URAP Summer Program

Each year, the program offers a small number of stipends to allow some URAP apprentices to continue work on their mentors' research projects over the summer. To be eligible, students must have been working with the same mentor for at least two semesters. Mentors nominate their students. These stipends are generously supported by a number of private donors.

Displaying 1 - 50 of 51

Backlash toward Inclusion Policies: Psychological Underpinnings and Solutions

Maja Ahmann : Legal Studies, Summer 2020

This research project explores the social psychological underpinnings of the debate around inclusion policies and free speech. As college campuses nationwide have instituted policies designed to promote inclusion (e.g., safe spaces, trigger warnings, hate speech codes, and pronoun usage policies), furor and debate have ignited. While proponents argue that... Read More

Hormonal Signaling's Impact on Cardiomyocyte Regeneration

Alexander Amram : Molecular & Cell Biology: Developmental Genetics, Summer 2020

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, which makes understanding the ability of certain vertebrates to regenerate damaged heart tissue by replacing lost cardiomyocytes crucial for developing regenerative heart therapies. Recent studies suggest that the suppression of cardiomyocyte proliferation coincides with the augmentation of... Read More

Access to Justice with the Civil Justice Research Initiative

Lucas Bainbridge : Geography, Summer 2020

My research this summer will primarily focus on access to justice issues. This will be through the research, editing and publication of white papers on the impacts of changes in legal rules, class actions, the role of lawyers in improving outcomes for low income people with civil legal needs, and legal remedies for trauma stemming from racial violence and prosecutorial... Read More

Post COVID-19: Unhoused Youth Needs

Anoop Bains : Public Health, Summer 2020

In light of COVID-19, the unhoused community has been rocked but this situation has also presented the unique opportunity to assess how pandemics affect the community. This summer research project will be specifically assessing the needs of unhoused youth in reaction to the difficulties COVID-19 has led to (loss of jobs, closing of resource centers, lack of support for... Read More

Impacts of Violence Against Healthcare in Syria

Sarah Bakir : Public Health, Summer 2020

This summer, I will be assisting Dr. Haar on one of her projects that analyzes the impacts of violence against healthcare in Syria. I will be recruiting participants, assisting in conducting key informant interviews and focus groups discussions, and analyzing qualitative data.

Apologies in International Relations

Claire Black : Political Science, Summer 2020

Professor Mattes' project analyzes the conditions in which countries apologize, or refuse to apologize, to each other for historic wrongs. I will continue to look into international apologies, including Japanese apologies after WWII, to understand the reactions to these apologies and the context of giving them. Do international apologies really help with reconciliation... Read More

Characterization of Resistance to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato in Tomato

Jamie Calma Photo

Jamie Calma : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

We developed a high-throughput seedling flood assay to identify wild species of tomato that are resistant against Pseudomonas syringae, a bacterial pathogen that causes disease in a broad range of plant species. The screen identified multiple accessions of wild tomato with varying degrees of resistance to the pathogen. We are characterizing and mapping the... Read More

Curatorial Practicum in Latin American Art

Albie Cartagenes Photo

Albie Cartagenes : Art Practice & History of Art, Summer 2020

During the summer I will be collecting and researching the various art objects by Latin American Artists within the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). I am investigating how objects trace the long history of colonization of the Spanish and Portuguese Americas. Understanding how the world's expansion and growth during the late 15th Century led to a... Read More

Genetics of Plant Development

Jenny Chau Photo

Jenny Chau : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

During the development of plants, specific genes are expressed to induce the formation of different plant structures. There are genes that control vasculature, branching, floral growth, and much more. Mutating these genes result in abnormal growth. This summer, I will continue to assist my mentor in analyzing the function of genes important for plant branching and... Read More

Groundwater Availability and Plant Phenology in Sagehen Basin

Nonnie Coelho : Geology, Summer 2020

The overarching project investigates the drivers of near-surface groundwater availability in wet meadow ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. It combines field study and remote sensing data analysis, building upon studies and instrumentation at UC’s Sagehen Field Station by the Kondolf Lab. This summer, I will be continuing fieldwork, monitoring groundwater levels in... Read More

Orientalism & Twain: An Analysis of Egyptomania

Zoe Cramer Photo

Zoë Cramer : Classics & Comparative Literature, Summer 2020

This summer I plan on looking at the correlation between Orientalism, within the framework provided by Edward Said’s work Orientalism, and the collection formerly on display at the Bancroft library "Object Lessons: Berkeley’s Egyptian Collection." Exploring the role that Orientalism played in the excavation of the objects on display and permanent collection, I am... Read More

How Should Air Pollution Co-Benefits be Counted?

Lila Englander : Economics, Summer 2020

This research project will investigate the economic, environmental, and policy trade-offs associated with the deployment of low-carbon resources in the electricity sector. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions can result in significant reductions of other “co-pollutants” (e.g., particulate matter pollution). In recent years, the health benefits associated with... Read More

Overconfidence in Judgment

Karin Garrett Photo

Karin Garrett : Psychology, Summer 2020

This summer I will be working on several projects examining the three forms of overconfidence: overestimation, overprecision, and overplacement. This phenomenon affects people’s judgments in daily life and has serious implications for the decisions people make and the outcomes they experience. This line of research raises an important epistemological question: do we... Read More

Rates of Death in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infected Corneal Cells

Dina Ghandour Photo

Dina Ghandour : Molecular & Cellular Biology, Summer 2020

This summer, I will be working with my post-doc researcher to attempt and study rates of cell death in Pseudomonas aeruginosa infected corneal epithelial cells. We will compare and contrast the different effects that different strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have on the corneal cells to learn the details of how this bacteria enters, infects and kills cells. Because... Read More

Foreign Entertainers In Korean Entertainment

Ishani Ghosh Photo

Ishani Ghosh : Global Studies, Summer 2020

I will examine how the Korean government uses Hallyu, the export of Korean culture as a soft power to increase the world's exposure to Korea. I will analyze how Hallyu attracts foreigners to be a part of the Korean entertainment industry, roles given to foreigners and their treatment within the industry including pay gap difference between them and their Korean... Read More

The Role of DNA Methylation in the Northern Elephant Seal Stress Response

Emily Gibson Photo

Emily Gibson : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

DNA methylation is an epigenetic process wherein methyl groups are added to the nitrogenous bases of DNA molecules. DNA methylation is known to affect transcription and influence gene expression. For the past two semesters, I have been quantifying the global DNA methylation profiles of Northern elephant seals to see how they modulate their gene expression in response... Read More

Protecting Farmworkers through the EEOC

Samantha Ho Photo

Samantha Ho : History, Summer 2020

This summer, I will be researching the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's efforts to uphold the rights of farmworkers, who have largely received inadequate protection from other federal agencies. I will be conducting research into specific EEOC farmworker-related litigation, including the role of third parties (e.g. public interest or grassroots organizations)... Read More

Linguistic Conventionality

Lily Huang Chen : Psychology & Spanish Linguistics, Summer 2020

Words can differ dramatically in how widely they are known by others and this distribution has to be learned. For this study, we ask whether children refrain from using a novel word for an object when speaking to an interlocutor who does not know that word (“give me the bem”), by instead employing a description of the object composed of familiar words (“give me the... Read More

Comparison of Laminectomy and Laminoplasty with Fusion

Alysha Jamieson Photo

Alysha Jamieson : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

My main focus at the UCSF Spine Center this summer is to examine the possible benefits of a C3 laminectomy in comparison to a laminoplasty with fusion. Since C2 contains an extra spinous process, it is believed that a laminectomy may be more beneficial than a laminoplasty with fusion because a laminectomy allows for range of motion. I will also collect radiographic... Read More

Quantifying Goal Congruence using Natural Language Processing

Alan Jian : Data Science, Summer 2020

The goal of my work is to identify issues amongst both industry and student teams and recommend solutions that can help teams navigate interpersonal dynamics. So far, I’ve focused my efforts on assessing a team’s goal alignment by studying each member's responses to the questions: Did your team have a shared goal for your work together? If so, what was it? By using... Read More

“Rice all the Time?”: Oral History Performance and Bay Area Chinese-American Experiences

Miranda Jiang Photo

Miranda Jiang : History, Summer 2020

Studying oral histories allows us to prioritize the experiences of common people in the context of broader historical events. Oral history performance presents these experiences to the public, placing the voices of multiple people in conversation with each other. This summer, I will continue transforming my oral history performance script about the diversity of Chinese... Read More

Community Outreach at the Hearst Museum

Rebecca Johnson Photo

Rebecca Johnson : Social Welfare & Sociology, Summer 2020

The project I will be concentrating on this summer will produce independent research and establish a community outreach program helping both the Education and Collections Management departments at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. With my background in education, and previous experience working hands-on with objects in the Hearst Museum, this project will... Read More

Measuring Children's Reasoning Skills in an Everyday Setting

Emily Kleinfelder Photo

Emily Kleinfelder : Psychology, Summer 2020

This summer I am working on developing an everyday reasoning measure suitable for middle school aged children. Higher order reasoning skills are becoming a crucial part of taking part in world full of scientific and technological advancements but there is currently not a measure designed to see how students take the reasoning skills they learn in the classroom and... Read More

Exploring Relationships Between Color Variation and Genotypes in Lizards from the Pisgah Lava Flow in California

Miranda Lee-Foltz Photo

Miranda Lee-Foltz : Integrative Biology, Summer 2020

Identifying genes that are under selection is important for understanding natural selection and the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes. This summer, I will be examining phenotypic variation of lizards from the Pisgah lava flow in California in relation to a gene involved in melanin production (PRKAR1A), and how it affects lizard behavior. To do so, I will... Read More

How Does the Duration of Experienced Environmental Changes Affect Motor Memories?

Maya Malaviya : Cognitive Science, Summer 2020

Our motor system has an impressive ability to adapt to changes in our environment, even without the involvement of our awareness. For example, we can step from a slippery floor onto a carpet and adjust the way we walk, all without conscious planning. Recent results indicate that people adapt to a different degree when they re-experience a previously encountered... Read More

Transcription and Translation of New Orleans Francophone Newspapers

Arianne Marcellin Little Photo

Arianne Marcellin-Little : Comparative Literature, Summer 2020

This summer, I’ll be reviewing French and English language newspapers from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. These publications include L’Union (1862-1864) and the Tribune (founded in 1864). My work will involve identifying, transcribing, and translating articles of interest on the topics of slavery and freedom, race and government, law and equal protection,... Read More

British Art and the Global: Althea McNish

Samantha McGinnis : History of Art, Summer 2020

This summer, I will continue my work on Althea McNish, an influential yet under-studied Trinidadian textile designer who lived and worked in Great Britain. After a year researching her and her work, I am now focusing on the broader contexts that surround her designs, including the Caribbean Artists Movement and the British Black Arts Movement. The article on McNish... Read More

Assessing GAA mutation predictions from the CAGI Challenge

Reet Mishra

Reet Mishra : Bioengineering, Summer 2020

Pompe disease is a lysosomal disorder caused by deficient activity of the GAA enzyme due to mutations in the GAA gene. This can be fatal to patients with infantile onset and cause patients of other onsets to develop muscular dystrophy and respiratory dysfunction. However, early detection can immensely help treatment of patients! Thus, our lab has been working on... Read More

Microfluidic Sensor for Monitoring Health Systems

Alice Mo : Bioengineering, Summer 2020

Current methods of disease detection and diagnostics offer certain features, such as point-of-care and high sensitivity. However, they are often expensive, not customizable, or inconvenient. The premise of the project is that we can create highly sensitive customizable microfluidic sensor arrays for mass production, by identifying electrochemical signal variation based... Read More

Pioneering New Data-Analysis Techniques for the Next Generation of Gamma-Ray Space Telescopes

Pranav Nagarajan : Astrophysics, Physics, & Data Science, Summer 2020

In high-energy astrophysics, the next generation of gamma-ray space telescopes will be used to study gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, pulsars, black holes, dark matter, and more with unprecedented angular resolution and sensitivity. However, accurately tracking Compton-scattering events in the detectors of these telescopes is challenging since most detector systems are... Read More

The Role of the Cerebellum in Motor Learning

Tara Najafi Photo

Tara Najafi : Molecular & Cell Biology: Neurobiology , Summer 2020

This summer I will be working on a project which ultimately aims to give us a better understanding of how the cerebellum is involved in motor learning. We will be implementing noninvasive experimental techniques, which can reveal the brain’s behavior through external movements and strategies in game-like tasks. These tasks often consist of participants reaching towards... Read More

The VOICE Project

Paula Nordstrom Miranda Photo

Paula Nordstrom Miranda : English, Summer 2020

The VOICE Project stands for "Voting for Our Health, Interests, and Communities Everywhere." While running a voter registration and information booth alongside MLK Jr. Freedom Youth Center volunteers, we collect quantitive data from families in the waiting rooms of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, Primary Care pediatric clinic and teen clinic to survey who we are... Read More

Determining the Evolutionary Forces responsible for Toxin Resistance in Milkweed Butterflies

Elizabeth Ordenam Photo

Elizabeth Ordeman : Genetics & Plant Biology, Summer 2020

This project aims to determine whether or not bottom-up evolutionary forces such as the enhanced ability to feed on toxic plants are responsible for the evolution of toxin resistance in milkweed feeding butterflies. This hypothesis favoring bottom-up evolutionary forces is contrary to that favoring top-down evolutionary forces such as enhanced protection from predators... Read More

Jusepe de Ribera: Drawings and Etchings

Helen Pinto Photo

Helen Pinto : American Studies, Summer 2020

I will be researching image sources for works by Neapolitan artist Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652).This work will aim to assist Professor Olson on his upcoming work focused on the artist. The goal is to have desired image permissions in order so that the content of the work can flow well with images to be used in the publication. I will be collaborating with international... Read More

Effects of NCM/CM Lesions of Auditory Cortical Regions in Avians

Apurva Prasad : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

My research this coming summer will be a continuation of my work in the Theunissen Lab since Spring 2019 where I have been helping to uncover the different effects of lesions to auditory cortical regions of the avian brain. Specifically, my research scope focuses on analyzing and assisting in collecting data produced by operant conditioning of songbirds with and... Read More

Finding Novel Regulators of Nonsense-mediated mRNA Decay

Ashish Ramesh Photo

Ashish Ramesh : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) is a post-transcriptional regulatory pathway that degrades transcripts containing premature termination codons. The pathway plays an important role in eukaryotic gene regulation, with hundreds to thousands of transcript targets across diverse species, including important regulators of developmental and stress response pathways. Over... Read More

Intersectional Boundaries among Asian American and White Spouses

Alexandra Ro Photo

Alexandra Ro : Sociology, Summer 2020

This qualitative research project explores the social significance of high rates of interracial marriage between Asian and white Americans with regard to race relations and the assimilation of Asian Americans in the United States. The data from more than a hundred in-depth interviews are utilized in examining how racial, ethnic, and gendered meanings and boundaries are... Read More

Genetic Basis of Fin Morphology in the Stickleback


Ana Shaughnessy : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

In my project, I will attempt to determine if there is a genetic basis to differences in fin morphology in threespine stickleback fish. I will do so by collecting different morphometric data from the fins of fish from two different populations: marine and freshwater. The morphometric measurements will look at the structure of fin rays and their segments, that resemble... Read More

Quality Control of Genome Sequencing Data

Paulameena Shultes Photo

Paulameena Shultes : Bioengineering & Computer Science, Summer 2020

DNA Sequencing offers us insight into some of the possible causes for many diseases. The basis of the analysis of DNA Sequencing is that the sequences that are being analyzed are accurate, and thus that any conclusions that are drawn are statistically significant. Current metrics for the quality control of sequencing data are limited, so I have been working on a... Read More

Post-Conflict Contexts


Mariano Sigifredo : Political Science, Summer 2020

This summer, I will assist Professor Aila Matanock to research on projects in Colombia's peace process and security concerns. I will work on preparing literature reviews, compiling and cleaning data, gathering and processing information available in government documents. This research project examines when and why peace agreements and international interventions occur... Read More

Investigating the relationship between water and sugar taste modalities in Drosophila melanogaster

Neha Simha

Neha Simha : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

The precise connections between gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) in the fruit fly brain is not understood. My research seeks to better understand the connection between GRNs identified as water-sensing and GRNs identified as sugar-sensing. The relationship can be characterized on a behavioral basis with optogenetic activation or knockout experiments measuring the... Read More

Development and Patterning of the Anterior-Posterior Axis through a Genetic Focus in Xenopus

Caroline Smith Photo

Caroline Smith : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

The focus of the lab is to understand development; that is, the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate how a single cell (the egg) transforms into an adult animal with a multitude of functioning organs, following a specific body plan. The first milestone in the establishment of the body plan is to define the three main axes: anterior-posterior, dorso-ventral and left-... Read More

Characterizing Planet-Forming Environments

Zoie Telkamp Photo

Zoie Telkamp : Astrophysics, Summer 2020

The majority of young stars are surrounded by disks of gas and dust that will eventually serve as the foundation for planetary systems. These protoplanetary disks have been shown to possess a vast array of geometric properties and substructures that are most easily observed when the disks are inclined at an angle of at least 80 degrees, thus blocking the direct... Read More

Stray Light Analysis

Ellen Thompson Photo

Ellen Thompson : Astrophysics, Summer 2020

For the past 2 semesters, I have been working with observations of accreting compact objects (such as binary systems containing a speculated black hole) made by the NuSTAR X-ray telescope. My work focuses on stray light, the result of photons bypassing the instrument's optics and landing directly on the detector array. I have written a python program that takes in... Read More

Exploration of the Usage and Effects of Kilohertz Transcranial Magnetic Perturbation (kTMP)

Alice Wang Photo

Alice Wang : Cognitive Science, Summer 2020

This summer I will be researching the effects of using kilohertz transcranial magnetic perturbation (kTMP) to stimulate the brain at sub threshold firing rates. My mentor and I intend to analyze kTMP's effects on cortical excitability and motor output. Our ultimate goal is to see if kTMP induces changes that can prime or inhibit brain activity.

Locating Historical Type Ia Supernova

Ayla Weitz : Astrophysics, Summer 2020

Type Ia supernova is a kind of exploding star that is important to understanding the expansion of our universe. This project focuses on obtaining more accurate location measurements for approximately 1500 supernovae. I will be determining the locations of known foreground stars using astrometry.net and then using that information to determine supernova locations using... Read More

Investigating Plekhg2/3 in the African Clawed Frog (Xenopus Laevis)

Sum Ying Celeste Wu Photo

Sum Ying Celeste Wu : Bioengineering & EECS, Summer 2020

I aim to continue working on characterizing the Plekhg2 and Plekhg3 gene pathways in African Clawed Frogs (Xenopus laevis), which will aid our understanding in the gastrulation process. Gastrulation gives rise to the ectoderm and endoderm among other structures, and has a marked migration process where cells called bottle cells initiate the "caving in" that forms... Read More

Relational Reasoning and Science Learning

Shyama Yallapragada Photo

Shyama Yallapragada : Psychology, Summer 2020

Relational reasoning (RR), the ability to consider abstract, generalizable relationships among various pieces of information, is a core component of reasoning and human cognition. In addition to evidence that indicates education hones reasoning, relational reasoning is shown to be an important predictor of academic achievement and other life outcomes. I have been... Read More

Writing Data Stories: Integrating Computational Data Investigations into the Middle School Science Classroom

Image of Mark Zerrudo

Mark Zerrudo : Sociology, Summer 2020

This summer I will continue to provide curriculum design and classroom analytical work for the Writing Data Stories (WDS) project. The project aims to develop data literacies of students by integrating data analysis into the middle school curriculum. Centered around Dual-Language Learners, units will contextualize students' lived experiences within scientific inquiries... Read More

Development of a genetically encoded tool for manipulation of metabolism

Pear Zhou Photo

Pearl Zhou : Molecular & Cell Biology, Summer 2020

Diet and exercise induce changes in metabolism that are associated with longer lifespan and decreased mortality from age-associated diseases. However, the specific bioenergetic changes within cells that cause these beneficial effects are not known. Professor Titov and I have been working on developing a genetically encoded tool to manipulate metabolism (GEMM), allowing... Read More