Kwan Limbhasut

As chatbots become more prevalent in many industries today, it is important to understand how people perceive and interact with this new innovation. This summer I will be conducting a study exploring how the implementation of alternants (i.e. “ahh” and “hmm”) and typos affect chatbots’ perceived humanness. Some dependent variables I will be exploring include the perception of the chatbot’s warmth, perception of helpfulness, favorable impression of a company, likeliness of future use, and perceived competence. From this research, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the implications of this technology on today’s society.

Ishika Sachdeva

This summer, I will be continuing my research in conjunction with UC Berkeley, UCSF, and the Global Initiative for Psychedelic Science Economics (GIPSE) to determine the health outcomes that result from psychedelic usage. This project aims to investigate the biomedical and behavioral effects of using MDMA, 2C-B, 2C-I, Ibogaine, Ketamine, and Salvinorin in a non-clinical setting. Through this work, I hope to determine the chronic health impacts of “non-classical,” highly-stigmatized psychedelics and make knowledge around the materials more accessible and transparent. I am fascinated by this subject and am looking forward to spending this summer conducting literature reviews and data extraction on past research.

Yoony Lee

Recent political tensions have been threatening the validity of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 supreme court decision that have constitutionally protected abortion rights for nearly half of a century. However, reproductive justice concerns not only the legal right to not have a child but also the fundamental human right to sexual and reproductive autonomy. This project investigates the history of contraception and abortion in the United States and how the American experience of sexual and reproductive choice differs along racial, gender, and socioeconomic lines. This summer, I will assist the founder of UC Berkeley’s Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, Professor Kristin Luker on her upcoming book on this subject. My tasks will comprise of synthesizing literature, reviewing research papers, and performing both qualitative and quantitative data collection. Our team also plans to resume collaboration with the Human Rights Center or continue working on other projects relevant to reproductive […]

Ryan Yu

Our understanding of the effects of chronic radiation within the human body has been largely limited by lack of applicable research – current models are based on studies of victims of large, acute amounts of radiation such as in Hiroshima and Chernobyl. This summer, I will be working to study the difference in effect of chronic and acute radiation (small doses over a long period of time vs one large dose at once). More specifically, I will be observing the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral effects of different types of radiation on the brain in mice who are predisposed to develop brain defects, tumors, and conditions like Alzheimer’s. We hope to determine if different considerations need to be taken when considering different types of ionizing radiation especially for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well determining if different genes genetically predispose patients to developing recurring cancer after their radiation treatments.

Jenny Ye

I really appreciate my donor for supporting my participation in the project this summer. I have been working on this project for over a year now, and the summer program is a culmination of all of our efforts for the past year. This support has allowed me to be a part of the summer workshops, and I am grateful that I will be able to participate and contribute to the research project in such a critical moment. Thank you so much!

Yu-Lin (Katherine) Ma

Our previous studies led to identification of a set of genes that are selectively expressed in fat precursor cells. I will study whether these candidate genes regulate differentiation and metabolic function of fat cells by performing gain- and loss-of function studies. Measured outcomes include lipid accumulation, fat cell-specific gene expression, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake and insulin signaling assay. This study will reveal novel molecular factors regulating fat cell biology.  

Anika Bansal

Yeast are an important part of the leaf microbiome. A particular clade of phyllosphere yeast is known to form structures called ballistospores, which use a catapult-like launching mechanism to disperse. This enhanced dispersal is thought to play an important role in shaping the assembly and ecological dynamics of the leaf microbiome. In my study, I aim to quantify the dispersal patterns of a common foliar yeast, Sporobolomyces nylandii, to model the effect of ballistospore dispersal in leaf microbial communities. In addition, I investigate how co-dispersal of yeast and various phyllosphere bacteria may occur via bacterial hitch-hiking on ballistospores.

Zain Adil Shabbir

Over the summer, along with Dr. Belkora, will be working to design and implement a longitudinal program evaluation database on REDCap software that will track the student journey from program entry into the Patient Support Corps to educational and employment outcomes. Additionally, I will work to further develop our patient tracking database to reduce technical debt and maximize efficiency of the system for better user experience. This development of program infrastructure through dual database development would benefit the Patient Support Corps as we will be able to report on our cohort of alumni and demonstrate how participation has influenced educational and employment outcomes as well as make it easier for PSC interns to work with the complex technology used in the PSC. In addition, we can share our database design with other URAP projects who could similarly track their student trajectories.

Ashika Raghavan

The Bulgarian Dialectology as a Living Tradition project analyzes field interview recordings from Bulgarian villages by cataloging and comparing the dialectal data on an interactive online database. I will be involved this summer in refining the thematic coding tags used to classify the speech data based on ethnographic content. Through updating the existing tags on transcripts and expanding the overall hierarchy of thematic categories, my work will focus on making the anthropological material on the site more accessible and accurate for users. This research aims to expand the field of digital humanities, bringing together knowledge of Bulgarian traditional culture and linguistic systems to be shared with the general public.