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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.

Characterization of Host-Pathogen Interactions during Early Stage Chikungunya Virus Infection

Seth Reasoner
Mentor: Manuel Ascano, Jr., Ph.D.
Performed at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a zoonotic arbovirus with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome. Transmitted by mosquitos, CHIKV has recently emerged globally with over one million cases annually worldwide. To discover direct host-pathogen interactions and mechanisms, we developed a novel photochemical crosslinking approach, termed VIR-CLASP (Viral Induced Ribonucleoside-Crosslinking and Solid-Phase Purification). We report the identification of hundreds of cellular proteins that bind to first-generation, pre-replication RNA viral genomes of CHIKV. Importantly, we identified FATTY ACID SYNTHASE (FASN) as a host protein that directly interacts with the ssRNA genome of CHIKV. While FASN has been reported to be important for the replication or viral assembly of other alphaviruses, the corresponding mechanism is poorly characterized. We provide evidence that FASN must bind to CHIKV for its pro-viral function. Knockdown and enzymatic inhibition of FASN independently reduce CHIKV replication. Moreover, overexpression of truncated segments of FASN, which contain potential RNA-binding sites, abrogates CHIKV replication, demonstrating that decoupling the RNA binding of FASN from its enzymatic activity can likewise have an anti-viral effect. Seemingly this effect is due to FASN fragments sequestering viral RNA away from endogenous and active FASN. Our work underscores the utility of VIR-CLASP as a generalizable approach for characterizing a poorly understood spatiotemporal niche between host RNA-binding proteins and the numerous existing and emerging RNA viral pathogens. We hope that further investigation of FASN and other host proteins that interact with viral genomes will lead to a greater understanding of host-pathogen interactions and advance the development of more effective anti-viral therapies.

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