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2018 Berea College Research Symposium

The 18th annual Berea Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS), held this fall the same weekend as the Berea College Trustees visit campus and this year it coincides with the official opening of the new Cargill Science Building on Saturday, 10/20. 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 2018 will be held on Friday, October 19th and Saturday, October 20th. The 2018 BURS will begin with an opening plenary talk by Jacqulyn Noronha-Hostler on "The Quest for Nature’s First and Most Perfect Liquid" in the Yahng Center (MAC 455). After a short break, we will have student oral presentations starting at 2PM (MAC 356, 357, 551, 506) and a plenary talk entitled "Breathing the Earth" at 4PM by Elizabeth Cottrell of the Smithsonian Institution . BURS will continue with student poster presentations and other departmental activities the following morning (Saturday) and the official opening ceremony for the new Cargill Science Building at 2:00 pm and followed by a convocation delivered by Dr. Mae Jemison, first African American woman to travel to space on the Shuttle Endeavor at 3:00 pm.

Cottrell Plenary Title: Breathing the Earth

Abstract - When you hear the word “volcano,” what comes to your mind? Volcanoes are windows to Earth’s deep interior, revealing to us what lies beyond depths accessible to human exploration. Volcanoes shape the landscape, the hydrosphere, and human civilization. From natural disasters to climate change and from diamonds to Dr. Evil, we will explore volcano mysteries together.
On Friday (10/19) we will start at 2:00 PM with oral presentation sessions (15 minutes each) in the Cargill Science building planetarium room. Following the oral session we will have a plenary talk by Elizabeth Cottrell at 4:00 for 45 minutes with 10 minutes after for questions. The next day (Saturday, 10/20) we will have building tours from 9AM - 1PM, an additional oral session as well as a poster session in the morning at 9:30-11:00 am. There will also be planetarium shows at 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. 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. All participants are expected to be at oral sessions on Friday (less than 3 hours) as well as poster/oral sessions on Saturday (another couple hours). We do not require you attend the convocation, but certainly would recommend this opportunity.
We have been hosting the BURS since 2001 and have records of participants going back to 2007 online (see links to the left).
Printable program for 2018 symposium
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.

Wild bacterial strains and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 differ in resistance to allyl-isothiocyanate defense of Arabidopsis thaliana

Yohannes Amsalu, Matalynn Shealy, Esther Abiara
Mentor: Dr. Brian Traw
Performed at Berea College
Isothiocyanates and their glucosinolate precursors are chemicals produced by Arabidopsis thaliana and other plants in mustards and other plants in the order Caparelles. While these compounds are known to reduce bacterial growth, whether they may structure bacterial associations with the plants has not been addressed previously. In this study, we first ask whether bacteria induce glucosinolate production. We then ask whether allylglucosinolate or allylisothiocyanate influence bacterial growth in media and whether bacteria collected from the leaves of A. thaliana in nature differ in resistance to these compounds. We found that infection of plants with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 increased plant concentrations of glucosinolate relative to control plants. Sinigrin did not reduce bacterial titer, indicating that parent glucosinolates are not toxic to bacteria. We then tested the effect of allyl isothiocyanate (formed from the hydrolysis of sinigrin) on six bacterial strains, five of which were collected from wild Arabidopsis plants. The effect of allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) was highly variable but was most toxic to the lab strain, Pst DC3000. The wild strain P. syringae MEB081 tolerated concentrations of AITC that were nearly double the lethal dose for Pst DC3000. Two additional bacteria species, Mesorhizobium loti and E. coli were also highly resistant to AITC. Additionally, we found that plants infected with bacteria produce more glucosinolates than healthy plants. In order to investigate the role of glucosinolates during infection, plants deficient in myrosinase, the enzyme that hydrolyzes glucosinolates to isothiocyanates, were challenged with Pst DC3000. There was no difference in bacterial titers between wild type plants and plants with reduced myrosinase expression in vivo, but when assayed in vitro, bacterial titers increased when grown in plant tissue with reduced myrosinase expression. These results suggest a role of isothiocyanates in the defense of plants from bacterial pathogens and the potential of coevolution between plants and these enemies.

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

The following students have registered to do presentations for 2018

Oral Internship Presentations

# Name Host Title Mentor Major

Oral Research Presentations

# Name Host Title Mentor Major
1 Amber Follin Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Multidisciplinary Views of Medicine - Completing an Internship with Medicine for the Greater Good Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, MHS biology
2 Temvelo Matsebula Berea College Effect of sleep quality and quantity on deviant behaviors in teenagers Dr. Hoffman biology
3 Yacine Choutri Vanderbilt University Medical Center Identifying Fecal and Urinary Biomarkers of Obesity in Mouse Model Using Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Metabolomics and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography abstract Paul Voziyan, Ph.D. & Donald F. Stec, Ph.D. biology
4 Emma Reasoner Cheetah Conservation Fund Impact of season, game fencing, moon phase, and vegetation on activity overlap of ungulate species in the Greater Waterberg Landscape, Namibia. abstract Dr. Laurie Marker biology
5 Zellarose Walden Illinois Natural History Survey Developing a prototype platform for efficient mass digitization for pinned Lepidoptera specimens abstract Dr. Thomas McElrath biology
6 Brittany Ortiz-Perez Best Friends Animal Society Save Them All- Best Friends, Kitten Nursery Ron Rosen biology
7 Michael James Berea College Synthesizing Cleavable Antibody Drug Conjugates via Solid Phase Organic Synthesis abstract Dr. Thomas chemistry
8 Clara Reasoner Vanderbilt University Mapping the Binding Sites of FATTY ACID SYNTHASE on Chikungunya Viral RNA abstract Dr. Manuel Ascano chemistry
9 Issac Domenech Stanford University School of Medicine Characterizing the Molecular Diversity of Pulmonary Sensory Neurons abstract Dr. Mark Krasnow chemistry
10 Chann Makara Han University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Targeted integration of fluorescent reporters into iPSCs using CRISPR/Cas9 abstract Megan Hoffman chemistry
11 Yeongha Oh Vanderbilt University Medical Center Epidemiology of HPV-Associated Cancers: Changing Trends and Future Burden Dr. Krystle Kuhs chemistry
12 Sergio Axel Perez Cruz The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Avidin functionalized coverslips for model membrane imaging abstract Dr. Tessa Calhoun chemistry
13 Daisy Sullivan Clemson University Using the Liquid Sampling-Atmospheric Pressure Glow Discharge with Capillary Channeled Polymer Fibers for Analysis of Protein Mixtures abstract Dr. R. Kenneth Marcus chemistry
14 Priscila Garcia Anschutz Medical Campus Comparison of differentiation capacity between cell lines using the trilineage differentiation assay. abstract Dr. Hoffman chemistry
15 Lyric Jones, Michelle Zarco Haciendas of Nasca Archaeological Project Historical Archaeology of Slavery in Peru Brendan Weaver other
16 Ricardo Santos University of Tennessee Creating Analysis of Jet Measurements in Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions Dr. Christine Nattrass physics
17 Kemo BS Jammeh University of Notre Dame Dependence of Helium Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet (APPJ)-Induced DNA Damage on Voltage Pulse Frequency and Irradiation Time abstract Prof Sylwia Ptasinska, Dr. Troy C. Messina physics
18 Daniela Olivera Velarde Los Alamos National Lab Improving Accuracy of Parity Violation Measurements for NOPTREX Experiment at LANL abstract Christopher Crawford physics
19 Talha Rehman Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Self-Assembly of Spheres on a Cone Surface Nabila Tanjeem, Vinothan N. Manoharan physics
20 Delaney Anderson & Tori Lowrance Berea College Faculty Experiences with Student Mental Health abstract Amanda Wyrick psychology

Poster Presentations (Research and Internship)

# Name Host Title Mentor Major
2 Jennifer Bentz Vanderbilt University Medical Center Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) controls kidney fibrosis by regulating nuclear localization of Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) abstract Dr. Manuel Chiusa, Dr. Ambra Pozzi biology
3 Aubrey Melton University of Kentucky Altered Immune Cell Profile Contributes to Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Aging Mice abstract Ahmed Abdul-Latif biology
4 Yohannes Amsalu, Matalynn Shealy, Esther Abiara Berea College Wild bacterial strains and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 differ in resistance to allyl-isothiocyanate defense of Arabidopsis thaliana abstract Dr. Brian Traw biology
5 Sara Holly Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary The Ethical Practices of Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand's Growing Tourism Industry Megan Hoffman biology
6 Imelda Saintilma Uniformed Services University Disruption of cell adhesion and loss of Arp2/3 complex function in macrophages are not sufficient to induce NF-kB activity. abstract Dr Jeremy Rotty biology
7 Alli Harper Vanderbilt University Medical Center Placental Transfer and Metabolism of FDA-approved Drugs Repuposed for Novel Tocolytic Use abstract Shajila Siricilla, Raymond Johnson, Jennifer L. Herington biology
8 Depika Subedi The Ohio State University Regulation of miR-146a expression in Glioblastoma abstract Dr. Tiantian Cui biology
9 Sharman N Sugumaran Vanderbilt University CYSTEINE THIOL DIRECTED CHEMICAL MODIFICATION OF A KCNE1 PROTEIN N-TERMINUS abstract Dr. Keenan Taylor biology
10 Nishimwe P Montessorie University of Kentucky Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences The impact of nuclear factor erythroid related factor 2 genotype on the hepatic gene expression of juvenile mice exposed to polychlorinated biphenyl 126 abstract Dr. Kevin J. Pearson biology
11 Caitlyn Roberts North Carolina State University Endosperm-based Hybrid Inviability in Mimulus plants abstract Dr. Robert Franks, Dr. Miguel Flores-Vergara biology
12 Ben Turner University of Kentucky Defining how Lafora disease patient mutations impact glycogen dephosphorylation abstract Matthew Gentry & Craig W. Vander Kool chemistry
13 Kateryna Nabukhotna Vanderbilt University Medical Center INTEGRIN β1 PROMOTES KRAS-MUTATED LUNG CANCER PROLIFERATION VIA MAPK-INDEPENDENT MECHANISM abstract Dr. Scott Haake, Dr. Roy Zent chemistry
14 Abigail Whitaker University of Kentucky Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry Disruption of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) by congenital mutations: Screening potential therapeutic leads abstract David W. Rodgers chemistry
15 Areli Medina Hernandez Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Missouri Role of Shear Stress on Endothelial Insulin Sensitivity abstract Dr. Luis A. Martinez-Lemus chemistry
16 Kamila Nurmakova Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN Clostridium isolate growth in a zinc-limited environment abstract Christopher A Lopez chemistry
17 Adam M. Kinyua University of Kentucky Synthesis of Leuco Dyes abstract Dr. Jay Baltisberger chemistry
18 Levi Blevins, Ominica Crockett Berea College Solid Phase Organic Synthesis of an Antibody Conjugate Linker abstract Dr. Elizabeth Thomas chemistry
19 Nyasha E. Gombami Vanderbilt University Medical Center Mechanism of quinolone resistance in Escherichia coli type II topoisomerases abstract Neil Osheroff, Ph.D chemistry
20 Muntathar Jamal Alshimary University of Chicago A functional module for a response to low nutrients in Arabidopsis abstract Dr. Jean Greenberg chemistry
21 Valéria Rosa Rocha University of Kentucky Procedure improvement for FAPbI3 perovskite solar cells abstract Dr. Kenneth Graham chemistry
22 Helina Asrat US Department of Veterans Affairs, Seattle, Washington Dose-dependent induction of circulating Serum Amyloid A, and markers of pulmonary inflammation following ozone exposure: implications for Alzheimer’s disease abstract Michelle Erickson chemistry
23 Courtany Brown and Adan Martinez Berea College Trash to Shine abstract Dr. Elizabeth Thomas chemistry
24 Emily Brown Northern Kentucky University The synthesis of Annulene-Oxacalixarene Hybrids abstract KC Russell chemistry
25 Destiny Strange-Banks, Sienna Burgess, Katie Bledsoe-Houston Berea College Child Development Laboratory Reggio Emilia Inspired Practice at the Child Development Laboratory abstract Cindy McGaha child and family studies
26 E. Dove DeNigris, Miranda E. Goens, Jenna D. Hughes, Abdirahman O. Mohamed Berea College Simulations of Belief Propagation through Social Networks abstract Jan Pearce computer science
27 Jacob Uzzle Berea College Combinatorial Game Theory and Graphs Prof. Kristen Barnard mathematics
28 Jessie Whitaker Berea College Combinatorics game theory Dr. Kristin Barnard mathematics
29 Sahet Dovranov Berea College Playing ‘Double Take’ on a Graph Kristen Barnard mathematics
30 Ciara Felty, Clint Chaffins Berea College Analyzing Appalachian Media for Purposeful Usage abstract Dr. Maggie Robillard other
31 Enrique Escobar, Josh Wilson Muir Valley Physical Activity Intensity Levels in Outdoor Rock Climbing Michelle Thornton, AJ Mortara physical education & health
32 Glendy Pineda Berea College The Economic Impact of the Pinnacle Trails in Berea Kentucky abstract Louisa Summers physical education & health
33 Jaden J Johnson Berea College Physical Activity and Health Patterns of Users in a Kentucky Trail Town abstract Louisa Summers physical education & health
34 Sierra Turner, Sangyal Dorjee Berea College Application of Multi-theory model in predicting small portion size consumption in rural Appalachia abstract Ram Lakhan, DrPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance physical education & health
35 Eli Prater, Brian Leist, Mo Thi Berea College Experiments with single photons: Demonstration of Existence and Interference abstract Martin Veillette physics
36 Heather Thompson University of Chicago Investigating the Efficacy of Histotripsy on Drug Delivery abstract Dr. Kenneth Bader physics