Undergraduate students who participate in the SCI-STAR program will have the opportunity to collaborate on a long-term research experience under the guidance of a graduate student mentor. Research can begin in the Fall 2017, and is expected to continue through Summer 2018 (a stipend will be provided during the summer). The undergraduate will then present a poster on their research at the 2018 SCI Summer Research Colloquium and be eligible for a "Best SCI-STAR Research Poster" award.
Undergraduate students who are interested in gaining hands-on research experience should contact the graduate student directly. Please see the information below for current research opportunities.
Sarah Hewes (Bioengineering), "Coronary Artery Extruder" - Coronary heart disease can affect elderly people who lack vessels suitable for use in coronary artery bypass grafting, the preferred surgical treatment. There is a clear need for artificial small diameter vascular grafts. The development of a device to extrude a multi-layered hydrogel scaffold, pre-seeded with cells, will speed the development of cellularized, small diameter vascular grafts. Link to PDF with more information here.
Sara Nizzero (Applied Physics), "Overcoming biological barriers in the post-nano era: unraveling multi-stage delivery vectors uptake by the liver" - In past decades much effort has been devoted to the development of drugs for the treatment of a variety of diseases, cancer first of all. However, because of their exogenous nature, most drugs administered are seen by the body as a threat, and as such have to overcome the body's own defense mechanisms before they can reach the tumor, what we collectively call biological barriers. Physiologically structured like a sponge filled with macrophages, the liver is one of the major biological barriers to nanomedicine. The goal of our project is to investigate the mechanisms of nanoparticle uptake by the liver, with the greater aim of developing clinical strategies to inhibit liver uptake and thus increase tumor accumulation of administered drugs. Link to PDF with more information here.
Sandhya Susarla (Materials Science and Nanoengineering), "Two-dimensional quaternary transition metal di-chalcogenide alloys" - Through this project, we would investigate the thermal and optical properties of two dimensional quaternary alloys (MoxW(1-x)SySe(1-y)) using spectrometric techniques. These properties would be used in future to build laser diodes and LED’s. Link to PDF with more information here.
Dayne Swearer (Chemistry), "Earth-Abundant Mg nanoparticles for Plasmon Mediated Ammonia Production Through Nitride Phase Intermediates" - This project will look plasmonic nanoparticles as a platform for the synthesis of ammonia, a common fertilizer and major commodity in the chemical industry today. The overall goal is to utilize earth abundant Mg metal in the presence of commonly available precursors (nitrogen and water) and energy sources (sunlight) to produce ammonia sustainably. Link to PDF with more information here.
Li Yang (Physics and Astronomy). "Strongly Interacting Ultracold Atoms in One Dimension" - Using advanced analytical and numerical techniques, as well as a theoretical framework developed in our group, I will study some mysterious aspects of the Dynamical Fermionization of a Spinor Quantum Gas. The relevant equations need to be derived and implemented in computer simulation. Data from the simulation will be analyzed, and possibly a more general theory of dynamical fermionization will be developed. Link to PDF with more information here.
Please check back with this website regularly for updates!