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November 12, 2007

Twenty-Six Receive Medals at Sigma Xi Student Research Conference

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- Twenty-six presenters received medals and cash awards at the 2007 Sigma Xi Student Research Conference, held in Orlando, Florida, on November 2-3.

More than 200 students presented their research at this year's conference, representing nearly 100 academic institutions. Abstracts are available via the link above.

Each year, the Sigma Xi Student Research Conference, held in conjunction with the Society's Annual Meeting, showcases some of the premier student research in the world, and connects senior researchers with students.

In addition to the research competition, the two-day conference featured a variety of networking and career advancement opportunities. Participants also had a chance to hear talks by leading scientists and engineers, including Sigma Xi award winners.

Medalists and their research topics are as follows:


Danny Krall, Ohio Northern University
Computer Modeling of Glutamate Racemase

Rajvi Patel, Ohio Northern University
Correlation of Docking Energies with Kinetic Assays of Xanthine Oxidase and Potential Inhibitors

Behavioral Science

Nicholas Olivas, University of California-Irvine
Elevated T-Maze Reveals Impaired Fear-based Learning in FMR1-KO Mice

Rebecca Buchta, Bethel College
Emotional and Physiological Responses to Music are Stronger than those to Lyrics Alone

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Aaron Mendez, University of California-Irvine
Multisite Phosphorylation of a Core Component in the Neurospora crassa Circadian Clock

Richard Sando, Rider University
Site-directed Mutagenesis of Mammalian Casein Kinase I Epsilon

Christine Gilling, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Stability of a Foreign Protein in Chimeric CVB3: Potential Vector for Gene Delivery

Melissa Kopp, State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Ancient Mayan DNA: The Tipu Mission


Brian León, University of California-Irvine
Progress Towards the Synthesis of Sieboldine A

Alison Morrison, Santa Barbara City College
Synthesis of Nanoparticles of Hybrid Inorganic-Organic Frameworks Using Hydrothermal and Emulsion Methods

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Brandi Fleshman, University of Alaska Fairbanks
An Update To The Spider Fauna Of Alaska

Amanda Ruiz, University of California-Irvine
The Evolutionary Effect of Bottleneck and Massive Passages on RNA Viral Fitness

Elizabeth Glidewell, California State University-Sacramento
Sexual dimorphism in the Convict Cichlid


Meredith Drennan, Saint Louis University, and
Allen Flavell, Seattle Pacific University
Psychological Conditioning in Artificial Neural Networks

Jesus Cruz, University of California-Berkeley
Printing High Aspect Ratio Paraffin Wax Molds Using a Pneumatic Dispenser

Environmental Science

Yasmin Maldonado, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Studying the Antimicrobial Effects of Clematis drummundii


Tiziana Matarazzo, University of Connecticut
Micromorphology of the Occupation Surfaces of the Early Bronze Age Village of Afragola (Southern Italy). Preliminary Study of Hut 8.

Interdisciplinary Research

Martin Adams, Portland State University
Late-Pleistocene and Holocene Climate Change Reconstructed from a Willamette Valley (Oregon) Fossil Beetle Assemblage

Emily Reed, University of California, Merced
Microstructure, Nanostructure, And Properties Of The Wasp Petiole

Nishank Bhalla, State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Isolation, Amplification And Sequencing Of Exon 2 From The Beta-Hemoglobin Gene From Ancient DNA (aDNA) From Maya Skeletons

Shayna Williams, Claremont McKenna College
Anxiety-Related Behavior and sepp1a Expression in the Zebrafish Brain

Math and Computer Science

Ronald Page, University of California-Berkeley
Foreign Animal Diseases and Patterns in Cluster Analysis

Arun Mahendra, Tarleton State University
Autonomous Mobile Robot: Hardware, Software and Artificial Intelligence

Physics and Astronomy

Jess Crossno, Santa Barbara City College
Terahertz Plasmonic Detector

Physiology and Immunology

Kameelah Abdullah, University of California-Irvine
Natural Genetic Polymorphism in the NS3 Protein of the Hepatitis C Virus

In addition, Ashley Gravlin-Beman of Florida Atlantic University had the best visual display, according to a vote of her fellow student presenters. The District of Columbia Chapter of Sigma Xi awarded her a $250 prize and a certificate of recognition.

Oral presentations were given at the conference by the following advanced graduate students and doctoral candidates:

Sushil Adhikari, Mississippi State University
Kier Ancona, Valdosta State University
Jenny Barker-Devine, Iowa State University
Sarah Bodbyl Roels, University of Kansas
Amy Camba, Medical College of Georgia
Cristina Clement, City University of New York-Lehman College
Regina Edziyie, University of North Texas
Sydney Everhart, University of Central Missouri
Claudia Hohn, Mississippi State University
Elizabeth Lehman, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Jasmine Loveland, Smith College
Simon Menanteau-Ledouble, Mississippi Valley State University
Matthew Niemiller, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Evan Pannkuk, Appalachian State University
Babette Peruche, Florida State University
Robert Reynolds, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Veljko Samardzic, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Clifford Sanders, Florida Atlantic University
Angela Vavassis, Concordia University
Angela Winslow, Howard University


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