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EPSCoR sponsors undergrads’ summer research

Thirty-eight undergraduates representing the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Wesley College, Delaware Technical and Community College and Lincoln University took part in summer research internships sponsored by the Delaware Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), a program funded jointly by the National Science Foundation and the state of Delaware.

They joined some 300 other undergraduate scholars in presenting their work at the annual Undergraduate Research and Service Celebratory Symposium held Aug. 11 in Clayton Hall. The symposium was organized by UD’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning.

Working individually or in small teams under the guidance of faculty affiliated with Delaware EPSCoR at UD, DSU and Wesley, these students spent 10 weeks this summer investigating research topics in environmental and health sciences.

In addition, Delaware EPSCoR sponsors a summer undergraduate research seminar series for the interns. This summer's seminars included a research ethics workshop and panels about working as an environmental scientist in academia, attending graduate school and working in industry.

According to Jeanette Miller, associate director of the Delaware Environmental Institute and coordinator of the EPSCoR summer internship program, the objective of the program is to help prepare young scientists for their careers by providing experience in a collaborative research environment.

 “The pursuit of answers to scientific questions, the seminars where students from many different disciplines interact, and the presentation of research results at the symposium all combine to give the interns a more realistic picture of a scientific career,” she said.

Miller added that the program emphasizes diversity. “We are committed to building a demographically diverse cohort of students,” she said. “Science should look like society.”

The following is a list of the EPSCoR-sponsored students and their projects for 2010. Click on the title of each project to see an abstract.

Sunita Amiri (DSU)

IGF-IR Inhibitors Selectively Affect Downstream Signaling in Neuroblastoma

Allan Arisi (UD)

Freeze/Thaw Effects on Catalyst Layer Performance in Fuel Cells

Courtney Bryce and Trishanne Edwards (DSU)

Proteins Involved in Acetylcholine Signaling During Motor Neuron Development

Karis Christian (DSU)

Electrochemical Studies and Material Characterization of the Electrodeposited Films of Cu/Co Heteropolymetallic Complexes

Jennifer Clarke (Lincoln)

Metagenomic Sequences Provide the First Observation of a Key Amino Acid Synthesis Gene in Viruses

Bianca Debroux (DSU)

IGF-IR Inhibitors Modulate Apoptotic Proteins in Metastatic Cancer

Tyler Dougherty, Kayla Iuliano and Audrey Yorke (UD)

The White Clay Creek Wild and Scenic River Watershed: Examining the Relationship Between Water Quality, Habitat, Macroinvertebrates and Surrounding Land Use

Alisa Downes (DSU)

Bats, Ectoparasites and Reproductive Conditions in Delaware Maternity Colonies

Matthew Fischel (UD)

Kinetics of Arsenite Oxidation by Manganese Oxide Minerals

Erica Hansen (Wesley)

Molecular Characterization and Biodegradation of Steroidal Hormones by Microbes

Taylor Hendricks (Wesley)

A Geospatial Analysis of the Impact of Land Use on Potential Loadings of Nonpoint Source Pollutant to Surface Waters

Laura Hinkle (Wesley)

Biodegradation of Steroidal Hormones by Environmental Bacterial Isolates

Deon Knights (UD)

The Influence of Trees on Bank Erosion and Mercury Contamination of the South River, Virginia

William Kress (UD)

Viral Metagenomic Perspective on a Key Regulator of Nucleotide Metabolism

Justin Lee (UD)

Nano-Scaled Zero-Valent Iron Coasted Media on Virus Removal from Water

Juliana Letterie (DTCC)

The Analysis of the Rhizospheric Microbiome of Rice Cultivars (Nipponbare and M-104)

Lauren McFadden (UD)

Characterization of Nanoparticle Emissions from Motor Vehicles

Greg McKee (Wesley)

A Modeling Approach to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Agricultural Best Management Practices

Joan Mogire (DSU)

Co-localization of Progesterone Receptors and BrdU in the Neonatal Rat Lower Rhombic Lip Using Double Labeling Immunofluorescence

Atiya Overton (DSU)

Environmental Education and Monitoring Efforts in Protecting and Enhancing the State Wetlands, Water and Wildlife Resources: Environmental Outreach Training at the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Aquatic Resource Education Center (AREC)

Shannon Owings (UD)

Investigation of HS-Oxidation by Oxygen Using Trace Metal Clean Techniques

Queen Sheba Owusu-Hassan and Sunrut Patel (DSU)

Understanding Root-Rhizobacterial Partnerships in Staple Crop Rice

Niharika Patel (Wesley)

Molecular Characterization Using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) of Environmental Bacteria

Iymaan Pinkman (DSU)

Characterization of the Geminivirus AC4 Interacting Protein 1: Subcellular Localization and Role on Cassava Geminivirus Replication

Alyssa Reed (DTCC)

Analysis of TRPV4 Ion Channels in the Role of Cellular Mechanotransduction in ATDC5 Cells and MLO-Y4 Cells

Melissa Savin (Wesley)

Simulating the Long-term Effect of Best Management Practices on Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Sediment Dynamics in the Sassafras River Watershed

Helen Schmidt (UD)

Marine Viral Assemblages Contain a Remarkable Diversity of DNA Polymerases

Ian Silva (DSU)

The Nesting Success of the Veery

Santiago Suarez (UD)

Physiology and Phylogeny of Freshwater Iron-oxidizing Bacteria

Tayyaba Toseef (DSU)

Ontogeny and Potential Function of Progesterone Receptor Expression in the Perinatal Rat Lower Rhombic Lip

Nastassja Wiley (DSU)

Effects of Defined Herbal Ingredients on C. elegans Lifespan

Sha-Phawn Williams (Lincoln)

Impact of Xenobiotics on Plants and Underground Beneficial Microbials

In addition, Katie Huegel of UD conducted summer research with Dan Leathers, professor of climatology in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), and Jesse Rodriguez of UD worked with David Kirchman and Tom Hanson, marine microbiologists in CEOE. Rodriguez and Deon Knights are also McNair Scholars whose research was jointly funded by EPSCoR and the McNair Scholars program at the University of Delaware.