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Students Present at Undergraduate Research Conference

Butler_Apr15On April 10, sixteen Belmont biology, biochemistry and molecular biology and neuroscience students attended the 27th Annual Butler University Undergraduate Research Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.  954 people attended the conference and participated in more than 500 presentations. Participants represented 58 colleges and universities in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Belmont faculty members Mike Pinter (mathematics), Rachel Rigsby (chemistry/physics), Roger Jackson and Jennifer Thomas (biology) also attended, and Thomas served as a session chair.

Students gave the following oral presentations:

  • “Determining the Effects of Invasive Plant Species on Soil Environments with C. Elegans Chemotaxis Bioassays”: John Holt (Robert Grammer, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “Bacterial Fight Club: Two-Component Signaling Cascades and Type VI Secretion System Cross-Interactions Benefit Bacterial Fitness”: Himesh Zaver (Jennifer Thomas, Kristen Guckes and Maria Hadjifrangiskou (Vanderbilt University), Faculty Sponsors)
  • “Genetic Manipulation Increases Rates of DNA Exchange in the Bacterium Acinetobacter Baumannii”: Justin Smith (Jennifer Thomas, Michael Noto and Eric Skaar (Vanderbilt), Faculty Sponsors
  • “Chemotaxis Response in Caenorhabditis Elegans to an Olfactory Repellent Paired With Nicotine”: Amanda Bigness (Robert Grammer, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “The Effect of 6-OHDA on SKN-1 in Parkinson’s”: Rezzan Hekmat (Nick Ragsdale, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “HPV-Positive Cervical Cancer Cells Show Generally Reduced Levels of IFN-Alpha”: Sarah Bonaparte (Jennifer Thomas, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “The Evaluation of Interferon-Beta Levels in HPV-Positive Cervical Cancer Cell Lines”: Olivia Ford (Jennifer Thomas, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “Appetite Suppressing Effects of Nicotine on Caenorhabditis Elegans Chemotaxis to E. Coli”: Khang Tran (Robert Grammer, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “The Anxiogenic Effects of 5-APB and Dark RageTM (Pre-Workout) on Danio Rerio”: Jaime Wesley (Lori McGrew, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “Effects of Subtoxic Levels of Triclosan on Working Memory and Anxiety Levels in Danio Rerio”: Hensley Barnes (Lori McGrew, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “The Effects of Anxiolytic Medication on Memory Formation in Stress Induced Danio Rerio Specimens”: Iqra Wahid (Lori McGrew, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “The Effects of Different Dosages of α-Lipoic Acid on the Chemotaxis of Caenorhabditis Elegans at Various Stages of Adulthood”: Alicia Hsu (Robert Grammer, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “The Effect on Danio Rerio Memory after Chronic Exposure to WIN 55,212-2 Mesylate”: Cassie Wyatt (Lori McGrew, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “Preferred Microhabitat Conditions of Vaejovis Carolinianus in a Middle Tennessee Cedar Glade”: Chelsea Lee (Steve Murphree, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Isolate on Belmont University’s Campus is Negative for PBP2a as the Mechanism of Resistance”: Rebekah Shepherd (Jennifer Thomas, Faculty Sponsor)
  • “Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Exotoxin Found in Methicillin-Sensitive and –Intermediate Staphylococcus Aureus Samples on Belmont University’s Campus”: Jordan Helms (Jennifer Thomas, Faculty Sponsor)