Research News

170 Vanderbilt undergraduate students showcase research at annual fair

The Office of Experiential Learning and Immersion Vanderbilt hosted the spring Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Research Fair on April 11, where more than 300 attendees explored research showcased by 170 undergraduate students in the Student Life Center. 

The research fair, sponsored by the Office of Experiential Learning and Immersion Vanderbilt and the Office of Undergraduate Education within the Office of the Provost, provides the campus with an annual opportunity to share the groundbreaking research conducted by students and world-renowned faculty. 

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier spoke to attendees and presented the awards to the students who entered outstanding posters across a variety of fields and disciplines. The chancellor, impressed by the research, said the fair was a standout opportunity for undergraduate students at Vanderbilt.  Amy Johnson, Assistant Provost for Experiential Education and Undergraduate Affairs, meet with students to learn more about their research.

Students discuss research at the undergraduate research fair.

“One of the best parts of being chancellor is attending events like these and seeing the outstanding work that our undergraduates are doing,” Diermeier said. “Substantive research isn’t reserved for professors or graduate students. Through Immersion Vanderbilt, our summer research programs and other opportunities, the joy of discovery and creating knowledge is available to all Vanderbilt undergraduates.” 

In addition to student research displays, the event included two breakout sessions. The first session, which featured Vanderbilt graduate students, provided insight for students interested in navigating graduate school. The second breakout session was led by Professor Charreau Bell, director of the Data Science Minor, assistant professor of the practice in computer science and senior data scientist at the Data Science Institute, who shared research on artificial intelligence.  

Throughout the event, students presented their research on such topics as the analysis of the relationship between maternal health literacy and the maternal health care system, race and satisfaction with cancer genetic counseling, how social media may influence public opinion and more.  

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Amy Johnson, assistant provost for experiential learning and undergraduate affairs, met with students to learn more about their research.

The student research posters, presented in printed and digital formats, were evaluated by faculty and five awardees were selected in five categories. Each category also included first and second runner-up contestants.

Spring 2023 Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair awardees: 

Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal Manuscript Competition 

Winner: Kwan Nok Adrian Wong, “Can You Imagine That: Individual Differences in Visual Mental Imagery” 

1st Runner-Up: Elisabeth Dale Wood, “Psychedelic Sensationalism: An Analysis of the Schedule Classification of Psilocybin” 

2nd Runner-Up: Rohit Kataria, “An Assessment of the Correlation Between Teacher-Student Racial Congruence and Student Mathematics Performance in Black, Hispanic, and White Teachers and Students” 

Best Research Fair Poster  

Category: Basic and Natural Sciences 

Winner: Tiffany Zhou, “Exploring Copper Acquisition and Detoxification in Acinetobacter baumannii” 

1st Runner-Up: Weixi (Vincent) Kang, “Ferroptosis Inhibitors Suppress Prostaglandin Synthesis in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Macrophages” 

2nd Runner-Up: Shanay Desai, “Evaluating the Mechanisms of Yoda1 Sensitization of TRAIL-Mediated Apoptosis in Glioblastoma Cells” 

Category: Clinical and Translational Research 

Winner: Arthur Yu, “Selective inhibition of M5 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors attenuates dopamine release in the mesolimbic dopaminergic circuitry” 

1st Runner-Up: Yuhan Wang, “Ascorbate insufficiency alters EEG phenotype and glutamate transmission in a model of Alzheimer’s Disease” 

Category: Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics including Data Science 

Winner: Ally Questell, “A Bone Marrow Mimetic Culture Platform for Evaluating Stiffness Effects on Breast Cancer Metastasis” 

1st Runner-Up: Richard Song, “Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Modulates Physiological Influences on the BOLD Signal in Older Adults” 

Category: Public Health, Social Sciences, Humanities 

Winner: Jiulin (Zoe) Dai, “Unique and Shared Mechanisms of Reading Skill and Anxiety Symptoms in Children” 

1st Runner-Up: Caroline Ambriano, “Examining Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Disclosure in Adolescents: A Mixed Methods Investigation” 

2nd Runner-Up: Amelia Shaddinger, “Antenatal Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Perceived Stress, and Infant Hippocampal Volume” 

Winners of the undergraduate research fair stood with Chancellor Daniel Diermeier during a recognition ceremony.