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.
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 suppressor of the YAP-TEAD complex in the cell, which is associated with hepatomegaly and tumorigenesis.
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 past few semesters, and over the summer the main goal was to organize, clean, and analyze this data. We are hoping this research will fill major gaps in the literature by assessing the extent to which deficits in cognitive control resulting from heightened arousal is a mechanism driving the poor behavioral constraint associated with emotion-relevant impulsivity.
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 data analysis and post-processing of the data. This includes developing code to process the raw data to final, science-grade images of each target, testing the approach and optimizing it. The team is currently working on a peer-reviewed publication; JJ will be a co-author.
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.
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, mother’s education and feeding practices, family size, etc. I am interested in furthering our investigations by looking at the role of gender. What is the difference, if any, between tooth decay and malnutrition among girls and boys?
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 at the film structure of the coming of age story when it is targeted towards a black audience.
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.
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 East that are simply piled on top of each other; I create foam-padded plastic bags for each object that are constructed from materials that don’t emit artifact-degrading chemicals. Then, I take photos of each artifact that are uploaded to the Hearst’s online collections database.
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 photographs, films, television programming, and advertisements. In particular, we analyzed how French and American women were treated in various topical areas: food and diet, fashion and beauty, and celebrity life. This research project contributes to an interdisciplinary and gendered understanding of U.S.-French relations. The project also shows how women have been used as symbols of the nation between the U.S. and France.