Many of our students did exciting projects during Summer 2013!
Sarah Nainar ('14) spent the summer at Stanford University in the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN). Her project tested the biomechanical effects of nanoparticles on the upper layer of the skin (the stratum corneum). Sarah processes human cadaveric tissue as part of her work. She used an array of techniques, including SEM, TEM, AFM, DLS, and ATR-FTIR, and is an authorized clean room user. Sarah's research was funded through the National Science Foundation.
Evan Rosenberg ('14) conducted research at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham, WA. Working with Dr. Gilbertson, Evan synthesized capping ligands used to surround semiconductor nanoparticles (quantum dots). The goal of his research is to develop a new photovoltaic cell that can be used as a cheaper, more efficient way to harvest solar energy. Evan's work was funded by the National Science Foundation.
Zachary Marsh ('14) worked at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA) with Dr. Madura, determining magnetic shielding values in organic crystals. Zachary investigated the shielding of an isolated molecule, and of a molecule including a lattice structure to show that by including the lattice, the calculations will be more accurate. His research was in collaboration with Dr. Iuliucci (W&J).
Julie Pacilio ('14) was an intern at the University of Pittsburgh Vascular and Pulmonary Institute. She studied the pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells in a human model to check for the regulation of thrombospondin (TSP) by CD47. Julie's work relates to pulmonary hypertension and she used a variety of techniques, including RT-PCR, Western Blotting, and indirect immunoflouresence scanning. Julie was funded by W&J's Merck Internships for Excellence in Science program.
Ashley Geraets ('15) spent her summer at West Virginia University working in the Plant and Soil Science division. Her research was to isolate a putative copper transporter which is expressed solely in the nodules on the roots of a legume. Ashley used M. truncatula as a model organism with the longterm goal of developing sustainable agriculture that does not rely on nitrogen rich fertilizers. Her research was funded through the National Science Foundation.
Morgan Morelli ('14) worked at the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute in Pittsburgh, PA. She investigated the relationship between the presence of complement protein C4d on the platelets of some lupus patients and cardiovascular disease. Morgan ran blood samples through a microfluidic chamber with different thrombogenic matrices and analyzed the aggregation of fluorescently tagged platelets at a high shear stress. The aggregate data was compared with pulse wave velocity ultrasounds to relate these results with vascular stiffness. Morgan was 1 of 5 students nationwide to receive a scholarship from the Lupus Foundation of America to support her research.
Lauren Fisher ('14) spent the summer at the Boston University School of Medicine, Pulmonary Center. Her project was related to better understanding the early development of asthma. Her goal was to determine whether exposure to cockroach allergen can affect epithelial cells, leading to increased Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection (and possibly asthma). Lauren's research was funded by W&J's Merck Internships for Excellence in Science program.
Zach Drennen ('15) worked at the Institute for Pain Diagnostics and Care at Ohio Valley General Hospital. He researched ways to improve the limited success rate of bipolar radiofrequency (RF) ablation, a procedure used to treat chronic sacroiliac joint pain. Zach also studied ways to improve infection control policies involved with spinal cord stimulation, an invasive procedure used to treat chronic intractable pain of neuropathic origin. He developed an international survey to assess practicing interventional pain physician’s infection control policy for spinal cord stimulator trials and implants. Zach's research was funded by W&J's Merck Internships for Excellence in Science program.
David Grosz ('14) worked on developing a protocol to successfully isolate activated, non-aggregated platelets from human blood. He then studied the effect of these platelets on in vitro blood coagulation time in the presence of various procoagulant surfaces. Dave was a part of the Penn State Hershey College of Medicines SURIP program with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Tyler Watson ('14) spent the summer at the University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore) working with a Gastroenterologist in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program. His mentor, Dr. R. Cross, is a W&J alum from the class of 1993. Tyler researched the impact of surgical/medical readmissions in Crohn's disease. He also continued work on an IRB approved Patient Database (1300 patients). Tyler was able to work directly with clinicians and research coordinators on clinical studies and IRB approvals as well as spend 150 hrs shadowing in surgery and the clinic. Tyler's summer was funded by the Magellan Project.