Rachel Li

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.

Zahra Ansari

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).

Abby Blaine

I will be working on an article focusing on how emotional communication from others powerfully affects an infant’s behavior, and more specifically, how emotional signaling from the mother can affect the infant’s behavior towards objects and events about which the infant is uncertain. This article will center on the importance of face, voice and gesture on the infant’s behavior regulation, how enduring these effects are at different ages of infancy, and the development of the infant’s responsiveness to these emotional signals. It will also identify the age of onset of an infant’s sensitivity to emotional signals and the role of social referencing of emotions not present in the first year of life such as shame, pride, and perhaps guilt.

Maria Sandoval-Navas

My research focuses on Colorectal cancer screening in a Latinx church community. Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of death in the United States and the rates of screening for Latinxs are low. Thus, we are targeting this population, in order to address these two problems. I will be working along side Vicky Gomez, who has been working with this community for years. We have recruited members of the church who have either experienced or had someone close to them experience a battler or loss due to colorectal cancer. These participants created a digital story, a clip in which they share their experience during these times and the way colorectal cancer affected their lives. This is with the purpose to show their experiences to members of their communities and urge them to become screened because they can connect to the stories they are seeing. The overall goal of our research […]

Xinyu Li

The D’Esposito Lab studies the neural bases underlying high-level cognitive processes such as working memory. My goal for this summer is to understand how frequency-specific stimulation can entrain the neuronal oscillations underlying these processes. The enhancement or disruption of working memory by rhythmic stimulation can have broader implications for treatments that target cognitive deficits, which are common to numerous developmental, neurological, and psychiatric disorders.

Taylor Osman

This summer, under the guidance of my mentors, Professor Alison Gopnik and PhD student Mariel Goddu, I will be working with preschool-age kids to investigate how children select causally relevant variables in order to understand the world. Young children seem particularly good at recognizing, with very little evidence, what variables are casually relevant in a system, or in other words, what variables bring about some effect in a system. At preschools and museums, like the Bay Area Discovery Museum or the Lawrence Hall of Science, we have kids, with the permission of their parents, participate in studies that are engaging for them, like ones that center around turtles or magical wizards. Because children are often capable of discerning patterns before they are able put this understanding into words, we try to design studies that pick up on the amazing abilities kids have to understand the world — abilities that often […]

Sonia Hamilton

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.

Nicole-Hadassah Valdez

I have been researching for the Fisher Center for the past academic year and am continuing on a new project. I am preparing an accepted paper for publication with revisions and furthering research on the integration of real and financial markets. Working off of N.N. Taleb’s “Black Swan”, the paper compares the boom and busts from 1800-1940’s to the recent 2007-2008 global financial crisis. The paper is solution-based and discusses possible remedies and strategies for the modern, global economy.

Caroline Eskandar

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.

Joel Rojas

As a research assistant for the Pacific Islander Task Force, I will continue to conduct quantitative data analysis on Maternal and Infant health data concerning mothers’ social demographics, health insurance, and health status. Our goal for this research project is to highlight the significant health disparities among Asian American and Pacific Islander mothers in the Bay Area counties of San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo through data disaggregation. My research not only shows the systematic causes of public health disparities but also inspires local and state departments of Public Health to effectively use our research to contribute in organizing and implementing government programs that address these public health disparities in the long run.