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2012 Berea College Research Symposium

The Berea Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS), held each fall the same weekend that the Berea College Trustees visit campus, is an opportunity for the students and faculty to share research work with each other as well as these important campus visitors. This has been organized by the science programs in the past but participation is open to all members of the college community. In recent years we have structured the symposium with both talks and poster presentations as well as a plenary session.
The program for Fall 2012 will be held on Friday, October 5th. The 2012 BURS will start in the afternoon with student oral presentations, continue with student poster presentations, and and with a plenary talk by Paul Brown, a former scientist at the National Institutes of Health.
We generally start at 2:30 PM with two simultaneous oral presentation sessions (15 minutes each) in rooms 101 and 106 of the Science Building. The sessions are grouped by theme as much as possible. The poster session starts at 3:30 and is held in the lobby of the science building with posters from various fields (previous posters from chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, sociology, education, African American Studies, economics, industrial arts, computer science, physical education & health, and mathematics). All students who pursued substantial research projects over the previous year are encouraged to present their research.
We have been hosting the BURS since 2001 and have records of participants going back to 2007 online (see links to the left).
Students and faculty interested in attending or participating in the 2019 BURS should either contact Jay Baltisberger or Anes Kovacevic of the chemistry program. Alternatively a student may elect to register online via the link on the Chemistry department web server.

Purification of Membrane Scaffold Proteins and Binding of Lipids by the C99 Domain of the Amyloid Precursor Protein

Tommy Boykin
Mentor: Charles Sanders
Performed at Vanderbilt University
Purification of a Membrane Scaffold Protein A Membrane Scaffold Protein (MSP) is an amphipathic α-helical protein that is designed to mimic apolipoproteins. Apolipoproteins are a class of natural proteins that bind with lipid bilayers to form lipoproteins. A lipoprotein is a discoidal assembly in which discoidal bilayer patches are edge-stabilized by apolipoproteins. In the body lipoproteins are used to transport lipids through the bloodstream. Recently, there has been great interest in a class of synthetic proteins that resemble apolipoproteins and that assemble with lipids to form lipoprotein-like assemblies termed Nanodiscs. Nanodiscs are very similar to nature lipoproteins but are composed of synthetic lipids and a designed recombinant protein (MSPs). The MSP wraps, belt-like, around the edge of a disc-shaped lipid bilayer. In this work the Membrane Scaffold Proteins MSP1D1 and MSP1E3D1 were purified using a previously established protocol. Cell colonies that harbor an expression vector for MSP1D1 and MSP1E3D1 were grown on Kanamycin-based agar plates. Small liquid cultures were then grown in rich Luria Bertani medium, which were then used to seed much larger cultures in M9 minimal medium in which protein expression was induced. All cultures were grown at 37C. Cells were then harvested/pelleted by centrifugation. We then broke the cells in a solution containing phenylmethanesulfonylfluoride(PMSF) and Triton X-100, followed by centrifugation to remove insoluble cell fragments. The MSP remained in the supernatant. To purify the His-tagged MSP, metal ion affinity chromatography was used. This was followed by dialysis to remove excess imidazole. We then used the tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease to cleave His-tag. Following cleavage, both the cleaved His-tag from the MSP and the TEV protease (itself also His-tagged) were removed by the reaction mixture over the metal ion affinity column to which the His tags bound, but MSP flowed through. Once these steps were completed Sodium dodecyl sulfate and Lithium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis were run to determine the purity of the MSP1D1 and MSP1E3D1 proteins. Binding of Lipids by the C99 Domain of the Amyloid Precursor Protein The Amyloid-Precursor Protein (APP) is a protein, that when cleaved twice, produces the amyloid-β(Aβ) peptides, that form aggregates which have been associated with the promotion of Alzheimer’s disease. APP is first cleaved by β-secretase to generate a protein called C99, which is the immediate precursor of Aβ. C99 is a C-terminal 99-amino acid protein. The Sanders lab recently found that C99 binds to cholesterol which is a type of lipid. When C99 binds to cholesterol, it is believed to activate cleavage of C99 by γ-secretase to release Aβ. We suspect that C99 may also bind to other lipids commonly found in brain cells. To test this possibility we used Pip Strips and SphingoStrips to determine whether C99 binds to other types of lipids. If C99 binds to other types of lipids, this could possibly impact the way C99 is cleaved therefore impacting the promotion of Alzheimer’s disease. One type of glycosphingolipid was observed to complex with C99 based on SphingoStrips. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was then used in an attempt to both verify that complex formation between C99 and this glycosphingolipid and to determine the affinity of that interaction.


Registration for the 105th Kentucky Academy of Sciences Meeting should follow this link KAS Registration

The following students have registered to do presentations for 2012

Oral Internship Presentations

# Name Host Title Mentor Major

Oral Research Presentations

# Name Host Title Mentor Major
1 Kevin Joenborg Sanibel Island, Florida CROW – Clinic for the Rehabilitation Of Wildlife Roy Scudder-Davis biology
2 Nadia Karkenny Berea College Variation in Diversity of Salamander Species in Four Selected Stream Habitats in Central Kentucky abstract Roy Scudder-Davis biology
3 Helena Pett Mayo Clinic HLA Class II Molecules Influence Susceptibility versus Protection in Rheumatoid Arthritis by Programming the Cytokine Profile abstract Marshall Behrens, Veena Taneja, & Chella David biology
4 Hsuan Peng Barnard College Cross-campus phenotypic analysis of knockout Arabidopsis thaliana from SALK library Hilary Callahan chemistry
5 Dipendra Sharma Chapagain Johns Hopkins School of Medicine To clone erkf gene from E.coli K12 in Pet32a+ expression vector and perform functional assay Gyanu Lamichhane chemistry
6 Horton Li Harvard School of Dental Medicine Salivary diagnostics Winston P Kuo chemistry
7 Ivan Titaley State University of New York at New Paltz Characterization of disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation potential within the Ashokan watershed: Effects of filtered and unfiltered chlorinated water samples abstract Megan Ferguson chemistry
8 Chelsea Bicknell Berea College Gathering Stories of Appalachian Foodways: An Oral History Project Margaret Dotson child and family studies
9 Son T. Nghiem Central Michigan University Factor Posets and Dual Frames abstract Sivaram Narayan mathematics
10 Gilbert Bangha Berea College Incorporating an Academic Electronic Health Record Into a Small Liberal Arts College Medical Surgical Nursing Curriculum abstract Teresa Villaran other
11 Tommy Boykin Vanderbilt University Purification of Membrane Scaffold Proteins and Binding of Lipids by the C99 Domain of the Amyloid Precursor Protein abstract Charles Sanders physics
12 Eva Griffin Berea College Connecting Effort and Attainment: Climate Change Knowledge and Environmental Engagement among Berea Students abstract Jill Bouma sociology

Poster Presentations (Research and Internship)

# Name Host Title Mentor Major
1 Kaleigh Hire, Joshua Best Berea College Assessment of black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) growth and survival on reclaimed surface-mined land abstract Sarah Hall agriculture and natural resource
2 Joshua Best Berea College Microbial analysis of three spoil types from a surface mine site in Pike Co., Kentucky abstract Sarah Hall agriculture and natural resource
3 Karen Reynolds Vanderbilt University The effect of TGF-β on renal interstitial cells and the progression of tubulointerstitial fibrosis abstract Leslie Gewin biology
4 Aung Soe Lin Vanderbilt University Investigating the Role of Protocadherin 24 in Bacterial Attachment to Microvilli abstract David Shifrin biology
5 Gregory W. Cox University of Louisville Compositional Changes in Human Tear Lipids with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Douglas Borchman biology
6 Ashley Curtis Berea College Variation in Abundance of Salamanders in Four Selected Stream Habitats in Central Kentucky abstract Roy Scudder-Davis biology
7 Mirline Duphresne Meharry Medical School In Vitro Assay Of The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (Hiv) Production And Infection Roy Scudder-Davis biology
8 Chido Matara University of Louisville The role of RNA Polymerase in the development of the Dendritic tree abstract Michael Hetman biology
9 Rachele Johnson & Kaila Noland Berea College Characterization of the Sensory Systems in the Cercaria of the Trematode, Proterometra macrostoma abstract Marc Rowley biology
10 William Assan University of Kentucky Methyl farnesoate as a regulating hormone in the metamorphosis of Drosophila melanogaster Larvae: a general dipteran model abstract Grace Jones & Davy Jones biology
11 Pyae Phyo Berea College & The Ohio State University Applications of Si-29 Magic-Angle Flipping NMR Experiments to Silicate Glasses abstract Jay Baltisberger & Philp Grandinetti chemistry
12 Anna Tribble, Marceline Aengwanama Berea College New Method of B-Keto Ester Synthesis abstract Mary Robert Garrett chemistry
13 Georgia Dahlquist & Sarah Elrod Berea College Buffer capacity and pH trends in Berea College’s aquaculture and aquaponics facilities abstract Paul Smithson chemistry
14 Russell Hammond, Leif Van Laar, Alexandria Smith, & Christa Cherry Berea College New Synthetic Pathways to Triazolium Carbene Complexes abstract Anes Kovacevic chemistry
15 Titay Ayano University of Louisville Electrochemical and Optical Properties of Chemically-Synthesized Au Nanoparticles Ranging from Below 4 nm to 30 nm in Diameter abstract Frank Zamborini chemistry
16 Michael McCann & Kathryn Risk Berea College Synthesis of β-Ketoesters through Ketene Intermediates abstract Mary Robert Garrett chemistry
17 Ivan L. Suarez-Diaz Clemson University Introduction of Hydrogen Bonds to Poly N-substituted Glycines abstract Modi Wetzler chemistry
18 Elijah Whitaker, Garrett Cairo, & Courtney Howard Berea College Synthesis of Internally-Quenched Fluorescent Peptide Substrates for the Peptidase Neurolysin abstract Matthew Saderholm chemistry
19 Sarah Elrod & Georgia Dahlquist Berea College Soil phosphorus content in watersheds affected by waste lagoon overflows at Berea College Farm abstract Paul Smithson chemistry
20 Brittany Schroeder Berea College Routine water quality monitoring at the Berea College aquaponics facility and aquaculture ponds abstract Paul Smithson chemistry
21 Daniel Pardue University of Louisville Multiple Quantum Transitions of 17O Richard Wittebort chemistry
22 Gilbert Bangha, Alison York, & Mikheil Matcharadze Berea College Incorporating an Academic Electronic Health Record Into a Small Liberal Arts College Medical Surgical Nursing Curriculum abstract Teresa Villaran other
23 Rohan Isaac Argonne National Laboratory Evaluation of a compact CCD-based high-resolution autocollimator for use as a slope sensor abstract Lahsen Assoufid physics
24 Marissa Brown University of Tennessee, Knoxville Theoretical Study of Diproton Emission Witold Nazarewicz physics
25 Mackenzie Endres University of Toledo Medical Center Radiation Brachytherapy: SAVI (Strut Adjusted Volumetric Implant) Dose Distribution Simulation abstract David Pearson physics
26 Jianwen Xu, Grace Par, Socheta ly & Jie Song University of Massachusetts Medical School Synthesis of Hydrophilic Polymers Containing a Reactive Thiol Group by RAFT and Aminolysis abstract Jianwen Xu technology & industrial arts
27 Eva Griffin, Cory Shenk, Kelly Kusumoto, & David Scrivener Berea College Putting Down Roots in Shifting Sands: Design Adventures in Utila, Honduras abstract Jason Coomes & Gary Mahoney technology & industrial arts