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2017 Berea College Research Symposium

The 17th annual Berea Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS), held this fall the same weekend as the Berea College Trustees (of which Rocky Tuan is a member) visit campus. 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 2017 will be held on Friday, October 20th. The 2017 BURS will start in the afternoon with student oral presentations, continue with student poster presentations, and end with a plenary talk by Dr. Rocky Tuan, Berea College Alumnus and Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Title TBA

Abstract - TBA
We will 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 2017 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.

Integrin β-1 Promotes KRAS-Mutated Lung Cancer Viability via FAK Activation

Kateryna Nabukhotna
Mentor: Dr. Scott Zent, Dr. Roy Zent
Performed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Kateryna O. Nabukhotna1, 2, Lindsay A. Venton, B.S.3, Roy Zent, M.D., Ph.D.4 , Scott M. Haake, M.D.3 1Aspirnaut Research Program; 2Berea College, Berea, KY, USA; 3Division of Hematology & Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA; 4Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA. Normal epithelial cells, but not cancer cells, need to attach to the basement membrane, a thin layer of extracellular matrix (ECM), to proliferate. This phenomenon, known as anchorage independence, is a key property that enables cancer invasion and metastasis. Integrins are the primary receptors that mediate cell attachment to the ECM. They are transmembrane receptors that function as heterodimers consisting of α- and β-subunits. Eighteen α-subunits and eight β-subunits pair forming twenty-four integrins. In addition to adhesion, these receptors regulate cell motility, proliferation and signal transduction. Integrin β-1 (ITGB1) is a key integrin that binds cells to multiple ECM components such as collagens, laminins and RGD proteins. To test the hypothesis that integrin function is critical for achieving anchorage independence in cancer cells, human KRAS-mutated lung adenocarcinoma cell lines were generated with CRISPR-mediated knock-out (KO) of ITGB1. ITGB1-KO cells demonstrated decreased anchorage–independent survival in multiple assays. Western blotting showed decreased activation of important cell signaling regulators including focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in ITGB1-KO cells. Inhibition of FAK with a targeted inhibitor decreased FAK and ERK activation as well as cell viability in wild type cells. Furthermore, treatment with FAK inhibitor abrogated the ability of cancer cells to develop colonies in soft agar, an assay of both anchorage independence and tumorigenesis. This data led to the conclusion that ITGB1 activates FAK and drives cancer cell growth even in the absence of ECM. Targeting this signaling pathway is a promising therapeutic strategy in KRAS-mutated lung cancer. This research was supported by: -The Aspirnaut™ Program through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, R25 DK09699 to B.G.H. -Berea College Office of Internships -Vanderbilt University Medical Center -Vanderbilt Center for Matrix Biology

On-line registration login link here.
Registration for the 103rd Kentucky Academy of Sciences Meeting should follow this link KAS Registration

The following students have registered to do presentations for 2017

Oral Presentations

# Name Title Major
1 Chi Peng Biology of the Cercaria of Leuceruthrus micropteri (Trematoda: Azygiidae) Recovered from the Snail, Pleurocera semicarin abstract biology
2 Sarah Tabor, Michael James Antibody Drug Conjugate Linker Organic Synthesis abstract chemistry
3 Seth Reasoner Characterization of Host-Pathogen Interactions during Early Stage Chikungunya Virus Infection abstract chemistry
4 Emma Batson, Gracie Casciola Appalachian Nature Education Study abstract child and family studies
5 Bhavesh Ramkorun Imaging of the Spinal Cord in Pediatric Patients abstract physics

Poster Presentations

# Name Title Major
1 Favour Akabogu Triops Cancriformis: A Potential Non-mammalian Animal Model for Studying the Mechanisms of Kidney Ultrafiltration. abstract biology
2 Sara Garner, Tomas Flores, Shay Steele Measurement of Chemical Shift Tensors and J-Coupling in Sodium/Lead Mixed Pyrophosphate Glasses abstract chemistry
3 Isaac Mendoza, Luis Guzman Salazar Organic Fun abstract chemistry
4 Kateryna Nabukhotna Integrin β-1 Promotes KRAS-Mutated Lung Cancer Viability via FAK Activation abstract chemistry
5 Clara Reasoner GC-MS Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Metastatic and Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells abstract chemistry
6 Luis Gonzalez Anguiar Selective C–O bond reductions in carbohydrate derivatives using boron based reagents abstract chemistry
7 Amber Earlywine Targeting Proteolytic Activity Using Protease Inhibitors as Natural Therapeutics for Human Metapneumovirus (HMPV) chemistry
8 Mario Chavarria N-Heterocyclic Carbene Complexes via Direct Heating abstract chemistry
9 Dusty Cole, Vincent Davis, Michael Moorer DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A WEB-BASED SIMULATION abstract computer science
10 Daniela Olivera Velarde Data analysis of JPARC run to test Current-Mode Detector for Use in NOPTREX Time Reversal Experiment abstract physics
11 Dustin Watts TBA physics
12 Talha Rehman TBA physics
13 Logan Paisley TBA physics
14 Kemo Jammeh, Mo Thi TBA physics
15 Alicia Bedolla, Evelyne Rivera, Joey Barger, Jasmine Roman Betta fish (Betta splendens) spontaneously use the combination of numerosity and surface area during discrimination learning abstract psychology
16 Constantine Botimer, Chance Davis, Jedidiah Radosevich, Chris True Biomass Stove Design Project: Automated Fuel Feeder System abstract technology & industrial arts