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January 4, 2010

Thirty-five Students Receive Medals at Sigma Xi Research Conference

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – Thirty-five student researchers received medals and cash awards for their poster presentations at the 2009 Sigma Xi International Research Conference in The Woodlands, Texas, November 13-14.

More than 200 students presented their research at this year's conference, representing nearly 100 academic institutions.

Each year, the Sigma Xi International 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.

Student presenters are asked to select the poster presentation of one of their colleagues as the winner of the Student Choice Award. This special award was sponsored by the Washington, DC, Chapter of Sigma Xi and carries a $250 cash prize. The winners were Aditya Kaddu, Zhao Kong and Daniel Rist of Rice University, and their topic was "Verification of Nonlinear Phenomena Associated with Micro-Resonators."

Medalists and their research topics were as follows:

Doctoral Candidates

Interdisciplinary Research
Pearce Creasman-Texas A&M University
"A Geophysical Survey for the Lost Ship of a Pharaoh (Dahshur, Egypt)"

Physics & Astronomy
Derek Nowak-Portland State University
"High Resolution Two-Photon Excitation Fluorescence Imaging"

Math & Computer Science
Faisal Reza-Duke University
"Computational and Experimental Scanning and Redesign of Nucleic Acid Proteins"

Graduate Students

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Anna Coleman-Hulbert-Portland State University
"Natural Mitochondrial DNA Variation Affects Metabolism and Aging in Caenorhabditis briggsae"

Ruth Mullins-Texas A&M University
"Real-time Environmental Monitoring from a Wind Farm Platform in the Texas Hypoxic Zone"

David Kvale-University of Toledo
"A Neural Network Based Approach to Estimate the Electric Field from a Source within a Perforated Enclosure"

Undergraduate Students

Valeria Gonzalez-University of California, Irvine
"Determining the Role of WhiE Aromatase Cyclase in the biosynthesis of Polyketides"

Behavioral Sciences
Jamar Whaley-Queens College
"Elucidating The Effects of Chronic Heroin Use On Impulsivity"

Michael Gonzalez-University of California, Irvine
"Forepaw Grip Strength Assessment in Female Phosphodiesterase 9A Knockout Mice After a Cervical Spinal Cord Injury"

Cellular & Molecular Biology
Jing Han-Northwestern University
"Induction Of Diabetes Resistance And Prevention Of Recurrent Type 1 Diabetes Post-Islet Transplantation Via Gene Therapy"

Franklin Garcia, University of California, Irvine
"Stroke as a Co-morbidity of Alzheimer's Disease: Hypoperfusion in an Alzheimer's Transgenic Mouse Model"

Mayra Carrillo-University of California, Irvine
"The Role of Docking Sites in Yeast MAPK Cascade Signaling Specificity"

Vineet Singal-Stanford University
"Unraveling Multidrug Resistance Mechanisms in Metastatic Melanoma"

Hatim Thaker and Danny Jandali-Northwestern University
"Urinary Bladder Regeneration Utilizing Mesenchymal Stem Cells Seeded onto Elastomeric Thin Films"

Derek Rhoades-Ohio Northern University
"Application of Sigma 2 QSAR Model Identifies Compounds with Anti-Cancer Activity"

Abdul Jangda-University of Houston, Downtown
"Practical Application of the Voltammeteric Determination of Alkali Metals by Using Conducting Polymers"

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Elizabeth Lavoie-State University of New York, Plattsburgh
"A New Species of Wild Eggplant, with Implications for the Evolution of a Rare Breeding System"

Krystle Minear-Weber State University
"DNA Barcoding Reveals the Diversity of Shore Flies from Great Salt Lake"

David Garland and Kenneth Davis-Rice University
"Advantages of the Eppler 423 Airfoil in Wind Turbine Blade Design"

Maha Haji-University of California, Berkeley
"Human Power Generation in Fitness Facilities"

Environmental Science
Chang Woo Lee-University of Texas at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
"Phytotoxicity of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles to Arabidopsis thaliana"

James Burnes-Lamar University
"The Stratigraphic Position of the First Uinta C Micro-Mammal Community from the Uinta Formation, Uintah County, Utah"

Interdisciplinary Research
Patricia Troy-Ohio Wesleyan University
"Dopamine Signaling Pathway in the Stomatogastric Ganlgion of Homarus americanus"

Michael Chien-University of Pennsylvania
"Manipulation of Nanostructures on Silicon (111) 7x7 Surface for Applications in Quantum Computing"

Wee Leow-Texas A&M University
"Parallel Assembly of Collagen Fibril on Mica Surface and Steps"

Math & Computer Science
Kyle Pounder-Saint Mary's College of California
"Synchronization and Coherence of Dynamical Systems: Networks of Coupled Rössler Attractors"

Physics & Astronomy
Jake Connors-The Ohio State University
"A Search For Dark Matter Microhalos with the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope"

Physiology & Immunology
Erick Maravill-University of California, Irvine
"Motor Patterns and Kinematics of Feeding Atlantic Hagfish (Myxine glutinosa)"

High School Students

Cellular & Molecular Biology
Mirza Shabbir-Harlem Children Society
"The Effect of Cannabinoid Receptor Stimulation on Survival of Adult Spinal Cord Motor Neurons"

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Gabriel Joachim-Cibola High School
"Identifying Habitats of Poison Dart Frogs: Local Environment and Frog Distribution"

Rodney Agnant-Harlem Children Society
"Conformational Analysis of Nucleosides through Molecular Mechanics"

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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