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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.

The effect of TGF-β on renal interstitial cells and the progression of tubulointerstitial fibrosis

Karen Reynolds
Mentor: Leslie Gewin
Performed at Vanderbilt University
Tubulointerstitial fibrosis is characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components such as collagens I, IV, and fibronectin. Renal fibrosis is the common final pathway to end stage kidney disease, regardless of the original cause of injury. Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) is a pleiotropic signaling protein that is a strong mediator of renal fibrosis. There are three mammalian isoforms of TGF-β (β 1, β2, and β3) which all require the TGF-β type II receptor (TβRII), a serine/threonine kinase, for signal transduction. Mice with over-expression of TGF-β displayed increased ECM production. While global inhibition of TGF-β with an antibody ameliorates injury induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), the standard model of tubulointerstitial fibrosis, and TGF-β’s pro-fibrotic effect is well established, the specific cell type responsible for TGF-β mediated fibrosis is unclear. TGF-β induces renal fibroblasts to produce ECM components in vitro, suggesting that these cells may mediate TGF-β’s pro-fibrotic effects. However, TGF-β signaling in renal fibroblasts has not been investigated in vivo. Removing TβRII in ECM producing cells helps asses how this affects fibrosis in response to renal injury. TβRII was removed using the Cre-Lox system. The receptor was removed from a Cre-Collagen 1A2 containing mouse (Tgfbr2Col1A2) or a Cre-Tenascin C containing mouse (Tgfbr2Ten.C), both of which were tamoxifen inducible. Both transgenic mouse models were on the tomato (mT/mG) reporter mouse which shows Cre activity by green (EGFP) fluorescence. Mice were injured through UUO at 8 weeks, euthanized 7 or 14 days later, and their kidneys were removed. Paraffin embedded kidney sections were used to asses expression of ECM components by immnuohistochemistry. Frozen sections were used to detect co-localization between EGFP+ cells and mesenchymal cell markers using immunofluoresecence. Little difference was found in collagen I production between the floxed wild type and the Tgfbr2Col1A2 7 day UUO kidneys suggesting that the removal of TβRII is not protective against fibrosis as hypothesized. The question remains, what kinds of cells are expressing TβRII in the interstitium and how might these cells be influencing matrix production? We found little overlap between Cre positive cells and α smooth muscle actin, a marker of activated fibroblasts that are common contributors to fibrosis. A similarly small overlap was found between cells missing TβRII and cells stained for fibroblast specific protein (FSP-1), another marker typical of activated fibroblasts. The interstitial Cre positive cells seem to be primarily located in the medulla, the area that is most affected by UUO injury, but so far they do not appear to be typical matrix producing cells.


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