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2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium Winners

2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium Winners

Category winners and runner ups from the 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium held at West Virginia University on July 27, 2017

Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium 2017 Category Winners and Runner Ups


Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Category (10 posters) 

Winner: Acid mine drainage coated sand as a soil amendment and phosphate removal system. Alex Rubenstein, Karen Buzby and Lian-Shin Lin. (Alex, a biomedical engineering & mathematics double major and Honors student at WVU from Morgantown, WV, was a participant in the SURE program and was funded primarily via a faculty grant awarded to LianShin Lin.) 

Biological Sciences Category (14 posters) 

Winner: Increase in mutant Huntingtin protein aggregation leads to decrease in protein-lipid interaction. John Bard, Albert W. Pilkington, IV and Justin Legleiter. (John, a biochemistry major and Honors student at WVU from Richwood, WV, was a participant in the SURE program and was funded primarily via a faculty grant awarded to Justin Legleiter.) 

Runner Up: Ergot alkaloids in bioactive Metarhizium species fungi. Caroline E. Leadmon and Daniel G. Panaccione. (Caroline, a biochemistry major and Honors student at WVU from Hurricane, WV, was a participant in the SURE program.*)

Engineering Category (17 posters)

Winner: A paper-based lateral flow strip for detection of traumatic brain injury protein biomarker. Devan J. Shell, Xuefei Gao and Nianquiang (Nick) Wu. (Devan, a chemistry major from Catawba Colleg,e was participant in the NSF-funded Nano REU program.) 

Runner Up: Robust empirical modeling of stream Chlorophyll-a across time and space: scaling by a single reference observation. Brittany I. Brush, Omar I. Abdul-Aziz and Mohammad A.Z. Siddik. (Brittany, a geology major at WVU from Savannah, GA, was a participant in the SURE program and was funded via the NSF LSAMP KY-WV Mid-Level Alliance Phase II grant.) 

Health Sciences Category (16 posters) 

Winner: Inhibition of mitochondrial respiration in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia within the bone marrow microenvironment. Patrick M. Thomas, Rajesh R. Nair, Debra Piktel, Werner Geldenhuys, John Hollander and Laura F. Gibson. (Patrick, a biochemistry major and Honors student at WVU from Hurricane, WV, was a participant in the SURE program.*) 

Runner Up: Assessment of inflammation induced by multi-walled carbon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers from U.S. facilities. Sarah Foster, Kelley E. Smith-Fraser, Vamsi K. Kodali, Tracy Eye and Aaron Erdely. (Sarah, a biochemistry major from Allegheny College, was a participant in the NSF-funded Nano REU program.)

Nanoscience Category (12 posters)

Winner: Toxicity of inhaled welding fumes on exposed worker respiratory and reproductive cell lines. Karagan A. Mulhall, Anna M. Morris, Nicole S. Olgun and Stephen S. Leonard. (Karagan, an immunology and medical microbiology major at WVU from Morgantown, WV, was a participant in the SURE program.*)

Runner Up: Harvesting waste heat for thermoelectric generation through addition of gold nanoparticles in oxide ceramics. James Penney, Xueyan Song, Cullen Boyle and Cesar-Octavio Romo-De-La-Cruz. (James, a biomedical engineering major from the University of Texas at Dallas, was a participant in the NSF-funded Nano REU program.)

Neuroscience Category (14 posters)

Winner: Ultilization of thymidine analogs to analyze neuronal proliferation and migration during cortical development. Jawuanna H. McAllister, Jessica G. Clemente and Eric S. Tucker. (Jawuanna, a biomedical sciences major at North Carolina Wesleyan College, was a participant in the NIH-funded Center for Neuroscience SURI program.)

Runner Up: miR-34a targets Cytochrome C and shapes stroke outcomes. Edward A.P. Provencher , Heng Hu, Stephanie Rellick, Imran Farooqi, Saumyendra N. Sarkar, Kimberly Grasmick and Xuefang Ren. (Edward, a biochemistry & molecular biology double major at the University of Richmond, was a participant in the NIH-funded Center for Neuroscience SURI program.)

Non-STEM Category (10 posters)

Winner: Machine learning in statistical arbitrage: forecasting the market to succeed during financial crisis. John S. Bowling, Nathan D. Burks, Bingxin Li, Natalia A. Schmid. (John, a computer and electrical engineering major at WVU from Princeton, WV, was a participant in the SURE program.*)

Physical Sciences Category (15 posters)

Winner: Lysine location within Alzheimer’s protein sequence reveals correlation to structure and membrane toxicity. Morgan C. Nyman, Albert W. Pilkington, IV and Justin Legleiter. (Morgan, a biochemistry major at Gannon University, was a participant in the NSF-funded Chemistry REU program.) 

Runner Up: Mild synthesis of novel boron-based pharmaceutical candidates by copper catalysis with CO2. Natalie R. Ziemer and Brian V. Popp. (Natalie, a biochemistry major at Grove City College, was a participant in the NSF-funded Chemistry REU program.)

*Funding for the 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, which sponsors the symposium, was provided in part by (i) the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund through a grant from the Division of Science and Research, Higher Education Policy Commission, (ii) the WVU Office of the Provost, and (iii) the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design; the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; the Honors College; the Health Sciences Center; the Colleges of Business and Economics, Creative Arts, and Physical Activity and Sports Sciences; the Departments of Biology and Chemistry; and the Office of Undergraduate Research.