Past PUF Project Descriptions By College

PUF Project Descriptions by College

Many different types of projects have been undertaken by PUF recipients. Click on the links below to see abstracts from projects funded in the past.

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.

Animal Science

  • This project will characterize the expression pattern of genes regulating food intake between congenic mouse strains prone to leanness and obesity.


  • Using forensic DNA fingerprinting techniques, I will investigate the minimum threshold size of mosquito bloodmeals that allows for detection of complete profiles in seven loci of human DNA. DNA profiles will be compared to bloodmeal weight to determine if there is a positive correlation between the amount of blood imbibed and the success of amplification.
  • I will investigate the relationship between two closely related species of seed-harvesting ants in the genus Pheidole. Based on field collections at selected sites in California, Nevada and Oregon, I will assess the differences in ecology, behavior and morphology. This will be complemented by genetic analysis of the same collections, with the ultimate goal of revealing species and population level patterns.
  • Production of a set of ceramic art tiles, illustrating various scientific concepts about insects, an art and science collaborative approach to research and product.

Food Science & Technology

  • The purpose of this project is to study moisture redistribution in a food system by MRI. MRI has been used for monitoring moisture migration between foods and environment, but not for moisture redistribution within a food system. Using MRI, moisture distribution in food, SnackWell's devil's food cake in particular, stored in various lengths of time will be monitored. This will provide us new information about the mechanism of moisture transportation within food systems. Moisture redistribution is a major contributor to product quality loss.
  • This project will identify and quantify various carotenoids in yeast species from the Phaff Yeast Collection.

Human & Community Development

  • Replicate one study, plus examine two aspects of delayed versus "normal" preschoolers' fantasy play: (1) quality, (2) amount, origination, and type according to playmates' developmental statuses.
  • An ethnography of a Zambian wheelchair shop and its reliance on a San Francisco design firm. Asking, "Why doesn't the shop try the innovations that its own workers suggest?"

Land, Air & Water Resources

  • I will study whether in the illumination of nitrate will lead to the oxidation of bromide in seawater to produce reactive gaseous bromine. In order to gain some insight into mechanism for this reaction and how it is affected by varying environmental conditions, I will study the dependence of temperature, initial bromide and chloride concentrations and time on the reaction rate.
  • I will examine the spatial and temporal variation of temperature, carbon dioxide evolution, C:N ratio, pH, and redox potential (Eh) for three composting methods. I am proposing that a tarped passively aerated composting method will be an efficient low in-put alternative to the traditional turned method of composting.

Landscape Architecture

  • A garden design for an Elementary School will be developed. The ultimate goal is to complete a Master Plan that may be implemented over a period of time, as funding becomes available. The Master Plan will be designed using community participation methods, which involves obtaining input from the faculty, children and the community. The student population and community are ethnically diverse, with many language differences.
  • For my senior project in the landscape Architecture Department, I will design a wildlife park for bears and other native wildlife in Juneau, Alaska. I will incorporate tourism, educational programs, and wildlife habitat requirements into the final park design.
  • Most people in the profession of landscape design create and apply new theories of sustainability but rarely have time to do case studies or post occupancy evaluations of how successful their projects have actually been. In this research project I will interview successful sustainable landscape architects and designers in the SF Bay Area to identify the most successfully examples of sustainable landscape design in the SF Bay Area. I will create a typology of these projects, and the five sites that are named most frequently will be the subjects for case studies. I will interview the residents and designers to find out how successful they think the project has been over time according to a set of seven variables. From the findings of these case studies I will propose the best ways to implement these design ideas for best success on future projects in the Bay Area. To inform the profession about how they can make their projects more sustainable, I will make fact sheets, a map of how to get to these sites, and a checklist of the major principles of ecological design to include in projects.
  • Kids and Carrots shall create and evaluate a school garden for an underprivileged elementary school. Goals include introducing students to ecological concepts and nutritional awareness.


  • To compare nematode assembages of organic and conventional coffee plantations of Monteverde region, Costa Rica between Fall 2003 and Fall 2004.


  • The specific goal of this research project is to elucidate the role of ghrelin, a peptide hormone, in the orexigenic pathway. The information obtained from this experiment will potentially lead to the design of therapeutic drugs for not only obesity but also for anorexia and cachexia.

Plant Pathology

  • Molecular student of A. rhizogenes K84 and its effectiveness as a biocontrol against California A. tumefaciens strains.

Plant Sciences

  • Genes that potentially have a role in abscission zone signaling in Mirabilis jalapa have been identified in Professor Michael Reid's lab. However, the lab only has partial fragments of these gene transcripts, due to the procedure used to isolate them. My job will be to use a PCR-based procedure called RACE (Rapidly Amplified cDNA Ends) to generate the complete sequence of these transcripts. Then, if time permits, I will use a Genomic Walker kit to amplify the promoter regions of the genes that, by Northern analysis, have been shown to be specific to the abscission zone region.
  • This project involves the design, planting, and care of native hedgerow in the Student Farm Market garden.
  • To understand the role of the community garden in urban & suburban neighborhoods across the USA through a comparative field study spanning 1 1/2 to 2 months.
  • The goal of the project is to identify the specific role of a class of glycoproteins called arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs), found to be abundant in the early stages of root nodule formation. The objectives include 1) testing the effects of a gradient of exogenous AGP concentration on nodulation development, and 2) to isolate and purify the AGPs found in soybean root nodules and to test the effects on nodulation when applied exogenously.
  • A study on the effects of nitrogen pollution from I-80 on three different root nodule symbioses at three sites along a nitrogen concentration gradient.
  • Map gene homologs from Arabidopsis thaliana determined to be part of the photoperiod pathway and light reception to common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) linkage map.

Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology

  • I will examine the adaptive function of coloration in Artiodactyla, for example the reasons that some species have evolved white rump patches or striped coats. I will score the presence or absence of color patterns on different parts of the body and across species and relate these to environmental variables, such as living in deserts or living in groups. To control for shared ancestry, I will apply new phylogenetic comparative methods to the data set in order to see whether the associations are an artifact of phylogeny or not. My results will use systematic and quantitative methods to show why hoofed animals have different coat colors and patterns, and whether there are single or multiple functions for these coat variations.
  • I have undertaken a study in the hopes of gathering information about the life history and adaptations of the western gray squirrel in California, particularly at Quail Ridge.
  • I intend to examine incubation behavior of Wood Ducks in relation to microclimate. I predict that the warmer the microclimate is within a nest boxes the less total time a female Wood Duck will spend on the next during incubation. I also predict that the energy cost of incubation will be lower in a warmer microclimate thereby allowing the female to lay more eggs and have a higher success rate. I will test these hypotheses by placing data loggers in nest boxes with incubating females. The data loggers will record the ambient temperature in the box and the temperature of the incubating eggs. the rise and fall of the temperature of the incubating eggs will be used to determine when a female has come onto a nest and when she has left a nest.
  • I will use stable isotope analysis to temporally analyze the tissues of organisms in the aquatic and terrestrial food webs on the Cosumnes River revealing a terrestrial insect input consumed by trout in the aquatic food web.
  • This project involves assessing the diversity and abundance of birds at the Howard Ranch. Once the bird community is sufficiently understood, surrogate species will be identified and monitored to determine the role of venal pools in the abundance of facultative and obligate grassland bird species. Method of monitoring include a combination of line transects and point counts.
  • My project will examine the genetic effects of natural fluctuation and human manipulation of wood duck populations in California. Specifically, the study will look at the degree of genetic variability in wood ducks as a function of population dynamics and nest box densities.
  • DNA microsatellite technology will be used to assess the degree of relatedness among male groups of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) within a population at Citrona Farms. Observational studies will elucidate dominance hierarchies established during the winter and early spring. Data will be applied to the questions of whether male bands are composed of siblings that display together, and whether kin selection may be integral in the reproductive behavior of this gallinaceous species.
  • In Costa Rica, Central America, I plan to determine what senses (smell, vision and echolocation) bats use to locate livestock.

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College of Biological Sciences

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.

Evolution & Ecology

  • This project involves the development of microsatellite markers in a species of sea anemone, Epiactis Prolifera. These markers will allow me to make further conclusions about the mating system of E. Prolifera (e.g. biparental inbreeding vs. self fertilization).
  • This project is to study the population of Western Pond Turtles, Emys marmorata, currently inhabiting the UC Davis Arboretum. E. marmorata is currently listed as a species of special concern in the state of California. This is project is to establish the population dynamics of these turtles and is to compare data collected to previous work done by members of Dr. Shaffer's lab in years past. This study will use basking and hoop type traps to capture turtle live at the UC Davis Arboretum. Non-native turtles will be removed as to foster the natural growth of Emys marmorata population. If successful this project may show that this species can be viably maintained in highly modified habitats in an effort at future conservation.
  • The invasive weeds, Holcus lanatus and starthistle, can out-compete many native plant species of Northern Californian. The success of these plants may be due to chemicals exuded from the plant's roots. To test for the presence of these chemicals and the degree to which the chemicals affect different native plants species, the germination of native seeds in the presence of the invasive weed and independently of the weed will be measured and compared.
  • I will sequence ten loci in the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) specimens from Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties in order to assess their relationship to the other A. californiense clades more thoroughly, inquiring in their status as possible cryptic species that require further protection and conservation.
  • Working from previously completed ecological studies of Sonoran Desert wild cotton populations, I will test hypotheses concerning the genetic relatedness of these populations with respect to their geographic distributions and coevolutionary history.
  • This project will yield basic field ecology information about Ambystoma californiense and produce a statistical model of population density with respect to distance from breeding ponds.
  • I will study the effects that kiwis inoculated with yeasts grown from other sources will have on the development of Drosophila melanogaster offspring.
  • I will use microsatallite DNA to characterize population structure and estimate gene flow among all 10 breeding sites of the endangered Santa Cruz long-toed salamander.
  • Many genetically distict groups, or clades, occur within Emydura turtles. Computer digitizing of Emydura pictures will show if any shell difference exist between clades.
  • This study completes work on California tiiger slamanders that defines the terrestrial dispersal of juveniles so that populations of salamanders can be effectively conserved.
  • I will explore whether the native plants Stachys ajugoides and Achillea millefolium have adapted to an invasive grass, Holcus lanatus, and whether adaptation is soil-mediatied.
  • This study will address how major feeding behavior and morphological novelties evolved in Hydrolycus scomberoides through the use of high-speed film and morphological measurements.
  • I will study the effects of two consecutive generations of diapause (dormancy) in Pieris rapae butterflies and how it inhibits establishment of high altitude populations.
  • High-speed video and behavioral bioassays of Lepomis sunfish will be analyzed to determine if prey capture and performance are sacrificed in a specialized feeding mechanism.
  • The purpose of this project is to determine whether the relationship between Drosophila melanogaster and yeast helps yeast populations in fruit to flourish.
  • The project will survey and assess endosymbiotic relationships within the gut of natural populations of Drosophila within the Davis region.
  • The rate of water flow and how conducting cells of xylem in the wood of plants swell and shrink in response to salt in a drought deciduous forest will be studied. A pressurized flow meter will be built to measure water conductivity in Heteromoles arbutifolia (Toyon) in different environments. The anatomy of the water conducting cells will be examined with the aid of a compound microscope to understand basic water flow at the cellular level.
  • We will construct a cohort analysis in tow temporary ponds in which pure native, pure non-native and hybrid salamanders breed during the winter each year. cohort analyses have been recorded for the previous year and show that the natives may be breeding earlier but the larval frequencies seem to be highly non-native. We will construct a hybrid index for each pond with multiple loci and test our results with the previous year to predict any patterns of breeding behavior and larval fitness.
  • I will be conducting experiments on the butterfly Junonia coenia (Common Buckeye) to determine if its physical appearance is in part controlled by photoperiod and/or temperature.


  • Genetic investigation of the genes involved in the catabolism of hypoxanthine by Klebsiella oxytoca and to see if Klebsiella oxytoca's hypoxanthine catabolism genes share similarity with Escherichia coli's allantoin catabolism genes.
  • To test phosphorylation sites on Mus81/Mms4 for functional importance to DNA repair in yeast.
  • I will perform a genetic screen to identify an elusive enzyme responsible for resolving pivotal intermediates during homologous recombination.

Molecular & Cellular Biology

  • The Drosophila gene Dorothy is preferentially expressed in the lymph glands and pericardial cells, tissues associated with Drosophila cellular immune response. Little is known about Drosophila cellular immunity and the study of Dorothy provides and opportunity to further explore this area of research. I will screen strains that are mutant at the Dorothy locus to isolate a strain lacking Dorothy function. The isolated mutant(s) will then be analyzed with respect to immune response and steroid hormone function.
  • Phycocyanobilin Ferredoxin Oxidoreductase - Expression, Purification, and Biochemical Characterization
  • I will clone tubulin suppressor mutants into cDNA vectors. Then transfect Drosophila S2 cell with the plasmid construct, then purify microtubules from the cells for use in in vitro assays for their mechanism of MEI-1/MEI-2 katanin inhibition.
  • With this funding, I propose to locate both of these new mutagen-sensitive genes and discover the functional gene they correspond to in DNA repair. Using deficiency, recombination, and p-element mapping in Drosophila melanogaster, I will narrow the region around the mutant down to a single locus and using the sequenced, searchable Drosophila genome determine what the localized gene is and what role it may play in DNA repair. This research will assist in an ongoing search for DNA repair genes and their homologs in humans.
  • Normal DNA repair is required for the growth and maintenance of a healthy organism. The study of DNA repair genes brings us closer to the goal of being able to treat abnormal DNA repair, such as that found in cancer. By screening thousands of stocks from the Zuker laboratory in San Diego, we have found three Drosophila stocks that contain mutations that we believe are in previously unknown DNA repair genes. By using deficiency, recombination and p-element mapping techniques I will map these three DNA repair genes.
  • I will be temporarily reducing the levels of the steroid hormone 20-Hydroxyecdysone during specific time periods in pupation at Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).
  • We will map a mutation of a novel crosslink-repair gene relative to known locations in the genome by male recombination with transposable P-elements.
  • Using the Cre-Lox assay the researcher will attempt to find Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes that when over expressed cause distruption in homolog pairing.
  • I plan on defining which regions of TC089P are necessary for the different functions of the Protein in S. Cervosive by creating deletion constructs of the gene.
  • To determine structures of SUN domains of CeUNC-84 and human Sun1 and characterize the molecular mechanism underlying their binding to KASH proteins during nuclear migration.
  • I propose to tag the GSC2 protein and label it with the lumio reagent so that I may see where it localizes in the cell.
  • I will characterize 6 new nuclear envelope proteins that are essential in C. elegans and share human homologs, with the hypothesis that knowledge of these proteins is crucial to the understanding of human nuclear envelope related diseases, such as muscular dystrophy.
  • To provide high resolution structural information on the DNMT3A2 and DNMT3L proteins and shed light on their function in DNA methylation.
  • The study will determine expression of thrombospondin, a cancer preventive gene, and whether its upregulation by a soy-derived, chromatin-binding peptide is caused by H4-Lys16 acetylation.
  • I propose to investigate the progression of germ line nuclei undergoing meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans and look into specific sex differences of cell cycle control.
  • The Saccharomyces cerevisiae SNA3 gene encodes for a protein found in a late endosomal compartment, whose function is unknown. Based on a 2-hybrid interaction with GCS1 (a gene essential in the sporulation pathway), I will test whether SNA3 is additionally required during sporulation in yeast.
  • This project will investigate how delay I meiotic replication will effect double strand break formation and recombinational repair in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  • I will construct and test a transgene to express green fluorescent protein (GFP) under control of the germ-cell specific vasa promoter in zebrafish.
  • This study will research the structure and function of Echovirus 1 caveosome formation, and will focus on the completion of a three-dimensional reconstruction of the caveosome.
  • Genetic screen identifying components of the nuclear envelope that are involved in nuclear migration and other important pathways.
  • The goal of this project is to investigate the differential expression of the ugt1a gene family under the influence of lunasin, a proposed chemopreventive agent.
  • The identification of components of a redundant pathway for nuclear migration in C.elegans by EMS mutagenesis and genetic mapping techniques.
  • The purpose of this project is to synthesize a hypothetical intermediate, 181,182-Dihydrobiliverdin, observed in the ferredoxin-dependent reduction pathway of biliverdin to phyocyanobilin. The newly synthesized compound will be analyzed using NMR and HPLC analysis to determine if it is identical to the enzymatically produced intermediate. This compound will also be tested as a substrate for the enzyme.
  • Meiotic recombination plays an important role in chromosome segregation. Hence, I will 1) construct an assay in yeast to monitor chromosome segregation using fluorescent reporters, 2) characterize the assay in wild type cells, and 3) apply the assay to study directed knockout mutations of meiosis-specific gene(s).
  • I propose to isolate conditional loss of function mutations in the TOR1-1 kinase gene, and characterize the functional role of the individual domains in TOR1-1p by examining the effect of the developed mutations.
  • The aim of this project is to determine the three-dimensional structure at atomic resolution of the two enzymes AKR11A and AKR11B by x-ray crystallography and to use that information together with data from kinetic experiments to better understand the substrate specificities of these enzymes.

Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior

  • Using a rat enzyme immunoassay to examine serum -endorphin levels, we will attempt to determine if -endorphin is a factor in the anorexia of senescence.
  • Using Western Blot analysis I will quantify relative levels of uncoupling protein 2 and 3 (UCP-2 and UCP-3) in frozen tissues of F-344 rats of various ages. The goal of the project is to examine the possibility that during the aging process, altered levels of mitochondrial UCP-2 and/or UCP-3 result in elevated levels of oxidative damage due to enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mitochondria.
  • I will test the hypothesis that the diurnal modulation of LTP in the hippocampus is due to extrinsic signals by isolating the hippocampus from all outside signals and systematically varying the length of time of isolation before recording LTP in the hippocampus. I will compare the amplitude of LTP recorded at night against that recorded during the day. If there is a significant difference at night as compared to the day despite differences in isolation time, I will conclude that the diurnal modulation of LTP is due to changes in the amplitude of signals originating inside the hippocampus. If there is not a significant difference at night as compared to the day I will conclude that the diurnal modulation is due to changes in the amplitude of extrinsic signals.
  • I will test the hypothesis that the slowing of neural signals in a hibernator's brain at low temperatures can primarily be accounted for by changes at the synapse. The EPSPS generated will be an indication of whether my hypothesis can be considered consistent or negated.
  • Characterizing Xenopus laevis fibronectin gene regulation using northern westerns in situ hybridizations gel mobility shift assays & transgenesis in X. laevis.
  • The purpose of my project is to identify the full-length sequence, expression and function of Xenopus MuRF-1 and MAFbx, two universal markers for muscle atrophy.
  • The project will be to create a representative 3-dimensional model of the LGN in the mature ferret.
  • MuRF and MAFlox genes may play a universal role in muscle atrophy in the model organism, xenopus laevis.
  • The goal of this project is to identify which isooforms of the HCN channel protein exist in the rat retina using immunocytochemistry techniques.
  • My project is centered on neuroplastic mechanisms of the hamster hipppocampus, specifically Long-Term Depression (LTD). I hope to determine whether LTD can be found in an adult hibernator, as it has been clearly demonstrated in adult rats and mice.
  • The goal of this study is to examine the hamster's ability to generate Long-Term Depression and study the temperature dependence of this form of neural plasticity.
  • I will investigate the cellular location of Long-Term Potentiation, a form of neural plasticity involved in storing new information, in the hippocampus of hibernating hamsters.
  • Using hippocampal slices from hibernating hamsters and non-hibernating rats. I will explore the differences in neuroprotection that may improve donor organ viability.

Plant Biology

  • Nectaries are secretion organs found in some plants that provide rewards to pollinators luring them to the flower. Arabidopsis thaliana crc mutants show no visible signs of nectary development. Brassica oleracea CRC promoter sequence (conserved in Lepidium africanum) will be transformed into Arabidopsis through a dual transcription activation system for GUS expression. Analysis of the expression of CRC in Arabidopsis will yield insight into how the gene affects nectary development.
  • I will clone relatives of the PHAB gene family, leaf and vascular developmental genes characterized in Arabidopsis, from the conifer Douglas-fir. The expression patterns of the Douglas-fir PHABs will be determined and compared with PHAB expression in Arabidopsis. The amino acid sequences of the Douglas-fir PHAB genes will be combined with sequences from other species being studied in the Bowman lab to produce a gene phylogeny.
  • The Effects of Oxoguanine Glycosylase and Alternative Forms of Formamidopyrimidine-DNA Glycosylase, from Arabidopsis thaliana, on 7,8-Dihydro-8-Oxoguanine.
  • This project is to investigate and characterize a protein found in plants that is involved in long distance communication through binding RNA and transporting it.
  • Using the phytoene desaturase gene we will track the movement miRNAs and siRNAs within plants and between a parasitic plant and its host.
  • The proposed research will determine the function of TIR-NBS and PP2Ca genes in stress signaling within Arabidopsis thaliana.
  • Determination of transcript and protein level of VIPP1 in TAT Pathway mutants in Zea mays via TR-PCR and quantitative western blotting, respectively.

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College of Engineering

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.

Applied Science

  • Use direct femto-second laser writing of waveguides in rare-earth doped glasses as a means of fabricating waveguide and amplifier arrays in a single glass substrate.

Biological & Agricultural Engineering

  • This project will determine the viability and efficacy of Lagenidium giganteum as a biological control agent based on infectivity and stability in water-in-oil emulsions.

Biomedical Engineering

  • The goal of my project is to engineering a synthetic riboswitch to introduce a transcription terminator loop.
  • Optimal combination of components effective in wound healing (fibrin) and promising angiogenesis activities (bioactive glass) would be applicable as a treatment layer for diabetic ulcers.
  • The goal of this research is to quantify toxicity for novel nanoparticles probes in albino Swiss mice 3T3 fibroblast cells so to extrapolate the potential toxic risk involved in the use of the compound in restenosis in magnetic resonance (MR) and optical imaging.

Electrical & Computer Engineering

  • Build an electroplating Power Supply with different output wave forms and the capability of monitoring and controlling the thickness of the electroplated metal lager.

Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering

  • The acoustic signature of a hobby based hybrid rocket motor will be correlated to pressure variation in the fuel grain and changes in the thrust.
  • Develop a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle platform for researching autonomous control systems for reconnaissance and surveillance in military and commercial applications.
  • The 1:4 Scale "Rocket Chair"

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College of Letters & Sciences: HARCS

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.

African American & African Studies

  • The focus of this research project is to look into some of the 'lifeways' that have kept the one hundred twenty residents of Sandy Island, South Carolina, and Pawleys Island Gullah 'culturally sustained' communities in South Carolina.

American Studies

  • A case study contrasting two tribes' approaches to the new problems facing their communities due to Indian Gaming
  • The goal of my research proposal is to return to Las Vegas to further research the topic I began studying last spring: I studied the rise and fall of the neon sign as an architectural presence in Las Vegas, and looked toward the future role of such signs.
  • I would like to receive funding to view historical footage of eating contests at UCLA's Film and Television Archive.
  • An in-depth examination of the prominence of kid-targeted "fun foods" and their cultural implications as they relate too children's play.
  • American Studies senior thesis, examining how and if buying outdoor gear allows consumers to imagine a connection to American ideals of rugged individualism.
  • How figuring out why privileged Americans join Teach for America can motivate the middle class to actively seek equal public education for all Americans.
  • This project will focus on how California zoos and aquariums present "nature" to tourists and what their role is in animal tourism and society.

Art & Art History

  • The dis.or.der project is a participatory visual arts forum for the interpretation and experience of identity, image, and worth on a superficial and a deep level. The students, staff, and faculty in the art departments at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, CCAC and Sac State are all invited to take part in this project. Everyone who is invited will be given a five by five inch wooden square on which to create their individual artwork in any medium and style. The final project is the assembly of everyone's individual square; the squares will be assembled in a grid form and mounted onto the wall in the UC Davis Art department.
  • 4-week research trip comprised of 3 weeks of language, culture, history and political-study classes at an immersion institute in Guanajuato, Mexico, and 1 week in Mexico city. Personal social research of Mexican human experience & artistic resources, translating research into art and journaling to culminate in a community art exhibit during UC Davis Diversity Days.
  • To reevaluate my personal role and status as an undergraduate artist functioning within the University system.
  • Regional Buddhist, Daoist, and Confucian iconography of the Song Dynasty present in the sculptural program at Baodingshan in Dazu, China
  • An honors thesis on the relationship of spectacle and information in Rem Koolhaas' Seattle Public Library.

Asian American Studies

  • Through comparing social, cultural and identity constructs of Chinese-Americans in San Francisco's Chinatown amongst the different generations, I will examine the family's role in influencing and individual's level of political engagement.

Chicana/o Studies

  • This project focuses on the life of Sara Estela Ramirez, an early Twentieth Century Texas-Mexican poet who was an activist in the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
  • To research and analyze Mexican newspaper rhetoric on California's Proposition 187 by accessing regional newspaper archives through the Jalisco, Mexico State Library


  • Based on established anthropological methods, and drawing from a combination of social and film theories, I will analyze representations of human behavior in American films depicting catastrophic events. I will identify and discuss social theories that account for selfless and selfish behaviors, as well as film theories that account for the way in which such behaviors are represented through film.
  • I propose to attend Squaw Valley's writers' conference or Napa Valley writers' conference to enrich my research project that includes both the study of contemporary North American poets and the preparation of my own chapbook manuscript of poetry.
  • For my proposed project, I would like to travel to Beijing, China, and investigate why and how the One Child Policy has inexorably changed a generation. I will explore the implications of a "Spoiled Generation". The oldest generation dotes on one child, the only son or daughter becoming the center of the family, a stark reversal from the past hierarchical structure of the family.
  • This project seeks to coordinate an educational event illuminating female ballad culture's performative aspects through the use of theatre, music, and dance.

Environmental Design

  • To design and construct 4-6 formal gowns incorporating the fabric piecing techniques found in American quiltmaking. To complete this I will be researching quilt piecing techniques, designing the gowns, drafting the patterns, piecing the fabric and constructing the garments. These garments will then be displayed at the Design Department's Picnic Day Fashion Show in April.
  • I am addressing the need for readily accessible resources of successfully built landscape designs. As a student in the landscape Architecture program at UC Davis, I have found a tremendous wealth of information through a multitude of student-teacher interactions. Many of the faculty and teaching staff have shared examples of what each considers is a "successfully executed" design. It is common to receive such information during course lectures. I will assemble a set of built site projects through an initial round of interviews with the current teaching staff, and use these sites to collect preferential data for analysis and review. This new set of interval measurement will reveal the degrees of preference each site yields, based on the biases of the participants. The end goal is to create a professional quality publication that will be given to the department, as a reference tool for both educators and students.
  • In "Waterhouse Transfigured," I will create a museum-quality exhibition that seeks to create 'living paintings' based on five paintings by john William Waterhouse. these 'living paintings' will blend historical and biographical information, original costumes, and live performance to reinvent what a museum exhibition can be.
  • The project attempts to determine the social, economic, and environmental benefits and costs of constructing environmentally conscious, "green" buildings through interviews, surveying, and literature research.
  • Import original photographs into the computer, and manipulate color, proportion, detail, etc. using Adobe Photoshop. Present final products at the Undergraduate Research Conference in April.
  • To research, explore, and expand on the complex textile manipulation techniques of Reiko Sudo, Junichi Arai, and Issey Miyake; and to produce a clothing line based on my discoveries.
  • Use meaningful words and color to create interesting and aesthetically pleasing compositions with only typography rather than imagery.
  • An interactive, interdisciplinary exploration of the development of visual form within and beyond the context of time-based visual and aural structures.
  • Reality Lost: Rediscover the World Around You will be a collection of photographs and the physical subjects of the photographs housed in custom frames intended to be an exhibit that contrasts our media driven world with the physical world around us.
  • I plan to use light sensitive glow int he dark pigment and yarns, and digital printing in my spring fashion show line.
  • An exploration of tailoring and dyeing techniques using ecologically-friendly and renewable materials. Geared toward young men entering the professional job market.
  • A clothing line of at least five garments will be developed, combining surrealism with sculptural form and exploring constructional techniques made possible by non-traditional materials.
  • I will apply Universal Design concepts to an apparel line for women's business wear that will look equally fashionable on able and disabled persons.
  • For my senior project, I will design and construct a fashion line that is inspired by the colors, shapes, and forms of insects.
  • This project will investigate the ambiguity of typographic communication. This will be done by constructing typographic sculptures using Plexiglas and utilizing lighting effects.
  • My project explores the relationship between printed pattern and fine art as well as the potential for digitally printed engineered garments.
  • To research and to document the Panamanian national fold dress in order to contribute new information to my field.
  • A 6-garment fashion line advocating inspiring liberal world leaders through satirical propaganda & political slogans in order to educate the mainstream.
  • I intend to increase awareness of sustainable clothing materials by using them to create a collection of fashionable and stylish garments.

French & Italian

  • As my honor's thesis for my Individual Major in Film Theory and Criticism, I plan to examine the historical role of characters with developmental disabilities in film as well as the spectator relationship between those with developmental disabilities and film. This research will culminate in the creation of my own film, which will feature people with developmental disabilities as both the subject and the audience.

Medieval & Early Modern Studies

  • Based on the Tain, do research at Navan Fort sites and National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, then create an annotated photographic map of the Tain.

Native American Studies

  • This two-month-long ethnographic study will take place in Oaxaca, Mexico, and will examine how Zapotec women's gender roles change when their spouses migrate in order to work. In particular, I will look at how women's roles in the tasks and rituals of daily life are affected by the males' absences.

Spanish & Classics

  • The goal is a live performance of scenes from classical plays, presented in chronological order in the original languages, with utmost attention to historical accuracy.

History of Spanish Art 2003

  • The research and presentation of Lope de Vega's comedia "Amar sin saber a quien" will combine historical and performance aspects of the genre.
  • This survey study examines Spanish speakers' attitudes about alternating between English and Spanish in conversation.

Women & Gender Studies

  • My project will address the issue of feminism within the UC Davis Women's Resources and Research Center. I will research the ways in which feminism is embraced and practiced at the center by the people who help to run the center and the visitors who utilize the center.
  • As part of my senior thesis in Women and Gender Studies, I am conducting research on the relationship between activism and feminism. I am focusing on African American female at three different institutions of higher education. This research contributes to knowledge in the fields of feminist and African American studies while enhancing my research capabilities.
  • To study the efforts of the V-Day Foundation to empower young women, by building self-esteem, through the performance of private experiences in public venues.

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College of Letters & Sciences: Mathematical & Physical Sciences

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.


  • My goal is to synthesize and test a new peptidomimetic antimicrobial agent against microorganisms.
  • Programmed cell death, also called apoptosis, occurs in both normal and abnormal cells, and is important for cell development. A protein called p35 had been discovered from an insect virus Autographa californica Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus that inhibits apoptosis. A mutant p35 will be expressed in bacteria, purified, and crystallized for X-ray crystallography studies.
  • My goal is to synthesize and test a new peptidomimetic antimicrobial agent against pathogenic microorganisms.
  • I propose to explore the mechanism of alanine racemasse to aid in the development of mechanism based antibiotics.
  • Ninety compounds will be prepared and then subjected to biological screenings to measure chloride conductance and direct interaction levels with Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator.
  • My goal is to synthesize and investigate the structure and antimicrobial properties of an amphiphilic beta turn peptidomimetic molecule.
  • My project will investigate the anthelmintic (anti-parasitic) properties of the green Carica papaya extract on gastrointestinal parasites, Ascaris suum and Haemonchus contortus.
  • The synthesis of peptidomimetics that mimic the structure of defensins generates a new way to design and study antibiotics.
  • The objective is to synthesize four isoxazoles for a one-bead/one-compound combination chemistry inhibitor library that will inhibit three homologous enzymes.
  • The purpose of the project is to improve on a protein-chelate system for use in the "pre-targeting" treatment of cancerous cells.
  • My goal is to synthesize a small designed cationic peptide analog and investigate its structure and antimicrobial properties.
  • Our goal is to synthesize and test tetrapeptides containing sulfonic acid residues for their ability to inhibit HIV-1 human cell infection.
  • Our goal is to synthesize and test inhibitors of beta amyloid peptide aggregation, a process known to cause Alzheimer's Disease.


  • We will determine if the insoluble silicate and clay mineral components of carbonate rocks are more responsive to pressure and temperature variations than the surrounding carbonate minerals. If so, we can show consistent, systematic changes in the mineralogy of the insoluble residues that are specific to certain pressure and temperature conditions. This is a new method for determining the metamorphic pressure and temperature conditions for carbonate rocks.
  • I am part of an experimental project to characterize the melting relations of eclogite thought to represent ancient oceanic crust subsequently incorporated down into the Earth's interior. Using high pressure and temperature equipment to simulate conditions deep within the Earth, I will constrain the melting behavior of this subjected oceanic crust and examine how the derived melts react with rocks present at great depths. Determination of these reactions will provide insight into the inner workings and structure of the mantle and the mechanism by which crustal material is recycled back into the Earth's interior.
  • This project will obtain a better understanding of the subsurface geology of Black Point tuff cone. Gravity measurements will be modeled into a virtual 3D picture of what lies beneath the surface structures. This model will be compared to a similar study performed in Iceland.
  • Using a model already used to imitate Earth's mantle processes, I will alter different parameters to simulate the past and present states of the Venusian and Martian mantles. Venus and Mars are very different from Earth in many aspects including surface features and chemical constituents. These differences will indicate which parameters in the model must be altered to represent the different planets accurately.
  • My project will be to physically model hydrothermal convection along a faulted zone. this project is important because of the roles faults play in the mid-oceanic ridge process and to better understand the hydrothermal process that occurs in a spreading zone. Modeling hydrothermal convection in the newly formed ocean crust is an experiment that can provide a three-dimensional view of the process in a manner that has never before been attempted. The major challenges of the newly reconfigured apparatus will be to maintain a sufficient permeability to allow convection, and to introduce faults into the structure to where they will have an effect on the porous matrix.
  • The objective of the study is to identify and quantify the physical factors controlling the evolution of a nascent strike-slip zone of finite width. using a 2-plate Plexiglas apparatus to mimic strike-slip motion, I will analyze fault geometry in relation to the width of an imposed strike-slip zone by a ductile layer, and the thickness of the brittle layer. Furthermore, I will observe how this geometry evolves with time. In laboratory experiments, I will be using a silicone putty and sand as analogs for a ductile and brittle layer respectively.
  • Analysis of Size Effect on Shell Chemistry in Planktic Foraminifera: Does Size Matter?
  • Studying the migration of Cache Creek near Guinda, CA where the creek is cutting into nearby farmland.
  • Constraining the phase boundary in the spinel to garnet Iherzolite transition, in pressure-temperature space. Also, calibrating Boron Nitride for use as a pressure standard, at low pressures.
  • I propose to monitor the sediment response to the dam removal on Murphy Creek and analyze how the channel alters geomorphically.
  • Researching the benefits and drawbacks of requiring an earth science course in California High Schools in which students apply previously acquired math and science skills.
  • I will determine the nature and origin of Healdsburg glass, from Sonoma County, by comparing its magnetic properties with those of obsidian and tektites.
  • Using stable isotope sclerochronology, I will investigate the evolutionary life history adaptations of the genus Phyllonotus across the Pliocene-Pleistocene extinction boundary.
  • A geologic field study of the displacement history on the Las Charcras brittle fault in western Argentina
  • Collect and sample sediment cores from Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, for an environmental magnetic analog obtained by using the instruments at the UCD Paleomagnetism Lab.
  • This project will compare a location in White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, as an analog site to the rover Opportunity's landing site on Mars.
  • To investigate the relationship between microbial communities and sedimentation and to extrapolate an understanding of this relationship to the interpretation of the rock record.
  • This project entails further study of the global impacts of the eruption. Direct research at the British Library and Cambridge University would help to increase our understanding of the effects of Huaynaputina.


  • An experimental approach to understanding geophysical fluid dynamics utilizing a fully operational fluid mechanics lab.


  • I will study vortices in superfluid helium. Specifically I will examine under what conditions a vortex partially trapped on a wire will decay off of the wire or back onto the wire.
  • Work with sponsor to develop a 'straw' detector for forward tracking in the BTeV experiment.

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College of Letters and Sciences: Social Sciences

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.


  • This project is an archaeological analysis of a site known as Ruby Cave. Analysis will include radiocarbon dating, photographs and a visit to the site.
  • I am proposing to visit archaeological sites in Mexico to study Mayan influences on the cultures of Central Mexico
  • Examine prehistoric shell bead currency exchange systems in California by further developing a method for sourcing marine-shell beads to Northern and Southern California production centers.
  • Samples from hearth features will be collected during the excavation of two abandoned Inughuit winter houses at Etah, Northwestern Greenland. They will be analyzed using archaeomagnetism to determine when the hearths were produced and whether the hearth features are contemporaneous.
  • I am seeking the PUF to travel to southern Russia to obtain data to complete my research project during the summer of 2006 for the honors thesis.


  • My mission is to increase awareness and knowledge about anorexia nervosa, bulimia, obsessive exercising, overeating, and binging among undergraduate students of UC Davis. I want to encourage organizations such as the Student Health Center, the Administration, and Women's Resource Center to provide outlets for those individuals seeking help, guidance and information about proper nutrition, exercise, and media's influence on self-image. I want to increase awareness by __% during the 2003-2004 academic school year. The latter will be determined by a pre-test survey.
  • This project is a part of a larger vision in which we are interested in analyzing the relationship between nontraditional students and the implications for curricular response. Specifically, this project involves gathering interview data and synthesizing the responses in meaningful ways.


  • My purpose for writing this honors thesis is to explore the healthcare systems currently in use in other countries, most notably, those of northern and western Europe and Japan. Specifically, to develop the reader's understanding of private and public healthcare and the consequences of the two. Much of the levels. However, while economic arguments for many aspects of socialized medicine are strong, some healthcare systems deemed highly social have experienced substantial problems in certain areas. My hope is to expound on the various facets of public healthcare, in the process, creating a more mature comprehension its virtues and drawbacks.
  • In this honors thesis project, I investigate the economics of independence for today's overseas territories. I plan to use panel data of numerous economic indicators in both remaining overseas territories and newly independent small-island states, since the 1950's, and to analyze the gathered data with advanced econometric models.
  • For the past fifteen years, inflation in Colombia has been slowly and painfully falling from 20% per year to the current rate of 6%. My honors thesis will attempt to determine the methods used by the bank to lower the inflation rate as implied in its policy actions, compare these methods with the bank's official stance, provide analysis about how successful they were, and trace those events from 1991 to the present. To accomplish this, I propose to travel to the Colombian central bank in Bogotá, Colombia, to collect data in support of my economic honors project. the objective of the trip is to utilize the resources of the bank's library and draw upon the expertise of the central bank's researchers in compiling the thesis.


  • Investigation of the ways the Spanish were writing about and depicting the Sephardic Jews, those Jews of Iberian origin exiled during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, five hundred years after their departure. I will be looking at many old periodicals, newspapers, official accounts and books from the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth in order to document this information. The great majority of the information will be in Spanish and will be coming out of Spain, and is therefore relatively hard to retrieve. I have seen that much of the bound versions of Spanish newspapers are kept in other libraries and research centers, namely NRLF and UCB collections, among others and I am requesting travel money to get to these sites since I am interested in looking through entire paper collections which would often be impossible to have sent.
  • This project will help answer questions regarding the process of Americanization of seventeenth century English Settlers through study of archaeological artifacts and historical documents.
  • An inquiry into the problems of female appetite in early modern England, focusing especially on cultural prescriptions for proper eating and perceptions of the female body.
  • A seven to ten day trip to Charleston, West Virginia to conduct research at the West Virginia State Archives. I will use this research to write a thesis paper on the creation of the state of West Virginia for the History Honors Program.
  • Travel to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria to use the private collection of papers of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti. The collection will enable me to further study a Nigerian women's movement and complete my undergraduate history thesis.
  • An examination of archival materials including Cuban periodicals and oral histories so far as to further understand the extent of anti-Semitism in late 1930's Havana.
  • Using the newly-available records of the Old Bailey, I am studying the dynamics of relationships between servants who stole from their employers and examining the breakdown of trust.
  • This project will bring to light African contributions to contain livestock disease in the agricultural industry of South Africa's Cape Colony as it expanded from 1880-1910.
  • I propose to spend two days in the United States Library of Congress National Archives accessing and copying primary source documents necessary to complete a History Senior Honors Thesis on the negotiation of collective identity at National Socialist sites.
  • This project will discuss the culture of hybrid and conflicting identities in the work of Middle Eastern Diasporic artists residing and working within the United States from 2003 to the present, with a particular focus on gender and diasporic identity.


  • This project will examine the relationship between human sexuality and speech to discover how a sense of gay identity is expressed by lesbian/gay youth.

Political Science

  • I plan to study how the differing social policies and differing social realities present in East Asia and Latin America contributed to their economic growth (over the period of 1975-2000).
  • A look at ethnic dance in the everyday lives of village people in Ghana and Burkina Faso, West Africa. This study attempts to understand some of the reasons ethnic dances are so important in these people's lives. The end result will be a written report, a photo-collage, and the creation of a dance piece.
  • An empirical analysis of the three competing methods of state judicial selection and the quality of the judges produced by each.
  • Language as a Factor of Govenmental Participation and Efficacy among Hispanics


  • I will be testing the hypothesis that low self-esteem is related to delinquency. I will be looking at multiple facets of self-esteem and their relations to delinquency. I will also be exploring potential moderators of this relations, such as gender and age. The proposed study will follow-up students who participated in a previous, cross-sectional study of self-esteem and delinquency.
  • The project will investigate the effects of manipulated self-esteem on an individual's decision-making and behavior in social affiliation and group formation. The student researcher will conduct an experiment using textile colors to determine where a participant will navigate whether (a) towards an individual wearing the same textile color as the participant does, (b) towards an individual wearing a different textile color, or (c) in an unpredictable way. Before exposing the participants to the affiliation-decision task, the researcher will manipulate the participant's self-esteem by decreasing, maintaining, or increasing positive self-concepts through a mathematical-computation task. Participants will also be asked to complete pre- and post-math task surveys.
  • I will test whether emotions expressions are more accurately identified when recognition occurs through automatic vs. deliberate, controlled processes.
  • Functional MRI will be used to investigate the neural substrates moderating rule storage and retrieval in the context of domestic and non-domestic traffic signs.
  • Simulating amnesia will affect memory and later recall of a crime event. The rehearsal conditions will have differing effects on memory and recall.
  • I will perform an experiment to find out if newspaper readers are less likely to believe unnamed, unattributed sources than identified sources.
  • An examination of the sharing of novel food items, by adult titi monkeys with infants, as a possible methods to teach proper diet choices.
  • Rattlesnake subjects are exposed to two different tail motions paired with noxious sand blasting to determine if evocativeness of these movements can be reinstated following experimental habituation.
  • The main goal of this study is to examine factors that influence impression formation during interracial interactions.
  • Determine if the brain is able to efficiently process and derive summary statistic of extremely complex stimuli such as emotional faces.
  • Investigating the causal relationship between shame and depression using a sample of women who recently had an abortion Sociology
  • I would like to do a research project through surveys and indepth interviews. I am interested in the relationship between the Hmong family and early marriages.
  • The Educating the Humane Child (EHC) Project, targeting at-risk elementary students, would develop age-appropriate curriculum units for instructors and design curriculum materials that may be used to educate at-risk children and their caregivers about animal care and advocacy, and to introduce them to philanthropy. the project will culminate in EHC: Cruelty-free Curriculum Resources for Educators (CCRE), documenting the process and my analysis that will be distributed to educators and researchers in hard copy form and via the internet.
  • I want to examine how police, demographics, and the media combine to influence the actual and perceived experiences of racial profiling by young adults in New York City. A New York Times Poll, done in January of 2000, attempts to uncover the racial tensions between minority communities and New York City police. My data will consist of this New York Times Poll along with my own analysis of newspapers and television archives. I want to accomplish three things: 1) determine the demographics of racial profiling in NYC 2) determine the rates of perceived racial profiling (those who believe it is widespread) and 3) determine if the media could be an external factor that influences perceptions of racial profiling. this project has some broader implications. for one, it could uncover generalizable demographics of racial victimization. Secondly, it could show the influence of media within community perceptions of racial tensions.
  • This research will examine the popular images of femininity, sexuality, and beauty presented to adolescent females in prom magazines compared to the actual expectations and experiences of these girls at the prom. I will use methods of "content analysis" for the prom media combined with ethnographic work (personal interviews, observation) of the girls I am studying.
  • Recent reports claim that African education is in crisis primarily due to mismanagement and a misallocation of funds. However, there are other sociocultural and historical factors involved, including the systematic exclusion of African traditions, and languages from the curricula. In 1969, A. Kondi reported resistance to formal education due to the latter sociocultural factors in his study of education in Bassar, Togo. I will build on Kondi's work through a longitudinal study designed to investigate the contemporary transformation of education in Bassar today. I will conduct household surveys and in-depth interviews with village leaders and school directors to determine if there continues to be resistance to western education in Bassar and the primary causes of this resistance. Even if no resistance is found, the results of my study will help identify the main sociocultural factors behind the educational crisis in Togo.
  • I hypothesize that freshman students' opinions may change during the first year of school and that the college environment may have a liberalizing effect on college students. I will examine this question by studying freshmen students' views on a variety of topics at two separate periods in time.
  • This study focuses on interviews with graduating high school students in order to find out how they make decisions about whether or not to continue their education after high school.
  • This study will examine the position of ceramics in the stratified fine art world and ceramic artists' perceptions of gender and stratification within ceramics fields.
  • Examine the effectiveness of the alternative schools within a school organization on student investment, participation and matriculation at Berkeley High.
  • This study will reassess Rockquemore and Brunsma's (2002) sociological theory of biracial identity formation among undergraduate students.

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School of Medicine

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.


  • A comparative study examining techniques for analysis of firing patterns of hippocampal place cells across multiple neurons, during sleep and rest in rats.

Biological Chemistry

  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 1A (elF1A) is one of many key factors in protein synthesis. By PCR, cloning and sequencing, phosphorylated mutants of elF1A will be made at the amino acid position Ser 125 and the effectiveness of this position on elF1A will be studies on the basis of cell viability, growth rates and protein synthesis rates.
  • Translation initiation factors are appearing as novel oncogenes and tumor progression markers. In this project, I will quantitatively analyze the expression of subunits of the initiation factor, elF3, in cancer and normal cells. the overexpression of subunits in cancer cells can possibly be used as a prognostic marker, which can advance the treatment for patients with cancer.
  • In my first experiment, I will find out whether or not a human protein (p44) within the eIF3 subunit can replace a similar protein (p33) in yeast. The second experiment will answer how the p44 protein interacts and affects the binding of eIF3 to the ribosomal complex in human cells.
  • To further characterize the properties of eIF3g, gene deletions of eIF3g will be over expressed in mammalian cell lines and analyzed for phenotypic differences.

Cancer Center

  • Constitutively activated components of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt pathway will be expressed in the three human bladder cell lines to test their potential in tumor progression.
  • Create a Tandem Affinity Purification Fusion Protein construct with the ASGP2 portion of Muc4. Use fusion protein to isolate and identify proteins that interact with ASGP2.

Cardiovascular Medicine

  • The project aims to teach techniques for both isolation of mouse cardiac myocytes and patch-clamp electrophysiological analysis of the individual cells. In this project, we will analyze electrophysiological differences between ion channels in mouse cardiac myocytes, which have been maintained in culture for different period of time.

Cell Biology & Human Anatomy

  • I will investigate whether anucleated fibers cells contain the structural machinery for protein synthesis, and determine the location of protein synthesis in the mouse lens.

Center for Genetics

  • The purpose of this experiment is to study and characterize a proposed enhancer pathway involved in C. elegans nuclear migration.

Center for Neuroscience

  • This study examines the brains ability to adapt to its environment. Neurons in the brain change structurally in response to learning. These structural changes come about through changes in gene expression. By studying the sound localization ability in Barn owls we can pinpoint the area of the brain where these structural changes are occurring. Using a technique known as Serial analysis of Gene Expression we will monitor and compare which genes are being expressed in these neurons. This will allow us a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms involved with structural changes that create adaptive behaviors.
  • My research will study how congenital blindness (lack of visual input from birth) affects the development of cortical conncections in the brains of juvenile animals.

Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

  • Assessment of fine motor skills and visual motor integration in children with sex chromosome aneuploidy to further describe the developmental profile for this patient population.

Human Physiology

  • The aim of this proposal is to investigate the chronic effects of estrogen on sodium, calcium, and proton accumulation during ischemia (lack of blood flow) and reperfusion (return of flow) in isolated rat hearts. Maintaining homeostasis of these ions is imperative in normal heart function. Although there has been evidence that estrogen protects the heart during ischemia, recent clinical studies have shown that estrogen replacement therapy in post-menopausal women may add more detrimental risks than benefits. This proposal aims to study the ionic mechanisms involved in estrogen's effect on myocardium during ischemia in order to explore and understand the general effects of acute and chronic treatments of estrogen.

Internal Medicine

  • I would like to explore the role of cellular apoptosis (cell death) in modified arterial permeability in old and young rats by examining the role heat shock protein 60 (HSP60).
  • Myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme implicated in inflammatory diseases, binds to different cells and lipoproteins upon its release by white blood cells. The purpose of this study is to identify binding motifs for MPO using a combinatorial chemistry approach.
  • Evaluates whether hyperhomocysteinemia increases arterial permeability and whether low folate exacerbates the effects of hyperhomocysteinemia. Additionally, this project investigates the underlying mechanisms of hyperhomocysteinemia and low folate in elevating permeability. Mice heterozygous for the cystathionine -synthase (CBS) gene will be used as an experimental model, and permeability will be measured using quantitative fluorescence microscopy on carotid arteries.
  • To test the effects of Lefty-A gene overexpression in hepatic stellate cells on the production of collagen type I ( ), a main component of extra cellular matrix, and tissue inhibitor of metal proteinase-1 (TIMP-1), an inhibitor of collagenases that break down various types of collagen.
  • I want to study the effect of an emerging cardiovascular risk factor, hyperhomocysteinemia, on carotid arterial compliance. Arterial compliance is important because it is the ability of a blood vessel to increase diameter in response to increased blood pressure and thereby allow an increase in blood flow. Further, I wish to evaluate a mechanism that may be responsible for hyperhomocysteinemia-evoked reduction in arterial compliance.

Medical Dermatology

  • I will study the effects of hydrogen peroxide on EGF receptor phosphorylation in wound healing.

Medical Microbiology & Immunology

  • I propose to prepare a novel polymerized HIV-1 vaccine and determine the immunogenicity of this vaccine in mice.
  • In this study, we will examine the regulation pathway of Bcl-2, a family of anti-apoptotic proteins, by inhibiting calpain expression in MCF7 (breast cancer) cells overexpressing cyclin E.
  • RNA inhibition and microarray analysis will be employed to identify genes regulated by calpain, a protease involved with cell adhesion, migration, and metastasis in MCF7 breast cancer cells overexpressing Cyclin E.
  • Serum collected from "healthy" sea otters will be evaluated for the presence of antibodies to the fungus Coccidioides immitis using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). This project involves two phases: I - the development and optimization of an ELISA for the detection of Coccidioidal antibody in sea otters, II - testing serum collected from healthy sea otters for these antibodies using the above method.
  • This project will identify twenty babA negative strains of Helicobacter pylori, and determine if recombination occurred between the babA gene and the babB gene.
  • The purpose of this study is to investigate the production of cytokines IFN-j and IL-2 in response to infection by Nocardia asteroides in the murine brain.
  • When Cyclin E is overexpressed in certain Breast Cancer cell lines, a persistence of a hyperactive Lower-Molecular-Weight Isoforms of Cyclin E appears. I propose to over-express Cyclin E in a multitude of different cell lines to see if this "clipped" form of Cyclin E is a characteristic of tumorgenesis.
  • I will develop a method for producing and using amplicon-style HSV-1 vectors and phage *C31 integrase for gene transfection and integration into mammalian cells.
  • The goal of this project is to demonstrate that lifespan and immunity are linked through insulin signaling pathways in mosquitoes.
  • Using the novel gene therapy vector I have designed, I will test for effective delivery and expression of a human protein sequence in vitro.

Medical Pathology

  • I will study the effects contact lenses may have on contact lens users. Computer-assisted intravital microscopy will be used to examine and quantify microvascular abnormalities in vivo in contact lens users. The possible microvascular changes such as abnormal vessel diameter, thickened vessel walls, blocked vessels, abnormal red-blood cell velocity, etc. will be identified to lead to a better understanding of damages that contact lenses may cause.
  • Analysis of viral localization in the host cell in response to mutations in the nuclear localization signal of the Nef Protein.

Medical Pharmacology & Toxicology

  • The goal of the project is to identify candidate genes regulated by the transcription factor MAD3 using the mouse cerebelllu as a model system.
  • The analysis of prostate cancer tissue microarrays will identify stage specific protein signatures for the development of more accurate diagnostic tools and cancer treatments.

Neurological Surgery

  • Behavioral tests, including the Morris Watermaze and Beam Walk, as well as histologic tests are performed on an experimental group and two control groups of rats to determine if a novel laser therapy for epilepsy causes injury to normal brain function.
  • The project will study the effects of stem cell implantation into damaged neural tissue. Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into different cell types, including those found in the brain, depending on the environmental cues it receives within the body. Bone marrow stem cells, acquired from donor rats, will be injected into a specified area within the rats' brains. The results of the survival and differentiation of flourescenctly-labeled stem cells within the injured brain will be compared to that of the uninjured brain to eliminate the effects of any other factor.


  • In this study, we propose to investigate the effects of administering UCD 026 on the growth of brain tumor cells using intracerebral implantation of the human glioma cell line U87 in athymic rats as an experimental model. The potential tumoricidal properties of UCD 026 will be examined by initiating treatment on postimplantation day 10 and continuing treatment for 10 days. The volumes of the tumors will be determined successively using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) and confirmed terminally on day 20 by sacrificing the animal and using histological staining and stereology. Tumor growth during this 10 day treatment with UCD 026 will be compared to a standard growth curve of untreated animals to determine if the drug kills tumors, has anti-proliferative activity, or does both.
  • Novel therapeutics are needed for treating human glioblastoma. This project will screen specially synthesized drugs in cell culture and the most efficacious drugs in vivo.
  • I propose to use anti-AChR monoclonal antibodies to cure the long open times of the slow channel congenital myasthenic acetylcholine receptors.


  • This project will be a continuation of an ongoing experiment in which our research group is investigating the relationship between inflammation and elevated levels of the sulfur amino acid homocysteine in plasma (hyperhomocysteinemia). This research may provide insight into the recognized association between vascular disease and hyperhomocysteinemia.
  • Use computer-assisted intravital microscopy to study the bulbar conjunctiva of dogs (microcirculation) during shock to correlate with systemic readings.
  • I will study the effects of vasopressin on the microcirculation in hemorrhagic shock. Some of these effects are adverse and have never been previously studied.


  • Utilizing a rat hemorrhage model, I will evaluate a new hemoglobin-based solution and compared it to hetastarch and shed blood. Physiologic responses will be monitored.

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School of Veterinary Medicine

The following are abstracts from projects funded in 2001 to the present.

Anatomy, Physiology & Cell Biology

  • This project will investigate qualitatively and quantitatively the internalization of the 5-HT3 receptor in neurons of the myenteric plexus using in vivo models. 5-HT, short for 5-hydroxytryptamine (the chemical name for serotonin), is important in stimulating feelings of nausea and intestinal pain. the receptor may internalize under different physiological stimuli, such as a high concentration of sugars or lipids in the gut. This project aims 1) to show that the 5-HT3 receptor internalizes if a strong dose of external serotonin is given and 2) to show that internalization can also occur when serotonin is released within the body in response to an intestinal stimulus like sugar or lipid. this will be accomplished by labeling tissue samples from treated rats with fluorescent antibodies directed toward the 5-HT3 receptor and clathrin, a protein that plays a significant role in internalization of cellular membrane components.
  • The anatomic relationships of the frog (a feature on the solar surface of the hoof useful for study of musculoskeletal injury prevention) with the distal phalangeal bone (a structure internal to the hoof) will be assessed by measuring distances from radiographs of cadaveric equine feet. the information will enhance understanding of the pathogenesis of musculoskeletal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Medicine & Epidemiology

  • The proposed project will consist of collecting freshwater stream snails, aquatic insect larvae species, and determining the infection rate of trematode parasites and DNA detection of Neorickettsia risticii in an endemic and a non-endemic area for Potomac Horse Fever during June, July and August of 2003. A brief serological survey of horses in the endemic and non endemic area will also be performed for evidence of horse exposure to N. risticii.

Molecular Biosciences

  • I will test the hypothesis where methyl (+)catechin, produced by murine levier cells, reaches a steady state concentration within 48 hours while glucuronidated (+)catechin concentration increases over a period of 72 hours. Harvesting these metabolites and subjecting them to HPLC analysis will provide the necessary data to validate or negate my hypothesis.
  • To determine what compound(s) are interfering with the isolation and purification of our flavonoid metabolites. The aromatic amino acids are the prime candidates as interfering compounds, so various separation and isolation techniques will be applied to them to determine if they are actually producing an interference.

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