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).
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.
I work within the Fleiszig laboratory, which focuses on Pseudomonas eye infections. This summer, I will be studying the role of specific genes within the pqq operon, an operon formerly known to be involved in ethanol oxidation. I will be exploring the unknown role of this operon in facilitating antimicrobial resistance when Pseudomonas is grown in tear fluid.
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.
I research the effects technological advances (such as expert systems and databases/data collection) and associated practices (like routine use exceptions) have had on privacy. I also research legislative attempts to address these issues, such as the Privacy Act of 1974.
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.
My summer research will focus on understanding how selection from two different bacteriophages impacts the evolution of a bacterial population. I will use experimental evolution, microbiological assays, and genome sequencing to determine whether the plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, is able to evolve resistance against each of two bacteriophages either in isolation or when applied as a cocktail. I will perform this in vitro and measure how multiple selection pressures alter the evolutionary potential of the bacterium.
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.