Celebration 2011 Poster Abstracts

Date: Monday, March 28, 2011
Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
Place: Dolan Science Center: Muldoon Atrium

*Main presenter(s)

PS.01
“Mechanisms of Homocysteine-induced Vascular Disease”
Vanessa Stagliano, Undergraduate; Dr. Donald W. Jacobsen, Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Homocysteine is a product of methionine metabolism and is toxic if allowed to accumulate in cells. It is usually remethylated back to methionine or converted to cysteine by metabolism through the transsulfuration pathway. However, impairment of homocysteine metabolism can result in higher intracellular concentrations and export to the blood. Patients with cardiovascular disease often have high levels of homocysteine, or hyperhomocysteinemia, leading to the hypothesis that elevated homocysteine is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and may play a role in disease progression. The chemical interactions between homocysteine and endoplasmic reticulum proteins, glucose regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), were studied in an attempt to gain a mechanistic understanding. Funded by the American Heart Association Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

PS.02
“Lymphatic Filariasis”
Dhurata Bregu, Vanessa Stagliano, Undergraduates

Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) is a disease caused by the parasitic Wuchereria bancrofti filarial roundworm. The roundworm is transferred from human to human through mosquito vectors. These vectors reside in tropical regions of the world, including Southeast Asia, South America and Africa where stagnant swamplands serve as successful breeding sites.  Other risk factors for contracting LF include poor hygiene, poor sanitation and reduced land prices. These risk factors have contributed to ~130 million people being infected in 83 countries. Of those 130 million, 40 are severely disfigured and disabled for the rest of their lives. The Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) is directing its attention towards eliminating and preventing LF by 2020 via two ways: interrupting transmission with community-wide mass drug administration (MDA) and protecting the ~1.1 billion at risk.

PS.03
“Malnutrition”
Alyssa Perrin and Brittany Matuska, Undergraduates

Malnutrition is the cellular disproportion between supply of energy and nutrients and the body’s demand for them to ensure growth, maintenance, and specific functions. The main causes of malnutrition are, lack of access to nutritious foods, feeding practices that are inadequate, such as breastfeeding and offering the wrong foods. Infection is another contributing cause of malnutrition. In developing countries, malnutrition is directly responsible for 300,000 deaths/year in children under the age of five. The goal to treatment is to supply the nutrient deprived child with enough protein and energy for basic physical processes to continually function. The first type of treatment uses starter and catch-up formulas, while the second type of treatment uses Plumpy’nut. Progress has been made and policies can be used to help prevent malnutrition. One policy is that schools provide a nutritional meal for the students, as well as educating the students on eating healthy.

PS.04
“Dracunculiasis”
Jay Liu, Undergraduate

Dracunculiasis, also known as Guinea worm disease, is a waterborne parasitic disease caused by a nematode called Dracunculus medinensis. Guinea worm disease is most prevalent in areas of poverty where safe drinking water is not available. It affects the health of many individuals living in villages and rural communities. In 1986, endemic distribution of the infection was found in 20 countries spreading across Africa and Asia. Today, Dracunculiasis distribution is limited in only four African countries. Guinea worm disease is poised to be the second disease after small pox to be eradicated. There is no known vaccine or treatment for Guinea worm disease. The current goal is to prevent the transmission of the disease through improving access to safe water, providing safe drinking water supplies to endemic countries, and offering health education.

PS.05
“Tobacco Use in the United States”
Lauren Maline and Elizabeth Mulvaney, Undergraduates
Tobacco use is strongly associated with low socioeconomic status. In 2007, 31.5% of adults with incomes below the federal poverty level smoked, compared with only 19.6% of those at or above the poverty level. Tobacco use can further burden those with low socioeconomic status as a result of the rising cost. Some ingredients in processed tobacco include arsenic, acetone, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, and nicotine, which is the ingredient responsible for its addictive properties. Cardiovascular and respiratory systems are greatly affected by tobacco use, and most of the deaths caused by smoking are as a result of diseases of these systems. Tobacco use increases the risk of blood clots, elevating the chance of heart attack or stroke. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, and cigarette smoking causes most cases. There are many efforts in place to discourage tobacco use, including taxes and Medicaid coverage to help users quit.

PS.06
“Prevention of Body Dissatisfaction & Disordered Eating Habits of Early Childhood Children”
Bridget Lind-Stahl, Graduate Student

A significant body of research has indicated that children as young as the age of five have begun to demonstrate preoccupation with body image and weight. These children experience the desire to be thin which causes behaviors such as eating disorders and childhood obesity. This poster board presentation will serve as a review of the literature on early childhood children’s body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. This poster presentation serves as a review of the literature and will discuss personal influences, such as self-concept, disordered eating habits, and body dissatisfaction; socioenvironmental influences such as the media, and relationships including family, peers, and educations; and behavioral influences such as weight-control practices, physical activity/inactivity, and eating patterns. Attendees will also learn prevention techniques indicated through the current research. Finally, future research areas will be discussed as well.

PS.07
“Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis”
*Amanda Hardy, Undergraduate; John Carroll University, Amy Castilano, Jennifer Leising, Manny Ribiero; Dr. Mitchell Olman, Department of Pathobiology; The Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute

INTRODUCTION: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal, untreatable, scarring disorder of the lungs of unknown etiology. We undertook this study to determine if measures of blood coagulation will predict IPF presence, severity, or prognosis. METHODS: Biochemical coagulation parameters were measured in the blood of 133 patients with IPF, and correlated with clinical and physiological data. RESULTS:  Compared with historical controls, the IPF patients had a 3-fold increased prevalence of function protein C deficiency, a 6-fold increased prevalence of protein S deficiency, and 14-fold increased prevalence of anti-thrombin III deficiency. Further, low levels of these anticoagulant proteins correlated with a physiological measure of overall pulmonary capillary area. CONCLUSIONS: IPF is associated with reductions in blood anti-coagulant proteins, supporting a tendency to thrombose. Intrapulmonary capillary thromboses may contribute to the pathogenesis of IPF. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Treatment with anti-coagulants may improve the prognosis of IPF patients. Funded by NIH, and CCF.

PS.08
“Polio”
Jared Albury, Emily Day, Kathryn Foote, Undergraduates

Polio myelitis, commonly known as polio, is a disease caused by poliovirus being ingested, typically through contaminated water. There are two types of polio, non-paralytic and paralytic which is the more severe. Incidence has decreased by 99% since 1988 and currently there are only four countries that are polio endemic. Risk factors of the disease include lack of immunization, poor sanitation and being exposed to people with polio. The polio virus is a human enterovirus that binds to the polio virus receptor, CD 155, before replicating within the body and eventually attacking the nervous system thus causing paralysis. Polio can be prevented by both the inactivated polio vaccine, invented by Sabin, and the oral polio vaccine which was invented by Jonas Salk. Although there is no treatment for Polio, the symptoms and paralysis can be managed with painkillers and devices such as leg braces and the iron lung.

PS.09
“Effects of Methyl Mercury on the Migration of Cerebellar Granule Cells”
Kathryn Foote, Undergraduate; Yutaro Komuro, Hitoshi Komuro

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a toxin that disrupts brain function especially in developing fetuses. Placental exposure to MeHg results in MeHg poisoning, in fetuses called fetal Minamata disease, and is characterized by mental retardation, sensory problems and motor dysfunction. Laws have decreased accidental exposure by regulating industrial waste dumping but MeHg is still a health hazard. Plankton consume MeHg that has been dumped into the water; fish eat the plankton and are subsequently consumed by humans. Currently the mechanisms by which MeHg inhibit brain development are poorly understood. To study how MeHg affects the brain we focused on how MeHg affects cell migration during development. Because cerebeller development spans a large period of time it is especially susceptible to damage from environmental toxins, like MeHg, and thus was the focus of this study. We specifically examined if and how cerebellar granule cell migration is affected by MeHg exposure.

PS.10
“The Effects of Anxiety and Sensory Stimulation on Word Recall Tasks”
Nathan Kearns, Scott Marek, Lauren Jakubowski, Tiffany Crumbsy, Undergraduates

The aim of the current study was to identify effects of anxiety on the processing and recall of sensory stimuli (i.e., words presented visually and orally). Fifty-five undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: anxiety induced mood or non-anxiety induced mood. The within variable was counterbalanced to control for order effects. A 2 X 3 mixed factorial design with anxiety state as the between factor and sensory stimuli as the within factor demonstrated participants recalled significantly more words when receiving stimulation orally rather than visually. Significant interaction was found as participants receiving words visually and orally in the non-anxiety condition recalled significantly less words than those receiving words both orally and visually in the anxiety condition. The current study implied that anxiety had no significant effect on word recall tasks. However, auditory stimulation for recalling words was more effective than visual stimulus or visual and oral stimulus combined.

PS.11
“The Ture Success of Foreign Aid and Assistance”
Peter Hayden, Undergraduate

Attempts to explain the use of foreign aid from donor countries or third-party government organizations has focused on individual states and success stories. However, the question becomes: does foreign aid lead to corruption in the recipient state? The type of government, levels of industrialization, and government corruption of the state must were in order for the measurement to be proper and significant. After testing the variables, the results demonstrated both foreign assistance and lack of economic freedom have a significant effect on corruption. Because of these findings, donor nations, IGO’s and NGO’s should consider reforming policy when it comes to foreign assistance.

PS.12
“The Aggregation Phenomena of Acetylacetonate (acac)”
Sarah Tyler, Undergraduate; Kevin Boyd, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry

Through several experiments, the aggregation phenomena of acetylacetonate, also known as acac, will be studied. In order to do this, the classical dynamics (the canonical, nVT, ensemble and the isothermal-isobaric, nPT, ensemble) of acac will be studied in several organic solvents [cyclohexane, methanol (CH3OH), and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)] and also in the gas and liquid phases. These findings will then be supported by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) experiments which will measure metal-acac complex formations in the range of different solvents.

PS.13
“Organic Nanotubes Assembled from Macromolecular Polymer Brushes”
Mark Johnson, Undergraduate; Kun Huang, Javid Rzayev

A bottlebrush polymer can be synthesized to form a nanotube structure that is applicable in biological systems and is soluble in aqueous solution.  This type of polymer is composed of a macromolecule that consists of a backbone with densely grafted polymeric side chains.  The bottlebrush polymer is formed via controlled living polymerization (CLP) and ring-opening metathesis polymerization.  Using these methods, it is possible to maintain a well defined structure as each component is selectively and strategically added to attain the desired structure.  The outer shell is held together by intramolecular disulfide linkages and the tube is formed by etching out the core.  The length of the tubular structure is a function of the lengths of the backbone and the diameter is determined by the length of the brushes.

PS.14
“Solvent and Concentration Effects on the Thermodynamics of the Keto-Enol Equilibrium of Ethyl Acetoacetate and Acetylacetone”
Grace N. Mahfouz, Undergraduate; Mark J. Waner, Ph.D., and Michael A. Nichols, Ph.D., Chemistry

Ethyl acetoacetate (EtAcAc) and Acetylacetone (AcAc) are beta-dicarbonyls that tautomerize to form enols in a variety of solvents.  The equilibrium constant of the keto-enol tautomerization reaction can be easily determined using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) by integrating the individual proton resonances.  Other thermodynamic properties, such as changes in free energy, enthalpy, and entropy, can be calculated by examining the reaction as a function of temperature.  While studying the tautomerization of EtAcAc and AcAc using proton NMR is a classic undergraduate physical chemistry experiment, it is usually performed using a limited number of solvents.  Additionally several anomalies have been observed in the standard experiments.  In this poster, we will present the results of our studies, including the thermodynamic parameters for tautomerization in a wide variety of solvents of different polarity.  We will report results obtained over moderate temperature ranges and with varied dicarbonyl concentrations.

PS.15
“Food Deserts in Urban Neighborhoods”
Katie Kavulic, Undergraduate

Food deserts describes the trend affecting some cities in which residents do not have access to fresh produce, usually provided by supermarkets, farmers markets, etc. Rather these neighborhoods have small convenient stores and usually a multitude of fast-food restaurants. Public and private initiatives should be implemented to resolve the problem of food deserts in urban neighborhoods. This paper will provide a discussion of what food deserts are, the history and possible causes of food deserts, and a discussion of solutions to the problem. The focus of the paper is the balance of governmental, corporate, and grass-roots initiatives necessary to fix or at least improve the condition of neighborhoods that are considered food deserts. The specific area of concentration of this study is the problem of and possible solution to food deserts in Cleveland, Ohio.

PS.16
“The SapF ATPase enhances Haemophilus innate immune resistance, nutrition acquisition, and biofilm formation”
Andrew R. Vogel, Undergraduate; Kevin M. Mason

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI) causes otitis media, upper airway infections and will exacerbate cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Previously, we demonstrated that the inner membrane Sap transporter (sapABCDFZ) confers resistance to antimicrobial peptides (APs) and uptake of essential nutrients. With a sapF knockout mutant strain, we demonstrate that SapF is essential for bacterial survival to high concentrations of human beta defensin-3 and that biomass formation is enhanced on plastic surfaces with functional SapF. Additionally, SapF contributes to the density of biofilm growth. We next determined the contribution of SapF in vivo using a chinchilla model. SapF is important in the initial colonization of the middle ear and nasopharynx. Collectively, these data highlight the important roles of SapF for proper biological function of NTHI. Further studies aim to understand SapF dependent substrate transport and protein-protein interactions which lead to NTHI pathogenicity.

PS.17
“A History of Lean Six Sigma and its Application in Improving the Code Blue Tracking and Review Process at Akron Children’s Hospital”
Kristen Lecerf,* Undergraduate; Dr. David Chand, Akron Children’s Hospital; Susan Long, Ph.D., Department of Sociology

Lean Six Sigma refers to a methodology used worldwide in businesses in which data and statistics are analyzed, waste is reduced, and defects are removed in order to improve efficiency. One of the most well-known production companies that was at the forefront of establishing this methodology was Toyota Production Systems in Japan. More recently, this thinking has been proposed in medical settings and has been implemented in many U.S. healthcare arenas. During summer 2010, research was conducted in the Center for Operations Excellence at Akron Children’s Hospital in which the process for tracking and reviewing Code Blues was analyzed and lean thinking was used to create a more efficient process, one that would decrease tracking and review of codes by the Code Committee from sixty-eight days to approximately two weeks. Ideally, the new process will allow more timely feedback to hospital employees so better care can be provided to patients.

PS.18
“Iron (II), Hydrogen Peroxide, and Oxygen Lipid Peroxidation of Linoleic Acid”
Danielle Maholtz, Undergraduate; Michael Nichols, Ph.D., Chemistry

There are few published undergraduate biochemical experiments addressing the important issue of lipid peroxidation.  Lipid peroxidation can occur through reaction of a lipid with a reactive oxygen species such as the hydroxyl radical, which can be formed by a reaction of Fe2+ ions with hydrogen peroxide.  When linoleic acid, an essential ω-6 fatty acid, is treated with ascorbic acid, Fe2+ ions and H2O2, several bifunctional electrophiles can be formed as products, including 2,4-decadienal, HNE, and ONE.  The concentrations of these oxidation products can be determined using GC-MS.  The first part of this presentation will study how the presence of and varying the concentrations of different oxidants and antioxidants affects the concentrations of the resulting major oxidation products.  The second part of the project will study the kinetics of the oxidation reactions.  The third part will use previously determined optimum conditions to examine the validity of a previously proposed oxidation scheme.

PS.19
“Synthesis and Structural Characterization of PQAM and CuCl2-PMAQ”
Meghan Brown, Undergraduate; Michael Nichols, Ph.D., Chemistry

The ligand PQAM (2-Pyridyl-N,N-bis[(8-quinolyl)amino]methane) has been shown to react with copper chloride to yield a new paramagnetic copper complex, CuCl2-PMAQ (8-[(2-Pyridine) methylideneamino]quinoline). The research has five main goals:  (1) to optimize the synthesis and purification of PQAM; (2) fully structurally characterize PQAM using infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies; (3)  to optimize the synthesis of and fully characterize the structure (using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) and fluorescence spectroscopies) and measure the magnetic susceptibility (in solution using NMR and in the solid state) of the CuCl2-PMAQ complex; (4) investigate whether the CuCl2-PMAQ complex can be prepared by a direct metal-assisted condensation of CuCl2 and the reactants that form PQAM, 8-aminoquinoline and 2-pyridine carboxaldehyde; and (5) to develop a spectrofluorimetric assay to measure the concentration of copper in aqueous solutions using the synthesized PQAM and compare the accuracy and sensitivity of the developed assay to conventional atomic absorption spectroscopy.

PS.20
“Another Look at Childhood Obesity: Intervention Strategies”
Kristine Frelich, Graduate Student

Research has demonstrated that childhood obesity is a serious problem with negative health, academic and psychosocial consequences. The purpose of this study is to develop and explain effective intervention strategies to help alleviate this problem. It is imperative that these strategies improve the overall physical health, psychosocial functioning and educational outcomes of obese children. Additionally, intervention is needed to support obese children who experience social stigma and negative peer attitudes and perceptions. As noted in previous research studies, suggestions for intervention have been limited and narrowly focused. A multidimensional and comprehensive school-based approach is necessary to provide the most effective intervention. The focus group in this study is elementary school children between approximately five and ten years old.

PS.21
“Thyroid Cancer and Disease in Cowden Syndrome Involving PTEN Study Baseline Data”
Melissa C. D’Ambrosio, Undergraduate

Thyroid cancer is reported to be the second most common cancer in patients with Cowden Syndrome, a genetic condition in which individuals have an increased risk of developing benign and potentially cancerous tumors.  The chance of developing thyroid cancer in Cowden Syndrome is approximately 3-10% compared to a lifetime risk of less than 1% in the general population.  Benign thyroid disease, including goiters and nodules, is reported to affect 50-70% of patients with CS.  About 500 patient charts from the PTEN study at the Cleveland Clinic, both PTEN (+) and PTEN (-), were reviewed in order to find relevant phenotypes associated with thyroid disorders.  By reviewing patient charts with PTEN baseline data, the age of diagnosis of thyroid cancer was observed as well as the main predominant histology.  It was also observed that patients with CS will develop a benign thyroid disorder, such as goiters or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

PS.22
“Phosphorylation of glutamyl-prolyl tRNA synthetase by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 dictates transcript-selective translational control”
Abul Arif; Jie Jia; *Robyn A. Moodt, Undergraduate; Paul E. DiCorleto; and Paul L. Fox

Dysregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been implicated in inflammation-related disorders by an undefined mechanism. Cdk5 activates the GAIT (IFN-γ–activated inhibitor of translation) pathway, which suppresses the posttranscriptional regulon of proinflammatory genes in myeloid cells. IFN-γ activates Cdk5 to phosphorylate Ser886 and Ser999 of glutamylprolyl tRNA   synthetase (EPRS).  Diphosphorylated EPRS is released from the tRNA multisynthetase complex and initially binds to NS1-associated protein and subsequently to ribosomal protein L13a and GAPDH. The heterotetrameric GAIT complex suppresses translation of the 3′ UTR GAIT element of VEGF-A and other target mRNAs in myeloid cells. Inhibition of Cdk5/p35 inhibits both EPRS   phosphorylation events, prevents EPRS release from the tRNA multisynthetase complex, and blocks translational suppression of GAIT element–bearing mRNAs, resulting in increased expression of inflammatory proteins. Our study reveals a unique role of Cdk5/p35 inactivation of the major noncanonical function of EPRS, namely translational control of macrophage inflammatory gene expression.

PS.23
“Western Blotting: Preparation and Interpretation”
Dmitriy Yarovitsky, Undergraduate

Western blotting is an important technique that makes it possible to separate the proteins of a polypeptide based in relative size using SDS PAGE. When current is applied, the proteins migrate towards the positive end of the gel and produce bands corresponding to size. It is important to load equal amounts of protein in the gel so an effective comparison can be made. The specific western blotting technique performed used antibodies to bind to a specific protein that was being studied. This makes it possible to probe different proteins by later stripping the gel and using one specific to another protein. While various methods of exposing the gel exist, horseradish peroxidase, or HRP, was used instead of radioactive alternatives.

PS.24
“The Use of GC-MS and PCA to Classify and Identify Gourmet Cinnamon”
Meghan May, Undergraduate and Michael Nichols, Ph.D., Chemistry

The overarching goal of this project is to determine whether four different types of ground cinnamon can be differentiated and identified, as cinnamon species, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and principal component analysis (PCA). The four different types of cinnamon will be obtained from one supplier, Penzey’s Spices©, and each has a unique scent and flavor. The volatile components of each cinnamon type will be separated and quantified using GC-MS. After each volatile component is identified and its concentration has been established, PCA, which is a statistical method, will be implemented to determine if these types can be differentiated into the corresponding cinnamon species.

PS.25
“Cognitive and motor functioning of the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease”
Gabrielle Nunnari, Undergraduate

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the most common forms of dementia in aging adults characterized by many symptoms such as memory loss, fatigue, and loss of appetite. To study this complex disease, several mouse models have been developed. These mice show the neurological and behavioral characteristics of humans with AD. One of the most common mouse models is the amyloid precursor protein/presinilin 1 (APP/PS1) mouse which is a transgenic mouse introduced to amyloid precursor protein and presenilin 1 as an embryo. This model is controversial as to whether or not it truly represents AD, but one way to draw comparisons is to employ commonly used behavioral tests. Functional and cognitive tests were employed in order to draw conclusions about a group of APP/PS1 mice, using C57BL/6J mice as a control. In addition, neuronal tissue was examined in both groups to ascertain differences in various parts of the brain.

PS.26
“Phonemic and Semantic Fluency are Reduced in Patients with Frontal and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy”
Samantha Sheppard, Undergraduate

Language fluency, which includes both phonemic (letter) and semantic (categorical) fluency, can be analyzed in a variety of focal brain disorders, including epilepsy. Typically, deficits in phonemic fluency are associated with frontal lobe damage while deficits in semantic fluency are more commonly associated with temporal lobe epilepsy. The goal of this experiment is to determine whether a double dissociation between phonemic and semantic fluency in temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy, respectively, actually exists. Contributing to the inconsistent studies analyzing the same fluency deficits, both patient groups showed comparably reduced phonemic and semantic verbal fluency. In addition, differences in mean scores for phonemic and semantic fluency in frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy patients were relatively similar and insignificant.  Thus, there may be underlying neural pathways that contribute to widespread deficits in language fluency in both patients with temporal and frontal epilepsy.

PS.27
“Phonemic and Semantic Fluency are Reduced in Patients with Frontal and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy”
Samantha Sheppard, Undergraduate, Neuroscience Program

Language fluency, which includes both phonemic (letter) and semantic (categorical) fluency, can be analyzed in a variety of focal brain disorders, including epilepsy.  Typically, deficits in phonemic fluency are associated with frontal lobe damage while deficits in semantic fluency are more commonly associated with temporal lobe epilepsy.  The goal of this experiment is to determine whether a double dissociation between phonemic and semantic fluency in temporal and frontal lobe epilepsy, respectively, actually exists. Contributing to the inconsistent studies analyzing the same fluency deficits, both patient groups showed comparably reduced phonemic and semantic verbal fluency.  In addition, differences in mean scores for phonemic and semantic fluency in frontal and temporal lobe epilepsy patients were relatively similar and insignificant.  Thus, there may be underlying neural pathways that contribute to widespread deficits in language fluency in both patients with temporal and frontal epilepsy.

PS.28
“When snow tire prices are too high for consumers, rent a set to them”
Alyson Austin, Meagan Gambone, Scott Hill, Mike Roberto, Graduate Students

Virtually all drivers living in areas receiving snowfall will agree that safety is their number one concern when driving during winter months. While a handful of existing products have proven extremely effective in reducing the risk of accidents, their widespread adoption has remained marginal at best. Following a rigorous, user-centric product development methodology, a team of MBA students from the Boler School of Business sought to understand this enigma. Starting with the problem rather than the solution, the team utilized qualitative and quantitative research techniques to better understand drivers’ concerns, attitudes, and perceptions toward treacherous driving conditions and the various products that can increase their safety. What they uncovered is that dedicated winter tires are a superior solution, but formidable prices deter consumers. Armed with this information, the project team developed a winter tire rental service that provides customers with all the benefits of the product, without a substantial investment.

PS.29
“Effects of Blue Light on the Circadian Activity, Weight, Adiposity, Melatonin Levels and Food and Water Intake in Long Evans Rats”
Marie Alnadi, Undergraduate

Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted in the dark and helps to regulate sleep. High levels of melatonin during the winter have been linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Blue light, which suppresses melatonin, has been utilized as a therapy for SAD. Food and water intake, body weight, circadian rhythms, adiposity and melatonin levels were measured in Long Evans rats exposed to a 12-h/12-h light/dark cycle (LD) compared to animals exposed to continuous blue light (BL). The BL animals had lower food and water intake, higher adiposity, as well as decreased melatonin levels than rats in the LD group. Circadian activity in BL animals became free running and decreased over time when compared to the LD group. Results suggest that changes in the amount of food and water intake, body weight, circadian rhythms, as well as alterations in melatonin levels are outcomes of exposure to continuous blue light.

PS.30
“Time Management and the College Student”
Catherine Heckman, Graduate Student

Being in a college environment, there are many issues college students face adjusting to dorm life, a new city, and new surroundings. One of the major adjustments for students is learning time management. The time management problem was derived from surveys and interviews provided to a sampling of 25 students asking them about potential problems or perhaps services they would like to see added to campus. As a result of the surveys and interviews, the number one issue that resonated amongst students, whether they are freshman or upperclassmen, was time management. To address the time management issue, our team is recommending implementation of a web-based calendar, similar to Outlook or Lotus Notes that synchronizes with Blackboard. This calendar would be universal to the University where meetings can be set with others, activities can be posted and students would be able to keep track of their various assignments and daily life.

PS.31
“An Alternative Scoring Method for the Bender Gestalt, Second Edition”
Robert Richardson, Graduate Student; Ryan A. Allen, Ph.D., Lauren Boryenace

The study examines the Recall Phase of the Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test, Second Edition (BGT-II). With the inclusion of improved norms, a single scoring method, and a standardized Recall Phase, the revised BGT-II provides a more valid and reliable evaluation of subjects’ visual-motor and memory skills. As currently derived, the BGT-II memory score is contaminated by factors related to the Recall Phase’s heavy reliance on fine motor skills. The development of an alternative scoring method may allow for a more precise assessment of visual memory by reducing the influence of fine motor skills. Our alternative scoring method, derived from the original BGT-II normative data set, is compared to the scoring method outlined in the administration manual. The proposed scoring method may prove beneficial for clinicians desiring a more pure assessment of visual memory that is less susceptible to the effects of motor deficits.

PS.32
“Monte Carlo Simulation of Point Spread Functions for Multi-Wavelength Wide Field Optical Imaging”
Ben Curatolo, Undergraduate; Peifang Tian, Ph.D., Physics

Two-dimensional (2-D) wide field optical imaging methods image large brain areas at rates sufficient for studying widespread neuronal activity in vivo. Here, a method is proposed that can extract depth information from multiple wavelength wide field optical imaging technology. Because longer wavelengths penetrate deeper into brain tissue, it is possible to detect signals from deeper depths. The signal detected by a CCD camera is related to the real signals at different tissue depths by Point Spread Functions (PSFs), which are determined by the optical configuration and tissue optical parameters. The PSFs were calculated using Monte Carlo simulations, which produced probabilistic answers by tracing the paths of millions of photons as they traveled from light source to detector.  The research showed the technique to be theoretically feasible and PSFs were obtained for multiple optical configurations and tissue parameters.

PS.33
“The Effects of Orally Administered Adderall XR on Spatial Learning and Memory, Activity, Body Weight and Food Consumption in Long-Evans Rats”
Heidi Benson, Undergraduate

Adderall is reported to increase mood, alertness, concentration, and overall cognitive performance while decreasing fatigue and appetite in humans. The state dependent learning theory states that material learned while on a drug may not be remembered once the drug wears off. This study examined whether or not Adderall has an effect on learning and if material learned while on the drug would be remembered after drug use was stopped. Male Long-Evans rats were given therapeutic doses of Adderall for three weeks while their activity, body weight, food intake, and behavioral patterns were monitored daily. Learning and memory were examined through the use of a Morris Water Maze. With Adderall administration, experimental rats learned the maze faster, showed a higher level of activity, consumed less food, and gained less weight compared to control rats. There were no signs of state dependent learning after the experimental rats were taken off the drug.

PS.34
“Do Patients Requiring Bariatric Surgery Revision Have More Somatic Complaints as Measured on the MMPI-2-RF?”
Ryan J. Marek, Undergraduate; Amy K. Windover, Ph.D.; Kathleen R. Ashton, Ph.D.; and Leslie J. Heinberg, Ph.D.

Bariatric surgery is the most effective and durable treatment for morbid obesity (Torgerson & Sjostrom, 2004). Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute offers three laparoscopic bariatric procedures.  Additionally, some patients present for a revisional surgery due to medical complications or weight regain. All presurgical patients complete the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2-Revised Form (MMPI-2-RF) which is a restructured version of the MMPI-2 containing fewer items and better validated scales to assess personality and psychopathology (Gervais, Ben-Porath, & Wygant, 2009).  It was hypothesized that patients who receive a Sleeve Gastrectomy or Revisional Bariatric Surgery would have significantly more somatic complaints than those receiving any other weight loss surgeries. A MANCOVA demonstrated that patients undergoing a revisional surgery report higher scores on the MMPI-2-RF’s gastrointestinal and head pain complaints scales.  Partially consistent with our initial hypothesis, patients who undergo revisional surgery tend to report more gastrointestinal concerns and head and neck pain.

PS.35
“Effects of Social Dominance Orientation and Gender on Helping Behavior”
Ryan J. Marek, Sean Kennedy, and Elizabeth Haigh, Undergraduates

The present study examined the Theory of Bystander Intervention in a non-emergency situation.  Researchers investigated the effects of participants’ gender and Social Dominance Orientation on latency to help. Additionally, the study investigated the effect of the gender of the person in need of help on participants’ latency to help.   A series of chi-square tests of independence supported the bystander effect [χ2 (1, N = 99) = 3.254, p = .036] and an interaction effect between SDO and group size was observed [χ2 (1, N = 99) = 5.556, p = .018]. Consistent with the Theory of Bystander Intervention, as group size increased, helping decreased.  In addition, those low on SDO helped significantly more in alone conditions as opposed to group conditions.

PS.36
“iNOSoxy D65 Heme Analog Insertion”
Robert Charles Siska, Undergraduate

Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) is an enzyme present in both animal and bacterial cells, and is highly conserved among organisms. The enzyme produces from its substrates L-Arginine and Biopterin, the products citrulline and nitric oxide (NO).  This study is focused on the oxidase domain of a specific form of this protein dimmer, called inducible nitric oxide synthase oxygenase (iNOSoxy).   iNOSoxy naturally contains an iron porphyrin heme group, proto-heme – how substrates are bound to this heme is a current area of interest. We thus attempted to insert heme analogs to prepare for future comparison studies with regards to the subsequent kinetic change. Poteins were purified with novel heme analogs under unique conditions that were finely adjusted during this study. UV-visual characteristics of the protein were examined; characteristic 410 nm and 430 nm peaks for meso-heme were observed, suggesting that we were successful in inserting this analog.

PS.37
“The Discalced and their “Illuminative” Way”
Alejandro Velez, Undergraduate; Katherine Gatto, Ph.D., Professor of Spanish, Department of Classical and Modern Languages; in conjunction with the Catholic Studies Department

Student will research the representation of the “illuminative way” in selected works of St.John of the Cross and Saint Theresa of Avila. After a general introduction to mysticism, and mysticism in Spain, in particular, the student will concentrate on the second step in the mystical process, the illuminative way. The student will investigate how Saint John of the Cross describes his “way” in his poetry and prose, and compare his descriptions to those of Saint Theresa of Avila in her prose and poetry. The student will also comment on the relationship between these two mystics and their attempts at religious reform in Spain.

PS.38
“Not Enough Time in the Day”
Eric Kiray, Brian Stefanik, and Ryan Berg, Graduate Students

Business professionals working for technical companies have demands on all twenty-four hours within a day. These demands range from work related expectations, travel, and family pressures to sleep and recreation. The highest of inefficiency within their day is spent filtering, prioritizing, and answering emails. Some email based analytics packages exist on the market now to track usage, quantity, and frequency, but none go that extra step to actively learn the user’s email priorities or allow the user to set internal priority levels before an email hits the inbox. Our new product proposal focuses on assessing which email priorities are a “must answer now” versus “should not have even been sent” to me in the first place.

PS.39
“Cleveland Clinic’s Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program Research”
Kristin McDonald, Undergraduate

In late 2006 the Pediatric Pain Program at the Cleveland Clinic Shaker Campus was founded. The first patients were discharged in January of 2007. The number of patients admitted into the program had grown exponentially and there was a need for outcomes analyses to be run. The assessment focused on pain reduction, medication management, anxiety, and function over a three-year time frame. The average age of patients upon admission was 15.12 (SD=2.50, N=176), the average chronicity of pain was 27.02 months (SD=27.23, N=170), and the length of stay averaged 18.58 days (SD=7.59, N=176). From the information gathered through phone surveys conducted, it could be concluded that the program significantly improved the quality of life of the children treated.

PS.40
“Which domain of Myo18aα associates with Ezrin?”
Michael Lajeunesse, Undergraduate; Neetu Gupta

In prior studies, it was found that an unconventional myosin, named Myo18aα, associates with the membrane tethering protein Ezrin. This association strengthens when the cells are stimulated. In our study, we investigated which domain of Myo18aα associates with Ezrin. To do this we made ΔKE, ΔKE+PDZ, Δ-coiled coils+ globular and Δ-globular deletions using PCR to create deletion mutants from Myo18aα cDNA. The deletion mutants were inserted into the pQBI25 vector with the intention to IP Ezrin and look for association with Myo18aα tagged with GFP. In preliminary experiments, we confirmed that the full-length Myo18aα associates with Ezrin. We were unable to create the deletion mutants however because the vector was in the wrong reading frame. Subsequent work will be done to insert the deletion mutants into pQBI25-fC3. This research was funded by the ARRA supplements to R01 for summer students.

PS.41
“Development of a dual-luciferase assay system to investigate the effect of ISGF3 binding molecules on ISRE induction”
Kurt Hauber,Graduate Student; Michael Lajeunesse, Undergraduate; Angela Koehler; and Erin Johnson, Ph.D., Biology

Small molecule research has received considerable attention on account of their medicinal potential. Our research efforts focus on small organic molecules that bind specifically to transcription factors. Of interest to us is ISGF3, a multi-protein transcription factor that activates type I interferon-stimulated genes and mediates the anti-viral response. A high-throughput screen performed at The Broad Institute identified two compounds capable of binding to ISGF3.  The goal of this project is to investigate the effects of those molecules on the ability of ISGF3 to transmit type I interferon response. We have created a dual luciferase assay system in which singular and multiple ISRE consensus sequences (ISGF3 target promoter) promote luciferase expression in mammalian cells.  We have been able to demonstrate interferon-mediated induction using these vectors.  Characterizing the interaction between ISGF3 and the small organic compounds may provide insight into potential drugs and drug targets for various viral infections and autoimmune diseases.

PS.42
“New Pincer Complex for Catalysis of Suzuki Coupling Reactions”
David Bartlett, Brittanie Nebelski, Undergraduates; David Beach; Man Lung Kwan, Ph.D., and Paul Challen, Ph.D., Chemistry

The synthesis of a new m-terphenyl-based pincer ligand is reported. A S-donor pincer ligand was generated by reacting t-butylthiol with 2,6-(BrCH2C6H4)2-4-I-C6H3. This compound reacts with Pd2(dba)3 to give a S-C-S palladium pincer complex. The compound has been characterized using single crystal x-ray diffraction analysis. The complex was evaluated for its efficiency in promoting catalytic Suzuki-Miyuara carbon-carbon coupling reactions. The complex was tested against a variety of aryl bromides and chlorides with p-tolyboronic acid to display yields not unlike the similar toluene-p-thiol based ligand.  Aryl bromides show higher yields than aryl chlorides for these complexes.

PS.43
“The Impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder on Typical Siblings: A Review”
Lindsey Flanick, Undergraduate; Tracy Loye Masterson, Ph.D., Psychology

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, delayed or impaired communication, and stereotyped/repetitive behaviors. As autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have become more prevalent, more research has been conducted on the impact an individual with ASD has on sibling relationships. Several research studies have shown that having an individual with ASD in the family can promote family cohesiveness and have a positive effect on typical developing siblings, whereas other studies have concluded that there are a number of negative effects on siblings of individuals with ASD. Demographic factors, such as sibling age, gender, and family size have also been examined as contributory to sibling adjustment and family functioning when one child in the family has ASD. A review of the literature finds that while siblings of individuals with ASD obtain benefits, they also experience social/emotional difficulties that can be addressed by intervention and support.

PS.44
“The Effects of Atmospheric pH on Gallium Nitride”
Andrew McElroy,* Undergraduate; Jeffrey Dyck, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Physics, John Carroll University; Kathleen Kash, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University

It has been theorized that there exists a thin layer of water molecules on the surface of many materials when in air. This layer is predicted to have an effect on the electrochemical properties of the material. GaN is one of these materials. It has been demonstrated that the optical properties of GaN are affected by the pH of the atmosphere around the sample. In this study the effects of pH on transport properties are tested. A system was developed to test the Hall coefficient and resistivity of samples under different ambients to discover the effects of pH on carrier concentration and Hall mobility of GaN. Thus far, the results show that the pH of the ambient water vapor does not have an effect on the transport properties. This project was funded through the National Science Foundation and the Huntington and Codrington Foundations.

PS.45
“Investigation of splicing factor PSF regulation of E-selectin induction in Endothelial Cells”
Sean P. Steenberge, Undergraduate; Smarajit Bandyopadhyay, Paul E. DiCorleto

Earlier studies from this laboratory have identified polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB)-associated splicing factor (PSF) as an interacting protein of the homeobox transcription factor HOXA9 in tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EC). An essential target gene of HOXA9 action is the EC-leukocyte adhesion molecule E-selectin, which is induced by cytokines. PSF participates in many cellular functions, including both DNA unwinding and annealing, and transcriptional regulation. Here, we investigated PSF’s involvement in the induction of E-selectin in EC. We have detected multiple forms of PSF in the EC nucleus by western analyses. Surprisingly, PSF suppresses TNF-α-induced E-selectin promoter transactivation in transient transfection assays. We have also determined that PSF is arginine methylated in EC. Currently, work is in progress to identify, which protein arginine methyltransferase is responsible for PSF methylation, and whether methylation plays an important role in the regulation of E-selectin induction in EC.

PS.46
“The effects of orally administered phentermine on spatial learning, memory, and other parameters in male Long-Evans rats”
Jillian Day, Undergraduate

Phentermine is an anorectic agent shown to suppress appetite, and used to treat individuals with obesity. This study examined the effects of Phentermine on appetite, body weight, concentration, and activity level on Male Long-Evans rats. The rats were divided into three groups: six were assigned to a low-dose phentermine group (LD), six were assigned to a high-dose phentermine group (HD), and six were assigned to a control group.  Phentermine was administered to the experimental groups for three weeks while activity, body weight, food intake, and behavior patterns were monitored daily.  Learning and memory were examined by means of the Morris Water Maze. The high-dose rats displayed noticeable concentration and behavioral differences, as they took longer to complete the maze, and presented higher levels of anxiety than the LD or control groups.  Phentermine’s anorectic effectiveness was demonstrated as the experimental rats gained significantly less weight over the course of administration.

PS.47
“An Analysis of Ohio’s Value-Added Assessment”
Pamela Castricone, Undergraduate

In 2007, the Ohio Department of Education implemented a new measure to evaluate students’ assessment test scores. This approach, called value-added, aims to determine the amount of academic growth achieved by each individual student for the school year. However, Ohio’s assessment tests were not designed for value-added, so Ohio’s data are not ideally suited for the analysis. As a result, many problems have emerged that undermine the reliability of the value-added measure. The grading scale used by value-added effectively imposes a growth ceiling on high performing districts. Also, the process of awarding above/below average growth relies on the use of averages, which are strongly influenced by the presence of outliers. This paper examines the consequences of the value-added measure, illustrates the current problems, and suggests an alternative method to better evaluate student progress on a statewide level.

PS.48
“Interactions of Human Superoxide Dismutase 2 with RNA”
Ryan A. Schoonmaker, Graduate Student; Elizabeth A. Lewis, Undergraduate; and David P. Mascotti, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry John Carroll University

To corroborate and extend earlier findings that human superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) has the ability to bind to DNA, we used fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor the interaction of SOD2 with RNA. The tryptophan residues in free SOD2 fluoresce strongly when free, but are quenched upon binding RNA. The extent of quenching is proportional to the amount of RNA that is bound, thus we can derive binding affinities from these titrations. We have measured the affinity of SOD2 for poly(U) and poly(A) at different temperatures to determine if enthalpy contributes to the binding affinity. We anticipate determining whether SOD2 exhibits fluorescence quenching upon binding single- and double-stranded DNA as well as the salt dependence of SOD2 binding to RNA and DNA.

PS.49
“Comparison of Transcription using Short Single, Double, and Snapback DNA Templates”
Stephanie Clack, Raymond Chahoud; David P. Mascotti, Ph.D., and Michael P. Martin, Ph.D., Chemistry

Standard in vitro transcription assays use templates that are made of linear, double-stranded DNA. In this study we used novel templates that possessed a double-stranded promoter for T7 RNA polymerase recruitment, but the remainder of each DNA construct contained three different downstream variations. The control template utilized a linear, completely double-stranded DNA template. This was compared to two templates of the same length where one template strand was self-complementary and formed a hairpin (snapback), whereas the other strand possessed no self-complementary and remained single-stranded. All three templates produced RNA that was similar in length. We compared the kinetics of transcription at different temperatures in order to determine if there is preferential transcription of the three DNA variations at each temperature.

PS.50
“The Collimation of LEDs”
John Kaminsky, Undergraduate

Camera based wide field optical imaging allows for in vivo functional imaging of the brain. The benefits of this method include a larger sampling area, faster data acquisition and higher spatial resolution; however it is unable to resolve depth information. This issue may be resolved by employing multiple wavelengths in the imaging system. As a demonstration of principle, we are building an imaging system with two different wavelengths at 455 nm and 585 nm, respectively by employing light emitting diodes (LEDs). The beam of an LED diverges quickly, therefore the objective of my research was to attach a collimating lens to modify the beam and minimize the divergence. In order to achieve this, I investigated different types of collimating lens and found the optimal one that can collimate the beam. I will present radiation patterns of beams with and without collimating lens.

PS.51
“Android Application Development”
Gene Cahill, Undergraduate

Android is an increasingly popular software stack for mobile devices such as cell phones and computer tablets. The Android development kit provides tools and APIs which makes application development possible to anyone curious enough to do so. Android is “open source” meaning that access is available to the end product’s source materials or “source code.” Some claim that this gives Android an advantage over competitors, such as the iPhone, which have stricter policies regarding application development. Android is powered by Google and uses Java, a popular and portable computer language, for application development. Over the course of ten weeks the Android framework was thoroughly researched and tested and resulted in the development of a John Carroll mobile application that could be useful to any current student, especially incoming freshmen. It includes an Assignment Planner as well as directories of useful numbers and extensions.

PS.52
“A Major in Social Entrepreneurship: Education & Creation [with a Purpose]”
Tom Weinandy, Undergraduate

A major in Social Entrepreneurship teaches students to think critically and creatively, identifying innovative opportunities that solve social problems.  This major was self-designed, combining classes from ten different departments and programs to develop an education that supports the creation of purpose-driven ventures that make a better world.  Examples of social enterprises include starting a college student-run community service road trip and expanding educational programming for children-in-need.

PS.53
“Fighting the Educational Disparity in the Cleveland Municipal School District” Amy Gunderman,* Undergraduate; Margaret Finucane, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Tim Russert Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, John Carroll

University This Senior Honors Thesis centers around the challenges teachers in high-needs school districts face, focusing specifically on the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Five teachers from each of the two high schools, John Adams and Collinwood, were interviewed. This study sought to explore the importance of the role of the teacher in the success of the students, especially in high-needs school districts. Although one cannot generalize the results of this study as true for all teachers within the Cleveland Municipal School District, hopefully this senior project will still be able to provide some insight into the issue and set the stage for future research.

PS.54
“Soil properties influence plant function in chaparral woody species”
Kathryn M. Skelly, Undergraduate; Rebecca E. Drenovsky, Ph.D., Biology; Catherine E. Koehler, James H. Richards

Soil nutrients limit plant performance worldwide. In the California Coast Range, a mosaic of soils exist, some of which are low nutrient, serpentine soils. At the UC McLaughlin Reserve, we measured nutrient availability, as well as plant nutrient resorption, an important nutrient conservation process. We collected soil under eight focal species growing on and off serpentine soils (2007) and senesced leaves from these same focal species (2003-2008). Soil pH, electrical conductivity, and total C were slightly lower and total soil N was significantly lower in non-serpentine soils.  Soil P was significantly lower on serpentine soils.  Non-serpentine and serpentine species had highly proficient N resorption but serpentine species were more proficient than non-serpentine species at phosphorus resorption. These data suggest soil properties have been a strong selective force for tight internal P recycling in serpentine species.  Funding was provided by the Huntington-Codrington Foundation, American Philosophical Society, and California Agricultural Experiment Station.

PS.55
“Post-Workout Supplement for Women”
Mike Delzoppo, Jeff Kosek, Diana Laluk, Rob Richman, Graduate Students

The proliferation of post-workout supplements has largely ignored a key market segment:  women. Specifically, active middle-aged women in the mid-to-upper class have been bypassed in the marketing strategies of supplement producers. Of course, existing drinks can be consumed by women, but these products are primarily marketed to men.  The creation of a new supplement that targets women has grand potential. In order to effectively analyze the potential of this large segment, it is necessary to analyze potential demand, product ingredients, flavor, packaging, size, and point-of-sale location, among others. Initiated by fitness interviews, the problem was uncovered that an affordable, targeted drink does not exist for women.  Prior to development of such a product, the anticipated demand will be forecasted by gauging interest in the target market, along with additional discussion of specific product attributes, as mentioned above.

PS.56
“Polarization of HMG-CoA reductase in migrating endothelial cells”
Paul L. Fox, Principal Investigator, Department of Cell Biology, Cleveland Clinic;  Prabar K. Ghosh, Research Associate, Department of Cell Biology, Cleveland Clinic; Megan A. McCartney, undergraduate; Ashley M. Wallace, undergraduate; Kathryn R. Schwartz

Endothelial cell (EC) migration plays a critical role in vessel neogenesis and repair. Our laboratory previously reported that plasma membrane (PM) lipid composition is critical for the regulation of EC migration. We have also shown that membrane lipid composition is heterogeneous along the length of PM in a VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)-induced migrating EC. Furthermore, angiogenic growth factors activate HMG-CoA reductase (HMGCR), the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol and non-sterol isoprenoid biosynthesis, to increase cholesterol synthesis and PM cholesterol content. In the current investigation, we discovered that VEGF regulates HMGCR reductase protein expression and localization in migrating EC. Results of immunofluorescence experiments revealed that HMGCR is relocated out of endoplasmic reticulum and is polarized to the back of a migrating cell. Results of experiments suggest that the translocation is not due to degradation. Preliminary investigation provides evidence indicating a lipid droplet-mediated distribution of HMGCR to the back of migrating EC.

PS.57
“The effect of constant light on brown and white adipose tissue, anxiety, body weight, and food and water consumption in rats”
Ashley Rupp, Undergraduate
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a highly active metabolic tissue that aids in the disposal of energy in the form of heat. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of a three-week period of exposure to constant light to a group of six rats. The effect of constant light was compared to a group of six control rats exposed for three weeks to a normal twelve hour light/twelve hour dark cycle. The amount of BAT and mass of inguinal fat tissue were compared between the two groups. Statistical analysis utilizing a t-test for independent groups showed no significant difference in the mass of inguinal fat tissue between the control and experimental rats. Analysis of the mass of BAT indicated a significant difference between the control and experimental rats, with the control rats containing a greater mass of BAT.

PS.58
“Relative Transition Probabilities of Neon, Krypton, Argon and Xenon”
Daniel Delanis, Undergraduate; Katherine Duncan-Chamberlin

Relative transition probabilities are reported for thirty lines from Ne I, twenty-four lines from Ar I, fourteen lines from Kr I, and twenty-one lines from Xe I.  All transitions discussed are from the  2p level to 1s levels.  Uncertainty has been measured and found to be within plus/minus 5%.  This data may be applied to calibrate the relative detection efficiency of a spectrometer over a range of 4000 Å – 10000 Å. Comparisons between the relative transition probabilities of each species is discussed.

PS.59
“Identification of non-peptidic, substrate competitive Abl kinase inhibitors”
Amelia Zessin*, Undergraduate; Sonali Kurup, Postdoctoral Fellow, Med. Chem., Univ. of Michigan; Mike E. Steffey, Lab Technician, Med. Chem., Univ. of Michigan; Matthew B. Soellner, Assistant Professor, Med. Chem., Univ. of Michigan

Protein tyrosine kinases (PTKs) catalyze the transfer of the γ-phosphate on ATP to tyrosine residues on proteins. The PTK c-Abl plays a role in cell growth and development. Increased kinase activity of c-Abl has been shown to play a role in several cancers including chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Current approved therapeutics targeting inhibition of c-Abl are predominantly ATP-competitive inhibitors. We believe that protein substrate-competitive inhibition of c-Abl offers several important benefits over ATP-competitive inhibition, including selectivity for c-Abl and a lesser probability of resistant mutations. We have utilized a fragment-based screening approach based on suitable peptide scaffolds to specifically orient inhibitor fragments in the substrate pocket of kinases. Removal of the peptide backbone has allowed for the identification of novel inhibitory fragments. A library of inhibitory fragments has been developed and evaluated as inhibitors of Abl kinase. The Ki values against c-Abl have been determined using a fluorescence based assay.

PS.60
“Characterization of a spontaneous suppressor in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae”
Amelia Zessin*, Undergraduate; Michael Martin, Ph.D., Biology

The TPT1 gene was previously identified by suppressing a temperature-sensitive lethality in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  TPT1 encodes a phosphotransferase that has an essential role in the last step of tRNA splicing.  Since the suppressor strain is viable at 30°C, Tpt1 also has an additional, non-essential function.  Since other tRNA splicing proteins have been shown to be involved non-essentially in the Unfolded Protein Response, we believe TPT1 may have a similar function.  I have found through PCR, bacterial cloning, and sequencing that there is not a mutation in the endogenous TPT1 gene in the suppressor strain.  However, the complementing library plasmid contained TPT1-flanking regions.   Therefore, I will be sequencing the flanking region to determine whether there is a mutation that may affect TPT1 expression.

PS.61
“An Overall Assessment of Quality of Life throughout Life- Span Adult Development”
Nicole Phelps, Undergraduate

Quality of life is a multidimensional concept and includes physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects which contribute to one’s self of wellbeing (Institute for the Future, 2000). Over the life-span, there are many specific domains of life, and life satisfaction can be understood as a result of satisfaction in these domains (Kinnunen et al., 2006). As people age, life events or changes within these domains either have a positive or negative impact upon one’s level of life satisfaction (Pavot& Diener, 2008). For the past 7 years the Executive Health Program study, consisting of approximately 6,893 participants, has been exploring quality of life by the use of the self- rating test Spreadsheet of Life and Responsibilities (SOLAR). The purpose of this study is to assess the 4 factor-analyzed components of the 15 domains of the SOLAR and interpret the findings in terms of adult- development across the lifespan.

PS.62
“African Water Rights: Fighting for Human and Civil Rights”
Nicole Phelps, Undergraduate

Water is an essential requirement for the survival of humans and the ecosystems on earth. Without water, life would simply not exist. Over the course of the last part of the 20th century, with the world population, economies and societies steadily increasing, many regions have become faced with water scarcity (Biswas, Rached& Tortajada, 2008). It is a human right to have clean and safe water for domestic and sanitation uses. However, in places such as in Africa, water is becoming increasingly depleted and taken away from the people. Due to the various uses of water, this has further increased the ways through which water has been linked to politics, conflict and diplomacy (Alao, 2007). The purpose of this project is to address water rights issues in Africa and closely examine several regions, where water conflict and violence is most prevalent.

PS.63
“Using statistics to analyze the effects of a tree’s production of nutrients”
Kaylee Sutton

Trees give us a means to produce oxygen, but they also produce other important byproducts such as phosphorus and nitrogen. This study analyzed Dr. Drenovsky’s data which focused on factors such as time, type of soil, and tree type to see which factors affected the production of phosphorus and nitrogen. Univariate and multivariate analyses explore each variable (or multiple) in a data set, separately. Each analysis looks at the range of values, as well as the tendency of those values. Also, the two-way ANOVA was used and its purpose is to find out whether data from several groups have a common mean. These statistical tests were used in order to see how different combinations of these factors affected the production of phosphorus and nitrogen. This study had many interesting results such as soil type affecting the production of nutrients and how time affects the production of these nutrients.

PS.64
“Paris Commune, 1871”
Kathleen O’Neil, Undergraduate

The Paris Commune of 1871 was a 68-day alternative government that erupted in Paris on the heels of several major military and political events: 1) the end of the Franco-Prussian War, and with it, Napoleon III’s Second Empire; 2) treaty language that ceded Alsace-Lorraine to Prussia and agreed to war reparations; 3) a five-month siege of Paris by the Prussian army; and 4) dissatisfaction with the French provisional government in Versailles. The revolutionaries of the Paris Commune enjoyed neither wealth nor privilege; poverty, starvation, a political vacuum and the aggressive stance by absent leadership pushed them to act. In the end, the efforts of the Paris Commune of 1871 and the individuals who participated almost disappeared.

PS.65
“Quelques Grandes Dames de Paris – Celebrated Women of Paris”
Students from FR 319 and FR 399 Paris Plaisir Classes
Hélène N. Sanko, Ph.D., faculty sponsor, and undergraduate students Hélène Andang, Sarah Bickerton, Gillian Calig, William Cook, Grace-Sephora Fadiga, Hallie Fetterman, Alyssa Harr, Allison Hibbard, Laura Kisthardt and Katherine O’Meara

Through the ages, in the arts, in literature, in religion and in politics, a great number of Parisian Women have left their marks on French society. Students from the FR 319  (Paris Plaisir) and FR 399  (2011 Spring Break Short Immersion Stay in Paris)l recognize the following Parisian Women whose presence (past or present, living or legendary),  and contributions to Parisian French life and culture, continue to be significant and long lasting. Among them are the historian and novelist Maryse Condé, the Queen Catherine de Medicis, The Lady with the Unicorn from the Cluny Museum, the Patron saint of Paris Sainte Geneviève, the essayists Simone de Beauvoir and Hélène Cixous, the author and film director Marguerite Duras, the French Revolution activist Olympe de Gouges, the actress Juliette Binoche and the Impressionist painter Berthe Morissot.

PS.66
“China Through the Eyes of the French”
Hélène N. Sanko, Ph.D., Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures

In 1735 Jean Baptiste Du Halde, S.J. published a « Decription géographique, historique, chronologique, politique et physique de l’Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise » or « Description of the Chinese Empire ». This description was based on the letters that the Jesuits in China were sending to their superiors and which are known as the « Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses ». These letters were meant to trigger the interest of donors who were contributing to the work of the Jesuits in China. Jean-Baptiste du Halde used these letters as primary sources to describe some aspects of the country and its culture and include Images relevant to Confucius, the imperial Chinese court, the men and women’s attires, landscapes, new vegetation, new type of boats, money samples and the various steps of the silk industry. They are among the first representations offered to the Western eye. Research sponsored a Grauel Fellowship.

PS.67-69
“Doing Business in France”
Martha Pereszlenyi-Pinter, Ph.D., faculty sponsor, and undergraduate students Megan Broaddrick, Gillian Calig, Daniel Deptowicz, Alyssa Harr, Adele Koury, Lauren Penkala, Elizabeth Schaffner, Natalie Talis, Kenneth Tubbs

Now in 2011, as the world’s fifth largest economy, centrally located within the European Union, and positioned at the heart of the world’s largest market, France offers a favorable economic environment. Trade and investment between the U.S. and France are strong. On average, over 1 billion dollars in commercial transactions take place between France and the U.S. every day, with the U.S. being France’s sixth-ranked supplier and its sixth-largest customer. In general, the commercial environment in France is favorable for sales of U.S. goods and services.  Marketing products and services in France is similar to the approach in the U.S., notwithstanding some significant differences in cultural factors and certain legal/regulatory restrictions.  Students enrolled in FR 306 French for Business will present three posters: one highlighting cultural difference in US-France business environments and one poster each profiling a select US and a select French business who each engage in cooperative cross-trade.

PS.70
“Expression of VKOR and novel naturally-occurring VKD-carboxylase mutants for in vivo assays”
Raymond Chahoud, Kevin Hallgren, Aisulu Usubalieva, Mark Rishavy, and Kathleen Berkner, Undergraduates

The vitamin K-dependent carboxylase carboxylates numerous vitamin K-dependent proteins at glutamate residues, converting them to gamma-carboxyglutamates (Glas). Carboxylation is driven by vitamin K oxygenation and is required for the activity of these proteins in hemostasis and other physiologies. The vitamin K oxidoreductase (VKOR) regenerates active vitamin K. Expression of FLAG-tagged recombinant VKOR for biochemical assays was attempted and found to be surprisingly low. Recently, a patient with impaired hemostasis and abnormal skin folding (the latter phenotype had not previously been associated with the carboxylase) was found to be heterozygous for two novel carboxylase mutants, S300F and V255M. The S300F mutant performs vitamin K oxygenation but not carboxylation in vitro, and while the V255M mutant performs both reactions, carboxylation is altered under certain conditions in vitro. Cell lines expressing either recombinant V255M or S300F were created for in vivo assays to understand the link between the carboxylase and the skin-folding phenotype.

PS.72
“Project Confidence”
Amanda Papa,* Undergraduate; Duane Dukes, Ph.D., Sociology and Criminology

The effects of self-esteem on behavior are relatively new in research, having become popular within the last fifteen years. Research has shown a negative correlation between self-esteem, adolescent substance use, and unhealthy relationships. This would suggest that improving self-esteem would reduce deviant behavior such as substance use and unhealthy relationships. Project Confidence is an original self-esteem improvement program created specifically for Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Teachers and the community are calling for a way to excel academically, create a greater sense of self, improve relationships, and set goals for the future. This program will address all of the areas needing assistance through activities such as role-playing, mentorship, and service. Project Confidence will improve adolescent confidence while reducing the amount of unhealthy relationships and substance use.

PS.73
“The Age Crime Curve; Deterrence Theory and Repeat Offenders Misdemeanor Time Frame”
Rachel Scava, Undergraduate; Ernest DeZolt, Ph.D., Sociology

Deterrence theory is the concept that punishment is a consequence that will prevent individuals from engaging in criminal behavior.  There are three factors that comprise deterrence; certainty that you will be caught, severity of the punishment, and celerity of the punishment.  The age crime curve suggests that individuals between the ages of 18-25 are most likely to commit crime and underestimate punishment.  Punishment in this age bracket has lost its stigma in repeat offenders; and therefore the question becomes what is the value of jail sentences and is jail a form of deterrence?  This study explores the effects of no jail time versus the jailing experience for repeat offenders. It takes the time frame in which they are convicted to the next offensive and compares it to their sentencing.  The jailing experience was found to be relevant to a degree, and can be considered as a form of deterrence.

PS.74
“Role of Emilin-1 in Macrophage and Neutrophile Recruitment using Thioglycollate Model of Peritoneal Inflammation”
Reem Sarkis, Undergraduate; Dr. Jane Hoover-Plow, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Cardiology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic

Emilin-1 protein plays a role in vascular biology and cell adhesive capacity, but whether it functions in inflammatory cell recruitment is unclear. A hypothesis was introduced here that Emilin-1 may affect inflammatory cell migration after injection of inflammatory stimuli. Thioglycollate, an inflammatory stimulus, induces migration of inflammatory cells (macrophages and neotriphils) to the site of injection. In this model, 6 hrs after injection is peak of neutrophil migration and 72 hrs is peak of macrophage migration. In our experiments, thioglycollate was injected intraperitoneally to the Emilin-1 deficient and wild type mice and the number of macrophages and neutrophils migrating from circulation to the peritoneal cavity were counted by enzyme assays. There was not a significant difference in either neutrophil or macrophage numbers between two mice groups indicating neutrophil and macrophage migration were not impaired by Emilin-1 deficiency. The results suggest that Emilin-1 protein does not play a role in inflammatory cell recruitment in this model.