REU

2018 REU Students

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Group 2018 

                   

Chanica Sintima

Undergraduate Institution: BYU Idaho

Faculty Advisor: Professor Savage

Research: This summer I investigated the synergistic activity of antifungal compounds and ceragenins.

More specifically, under the direction of Dr. Savage I have developed non-peptide mimics of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) to take advantage of the antimicrobial mechanism of AMPs without their limitations as clinical therapeutics. CSA-131 have been shown to exhibit synergistic effects with lower drugs in the past. For this reason, we felt they had potential to also act in synergy with caspofungin or amphotericin B. We ran synergy tests between CSA-131 and these two antifungals in order to assess the degree of synergy between them.   

                                       

Vanessa Bustamante

Undergraduate Institution: Utah State University

Faculty Advisor: Professor Hansen

Research: Under the direction of Professor Hansen I worked with an anaerobic digester to produce methane gas as a renewable energy source.

                                

Mason Laikupu

Undergraduate Institution: Leeward Community College

Faculty Advisor: Professor Austin

Research: During this summer I continued the development of paper spray mass spectrometry by investigating holder designs generated with 3D printing.

                   

Earnest Puletasi

Undergraduate Institution: University of Hawaii

Faculty Advisor: Professor Ess

Research: I used density functional theory computational methods to model and predict the reactivity of Sn high-oxidation state complexes for alkane and arene C-H activation and functionalization reactions.

                                  

Rachel Dannenberg

Undergraduate Institution: Northern Arizona

Faculty Advisor: Professor Christensen

Research: The Christensen lab studies the role of capillary morphogenesis gene 2 (CMG2) in angiogenesis. Throughout the summer, I focused on how extracellular matrix proteins interact with CMG2 by synthesizing fragments of matrix proteins and testing them using biolayer interferometry.

Dana Kuntz

Undergraduate Institution: Snow College

Faculty Advisor: Professor Stowers

Research: I characterized nickel oxide ceria catalysts for ethane oxidative dehydrogenation. We doped nickel oxide catalysts with ceria and titanium to test the conversion and selectivity.

                                                 

Jeshurun Small

Undergraduate Institution: Western State Colorado University

Faculty Advisor: Professor Woodfield

Research: I worked on the transformation of powder silica doped alumina to a hardened tri-lobe with the goal to make Fischer-Tropsch catalysts more efficient by optimizing the surface area, pore volume, and pore diameter.

             

Andrew Ralph

Undergraduate Institution: University of Utah

Faculty Advisor: Professor Linford

Research: The Linford lab focuses on material science and my summer research focused on the surface analysis of glass using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). ToF-SIMS technique is important because we are able to analyze the outer 1-2 nanometers of the glass surface which is where all the chemistry occurs. We specifically examined SiOH+/Si+ to quantify how much surface hydroxylation took place after we chemically treated the glass surface.

                  

Gracie Damstedt

Undergraduate Institution: BYU Hawaii

Faculty Advisor: Professor Castle

Research: Simply put, I worked on synthesizing a tetrapeptide and substituting the amino acids with dehydro amino acids to increase the peptide stability. 

More specifically, I worked on forming tetrapeptide and substituting the Amino Acids with dehyro A.A. to increase the stability of peptide. Once done making tetrapeptide, various test are tested on it by using 2D NMR, X-ray crystallography, and proteolysis to determine the structure and stability of the peptide. If successful in increasing stability, it can be used for peptide pharmaceuticals to help the metabolism not proteolysis the peptide as quickly. 

          

David Topham

Undergraduate Institution: Dixie State University

Faculty Advisor: Professor Woolley

Research: This summer is optimized fluorescent labeling and 3D printed microfluidic devices. 

The purpose of this project is to develop a diagnostic test for pregnant women testing for premature labor.  I worked on the optimization of Labeling florescence isothiocyanate to amino acids. This will help us make labeling  florescence isothiocyanate more efficient when labeling proteins and peptides that stand has bio-markers for preterm birth risk. I also found a set of conditions in a micro-fluidic device that will support a voltage separation of these protein bio-markers.