Dr. Lisa Belden, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Dr. Belden, in collaboration with Dr. Jill Sible, examined the mechanistic cellular basis of embryonic responses to stress in amphibians, with a focus on understanding the role of different cellular networks in regulating responses to DNA damage caused by UV-B radiation.
Dr. Taranjit Kaur, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Science
Dr. Kaur used Terminal Restriction Fragment Polymorphism (T-RFLP) and 16sRNA to characterize bacterial and fungal flora in a habituated population of wild chimpanzees in East Africa. Infectious zoonotic agents transmissible from non-human primates are of significant public health importance and hence, the benefit of introducing these techniques is enormous in terms of detecting emerging infectious diseases and characterizing potential reservoirs.
Dr. Christina Petersson-Wolfe, Assistant Professor, Dairy Science
Dr. Petersson-Wolfe's study is designed to examine the potential link between microbial inoculants used in dairy feed and subsequent mastitis caused by the bacteria Enterococcus spp. The first objective of this project is to examine the ability of enterococci to survive the fermentation process observed during the production of dairy feed. Secondly, it is our goal to study the ability of these bacterial strains to cause mastitis in the bovine mammary gland.
Dr. Pamela Murray-Tuite, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
An area of increasing concern with regard to terrorism in transportation is the possibility that a malicious entity obtains hazardous materials (hazmat) and uses them as a weapon. Dr. Murray-Tuite's research investigates the feasibility of using probabilistic neural networks (PNN) to identify hijacked hazardous materials trucks. PNN is a pattern classification technique that will identify when vehicles have reasonably deviated from their original routes, considering congestion and traffic incidents that require “normal” re-routing.
Dr. Nichole Rylander, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering
The objective of Dr. Rylander's project was to characterize the response of laser irradiated tissue with multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWNT) inclusion to variations in MWNT characteristics and laser parameters through both experiments and development of a novel computational treatment planning model. Combinatorial therapies utilizing nanotechnology such as MWNT and laser therapy have the potential to provide a more effective and minimally invasive alternative to customary surgical resection of tumors.
Dr. Liquing Zhang, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Dr. Zhang analyzed the role of gene conversion in three Brucella bacterial genomes with economic, agricultural, and national security importance. Identifying the differences and similarities in this important aspect among the three species will not only enhance our understanding of the role that gene conversion plays in bacteria evasion of immune systems, but also shed light on the possible mechanisms of their virulence and host preference that can be used for providing genetic targets for rapid discrimination among the three bacteria.