Standout Slugs! Congratulations to this year’s Dean’s and Chancellor’s award winners

The iGEM team poses with their awards
The iGEM team poses with their awards
The Toxic Alcohol Sensing Team
The Toxic Alcohol Sensing Team
Introner Elements Persist in Algal and Protist Species team
Introner Elements Persist in Algal and Protist Species team
Water Lab 3
Water Lab 3
Understanding the Role of ZNF765 and/or L1PA Retroelements in Defining Embryonic Cell Phenotypes
Understanding the Role of ZNF765 and/or L1PA Retroelements in Defining Embryonic Cell Phenotypes
Virtual Reality Video Games for Eye Disability (Lazy Eye)
Virtual Reality Video Games for Eye Disability (Lazy Eye)
Significance of NRROS in CNS Homeostasis
Significance of NRROS in CNS Homeostasis
Thursday, June 6, 2019
James McGirk

At a celebratory luncheon on June 5th, Dean Alexander Wolf honored the Dean’s and Chancellor’s Award winners. These awards recognize exceptional achievement in research projects or other creative activities.

Chancellor’s Awards (Spring 2019)

From the Dean’s Award recipient list, the Chancellor’s Award recognizes the top three projects from each division. These students are given an additional $500 award.

Portable Progesterone Production in Yeast 

We, the 2018 University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team, have made significant progress in creating a safe, sustainable, and cheap progesterone-based contraceptive for all women, regardless of location or status. We engineered the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica (Yali) to synthesize progesterone because it naturally produces a progesterone precursor, ergosterol. 

    • Claire Elizabeth Bispo
    • Mykhaylo Dudkin
    • Nicholas Scott Hammond
    • Larry Hinojos
    • Justin Lau
    • Megan Eleanor Macpherson
    • Ryan Michael Modlin
    • Danette Patricia Moreno
    • Emily Katherine Mount
    • Jessica Faith Scherer
    • Harman Singh
    • Morgan Claire Tardy
    • Gina Y-Vang Tran Cuneo
    • Laura Diane Valine
    • Manuel Varela
    • Vanessa Jasmine Ventura

Toxic Alcohol Sensing Using Organic Electrochemical Transistors 

The goal of this project was to develop a biosensor capable of detecting toxic alcohol concentrations in the blood.

    • Alexander John Flora
    • Brian Hien Nguyen
    • Nebyu Tilahun Yonas

Introner Elements Persist in Algal and Protist Species

We developed a computational pipeline for introner element detection and employed it on 1113 algal and protist assemblies. We report novel IE discoveries in 6 species, suggesting that IE invasions are more widespread than previously thought.

    • Landen Zackery Gozashti

Dean’s Awards (Spring 2019)

Ten undergraduates from each of the five academic divisions, receive the Dean’s Award of $100 for outstanding achievement in their division. Recipients are considered for the Chancellor’s Award. Winners of the Chancellor’s award also receive a Dean’s Award.

Waterlab 3 

Waterlab is a water purification technology built to provide enough usable drinking water to sustain the daily intake requirements of around nine hundred individuals.

    • Randall Jamison Abel
    • Alexander James Koran
    • Jared Jonathan Roberts
    • Joshua Douglas Spangler
    • Liam Thomas Corcoran

Understanding the Role of ZNF765 and/or L1PA Retroelements in Defining Embryonic Cell Phenotypes 

Many regulatory mechanisms during early development remain largely unexplored in humans. These mechanisms vary throughout species and by better understanding what these mechanisms are, we can gain a better grasp on how malfunctions in those mechanisms result in early developmental diseases in humans. I have shown that I can create conditions were ZNF765 expression is greatly reduced through CRISPRi in prime stem cells. I have also verified that I can activate naive-associated genes through a naive conversion using feeder-free media.

    • Paola Isabel Angulo

Computational Models of Polymer Synthesis Driven by Dehydration/Rehydration Cycles: Repurination in Simulated Hydrothermal Fields

The mathematical theory and computational modeling of chemical reactions in hydrothermal pools has been largely undeveloped .We created a mathematical model which was later translated into code. Before this model had been developed, only three chemical reactions in these hydrothermal pools were known. However, upon the addition of a fourth, previously unknown chemical reaction (which we named repurination), the model matches precisely to experimental data. As such, the model has allowed us to predict the existence of repurination, a prediction which has since been corroborated by a lab at Stanford University.

    • Mason Ellis Hargrave
    • Spencer K Thompson

Virtual Reality Video Games for Eye Disability (Lazy Eye)

This paper discusses a virtual reality (VR) video game we created for use as therapy for treatment of the neurological eye disorder, Amblyopia. Our findings from this study generally show positive results, implying that visual acuity increases with 45 minutes of VR therapy.

    • Ocean Lavonne Hurd

Lens Characterization for Multifocus Microscopy Applications

In this study, a lens characterization system was constructed in order to compare the light efficiency and aberration robustness of an achromatic doublet lens to a camera lens in order to determine their effectiveness as the secondary relay lens in a Multifocus Microscopy (MFM) imaging system.

    • Brandon Jared Lynch

Significance of NRROS in CNS Homeostasis

The goal of this research project was to observe and describe the neurological defects associated with the absence of NRROS in the central nervous system (CNS) of mice, with the aim of figuring out what defect causes early mortality in these mice.

    • Amr Khalid Makhamreh

Dissecting the Impact of Signalling Strength on T-Cell function using Chimeric Antigen Receptors

The purpose of this research is to study the impact of signaling strength on human T-cell function.

    • Lilian Eden Yao