remain uncharacterized. We aimed to investigate ARHGAP36’s potential role as a protooncogene by altering its expression level in human medulloblastoma cells in vitro and measuring the resulting effects on the cells’ tumorigenicity. Cell proliferation assays indicated that ARHGAP36 knockout cells divided at similar rates to wild-type cells, however, soft agar assays indicated that some of the knockout cells were significantly less able to form anchorage independent colonies than wild-type cells. ARHGAP36 may play a role in tumorigenesis by allowing medulloblastoma cells to continue dividing after the cells have lost adherence to surrounding tissue. Future research directions include in vivo mouse experiments, replication of past experiments using ARHGAP36-overexpressing cell lines, and protein-protein interaction characterization. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 115


James Palesch

Praveen Pallegar

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Jane Wissinger Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Undecided College of Biological Sciences, College of Continuing Education PSEO Student Mentor: Alfonso Araque Mentor’s Department: Neuroscience

Greener Reaction Conditions for Halogenation of Aromatic Compounds using Oxone® and Halide Salts for the Organic Chemistry Laboratory

Effect of Astrocytic Stimulation by Optogenetics on Motivational Behavior in Mice

Electrophilic aromatic substitution (EAS) is an important reaction pathway that is universal in chemical pedagogy. Traditionally, mineral acids, Lewis acids, and molecular halogens were used to generate the requisite electrophile. These reagents often possess pernicious and corrosive qualities deleterious to human and environmental health. Due to burgeoning concerns, the green chemistry initiative has been an impetus for researchers to explore and develop greener reactions. Our research has drawn from primary literature employing Oxone® and various halide salts to chlorinate, brominate, and iodinate a variety of functionalized aromatic species with benign byproducts. Although several suitable candidates were revealed, the iodination of vanillin in water was ultimately translated into a workable experiment. The deciding factors were vanillin’s renewability, agreeable odor, low environmental impact, short reaction time, facile workup, and a characterization suitable for an undergraduate body. Additionally, the vanillin product can be used in a multi-step synthesis of a natural product. The newly developed experiment has been performed for two consecutive semesters demonstrating its viability and helped elucidate areas needing improvement. Overall, it has shown promise in replacing an existing EAS nitration experiment involving the use of caustic acids.

Evaluating the role of astrocytes in motivational behavior has various benefits to gain insight into behaviors such as addiction and possibly in prevention of addiction, a subject that has become increasingly important in recent years. The present study investigates whether stimulation of astrocytes via optogenetics is an aversive or rewarding stimulus, and whether this stimulus has an effect on the motivational behavior of the animal. To investigate this topic, mice were infused bilaterally with the Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in the nucleus accumbens shell to genetically modify astrocytes with light-sensitive channels. After ChR2 expression, optic fibers were implanted, and behavioral tests were performed. The first group of mice produced no conclusive results, and more groups of study are underway. Thus, if conclusive, evaluating the role of astrocytes in motivational behavior could have a large impact on addiction studies.

116 | University of Minnesota


Marc Parenteau

Rahul Parhi

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Sharon Murphy Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Mathematics, Physics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Nicholas Hopper Mentor’s Department: Computer Science & Engineering

The UGT2B10 Enzyme on Trial: Seeking an Explanation to Ethnic Variability in Lung Cancer Risk in NNAL Detoxification Pathway

MP3: A Better Privacy-preserving Presence Protocol

Cigarette smoking is the primary causative agent of lung cancer in the United States. Lung cancer risk, however, varies among smokers by race, with Black smokers being more likely to develop cancer than Whites who smoke the same number of cigarettes per day. It is believed that differences in carcinogen metabolism are one reason for this. UGT2B10 is an enzyme capable of in vitro N-glucuronidation of NNAL, a carcinogenic metabolite of the nicotinederived carcinogen, NNK. Glucuronidation of NNAL detoxifies the compound. Genotyping has indicated that Blacks have a relatively high allele frequency of a UGT2B10 splice variant. UGT2B10 is the sole in vivo catalyst of nicotine and cotinine N-glucuronidation, two tobacco-based metabolites. Without functional UGT2B10, these pathways do not occur. Here we compare NNAL glucuronidation levels between Blacks and Whites and between UGT2B10 null and active phenotypes to test the in vivo effect of UGT2B10 on NNAL N-glucuronidation and to investigate this detoxification pathway as a possible contributor toward racial variations in lung cancer risk. Our results suggest that although there is a significant decrease in the NNAL N-glucuronidation in Blacks versus Whites, it is not largely affected by UGT2B10. Individuals without functioning UGT2B10 have no significant decline in NNAL N-glucuronidation over those with at least one functioning variant. We conclude that UGT2B10 is not the major enzyme in this pathway, and that another UGT and its null variants may be responsible for the difference observed in NNAL N-glucuronidation between Whites and Blacks, explaining this racial significance in carcinogen metabolism.

Online communication has been playing a bigger and bigger part in the lives of people in the recent years. Nearly everyone is using some sort of social application to “connect’” with their friends. When using such an application, one would need to know the presence status of their friends, i.e., whether or not they are online. Usually, this is done by having the server of this application keep track of the entire graph structure of the social network. This is a large invasion of privacy, especially if who you are friends with is sensitive information. To mitigate this, DP5, a cryptographic presence protocol aimed at preserving privacy, was proposed by Borisov, Danezis, and Goldberg in mid 2015. To put it simply, DP5 is a protocol that allows users to notify their friends of their online presence without anyone (other than the user’s friends) learning this information. Though DP5 offers a solution to this problem, there are improvements and optimizations that can be made. We propose MP3, an improved privacy-preserving presence protocol, making use of a Dynamic Broadcast Encryption scheme to decrease the size of the central database, allow for (essentially) unlimited friends, and decrease the amount of bandwidth required to run this service, thus decreasing the cost of operation.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 117


Rachael Pearson

Kayla Pederson

Genetics, Cell Biology. and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Anna Lee Mentor’s Department: Pharmacology

Microbiology; Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences December 2016 Mentor: Dr. Naoko Shima Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Why Limit Happy to an Hour?

Untimely DNA Synthesis in BRCA2 Deficient Cells is Major Contributor to Genomic Instability

Alcohol and Nicotine are commonly abused together, but how these two drugs interact in animal models is still largely unknown. Understanding the relationship between nicotine and alcohol consumption in mice will help us understand human alcohol and nicotine co-addiction. Two experiments were carried out with goals of characterizing consumption in our facility as well as characterizing the interaction between alcohol and nicotine consumption in a 3-bottle choice, and to examine reinstatement effects. Differences were seen in the levels of alcohol and nicotine consumption in different mouse lines and sexes. Alcohol reinstatement was seen after a period of alcohol abstinence; during alcohol abstinence, nicotine consumption decreased.

BRCA2, a tumor suppressor gene, expresses an essential protein BRCA2 that is critical for maintenance of genomic stability. Heterozygosity for BRCA2 mutations increases the risk of developing familial breast and ovarian cancer and other types of epithelial cancers in humans. Moreover, biallelic inactivation of BRCA2 leads to Fanconi anemia, a rare genetic syndrome. Traditionally, it has been assumed that these diseases with BRCA2 deficiency arise from genome instability through failures in homology-directed repair (HDR) of double strand breaks. Here, my work on mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) provides evidence that genome instability in Brca2 mutant cells is largely attributed to untimely DNA synthesis occurring during early M phase. Through microscopic observation of MEFs homozygous for a hypomorphic Brca2 (Brca2Δ27) allele compared to wild-type cells, it was evident that Brca2Δ27 cells displayed a significant increase in sites of isolated DNA synthesis in prophase nuclei. Notably for Brca2Δ27 cells, a vast majority of aberrations in metaphase chromosomes align with these sites of untimely DNA synthesis. It is likely that untimely DNA synthesis makes these loci of Brca2Δ27 cells susceptible to chromosome aberrations. We propose that Brca2Δ27 cells are forced to use untimely DNA synthesis as a backup mechanism as a consequence of HDR failures; however this approach increases their risk of generating gross chromosome abnormalities. These findings suggest a new avenue in therapies for BRCA2-related cancers by inhibiting the occurrence of untimely DNA synthesis.

118 | University of Minnesota


Jocelyn Perry

Tyler Peterson

Physiology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Timothy O’Connell Mentor’s Department: Integrative Biology and Physiology

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Wendy Gordon Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Nuclear a1-adrenergic Receptors and Hypertrophic Signaling in Adult Mouse Cardiac Myocytes

Single Molecule Proteolysis of E-Cadherin using Novel Tension Force Assay

In adult mouse cardiac myocytes, α1-adrenergic receptors (α1-ARs) are cardioprotective and induce physiologic hypertrophy. Endogenous α1-ARs localize to and signal at the nucleus, but whether nuclear localization is required for α1-AR-induced physiologic hypertrophy is currently unknown. Here, we studied how α1-AR nuclear localization regulates physiologic hypertrophy. In order to do this, adult cardiac myocytes lacking endogenous α1A-and α1B-AR subtypes (α1-AB knockout mice) were infected with either adenovirus expressing the wild type α1A- or α1B-AR or adenovirus expressing a mutation of the α1A- or α1B-AR nuclear localization sequence. qRT-PCR was used to analyze subsequent transcriptional induction of β-myosin heavy chain (β-MyHC) and atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), two genes of the fetal gene program associated with cardiac hypertrophy. Here, we present results showing mRNA levels of both β-MyHC and ANF in α1-AR wild-type and nuclear localization mutant myocytes. Our data help reconcile the nuclear localization of α1-ARs with their physiologic function of physiologic hypertrophy. This further characterization of cardiac α1-ARs will be important in the potential development of a novel α1-AR agonist, which would take advantage of the receptor’s cardioprotective effects in the treatment of heart failure.

Cells must be able to sense force in order to properly interact with their environment, but we do not understand how many of these mechano-sensitive proteins physically function due to the lack of a high quality force assay. Our lab suspects that common one mechanism for mechano-sensing is tension force applied to proteins to induce a conformational change that permits proteolysis, with the proteolytic fragments transmitting the signal to the interior of a cell. This behavior has been observed by my PI during her study of Notch receptors. In order to test this hypothesis, we needed to heavily modify a structure that would allow precise testing of when proteolysis occurs under varying tension. Our final construct consists of novel protein tags designed in-house, DNA strands, and magnetic nanobeads. The protein tags allow us to covalently attach DNA scaffolding to any protein, tightly bonding the protein to a glass slide, in contrast to the weaker non-covalent interactions traditionally used in magnetic tweezer assays. In this project I cloned, expressed, and purified a modified E-Cadherin protein in order to experimentally confirm this protein undergoes selective proteolysis when under tension stress. The cadherin class of molecules is involved in many different processes, ranging from regulating cell division rates during the progression of wound healing, binding the cell wall to the cytoskeleton, and even stem cell differentiation. This poster describes this new molecular assay, the techniques used to collect data on mechanosensitive molecules, and the use of the DNAprotein covalent linkages.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 119


Malina Peterson

Christopher Phenicie

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Yasuhiko Kawakami Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Physics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Russell Holmes Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Metameric Body Axis Elongation and Oscillatory Mechanism are Maintained by Sall4 in Mice

Engineering the Shape of Organic Small Molecule Crystals

Somites are repetitive spherical cell masses of progenitor cells that are formed in the pre-somatic mesoderm (PSM) along the embryonic neural tube. Metameric structures such as vertebrae, trunk muscles, and dermis are generated from somites. The PSM, which is posterior to the somites, both proliferates to elongate the body axis and segments to create new somite pairs. Clock genes such as Hes7 coordinate accurate segmentation of somites through cyclic expression patterns in the PSM. Somite number is species-specific among vertebrates, suggesting that the maintenance mechanism of metameric body axis elongation is diversified among vertebrates. It remains unclear how body axis elongation and somite formation are maintained during embryonic development. We hypothesized that Sall4, which is important for maintenance of pluripotency in ES cells, is also involved in maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal in the PSM cells. Therefore we investigated Sall4â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contribution to somitogenesis. We examined the effects of Sall4 deficiency on genes that regulate segmentation by deleting Sall4 gene(s) under the T-Cre/ flox system. Sall4 conditional knockout (cKO) mice show defects in body axis elongation. Clock gene, Hes7, was downregulated in Sall4 cKO. Transcriptional regulators in somitogenesis, Tbx6, Msgn1, Ets2, and Ripply2 were also downregulated in Sall4 cKO. These results suggest that Sall4 is involved in maintenance of pluripotency and self-renewal in PSM cells.

Control of crystal shape is an important part of utilizing self-assembled structures in technology. To this end, rubrene thin films were grown in the presence of other organic small molecules in concentrations between 5% and 50% by volume. It was found that these dopants can significantly alter the crystal shape of the rubrene crystals. Two theories are presented to explain why the crystal shape is changed: One asserts that dopants inhibit crystal attachment rate while the other asserts dopants enhance growth rate by creating a eutectic system above its melting point. In the former theory, dopantswith a precise size or interaction type could bind to a specific face, screening rubrene molecules from attaching to that face. Thus, the shape of the crystal could be determined by the selective binding of dopant molecules to rubrene facets. In this theory, higher concentrations of dopant would lead lower growth rate. The other theory posits that the shape of the crystal is dictated by the creation of small liquid (or supercooled liquid) drops that dissolve rubrene and precipitate crystals. The shape of the rubrene crystal is then determined by the motion of this liquid. This theory would expect that, up to a point, a higher concentration of dopants would increase crystal growth rate. These theories were tested by depositing amorphous rubrene thin films and subsequently annealing them at a specifc temperature. The growth of the crystals was imaged using polarized optical microscopy. The images were analyzed using in house software to calculate a growth rate of the crystal. These data were used to compare growth rates at the same temperature with different dopant concentration. Growth rates are close enough that it is unclear which theory is correct.

120 | University of Minnesota


Jamie Piepenburg

Taylor Pitel

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Susanta Hui Mentor’s Department: Radiation Oncology

Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Joe Kaser Mentor’s Department: Entomology

Characterization of BCR-ABL+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Cells in the Development of a Novel Combination Therapy

Host Manipulation of Soybean Aphid by the Parasitoid Aphelinus certus

Resistance to treatment is a common problem faced in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, particularly those with the BCR-ABL translocation. Treatment is first with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), inhibiting the mutated pathway through which the cell is surviving. Resistance to second generation TKI’s, particularly to Nilotinib has not been well explored. Here, we aim to quantify the resistance of these cells, the mechanism of this resistance, and explore potential therapies. We evaluated the viability of BCR-ABL+ leukemia cells in response to radiation, Nilotinib, and combination therapy, investigated the mechanism of Nilotinib resistance, and tested the migratory patterns of BCR-ABL+ cells. In our in vitro studies, resistance to Nilotinib was aquired after 8 days of continuous administration of the drug. However, by treating with both Nilotinib and radiation therapy, long term control of the cell viability was possible. Additionally, the AKT pathway was identified as the likely mechanism through which these cells develop their resistance. Finally, in the cell migration studies, there was no observable difference between the Nilotinibresistant BCR-ABL+ cells and their sensitive counterparts, with both cell populations highly responsive to an SDF-1 gradient. In a clinical sense, the combination therapy of Nilotinib and radiation could treat or prevent the formation of this resistant cell population. Inhibiting the interaction of these cells with SDF-1 via Plerixafor could mobilize the cells to be more susceptible to this treatment. Further investigation of this population of BCR-ABL+ acute lymphoblastic leukemia is warranted based on these studies.

Parasitoids are insects whose larvae feed on one host and eventually kill it in order to develop into an adult. The parasitoid wasp Aphelinus certus uses the soybean aphid as its host for development. Host survival from intraguild predators and other threats is important for the development and survival of the parasitoid wasp. One way the wasp may increase their chances of survival is host manipulation. This research aims at observing and verifying if soybean aphids stung by parasitoid wasps behave differently than soybean aphids not stung, which could be an indication to whether or not host manipulation is occurring. This study was conducted by creating 30 replicates, each replicated consisted of two plants; one with stung aphids and one plants with not stung aphids. One plant would have 10 stung soybean aphids and the other plant would have 10 not stung soybean aphids. We observed that Soybean aphids that were stung by a parasitoid wasp were less active than soybean aphids not stung. We also observed that stung soybean aphids produced fewer offspring. Although we observed a difference in behavior between stung and not stung aphids, future research can explore more if this difference is a result of host manipulation or some other effect of parasitism, like host injury.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 121


Grace Polverari

Akansha Prasad

Asian Languages and Literatures, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Liberal Arts, College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Paul Rouzer Mentor’s Department: Asian Languages and Literatures

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics

Translation of Hoàng Viàt thi tuyén from Literary Chinese to English

Bioengineering Lungs in Decellularized Mouse Lungs Using Human iPS Cells in a Bioreactor System

Translating a part of a large pre-modern anthology of Vietnamese poetry, the Hoàng Viàt thi tuyèn, from Literary Chinese to English. Analyzing these poems in order to find common motifs in comparison to the Chinese tradition. Finally using these comparisons in order to discover whether there is a culturally distinct form of Buddhist verse in Vietnam, or whether the Chinese style transcends national borders in this case.

Due to a shortage of donor lungs, new sources of transplantable lung tissue need to be developed for patients with end-stage lung disease. A decellularized lung matrix bioreactor system was used to assess if human iPS cells could differentiate into lung tissue. The lungs, with attached heart and trachea, from 2-3 month old female BALB/c mice were decellularized through a series of succeeding solutions of distilled water, triton, deoxycholate, sodium chloride, and DNase. The acellular lung matrices were then cannulated and suspended in Essential 8 Flex Medium (control) or Bronchial Epithelial Cell Growth Medium (BEGM). Human iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells were infused into the airways through the cannula (i.e. the trachea), and the bioreactor system was placed in an incubator and attached to a ventilator to simulate respiration. The bioreactors were left in the incubator for 7 days, after which the lung matrices were analyzed histologically using scanning electron microscopy and histochemical staining.

122 | University of Minnesota


Nitin Prasad

Grace Pratt

Computer Science, Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Gilad Lerman Mentor’s Department: Mathematics

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Michael Ceballos Mentor’s Department: Biology

Improving the FREAK Algorithm

Impacts of Latent Herpesvirus Infection and Reactivation in the Mouse Brain

Image matching is a ubiquitous problem in the information age, with applications ranging from video tracking to text recognition. The Fast Retinal Keypoint (FREAK) algorithm is a recent approach that takes inspiration from the retina to create a possible solution to the problem. In this project, we aim to improve the FREAK algorithm by extending it to color images as well as grayscale. Additionally, we modify the information that FREAK extracts to gain more discriminatory data.

Human Herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is a double-stranded DNA virus to which ~100% of the human population is exposed by the age of three. After a primary infection, HHV-6 will generally remain inert in host tissue. Indeed, in otherwise healthy individuals, there is no evidence to suggest that latent HHV-6 infection has any significant effect on the host. However, primary infection and reactivation of HHV-6 from latency has been etiologically linked with many diseases including HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphoma, astrocytoma, limbic encephalitis, mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), and more. The overall purpose of this project is to determine whether HHV6 primary infection and/or reactivation predisposes nerve cells in hCD46+ mice to epileptiform cellular activity. The goal of this specific project is to identify and characterize cytopathic effects of HHV6 viral protein production in multiple brain cell types.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 123


Amy Prichard

Vikram Puram

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

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Louis Mansky Mentor’s Department: Microbiology and Immunology and Diagnostic and Biological Sciences Institute for Molecular Virology

The Effect of Histone H3 Phosphorylation on Sporulation in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Effects Of G To A Missense Mutation On GagMembrane Association And Packaging In Murine Leukemia Virus

Histone tail phosphorylation affects many different cellular processes, including cellular division, and is highly conserved throughout the domain Eukarya. Haspin kinase (Alk1 and Alk2 in yeast) phosphorylates histone H3 at threonine 3 (T3) during mitosis and meiosis. In mitosis, phosphorylation of histone H3 is known to be required in order to promote proper chromosome segregation. Although its function in meiosis is not yet fully understood, phosphorylation of histone H3 is thought to influence chromosome segregation during meiosis. Previous studies have shown that sporulation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae derived from the SK1 laboratory strain is not affected by the T3A mutation, which prevents phosphorylation at the histone H3 T3 site. However, the SK1 strain is known to have a sporulation efficiency that is significantly higher than wild-type strains, which could mean that some background mutation allows it to sporulate despite the T3A mutation. In this previous study, chromosomal segregation was not taken into account, so it is unknown whether the spores formed from T3A diploids had properly segregated chromosomes. Preliminary evidence from current research shows that in the W303 laboratory strain, sporulation as well as tetrad viability is significantly decreased by the T3A mutation. This study aims to determine and quantify the sporulation efficiency, tetrad viability, and chromosome segregation patterns of S. cerevisiae from the W303 background strain.

The Murine Leukemia Virus (MLV) is one of the simplest yet most noteworthy retrovirus. Its significance was understood once it was shown to induce leukemia in inoculate mice. While it has not been shown to affect humans, its simplicity and genetic similarities to other retroviruses allows it to serve as a good model for the study of viral infection. In this study we show that a Glycine to Alanine (G to A) point mutation in the Murine Leukemia Virus has destabilizing effects in viral-membrane interactions, particularly in association interactions. The retroviral Gag polyprotein is involved in virus assembly and exit from the cell. Gag proteins dimerize and then oligomerize at the plasma membrane to form a lattice structure, allowing the virus particles to bud and exit cells. However, many of the early events in the retrovirus assembly pathway are poorly understood - particularly the timing and nature of Gag translocation from the site of protein translation to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane. This experiment was performed in order to identify the effects of a specific amino acid mutation in the gag protein, and helps provide insight into the dynamics, interactions, and morphology of the gag protein under mutant conditions – we have found that this mutation negatively affects the virus’s ability to properly assemble.

124 | University of Minnesota


Hannah Pursley

Emily Quick

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Karen Echeverri Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Jennifer Hall Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Cardiology/ Medicine Research Partner: Bennett Olupo

Investigating the Role of miR-126 in Axolotl Tail Regeneration

Defining the Role of Bromodomain PHD Finger Transcription Factor in the Heart

Axolotl salamanders have tremendous capacity for regeneration following injury, including faithful regrowth of functional complex tissues. These processes of regeneration include the regrowth of blood vessel networks. Highly implicated in angiogenesis during development, as well as blood vessel regrowth during regeneration, are microRNAs. In particular, miR-126 promotes blood vessel growth via inhibition of negative regulators of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. However, very little is known about the molecular underpinnings of revascularization and the functional role of miR-126. Here we show that miR-126 inhibition can significantly reduce cell division during axolotl tail regeneration. Compared to negative controls, miR-126 inhibited tails revealed significantly fewer BrdU positive cells three days following tail amputation. These data support previous work describing the role of miR-126 in endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis during development. However, no significant differences were seen in tail or spinal cord length in miR-126 inhibited tails as compared to negative controls throughout regeneration. These preliminary findings offer some evidence for a permissive role of miR-126 in blood vessel growth in regenerative contexts, and provide a starting point for further studies exploring miR-126 and the VEGF pathway. Future work may attempt to replicate these experiments to more conclusively determine the nature of miR-126 inhibition on regenerative processes. Further elucidating the role of miR-126 in natural regeneration models may provide useful insight into a wide variety of injury and disease states, including ischemia, myocardial infarction, and tumorigenesis. MiR-126 could thus hold clinical implications as a target for future therapeutic approaches.

Background: Proteins that contain bromodomains have recently been associated with multiple diseases including cardiovascular disease. Bromodomains are a conserved family of protein interaction modules that bind to acetylated lysine residues. Objective: To define how the Bromodomain containing PHD Finger Transcription Factor (Bptf) affects heart function in mice. Hypthesis: Deletion of Bptf in the murine heart will alter cardiovascular function. Methods: To test this hypothesis an inducible Cre-LoxP system is utilized to specifically delete Bptf in the mouse heart. A line of alphamyosin heavy chain-MerCreMer mice is being crossed to Bptf(flox/ flox) mice to generate Bptf(flox/flox cre+) mice. Bptf(flox/flox cre+) will be fed chow with or without Tamoxifen at 8 weeks of age. Tamoxifen will activate cre at the lox sites to selectively delete Bptf. Genotyping of litters is performed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and western blotting and Real time PCR will be performed to validate loss of Bptf in the heart in mice exposed to Tamoxifen. Cardiovascular function will be assessed in anesthetized mice with echocardiography. Results: Genotyping of the litters was performed by DNA extraction from tissue samples followed by PCR. The PCR products were then run on an agarose gel. Further characterization of the model is under progress. Conclusion: We are currently genotyping Bptfflox/flox cre+ mice and hope to have echocardiography results by August 1, 2016.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 125


Grant Quilling

Melanie Raphael

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Michael Travisano Mentor’s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Davis Seelig Mentor’s Department: College of Veterinary Medicine

The role of history in transitions between single­cell and multicellular life in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Prion Pathogenesis and the Endocannabinoid System

Stephen Jay Gould’s book Wonderful Life posed the question: “If given an identical starting point, would evolution always follow the same path?” It has been argued that evolution has three primary influences: adaptation, history and chance. Travisano et al. (1995) evaluated the relative importance of these processes using experimental evolution. This paper shows a small effect of history in traits that closely correlate with fitness and a larger for traits with a less clear correlation to fitness. However, their system was simple and did not involve changes in organization of the organism. While there is no arguing that adaptations as a response of natural selection influence evolution greatly or that random mutations have allowed for new variants to arise in a population, it is yet unknown just how important prior history is during the evolution of increased complexity. In this project I used evolutionary transitions between multicellular and unicellular phenotypes to evaluate the role of history in the evolution of complex traits along with also analyzing the validity of the common misconception that evolution tends to push organisms towards increasing complexity. / / Gould, S. J. (1989). Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History. Norton, New York, USA. Pp. 345. / Travisano, M., J.A. Mongold, A.F. Bennett and R.E. Lenski. (1995). Experimental tests of the roles of adaptation, chance and history in evolution. Science. 267:87­90. /

Prion diseases are caused by protein misfolding in the brain that lead to progressive and fatal symptoms similar to those of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s1. At this time there is no effective therapy for prion diseases, but recent studies have found that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may hold therapeutic potential due to antiinflammatory, antioxidant and neuro-protective activities2. However, no studies have examined the effect of prion disease on the ECS. The goal of this study was to examine the immunohistochemical (IHC) expression of two cannabinoid receptors in the brain, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CBR1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CBR2) in prion infected mice. Mice infected with scrapie, a prion variant that presents primarily in sheep, were sacrificed and their brain tissues stained using IHC to determine the relative abundance of CBR1 and CBR2 in prion infected tissues compared to a prion negative control. Based on previous ECS studies, we hypothesize that prion infection will result in decreased brain CBR1 expression due to neuronal loss and the detrimental impact of misfolded prions on neurotransmitter release and synaptic plasticity3. We also expect that the presence of CBR2 in the brain will be increased in prion positive animals, likely due to the connection between CBR2 and immune tissue3. 1. Belay, E.D., and Schonberger, L.B. (2005). The public health impact of prion diseases. Annu. Rev. Public Health 26, 191–212. 2. Maroof, N., Pardon, M.C., and Kendall, D.A. (2013). Endoc nnabinoid signalling in Alzheimer’s disease. Biochem. Soc. Trans. 41, 1583– 1587. 3. Van der Stelt, Mario, and Vincenzo Di Marzo. “Cannabinoid Receptors and Their Role in Neuroprotection.” NeroMolecular Medicine 7.1 (2005): 37–50. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.

126 | University of Minnesota


Natalie Risch

Andre Robinson

Political Science, French College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Raymond Duvall Mentor’s Department: Political Science

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Marilyn Carroll Mentor’s Department: Psychiatry Research Partner: Sara Speier

Potential Implications of Civilian Usage of Lethal Autonomous Robotics

Go/No-Go Trials Measuring Impulsivity in Rats

As has been recently demonstrated by drones, it is very possible for warfare technologies to find their way off the battlefield and into the hands of the general public. Like drones, LARs can be expected to be quickly adapted and perfected for commercial uses. What the scope and implications of those likely extra-military developments look like are currently unstudied. To the best of my knowledge there has not yet been a systematic study of the possible effects of civilian access to LARs technologies. If the likely civilian and commercial adaptations are not clearly anticipated, they may create problems of a nature similar to those that are now being experienced by the proliferation of drone technology, which has troubled regulatory policy in several domains, including commercial aviation, unofficial surveillance, and protection of privacy. Similarly a rapid proliferation of LARs technology may occur without sufficient warning to create comprehensive safeguards regulating civilian practices. This possibility is noted briefly in the report by the special rapporteur for the UN committee. In the entire twenty-two pages of discussion of state usage of LARs, there is one short paragraph hypothesizing on the potentials of civilian use of this technology. Nevertheless, despite the limited attention devoted to civilian use, the UN report’s mention of its possibilities shows that, however small the probabilities of immediate impact, this is a legitimate and timely concern. Systematic research is necessary in this case to provide a greater knowledge basis and provoke political awareness on this topic. That is the purpose of my proposed research.

With the current heroin epidemic in the United States, novel therapies to treat drug abuse are urgent. There are many factors at play when it comes to addiction, and an important one is impulsivity. Focusing on factors that influence impulsivity offers a potential route for treating drug abuse. Progesterone is a hormone that is naturally found in pregnant females and is known to modify other forms of impulsive action. In this study, we hypothesize that progesterone would reduce impulsive action in a Go/No-Go task. In this task, responding during the “Go” component was reinforced with sucrose pellets, while responding during the “No-Go” component resulted in a delay in reward. Impulsivity was measured by ability to withhold a response during this “No-Go” time period. Once stable, rats were treated with PRO or a vehicle control. Results indicated that PRO had significant fewer No-Go responses, indicating lower levels of impulsivity. The implication of these results is that if impulsive action underlies drug abuse, then progesterone may be an effective in treating drug dependence.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 127


Timothy Rose

Brandon Rosen

Cell & Molecular Biology College of Pharmacy July 2016 Mentor: Amanda Klein Mentor’s Department: Pharmacy

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Anthony Baughn Mentor’s Department: Microbiology and Immunology

MOR Gene Therapy to Treat Chronic Pain

Potentiating the Antitubercular Activity of Pyrazinamide

Neuropathic pain is a seriously distressing condition thought to result from spontaneous activity and sensitization of peripheral nerve fibers, especially nociceptors that signal pain from the periphery to brain. Activation of opioid receptors on nerve fibers cause a decrease in neuropeptide and neurotransmitter release, and result in inhibition of afferent pain signaling to the brain. Opioid drugs are powerful suppressors of neuropathic pain, but their clinical use is hindered by side effects such as hypersensitivity, addiction, and tolerance (Stein et al., 2009). Therefore therapies localized to the periphery are desired to mitigate the centrally mediated side effects (He et al., 2013). The purpose of this experiment was to explore how MOR (μ-opioid receptor) gene therapy affects opioid-induced tolerance. The specific aim was to determine if increased expression of MORs in peripheral nerve fibers had an effect on the quality or duration of analgesia in opioid-induced tolerant, neuropathic animals. Nerve injured mice were inoculated with an HSV-1 viral vector containing the construct for either the MOR (SGMOR) or the β-galactosidase gene (SGZ) as a control. Mechanical and thermal nociceptive tests were conducted in conjunction with morphine treatments to quantify opioid-induced analgesia, and then without morphine treatments to quantify opioid-induced hypersensitivity. Our results demonstrated that analgesia was maintained longer in SGMOR mice than in SGZ mice. Nociceptive testing is continuing, and tissue histology will be performed to 1) confirm increased MOR expression in peripheral nerve fibers and to 2) identify and analyze differences between both groups.

The emergence of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis has significantly hindered the effort to eradicate tuberculosis (TB), rendering many existing antitubercular agents ineffective. Pyrazinamide (PZA) is a first-line TB drug that has been in clinical use for 60 years yet still has an unresolved mechanism of action. PZA exhibits remarkable sterilizing activity in vivo and permits a 33% reduction in treatment time when administered in combination therapy. However, in vitro, PZA is bacteriostatic against actively growing cultures and only exhibits bactericidal activity against nongrowing cells. Furthermore, molar concentrations of PZA between 50- and 4000-fold greater than those of the other three first-line TB drugs are required for growth inhibition in vitro, suggesting that M. tuberculosis possesses some degree of intrinsic PZA resistance. To identify genes linked to intrinsic PZA resistance, we conducted a screen of 5000 Mycobacterium bovis BCG transposon mutants for hypersensitivity to the bioactivated form of PZA, pyrazinoic acid (POA). Loss-of-function of the long-chain fatty acyl-CoA ligase FadD2 conferred a 16-fold increase in POA susceptibility. Ectopic expression of the M. tuberculosis pyrazinamidase (PncA) necessary for PZA conversion to POA in the fadD2 transposon mutant conferred at least a 32-fold increase in PZA susceptibility in nutrient-replete media at neutral pH, conditions under which no measurable PZA activity can be detected against wild-type M. tuberculosis. These findings indicate that a basal level of FadD2 activity is a significant contributor to the intrinsic PZA resistance of M. tuberculosis and suggest that co-administration of a novel FadD2 inhibitor with PZA could dramatically enhance antitubercular chemotherapy.

128 | University of Minnesota


Margarita Rudenko

Mark Ruprecht

Biomedical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Pediatrics

Statistics College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Nathaniel Helwig Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychology, Statistics

3D Printing Esophagus with Smooth Muscle Cells

A Nonparametric Look at Self-Esteem Development

The purpose of this experiment was the application of a 3D bioprinter to produce a biological scaffold out of hydrogel seeded with cells, in order to create a structure that would resemble and act like a human esophagus. The printer came from a company called BioBots, and used special BioInk as the printing material. The BioInk gel was seeded with various experimental cell types, including HPP and HUVECs (with the final product being printed with exclusively smooth muscle cells). The hydrogel formula consisted of various constituents, including LAP, PEGDA, PEO, cell media, and specific pre-gel solution comprising of esophageal components. Tests were run to find an optimal BioInk variation for printing, and different ratios of pre-gel to media were experimented with to maximize cell survival and proliferation. The BioInk was extruded by the BioBots bioprinter and cured with the printerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s UV lighting, and the structure was monitored for cell survival whilst taking note of adjustments for upcoming experimental prints. Some success in cell survival has been noted and is being monitored. At this point in time, data collection continues, and research on this project is still ongoing. Concentrations of various pre-gel amounts, BioInk components, curing rates, and cell counts are continuously tested and altered, and cell survival continues to be examined with steps taken for promote progress.

We examined self-esteem development across the lifespan from ages 10 to 80 using responses to the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale obtained over the World Wide Web between the years of 2011 and 2014. The dataset comprises a large and globally diverse sample of 45,185 individuals (53.2% non-U.S.) representing 171 countries from six continents. Using a smoothing spline analysis of variance (SSANOVA) framework, we investigated whether the self-esteem developmental trajectory differed across gender and socioeconomic region. By taking a nonparametric and cross-validation oriented modeling approach, we let the data determine the functional form of the self-esteem trajectory for each gender and region. We find that self-esteem development significantly differs as a function of both gender and socioeconomic region. Female self-esteem is the lowest at age 14 across all socioeconomic regions and is significantly lower than male self-esteem until early adulthood (age 30). Relative to other socioeconomic regions, females in East Asia and the Pacific have significantly higher levels of self-esteem during adolescence. Together, these imply the existence of socioeconomic influences that serve to moderate the self-esteem developmental trajectory and a common mechanism negatively affecting female self-esteem entering adolescence. The findings of the present study help expand the results of the existing literature and give new insight into how the self-esteem developmental trajectory is moderated by socioeconomic influences.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 129


Byron Rusnak

Calandra Sagarsky

Plant Sciences College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2019 Mentor: Lois Braun Mentor’s Department: Agronomy and Plant Genetics

Biochemistry, Microbiology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Irina St. Louis Mentor’s Department: Medicine

Evaluation of the Effects of Relative Humidity on Hardwood Hazelnut Stem Cutting Rooting and Survival

Radiation-induced Changes in CELF1 Localization and Function

Early hazelnuts cultivated in Minnesota were crosses between European hazelnuts (Corylus avellena) and wild growing, cold hardy American hazelnuts (Corylus Americana). Breeding these cold hardy, perennial hybrid hazelnuts became part of the Forever Green Initiative to provide year-round ground cover along with environmental and economic benefits to Minnesota farmers. The hazelnut plants grow as woody shrubs with many suckers. The plants are asexually propagated to ensure they grow true to type, often using mound layering, sometimes cuttings, and possibly micropropagation in the near future. Propagation by cuttings is notoriously hard and often results in low rates of success and high rates of mortality. It was typically thought that allowing the cuttings to root in near 100% relative humidity was best, but new evidence has suggested that this might not be true. To experiment whether lower levels of relative humidity could increase rooting success and decrease mortality, cuttings harvested in the fall were separated into 12 humidity tents with about 64 cuttings each. Three tents each were assigned a threshold relative humidity level of 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90% and checked once daily and watered to bring relative humidity up if found to be below the threshold. After two and a half months and three and a half months, the cuttings in each tent were evaluated for rooting and survival.

Following genotoxic stress, cells activate canonical kinase-based signaling network (ATM/ATR) to arrest the cell cycle and initiate DNA repair. Tumor cells rewire their pathways for survival after DNA damage through posttranscriptional mechanisms. / We hypothesize that RNA-binding protein CELF1 plays a role in regulation of mRNA stability during DNA damage response. Previously we identified that CELF1 binds to and facilitate degradation of mRNAs that harbor GUrich motifs in their 3’ untranslated regions. Binding affinity of CELF1 to RNA is regulated posttranslationally, through phosphorylation. / In these experiments, malignant T cell lines (H9 lymphoma and Jurkat (leukemia), were irradiated with 5Gy of ionizing radiation. mRNA degradation rates and CELF1 intracellular localization were monitored over the course of four days post-irradiation. / We observed that following DNA damage, the phosphorylated CELF1 co-localizes with H2AX in the nucleus, within activated DNA-double strand break repair sites. CELF1 gets hyper-phosphorylated at 4 hours after irradiation which correlates with significant stabilization and increase in expression of GRE-containing stress-response mRNA transcripts. We tested the phosphorylation of CELF1 at serine 28 residue and observed the decrease of S28 signal in irradiated cells (by Western Blot). Thus, DNA damage kinase pathways (ATM/ ATR) lead to changes in phosphorylation of CELF1, however not at the position of S28. / Altogether, we propose that the retention of CELF1 in the nucleus could contribute to stabilization of GREcontaining mRNAs in the cytoplasm. Future research will focus on identification of phosphorylation sites and nuclear function of CELF1 during DNA damage repair.

130 | University of Minnesota


John Sakizadeh

Jason Sakizadeh

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Alon McCormick Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Material Science

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Mary Porter Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Performance Characterization and Analysis of Micromolded UV-Curable Polymers During the Demolding Step

Gaining Insight into Ciliopathies via Axoneme Analysis

The goal of this research is to find and quantitatively describe performance parameters of UV-curable polymers during the demolding step of a micromolding process. It was hypothesized that the success of the demolding step is dependent on the viscosity of the liquid monomer and the modulus of the coated polymer (Du 2015). These were varied by changing chemical components used to make the polymer and the amount of UV radiation it was exposed to. Samples of thiol-ene and acrylate chemistries were tested. The experimental process consisted of finding the optimal cure time for the polymer chemistries through microscope and FTIR analysis. Rheological parameters of the polymers were characterized by measuring the peel force of the polymer from its mold and the modulus of the polymer at the optimal cure time. Peel tests of the thiol-ene samples have displayed a wide range of failure modes and oxygen inhibition has so far limited the ability to make and test acrylate samples. Further investigation will include testing of various ratios of thiol-ene/acrylate monomer mixtures to decrease the failure rate of the thiol-ene samples during the demolding step. Also, developing a technique to limit oxygen inhibition present when curing acrylate coatings is needed for successful characterizations. Characterizations of the UV-curable polymers will allow for comparisons to be made on their ability to demold and offer insight into the process conditions necessary to successfully manufacture thiol-ene and acrylate polymers by UV radiation in a micromolding setting. References // 1. Du, Yuyang. “Micromolding of Surfaces with UV Curing.” U of Minnesota, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, 2015. Print.

Cilia and flagella are organelles that play important roles in cell motility and signaling in the human body. Mutations in genes encoding subunits of the highly-conserved structures located in the ciliary and flagellar axoneme can result in a wide array of diseases such as chronic respiratory disease, defects in the left-right body axis, and male infertility. A mutation in the MBO2 gene of the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii results in cells that are able to move backwards only with a flagellar waveform. The MBO2 protein is located along the length of the axoneme, but its precise location within the substructure of the axoneme has not yet been identified. Here we have introduced a C-terminal SNAP-tagged version of the MBO2 gene into a mbo2 mutant strain and rescued the mutant phenotype. We also investigated the interactions of MBO2 with other axoneme proteins using genetic and biochemical strategies. We found that fifteen proteins are significantly reduced in mbo2 mutant axonemes, including a dynein heavy chain DHC5, and other proteins with predicted calcium-binding domains. Our results suggest that MBO2 could be important in anchoring DHC5 to the axoneme and also involved in calcium signaling pathways within the axoneme. In the future, we will determine the location of the MBO2 protein within the substructure of the axoneme using streptavidin-gold labeling and cryo-electron tomography. A better understanding of the interactions between the many protein complexes of the axoneme will help in the diagnosis of cilia-based diseases and the development of potential therapies.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 131


Nikita Salovich

Alexander Sarkis

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Mark Stellmack Mentor’s Department: Psychology

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Mark Distefano Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

A Study of the “Hot-Hand Phenomenon” in Amateur Bowlers

Structural and Kinetic Analysis of Prenylation Inhibitor

A common perception regarding athletic performance has been dubbed the “Hot-Hand Phenomenon”; that is, the perception that athletes exhibit streaks in behavior such that when he or she is performing well, the probability of continued success is greater than their baseline probability of success. Studies of professional and college basketball players failed to find evidence that players’ conditional probabilities of hits and misses change depending on prior streaks of hits and misses. In other words, the occurrences of streaks in performance were predictable on the basis of players’ baseline rates of hits and misses. The present study seeks evidence of the Hot-Hand Phenomenon in amateur bowlers. In basketball, better players are more likely to take shots, leading to unequal numbers of trials across players with different levels of skill. In contrast, all bowlers take nearly the same number of shots, resulting in equivalent amounts of data across players of different ability. In this study, data were collected over the course of a 32-week season for approximately 40 bowlers who typically bowled three games per week. This poster reports on the analysis of this data set in searching for evidence of the Hot-Hand Phenomenon.

Prenylation is a chemical process that involves the addition of a variable number of connected isoprenoid groups. Prenylation has garnered present interest in it relationship to abnormally prenylated forms of Ras being linked to 16% of all cancers. Recently isoprenoid inhibitors have been developed by the Distefano lab, but their efficacy had yet to be tested. In this experiment structural analysis was performed on inhibitors of similar analogous to farnesyl disphosphate (FPP) and geranylgeranyl disphosphate (GGPP) using the protein imaging software Maestro. Using continuous fluorescence assays, the IC50 of each inhibitor was found.

132 | University of Minnesota


Oren Sasson

Sara Scarbro

Nursing School of Nursing May 2018 Mentor: Kathleen Thomas Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Child Psychology

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Marilyn Carroll Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychiatry Research Partners: Lydia Negussie, Rachel Keszycki

Relationship Between Degree of Prematurity and Structural Brain Development in Adulthood

Evaluating the Sex Differences in Reduction of Nicotine Reinstatement After Implementing Individual and Combined Progesterone and Varenicline Treatments

Preterm infants (less than 37 weeks gestation) or infants born with low birth weight (less than 2,500 grams) are at risk for long-term neurodevelopmental issues. There is increasing recognition that prematurity likely affects brain development beyond adolescence, but few studies have followed participants into adulthood. This study assesses how gestational age at birth, birth weight, and overall newborn health (APGAR scores) are related to long-term measures of brain development in a sample of twins, which account for a large population of preterm birth. A subsample of twin pairs who have been part of a larger, longitudinal study since childhood were recruited as adults to complete a structural MRI scan. Medical records were abstracted for gestational age, birth weight, and APGAR scores. Freesurfer was used to perform automated segmentation of brain scans. Results indicated that adults born preterm had smaller caudate volumes than those born fullterm. Furthermore, within the preterm group, there was a negative correlation between gestational age at birth and caudate volume. Additionally, across all participants caudate volume was related to birthweight, but not APGAR scores. Other studies have found that increased caudate volume correlates with intelligence in adults. Moreover, decreased caudate volume in adolescents born preterm has been correlated with hyperactivity. The long term goal of this study is to identify whether altered brain volume in individuals born preterm contributes to their higher risk of developing psychiatric disorders.

One of the leading causes of preventable mortality in Western countries is caused by tobacco use. A need for more effective pharmacological treatments exists because the rates of relapse are high. Progesterone (PRO) is a female hormone that reduces use of stimulants, but its effects on alleviating tobacco addiction are unknown. The drug varenicline (VAR) reduces tobacco use. In this study, VAR was used in combination with PRO as a way to decrease relapse. A rat model was used to examine the sex-specific effects of VAR and PRO on relapse to tobacco addiction (shown here in nicotine reinstatement),. .Adult male and female Wistar rats were trained to self-administer nicotine (NIC; 0.03 mg/kg/infusion), the primary component in tobacco, by pressing on a lever. Rats were given 14 days to self-administer NIC that preceded an extinction period of 21 days, where the cues and levers administering the drugs were inactive. Rats were then separated into the four treatment groups (VEH+SAL), PRO alone (PRO+SAL), VAR alone (VAR+VEH), and a combination of PRO and VAR (PRO+VAR). Following the extinction period, reinstatement of nicotine-seeking behavior by injections of NIC or CAF, the presentation of CUES alone, and drugs with the cues (i.e. NIC+CUES) were tested. Both females and males showed similar consumption of nicotine and responding during extinction, and an increased response to CAF+CUES during reinstatement. However, only males demonstrated an increased sensitivity to reinstatement during the NIC+CUES condition. VAR was effective by itself, and showed the same effect when combined with PRO.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 133


Collin Schladweiler

Nicholas Schleif

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Brandy Toner Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Soil, Climate and Water Department

Electrical Engineering College of Science and Engineering December 2016 Mentor: Bethanie Stadler Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Hydrothermal Vent Particle Analysis Using Experimentally Developed SEM Methods

A Comparison in Quantitative Analyses of Magnetic Nanowires

At sites of hydrothermal venting, turbulent mixing of hot vent fluids with cold deep ocean waters creates strong physical and chemical gradients in hydrologic features called plumes made from mineral particles. These hydrothermal vents create environments where metals such as iron, many other precious metals (manganese, copper, etc.) and a variety of gases escape spreading for kilometers over the sea floor. The goal of my UROP is to contribute to method development for characterizing and quantifying hydrothermal particles using electron microscopy. We know very little about the particle size distribution in hydrothermal plumes. However, the size, quantity, and morphological characteristics of the particles are crucial to understanding particle mobility in the ocean. What is needed is method development for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in terms of sample preparation, imaging protocols, and digital analysis of micrographs in a statistically robust manner. In my UROP, I addressed: (1) optimize sample preparation, (2) carry out morphological observations of the samples, and (3) design and test methods for quantifying and characterizing plume particles. I used samples collected by in situ filtration (Breier et al. 2009; 2012) from the Lau Basin and Mid-Cayman Rise hydrothermal vent fields, two field sites where material was collected by Professor Brandy Toner. The data generated will be combined with new knowledge of particle geochemistry from these two vent sites (Cron et al. unpublished).

Nanowires are nanometer-sized wires with novel applications in photonics, memory storage, energy conversion and storage, and biological applications. With such a wide variety of applications, many different characteristics and properties must be measured and designed for optimization in each intended operation. In some cases, the scale of nanowires demands new methods of measuring physical, magnetic, and electrical properties. These methods were explored by fabricating nanowires from using a porous anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane. First, the magnetic behavior of the nanowires was measured using a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). After the nanowires were separated from a membrane and placed in solution, two methods of analyzing physical properties of nanoparticles were compared. Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) were both used to measure the same properties of the nanowire sample. These methods were verified by viewing individual nanowires with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). With the VSM, we measured a saturation magnetization of 0.24 memu, a remnant magnetization of 0.15 memu, and a coercivity of 20 G. Using a SEM, we obtained a nanowire length of about 1000 nm. The length distribution of the nanowires using DLS was a bell-shaped curve centered around 930 nm, while the length obtained by NTA is about 700 nm. We can conclude that for measuring the length of highly reflective nano-sized cylinders, DLS is more accurate than NTA. This comparison of NTA and DLS for measuring physical properties of nanowires can be forecast to future work and novel applications.

134 | University of Minnesota


Amy Schoenhofen

Peter Schroedl

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: G.W. Gant Luxton Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Earth Sciences College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Jake Bailey Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Earth Sciences

Defining the Molecular Requirements of LINC Complex-Dependent Nuclear Positioning

Microbial Dissolution of Carbonates

Directional cell migration is critical for immune response, organogenesis, and wound healing. Efficient directional cell migration depends upon establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, central to this polarity is the coordinated positioning of the centrosome and the nucleus relative to the cell front-rear axis. This results in the centrosome being located between the leading edge and the nucleus, which is positioned at the cell rear. The coordinated positioning of these organelles requires dynamic physical coupling of the nucleus to the cytoskeleton through a conserved molecular bridge that spans the Nuclear Envelope (NE) known as the LInker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton (LINC) complex. LINC complexes are composed of the cytoskeletal-binding, outer nuclear membrane nesprin proteins and their interacting partners, the nuclear lamina-binding inner nuclear membrane SUN proteins. Recent structural studies demonstrate that SUN2/nesprin-2-containig LINC complexes are heterohexameric molecular bridges with SUN2 being a homotrimer with the lumenal nesprin-2 KASH domain binding in three deep groves between adjacent SUN2 monomers. Interestingly, a disulfide bond between conserved cysteines on SUN and KASH were shown to covalently link both proteins and molecular dynamics modeling suggests that it is crucial for the stability of this interaction and transmission of forces through the complex. Here, we test the role of this intermolecular disulfide bond during rearward nuclear movement in directionally migrating fibroblasts. Our results demonstrate that the intermolecular KASH-SUN disulfide bond is required for the mechanotransduction of actin-generated forces through nesprin-2/SUN2 LINC complexes into the nuclear lamina and consequently rearward nuclear movement in directionally migrating fibroblasts.

Authigenic carbonates at marine methane seeps are often colonized by sulfide oxidizing bacteria. These bacteria commonly occur with etching pits in the carbonate surface. The ocean is well buffered against changes in acidity. Carbonate dissolution mechanisms and rates from aerobic sulfide oxidation by microbes under marine conditions remain unexplored. The fluorescent probe carboxy seminaptho-fluorescein (SNAFL) was used to measure a change in pH on siderite, an iron bearing carbonate, with a sulfide oxidizing bacterial biofilm in a bioreactor. Iron bearing carbonates have been identified on Mars. The siderite was observed using an inverted confocal microscope under low flow conditions to simulate conditions on the seafloor. A buffered solution mimicking seawater was pumped through the bioreactor. The changes in pH were indicated by an increase in intensity from the probe SNAFL.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 135


Zach Schultz

Mariah Schumacher

Neuroscience; Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Walter Low Mentor’s Department: Stem Cell Institute, Neurosurgery

Psychology College of Education and Human Development May 2017 Mentor: Robert Lloyd and Ryan Hjelle Mentor’s Department: Psychology

Characterizing and Complementation of Human Retinal and Lens Cells in Chimeric Porcine Embryos

Empathic Response and Sub-Clinical Psychopathy

Parkinson’s disease is very debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects millions each year. As a way to restore function to the dopaminergic neurons in the striatum, a genetically modified porcine blastocysts with gene PITX3 knocked out had human induced pluripotent or umbilical cord blood stem cells injected in. The goal was to see if any human stem cells were able to be complemented into the porcine embryo and produce dopaminergic neurons due the developmental niche created by the PITX3 knockout. These cells could be isolated and transplanted into patients with Parkinson’s disease. The gene PITX3 is also involved in lens development in the eye as well as dopaminergic neurons. Each porcine eye was fixed, sectioned and stained by immunohistochemistry for a human nuclear antigen to determine if any human stems cells were able complement into the porcine blastocysts. Unfortunately no human cells were found in the chimeric animals. There were physically different looking retinas in the chimera animals compared to human and pig controls. An extension study will be done by injected porcine stem cells labeled with GFP into a porcine blastocyst to determine if human cells can’t be complemented into porcines or if more genes need to be knocked out in order to create this developmental niche for the stem cells to be complemented in.

Finding out the cause of conduct disorder has been a growing concern for researchers, and there is now evidence to support that it may be related to lack of empathic response. Humans are social creatures, and empathy is normally classified as a social emotion, therefore those who lack the ability to be empathic have trouble associating with others (Chaplin & Cole, 2005). The purpose of my study is to examine the relationship between inappropriate empathic responses by EEG (Electroencephalogram) and HRV (Heart Rate Variability) measurements in participants when viewing an empathyinducing video clip. The hypothesis of this study was that these results would be associated with psychopathy-indicating scores on the Machivallian-IV test and the Levenson self-report psychopathy scale. Support of this hypothesis may indicate that the findings could be used to help predict psychopathological traits based on empathic responses as reflected by HRV.

136 | University of Minnesota


Daniel Schwalen

Jordan Sell

Management Information Systems Carlson School of Management May 2018 Mentor: Daniel Griffin Mentor’s Department: Geography

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Julia Davydova Mentor’s Department: Surgery

Comparison of Chronology Development Methods in Dendrochronology

Evaluating Oncolytic Adenovirus and 5FU Chemotherapy Combination Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

The analysis of tree ring growth in a given area can provide a greater understanding of the historical environmental conditions and disruptive natural events in that particular region. While major aspects of climate have been measured and recorded for roughly the past 150 years, this short period in history often does not provide enough data to detect large-scale environmental patterns and trends. By utilizing climate proxies such as tree ring growth to reconstruct unrecorded climates of the past, we can gain a better understanding of the current environment and more accurately predict conditions in the future. Dendrochronology aims to identify ring width patterns across trees to create chronologies. However, there is no consensus on the most practical and efficient way to count and cross-date tree rings. While the University of Minnesota still relies heavily on micrometer measurements for chronology development, many have begun to integrate image analysis systems into their research labs. One of the most prominent software applications utilized for image analysis is WinDendro, a costly program that also recommends supplementary equipment such as flatbed scanners for image acquisition. With a high total cost, WinDendro™ is not an affordable option for most dendrochronologists. However, open source software is free and universally available, providing a less costly alternative to proprietary technology. In our research, we compare the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of three key chronology development methods: micrometer measurements, image analysis with WinDendro, and image analysis with CDendro.

We have previously shown the ability of Oncolytic Adenovirus (OAd) expressing Interferon-α (IFN) to sensitize cancer cells to chemoand radiotherapy and demonstrated an improved therapeutic effect of combination therapies in pancreatic cancer models. This study was conducted to analyze the effect of 5FU on OAd replication and to determine the optimum timing regimen. Recombinant OAds expressing luciferase rather than IFN were used in this study to isolate the combination of 5FU and the virus. Combination treatments were analyzed in S2013 pancreatic cancer cells. Cells were treated with ranges of OAd and 5FU doses in 3 timing regimens: simultaneous administration, 5FU 4 hours before OAd, and OAd 48 hours before 5FU. Cell death analysis showed time and dose dependent death with 5FU and OAd monotherapies. All three timing regimens for the combination therapy showed effective cell killing and simultaneous treatment showed the most enhanced killing effect in comparison to monotherapies. Viral copy analysis by qPCR after simultaneous treatment combination showed dose dependent inhibition of viral replication, with only the highest dose of 5FU limiting viral replication over time. Cellular Cox2 expression measured by RT-PCR was unaffected after treatment with all doses of 5FU. Combining our OAd with 5FU resulted in effective killing of pancreatic cancer cells regardless of the timing of administration, and simultaneous treatment showed the greatest killing ability. The inhibition of viral replication at high dose of 5FU suggests the importance of controlling doses with this therapy. Overall, the data suggest that 5FU can be combined with OAd as an effective treatment, and that timing and dosage may impact the effectiveness. Further studies in PDX models are ongoing. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 137


Benjamin Severseike

Paul Shafer

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Troy Lund Mentor’s Department: Pediatrics Research Partner: Dr. Mukta Arora

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Romas Kazlauskas Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry

Telomere Length and Bone Marrow Transplant: The Missing Link in Predicting Fatal Complications

Pathway for the Evolution of a Tobacco Plant Esterase Salicylic Acid Binding Protein 2 into a Hydroxynitrile Lyase

A bone marrow transplant is an invasive procedure that is used to help treat many illnesses, especially cancer (Chen 2015). The process involves irradiating the stem cells of the patient’s bone marrow and injecting them with healthy stem cells that essentially restart the patient’s immune system (Chen 2015)). The process is stressful on the biology of the patient. Telomere length is associated with biological age of the organism. When the telomeres shorten, they undergo crisis which causes the telomeres to mutate rapidly and usually cause the death of the cell (Blasco 1999). Telomere shortening can be increased by environmental stressors such as disease (Blasco 1999). Therefore, our research is determining if telomere length is an indication of frailty in patients undergoing BMT. We chose to test whole blood samples of geriatric patients that have been predetermined non-frail, pre-frail, and frail. We isolated the DNA of each blood sample and analyzed the mean telomere length of each patient using southern blotting techniques. Finally, the telomere lengths were compared using T-test statistical analysis to determine if there is a significant difference in telomere lengths. Preliminary statistical analysis does not show a significant difference between the three groups, but the data is constantly fluctuating with more samples being processed. As we finish processing the samples, we will be able to make more definitive conclusions about the use of mean telomere length as a method of testing frailty in BMT patients.

The tobacco plant esterase salicylic acid binding protein 2 (SABP2) shares 45% identical amino acids with rubber tree hydroxynitrile lyase HbHNL. Both enzymes fold similarly and belong to the alpha/beta hydrolase fold superfamily. Previous researchers at the University of Minnesota found three substitutions in SABP2 (G12T-H80E-M239K) that switched the esterase activity of SABP2 to hydroxynitrile lyase activity. Natural evolution of an ancestral esterase to a hydroxyntrile lyase may have followed a similar path, or may have required additional substitutions. Natural evolution most likely involves changing only one nucleotide in a codon, so intermediate forms with different amino acids substitutions are possible. There are 47 possible intermediates between SABP2 and this triple substitution variant. As of now many of these intermediates have not been tested for hydroxynitrile lyase activity with the substrate acetone cyanohydrin, HbHNL’s natural substrate. Observing hydroxynitrile lyase activity with acetone cyanohydrin as well as esterase activity of each intermediate will allow for the determination of probable evolutionary pathways for the transition of SABP2 from an esterase to a hydroxynitrile lyase. As of now we have tested each of the single and double SABP2 mutants, and found SABP2 (H80E-M239K) to show promising hydroxynitrile activity along with each preceding single mutation intermediate, leading us to believe that these mutations comprise a promising evolutionary pathway.

138 | University of Minnesota


Iram Shafqat

Sammy Shaker

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Anindya Bagchi Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Mathematics, Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Andreas Stein Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Analysis of the Role of Hif1alpha in Pancreatic Cancer

Synthesis of Mixed-Metal Metal-Organic Frameworks via Ion-Exchange in Solution

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive cancers and the fourth leading cancer-related cause of death in the US. What makes PDAC so aggressive is its difficulty in diagnosis until the late stages and resistance to therapies. Resistance to therapy is primarily due to extreme hypoxia present in pancreatic cancer cells and dense fibrous stromal tissue surrounding the primary tumor. The hypoxic nature of PDAC inhibits intra-vasculature growth within the tumor, making it difficult for drugs to reach their desired target; similarly, the fibrous tissue acts as a barrier, preventing chemotherapeutics from reaching the cancerous cells. Hypoxiainducible factors (HIFs) have been found to be upregulated in PDAC cells due to the hypoxia. However, the roles of HIF-1α in PDAC cells are still unknown. Ultimately from our study, we show that HIF-1α in PDAC acts as a tumor suppressor gene. This result indicates a direct contradiction to what was previously theorized about the role of HIF-1α. Since the downstream targets of HIF-1α involve various growth factors and an epithelial to mesenchymal transition pathway, the role of HIF-1α was thought to be oncogenic. However, since our PDAC mice with knockout HIF-1α had a significantly greater survival than the HIF-1α intact PDAC mice, we demonstrated that HIFs are actually involved in the deceleration of cancer growth. Ongoing experiments analyzing the role of HIF-2α in PDAC could unfold unique results. This can serve as a starting point for an entirely new avenue of research in PDAC and other cancers as well.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are materials at the cutting edge of catalysis and gas sorption. These constructs of organic linkers supporting few-atom metal clusters provide high surface area and facile syntheses. Metal clusters can be incorporated into MOFs either by straightforward substitution of the relevant cluster in the synthetic procedure for the production of a relevant MOF, or by addition of desired metal atoms to the clusters on a pre-assembled MOF with desirable qualities, such as NU-1000. In this report, metal atoms were incorporated into the metal clusters of existing NU-1000 samples by means of ion exchange. Characterization of the subsequent constructs by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy was carried out.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 139


Elayna Shapiro

Julie Sherman

Nutrition College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2018 Mentor: John Baker Mentor’s Department: Soil, Water, and Climate

Mathematics; Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Engineering May 2019 Mentor: Dawn Tanner Mentor’s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Research Partners: Alexandra Garvin, Amy Yi, Karre Wagner

Effects of Conventional and Organic Herbicides on Kura Clover Suppression

Crabby Consequences of Ocean Acidification

It is widely accepted that cover crops provide an array of environmental benefits. Kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum) is a living mulch, which is a type of cover crop that remains growing between cash crop rows during the growing season. Kura clover is wellsuited as a living mulch because it is a long-lived perennial, often persisting for decades, even without re-seeding. It is also a legume, and as such can biologically fix nitrogen. However, to be managed as a living mulch, kura clover must be effectively suppressed at spring planting so as not to outcompete establishing row crops. In conventional systems, this is accomplished by spraying a narrow band of herbicides where crops will be seeded. Since synthetic herbicides are prohibited in organic systems, however, organic growers must use mechanical strip tillage to prevent competition, but this generally decreases soil quality. This study seeks to understand how effectively various herbicides, including OMRI-approved organic options, suppress kura clover, and whether this suppression spurs below ground nitrogen exudation.

The effects of acidic water on Portunus gibbesii crabs was measured to determine if the predicted future pH of oceans would have a short-term impact on the ability of the crabs to grow in simulated adverse conditions. The experiment was conducted by introducing four Portunus gibbesii crabs to a control tank with historic pH ocean levels of 8.2. The other four crabs were placed in an experimental tank with predicted future ocean pH levels of 7.9. Over the course of six weeks, the water chemistry was measured daily to ensure constant water conditions and the crabs’ weight, carapace length and carapace width was measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. Crab growth was not statistically different between the control and experimental tanks. However, the mortality rate of the experimental tank was 50% while the control tank was 0%. Ocean acidification is a global event with the potential risk of widespread damage to marine ecosystems. As predicted ocean pH is expected to fall to 7.9, organisms that form exoskeletons such as coral and crabs may be unable to form hard calcium carbonate shells, affecting the whole marine ecosystem as a result.

140 | University of Minnesota


Alvin Jia Jie Sim

Sajya Singh

Mechanical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Julianna Abel Mentor’s Department: Mechanical Engineering

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

Design Parameter Study of Shape Memory Alloy I-Cord Actuators

Transfection of the Luciferase Reporter System into Cancer Cells for Future use in siRNA Gene Therapy

Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are one type of smart material that have the ability to solve many advanced engineering problems because of their unique properties – lightweight, compact, energy dense, integrated sensing, and, large actuation strains. Active knits are smart material wires knitted into actuation architectures, which produce large complex three-dimensional motions. SMA I-cord active knits transition from a long, thin tube into a helical coil. While similar to SMA springs, SMA I-cord active knits are advantageous because of the simultaneously enhanced strains and forces in the same package size. However, the impact of design parameters on the kinetic performance of SMA I-cord active knits is not yet understood. This research determines the effect of various design parameters (wire diameter, loop size, and number of loops) on the force-displacement actuation performance of SMA I-cord knit actuators. A 2k factorial experimental design was used to determine the impact of each parameter on the kinetic performance. The prototypes were characterized through a thermo-mechanical testing protocol on an experimental setup for analyzing the load-deflection actuation. It was found that increasing the wire diameter or number of loops, decreased the maximum strain and increased the force of maximum strain, the maximum work, and the force of maximum work. The experimental results provide the basis for the development of an empirical model of the I-cord actuator architecture and can be used to validate a new structural model. The results collected will be used to effectively design SMA actuators to realize diverse applications.

Patients with malignant tumors, such as gliomas, have very low survival rates and regularly do not respond well to treatments of chemotherapy or surgery. Gene therapy is a viable alternative for such tumors. We focus on the use of the luciferase reporter system for quantitative analysis of gene expression levels in the tumor cell lines GL261, a mouse glioma, and HCT116, a human colon cancer. These lines are transfected with both plasmids (pOPRSV and pCMVLacl) of the system, which employs elements of the lac operon. The luciferase system is described by Short et al. (1996). With the luciferase system established in GL261 and HCT116-pOPRLpCMVLacI clones, these lines can be used in future gene therapy studies involving small interfering RNA (siRNA). Cancer cells are known to sometimes be the result of abnormal levels of microRNA (miRNA). These short RNA molecules function in gene regulation by post-transcriptionally binding to an mRNA of interest, which results in the mRNA’s degradation and down regulation of the associated gene. Researchers use siRNA molecules for gene therapy in an attempt to rectify abnormal levels of miRNA in cell lines. These synthetic, designed molecules aim to return cells to their healthy state by mimicking and replacing downregulated miRNA molecules in tumor cells. The luciferase reporter system we have established in GL261 and HCT116 lines provides a quantitative method for the analysis of siRNA entrance and functioning within tumor cells.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 141


Jacquelyn Smale

Michelle Smeaton

Earth Sciences College of Liberal Arts December 2016 Mentor: Subir Banerjee Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: N.H. Winchell School of Earth Sciences

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Eray Aydil Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Testing Current Model of Rainfall Prediction from Magnetic Susceptibility

Transparent, Conductive Al-Doped Zno Thin Films Via Colloidal Synthesis, Ultrasonic Spray Deposition, and Intense Pulsed Light Sintering

Our experiment is the first observation under simulated natural soil conditions of poorly crystalline ferrihydride (Fh) alteration to magnetite. In the Chinese Loess (windblown dust) Plateau modern soils in paleosols/loess sequences have been studied to determine transfer functions for determining variability of the paleomonsoon systems by measuring a variety of magnetic proxies. Specifically, the increase of magnetization with rainfall is generally attributed to be from growth of the magnetic mineral, magnetite (Mt). Understanding the transition from Fh to Mt will aid in determining transfer functions with confidence. Torrent et al. [Soil Sci Soc Am J, 71:1570-1578] had claimed that they successfully simulated natural soils in a laboratory setting with ferrihydrite but with catalysts, such as citrates and phosphorus, to produce magnetite (Mt) and maghemite (Mht)-like products. In our experiment, 2-line ferrihydrite was warmed in water at a pH of 6.5 at 90C and annealed in situ for 0, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 hours, and then freeze-dried to preserve original composition. We measured magnetic properties remanence after application of 5 Tesla magnetic field at room temperature and 5K, 20K, 50K and 100K with the Magnetic Property Measurement System (MPMS) of Quantum Design Corporation. The observation of the characteristic magnetic transition at 120 K allowed us to conclude that even without artificial catalysts, the ferrihydrite-magnetite reaction will take place in natural loess soil. Mossbauer spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction were also performed to fully characterize the minerals present and confirm the magnetic observation of newly formed magnetite.

Doped zinc oxide has received increased interest for applications in transparent electrodes which are crucial in many modern electronic and optoelectronic devices such as light emitting diodes (LEDs), solar cells, and photodetectors. Herein, we report a facile, three step process for producing transparent, conductive Al-doped ZnO thin films suitable for eventual scale up to continuous roll-to-roll processing. Aluminum doped zinc oxide plasmonic nanocrystals were synthesized using a non-injection, liquid synthesis. Particles were characterized using FTIR spectroscopy and XRD at reaction times 15 to 180 minutes which confirmed quick particle nucleation and growth times and incorporation of Al in the cores of the particles as well as the surface. The resulting dispersion was coated onto substrates via ultrasonic spray deposition to produce micron thick films. Coating morphology was analyzed using SEM to optimize the dispersion loading for smooth, uniform coatings. The coatings were sintered using intense pulsed light (IPL) to produce conductive films. Surface morphology was analyzed once again and the films were tested for conductivity, mobility and carrier density. Further experimentation with IPL parameters will improve these properties.

142 | University of Minnesota


Molly Smith

Dylan Smith

Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Liza Finestack Mentor’s Department: SpeechLanguage-Hearing Sciences

Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Douglas Dunham Mentor’s Department: Computer Science

Grammatical Outcomes of a Narrative Intervention for Adolescents with Fragile X Syndrome

Creating and Designing a Triply Periodic Polyhedra

Language impairments and delays are widely known to occur with children with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) but little is known to work in treatment plans in language therapy. My project evaluated the grammatical growth of three children with FXS who have been involved in a language intervention. I used the Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS; Lee, 1974) system that involves coding the complexity of each noun and verb produced by the children in their language samples. The results of the three children’s scored language samples did not show any statistical significance. Further research will need to be done in order to support different methods of language therapy for children born with FXS.

The process and methodology that went into creating a 3d print of the minimal surfaces corresponding to the triply periodic polyhedral. The project starts with detailed research into polyhedas and the nature of the shapes. It then goes into the use of software’s needed for the project and master copy. I’ll go over some of the pitfalls encountered in early development and problem shooting areas. I will explanation the design work and illustrations used for the project and finally the production setup for creating the final model.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 143


Michael Sobin

Rachel Soble

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Clifford Steer Mentor’s Department: Biology

Biochemistry, Computer Science College of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Jeffrey Gralnick Mentor’s Department: Microbiology

Dysphagia and the Mysteries of the Esophagus

Investigating Emergent Metabolic Interactions in a Synthetic Bacterial Community

Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder characterized by the general weakness or dysfunction of the muscles and neuromuscular junctions that control the swallow reflex. Over 30% of elderly individuals and over 50% of stroke victims suffer from this disorder, with a yearly monetary impact of an estimated $547 billion. Previous research suggests that a significant amount of individuals with esophageal transition zone dysfunction, the region where striated muscle of the proximal esophagus and smooth muscles of the distal esophagus mix, suffer from dysphagia. However, the underlying reasoning for transition zone dysfunction is unknown, and further questioned due to current unreliable standards for evaluating the transition zone. Additionally, non-invasive treatment therapies for dysphagia have been unable to benefit individuals with additional muscular and spinal issues. Here, we show that the swallow resistance exercise device (sRED) causes fatigue of the proximal esophageal muscles in elderly subjects, suggesting that the esophageal muscles will eventually strengthen. We also show that the pressurized sRED significantly lowers the pressure in the esophageal transition zone. Additionally, we show that the application of the sRED lowers the transition zone pressure, suggesting that the sRED disrupts the normal mechanical action of the swallow. These results display the potential therapeutic effectiveness of the sRED in dysphagia patients with mobility disorders. Furthermore, the characterization of the transition zone will continue to shed light on the functions of this portion of the esophagus and its greater role in deglutition.

Mixed microbial communities are found throughout nature and have vast impacts on ecosystems. However, little is understood about how cooperative interspecies interactions arise in such communities. Our goal is to model the emergence of syntrophy by constructing a synthetic co-culture between Shewanella oneidensis and Geobacter sulfurreducens, bacteria chosen for their unusual ability to anaerobically reduce insoluble extracellular substrates. Due to their diverse respiratory capabilities, these bacteria have many applications in bioremediation and energy production in microbial fuel cells. A commensal coculture was engineered between these species by introducing a new metabolic pathway to S. oneidensis – the ability oxidize glycerol, a major byproduct of biodiesel production, to acetate, the preferred carbon source for G. sulfurreducens. Tracking acetate concentration in co-culture medium via HPLC has confirmed acetate production and subsequent consumption, indicating interspecies exchange of this metabolite. / / We are investigating adaptations to co-culture growth between S. oneidensis and G. sulfurreducens using the method Tn-seq. Tn-seq involves generating a saturated transposon (Tn) insertion library in a microorganism of interest and culturing the library en masse under selective conditions, during which Tn-mutant strains propagate or vanish from the population based on the effect of the Tn insertion. The change in frequency of each Tn insertion is a quantitative measure of the fitness of the disrupted gene under the selective condition. We have analyzed the contribution of every S. oneidensis and G. sulfurreducens gene to fitness in our co-culture in the first-known Tn-seq study of a bacterial community. This work advances investigations in synthetic biology of merging metabolic pathways, inventing novel cooperative systems, and harnessing the combined power of formerly non-interacting species.

144 | University of Minnesota


Sara Speier

Diksha Srishyla

Genetics, Cell Biology, And Development College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Marilyn Carroll Mentor’s Department: Neuroscience Research Partner: Andre Robinson

Neuroscience, Psychology College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Mark Pereira Mentor’s Department: Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Go/No-Go Trials Measuring Impulsivity in Rats

Effect on Dietary Compensation and Weight Gain in Adults by Savory Solid and Sugary Liquid Discretionary Food Sources

With the current heroin epidemic in the United States, novel therapies to treat drug abuse are urgent. There are many factors at play when it comes to addiction, and an important one is impulsivity. Focusing on factors that influence impulsivity offers a potential route for treating drug abuse. Progesterone is a hormone that is naturally found in pregnant females and is known to modify other forms of impulsive action. In this study, we hypothesize that progesterone would reduce impulsive action in a Go/No-Go task. In this task, responding during the “Go” component was reinforced with sucrose pellets, while responding during the “No-Go” component resulted in a delay in reward. Impulsivity was measured by ability to withhold a response during this “No-Go” time period. Once stable, rats were treated with PRO or a vehicle control. Results indicated that PRO had significant fewer No-Go responses, indicating lower levels of impulsivity. The implication of these results is that if impulsive action underlies drug abuse, then progesterone may be an effective in treating drug dependence.

This randomized parallel intervention study aimed to measure and compare dietary energy compensation (weight gain and overall calorie consumption change) induced by periodic consumption of savory solid foods and liquid sugary drinks in overweight adults. Participants were subjected to a 4-week dietary intervention during which they had to consume either randomly assigned beverages or savory snacks as 15±2 % of their daily energy intake. Beverage/ snack assignments were made according to participants’ ratings on a 9-point hedonic food preferences questionnaire. Once randomized into a beverage or snack category, they were instructed to consume two or three items in that category as 15% of their daily caloric intake, calculated using BMI and item-specific nutritional data. 10 subjects were screened, out of whom 5 enrolled in the study. 3 of these participants proceeded to the 2-week point until they dropped out or were lost to follow-up. Participants were all adults between the ages of 20 and 59, with a BMI of 25 and above (overweight) and all of Caucasian race. There wasn’t a constant pattern of increase or decrease in overall caloric intake for any of the participants over the course of the study, indicated by daily dietary information that participants provided across 5 days through the ASA24 dietary recall software. This study is still in the process of recruiting participants. Once we have data from about 20 participants, we will compile this into a pilot study report that can be submitted with a grant application for a larger scale study.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 145


Sydnie Stackland

Jeremy Steinman

Biology, Society, and Environment College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Brooke Cunningham Mentor’s Department: Family Medicine and Community Health

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Stephen Engel Mentor’s Department: Psychology

Definitions, Barriers, and Strategies to Addressing Health Equity

Visual Cortex Response to Prolonged Exposure to Altered Environments

Objective: To describe how health care personnel define health equity and to identify the barriers and facilitators to addressing equity in health care delivery systems.

The plasticity of the visual cortex enables adaptation to our environment. This neural process occurs from simple to complex environments (Webster, 2012). If upon encountering novel environments our visual systems store the contextual knowledge and add to it with repeated exposure, then less the brain should require less energy to adapt, allowing quicker adaptation to the environment with successive exposure. However, it is unsure if this context-dependent adaptation speed remains or improves with time in between exposures to novel environments (either between alternating distortions or between days of testing). To test this theory of context-dependent adaptation speed with long-term exposure, behavioral measures will assess subjects’ perceptual accuracy and speed after adapting to a novel environment at predetermined time intervals throughout trials. This is similar to other studies assessing visual system adaptation to environments, albeit with different methodology (Yehezkel, Sagi, Sterkin, Belkin, & Polat, 2010). The novel environment will be projected to the participants via virtualreality headset, displaying the world around them in black and white with slight distortion. The distortion involved filtering to either reduce or enhance vertical and horizontal orientations. Data analysis revealed some subjects adapting more rapidly with successive and prolonged exposure, but some did not demonstrate an adaptation rate improvement. Overall, the results do not display a consistent increase in the rate of adaptation, the reasons for which are possibly due to the adaptation paradigm. So a relationship may exists, but more data collection is needed to acquire a better understanding.

Methods: 21 semi-structured interviews with senior leaders and equity team members and 7 focus groups with providers and staff employed at a large Midwestern healthcare system. The PI asked respondents to define “health equity” and to describe barriers and facilitators to equity promotion. Interviews and focus groups were audiotaped and transcribed. Two coders independently coded each transcript for themes and then compared and reconciled their coding. A second coding team used these codes to identify gaps between definitions of, barriers to, and resources/strategies for promoting equity. Principal Findings: Of the 19 people interviewed, 11 of them equated health equity with health care access. Access to care was a strong theme in the 7 focus groups as well. Several respondents defined health equity as equal outcomes and equal treatment of patients. Personnel identified systems barriers, such as contracted subspecialty physician groups and lack of organizational time and attention, as the primary obstacles to achieving health equity. Competing priorities was a close second to this. The personnel also noted that data is the most important tool to promote equity. They singled out several untapped resources, such as having a central equity office, providing financial incentives to work on health equity, and locating clinics in underserved areas. Nearly all of the interviewees discussed community engagement as an important strategy to address equity. Conclusions: The vast majority of health care respondents defined health equity as equal access to care. Many, however, described barriers to equity promotion to be within the functioning of their own clinics. Gaps were clearly evident between the types of barriers described and the resources and strategies they felt would be the most useful to address health equity. Implications: In order to address equity, health care administrators and policy makers need to connect the understanding of equity and the measures used to address equity. Such gaps obstruct the potential to reduce disparities in health care. In order to move to more equitable care, health care administrators need to promote solutions that align with personnel’s perceived obstacles. 146 | University of Minnesota


Spencer Sterling

Alec Stewart

Chemical Engineering; Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Aaron Massari Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Fisheries and Wildlife College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: James Forester Mentor’s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

The Role of Thin Film Morphology on Organic Photovoltaic Performance

Determing the Effect of Surrounding Cover Type on the Susceptibility of Livestock Farms to Wolf Depredation

Harnessing solar energy through organic photovoltaics is becoming an increasingly prevalent technology as alternative sources of energy production are studied and applied towards many facets of industry and research. Through the understanding of materials and the behavior of charge transfer in electronic devices, improved design of organic solar cells can lead to reduced cost in manufacturing and maintenance, while increasing their efficiency and harvesting more energy per cell. α-Sexithiophene (6T) is a wellrecognized organic semi-conductor, and recent studies suggest that its growth mechanisms can dictate a need for different photovoltaic architecture. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is used to characterize the topography, roughness and phase of 6T on glass, thus allowing the investigation of Stranski-Krastanov growth mechanisms of 6T and the formation of a monolayer. Films of 6T ranging from one nanometer to 50 nanometers in thickness are characterized demonstrating the differences in mechanical and electrical properties of crystallites and sub-layers. The size and orientation of the crystallites formed of 6T are used to predict charge transfer abilities of the film which can be further characterized measuring electrical potential and further explored with other spectroscopy techniques. In this study, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is also used to characterize chemical environment of materials, providing information on the binding energy and electron donating abilities of the varying 6T morphologies. The data on the morphology of 6T is intended to be further interpreted using vibrational sum frequency generation data explaining the orientation of the molecules that the crystallites arise from.

The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has a long and often troubled history in the Great Lakes states. After being nearly extirpated from Minnesota and then listed as federally endangered in 1974, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources along with other agencies created a Wolf Management Plan that would be employed once the wolf was federally delisted and control was returned to state authority. A constant problem acting against the public perception of wolves has been livestock depredation. Since the recovery of wolves in the Midwest, there have been many instances of livestock depredations that have caused conflict between wolves, wildlife agencies, and farmers. While farmers are compensated at full market value for every verified wolf depredation, the necessary use of lethal means to deal with problem wolves and the worsening of the public’s perception of wolves makes preventing depredations in the first place the preferred alternative. In an attempt to help lessen this conflict, I researched what characteristics of certain livestock farms make them more susceptible to wolf depredations. According to previous research, two of the factors that best predicted a farm’s susceptibility to wolf depredation in Montana and Idaho were the surrounding cover type of the farm and the ungulate density of the general area. Based on these findings, I hypothesized that areas in Minnesota with dense cover types will also have more cases of wolf depredation. By analyzing the surrounding cover types of farms with occurrences of verified wolf depredations, I can determine if there is a connection between cover density and type, and the likelihood of depredation.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 147


Nicole Stumpf

David Sundaram

Marketing, Dance Carlson School of Management, College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Joan Smith Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Dance

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Carrie Wilmot Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Live Dance Performance: Preservation and Growth Through Strategic Marketing

Binding of Pseudomonas Putida PqqB with Mimic Substrate Indicates Role as Intermediate

Attendance at live performance has been on a significant decline for over two decades. With the advancement of technology and increased accessibility to online entertainment, it is proving difficult for marketers to communicate the value of live performance. Dance, as an art form, presents a unique obstacle to marketersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;dance cannot be commoditized in the same way as products, services, or other art forms. Musicians record tracks, poets print poems, and visual artists hang paintings on walls. Movement lives and exists in one moment. Dance cannot be materialized; it can only be sold as an experience. Shapiro & Smith Dance is a virtuosic local dance company that presents physical embodiment of emotional depth with wit. Through working with the company and conducting further research, both on a local and national level, into marketing the field of dance, I have proposed marketing tactics that work to demystify dance and further connect with audience members.

Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is an antioxidant cofactor first characterized as a key component of prokaryotic metabolic dehydrogenases. Since its discovery, it has been found to be relevant to a number of prokaryotic and eukaryotic biological functions including mitochondrial biogenesis and promotion of plant growth. Despite our understanding of the importance of PQQ, its biosynthesis remains relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to further elucidate the role of PqqB, an enzyme involved in the PQQ biosynthetic pathway. An x-ray crystal structure was solved showing that PqqB strongly binds 5-cysteinylDOPA, a mimic of a chemical intermediate in the pathway. Based on the results of the crystal structure, the mimic orientation at the active site of PqqB, and new findings indicating that PqqB does not bind other enzymes in the pathway, it is likely that PqqB has an oxidative role and acts early during the biosynthetic process. Further analysis of PQQ biosynthesis and the examination of non-mimic binding structures are currently ongoing.

148 | University of Minnesota


Xinci Tan

Ammanuel Taye

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Marlene Zuk Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Claudia Schmidt-dannert Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, And Biophysics

Effects of Captive-Rearing on the Common House Cricket, Acheta domesticus, and its Differences in Behavior Compared to its Wild Counterparts

Engineered Protein Nanobioreactors for Selective in Vitro Biocatalysis

Animals reared in captivity often exhibit maladaptive traits that are unfavorable in the wild. Where overcrowding and relaxed selection are common, the simulated environments cause animals to possess genotypes and phenotypes that can sometimes be very different from that of their wild counterparts. This poses a significant problem for researchers using these captive animals as models to make scientific generalities. I studied the extent to which behavioral characteristics in captive bred subjects differed from wild subjects in Acheta domesticus, the Common House Cricket. Because overcrowding may cause females to confuse song and singer, I hypothesized that captive-bred females are less choosy than wild-caught females and tested for differences in female latency to respond to male calling song.

Cellular systems increase reaction efficiency by compartmentalizing enzymatic reactions. Bacteria have evolved naturally to produce organelle-like specialized compartments called bacterial microcompartments (BMCs), made up of highly-organized porous polyhedral protein arrays, to organize metabolic pathways. BMCs are used to encapsulate various pathway enzymes and cargo proteins, to selectively pass substrates, enhance reaction efficiency, and also to prevent detrimental intermediates and byproducts from leaking into the cytosol. The goal of our work is to try to utilize BMCs by engineering nanobioreactors with selective pores for targeted heterologous enzymes in a recombinant system. / In this work we use comparative bioinformatics to explore the existence of conserved residues across a wide diversity of bacteria, and use this information to guide site directed mutagenesis of the EutS shell protein pore to study its role in controlling flux across the BMC shell. The results show that the mutation F10S at the pore does not disrupt EutS BMC formation. We also targeted a heterologous lipase enzyme BTL2 to the EutS BMC using a native targeting sequence in order to characterize the formation of BMC-BTL2 complex. When coexpressed with EutS, the EutC1-19-BTL2-GPF interacts with the shell proteins to form BMC-BTL2 complex. We also showed that intact BMC-BTL2 complex could be isolated from E. coli and studied using transmission electron microscope. Results from our research could be used as a basis to study compartmentalization of enzymatic pathways inside of cells to increase efficiency. Further studies could have application in designing synthetic biocatalysts pathways for research, biomedical and industrial settings. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 149


Lauren Tebben

Marissa Thill

Food Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Tonya Schoenfuss Mentor’s Department: Food Science and Nutrition

Kinesiology College of Education and Human Development May 2016 Mentor: Jürgen Konczak Mentor’s Department: Kinesiology

Acid Whey Clean Up

Do Experts have Better Limb Position Sense?

Greek yogurt production yields acid whey when the yogurt is separated to increase protein content. Currently, there are no uses for this byproduct, and the acidity and high biological oxygen demand result in economic and environmental issues with current disposal methods. The objective of this study was to develop a acid whey cleanup method that allows for lactose recovery so it can be used in food or feed applications. / The effects of heat and wash treatments on condensed and crystallized acid whey were examined. Yogurt was produced from whole milk by a bench-top process, and the acid whey was separated. Half of the whey was heated to precipitate proteins. Both whey samples were condensed under vacuum to approximately 60% solids. Condensed whey was refrigerated to crystallize the lactose, and both heated and unheated whey were divided into three portions and left as-is, washed once, or washed twice. Samples were dried and analyzed for lactose and glucose (Megazyme Lactose Sucrose/D-Glucose assay kit, spectrophotometric method), crude protein (by combustion), ash (dry ashing), water content (Karl Fischer), pH, and color (Hunter L, a, and b by colorimeter). / Heat treating resulted in higher lactose contents, with values ranging from 37.9% (unheated, unwashed) to 62.9% (heated, washed twice). Washing reduced the protein and ash contents and increased the pH slightly. Crude protein ranged from 4.18% (heated, washed twice) to 9.23% (unheated, unwashed). / The treatments evaluated may allow the processing of acid whey into value-added ingredients, benefiting the yogurt industry by utilizing a current waste stream.

Proprioception, which is the sensory information about the relative position of the body, is essential for motor control. Presently, it has not been determined if experts in movement have more accurate proprioception. The purpose of this study was to investigate the link between expertise and enhanced proprioceptive precision. Specifically, the wrist position sense acuity was measured. All participants were young adult males (21.09 yrs ± 1.97). The baseball and soccer players participated in training for their sport for 8 or more hours per week, while the control group did not specialize in a sport, training less than 2 hours per week. The dominant side wrist position sense acuity was measured by a robotic wrist system, which generated passive movements of the hand and wrist. Joint position sense acuity was assessed by passively flexing the wrist to two positions. After the wrist was flexed, participants identified which stimulus had the larger amplitude. Early data suggested that skilled movers have lower just-noticeable-difference thresholds than the control group, meaning that they are superior in discriminating wrist positions with smaller differences. Within the skilled movement group, baseball players have better wrist proprioception than the soccer players. These results support a limb or sport specific training effect which enhances proprioception. It is suggested that larger sample sizes and the proprioceptive sense for other movement experts should be analyzed.

150 | University of Minnesota


Tobey Thomas

Thang Tran

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Robert Meisel Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Neuroscience

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Richard Brundage Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology

Characterizing the role of the nucleus accumbens in motivated behavior using Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs)

Modeling the Pharmacokinetics of Cortisol in Children with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

The reward circuit is a group of interconnected brain regions found in mammals which are involved in motivation and reward processes. The reward circuit is intimately connected with motor systems, which actualize behavior in pursuit of goals, or motivated behavior. The nature of this connection is bidirectional, as motor systems also feed back into the reward circuit, creating a feedback loop in which motivations are updated as a goal is pursued. Sexual behavior can be studied as a model system for motivated behavior in order to understand the involved reward and motor areas. The involvement of the nucleus accumbens (a key region in the reward circuit) in sexual reward has not been rigorously established with specific and reversible methodology. We used designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs, or DREADDs, to selectively and reversibly inactivate the nucleus accumbens as well as a conditioned place preference paradigm in order to assess the effect of this manipulation on sexual behavior in female Syrian hamsters. We expect that this project will bolster earlier research on rewardbased learning with respect to appetitive sexual behaviors, and by extension, to the development of motivated behavior in general. Improving our knowledge of the neurobiological substrates of the development and expression of motivated behavior will likely be generalizable to improved treatments for disorders of motivated behavior, such as sexual pathologies or drug addiction.

Produced by the adrenal gland, cortisol is an endogenous hormone that plays an important role in the negative feedback pathway of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. In patients with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, the production of cortisol is significantly reduced due to a defective enzyme in the hormoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biosynthesis pathway, the consequences of which are abnormal growth and development, early puberty, and ambiguous genitalia. Conventional cortisol replacement therapy with 3 daily oral hydrocortisone doses is limited because of its fast half-life, making it difficult to replicate normal physiological cortisol circadian rhythm. Hence, a better understanding of cortisol pharmacokinetics is needed to improve current therapy. In this project, we developed a pharmacokinetic model for cortisol and investigated the possibility of the cortisol infusion pump as a novel treatment. We found that a one-compartment pharmacokinetic model with first-order elimination and a time-dependent input function satisfactorily described the data. Drug clearance and volume of distribution were allometrically related to weight as CL=27.1*(WT/70)**0.75 and V=36.7*(WT/70)**1. The between-subject variability of cortisol clerance and volume of distribution were 30.1% and 14.8%, respectively. Residual unexplained variability was 13.5%. Our result demonstrated that conventional replacement treatment of hydrocortisone is not capable of replicating the normal physiological cortisol circadian rhythm and patients experience frequent periods of excess or inadequate cortisol exposure. Through simulation, the use of cortisol infusion pump to deliver hydrocortisone subcutaneously is promising since it mimics the physiological circadian and ultradian rhythms of cortisol much more closely as compared to the recommended 3 times daily oral hydrocortisone dosing. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 151


Audrey Tseng

McKenzie van der Hagen

Animal Science; Pre-Veterinary College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dr. Michael P. Murtaugh Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

Computer Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Marc Riedel Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Discovery of ORF7a- A Novel PRRSV Protein

PosiStoch Multiplication

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a highly genetically heterogeneous RNA virus and causes the most severe disease of swine worldwide. Disease manifestations vary widely from mild respiratory infections to neurological involvement, abortions, and death. To date, genetic variation in viral isolates has not been linked to variation in disease severity. Recently, we have noted that two virulent field isolates encode a potential protein coding region not previously observed in PRRSV. Since it is possible that virulence of these isolates that are associated with severe PRRS is related to expression of a novel protein, we investigated if the novel open reading frame expressed a functional protein. First, we examined if pigs infected with virulent viruses contained antibodies to the predicted 83-amino acid protein. I produced the 83-amino acid protein (named ORF7a since it was encoded in a second open reading frame within the ORF7 gene that encodes nucleocapsid) by expression in the bacteria, Escherichia coli, and purification by immobilized metal affinity chromatography. Recombinant ORF7a was pure based on SDS gel electrophoresis. Antibodies in serum from pigs infected with virulent PRRSV, but not PRRSV without the ORF7a, reacted with ORF7a in an ELISA. Importantly, reactivity was maintained in the presence of a strong denaturant, guanidine hydrochloride, indicating that antibody reactions were specific and high affinity. In addition, mass spectrometry analysis of cultured cells infected with PRRSV isolates that encoded ORF7a, but not isolates that did not encode the protein, showed that peptides from ORF7a were present in cells infected with virulent, but not control, PRRSV. These findings indicate that PRRSV genetic variation is extensive, and results in the emergence of novel proteins that may affect biological characteristics, including virulence. The discovery of a novel protein expressed in virulent PRRSV revealed by these studies lays a foundation for further investigation of virulence mechanisms in PRRSV.

For computation in digital logic numbers are typically represented in one of two ways: traditional binary or stochastic streams. Each of these representations have their own inherent benefits and downfalls. Traditional binary allows for compact representation of numbers but requires complex logic to perform computation. In contrast, stochastic bit streams use more bits to represent a more limited range of numbers. However, computation in the stochastic domain can be done with incredibly simple logic. I have been working on a hybrid representation of numbers that exploits the benefits from both of these representations. To prove the validity of such a representation, I have been focusing on the circuitry necessary to perform multiplication in this new domain. I have been exploring many different implementations including the use of multiplexors, sorting networks, and shift registers. The concepts, topology, and complexity for these different implementations will be presented and compared.

152 | University of Minnesota


Alex VanBuren

Abigail Vanderheiden

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Canan Karatekin Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Child Psychology

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Claudia Schmidt-Dannert Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Predictors of Intervention Outcomes in Individuals with Adverse Childhood Experiences

Developing an Enzyme Targeting System for Ethanolamine Utilizing Bacterial Microcompartments in Escherichia coli

In the current literature, there is significant evidence that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including abuse, neglect and parental incarceration, leads to development of an array of psychiatric disorders and physical health problems in adulthood. However, no previous studies have looked at the effects of ACEs in intervention response. The first hypothesis of the current study is that impaired memory is a predictor of intervention program attendance, progress toward goals, and client satisfaction in the population with ACEs, and the second is that experiential avoidance (EA) is a predictor of program attendance, progress toward goals, and client satisfaction in the population with ACEs.

Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are small polyhedral protein shells that encase multi-step enzymatic pathways in order to improve enzymatic efficiency and sequester toxic intermediates from the cytosol. BMCs have many potential biotechnology applications as a bionanoreactor used to encase synthetic multi-enzyme pathways for the creation of pharmaceuticals or biofuels. While creating biofuels is still far away, B-galactosidase (a non-native enzyme) has been successfully encapsulated (by use of a targeting sequence) in recombinant ethanolamine utilizing (Eut) bacterial microcompartment shells in Escherichia coli while still retaining its functionality. The next step in creating designer BMCs is to test the ability of the Eut BMC to encapsulate two or more enzymes. However, currently only one enzyme can be targeted to a recombinant Eut BMC, therefore to create a multi-step enzyme pathway a second targeting system must be designed. Here we show that the cargo protein EGFP is successfully encapsulated in a recombinant Eut BMC using a targeting sequence adapted from carboxysomes, but that rationally designed synthetic targeting sequences did not encapsulate EGFP. This is an important step towards creating designer BMCs because we now have a method to target two different enzymes to the Eut BMC simultaneously, which is the first step in encapsulating a synthetic multi-step enzymatic pathway.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 153


Allison VanDerWal

Jennifer Vang

Animal Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Alfredo DiCostanzo Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Animal Science

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Dana Davis Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Microbiology

Examination of Protein Degradability of Various Dietary Components of Midwestern Feedlot Diets Using In Situ Techniques in Rumen Cannulated Steers

The Study of Phenotypic Changes in Aneuploid Candida Albicans

Dietary protein is an expensive component of any Midwestern feedlot diet, and therefore it is important to utilize it fully. The National Research Council (NRC) recommends that feedlot diets consist of 13-15% protein. However, a typical ration only consists of 7-9% crude protein. To make up for lack of dietary protein, the animal relies heavily on their synergistic relationship with rumen microbes. Rumen microbes are able to break down protein into amino acids and combine nitrogen components with carbon chains from dietary starch to provide a high quality microbial protein. The amount of microbial protein synthesized is modified by dietary ingredients of the animals ration. A forage based diet is commonly fed to animals in early stages of growth while cattle in the finishing stage of growth are fed a concentrate diet. Thus, research to determine values of protein degradability are needed in forage and concentrate based feedlot rations. The objective of this project was to utilize an In situ technique to determine rates of degradability of various Midwestern feedlot diet components. Discovered degradation rates matched slow release urea products to other dietary components in both forage and concentrate diets. Pairings determined optimal combinations of carbon donors and nitrogen sources within the treatment diet. Knowledge of effectively pairing carbon and nitrogen sources helps producers better formulate feedlot diets to maximize microbial protein synthesis.

Candida albicans is a fungal species that normally exists within the human gastrointestinal tract. C. albicans reproduces asexually but in rare cases can undergo a parasexual cycle. However, C. albicans readily give rise to aneuploid daughter cells. During the parasexual cycle, aneuploidy occurs when two diploid parent cells mate forming a tetraploid daughter cell. Tetraploid daughter cells may lose random chromosomal copies to be reduced to a more diploid state. When reproducing asexually or via the parasexual cycle, aneuploidy allows phenotypic switching to occur between parent and daughter cells. When phenotypic switching occurs the physical appearance of daughter colonies are different from the parent colonies. The focus of this study is to identify whether specific phenotypic changes between parent and daughter cells are promoted by specific aneuploidies.

154 | University of Minnesota


Vanessa Villarroel

Kathryn Vlasic

Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Andrew Simons Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Materials Science and Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Dr. Vivian Ferry Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Ontogenetic Changes in the Morphology and Diet of Skipjack Shad (Alosa chysochloris)

Solid-State Ligand Exchange Methods with Cdse/Cds Quantum Dots To Obtain Uniform Coverage

The skipjack shad (Alosa chrysochloris) is a freshwater fish native to the Gulf of Mexico drainage. This species is listed as an endangered species in Minnesota, where it has been extirpated. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources states that research on the biology of this fish is needed to aid conservation efforts. Consequently, I conducted the first quantitative diet study of skipjack from the Illinois, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. I accomplished this by dissecting prey from the digestive tracts of 112 skipjack provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. I visualized prey with dissecting and binocular microscopes, identified them to the lowest possible taxonomic level, and measured the size of all prey using photographs and imaging software. I then quantified gill raker morphology from 12 individuals belonging to three different size categories. Finally, I used my diet and morphology data to test three hypotheses: (1) juveniles have different diets than adults, (2) gill raker and denticle (secondary projections from gill rakers) quantity is negatively correlated with prey sizes consumed, and (3) gill raker spacing and length are positively correlated to fish size I tested my hypotheses by calculating diet dissimilarity indices and conducting linear regressions in program R. My poster will discuss the results of my statistical analyses and the relevance of my findings in the contexts of fish conservation and biology.

Quantum dots are used for semiconductors because of their ability to absorb and transmit light at specific wavelengths. This control is obtained through the size of the quantum dots. The integration of quantum dots into electronic devices is specific to the materials and geometry of device used. Here, the quantum dots were adhered to the surface of a substrate which was glass covered in a layer of titanium oxide. A solid state ligand exchange occurred between oleic acid capped CdSe/ CdS quantum dot core/ shells and 3-Mercaptopropanoic acid (3-MPA). Layers of 3-MPA capped quantum dots were built up on the substrate via dip coating. The uniformity of the film was characterized using optical microscopy where the length of time of the ligand exchange will be compared.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 155


Bhavesh Viswanath

Joseph Voth

Applied Economics; Supply Chain & Operations Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Carlson School of Management December 2017 Mentor: William Gartner Mentor’s Department: Applied Economics

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Walter C. Low Mentor’s Department: Neurosurgery and Stem Cell Institute

The Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on Tourism in Cusco and Jauja

Generating Human Dopaminergic Neurons Using Complementation in Porcine Blastocysts

This project will use the grounded theory research mythology as proposed by sociologists, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss to explore the impact of transportation infrastructure on tourism development and tourist satisfaction in the Peruvian cities of Jauja and Cusco. Cusco serves as an example of a well-established tourist location whereas Jauja is in the early stages of tourism development. Jauja is using Cusco as a model to attract foreign tourists to the central part of Peru. This paper explores whether Cusco is a worthy model for Jauja and other developing tourist cities as well. It was found that transportation infrastructure plays a key role in satisfying tourists, especially in terms of road and air safety. The findings suggest that though Cusco has improvements that can be made like reorganizing city traffic and adding lights to highways, tourists were generally satisfied with Cusco’s transportation infrastructure. This implies that Cusco has the potential to serve as a model for Jauja and developing tourist cities akin to it. This project will use the grounded theory research mythology as proposed by sociologists, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss to explore the impact of transportation infrastructure on tourism development and tourist satisfaction in the Peruvian cities of Jauja and Cusco. Cusco serves as an example of a well-established tourist location whereas Jauja is in the early stages of tourism development. Jauja is using Cusco as a model to attract foreign tourists to the central part of Peru. This paper explores whether Cusco is a worthy model for Jauja and other developing tourist cities as well. It was found that transportation infrastructure plays a key role in satisfying tourists, especially in terms of road and air safety. The findings suggest that though Cusco has improvements that can be made like reorganizing city traffic and adding lights to highways, tourists were generally satisfied with Cusco’s transportation infrastructure. This implies that Cusco has the potential to serve as a model for Jauja and developing tourist cities akin to it.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease resulting from a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SNr). This loss results in difficulty initiating movement, which progresses to tremors and difficulty initiating basic bodily functions. Current treatments only treat the systems of PD, but do little to reverse the progression of the disease. An exciting new attempt to reverse the loss of dopamine neurons in the SNr involves blastocyst complementation, which utilizes the endogenous biological system of the developing blastocyst and embryo to efficiently generate human dopamine neurons. In the current study, we attempt to knock out the gene Pitx3 in the porcine blastocyst, a gene vital to dopamine neuron development in the SNr. Then, we introduced human stem cells into the blastocyst and allow it to develop in utero. Upon processing, human cells were found in the SNr of the complementated animals, however these cells were not dopamine neurons. Interestingly, there was an increase in TH presence in some of the complemented animals, suggesting that there may be a trophic effect of some kind. Further, no off target incorporation was detected, a vital ethical concern that must be addressed in this new field of study. Future projects will need to determine whether the proper knockout was chosen in the developmental timeline, and whether other stem cell lines provide more robust complementation.

156 | University of Minnesota


Karoline Wagner

Wyatt Wagner

Earth Sciences; Geography College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Dawn Tanner Mentor’s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Research Partners: Alex Garvin, Julie Sherman, Amy Yi

Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Jeffrey Chipman Mentor’s Department: Surgery

The Crabby Consequences of Ocean Acidification

Undergraduate Students Can Achieve Proficiency in the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery Manual Skills Exam

The effects of acidic water on Portunus gibbesii crabs was measured to determine if the predicted future pH of oceans would have a short-term impact on the ability of the crabs to grow in simulated adverse conditions. The experiment was conducted by introducing four Portunus gibbesii crabs to a control tank with historic pH ocean levels of 8.2. The other four crabs were placed in an experimental tank with predicted future ocean pH levels of 7.9. Over the course of six weeks, the water chemistry was measured daily to ensure constant water conditions and the crabs’ weight, carapace length and carapace width was measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. Crab growth was not statistically different between the the control and experimental tanks. However, the mortality rate of the experimental tank was 50% while the control tank was 0%. Ocean acidification is a global event with the potential risk of widespread damage to marine ecosystems. As predicted ocean pH is expected to fall to 7.9, organisms that form exoskeletons such as coral and crabs may be unable to form hard calcium carbonate shells, affecting the whole marine ecosystem as a result.

Background: The Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) manual skills exam is required of surgery residents for American Board of Surgery (ABS) certification. There is controversy regarding the cost effectiveness and the ability to meaningfully discriminate clinical skills for the FLS manual skills requirement. We hypothesized that undergraduate students without any prior laparoscopic simulation experience can meet the performance standards of the FLS manual skills exam. Methods: Twelve (8 female, 4 male) undergraduate students were evaluated for their proficiency in the five FLS skills tasks (peg transfer=PG, precision cutting=PC, ligating loop=LL, extracorporeal knot=EK, intracorporeal knot=IK). Each subject was proctored through an IRB approved protocol. Each subject viewed a video and practiced each task (average total time=132.50±9.52 min) while receiving help from a non-surgeon proctor. Participants then completed each task twice consecutively without error or outside help. If a task was failed, the performance time was added to the practice time. Performance was measured using the MISTEL scoring system with a passing/ failing score threshold of 270. Results: Undergraduates received a MISTEL score of 318.88±75.45. 10 of 12 (83%) of participants successfully completed all 5 tasks and are included in the analysis. One participant successfully completed all tasks once but failed to reach passing score on the second. One participant was unable to achieve passing score on either attempt. Conclusion: The majority of inexperienced undergraduate students can achieve passing scores on the FLS manual skills exam after minimal practice. The FLS manual skills exam should be reconsidered as a meaningful measure of surgical competency. 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 157


Hezhi Wang

Jay Wang

Mathematics College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Carme Calderer Mentor’s Department: Mathematics

Chemical Engineering; Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Marc Hillmyer Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Analyze Interface Stability of a Gel Material Surrounded by Fluid

Renewable Degradable Polyurethanes

This study aims to analyze whether the interface of gel material surrounded by fluid is stable. Its mathematical model is proposed by my mentor Dr. Carme Calderer professor at the school of mathematics at the University of Minnesota and graduate research assistant Carlos Garavito. In their study, they focus on characterizing the interface stability of gel materials surrounded by air through solving a nonlinear system of partial differential equations (PDE) with boundary conditions. My study is an extension of their work, which replaces boundary conditions with new ones in order to specify gel materials surrounded by fluid. In this process of studying, I learned a lot concepts in polymer physics and fluid dynamics. After that, I solved a system of partial differential equations(PDE) with boundary conditions, which were similar but simpler to the original ones in my mentor’s work.

Polyurethanes (PU) have many applications ranging from the foam in your couches to thermoplastics used in biomedical applications. Like most other synthetic polymers the traditional synthesis of PUs is not sustainable because many of the starting materials are petroleum derived and PUs are slow to degrade. These versatile materials are synthesized by reacting a polyol with a diisocyanate and then adding a chain extender. The focus in my project is finding sustainable alternatives for petroleum derived polyols. Renewable alternatives from sources such as vegetable oil, soy oil, and castor oil have been previously explored, however polymers made from these feedstocks cannot currently compete with commercial petroleum derived polymers. I have investigated sustainable polyols with low softening temperatures that can be used in PU synthesis. These polyols were prepared using two different methods; ring opening and condensation polymerization. Specifically we look at poly(β-methyl-δ-valerolactone) (PMVL), and poly(2-methyl-1,4-butanediol-succinate) both new polymers derived from low cost fermentation products. The major focus in this work is to study and determine the relationship between the structure of the polyol and the resulting PU properties. In the future we will use this information to design new and better high performance polymers for a host of applications.

158 | University of Minnesota


Qi Wang

Selena Wang

Environmental Science, Policy and Management College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences December 2016 Mentor: Jessica Gutknecht Mentor’s Department: Soil, Water, and Climate

Psychology College of Liberal Arts January 2017 Mentor: Deniz Ones Mentor’s Department: Psychology

Measurement of Enzyme Activity for Different Tree Species

Gender Difference in Vocational Interest

BEF-China project established a large forest biodiversity– ecosystem functioning (BEF) experiment at the subtropical forest site Xingangshan in Jiangxi Province of East China. It is the first BEF forest experiment in the highly species-rich subtropics. This UROP project will be performed as part of the third phase of BEFChina Project beginning in January 2016. The purpose of this project is to have a better understanding of wood decomposition in the subtropics by measuring bacterial and fungi specific enzymes of different species of wood, across plots planted with different species of trees to simulate different conditions for decomposition. The measurement of enzymatic activity is essential for understanding the demand of nutrients and activity of microorganisms under the given environmental situations (Sinsabaugh et al. 2008). Many previous studies and reviews have focused on enzyme activities in soils (Burns 1982; Wallenstein & Weintraub 2008; Gutknecht et al., 2010; Nannipieri et al. 2012) or in plant litter (Sinsabaugh 1994; Kourtev et al. 2002; Allison & Vitousek 2004; Waring 2013). However, wood decomposition is less well understood (Sinsabaugh et al. 1992, 1993; Větrovsk. et al. 2011). This is despite the fact that worldwide, soils stores approximately 10 times more carbon than forests worldwide (Anderson et al., 2011). Because I will analyze enzymes of different species of wood in different conditions, I will be able to contribute strongly to this understanding.

This study is an extension of Morgan(2015)’s study of South African Career Interest Inventory. We look at the existence of gender and racial difference in South African Career Interest Inventory. From around 1000 participants’ item level response, we analysis the response patterns on the item level. The results are still in progress.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 159


Yue Wang

Erin Weathers

Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Moin Syed Mentor’s Department: Psychology

Psychology; Speech-Language, and Hearing Sciences College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Jayanthi Sasisekaran Mentor’s Department: SpeechLanguage, and Hearing Sciences

Influence of Perceived Racism, Lengths of Stay in America and Ethnic Support from Universities on International Students’ Mental Health

Nonword Repetition Abilities in School-Aged Children

Microaggression, a form of subtle racism, is one of many challenges international students face studying in the United States. The purpose of our study is to explore the association between lengths of stay in the United States, microaggression on campus, university policy and mental health. 964 students from three different universities (two in California and one in the Midwest) participated in an ethnicity study, and 234 of them are international students. Among international students, around a third reported that they were treated different by their professor or peers (in group project or social befriending) because of their ethnicity, and that they did not feel that the university provides enough support for their ethnicity. Correlation and regression analyses were run, and the results suggest that individuals who have more recently moved to the US, who prefer hanging out with their own ethnic group, and who perceive their professors and peers as treating them differently because of their ethnicity, tend to have higher levels of depression. Results also show that younger age and the perception of ethnicity affecting others’ willingness to hang out or become lab partner predict depression. Compared to domestic students, the association between self-esteem, perception of ethnicity affecting befriending, or group partner and depression are stronger among international students. The results suggest the importance of raising the awareness of subtle racism in universities and more work needed to reduce these inequalities to provide international students with better mental health environment during their stay in the United States.

Phonemic encoding abilities and the Covert Repair Hypothesis (CRH) are two prevailing hypotheses that explore underlying functions during speech that may help uncover the cause of stuttering. The present study uses nonword repetition tasks to measure these two processes in school-aged children who do and do not stutter. Thirteen children who stutter (CWS) were age- and gender-matched to children who do not stutter (CNS), for a total of 26 participants ranging in age from 7 to 16. Data collection included cognitive testing and nonword repetition sessions. Nonwords consisted of three, four, and six syllables, with a simple and complex version of each length. The set of eight total nonwords were presented in 18-24 sets during the first session, and again in 10 sets during the second; there was an hour break between sessions. The independent variables were talker group, session number, nonword syllable count, and nonword complexity. Dependent variables were any of the results from the nonword repetitions: overall accuracy, syllable accuracy, and fluency. The level of analysis revealed differences between groups. Results showed that for both CWS and CNS, the nonword complexity influenced the amount of overall errors, but the trend was more significant for CWS. Data also showed that syllable length was related to amount of disfluencies. There was no difference between CWS and CNS in overall accuracy of nonword repetition. Both groups showed a practice effect, meaning they learned with repetition.

160 | University of Minnesota


Jinchuan Wei

Zachary Weinstock

Mathematics; Computer Science College of Science and Engineering December 2016 Mentor: Daniel Spirn Mentor’s Department: Mathematics

Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Kenneth Baker Mentor’s Department: Neurology

Solving a Special Non-linear Partial Differential Equation with Petviashvilli and Spectral Renormalization Method

Characterization of Parkinsonian Neuropathophysiology and its Modulation by Deep Brain Stimulation in the Behaving, Nonhuman Primate Model

The main goal of this UROP project is to develop new iterative numerical methods to generate solutions to a nonlinear elliptic partial differential equation arising in computational chemistry. It is hoped that these iterate methods will be stable and converge quickly to the lowest energy “ground state”. We solved this problem by using Petviashvilli Method and Spectral Renormalization Method.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by debilitating motor disturbances. It is believed that the signs and symptoms of PD are caused by idiopathic cell death in the basal ganglia (BG), a network of subcortical nuclei with a wellestablished connection to motor control. Although there is no cure for PD, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the internal Globus pallidus, a constituent nucleus of the BG, offers hope for patients who don’t respond well to medication. However, the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of DBS remains poorly understood, a fact largely attributed to a poorly characterized pathophysiology. Here we identify characteristic, electrophysiolgical biomarkers of PD that preempt the emergence of its behavioral signs and show that DBS works to shift cortical activity back towards a more normal state. Using a behaving non-human primate model, we observed a disruption in the normal firing patterns and frequencies of single motor units in the primary motor cortex (M1) and supplementary motor areas (SMA) following the induction of parkinsonism. During DBS, we observed an increase in task-related neuromodulation. Taken together, our results hint at a therapeutic mechanism for DBS whereby signaling in M1 and SMA is made more salient and shifted towards “normal” activity. We anticipate that our findings will serve to guide future research and instruct the development of more effective DBS technologies. For example, electrophysiological elements characteristic of the diseased state might be investigated for their ability to act as therapeutic parameters that might one day guide adaptive, closed-loop DBS devices.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 161


Rena Weis

Michaela Wermers

Environmental Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2017 Mentor: Miki Hondzo Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Hiroshi Hiasa Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Pharmacology

Impacts of Hydrology and Soil Nitrate Concentrations on Potential Denitrification in Agricultural Ditch Sediments

Effects of the Loss of the Magnesium-water Bridge between Fluoroquinolones and the GyrA Subunit of DNA Gyrase on Fluoroquinolone activity

Excess nitrogen fertilizer application in the agricultural Midwest leads to negative ecological and economic impacts in downstream waterbodies, including eutrophication and expensive drinking water treatment. Ditches, highly-managed surface water features on the agricultural landscape, and their surrounding riparian areas have a high potential for nitrate removal by denitrification due to their contact with high nitrate water that drains from fields. In order to guide surface water management practices to enhance nutrient removal, it is necessary to determine which variables impact denitrification rates in these systems. Though many variables influence denitrification rates, this project aims to quantify the relationship between total sediment nitrate concentrations and potential denitrification rates in agricultural ditches in Southern Minnesota. Sediment samples were collected monthly for one year from Seven Mile Creek, which flows through an agriculturally dominated landscape into a more natural creek, ultimately leading to the Minnesota River. Sediment samples were collected at two ditch sites and one downstream creek site. To investigate the impact of hydrology on soil nitrate concentration and potential denitrification, each agricultural ditch site was broken up into the following three sections: the channel zone, an occasionally flooded zone, and a never flooded zone (above the tile drain outlet). Each of the samples was analyzed for soil nitrate concentration and potential denitrification. Other variables measured were soil moisture content, organic matter, and microbial denitrifying gene abundance. To analyze soil nitrate, nitrate was extracted with deionized water, centrifuged, filtered, and analyzed on a QuickChem auto-analyzer using the cadmium reduction method. Potential denitrification was quantified using the acetylene block method. The results of this project will quantify the relationship between soil nitrate concentrations and potential denitrification and determine whether sediment contact with water impacts this relationship. These results will help guide our understanding of different surface water management options to promote nitrate removal.

Structural studies demonstrate that a magnesium-water bridge between the C-3, C-4 diketo moiety of fluoroquinolones and the conserved Ser and Glu residues in the 4th Îą helix of the GyrA/ ParC subunit is the only direct interaction. In order to determine the importance of the magnesium-water bridge, I examined what happened if the magnesium-water bridge was destroyed. This was determined through the use of various assays with DNA gyrase. My results showed that decarboxylation abolishes the activity of fluoroquinolones (activity decreased approximately one hundred fold). Additionally, a dione was more active than the decarboxy fluoroquinolones. Diones do not form a magnesium-water bridge with gyrase, suggesting that the presence of an aminomethylpyrrolidine (AMP) at the C-7 position partially rescued the activity through its interaction with the GyrB/ParE subunit. Therefore, the C-4 carboxylic acid group is essential for the interaction of fluoroquinolones with their target.

162 | University of Minnesota


Kendra Wheeler

Thomas Wheeler

Music Education College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Dean Sorenson Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Music

Chemistry College of Science and Engineering May 2018 Mentor: Ian Tonks Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Chemistry

Introduction to Language of Jazz Improvisation

Turnover Rate, Regioselectivity, and Substrate Tolerance Using a Series of Titanium Imidos

The motivation for this project was to break down the stigma associated with teaching jazz improvisation to students. In order to do that, I have transcribed six jazz standard solos that were played by jazz greats. The solos that I chose were over standards that are very well known and important to know as a jazz musician. These six solos were then divided up into the order of difficulty. Within the music education field, we have six degrees of difficulty. One is the easiest and six the very advanced. Out of the six solos I chose, two solos fit the 1-2 category, two solos fit the 3-4 categories, and two solos fit the 5-6 categories. This was meant to fit the various ranges of players that you would find in any given ensemble. In addition, only a certain excerpt was chosen to transcribe for students so that they would not get overwhelmed with information and could really learn to internalize the jazz language.

The goal of synthesizing new titanium imidos is to understand the different effects of ligands on a series of titanium imido complexes, and to investigate the effect of ligands on low-valent early transition metals towards catalysis. The current catalyst could be vastly improved by increased substrate tolerance, improved regioselectivity, and increased turnover rate . The discovery and measure of these features has important implications for future low-valent metal catalysts.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 163


Corey Wheelock

Peter Wilkinson

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Eric Hendrickson Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, And Biophysics

Mathematics College of Liberal Arts December 2016 Mentor: Sundaram Ramakrishnan Mentor’s Department: Pharmacology

The Genetic Requirements for Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres

Hypoxia Driven Maturin Expression in Ovarian Carcinoma Cell Lines

Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled cellular growth caused by acquired or inherited genetic mutations. According to the hallmarks of cancer, all cancer cells must immortalize to enable such rampant growth. Cancer cells can immortalize by one of two ways, either the reactivation of telomerase or by the alternative telomere lengthening (ALT) pathway. Both of these immortalization pathways work by altering and maintaining telomere lengths at the end of chromosomes. Telomerase is a protein that is largely responsible for the maintenance of normal telomeres and its expression enables cellular immortalization, while ALT is thought to be the result of unregulated recombination between telomeres, which likewise enables telomere elongation and immortality. Alpha thalassemia/ mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) is a H3.3 histone chromatin remodelling protein, whose mutation is highly linked to the other immortalization pathway, ALT. Previous research has shown that ATRX’s inactivation alone is not enough to trigger immortalization, however given its mutation’s association with ALT activity, its mutation must be at least a major contributing factor to the onset of ALT. The goal of this research is to genetically determine if ATRX mutation is sufficient and/or necessary to activate ALT in human cells undergoing telomere crisis. This will be accomplished using cas9/CRISPR technology to knock out the gene telomerase, in an ATRX null cell line, in order to induce the ALT immortalization pathway.

Ovarian carcinoma is a highly metastatic cancer that is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. As ovarian cancer develops it metastasizes into the peritoneal cavity, where tumors invade the mesothelium.1 Here tumors encounter a hypoxic microenvironment due to irregular vascularization and stagnant ascites fluid. Microenvironment stress promotes tumors to initiate angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, in order to access oxygen and nutrients from the blood. Further understanding hypoxia-induced angiogenesis is critical for improving patient treatment and identifying novel pharmacological targets. Previous work in our laboratory has identified the Maturin protein as a target of interest in the hypoxic response of ovarian carcinoma. Maturin is translated from a highly conserved gene named MTURN. The protein is uncharacterized in ovarian carcinoma. We hypothesize that Maturin is involved in the hypoxic response of ovarian carcinoma. To test the hypothesis we quantified MTURN expression under hypoxic stress in A2780, HEYA8, and OVCAR3 cell lines. Furthermore, the Maturin phenotype was investigated in vitro using an shRNA knockdown construct in HEYA8 cells. Our results indicate that MURN expression is up regulated in hypoxia, in vitro knockdown of the gene modulates cell proliferation and sensitizes cells to carboplatin treatment.

164 | University of Minnesota


Bridget Williams

Paul Wollersheim

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Hiroshi Hiasa Mentor’s Department: Pharmacology

Applied Economics, Global Studies College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Liz Davis Mentor’s Department: Applied Economics

Identification of Structural Motifs Required for the Enhanced Activity of Novel Fluoroquinolone UING5-249 Against Bacterial and Human Type II Topoisomerases

Economic Ccauses and Effects of Increasing Higher Education Participation Rates Among Tunisian and Emirati Women

During DNA replication, cell cycle progression, and cell division, highly conserved enzymes called type II topoisomerases maintain the superhelicity of DNA and separate tangled chromosomes. One bacterial type II topoisomerase called DNA gyrase is targeted and inhibited by drugs known as fluoroquinolones, which trap the enzyme covalently with the chromosome and subsequently create irreversible double-strand breaks. Due to their past clinical efficacy, fluoroquinolones are still widely prescribed today to treat common bacterial infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, and chlamydia. However, the spread of bacterial drug resistance is beginning to render these drugs ineffective and modifications to previous generations of fluoroquinolones must be explored in an attempt to combat this resistance. My project shows that both the C8-methoxy and the C7-aminomethylpyrrolidine are essential side chains for the activity of UING5-249, a fourth generation fluoroquinolone that has shown potency against fluoroquinolone-resistant strains of bacteria. I found that two of our thirteen novel fluoroquinolone derivatives exhibited activity as potent as UING5-249 in inhibiting DNA gyrase. In addition, I determined that two derivatives showed modest activity against human topoisomerase II, a type II topoisomerase found in human cells. My results demonstrate that the C7-aminomethylpyrrolidine side chain greatly enhances the activity of fluoroquinolones against E. coli DNA gyrase, and that almost any modification in the quinolone core structure affects the activity of UING5-249. My findings will contribute to the streamlining of fluoroquinolone design in the fight to combat the spread of bacterial drug resistance.

In 2014, US News and World Report published an Op-ed reporting women had surpassed men in higher education participation rates in the United Arab Emirates, Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, and Kuwait (Kjerfve 2014). This observation is surprising due to cultural, structural and economic obstructions of female empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Not only does this observation contradict common associations of gender roles in the MENA region, but it illustrates a common trend among countries with diverse historical, cultural and economic narratives. This research project will explore trends in female participation in higher education and in the economies of two MENA states: Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Both Tunisia and the UAE publish comprehensive data on education and the labor force via the Emirati National Bureau of Statistics and the Tunisian National Institute of Statistics (United Arab Emirates 2015); (République tunisienne 2015). Tunisia and the UAE exhibit cultural and demographic traits common throughout the MENA region, and the two nations’ differing economies are representative of the region’s economic diversity. For instance, the UAE is a major oil exporter with a large service sector, a growing international commerce sector, and a GDP per capita of over $63,000, while Tunisia is a less developed economy (GDP per capita=$4300) with large agricultural and industrial sectors (The World Bank 2015). These characteristics will impact our assessment of similarities and differences between trends in female participation in higher education in these two nations.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 165


Alyssa Worley

Albert Wu

Child Psychology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Sashank Varma Mentor’s Department: Educational Psychology

Chemical Engineering College of Science and Engineering May 2016 Mentor: Eray Aydil Mentor’s Department: Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Relationship between Executive Function, Scientific Reasoning, and Science Achievement in Middle-School Students

Influence of NaOH and Substrate on Microstructure Development of Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide Nanocrystal Coatings during Annealing

This study is investigating how individual differences in executive function predict individual differences in scientific reasoning ability. The study includes approximately 120 eighth-grade students from an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse school in a Minneapolis suburb. The research team is developing measures of three executive functions – inhibition, flexible shifting, and updating. It is also developing a new measure of scientific reasoning ability, and is collecting science achievement measures (i.e., science grades and standardized test scores). My poster will focus on the piece of the project for which I am responsible: The development of new versions of an inhibition measure (antisaccade task) and a flexibleshifting measure (trail-making test) that are suitable for classroom administration. We hypothesize that inhibition and flexible shifting will predict scientific reasoning ability. It is also predicted that they will predict science achievement (i.e., science grades and science achievement test scores) after controlling for academic achievement more generally. The research will illuminate the basic cognitive abilities that underlie scientific reasoning. As a broader impact, it will identify cognitive abilities associated with better scientific reasoning and achievement that can serve as targets for future educational interventions.

Copper zinc tin sulfide (CZTS) nanoparticles were spray coated on substrates and annealed to create polycrystalline films for solar photovoltaic applications. The film morphology, grain size, and surface area coverage play significant roles in determining thin film solar cell efficiency in CZTS solar cells. On molybdenumcoated soda lime glass (Mo-coated SLG) substrates, the films were annealed systematically at different conditions to determine the effects of NaOH and sulfur vapor pressure on the crystal growth, specifically the abnormal grain morphology. The addition of 0.1 μmol NaOH resulted in a significant increase in grain thickness and surface area coverage but further addition had less of an effect. The addition of S had a positive relationship for both aspects but overall was the secondary factor for grain growth. It was found that the conditions of 1 μmol NaOH and 6 mg S added produced a bilayer film with a thickness and surface area coverage satisfactory for solar cells. CZTS nanoparticles were also spray coated on flexible Mo foil substrates and systematically annealed under similar conditions as the Mo-coated SLG substrates and the morphologies compared. Trends similar to that of the Mo-coated SLG were observed, with the best film occurring with 1 μmol NaOH and 6 mg S but had less area coverage than that of the Mo-coated SLG. The conditions were further optimized to increase area coverage. These results show promise that CZTS thin films suitable for solar cells can be created on both Mo-coated SLG and flexible Mo foil substrates.

166 | University of Minnesota


Yihan Wu

Joy Xie

Psychology; Anthropology College of Liberal Arts May 2016 Mentor: Wilma Koutstaal Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Psychology

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Fumiaki Katagiri Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Plant Biology

Allocating Attention: Creativity and the Central Executive

Plant Immunity Gene Discovery

Understanding the cognitive factors that contribute to, and sustain, creative thinking and problem solving is critical for innovation and social progress. This study examines a potential intervention to bolster creative performance, and probes an under-appreciated possible contributor to creative performance: that of executive attention. Executive attention is a non-task-specific cognitive function involved in the online coordinating, planning, and shifting between different mindsets and tasks. We hypothesize that individuals with higher executive attention scores will have higher creative performance and will benefit more from the creativity intervention than those with low executive attention scores. Creative performance (fluency, originality, flexibility, and the ratio of originality/fluency) was assessed on multiple tasks, including two subtests from the Torrance Test of Creativity and an adapted pictorial version of the Alternative Uses Task. Executive attention was measured using a dual-task paradigm involving switching (or nonswitching) between letter and number judgments while performing a concurrent temporal duration production task. Participantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; performance on the temporal duration task (pressing a response key every 5 seconds) was assessed using a coefficient of variation under either non-switching (low cognitive load) or switching (high cognitive load) conditions. The results are discussed in terms of domain-general cognitive mechanisms in the creative process, and how they may foster innovative thinking.

Arabidopsis thaliana exhibits variation in immunity to virulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae. This variation causes pathogen effectors to have different effects on Arabidopsis thaliana immunity. This project aims to map out the QTLs in Arabidopsis thaliana that affect immunity against two previously determined strains of Pseudomonas syringae. This will be done by growing plants in a consistent way and size. The identification of these loci will be useful in understanding how pathogen effectors affect plant immunity.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 167


Mengxi (Maggie) Yang Neuroscience College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: William Engeland Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Neuroscience

Qing Yang Microbiology, Genetics, Computer Science College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2017 Mentor: Melissa Gardner Mentorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

The Role of Sympathetic Innervation in Modulating Adrenal Clock Gene Rhythms in Mice

Role of Mechanical Forces in Error-Correction Pathway during Mitosis

Most systems in the body demonstrate a circadian rhythm entrained to a light-dark cycle. This includes activity in the hypothalamic-pituitaryadrenal (HPA) axis in which adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) acts in the adrenal cortex to stimulate production of glucocorticoids (GC). In mammals, circadian timing is dependent on a genetic clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is reset daily by environmental lighting transmitted to the SCN from the retina. Also, a peripheral clock in the adrenal requires synchronization by the SCN to control timing of GC rhythms. In addition to hormonal and genetic control, neuronal control of GC rhythms plays a role in adrenocortical function. The thoracic splanchnic nerve, as part of the sympathetic nervous system, has been implicated in modulating adrenal sensitivity to ACTH and therefore is hypothesized to play an important role in modulating adrenal clock gene rhythms. We used female mPER2::Luciferase (mPER2::LUC) knockin mice, in which luciferase is rhythmically expressed under the control of the mouse Per2 clock gene, to examine the adrenal clock output. Here we show that left unilateral splanchnicectomy (SPLNX) in mPER2::LUC mice shifts the phase of the mPER2::LUC rhythm of both adrenals in comparison with sham surgery and no surgery controls in vitro, but does not affect the period of the rhythm. Our results suggest that splanchnic nerve activity plays a role in synchronizing peripheral adrenal clocks with each other; since the splanchnic nerve includes both efferent and afferent fibers, sensory afferent fibers may be feeding back from one adrenal to the other in order to communicate information about clock rhythm timing. These experiments provide a starting point for testing the role of the splanchnic nerve in mediating GC rhythms in the absence of the adrenal clock, as well as under the influence of an aberrant lightdark cycles observed during jetlag and shift work.

During metaphase of eukaryote mitosis, microtubules align in antiparallel orientation from two spindle poles, while duplicated sister chromosomes, attached to kinetochore microtubules from opposite poles, localize at the center of the mitotic spindle. This alignment is important for proper chromosome segregation during cell division. Through a long history of evolution, eukaryotes have developed intricate mechanisms to prevent chromosome mis-segregation. One of the major error-detection mechanisms in eukaryotes is characterized as the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint, which delays the onset of anaphase if a chromosome is not properly attached to opposite spindle poles. The resulting metaphase delay is instrumental in allowing the cellular machinery sufficient time to correct improper attachments. Kinesin-5 proteins are mitotic molecular motors that are recruited onto microtubules in the mitotic spindle, and, through their movements towards the plus end of the microtubule, act to generate an outward force which tends to pull sister chromatids apart. To balance outward forces generated by motor proteins, tension exists at the linkage between sister chromatids during metaphase. The magnitude of tension is intricately linked to the fidelity of chromosome segregation. Chromosome mis-segregation happens primarily due to syntelic attachment, in which both duplicated sister chromatids are attached to microtubules from the same spindle pole. In this case, the tension on the sister chromatid linkage is greatly reduced. Thus, it may be that abnormal tension is the signal sensed by the cell to detect errors, and thereafter to initiate error-correction. To test whether tension between sister chromosomes was substantial enough to act as a signal during mitosis, we performed biophysical studies using Saccharomyces cerevisiae as the model organism. In this study, tension was successfully evaluated and shown to be substantial. We then successfully constructed tension mutant strains by knocking out kinesin-5 encoding gene. We addressed whether this tension acts as a signal for initiating the error-correction pathway. The results indicate that the cellular error detection pathway is tension-dependent, and the correction was initiated by tension-sensing protein that could function by triggering detachment as the signal for spindle assembly checkpoint.

168 | University of Minnesota


Amy Yi

Samantha Young

Biology, Global Studies College of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts May 2019 Mentor: Dawn Tanner Mentor’s Department: Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Research Partners: Karre Wagner, Julie Sherman, Alex Garvin

Biology College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: Yasuhiko Kawakami Mentor’s Department: Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development

Crabby Consequences of Ocean Acidification

Regulation of Body Axis Extension by Combinational Activities of Sall genes in Mouse Embryos

The effects of acidic water on Portunus gibbesii crabs was measured to determine if the predicted future pH of oceans would have a short-term impact on the ability of the crabs to grow in simulated adverse conditions. The experiment was conducted by introducing four Portunus gibbesii crabs to a control tank with historic pH ocean levels of 8.2. The other four crabs were placed in an experimental tank with predicted future ocean pH levels of 7.9. Over the course of six weeks, the water chemistry was measured daily to ensure constant water conditions and the crabs’ weight, carapace length and carapace width was measured at the beginning and end of the experiment. Crab growth was not statistically different between the the control and experimental tanks. However, the mortality rate of the experimental tank was 50% while the control tank was 0%. Ocean acidification is a global event with the potential risk of widespread damage to marine ecosystems. As predicted ocean pH is expected to fall to 7.9, organisms that form exoskeletons such as coral and crabs may be unable to form hard calcium carbonate shells, affecting the whole marine ecosystem as a result.

For body axis extension in vertebrates, cells in the caudal progenitor zone (CPZ) must be maintained. Retinoic acid, emanating from anteriorly-located somites, can induce differentiation of CPZ cells. Therefore, a complex network involving RA clearance enzyme, Cyp26a1 and growth factors, such as Fgf8 and Wnt3a, regulate proliferation and maintenance of undifferentiated status of the CPZ cells. / / We show that combined functions of Sall1 and Sall4, which encode zinc finger transcription factors, regulate body axis extension upstream of these known factors. Conditional inactivation of Sall1 and Sall4 (Sall1-Sall4 dko) in the early mesendoderm caused severe body truncation. With the use of whole mount in situ hybridization we found that in Sall1; Sall4 dko mutants, Cyp26a1 is severely downregulated. Another gene previously shown to be required for expression of Cyp26a1, Fgf8, also exhibited downregulation. The results suggest that combined Sall functions regulate Cyp26a1 and/ or Fgf8 expression to clear RA to maintain the CPZ.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 169


Morgan Zander

Drew Zasada

Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics College of Biological Sciences May 2017 Mentor: David D. Thomas Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Hideki Aihara Mentor’s Department: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

Functional Coupling of SERCA With Novel Horse Sarcolipin Subunit

Investigating Interactions Between T4 Bacteriophage DNA Ligase and gp45

Sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA) pump activity is modulated by sarcolipin (SLN) in cardiac and skeletal muscle. Recent data suggest that SLN promotes uncoupling of SERCA calcium transport from ATP hydrolysis due to a 6-residue uncoupling domain at SLN’s N-terminus. In this project, I verify that horse SLN, due to a novel truncation of the uncoupling domain, cannot efficiently uncouple SERCA. In addition, horse SLN’s effect on SERCA calcium affinity and maximal velocity are assessed using a high throughput NADH-coupled ATPase assay. Finally, the rate of radiolabelled calcium accumulation in SR vesicles is reported, elucidating the coupling effect of horse SLN on SERCA calcium transport.

DNA ligase joins the phosphodiester backbone of DNA during replication and repair through interactions with a variety of highaffinity DNA-binding proteins. During DNA replication, processivity factors act as a loading dock for the replisome and conduct DNA ligase to the gap between Okazaki fragments. However, the precise interactions between DNA ligases and these DNA-binding proteins are unknown. Through biochemical and biophysical analyses such as size-exclusion chromatography and X-ray crystallography, we investigated the interaction between T4 bacteriophage DNA ligase and T4 gp45, a DNA replication processivity factor in T4 bacteriophage. These studies, including a crystal structure of the protein complex, will help to better grasp the biochemical underlining of this interaction. Here we show that T4 bacteriophage DNA ligase tightly binds to T4 gp45 through a flexible binding loop spanning residues 222-247 of T4 DNA ligase docking into a hydrophobic pocket in gp45. This structural information may also help to develop inhibitors or chemicals probes to modulate selective DNA ligation pathways for in vivo studies of DNA ligase functions.

170 | University of Minnesota


Yingxin Zhong

Yuqi Zhou

Food Science College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences May 2016 Mentor: Tonya Schoenfuss Mentor’s Department: Food Science and Nutrition

Biochemistry College of Biological Sciences May 2018 Mentor: Vijay Kumar Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

Effects of Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, and Calcium Salt Cations on Textural and Rheological Properties of Non-Fat Cheese Model

Diels-Alder Reactions of 2-Cycloalkenylthiophenes and 2-Cycloalkenylbenzo[b]thiophenes

Sodium replacement and reduction in cheese are challenging because sodium contributes to texture profile and other rheological properties of cheese. Four food grade salts (sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride) in five different concentrations were evaluated for their effects on textural and compositional properties of nonfat cheese. Nonfat cheese, made by direct acidification (pH = 5.6), were sliced into squares (35 mm*35 mm, thickness = 5 mm) and incubated overnight at 22˚C in 50 ml of a synthetic Cheddar cheese aqueous phase (SCCAP) buffer (pH = 5.4). The food grade salts were added at 5 concentrations (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1.0 M) to the buffer. Cheese slices were then air-dried and equilibrated in covered plastic cups for overnight at 4˚C before analysis. Qualitative textural analysis was conducted to investigate the firmness of the cheese slices after incubated in different food grade salt buffers. Firmness increased in cheeses incubated in buffers with high salt concentrations. Cheeses incubated in SCCAP buffer with calcium chloride had the highest firmness. Shrinking effects were observed on cheese slices in both potassium chloride and sodium chloride buffers, while the magnesium cations addition did not influence the physical properties as much. This study showed that food grade salts influenced the textural and compositional properties of nonfat cheese, and these results support earlier studies that different salt replacers modulate different rheological properties of cheese.

The study is conducted to to explore the biological activities (Antioxidant, Anticancer, and Anti-tuberculosis) of new series of Thiophine based Diels-Alder adducts (Figure 1). The heteroaromatic dienes 2-vinylthiophene 1, with the vinyl groups fused to five-, six-, seven- and eight- and twelve- membered cycloalkene rings, undergo [4+2] cycloaddition reactions with substituted N-phenyl maleimides, gave isomerized endo-addition Diels-Alder adducts 6a-d. Also isolated fully aromatized Diels-Alder adducts 4a-d, and a highly diastereospecific (≥ 98% de) Michael-addition intermediates 5ad. This route to annulated thiophenes is versatile, and the starting materials are easily prepared.

2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 171


Haleigh Ziebol Chemistry College of Liberal Arts December 2017 Mentor: Lee Penn Mentor’s Department: Chemistry

NOM’s Interference with the Hematite-Hosted Redox of 4-chloronitrobenzene Farmers apply a growing amount of pesticides each year that ultimately enter aqueous environments and participate in a variety of reactions. When rainwater washes commonly-used nitro-groupcontaining pesticides from agricultural fields into water systems, they meet iron oxide nanoparticles, which are common soil minerals. The particles serve as a reaction site for the reduction of the pesticide to a considerably mobile aniline species. Natural organic matter, which is also present in the water, can bond to the iron oxide surface and interfere with the reaction. This UROP specifically explores the reduction of the model pollutant 4-chloro-nitrobenzene (4-ClNB) at the iron oxide hematite’s (α-Fe2O3) surface in the presence of natural organic matter. The reaction rate, as well as the surface growth and aggregate sizes of hematite nanoparticles was monitored in batch reactors with varying organic matter concentrations.

172 | University of Minnesota


2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium | 173


This publication is available in alternative formats upon request. Contact the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education: (612) 626-9425. 174 | University of Minnesota

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