The Poster Session will be held on Monday, April 8, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. in the Muldoon Atrium of the Dolan Science Center.

Listed below are the poster presenters and their abstracts.

PS.1: “Under Water Simulation using 3D and parallel computation”
Greg Gutmann, Undergraduate

Understanding the natural processes in our environment is no simple task; however, computer simulation enables us to create a controlled environment in which we may test hypotheses and models. In this work I focus on developing a real-time 3D simulation of an underwater environment.  The simulator is an artificial intelligence-based multi-agent heterogeneous system. That is, the environment includes multiple entities which act on their own (agents), of various types, such as different species of animals (heterogeneous), whose behaviors are in part learned from their environmental interactions (artificial intelligence and learning).  In order to create this complex system I am taking advantage of the massively parallel processing power of GPU devices, to handle the immense amount of real-time calculations taking place. Then, to better understand the interactions taking place, the simulation will be in a 3D environment with adjustable perspective for easy observation.

PS.2: “Differences in alkaloid defenses in the poison frog Oophaga pumilio between disturbed and undisturbed habitats of Bocas del Toro, Panama”
Yaritbel Torres-Mendoza,** Undergraduate; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Ralph Saporito, Biology

Poison frogs have the ability to sequester and store alkaloids in their skin as a mechanism of defense against predation. Alkaloids in poison frogs are obtained exclusively from the consumption of alkaloid-containing arthropods. As a result, changes in the environment can potentially harm Oophaga pumilio by altering their source of chemical defense. To date, only two conflicting studies have examined the effects of habitat disturbance on poison frogs chemical defenses. This study is another example of the tremendous alkaloid variability within frogs from the same population and between frogs from different populations. Herein, it is shown that the number of mite derived alkaloids increased, while the number of ant derived alkaloids decreased in disturbed sites; demonstrating that habitat disturbance changes the composition of alkaloid-containing arthropods and therefore altering O. pumilio chemical defense.

PS.3: “Light responses and leaf nitrogen of invasive and non-invasive Rosa sp.”
Esther D’Mello, Undergraduate and Dr. Rebecca Drenovsky, Biology

This past summer I started my Senior Honors Project, where I worked at identifying traits associated with the invasiveness of roses. I compared the photosynthetic rates and leaf nitrogen concentrations of non-invasive versus invasive roses, hypothesizing that increased photosynthesis and nitrogen concentration in leaves gave invasive species a survival advantage over non-invasive roses. Understanding the traits that facilitate the spread of invasive species can lead to interventions that may mitigate their negative effects on native environments. For example, photosynthetic rate and nitrogen concentration are traits that can help develop new frameworks and invasive screening tools to predict a species’ potential impact on a particular area.

PS.4: “The Effects of Nutrition on  the Academic Achievement of School-Age Children”
Kayla Naticchioni, Undergraduate

With two-thirds of the adult population overweight or obese, the rates of childhood obesity have also risen to thirty-three percent. Just as research about obesity indicates a negative effect on the body and vital organs, obesity also affects the ability to learn. Not only is it the responsibility of the family, but also of the school, to ensure that students have access to foods that promote proper nutrition. There is a formidable link between nutrition programs in schools, such as lunch programs and snack options, and student achievement. This paper will explore the school’s role in the prevention of childhood obesity, as well as additional activities that can be done by the teacher and the school in order to promote healthy lifestyle choices in and out of the classroom environment.

PS.5: “Cholera”
Maris Howell and Megan Boyk, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jim Lissemore, Biology

Cholera is caused by the  bacteria Vibrio cholera that results in dehydration and diarrhea. The bacterium enters the human digestive tract via contaminated food or water. In the small intestine, the bacterium releases a toxin that activates a pathway that results in the release of ions into the lumen of the small intestine.  As a result, large amounts of water are taken up into the waste, which causes watery diarrhea. Because the bacterium leaves the body in the feces, contamination occurs when feces reenters the water supply as a result of inadequate sanitation, clean water, and sewage treatment. Cholera is easily treatable without advanced medical care, where roughly 80% of patients can be effectively treated with rehydration alone. However, the social and political structures that contribute to cholera outbreaks in developing countries must be addressed to prevent cholera on a large scale.

PS.6: “Meningococcal Meningitis”
Melissa Mirka, Kristen Profeta, and Matt Loya, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jim Lissemore, Biology

Meningococcal meningitis is a  bacterial form of meningitis,caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, and it is a serious infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. If left untreated, it can cause severe brain damage and is fatal in 50% of cases. Around the world, 10-25% of people carry the bacteria in their nasopharynx at any given time. Globally, there are 1.2 million people infected with meningococcus per year resulting in 135,000  deaths. The highest rates and most frequently occurring epidemics occur in the region of Africa known as the meningitis belt. The meningitis epidemics in the meningitis belt in Africa are a huge public health burden. The WHO has a strategy focusing on case detection and laboratory confirmation, vaccinating all 1-29 year olds in the meningitis belt in Africa, and quick and appropriate management of the infection.

PS.7: “Arsenic Poisoning from  Groundwater”
Josh DePaul and Kateri Dillon, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jim Lissemore, Biology

Poisoning from arsenic, a  naturally occurring element, is a global health threat caused primarily by ingestion of arsenic-contaminated groundwater. An estimated 130 million people worldwide are exposed to drinking water with arsenic levels exceeding the limit of 10 ppb established by the World Health Organization. Countries with known cases of arsenic poisoning include Bangladesh, China, Mongolia, and the United States. Inhabitants of developing countries, such as Bangladesh, are particularly susceptible to poisoning due to consumption of groundwater from tube wells. Many tube wells were built by world aid organizations to provide pathogen-free drinking water but now pose as a health threat due to high arsenic concentrations. Health problems associated with the ingestion of arsenic are highly variable and include skin lesions, keratosis, peripheral vascular disease, and cancer. Currently, public health efforts to provide clean drinking water are the primary methods of prevention and treatment.  Other treatments vary based on symptoms.

PS.8: “Vitamin A Deficiency”
Matt Kasper and Sanam Farooq, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jim Lissemore, Biology

Vitamin A is a fat soluble lipoprotein, which plays an important role in normal growth and development. The University of Washington Medical Center states that in order for the body to facilitate this normal growth and development, the recommended daily intake of vitamin A is 1000µg. However, when individuals are not able to acquire this necessary amount of vitamin A, the effects are detrimental, ranging from immune system dysfunction to blindness. Currently, there are 127 million preschool-aged children and 20 million pregnant women who suffer from vitamin A deficiency. Of these affected populations, 800,000 people die from issues related to vitamin A deficiency. UNICEF has released a statement claiming that Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) is “one of the most cost-effective interventions for improving child survival”. As a result, there have been many modes of treatment and prevention of VAD such as food fortification, education, prophylactic supplementation, and public policy.

PS.9: “Diabetic Retinopathy”
John Escano and Yaritbel Torres,** Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jim Lissemore, Biology

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and it is a complication that results from diabetes mellitus.  Diabetic retinopathy is caused by the damage of tiny blood vessels inside the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Approximately 700,000 people in the United States are affected by this disease and the number of cases is expected to keep increasing. Those who are males, African American, and Hispanic have a higher probability to develop the disease. Diabetic retinopathy can be prevented by exercising, having a healthy diet, and maintaining a control of one’s blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels. In addition, early detection of diabetic retinopathy it is crucial for the success of the available treatments. As a result, regular comprehensive eye exams are necessary to prevent and control diabetic retinopathy.

PS.10: “Analysis of the Surface  Chemistry of Copper Oxide”
Ryan R. Salata, Undergraduate; Dr. Michael  P. Setter, Chemistry

Samples of copper oxide were tested to determine how the surface of a powder reacts chemically in comparison to the bulk. Copper, manganese, and zinc concentrations were quantified after dissolution with nitric acid using High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Atomic Absorbance Spectroscopy. The change in the ratio of zinc and manganese to copper demonstrated the reactivity at different depths of the copper oxide powder sample. The study shows that there is a larger zinc to copper ratio on the surface of the powder in comparison to the bulk. Trends also suggest that the manganese to copper ratio steadily increases as the powder is dissolved. Analysis showed that the particle size was a significant factor in surface contamination of zinc and manganese. The smaller particle size showed high ratios of zinc and manganese to copper. This trend was unexpected for the manganese which will require further investigation to confirm this observation.

PS.11: “Synthesis of New Pincer Complex using Grignard Technique”
Katelyn Chessler and Michael Elias, Undergraduates; Dr. Desmond Kwan and Dr. Paul R. Challen, Chemistry

The synthesis of a terphenyl-based pincer ligand is reported. The S-donor pincer ligand framework is generated through the Grignard coupling of 2-bromoanisole with 2-lithium-1,3 dichlorobenzene and molecular iodine. This compound, 2,6-(CH3OC6H4)2C6H3I, is demethylated through a reaction with boron tribromide, and is obtained in solid form. The demethylated product, 2,6-(HOC6H4)2C6H3I is reacted with ClCH2SCH2Cl in the presence of sodium ethoxide to generate the final pincer ligand, 2,6-S(CH2OC6H4)2C6H3I. The compound has been characterized through NMR spectroscopy. This compound will be reacted with Pd2(dba)3, to form the pincer complex. Pincer complexes such as this will be tested for efficiency as catalysts in the Suzuki-Miyaura carbon-carbon coupling reaction. Funding from The Ferro Corporation.

PS.12: “Docking studies of DNA minor groove binder Hx0IP by binding affinity calculations”
Dr. Chrystal D. Bruce, Chemistry; Maddi M. Ferrara and Julie L. Manka, Undergraduates

PS.13: “Trx1 mediated denitrosylation of SNO-GAPDH: an in vitro study”
Jaclyn Scholtz, Undergraduate; Dr. Ritu Chakravarti and Dr. Dennis Stuehr, Pathobiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is a heme protein and its maturation depends upon the glycolytic enzyme, GAPDH. GAPDH undergoes reversible S-nitrosylation (SNO) and denitrosylation by nitric oxide. Denitrosylation of GAPDH in vivo has been shown to be regulated by thioredoxin1 (Trx1). However, Trx1 denitrosylation of SNO-GAPDH in vitro has not been shown. We used purified and cellular GAPDH to study its denitrosylation. We used GSNO to make SNO-GAPDH protein. A reaction mixture consisting of SNO-GAPDH and equimolar Trx1 was added in the presence or absence of associated cofactors. Presence of Trx1 resulted in almost full recovery of both cytsolic and purified GAPDH activity. This led us to conclude that in vitro S-nitrosylation of purified GAPDH yields reversible S-nitrosylation and irreversible modifications whereas cellular GAPDH was protected from irreversible changes. This was confirmed by following changes in GAPDH activity and Trx1 expression in stimulated macrophages. Summer Research Intern at The Cleveland Clinic.

PS.14: “Torin2 Significantly Reduces Proximal Tubular Development of the Xenopus laevis Pronephric Kidney”
Ryan Cox, Undergraduate; Dr. Daniel Romaker and Dr. Oliver Wessely, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation

One of the central components in regulating cell growth and cell cycle progression is the mammalian target of Rapamycin (mTOR) complex. The mTOR complex consists of two distinct forms, mTORC1 and mTORC2. As aberrant mTOR complex activity is a major causative factor of many diseases including Polycystic Kidney Diseases (PKD), mTOR has become a major therapeutic target in the last decade. Rapamycin was the first macrolide drug known to inhibit mTOR activity, specifically inhibiting mTORC1. Recently, small-molecule-inhibitors are being designed to bind the catalytic domain of mTOR directly and inhibiting both mTORC1 and mTORC2. Using Rapamycin to block mTORC1, proximal tubular growth of Xenopus laevis is able to be partially abrogated. This project investigated whether Torin2 could further inhibit proximal tubular growth by blocking both mTORC1 and mTORC2 activity. Treatment with Torin2 inhibited proximal tubular growth greater than Rapamycin, which indicates both mTORC1 and mTORC2 are involved in proximal tubular development.

PS.15: “NF-κB p65 Methylation by Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) is Necessary for the Transcriptional Induction of CXCL10 by TNF”
Tyler Maxwell, Undergraduate; Drs. Daniel Harris, and Paul Dicorleto, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute

The chemokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) initiates the expression of genes involved in the recruitment and adhesion of leukocytes to sites of inflammation. Previous work demonstrates that protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5), an enzyme that methylates protein-incorporated arginine residues, has roles in inflammatory gene expression. We demonstrate here that PRMT5 regulates the transcriptional induction of chemokine CXCL10, a secreted factor that functions primarily as a chemoattractant for pro-inflammatory T-cell populations. To elucidate how PRMT5 induces CXCL10, transcription factors were immunoprecipitated known to be involved in its expression. This determined that the p65 subunit of the NF-kB transcription factor contains the methylated arginine posttranslational  modification catalyzed by PRMT5. This modification is not detected when PRMT5 is removed via RNA interference. We are developing site-directed mutations  where the modified arginine residues are replaced with other amino acids to test the importance of these residues in the PRMT5-mediated transcriptional  induction of CXCL10.

PS.16: “The Wiley©: A Competitive Market Analysis of the First Wireless Lung Stethoscope”
Tabitha Bowen, Brittany  Danilov, Joseph Grace, Shilpa Javali, Audra Kane, Christine Kobyljanec, Valerie Korb, Anthony Piunno, Kyra Pritchard, Don Zigdon, Graduate Students; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Steve Harf, Management, Marketing & Logistics

The technological innovations of the past twenty years have brought about a rapid transformation in the healthcare industry. With a focus on minimizing wasted time, energy, and money, the healthcare industry has shifted to digital, wireless medical devises and computerized systems. Yet, despite these changes, one medical device has remained almost unchanged since its invention in 1816. The iconic stethoscope, a daily essential tool of most doctors, is a medical device that is not compatible with the new electronic medical record systems as pulmonary sounds cannot be recorded and saved for future analysis and comparisons. Not only is the stethoscope outdated but it is also potentially hazardous to patients as it harbors and transmits bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This paper presents a competitive market analysis of the Wiley©, a wireless pulmonary monitoring device and one of the latest medical advances in technology invented by Dr. Kevin Trice of Pulmonary Apps, LLC.

PS.17: “Post-translational  modifications of PRMT5 regulate its pro-inflammatory activity in endothelial cells”
Joseph M. Hayek, Undergraduate, Drs. Smarajit Bandyopadhyay and Paul E. DiCorleto, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, The Cleveland Clinic

Methylation of protein-incorporated arginine residues by protein arginine methyl-transferases (PRMT) regulate a variety of key cellular processes, including gene expression and protein-protein interactions. We have recently discovered that PRMT5 acts as a pro-inflammatory factor by methylating homeobox transcription factor HOXA9 during cytokine-stimulated EC activation. The enzymatic activity of PRMT5 is regulated by post-translational events such as phosphorylation and binding partners. Our specific hypothesis is that the pro-inflammatory activity of PRMT5 may be regulated by the modulation of its post-translational modification
during cytokine-stimulated EC activation. Using a variety of biochemical approaches, including immunoprecipitation together with mass spectrometry analysis, we have identified several new post-translational modifications of PRMT5. These include methylation, acetylation, and ubiquitination. We have mutated the target residues, and are currently determining their impact on the enzymatic activity of PRMT5 and the expression of PRMT5-regulated EC genes, including HOXA9-targets. Knowledge gained from these studies may have implications in the processes of inflammation and vascular diseases.

PS.18: “Does Forest Species Composition Cause the  Central Appalachian Climate “Coolspot”?”
Matthew Mayher, Undergraduate; Dr. Brenden McNeil, Geology & Geography, West Virginia University; Kenneth Smith and Christopher Walter, Graduate Students, West Virginia University

Forests in the central Appalachian Mountains (CAM) have a double benefit for mitigating climate change; they exhibit high albedo and high uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide. I hypothesize that a unique forest species composition in the CAM not only causes the canopy architecture to be more horizontal, and thus more reflective of sunlight, but it also causes high canopy N, which is physiologically linked to high uptake of atmospheric carbon. Species composition was measured by making ordinal estimates of canopy cover and visually assessing canopy profiles, while canopy structure was measured using hemispherical photographs
taken at ordinal points in each plot. I hypothesize that species composition will influence LAD and that plots with more horizontal (lower) LAD will have high canopy-level albedo. Understanding the driving factors of canopy-level albedo is important in estimating how forests help to mitigate the effects of climate change. Funding from the WVU Department of Geology and Geography, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, and Office of the Provost, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Science Foundation (NSF).

PS.19: “Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 (MKP-1) positively regulates angiogenesis in vivo and in vitro”
Rebecca Bartlett, Undergraduate; Dr. Joel Boerckel, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Dr. Paul E. DiCorleto, Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

I will be submitting my official abstract the week of March 10, 2013.

PS.20: “Change in Depression  Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease Patients After Deep Brain Stimulation”
Samantha Hoch, Undergraduate; Dr. Darlene Floden, Neuropsychology, The Cleveland Clinic

Objective: 1. To examine the dimensions underlying self-reported depression symptoms in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). 2. To determine whether changes in  depression symptoms after Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation (STN-DBS) are attributable to changes in physical function and medication burden. We hypothesized that a 2-factor model would appropriately characterize depression symptoms in PD and that, after DBS, better mood would be associated with better motor function and higher medication levels. Both emotional and somatic mechanisms influence depression ratings in PD but only the latter are influenced by STN-DBS. Nonetheless, improved motor function and medication changes do not influence self-rated somatic depression symptoms. This has implications for understanding the mechanisms of depression in advanced PD and argues against a ‘mood-enhancing’ role of dopamine medication in this

PS.21: “Inhibitors of Histone Deacetylase Preserve Aging Axons After An Ischemic Attack”
Ryan Teknipp, Undergraduate; Sabina Bhatta; Sylvain Brunet; Dr. Selva Baltan, Neuroscience, Cleveland Clinic Foundation Lerner Research Institute

Stroke is a burdening issue on human life as its risk factor increases with age. Drugs that inhibit histone deacetylase (HDAC) were shown to preserve and promote recovery in neuronal function after stroke. The HDAC inhibitor was studied by isolating the optic nerve from 1 month and 12 month old mice, administering the drug during the ischemic attack (deprivation of glucose and oxygen). The results indicated that HDAC inhibition can preserve white matter function from 1 month and 12 month old mice when applied during an ischemic attack. The white matter axons remained functional during ischemia and recovered to 60% of control levels. These results provide the evidence that drugs that can inhibit HDAC in axons can delay the destructive effects of ischemia on the nervous system, making HDAC inhibitors an intriguing candidate as a therapeutic drug for stroke therapy.

PS.22: “Age-dependent activity of nitric oxide synthase during ischemic white matter injury”
J. Zaleski, Undergraduate; A. Bachleda A. Runkle, S. Brunet, and S. Baltan, Neuroscience, Cleveland Clinic Foundation Lerner Research Institute

White matter (WM) is injured in most strokes and axonal injury and dysfunction contribute to disability associated with clinical deficits. Because excitotoxicity leads to oxidative stress in WM, we investigated whether blocking nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity before or after a period ofoxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) promoted axon function in an age-dependent manner. Acutely isolated optic nerves (MONs) from young and old (1 and 12 month) mice were used to ascertain quantitative measurements of WM function and structure. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the expression of brain NOS (bNOS) co-localized with GFAP (+) astrocytes and NF-200 (+) axons. Evoked compound action potentials (CAPs) recovered better after OGD in young and old MONs in the presence of L-NAME, a NOS inhibitor. Treatment of MONs after OGD with L-NAME promoted CAP recovery in young but not in old MONs. Changes in NOS activity help unveil age-dependent oxidative injury mechanisms in white matter.

PS.23: “The Effects of Modafinil (Provigil) on Working Memory in Rats”
Dylan Ekstrand and Matthew Tarchick, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsors Dr. Helen M. Murphy and Dr. Cyrilla H. Wideman, Neuroscience Program

Amphetamines and their derivatives have been widely abused by students to improve their cognitive performance. Amphetamines are schedule II drugs with a high abuse potential. However, a relatively new drug modafinil has become increasingly popular with students as a neuroenhancer. The current study observed the effects of modafinil on spatial working memory in rats along with the effects of drug withdrawal. The study examined body weight, food intake, and water intake of the rats throughout the experiment. A daily 64mg/kg body weight dose of modafinil was administered during a three week experimental period which caused a significant improvement in the spatial working memory of the experimental group. There was no significant difference in body weight, food intake, water intake, and adiposity of the rats. The results suggest that modafinil can be considered a less potent alternative to amphetamines for the improvement in cognitive performance with minimal side effects.

PS.24: “Effects of Orally Administered Phentermine on Anxiety, Body Weight, and Food and Water Consumption in Rats”
Sarah Slagle and Kayla Meckley, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsors Dr. Helen M. Murphy and Dr. Cyrilla H. Wideman, Neuroscience Program

Obesity is a growing epidemic not only within the United States, but also worldwide. The present experiment examined the effects of the weight-loss drug, phentermine, on several variables including body weight, food and water consumption, activity levels, anxiety, and behavior. Twelve rats were divided into control and experimental groups. Following a 2 week habituation period, the experimental rats were given a 30 mg/kg body weight dose of phentermine in a condensed milk treat for an experimental period of 19 days followed by a one week withdrawal period. Control rats received the condensed milk treat with distilled water. Anxiety was measured using the Elevated Plus Maze. At the conclusion of the experiment, renal and mesenteric adiposity were also evaluated. Results show that phentermine caused the experimental rats to gain less weight, increase activity levels, decrease anxiety, decrease adiposity levels, and alter behavior.

PS.25: “The Effect of Varenicline on Memory in Male Long-Evans Rats”
Jeffrey Dunn and Lara Kollab, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsors Dr. Helen M. Murphy and Dr. Cyrilla H. Wideman, Neuroscience Program

Effects of the smoking-cessation aid, varenicline (Chantix), on learning and memory were evaluated in 12 male Long-Evans rats. Following a four-day habituation period, 6 rats were assigned to the experimental group and received a single 3 mg/kg body weight oral dose of varenicline daily for 15 days in a condensed milk treat. Six control animals received the treat containing distilled water only. Learning and memory were assessed using the Morris Water Maze, according to the procedure of Vorhees and Williams (2006). Body weight, food and water intake, and activity were monitored daily. Results indicate that the use of varenicline does not produce cognitive deficits related to learning and memory or in increases in body weight. Interestingly, three of the experimental rats discontinued varenicline consumption before the conclusion of the experimental period, most likely do to drug-induced nausea and consequent taste aversion.

PS.26: “The Effects of Cognitive Intervention Training and Exercise on Memory Efficacy of Alzheimer’s Disease At-Risk Elders”
Genna Losinski, Undergraduate; Dr. Stephen Rao, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health; Faculty Sponsors Dr. Helen M. Murphy and Dr. Cyrilla H. Wideman, Neuroscience Program

The effects of cognitive intervention training and exercise in patients labeled ‘at-risk’ for Alzheimer’s disease were examined. Sixty-eight adults, aged 60-85 with a positive family history of Alzheimer’s disease, participated in a 12-week controlled clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions: cognitive intervention, exercise intervention, or control group. A standardized battery of neuropsychological tests was administered at week 1 and at week 12. In addition, a physical activity survey was completed each week. Results indicated a statistically significant difference between the cognitive intervention group and the control group for 2 of the 4 neuropsychological tests. Findings are discussed in the context that cognitive intervention programs could lead to increased memory skills in at-risk Alzheimer’s disease adults. Also, exercise interventions must be reevaluated before any definitive conclusion can be drawn concerning the efficacy of this treatment.

PS.27: “Explicit and Implicit Prejudice Affected by Homosexual Experimenter”
Steven Palmieri, Benjamin Berry, Maggie Donoghue, Gillian Ganley, Undergraduates; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Angela Jones, Psychology

This study examines whether the presence of someone perceived as gay influences heterosexuals’ explicit and implicit prejudice towards homosexuals. We found that heterosexuals exhibited less prejudice when in the presence of a homosexual on both explicit and implicit measures.  Heterosexuals were less likely to express prejudice when observed by someone perceived as gay compared to someone perceived as heterosexual or when alone.  The differences in the IAT scores between the “gay experimenter” condition and the other two suggest that participants experience a change in implicit prejudicial cognition when with someone perceived as gay.  Typical predictors of sexual prejudice, such as religiosity or male gender, are shown to no longer correlate when the participant is with a homosexual. Taken together, these findings suggest that the reduction of explicit sexual prejudice may be partially due to implicit cognitive changes.

PS.28: “Analysis of Music Note Patterns via Markov Chains”
Ala’a Wadi, Undergraduate; Dr. Thomas Short, Mathematics & Computer Science

This is a presentation of a novel method for measuring the distance between two seemingly analogous fragments of music, as deemed by human perception. This is an approach entirely based on coarse-grained and primitive representations of the order of the notes that make up the songs. Through the use of a simplified Markov chain analysis, transition matrices are derived for each music piece and compared through linear algebraic techniques. Via the use of a Markov chain analysis and matrix algebra, we discover hypothesized results of small-distanced values and unforeseen values that were initially thought to be small but actually indicate large distances between music compositions. Since notes are the foundations to music, these results relate to the identities of separate music compositions by distinctive artists in disparate genres.

PS.29: “Supporting Dynamic and Robust Evaluations of Decentralized Human Assisted Swarms”
Eric Mustee, Undergraduate; Faculty Sponsors Dr. Daniel Palmer and Dr. Marc Kirschenbaum, Mathematics & Computer Science

Many problems are efficiently solved by humans using a top-down approach while other problems naturally lend themselves to a decentralized bottom-up strategy as demonstrated by swarms. The focus here is to combine both problem solving strategies to demonstrate how forming a human assisted swarm (HAS), for certain problem domains, can lead to improvement over humans and swarms working independently. This paper describes the modification of an existing tool used to study the benefits of a human assisted swarm. Modifications were made to allow for both efficient data collection and higher fidelity in modeling the swarm behavior. The data collection uses a human assisted swarm to solve digital jigsaw puzzles as the problem domain.

PS.30: “School Psychologists as Systems-Level Consultants”
Michelle O’Donnell and Emily Gray, Graduate Students, and Dr. Jeanne Jenkins, Education & Allied Studies

We will present survey results involving the processes and perceptions related to building level changes involving collaboration between school principals and school psychologists. There is a lack of research from both principal and school psychologist perspectives in this area. Participants will learn which areas of
systems level changes involve school psychologists as consultants, suggested areas for expansion of that consultation role, what is working, and potential

PS.31: “Teacher Perceptions of Consultative PracticesThat Facilitate RTI at the Elementary Level”
Haley K. Bishop, M.Ed., Jennifer L. Murphy, M.Ed., Jenny R. Schmidt, M.Ed., & Jeanne E. Jenkins, Ph.D

The implementation of RTI changed the way teachers are required to deliver educational services to students.  Due to this, the consultative relationship between school psychologists and teachers has also changed.  By gaining the perspective of teachers in regards to their attitudes towards the consultative relationship as related to RTI implementation, school psychologists can gain insight into ways in which to strengthen their consultative role, increase teacher support, and better
implement RTI in the schools.

PS.32: “A Small-Scale Study of the Effects of Supplemental Vocabulary Instruction on Preschoolers With Vocabulary Delays”
Dr. Kathleen Roskos, Education & Allied Studies and Shannon Sullivan, Graduate Student

Research on preschool vocabulary instruction has increased considerably in the last decade stimulated by the surge of educational attention on early literacy development and achievement. Based on evidence that the volume of word learning in the early years has a profound impact on future reading comprehension, studies have focused on teaching practices and interventions that support vocabulary development in young children, especially those with vocabulary delays. In
general, this research shows the benefits of direct and intensified vocabulary instruction in promoting vocabulary development and growth, although specific features of implementation vary (e.g., word selection). Studies, however, also consistently show that those children with weak vocabularies make gains, but not enough to overcome the drag of delay on their progress. In this study we investigate whether more of the same can improve the vocabulary gains of preschoolers with delays, testing the design strength of an instructional supplement used in prior research.

PS.33: “Teacher Knowledge and Perceptions of Emotional Disturbances: Improving Consultation”
Jennifer Lewis, M.Ed., Kristen Marvinney, M.Ed., Robert Richardson, M.Ed.; Faculty Sponsor Dr. Jeanne Jenkins, Education & Allied Studies

The current study seeks to contribute to an understanding of how consultation can effectively facilitate a best practice approach to identifying and providing services for children with an emotional disturbance (ED). A national sample of teachers were surveyed about their knowledge of ED and their experiences consulting with school psychologists about behaviors symptomatic of ED. Participants will gain knowledge of teachers’ understanding about ED and types of school psychological consultation experiences perceived as effective.

PS.34: “An Examination of AR 120,  First-Generation College Students, and John Carroll University”
Brian Fitts, Graduate Student;  Faculty Sponsor Dr. Cecile Brennan, Education & Allied Studies

First-Generation College Students (FGCS) are students who are the first from their family to attend a four-year college or university, and tend to experience more barriers in their transition from high school to college. JCU has recently begun offering a course (AR 120) geared toward, but not restricted to, students identified as FGCS. The current research focused on the effectiveness of AR 120. Students were given a 10 item questionnaire and asked to rate their current levels of stress in various areas (academics, social, etc.) on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The questionnaire was administered at the beginning and end of the semester. Interviews were conducted with three instructors and one student. Results indicated that JCU is effective in helping FGCS in their transition from high school to college. More research is needed regarding the effectiveness of AR 120.

PS.35: “Asperger’s Syndrome: A Systems Perspective for Working with Youth with Asperger’s and Their Families”
Victoria Giegerich, Graduate Student, Dr. John Rausch, Education & Allied Studies, and Alicia Pascoe, M.Ed.

Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) typically represents the highest functioning people who are diagnosed within the Autism Spectrum Disorders. AS involves many issues including communication barriers, inability to read social cues, and social isolation. AS often remains undiagnosed until a later age resulting in poor communication skills, negative peer interactions, social ostracization, and potential psychopathology. Parents often advocate for their child, and fight to ensure their child is not misrepresented in order to encourage their child’s ability to succeed through the best education and services there are to offer. The authors conducted a qualitative grounded theory study with 15 families who had a child with AS via interviews with the mothers, fathers, and the children who have AS. The goal of the study was to examine the experience of AS from a family systems perspective. Interview results included topics such as the diagnostic process,
advocacy, interventions, social dynamics, and coping strategies.

PS.36: “The Association Between Bullying and Mental Illness”
Eli Schwersenski, Graduate Student; Faculty Sponsor Dr. John Rausch, Education & Allied Studies

The current study sought to investigate the long term effects of bullying. Research has shown that bullying during childhood can lead to mental illness in adulthood. This study investigated the association between childhood bullying and adult mental illness, specifically depression. The study included five female participants between the ages of 24-40. The females volunteered to participate in the study and were interviewed on how they perceive the bullying they experienced during childhood, and how it has affected them in their adult lives. Results of the study indicated that childhood bullying does affect the lives of adults. However, it is unclear if childhood bullying leads to increased levels of depression as adults. The results of the study are inconclusive and require further investigation. This may be due to the small sample size, or because most of the participants were teachers. Further research is needed in order to fully investigate the long term effects of childhood bullying.

PS.37: “Psychological Predictors of Body Image Dissatisfaction 3-months after Bariatric Surgery”
Ashleigh Pona, Undergraduate; Dr. Leslie Heinberg, Dr. Megan Lavery, Dr. Julie Merrell, Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Although studies on bariatric surgery have associated postoperative weight loss with improvement in body image, some individuals continue to feel dissatisfied with their body image after bariatric surgery. The present study explored preoperative factors that may predict body image problems 3-months after bariatric surgery. Data were analyzed from bariatric patients who completed the “Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Second Edition, Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF).” Scales measuring depression and self-esteem were examined, and medical records were reviewed. Patients who scored higher on scales measuring demoralization, low positive emotions, ideas of persecution, self-doubt, and inefficacy were significantly more likely to struggle with body image problems 3-months after bariatric surgery, in addition to patients with a preoperative depression diagnosis, current psychotropic medication usage, and history of outpatient therapy and medication. Results suggest that bariatric surgery candidates with psychopathology and psychological risk factors may be more vulnerable to body image problems early after bariatric surgery.

PS.38: “A Philological, Epidemiological, and Clinical Analysis of the Plague of Athens”
Corrin Powell, Undergraduate; Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Erin Johnson, Biology

In the summer of 430 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War, a plague hit Athens a few days after the Spartans besieged the city. The plague raged continuously in the city for two years and broke out again in 427 B.C. Most of the population was infected and approximately 25% of the population died. Thucydides  wrote History of the Peloponnesian War, which is main literary source for the plague and other events in the Peloponnesian War. Although Thucydides took great pains to carefully describe the clinical features of the disease, physicians and classicists have disagreed on the identification of the causative agent. In the past hundred years scholars have argued for over 39 causative agents, but no conclusive argument has been made for a particular causative agent. In order to narrow down the possible causative agents, I used a descriptive epidemiological analysis of Thucydides’ description to determine modes of transmission.

PS.39: “Modeling the Mechanism of Circadian KaiC Phosphorylation in Cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus”
Andrew McElroy, Undergraduate

Until recently, it was believed that the mechanisms for circadian rhythm in all organisms were very complex, requiring many cofactors which were difficult to identify. However, Nakajima et al. showed that one organism, the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus, contains three clock proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC, that, when purified and mixed with ATP, produce circadian oscillations in vitro1. In this project, an attempt to determine the mechanism for these circadian oscillations is made; building on previously published work2 of Dr. David Lubensky, professor at the University of Michigan. The approach relies on relatively simple mass-action kinetics to model the system. Two adaptions of the van Zon model2 were attempted: slowing the binding rate of KaiB and introducing a dimer/tetramer interaction to the model. Unfortunately, both of these mechanisms failed to model the experimental oscillating system. Proving that this simple model is most likely not the mechanism controlling this phenomenon.

PS.40: “Two-probe Electrical and Thermal Transport Measurements on 50-micron Long Single Crystal ZnGeN2 Rods”
*John Colvin, Undergraduate; Dr. Jeffrey Dyck, Department of Physics, John Carroll University; Paul Quayle, Graduate student; Dr. Kathleen Kash, Department of Physics,Case Western Reserve University

While many modern electrical devices are based on III-nitride semiconductors such as GaN,these devices have some challenges related to the strong polarity of the wurtzite crystal structure and a difficulty in doping them p-type. ZnGeN2, an analog to GaN, has a number of distinctly different predicted properties, however; in particular, its doping and defect properties and lower spontaneous polarization coefficients. So far, the electrical transport properties of ZnGeN2 are not well studied. Recently 50-micron long single crystal rods have been grown by a vapor-liquid-solid method. Electrical transport measurements are difficult on such small crystals. In this work, we will present a novel sample stage designed to perform 2-probe electrical measurements on these small crystals, enabling measurements of Seebeck coefficient and resistance. We will discuss modeling of Seebeck coefficient data for ZnGeN2 and the design, fabrication, and performance of sample stage prototypes. Funded by the National Science Foundation.

PS.41: “Effects of pH on Surface Electrical Properties of Indium Nitride and Zinc Oxide”
Brian Washburne, Undergraduate; Dr. Jeffery Dyck, Advisor, John Carroll University; Dr. Kathy Kash, Case Western Reserve University

Indium nitride (InN) is a semiconductor with a bandgap that makes it a material of interest for visible light emitting technologies like full color displays. However, the surface of InN has properties that confuse attempts to characterize the intrinsic electric properties of the material. The pH in the unavoidable water layer on the surface of InN can affect the exchange of electrons between the water layer and the surface of InN, this alters the electrical properties of InN. With a goal of further clarifying our understanding of this exchange of electrons, resistance measurements of InN were taken under the influence of three different levels of pH in ambient humid air. An InN sample was contained in the presence of solutions of a low, neutral, and high pH. There were measurable changes in resistance with changes in pH. Initial changes in resistance were in agreement with predictions. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation.

PS.42 “Work/Home Balance as a Predictor of Professional and Personal Satisfaction”
Kathleen Patton, Undergraduate; Jerry Kiffer, M.A., Executive Health Department, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

While we live in a time that perpetuates the novelty of having it all, such expectations may not always be realistic. More often, specifically between the important domains at work and home, the goal is balance, and a lack of balance may lead to decreased satisfaction. The aim of the current study was to identify the relationship between work/home balance and satisfaction levels in professional and personal domains. Data from Executive Health reports from September 2011-July 2012 were used, with each patient having completed a fifteen-item subjective well-being inventory, the Spreadsheet of Life and Responsibilities (SOLAR 15). Items addressed satisfaction in areas of work, body, mind, and loving relationships, as well as overall life satisfaction. Results suggest that home/work balance significantly predicted satisfaction for both the home and work domains, and furthermore, the gender, marital status, age, and work hours invested by the patients played significant roles in their sense of work/home balance and satisfaction levels.

PS.43 Appalachia Immersion Trip
Megan Lowes

Appalachia is a region in the United States that is spread over thirteen states. Appalachia is a unique in the fact that it is a very impoverished area, and not really as advanced as other parts of the country. West Virginia is the only state that is completely in Appalachia and it is also the state that has the most coal mining. While on this trip, we learned the issues surrounding coal mining and the pros and cons associated with it. Some of the pros of coal mining include providing jobs and bringing wealth to the area, while cons consist of dangerous working conditions and potential health risks. We were able to witness the devastation of coal mining, which included seeing first hand effects of mountaintop removal. Seeing the effects and hearing the stories helped us learn about how this process can cause damages to the environment.