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35 UAB Honors College students were selected to present original research at the 2022 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), April 4 – 8.

Students presented virtually among 3,200 students, faculty, and administrators from various schools – both nationally and internationally. Sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), the annual event has been held on different campuses every year since 1987.

“NCUR22 was a wonderful and engaging experience for our Honors College delegates this past April that culminated in our students showcasing their UAB research efforts and successes on a national level,” said Mark Bevensee, Ph.D., assistant dean of the Honors College. “Our students learned the importance of writing an abstract, assembling a presentation, and networking with peers and conference attendees— all invaluable experiences that promote professional development and help students excel in their academic programs and careers.”

Honors students who applied and submitted abstracts to NCUR received an Enrichment Award from the Honors College that covered registration and fees. Before attending the virtual conference, the Honors College provided a supportive, community environment where students learned how to create presentations, practice their research pitch with Honors College leadership, and network with their peers to socialize and share experiences while encouraging students to attend each other’s presentations at the conference.

This year’s Honors College delegation presented research that included an array of topics such as parental role perceptions, cancer cell growth, Parkinson’s Disease, diversity in Hollywood, opioid overdose, and transportation safety.Suma EjantkarSuma Ejantkar

Suma Ejantkar won an NCUR award in the Biology Division for her research on Cardiac Fibroblast GSK-3α Promotes Fibrotic Response through ERK-IL-11 Signaling Network. Ejantkar is a senior majoring in biomedical sciences. 

“Winning this award meant a lot to me,” Ejantkar said. “I am very delighted that the judges appreciated my research, and I feel even more motivated to continue my work. Participating in NCUR this year was a unique experience for me. It was my first virtual conference, so I learned how to present my research in a virtual-friendly manner. Overall, I was glad to be given the opportunity to share my research and learn some fascinating facts from the other participants!”

Additional students who presented research at NCUR include:

  • Alec Ayala 

Guideline-Directed Medical Therapy in Underserved Patients with Heart Failure

  • Halle Baldwin 

Associations between Internalizing Symptomology and Delayed Licensure in Teens

  • Rishika Bhojanapalli 

The Neurocognitive Effects of Chemotherapeutic Drugs

  • Sumedha Bobba 

Mutant GBA1 Mice Show Increased Hippocampal a-synuclein Aggregation in a Parkinson’s Disease Model

  • Reuben Burch 

Development of Platform for Expression of Recombinant Rhesus Monoclonal Antibodies Against Human Immunodeficiency Virus as Pentameric IgM

  • Connor Campbell 

The Effects of Granulins on Lysosomal Dysfunction Caused by Progranulin Deficiency

  • Reshu Chandra 

Analysis of Mechanisms by which PINK1 Mutations Cause Parkinson’s Disease

  • Alana Colafrancesco 

Using Drosophila to Study the Activity of PINK1, a Kinase with Mutations Linked to PD

  • Destyni Cravens 

Differences in White and Black Mothers’ Reports of Parental Role Perceptions and their Impact on Adolescents’ Mood

  • Amber Duenckel 

Effects of Estrogen Levels on Social Dominance and Neuropeptide Levels in Female Wild Type Mice

  • Shiva Emami 

Developing/testing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR)-supported physical activity phone intervention in rural Alabama during COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities for the DIAL study

  • Anushree Gade 

Effects of NUDC loss on Arrestin-1 and Transducin trafficking in rod photoreceptor cells

  • Rachael George 

Validation of the Autonomous Vehicle Trust Scale in Licensed Adult Drivers

  • Veda Joshi 

The Fourth Pacific Ally: The Dutch Defense of the East Indies in 1941 and 1942

  • Abhishek Kamath 

VAMP8 Recruitment to Lysosomes by TMEM106B

  • Soumya Khanna 

The Effects of Circadian Rhythm Disruption on Renal and Central Nervous System Vascular Permeability

  • Erin King 

Interactions of RRM Motifs of SRSF1 Proteins

  • Anthony Knighton 

Simulating Time Evolution of Heisenberg Model Using Quantum Computation

  • Sindhu Komaragiri 

Unilateral intrastriatal injection of alpha synuclein pre-formed fibrils alters contralateral mitochondrial protein levels, dynamics, and function

  • Angel Laboy 

Decisional Capacity for Clinical Research: Experience with the UBACC Score in Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Charlene Mansour 

Investigating the Effect of Bacteria in the Growth of Breast Cancer Cell Lines

  • Madisen Murphy 

Upregulation of SSTR2 Gene Expression in Neuroendocrine Tumor Cells Using a CRISPR/dCas9 Activation System

  • Brian Nguyen 

ARF Activators BIG1 and BIG2 in Ciliogenesis

  • Akash Pandey and Mohammad Hamza Qureshi 

Liposomal Bupivacaine Provides Better Comfort than Conventional Interscalene Catheter Following Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery

  • Ishika Patel 

Opioid Overdose Crises During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implication of Health Disparities

  • Hadley Rosengrant 

The Role of Phosphorylation in Regulating GBF1 Function in Vesicle Formation

  • Caleb Rowe 

New Method for Monitoring Dopaminergic Activity Ex-vivo Using GRAB sensors

  • Kafui Sakyi-Addo 

Where Are the Black Coming-of-Age Films? An Analysis of the Lack of Diversity in Hollywood

  • Ritika Samant 

The Role of Disease Associated Microglia in the Pre-Formed Fibril Model of Parkinson’s Disease

  • Laura Walker 

Bamazon Union Documentary

  • Yancey Williams 

Mathematical Modeling of Simultaneous Two-Wavelength Axial Ratiometry Microscopy

  • Sarah Van Winkle 

Optimizing mRNA Isolation From Dried Blood Spots (DBS) for PTSD-Related Gene Expression Analysis

  • Lynne Zhou 

Structural basis for human T lymphotropic virus type 1 Gag targeting to the plasma membrane for assembly

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