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PRL undergrads Jessica Egleston, Jaylynn Jones and Drew Mitchell receive first-place honors at 2022 UURAF

Thirty-one (31) MSU College of Natural Science (NatSci) undergraduate students were among those receiving first-place honors for their 2022 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) entries.

The annual forum provides students with an  opportunity to showcase their scholarship and creative activity. Held each spring, UURAF brings together an intellectual community of highly motivated students to share their work with faculty, staff, peers, and external audiences and receive constructive feedback from judges.

This year’s event—UURAF’s 24th—took place on April 8 at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center and online at Symposium by ForagerOne. More than 750 students from 14 colleges/academic units participated in the event, including 197 NatSci students. They were mentored by more than 500 faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and industry partners. There were 568 presentations in 27 different subject areas.

“I would like to congratulate the nearly 200 NatSci students who presented their research at the 2022 UURAF,” said Lynmarie Posey, NatSci associate dean for undergraduate education. “The broad range of their research interests and dedication to seeking knowledge is inspiring. We are indebted to mentors in NatSci and across the University who have supported the intellectual curiosity and growth of NatSci students engaged in research under their direction. The College is especially proud of the research accomplishments of the 31 NatSci students recognized with first-place awards at UURAF.”

The 2022 UURAF NatSci winners (by category) are:

Category: Agricullture and Animal Science

  • Bailey Walker, senior, zoology (poster): The COVID Animal Fostering Boom: Ephemera or Chimera?

Category: Anthropology and Archeology

  • Jason Pasikowski, junior, genomics and molecular genetics (poster): Genetic Distance Mapping of Caesaria Maritima using Nonmetric Traits of the Human Skull.

Category: Arts and Humanities

  • Katie Denzin, senior, statistics (virtual poster): Sins of Commission and Omission: Do images in High School History Textbooks Reflect the Historical Diversity of the American People?
  • Orla Young, sophomore, neuroscience (virtual poster): Different Styles of Gymnastics Practice: Looking at the Effects on Performance and AMP, Well-Being

Category: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • Jessica Egleston, senior, biochemistry and molecular biology (poster): Structural Comparison Between Small Multi-drug Resistance (SMR) Transporter Family Members through Molecular Dynamics Simulations
  • Jarrod Griffus, senior, biochemistry and molecular biology (poster): Optimizing the Protein Solubility and Yield of CFACT1-6 and CFACT1-8
  • Jaylynn Jones, senior, microbiology (poster): Generating a bidirectional communication pathway between E.coli and Cyanobacteria
  • Drew Mitchell, senior, genomics and molecular genetics, (oral presentation): Bacterial Microdepartment Production in Arabidopsis Thaliana: A Synthetic Approach

Category: Cell Biology, Genetics and Genomics

  • Josie Kleve, senior, genomics and molecular genetics (poster): Toward a Gene Expression Prfile for Palate Periderm
  • Katherine Lauro, human biology, ‘21 (oral presentation), Engineering Extracelllular Vesicles as IGF-1 Gene Delivery Vehicles for Type 1 Diabetes
  • Grant Bruninga, junior, zoology (oral presentation): Microsatellite Genotyping of Lake Herring

Category: Communication Arts and Sciences

  • Juhua Huang, senior, mathematics (film): Why Won’t they Write Grammatically?

Category: Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

  • Maddie Allen, senior, mathematics (poster): Are More Protective Factors or Factor Groupings Associated with Fewer Future with Fewer Future Court Petitions Among Adjudicated Youth?

Category: Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics

  • Areebah Mahdia, sophomore, advanced mathematics (oral presentation): Patterns in the Reciprocals of Primes
  • Julia Zera, senior, advanced mathematics (oral presentation), Patterns in the Reciprocals of Primes

Category: Integrative and Organismal Biology

  • Daniel Do, senior, zoology (poster): Hatching Enzyme Evolution and Expression in the Spotted Gar: A Model Organism for Vertebrate Evolutionary Developmental Genomics

Category: Kinesiology

  • Albertas Klugas, sophomore, human biology (poster): Body Composition and VO2Max of Individuals with and Without Anterior Cruciate Ligament Recontruction

Category: Neuroscience

  • Claire Jones, senior, neuroscience (poster): Identifying the Inhibitory Circuit Elements Mediating Motor Integration in Deep Layers of Somatosensory Cortex
  • Ariana Zimmerman, neuroscience, ‘21 (poster): Intrinsic Properties and Synaptic Activity of Intrinsic Properties and Synaptic Activity of Striatal Spiny Protection Neurons in a Mouse Model of Autism
  • Hari Ramakrishnan, junior, physiology (poster): Adenosine Receptor Antagonist Reduces Chemotherapy Side Effects in Mice Such as Cisplatin-Induced Kidney Toxicity and Painful Neuropathy   

Category: Physical Sciences

  • Josie Anderson, senior, geological sciences (poster): Sediment Characterization of Martain Soil by the Phoenix Mars Lander
  • Joseph Noonan, senior, physics (poster): A Multi-Factor Model for the Optical Transmission of Films for the Single Atom Microscope  
  • Kirsten Fenske, senior, geological sciences (poster): A Multi-Factor Model for the Optical Transmission of Films for the Single Atom Microscope 
  • Mickey Mumby, sopohomore, physics (oral presentation): Understanding Collective Motion Inside a Nucleus

Category: Plant Sciences

  • Marlana Declaire, senior, genomics and molecular genetics (poster): Drought Tolerance and Pathogen Resistance in Transgenic Williams 82 Soybeans 
  • Lille Cunic, seniorgenomics and molecular genetics (poster), Identifying Beneficial Microbes in the Switchgrass

Category: Psychology

  • Kyle Oliver, junior, neuroscience (poster): Speech Understanding in Difficult Listening Conditions 
  • Emma Beaver, sophomore, zoology (poster): Spectrum-Dependent Arousal in a Diurnal Rodent Model

Category: Science and Engineering

  • Mary Gardella, senior, zoology (virtual poster): Does Light Composition Impact Stress Levels of Shelter Cats? 
  • Merlinda Sewavi, senior, microbiology (virtual poster): An Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Approach to Study Human Post-Infarction Remodelling and Heart Regeneration
  • Pam Jones, senior, microbiology (virtual poster): Listeriosis Drives Perturbations in the Eicosanoid Pathway

For a complete list of 2022 UURAF first-place awards, visit: https://urca.msu.edu/files/resources/214/document/UURAF2022WinnersRevised.pdf

To view the 2022 UURAF program book, visit: https://urca.msu.edu/files/forums/42/booklet/UURAF%20Program%20Book%202022.pdf  

This story was originally published in the College of NatSci newsroom.