URAP Summer Program

Each year, the program offers a small number of stipends to allow some URAP apprentices to continue work on their mentors' research projects over the summer. To be eligible, students must have been working with the same mentor for at least two semesters. Mentors nominate their students. These stipends are generously supported by a number of private donors.

Displaying 1 - 36 of 36

NeuroGPU: GPU Accelerated Neuronal Modeling

Nikhil Athreya : EECS Summer 2017

The project involved convex optimization and GPU programming to speed up neuronal simulations. Essentially, given the description of a neuron and/or a neuronal network, the project aims to translate this high level description into something that can be run on a GPU. GPU-bound simulations are on the order of 1000's of times faster than CPU-bound simulations. This... Read More


Samuel Bright-Thonney : Physics and Applied Mathematics Summer 2017

Prof. Shapiro is an experimental particle physicist and a leader of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory affiliated collider experiment known as: ATLAS collaboration at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). One of the most important pieces of the ATLAS research program is to search for new phenomena and interactions never before observed at the most basic level of... Read More

French-American Women Project

Rani Davina Chan : Media Studies and Political Economy Summer 2017

In this research project, we examined how French women were constructed in American media and how American women were constructed in French media in the post-World War II era, specifically from 1944 to 1965. Our methodology entailed close-readings of different American and French historical newspapers, magazine articles, books, and other media texts, including... Read More

The Role of Attention in Motor Adaptation

Kristy Dang : Integrative Biology and Sociology Summer 2017

I work in the CognAc lab, which focuses on how people select, plan, and perform movements. My goal this summer is to explore how attention affects the way subjects implicitly (unconsciously) adapt when their motor movements are perturbed. I want to determine the relationship between explicit focus and implicit learning. By studying how people learn motor movements, we... Read More

Degenerative Retinal Disease Research

Carolyn Dunlap : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

This summer I am working with Cecile Fortuny in the Flannery lab to better understand retinal disease. This summer project is a continuation of the work we have been doing throughout the year to understand how degenerative retinal diseases function and try and model the diseases in mice so that future research and treatment can be conducted. We are also working on... Read More

Impulsive Reactions to Emotions, Cognition, and Biological Markers

Stephanie Gam : Psychology and Social Welfare Summer 2017

This study employs a number of important methodological features: experimental manipulation of stress, measurement of arousal using psychophysiological parameters, neurocognitive assessment of response inhibition, and behavioral indicators of whether response inhibition deficits translate to real world behavior. Much of the data collection has been completed over the... Read More

Radiobiology Synergy Analysis (Statistics project)

Dae Woong Ham : Statistics, Applied Mathematics Summer 2017

I spent and will spend most of the time finalizing our paper, which will be published soon. I am mainly responsible for doing most of the coding and execution on the statistics part of the project. I have currently done ODE solving, parameter estimation, monte carlo simulations with 95% Confidence Intervals, modeling, and computer simulations. 

The Molecular Basis of Floral Patterns

Grace Johnson : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

My research project involves looking at what genes lead to certain petal spot patterns in the common monkeyflower. I also look at how these spots may give a plant an advantage when it comes to getting pollinated and passing on their genes. My time is largely divided between molecular work in the lab and more hands-on work in the greenhouse, where I cross plants,... Read More

The "Super Peer" and its Effect on African-American Children

Dominque Keith-Maher : English Summer 2017

I am currently assisting Professor Herd with conducting research on the influence of mass media --also known as "the super peer"-- on alcohol consumption amongst African-American adolescents. We are specifically looking at popular movies from the Teen Media Study, which was conducted in 2001and 2002. Apart from this, I am also beginning a literature review, that looks... Read More

Quantifying the relationship between stereopsis and motor control in a prehension task

Alyson Kishi : Molecular and Cell Biology Summer 2017

The aim of this study is to quantify the relationship between stereopsis (the ability to see depth) and the ability to precisely grasp an object. We will present objects in a frontal view that minimizes other cues to their shape and ask participants to reach and pick up the objects while recording their hand movements.  It is our hope that the study will illuminate our... Read More

Controlling Myopia

Niathi Kona : Public Health Summer 2017

I will work mostly on two projects, linked by the common theme of controlling myopia (the focus of the Wildsoet Lab). One of my projects will involve guinea pigs as an animal model for myopia and will explore the influence of dosing on the effectiveness of atropine eye drops for slowing or preventing the development of myopia. The second project will involve human... Read More


Yichu Li : Economics Summer 2017

There are a couple of topics I am responsible for, including pollution economy, current U.S. healthcare system, China's Belt and Road policy, etc. They are all very engaging and requires in-depth reading and research, which I learnt a lot from. I was not only analyzing the status quo, but was also responsible for proposing a hypothetical solution or version myself.

Motivators and Barriers to Social Interaction in People with Schizophrenia

Renata M. Botello : Psychology, Disability Studies Minor Summer 2017

My current research project examines how people with schizophrenia experience their social world. More specifically, it analyzes the different motivators and barriers to social interaction in people with schizophrenia and controls with the purpose of providing a deeper understanding of social functioning among people with this condition. Data on the Clinical Assessment... Read More

Spleen Development in TLx1 and NKx2.5 deficient human cell lines

Amir-Ala Mahmoud : Molecular and Cellular Biology Summer 2017

TLx1 and Nkx2.5 are transcription factors that are essential regulators of early spleen development. In order to better understand how conditions such as incomplete congenital asplenia, and other aberrations of the spleen develop, better understanding the effects of these transcription factors on development is necessary. In order to do so I am generating spleen cell... Read More

Dengue Virus NS1 protein

Carmel Malvar : Microbial Biology and Public Health Summer 2017

This summer, I will be working on investigating the structure and molecular determinants of the Dengue Virus NS1 protein. Dengue Virus affects hundreds of millions of patients annually and can lead to symptoms such as hemorrhagic fever or shock syndrome. My work will be building on our findings in lab from the past year regarding key amino acid sites on NS1's role in... Read More

Geo-analysis of Research Papers

Richard Meng : Computer Science & Statistics Summer 2017

We are trying to analyze the geographical properties of research papers from 1970s to now. The papers we choose to analyze are primarily about conducting researches on regions & lands. Therefore, through analyzing the geographical properties of authors, conference address, researching scope, etc., we would like to find a relation between where the paper is written... Read More

Research in the Trace Gas Biogeochemistry Laboratory

Anya Mikheicheva : Geophysics Summer 2017

I have been working on a few projects  "Net ecosystem fluxes of methyl halides from Rush Ranch, a salt marsh ecosystem in the San Joaquin Delta", “Halide extractions from Oxford Tract” and  I’m about to start another project that is running GS-MS with a different carrying gas, which could possibly improve gas chromatography results. With the first two projects I did a... Read More

Shane Adaptive Optics Survey of Stellar Binary Systems

Jner Tzern (JJ) Oon : Astrophysics and Physcis Summer 2017

The projects aims at searching for stellar binary systems with extremely uneven members. The surveys the team conducts use state-of-the-art high contrast imaging devices. To the large collection of images for each target advanced analysis tools are applied to achieve the highest possible contrast to find the faint companions. JJ continues to be involved in the in the... Read More

Predicting disease phenotypes based on genotype data

Roshni Patel : Molecular and Cell Biology Summer 2017

Phenylketonuria is an inherited metabolic disorder that affects 1 in 10000 newborns every year. Left undiagnosed and untreated, phenylketonuria can cause severe neurological impairment. My project uses machine learning methods on genotypic data to predict the phenotypic impact of genetic mutations. These predictions can supplement current methods used to screen... Read More

Educational Experiences of Return Migrants to Yucatan

Maricruz Pool-Chan : Ethnic Studies Summer 2017

The research project focuses on migrants that return to Yucatan, Mexico. Specifically, it looks at their experiences in schools and with their families once they begin living in their hometowns. Through these experiences, the research will help us understand return migration in Mexico and transnational migration in the United States.

Natural Language Understanding

Vivek Raghuram : Computer Science Summer 2017

Prof. Feldman is leading the ECG2 project, a "Natural Language Understanding" system. Vivek is currently working with him on two projects, one to apply the natural language understanding system to control strategy video gaming, and another to build a healthcare-related question and answer system. This summer, Vivek wrote and submitted a paper to a conference about... Read More

Exploration into the Emergence of Word Meanings

Christian Ramiro : Cognitive Science Summer 2017

Our project's overarching focus is to detect changes in how we use our lexicon to convey meaning. A previous project touched heavily on how meaning "evolves" for a word over the whole course of its existence (up to Old English!). This summer we are looking into how word meaning changes or transfers during the development of children.

Studies of PRC2

Dvir Reif : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

I have been working in the Nogales lab since Summer 2016 through this academic year through URAP, working with a postdoctoral fellow (Vignesh Kasinath) and another undergraduate (Ashlee Feng) in the Nogales lab. My work in the Nogales lab is focused on understanding the structure and function of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). So far we have been successful not... Read More

Investigating contributions of KGB-1 to stress resistance

Cyrus Ruediger : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

Organisms are continually faced by a variety of external and internal stressors, which often both contribute to and are exacerbated by the aging process and associated pathologies. Our lab uncovered an age-dependent switch in the contributions of the C. elegans JNK protein KGB-1 to stress resistance, providing protection in larvae, but reducing resistance and... Read More

Does the "food movement" include farmers and ranchers?

Ruby Sapia : Environmental Economics and Policy Summer 2017

By evaluating what counts as “food movement” activity, we are able to identify organizations and events engaging with its themes. Additionally, it gives us a framework through which to evaluate in what ways and to what extent farmers and ranchers adhere to similar themes, and whether they use the same language, occupy the same social spaces, or participate in the same... Read More

Predator Control and the Valuation of Wildlife

Yana Slabakov : Environmental Economics and Policy Summer 2017

This summer, I am investigating the advantages that large predators bring to their ecosystems, as well as the costs, benefits, challenges, and feasibility of a wide array of wildlife management methods. I’m focusing my research on the Hopland Research and Extension Center in Mendocino County, where sheep ranchers are deeply invested in the impacts that coyotes have on... Read More

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum Collections Care

Reagan Smith : Anthropology Summer 2017

I help preserve artifacts and make them accessible to researchers and the public. My work consists mainly of two parts: artifact re-housing and artifact photography. Artifact re-housing involves updating the storage practices of objects. For example, many of the trays of artifacts that I'm working with this summer have ceramic sherds that come from Asia and the Near... Read More

Regional Housing Needs Allocation APR Data Analysis

Sarah Strochak : Economics Summer 2017

This summer,  I have been continuing my work on developing and maintaining a database of annual housing production reports. Every year, cities in California report their housing production on Annual Progress Reports (APRs), as part of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process, a feature of the California state Housing Element Process. By analyzing this data... Read More

Synthesis of Hetero-bifunctional PROTAC Derivative

Arthur Tran : Chemical Biology Summer 2017

For the summer, I've been working on the synthesis of a molecular linker that connects two different drug known as a PROTAC, or proteolysis targeting chimera. One drug at the end of this linker is a thalidomide derivative, which can bind to the E3 ubiquitin ligase cereblon (a protein in the cell that can mark other proteins for degradation). The other drug is a known... Read More

Farming for Native Bees

Adele Wallrich : Conservation and Resource Studies Summer 2017

The Urban Bee Lab creates partnerships with farmers to research ways that farms can attract native bees, such as implementing sustainable plant habitat, in an effort to supplement honey bee pollination. With colony collapse disorder decimating honey bee populations, it is crucial to study our native Californian bees, of which there are over 1,500 species. This summer,... Read More

Human Rights Investigations Lab

Haley Willis : Sociology, Media Studies Summer 2017

The Human Rights Investigations Lab at HRC Berkeley is one of the first of its kind, working with Amnesty International's Digital Verification Corps and three other partner universities to collect evidence of human rights abuses. My summer research involves continuing this process of discovering and verifying social media content, coming out of places such as Syria, to... Read More

The Extraordinary Impact of Nonverbal Behavior

Fiona Yang : Psychology Summer 2017

I will be attending to several projects that I have been working on for one year at Prof. Dana's lab, such as the entrepreneurship project in Uganda, taste-judgement study and facial EMG studies. More specifically, I will be running a study at Harvard's lab for a week, which involves facial EMG (Electromyography) sessions that I have practiced weekly (among other... Read More

Modeling the functions of the gene, DYRK1A, using Xenopus Tropicalis

Yuxiao Yu : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

Autism spectrum disorder has a strong genetic basis. My research contributes to understanding the functions of the genes that are highly associated with autism. Main techniques employed include cloning, CRIPSR-Cas9 system to introduce gene mutation, phenotypical analysis using immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization.  



Malnutrition, Tooth Decay, and Gender

Neha Zahid : Public Health, Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

In low-income communities across the world, we have been observing an epidemic that is 100% preventable: tooth decay. Our in-depth analysis has repeatedly shown the correlation between poor oral health and malnutrition and our research aims to uncover the associated risk factors - junk food consumption and access, dental care access, oral health and nutrition education... Read More

The Eye's Heavy Lifters

Simon Zhen : Molecular & Cell Biology Summer 2017

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the eye refers to a monolayer of cells that are critical for maintaining the health of the photo-receptor cells located in the back of the eye. This summer, my work is focused on performing primary culture of RPE cells. These cells will then be subjected to further studies, including staining (to identify the contents of the... Read More

Intersectionality in interracial, romantic relationships

Shannon Zheng : Sociology & Rhetoric Summer 2017

As an undergraduate research apprentice, I transcribe interviews in a qualitative Sociological study. After transcribing, I help code and organize data. Given my exposure to the data, I then have the opportunity to author analytic memos, seeking relationships between past scholarship and current data.