Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide and is one of the most common conditions for those over the age of 60. For this project, we aim to identify genetic modifiers that cause nuclear cataract formation in mice. We are also trying to understand the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for cataracts in hope of developing ways to treat it.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S., and one of the more common types of cancer experienced by South Asians. CRC incidence rate is rising for South Asians, however screening rates in South Asians remain relatively low. For the past two years, my research group and I have been organizing numerous health outreach events to disseminate information about the importance of colorectal cancer screenings in South Asian populations. This summer, I will be working to finalize a manuscript evaluating the accessibility and effectiveness of these outreach events. In the future, we hope to use this information to improve our outreach methods, as well as expand our research to include other South Asian populations (e.g. Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives).
This summer, I will continue to lead the Digital Verification Corps, a team that partners with Amnesty International to respond to various international human rights violations in real time. The DVC performs the discovery and verification of open source information to provide vital information to Amnesty International in their support of their research and reporting. Much like a task force, the DVC is a fast-paced, versatile team that investigates immediate human rights situations spanning the globe.
I help with translating themes within the Facebook datasets from Arabic into English, using a qualitative codebook. I read through refugee questions and concerns, smugglers, government officials and others and classify them then, enter them into the spreadsheet. The goal is to participate in eventually forming a reliable database for refugee to extract accurate information from during their journey through Europe.
My work for this summer will be a continuation of the research I have been doing for the past academic year. My research project focuses on reconciling the everyday learning practices of members of nondominant communities with the practices they undertake in formal educational settings, such as the classroom. This is a necessary step when seeking to address the disparities presented by the public education system. In order to accomplish this, my work requires me to become acquainted with a specific family’s video data, which I then organize, and for which I create codes and analytical memos.
The Pitx2 gene is involved in eye and teeth development and cancer regulation. This summer, I will be further studying how Pitx2 mutations may affect tooth number in threespine stickleback fish by studying the phenotypes of various genetic crosses. This work will consist of both individual and collaborative projects in the Miller Lab.
This summer I plan to assist Dr. Carol Wilson in preparing the DNA samples for First-generation DNA sequencing. Our DNA samples include genus Iris and completion of the project will enable the phylogeny of the species.
This summer I will be continuing to provide research assistance for Professor Rule’s book that discusses privacy rights in the digital era. I began working with Professor Rule in the Fall of 2018 when the book was still in the outline stage. This summer I will be helping Professor Rule with Chapters 3-6 of his book. The books seeks to reveal threats to online personal data and then recommend steps of action. My research focuses on privacy related laws, public opinion polls as well as violations and misuse of personal data. Given that the book has not been published, I can not fully disclose the contents of the book.
The Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a species of jay that shows incredible morphological diversity across its range in the North and Central America. Our previous genetic work using nuclear DNA (microsatellites) and mitochondrial DNA has shown evidence of strong genetic structure across populations. This summer, I will be working closely with my mentor to thoroughly analyze both the microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data to better understand patterns of population differentiation within the jays. Furthermore, we will also perform analysis of morphological and ecological niche data and compare them to the molecular data. Ultimately, we want to better understand the historical evolutionary processes that led to the amount of phenotypic divergences we see in Steller’s jays today.
My research entails operating an MRI scanner for a study conducted by the Cal Mania (CALM) program. The goal of this study is to better understand how factors such as reward sensitivity and planning play a role in various anxiety and mood disorders. My role in this study is to conduct brain scans on subjects while they undergo multiple functional tasks that help assess their reward sensitivity, planning, and emotion regulation. Analysis of these scans will show what brain regions are active during these tasks, and thus will help us better understand the neuropsychology of the people who struggle with these disorders.