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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.

The impact of nuclear factor erythroid related factor 2 genotype on the hepatic gene expression of juvenile mice exposed to polychlorinated biphenyl 126

Nishimwe P Montessorie
Mentor: Dr. Kevin J. Pearson
Performed at University of Kentucky Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences
Emerging research demonstrates the role of environmental toxicants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in the development and progression of disease. The detoxification of such toxicants are critical in maintaining and restoring health. PCBs are metabolized in the liver in two phases, Phase I and II. The toxicity of PCBs are reduced in Phase I through a series of reactions that involved oxidation, reduction, and hydrolysis. Phase I byproducts are converted into water-soluble compounds for excretion during Phase II. Research demonstrates the implications of nuclear erythroid related factor 2 (Nrf2) gene in Phase II detoxification of PCBs and in response to oxidative stress. The purpose of this study was to better understand the role of the Nrf2 gene and pathway in response to PCB exposure. We hypothesized that the ability of PCB126 to induce genes involved in Phase II detoxification will be compromised in mice that lack expression of Nrf2. To test this hypothesis, we bred male and female heterozygous Nrf2 mice (n = 22 of each sex) to establish a colony of Nrf2 wild type, heterozygous, and knockout mice. Genotypes of the offspring were determined and pups were weaned on postnatal day 21. At six weeks of age, offspring (n = 5 per sex and genotype) were exposed to 1 µmol/kg of PCB126 or vehicle. Twenty-four hours after exposure, the offspring were euthanized and their livers were harvested. RNA was then isolated from the livers and the mRNA levels of genes associated with detoxification pathway were measured. Genotype of the offspring influenced the gene expression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), the receptor that initiates PCB detoxification. This degree of significant differential expression was contingent upon sex of offspring, where males had significantly increased Ahr gene expression (p = 0.010) and females had marginally significantly increased expression (p = 0.056). Significant elevations in the RNA expression of Cyp1a1, a Phase I detoxification associated gene, were observed in offspring because of PCB126 treatment (p < 0.001). Cyp1b1 gene expression was upregulated in female offspring exposed PCB126 (p < 0.001), in comparison to those exposed to vehicle. Both Nrf2 wild type and heterozygous offspring exposed to PCB126 had a significant increase in Phase II detoxification gene NQO1 mRNA levels (p < 0.001) when compared to vehicle-exposed Nrf2 wild type and heterozygous offspring, while mice lacking Nrf2 did not have increased NQO1 expression in response to PCB treatment. These preliminary results are promising and give rise to a host of future directions that will further the understanding of the role of Nrf2 in Ahr modulation along with the expression of detoxification pathway related genes in mice with respect to NQO1 expression. Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [grant number P42 ES007380]. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.

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