< Thirty-Two Receive Medals at Sigma Xi Student Research Conference
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November 24, 2008

Thirty-Four Receive Medals at Sigma Xi Student Research Conference

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Thirty-four student researchers received medals and cash awards for their poster presentations at the 2008 Sigma Xi Student Research Conference in Washington, D.C., November 21-22.

The Society also awarded certificates and cash prizes to the top three finalists of its inaugural Student Short Film Competition, which focused on the global water crisis.

The first place winner was Anthony Reisinger, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, for his film The Dead Zone. Second place went to Robert Champ Williams, California State University-Northridge, for The Secret Weapon, and third place went to Preston Brown, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, for Hydroelectric Power...The Shocking Truth! See the winning films online here.

More than 230 students presented their research at this year's conference, representing nearly 100 academic institutions.

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:

Behavioral Sciences

Tianna Clarke, Harlem Children Society
"Cultural Beliefs and Practices at the Transition to Parenting: Dominican, Mexican, American and Chinese Families"

Philip Leclerc, Christopher Newport University
"Matching, Melioration, and Equilibrium Selection"

Stephen Short, Christopher Newport University
"It’s All in the Eyes: Individuals’ False Beliefs of Empathic Accuracy"

John Rissetto, University of New Mexico
"Hunter-Gatherers in Cantabria, Spain"


Shawn Davidson, Providence College
"Characterization of the meiosis-specific Mei5 and Sae3 Proteins"

Steven Youssef, Widener University
"The Effect of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Exposure on Gene Expression and WBC in Mouse"

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Sumaiya Tasneem, Harlem Children Society
"Cell Binding and Cell Binding and Internalization of Immunoliposomes on Human Breast Cancer Cells (BT-474)"

Tetyana Forostyan, SUNY, Purchase College
"Till Death Do They Part: Structural Changes and Osmotic Challenge during Turnover in Gill Epithelial Cells of Juvenile Green Sturgeon, Acipenser medirostris"

Rick Sando, Rider University
"Effects of Mutations in Casein Kinase I Epsilon (CKI?) on the Circadian Clock of Cultured Mammalian Cells"

Corina Antal, University of Miami
"Modeling the Half-Life of DHHC2 and Determining the Effect of APF on CKAP4 Translocation in HeLa Cells"

Hatim Thaker, Northwestern University
"Bladder Replacement Therapy Utilizing Autologous Sources of Stem and Progenitor Cells"


Raihen Selah, Harlem Children Society
"Electronic Properties of Porphyrins"

Konrad Sawicki, University of Michigan
"Biomechanical Microscopy of Tissues and Biomaterials"

Tomoyasu Mani, University of Texas at Dallas
"Modulation of Water Exchange in Ln(III) DOTAtetraamide Complexes"

Tim Beck, American University
"Synthesis of Inhibitors of the Novel Enzyme N-acetyl-Lornithine Transcarbamylase to Disrupt Arginine Biosynthesis in Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia"

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Katherine Burke, University of Virginia
"American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) Persistence in Southwestern Virginia Eighty Years after Chestnut Blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) Introduction"

Susan Tsang, Skidmore College
"Population Structure and Genetics of the Bridle Shiner (Notropis bifrenatus) in Drainages of the American Northeast"


Ronald Carrasquillo, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
"Development of an Alternative Aluminum Matrix Composite for Bearing Applications"

Shiv Gaglani, Harvard University
"Fabrication of Single Atom Nanowires for Applications towards Quantum Computation"

Faisal Reza, Duke University
"Modeling and Engineering of Nanomolecular Interactions"

Environmental Science

Brittany Lob and Gillian Joy, Baker University
"Limitations to Life for Microscopic Astronauts: the Water Bears"

Evan Ellicott, University of Maryland
"Estimating Biomass Burning Fire Radiative Energy using MODIS"


Sara Summers, Weber State University
"AFM Arctic Study of Calcite Surface"

Interdisciplinary Research

Amanda Rios and Elena Feldman, Harlem Children Society
"Sedimentology of the Beach Placer Deposit of Montauk Point, Long Island"

Shawn Dowling, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
"Orlistat As A Potential Therapeutic Supplement For Gastrointestinal Cancer"

Sarahi Ramirez, University of Idaho
"Modeling Binding Action of Anti-Methamphetamine Monoclonal Antibodies"

Nishank Bhalla, SUNY, Plattsburgh
"Determination of a possible Beta-Thalassemia causing mutation in the Tipu Maya as revealed by sequencing the Beta-Hemoglobin gene exon-2 in ancient DNA (aDNA) isolated from Maya Skeletons"

Math and Computer Science

Jesse Hertz, Fox Lane High School
"Fast Integer Factorization"

Ali Rathore, University of California, Berkeley
"Data Mining Of Significant Molecular Substructures Using Functional Groups"

Physics and Astronomy

James Kally, Ventura College
"Plasmonic Terahertz Detector with an Integrated Hot Electron Bolometer"

Physiology and Immunology

Steven Maler, University of California, Irvine
"Lifespan Extension with Rhodiola rosea in Drosophila is Independent of Fecundity Depression"

Catharine Culjis, Boston University Medical School
"Langerhans Cells and Nerves: Bidirectional Signaling"

About Sigma Xi
Founded in 1886, Sigma Xi is the international honor society for research scientists and engineers, with more than 500 chapters in North America and around the world. Membership is by invitation. Over the years, more than 200 Sigma Xi members have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to publishing American Scientist magazine, the non-profit Society awards hundred of grants annually to student researchers and sponsors a variety of programs that support science and engineering.


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