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.
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!).
As an undergraduate research apprentice, I transcribe interviews in a qualitative Sociological study. After transcribing, I help code and organize data. Given my exposure to the data, I then have the opportunity to author analytic memos, seeking relationships between past scholarship and current data.
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.
Our project’s overarching focus is to detect changes in how we use our lexicon to convey meaning. A previous project touched heavily on how meaning “evolves” for a word over the whole course of its existence (up to Old English!). This summer we are looking into how word meaning changes or transfers during the development of children.
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.