Congratulations to our 2017 VCU Undergraduate Research Summer Fellows!

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program with the Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Research and Innovation is happy to announce the 2017 VCU Undergraduate Research Summer Fellows.

The fellowship provides the opportunity for faculty and students to partner on a funded research project of their choice. The fellowship is designed to provide outstanding undergraduates the chance to make significant progress on a formal, structured research endeavor during the summer in collaboration with a faculty mentor.

In addition to the awards supported by UROP, fellowships were funded by the Global Education Office, Division for Inclusive Excellence, and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research. These projects are focused on global learning and research, issues of diversity, and clinical research into advancing human health.

The 2017 VCU Undergraduate Research Summer Fellows include:

Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Summer Fellowship – Awardees

Savannah Aigner, Dept. of Latin-American Studies, with Dr. Vera Abbate, VCU School of World Studies: World Languages Italian Curation Project 

Kaiynat Amir, with Dr. Hani El-Kaderi, Dept. of Chemistry: Nitrogen-Doped Porous Carbon Cathodes for Oxidation Reduction Reactions

Alexandra Barry, Depts. of Biology and Psychology, with Dr. Derek Johnson, Dept. of Biology: Comparing two methods of quantifying an invasion-restricting component Allee effect in the defoliating pest L. dispar

Clint Cuffy, Dept. of Computer Science with Dr. Bridget McInnes, Natural Language Processing Lab, Dept. of Computer Science: Identifying relations in biomedical text for literature-based discovery

Alexa Crow with Dr. Allison Johnson, Dept. of Bioinformatics: Identification of superinfection exclusion genes in Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage 80α

Shihara Dewasinghe with Dr. Indika Arachchige, Dept. of Chemistry: Self-Supported Ag and Au/Ag Nanostructures (Aerogels) as Surface Enhance Raman Scattering Substrates for Detection of Chronic Biomolecules.

Areej Ennasr with Dr. Carrie Peterson, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering: The effect of baclofen on the withdrawal reflex in individuals with spinal cord injury

Brett Goldfine, Clinical Laboratory Science with Dr. Carl Wolf, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology:True Prevalence of Heroin Use in Patients from a Pain Management Clinic

Isabel Griffin, Dept. of Painting and Printmaking, with Dr. Bernard Means, Dept. of Anthropology: Intersections: Where Art and Archaeology Collide

Julia Grzymkowski, with Dr. Michelle Peace, Dept. of Forensic Science: Identification of Microorganisms in Traditional Chinese Herbs

Brandon Harris, with Dr. Krawczyk Bartosz, Dept. of Computer Science: Efficient machine learning methods for mining high-speed big data streams  

Antwan Hoy with Dr. Elsie Harper-Anderson, Dept. of Urban and Regional Studies: Understanding the Implications of local, state and federal policy on gainful employment for African American males 

Patrick Jones with Dr. Jennifer Wayne, Dept. of Biomedical EngineeringAutomated analysis of acetabular surface features from CT scans

Tiffany Kan, Dept. of Biology with Dr. Francesco Celi, Division of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism, Dept. of Internal Medicine: Maladaptive White Adipose Tissue Browning in Cancer Associated Cachexia

Roshaan Khan, with Dr. Elena Olson, Dept. of Information Systems: Engaging Low-Income Middle School Students with Programming

Priyanka Kundur, Dept. of Biology, with Stefano Toldo, Dept. of Internal Medicine: SP16 Anti-inflammatory Therapy in WD-Fed Mice after AMI

Omprakash Lankalapalli, with Dr. Rene Olivares-Navarrete, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering: Effects of E-Cigarette Smoke on Craniofacial Development

Srikethan Mahavadi Dept. of Bioinformatics, with Dr. Daniel Conway, Dept. of Biomedical EngineeringMeasure of Nesprin Forces Contribution to Osteogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

Irma Nalic, Dept. of Biology, with Dr. Barbara Boyan, Dept. of Biomedical EngineeringImplant Surface Control of Bone Remodeling in Osseointegration

Manav Parekh, with Dr. Rebecca Heise, Dept. of Biomedical EngineeringThe Effect of Static and Stress Models With and Without ER Stress Inhibitors on the Inflammatory Gene Expression of MLE-12 Cells

Jeel Patel Dept. of Biology, with Dr. Francine Cabral, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology: An investigation of the effects of cancer drugs on the viability of Naegleria fowleri

Muhammad Quraishi with Dr. William Korzun, Dept. of Clinical Laboratory Sciences: Comparison of Salivary Amylase Measurements using Manual vs. Automated Dilution Methods

Christian Renwick with Dr. Sarah Seashols-Williams, Dept. of Forensic Science: Examination and validation of methylation sites for forensic age determination from semen

Nastassya Russell, with Dr. Patricia Kinser, School of NursingDetermining the Significance of Motivational Interviewing in an Intervention for Depression Management during Pregnancy.

Ravi Shankar with Dr. Henry Donahue, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering: Effect of HA Coating Topography Induced by Titanium Surface Roughness on Osteoblastic Differentiation and Proliferation

Piotr Wozniak with Dr. Indika Arachchige, Dept. of Chemistry: Synthesis and photophysical characterization of highly luminescent Ge1-xSnx/ZnSe core-shell nanocrystals.

Undergraduate Fellowship for Clinical and Translational Research – Awardees

Ana Gonzalez, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering and Dr. Swati Deb, Dept. of  Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyNovel therapeutic approach to target lung cancer cells expressing mutant p53

Nitika Gupta, Dept. of Biology with Dr. Sinem Sahingur, Dept. of PeriodonticsAnti-inflammatory Effects of A20 in TLR Signaling

Undergraduate Research Fellowship for Inclusive Excellence – Awardees

Cheyenne Johnson, Dept. of Psychology with Dr. Bethany Coston, Dept. of Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s StudiesThe Role of Inequality on Health Care Seeking

Christine Wyatt, with Prof. Lea Marshall, VCU Dance & ChoreographyDepths of Identity: Decolonizing Through Dance

Global Education Undergraduate Research Fellowship – Awardees

Zhelia Arif, Depts. of Biology and Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, with Dr. Mayda Topoushian, VCU School of World Studies: Providing Yazidi and Kurdish IDP Women Access to Safe Reproductive Healthcare and its Effects on their Mental, Physical and Emotional Health

Megan Mair, Dept. of Bioinformatics, with Dr. Luiz Ozaki, Center for the Study of Biological ComplexityLongitudinal analyses of malaria parasite infection rate in mosquitoes under malaria elimination scenario in the Brazilian Amazon

Noelle Pooler, Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science, with Dr. Joanne Richardson, Kinesiology and Health Sciences‘A Continuation Study: Impacting knowledge, attitudes and behaviors for the prevention and control of hypertension and diabetes among rural, medically underserved Jamaican women of childbearing age’.