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 nature. One class of theory that predicts such interactions is “Supersymmetry.” Samuel is working on the search for Supersymmetry in a special class of models where some of the Supersymmetric particles can propagate a measurable distance before decaying.
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 strategy video game control. He also made progress setting up the system for the healthcare project.
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.
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 research projects) for an entire semester. With my graduate mentor and professor, we have dedicated much time and energy to make sure the procedures are rigorously scientific and skillfully practiced. I am excited for the our efforts to eventually pay off and generate worthwhile scientific data (and even better, lead to valuable discoveries!).
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 Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS) was used to assess motivation and pleasure related to family relationships, romantic relationships, and friendships, past week pleasurable social activities, and expected next week pleasurable social activities.
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 be used in human rights reports and legal cases. I work to verify social media users, identify weapons, and geolocate video and images found on the Internet that can be provided as evidence. I am also working to develop a guidebook and framework for other institutions looking to perform similar research with open source investigations in the future.
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 newborns for phenylketonuria.