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The Office of Experiential Learning and Immersion Vanderbilt hosted the ninth annual Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair on Sept. 8 at the Student Life Center. This fall’s Undergraduate Research Fair was the best attended fair to date, with more than 700 guests and 160 students showcasing their work.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver provided the keynote lecture, in which she highlighted the immense value that Vanderbilt University places on research and the essential role that undergraduates play in discovery and the construction of new knowledge. The annual showcase is a forum for undergraduate students to present research conducted across many different scholarly disciplines. Students presented on topics that ranged from studies on chemotherapy dosage among breast cancer patients, to neural correlates of social motivation in adults with autism, to analyses of the effectiveness of premedical curricula, as well as explorations of the impact of politicians with psychopathic tendencies.
The posters were a clear reminder of the diversity of top-flight research conducted by Vanderbilt faculty and undergraduate students. The student research posters (paper and digital formats) were evaluated by faculty, data research specialists and staff members, and 13 awardees were selected in seven different categories. Each winner received a $200 prize.
The Research Fair also hosted several breakout sessions, connecting students to potential research opportunities from esteemed Vanderbilt faculty who shared insights from their own trailblazing explorations. The Office of Experiential Learning and Immersion Vanderbilt thanks its campus partners for attending the fair and providing additional resources for undergraduate students. Fifteen offices from across the university attended and shared information with students.
The fair was sponsored by the Office of Experiential Learning and Immersion Vanderbilt and the Office of Undergraduate Education within the Office of the Provost.
The Excellence in Research Poster Awards were given to the following individuals:
Yufan “Fiona” Shan, “Fission Yeast Casein Kinase 1 (CK1) Homologs are Important for Double Strand Break Repair.” Adviser: Professor Kathy Gould, Cell and Developmental Biology
Gabriel Pongdee, “Investigations into the Modification of Antimicrobial Natural Product Chrysophaentin A.” Adviser: Professor Gary Sulikowski, Chemistry
Samantha Josephson, “Beneficial Effects of N-Acetyl Cysteine on Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Liver Fat Fraction in Children with Biopsy-Proven Steatohepatitis.” Advisers: Professor Babu Balagopal of Nemours Children’s Health and Professor Ethan Lee, Cell and Developmental Biology
Kayla Prowell, “Hanging with Herbivores: A Survey of Dental Microware Analyses of Alaskan Bovids.” Adviser: Professor Larisa DeSantis, Biological Sciences
Anika Mahajan, “Identifying Binding Attributes of Insulin-Binding B Cell Receptors.” Adviser: Professor Rachel Bonami, Medicine
Charu Balamurugan, “Characterization of a Toxic Secondary Metabolic Gene Cluster in Penicillium Fungi.” Adviser: Professor Antonis Rokas, Biological Sciences
Jingyi Chen, “District-Level Resource Allocation During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Understanding How Districts Leveraged Federal Stimulus Funds.” Adviser: Professor Christopher Candelaria, Public Policy and Education
Gabija Zilinskaite, “Do Children Use Music for Emotional Regulation?” Adviser: Professor Reyna Gordon, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Mariana Smith, “Foldable Laparoscopic Omnidirectional Wrist for Effective Robotic Surgery.” Adviser: Professor Robert Webster, Mechanical Engineering
Hayden Paige, “Hydrogel-based Arteriogenesis: Using Vascular Regeneration to Treat Critical Limb Ischemia.” Adviser: Professor Ethan Lippmann, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Richard Song, “Age Modulates the Effect of Physiological Artifacts on the fMRI BOLD Signal.” Adviser: Professor Catie Chang, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Data Visualization in the Medical Sciences
Sawyer Fleishman, “Assessing Demyelination Metabolism Through the CSF and Lymph Nodes in Multiple Sclerosis.” Adviser: Professor Seth Smith, Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Sophia Chung, “Intermittent Stimulation of the Nucleus Basalis Improves Working Memory in Aged Monkeys.” Adviser: Professor Christos Constantinidis, Biomedical Engineering
The official program for the fair can be viewed on the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair webpage.