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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 summer, I have been continuing my work on developing and maintaining a database of annual housing production reports. Every year, cities in California report their housing production on Annual Progress Reports (APRs), as part of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process, a feature of the California state Housing Element Process. By analyzing this data, I hope to develop a way to analyze the rate of reporting across the state, the amount of housing that has been produced, and how this production compares to the goals outlined by the RHNA process.
I work in the CognAc lab, which focuses on how people select, plan, and perform movements. My goal this summer is to explore how attention affects the way subjects implicitly (unconsciously) adapt when their motor movements are perturbed. I want to determine the relationship between explicit focus and implicit learning. By studying how people learn motor movements, we hope to further understand neurological disorders and improve rehabilitation methods for patients.
I spent and will spend most of the time finalizing our paper, which will be published soon. I am mainly responsible for doing most of the coding and execution on the statistics part of the project. I have currently done ODE solving, parameter estimation, monte carlo simulations with 95% Confidence Intervals, modeling, and computer simulations.
I have been working in the Nogales lab since Summer 2016 through this academic year through URAP, working with a postdoctoral fellow (Vignesh Kasinath) and another undergraduate (Ashlee Feng) in the Nogales lab. My work in the Nogales lab is focused on understanding the structure and function of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). So far we have been successful not just in the biochemical characterization which involves molecular cloning and protein purification, but also in preliminary electron microscopy studies (Negative stain and Cryo-EM). We have found conclusive evidence for the presence of PRC2 dimers which had previously only been postulated. Currently we are investigating the functional significance of these dimers and also studying interactions of PRC2 with RNA.