Taishi Painter

As cataracts continue to be a prominent disease that affects half of adults who live past the age of 75 years, our lab tries to tackle the underlying mechanisms as to why cataracts form, and how the lens develops. Using the newly acquired Optical Coherence Tomography machine for mice, we can now study lens structure without harming the mice, allowing us to perform new longitudinal studies of the mouse lens. This combined with other wet lab techniques, we hope to uncover as to how cataracts develop over time.

Maya Sapienza

Designed Erasure is a mapping and oral history project. The focus of this research project is to explore how race and racialization contribute to the various cycles of development, destruction, and redevelopment in West Oakland. The questions that animate this research are: what does it mean for Black people in Oakland to live through constant cycles of movement, containment, dispossession, and erasure? How can we imagine various forms of displacement and emplacement alongside the mechanisms that attempt to keep Black people in place? We will use layered historical maps to document Oakland’s planning history, and current policy on homelessness that has been generated by the city of Oakland.

Nick Jiang

Design thinking is a popularized approach for product managers (PM) to innovate new products, consisting of various stages such as empathizing with users, ideating, and testing prototypes. Previously in the past two semesters, I used unsupervised learning algorithms to cluster data from PMs to identify themes in the “testing and experimentation” phase. This summer, I’ll be improving upon clustering algorithms from natural language processing using BERT, a context-sensitive, word embedding model. We will use these algorithms to conduct a data analysis to evaluate congruency across PMs and their teams. In conjunction with previous work, our goal is to understand the contribution of “design thinking” to how PMs and their teams formulate new products in the real world.  

Jack Vallentine

This summer, we will be undertaking qualitative analyses of educational technology corporations. Doing so will allow us to profile these corporations and understand what they offer as a service to school districts within the United States, and more specifically, in Alameda and Sutter counties in California. Furthermore, building these profiles of educational technology corporations will hopefully allow us further insight as to how school districts spend their money on the technology and how those contracts are negotiated.

Christopher Chou

Over the past two semesters, I’ve used unsupervised learning algorithms to cluster product manager (PM) survey responses to provide actionable insights about customer empathy. This summer, I will be improving clustering algorithms using BERT, a language model that provides context using surrounding words. I will be applying these new methods to study alignment between PMs and their teams by analyzing teaming responses across companies from different sectors. To examine the contribution of design thinking to the workplace, we hope to utilize these models to identify gaps between product manager and teaming alignment.

Kimberly Salazar

The Public Policy Institute of California reported that a small share (5%) of CalWORKs community college recipients transferred to a four-year college. Over the summer, I’ll be conducting a literature review on the topic surrounding Student-Parent CalWORKs recipients navigating higher education to further investigate potential barriers CalWORKs student-parents face during their academic trajectory. I’ll be building qualitative data analytical skills via MAXQDA and will also be collecting administrative data related to CalWORKs student-parents.

Kayla Lee

The body’s metabolism is highly regulated by the balance of energy derived from different fuel sources in the body. This summer, I will be investigating how age, physical fitness level, and gender impact metabolic flexibility and how lactate plays a role in the process. Subjects will participate in an exercise stress test and receive cardiopulmonary assessments, as well as biochemical analyses of muscle and fat. From this data, we hope to extract information about how fitness level affects the body’s ability to alter metabolism in response to available fuel during exercise.

Bocheng (Brandon) Cai

Our comparative effectiveness study is a randomized controlled trial examining effectiveness of student health coaching and technology interventions on patients with uncontrolled hypertension. Hypertension is one of the world’s leading chronic illnesses, is significantly correlated to cardiovascular diseases risk factors, yet lack sufficient research on effective interventions, especially in the field of health coaching and technology. This study, sponsored by the JTSSF foundation, has been going on over the past few years and we are aiming to work on the last cohort of baseline, 6-month, and 9-month survey datasets this summer. In addition to leading the data team on performing exploratory and comparative analyses, I am working with Dr. Ivey MD, MHSA, Morgan Vien MPH, and the team on our manuscript over the summer.

Grace Yang

Many birth defects arise from flaws in cell behaviors that drive normal tissue organization, such as prevalent cases of neural tube defects and craniofacial defects. We can point to several examples where a specific morphogenetic event is ultimately regulated by the expression of genes that encode regulators of small GTPases, particularly Rho. Plekhg5 is a member of the Plekhg family with a role in apical constriction during Bottle Cell formation (Popov et al., 2018). These cells are involved in the process of gastrulation and their shape is essential for their role during involution (Lee et al., 2008). We will be working on the ongoing characterization of another member of the family, Plekhg7. Preliminary data acquired this year in the lab suggests a role on the nervous system, especially eye formation and most anterior structures of the CNS, according to the spatio-temporal localization of its mRNA, as revealed by WISH. During […]

Damian Kim

Many birth defects arise from flaws in cell behaviors that drive normal tissue organization, such as prevalent cases of neural tube defects and craniofacial defects. We can point to several examples where a specific morphogenetic event is ultimately regulated by the expression of genes that encode regulators of small GTPases, particularly Rho. Plekhg5 is a member of the Plekhg family with a role in apical constriction during Bottle Cell formation (Popov et al., 2018). These cells are involved in the process of gastrulation and their shape is essential for their role during involution (Lee et al., 2008). We will be working on the ongoing characterization of another member of the family, Plekhg7. Preliminary data acquired this year in the lab suggests a role on the nervous system, especially eye formation and most anterior structures of the CNS, according to the spatio-temporal localization of its mRNA, as revealed by WISH. During […]