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Summer Science Scholars of 2017

SUMMER SCIENCE SCHOLARS OF 2017: Present Research Projects at the Annual Poster Session

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Each summer from June to August, Burke Medical Research Institute mentors the next generation of research scientists through the Summer Science Research Program. Highly selected college students engage in cutting-edge basic, translational and clinical neuroscience research programs through participation in faculty lead laboratories. The Summer Student Research Program is co-directed by Dianna E. Willis, Ph.D. and John Cave, Ph.D.

To conclude the summer program, this year's outstanding scholars presented posters of research projects and results at the annual Summer Science Research Program Poster Session held Friday, August 11, 2017 to peers, faculty, scientists and board members, alumni, family and friends.

2017 Summer Science Projects

Michael Ainsworth
Title: Lesioning the forelimb specific regions of the internal capsule in rats.
Mentor: Anil Sindhurakar, Ph.D. & Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Sophomore at Johns Hopkins University

Richard Chao
Title: Overexpression of alpha tubulin acetyltransferase 1 within in vitro primary mouse cortical neurons.
Mentor: Victor Wong, Ph.D. & Dianna Willis, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Fordham University

Antonella D’Ascanio
Title: Mirror movements in children with hemipilegic cerebral palsy.
Mentor: Kathleen Friel, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Boston College

Thomas Gagliardi
Title: Optimization of cre-dependent DREADD system for manipulation of corticospinal tract.
Mentor: Hong Park, Ph.D. & Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Union College

Samantha Gold
Title: Effects of intensive hand therapy on motor map size in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.
Mentor: Kathleen Friel, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at University of Pennsylvania

Wali Hairan
Title: Tissue morphing: brain and spinal cord image registration for histology.
Mentor: Shiva Ratnadurai-Giridharan, Ph.D. & Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Connecticut College

Larissa Heron
Title: EphA4 conditional knockout and corticospinal circuit plasticity following injury.
Mentor: Najet Serradj, Ph.D. & Edmund Hollis, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Senior at Hunter College

Basil Mundackal
Title: Effects of LPS chemical conditioning on immune cell changes.
Mentor: Jiwon Yang, Ph.D. & Sunghee Cho, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Senior at Siena College

Jordan Nathan
Title: Motor cortex and spinal stimulation: developing safe and stable electrodes.
Mentor: Jason Carmel, M.D., Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Fieldston High School

Charles Panzarella
Title: Effects of attention on optokinetic vision testing.
Mentor: Glen Prusky, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Senior at Westlake High School

Matthew Ponticiello
Title: Preparing and testing immunomagnetic beads for cancer hyperthermia.
Mentor: Aurelian Radu, Ph.D. & Dianna Willis, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Freshman at SUNY Binghamton 

Mythili Pulavarthi
Title: Nicotinamide riboside: altering the acetylation of a-tubulin in cortical neurons.
Mentor: Victor Wong, Ph.D. & Dianna Willis, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Akaash Saraf
Title: Nrf2 activation provides neuroprotection in the in vitro model of hemorrhagic stroke.
Mentor: Amit Kumar, Ph.D. & Rajiv Ratan, M.D., Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Edgemont High School

Alessandra Sauro
Title: Conceptual development of a motion capture system to quantify and personalize home-based exercise for neurorecovery.
Mentor: Dylan Edwards, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Senior at University of Rochester

Andrew Wallace-Jackson
Title: Mitochondrial changes in the creation of neurons from iPSC.
Mentor: Gary Gibson, Ph.D.
Attending: Rising Junior at Carelton College

Mythili Pulavarthi won first place at the 2017 Summer Science Research Program Poster Session

Mythili Pulavarthi won first place at the
2017 Summer Science Research Program Poster Session

Congratulations 2017 Summer Science Scholars

A panel of instructors and post-doctoral researchers judged the poster presentations. Each poster was evaluated for research design, creativity and comprehension, and visual presentation. With close results, judges awarded Mythili Pulavarthi, a Rising Junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with first place for the 2017 Summer Science Research Program Poster Session. Mentored by Victor Wong, Ph.D. and Dianna Willis, Ph.D., Mythili’s project focused on nicotinamide riboside: altering the acetylation of a-tubulin in cortical neurons. The Institute’s community congratulations Mythili Pulavarthi and saults the 2017 Summer Science Scholars in their achievements and discoveries fulfilled during the summer program.