Updates from the Office of Research for Undergraduates

A group of students and faculty, along with President and Dr. Crawford pose for a photo in front of a Love.Honor.Care photo backdrop in Millett Hall.

Teams of undergraduate students and their faculty sponsors were honored for their research on cancer during Miami’s Love.Honor.Care Weekend.

Cancer research awards

Thanks to the generosity of donors Cynthia Henderson and Tom and Ann Hayden, four teams of undergraduates will each receive $5,000 for their Cancer Research projects, to be carried out during the 2019-2020 academic year:

  • A Spectral Phaser Approach for Monitoring Cellular Metabolism in Turbid Media
    Conducted by Max Kreider, Mathematics major and Andy Rodriguez, Biological Physics major, under the direction of faculty sponsors, Paul Urayama and Karthik Vishwanath, Department of Physics
  • Looking at Cancer Through the Lens of the Newt
    Conducted by Biology majors Alyssa Miller and Arielle Martinez and Biochemistry major Vayda Barker, under the direction of faculty sponsors Katia Del Rio-Tsonis and Tracy Haynes, Department of Biology
  • Using Viral Genes to Sensitize Cancer Cells to Medical Interventions
    Conducted by Gabriel Ortiz, Microbiology major, under the direction of
    faculty sponsor Eileen Bridge, Department of Microbiology
  • In-silico Exploration of Microsatellite Instability Markers in cancer genomes for Osteosarcoma Patients
    Conducted by Biology majors Linh Le, Ariel Xue, and Anjali Gupta and Computer Science major Gretchen Blackwell, under the direction of faculty sponsor Chun Liang, Department of Biology

During the current academic year (2018-19) a generous donation made by Cynthia Henderson funded two research teams:

  • Decreasing Colon Cancer Cell Growth by Ketone Bodies via Metabolic Reprogramming: Potential Mechanisms for Treating Colon Cancer with Ketogenic Diets
    Conducted by Danielle Allaire, Biology major and Ryan Parnell, Biochemistry major, under the direction of faculty sponsor Claire Shi, Department of Biology
  • Analysis of Tumor Development and Supression Using an Engineered Adenoviral Vector Containing an HMGA Hyper-Binding Site in an Orthotopic Mouse Model
    Conducted by Microbiology major Shannon Ryan, Biology major Ellen Kasik, and Bioengineering Major Zachary Zampa, under the direction of faculty sponsor Michael Kennedy, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

All six teams were honored during half time at the women’s basketball game February 23 as part of the Love.Honor.Care Weekend benefitting Luna Cares.

Undergraduate Research Forum

The Undergraduate Research Forum will be 25 this year! To celebrate this milestone, a 2-day event is being planned, and several new features have been introduced to:

  • Showcase research, scholarly work, and creative endeavors across campus
  • Promote interdisciplinary and synergistic collaborations
  • Recognize the role of research centers and research support entities across campus
  • Raise early awareness of research and scholarly pathways

Tuesday April 23rd

  • Plenary session
  • Centers and research showcase
  • Themed panel discussions

Wednesday April 24

  • Poster sessions, talks, and e-posters

More details are available on the ORU website. Registration deadline for presenters is March 8, 2019.


Written by Joyce Fernandes, Director, Office of Research for Undergraduates, Miami University.

Photos courtesy of Joyce Fernandes.

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