Establishing an Immunohistochemical Method to Assess Cell Activation in the Amphibian Nervous System
Ben Klocke, Kaitlyn Martin, Augustine J. Miller, Jason Tornes
According to the National Institute of Health, 185,000 people undergo amputations each year in the United States. Understanding the process of regeneration is imperative in order to develop novel therapies and treatments for these patients. Unlike most vertebrates, axolotls can fully regenerate their limbs when amputated. In the context of the current study, we established and tested a new immunohistochemical protocol in our lab by which we can track the activation of cell cycle in different tissues in the axolotl during regeneration upon injection of 5-Ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU), a thymidine analogue which is incorporated into the DNA of dividing cells. Specifically, we utilized double immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy in paraffin sections to assess cell proliferation in specific cell types of interest. A new protocol was successfully established in our lab, and we are continuing data collection to study the implication of the nervous system in this remarkable process.
Establishing Drosophila Intestinal Tumor Models to Study Signaling interactions that regulate tumor growth.
Sydney Anderson, Matthew T. Bilotti, Elizabeth Conley, Michael K. Gruhot, Anthony Latronica, Ryann A. Mann, Kathleen McCaslin, Arushi Rai, Jibriel Saqibuddin
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 147,950 new cases in 2020. Some of the most common mutations found in patients with CRC are activation of oncogenic Ras, loss of function of APC, and dominant negative p53 mutations. We have developed a Drosophila melanogaster CRC model by integrating all three mutations in a single fly line. To understand the expression of each mutated gene on tumorigenesis, ‘one-’, ‘two-’, and ‘three-hit’ models were also made. Using these models we plan to establish how combinations of genetic alterations promote intestinal tumor growth, and understand the interactions between the molecular pathways of the mutated genes, understanding the expression of pathway specific target genes in the tumors, and understanding the progression of tumor formation in these CRC models.Our goal is to conduct a two part experiment using Gal4-UAS directly, where we will use esg-GAL4 to drive expression of tumor promoting genes specifically in intestinal stem cells. We will use a temperature sensitive GAL80 in combination with the esg-GAL4. This will allow temperature dependent control of GAL4 activity in the intestinal stem cells. Initially we plan to test the efficacy of GAL4 activity by testing the intestinal growth at room temperature (22℃) where the GAL4 is expected to remain inactive; and compare the phenotypes of intestinal growth with larvae grown at 29℃ where the GAL4 is active. First, we will look for survival rates in the larvae. Second, we will characterize the nature of the intestinal defects and check if the tumors are benign or malignant by dissecting the larvae, processing the intestines for antibody staining from 29℃ cultures. Our plan is to use anti-PH3 and anti- Dlg antibodies which will mark all dividing cells and cellular boundaries. This will allow us to determine if the tumors are also invasive or metastatic tumors. Based on these initial analyses, we will identify the potent combinations that cause metastatic tumors for further studies like assessment of MAPK, WNT and HIPPO pathway interactions. Here, we present our progress on the development and assessment of CRC models using the power of Drosophila.
Chloe M. Crabb
For centuries, mathematicians have been exploring the idea of prime numbers. How do we find them? Are there techniques that guarantee the existence of primes? While it is relatively easy to verify the factors of a number today using computers and programs, this was no small task in the in the 18th century or any time before that. Pierre de Fermat was famous for his contributions to number theory but was notorious for leaving the proofs as exercises for others. Two such theorems include “Little Fermat,” which states if p is prime and a is a whole number which does not have p as a factor, then p divides evenly into a^(p+1)-1, and his conjecture that 2^(2^n)+1 is prime. Here we will explore Euler’s proof of “Little Fermat” and run through how he refutes Fermat’s conjecture.
Lakshmi Pratyusha Cheedella
Virtual Medication Evaluation (ME) is a mobile application designed to help patients with discordant chronic conditions (DCCs) prioritize and adhere to their medication goals. DCCs are health conditions in which patients have multiple, often unrelated, chronic illnesses that may need to be addressed concurrently but may also be associated with conflicting treatment instructions. Virtual ME allows a user (patient with DCCs) to help a virtual version of themselves (avatar) attain a desirable state of being. They do this by setting and adhering to their medication plans (e.g., taking medications on time or reporting symptoms/side effects) and allow new plans to be set before their situation gets worse. Our work proposes a novel framework that integrates the avatar into the medications evaluation process. The avatars are composed of different expressions (representing different states/moods of a patient) to encourage the patient to take medications on the pretext of maintaining the state of the avatar. The medication prescriptions and prioritization are generated by the machine learning algorithms. We evaluated Virtual ME and interviewed users to learn whether avatars and applications interface might be effective for motivating users to prioritize prescriptions and medications adherence. Our results show that real users demonstrate the effectiveness of the application.
Macy Victoria Mcquinn
Voter disenfranchisement for felony convictions in the United States has become an increasingly important target of criminal justice reform efforts. Although most states have established laws to restore voting rights upon the completion of a prison sentence, other states such as Ohio and Florida still restrict or prohibit felony offenders from voting in some manner. Using publicly available data provided by each state's official voter database, the research will examine voter registration, turnout, and party affiliation in Presidential elections during the years 2016, 2019, and 2020 across states where voter laws have recently changed, specifically Florida.
Exploring Barriers for Human Trafficking Victims Assistance and Assessing Disconnects Between Area Agencies in Ohio
Laura Lee Franklin
There are many key areas to assistance for human trafficked victims that should be met based on the Governor’s Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force Report (2019) and the National District Attorneys Association (2020). This research sought to determine if those who may possibly come in contact with trafficked victims have been adequately trained, if there are any barriers to serving victims, and if there is adequate communication between agencies who serve these victims. Utilizing a survey sent to my existing networks, reviewing agency directories, and referrals from existing contacts, I will utilized both qualitative and quantitative analysis to determine if training is being conducted, if victims’ needs are being met, and if agencies are communicating with one another.
Jackelyn Christine Rospert
The “traditional” two parent household is on the decline while single parent households are no longer the minority. Households headed by a single mother lead the trends for single parent households. Although the number of single parent households are increasing, children from single parent households are not the majority in institutions such as the University of Dayton. This may lead to marginalization and a sense of othering from students who have single parents. Through the use of interviews with UD undergraduate participants, this project examines the experiences of UD students who come from single parent households and how their time at UD differs from students who reside in other family structures.
Katherine Grace Kuzma
This research uses interviews with birthing doulas to learn about different experiences in a medical field where they are not medically trained. Doulas take more of a holistic approach to birth as opposed to the medical model of birthing which has persisted for the past century. Through interviews with doulas, this research explores the day-to-day experiences for these birthing assistants, while also learning how they deal with the conflicting paradigms in their career. Using a grounded theory approach, the findings are contextualized within the current research on birthing models and doulas.
Anna Svetlana Wiethorn
The purpose of this study was to look at the University of Dayton's LGBTQ+ resources on campus in addition to its 30 peer institutions. Content analysis was conducted on each of the institutions’ websites regarding their LGBTQ+ resources. While many universities indicate on their websites that they have resources for the LGBTQ+ community, a deeper analysis suggests that there is wide variability of support for this historically marginalized community. Analyzing each website, I looked for emergent themes and symbols such as transgender flags, pride flags and designated non-gendered bathrooms. Coding these themes together allows for a deeper understanding of support for the LGBTQ+ community.
Casey Marie Mullin
With the nonbinary identity receiving increased exposure in the media, as well as outspoken scrutiny, research is needed to fill current gaps in knowledge on public perceptions and reasons behind those perceptions. Nonbinary individuals are those who do not adhere to or identify with the traditional gender binary of male and female. As a result of their deviation from societal gender norms, this identity tends to endure an abundance of criticism. This research study examines undergraduate students at the faith-based University of Dayton to determine their perceptions toward the nonbinary identity. Due to a reinforcing of the traditional gender binary by many religious practices, evaluating students exposed to a faith-based curriculum can shed light on the influences of religion and religious teachings on personal perspectives. Furthermore, the influences of educational teachings are gauged by surveying students of various majors and grade levels. Data were gathered via an online Qualtrics survey distributed to a convenient sample of undergraduate University of Dayton students. Results explore student attitudes toward the nonbinary identity, as well as the influences of a religious campus climate, year in school, and academic teachings.
Problem: The purpose of the study is to understand possible reasons for the disproportionate number of veterans represented within the homeless population. Current Study: The current study aimed to understand a possible relationship between physical and mental illness and its effects on criminal-justice-involved veterans who have experienced homelessness. This study adds to the current literature by combining analysis of mental illness and physical illness, whereas previous studies mainly focus on one or the other. Sample: The study utilized the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics and includes a population of 1,602 veterans. Within the population of 1,602 veterans, only 128 responded saying that they were homeless. Of the 128 veterans who said that they were homeless, 92 were hospitalized due to mental illness in the 12 months before their arrest, and 126 reported hospitalization due to a physical illness diagnosis. Analysis: The study utilized a Chi-Square Test and a T-Test for Independent Samples in order to compare the variables of physical and mental illness and homelessness. The Chi-Square test compared the relationship between hospitalization for mental illness and homelessness. The T-Test for Independent Samples compared the relationship between physical illness and homelessness. Results: The findings show that there is no significant relationship between mental illness or physical illness and homelessness among these criminally-involved veterans. Discussion: The null findings could be due to the small sample of veterans who experienced homelessness. Future research should continue to examine the link between physical and mental illness and homelessness.
Katelyn Hallie Barnes
The purpose of this study is to better understand how masculinity presents itself in the environment of ROTC, where cadets are positioned at the intersection of the military and higher education. Few scholars have attempted to understand the construction of gender within ROTC programs. Cadets are in a unique position where after graduation, they are often commissioned as officers and hold a position of power. Through qualitative interviews with current and former ROTC cadets, I explore how they define their experience in the program in relation to their gender. Cadets discuss how they navigate their roles between these two institutions, as both a member of ROTC and a student. Analyzing narratives about the qualities cadets value, like strength and discipline, reveal the cadets’ assumptions around gender in ROTC.
Madeline Elise Calhoun
As universities compete to stay relevant, involved, and influential in society, higher education is challenged to not only develop students academically, but professionally and personally. The traditional classroom model is being transformed as community engaged learning opportunities are offered and the value of experiential learning is recognized. Additionally, using an asset based approach to viewing community opportunity and development is important to effectively participate in community engaged learning. Through analyzing student experiences in community engaged learning courses and opportunities, this project recognizes the necessity of nontraditional learning experiences in higher education. By surveying university students, the data explores students' experience with community engaged learning and the benefits of participating in CEL. The data will also explore the value of the asset based community development model and asset mapping.
Abigail Rosella Kurczewski
The effects of hookup culture for upper division university students are prevalent throughout their college career. College hookups are very frequent in todays’ society and students typically have an underlying understanding of how they are expected to participate in hookup culture. This study explores the impact of the college hookup culture via focus groups conducted at the University of Dayton with upper division college students. The qualitative research in this study may assist the campus community with a better understanding of how the hookup culture affects students' mental health and their academic career.
Exploring the Prevalence of Community-Oriented Policing Strategies Across a Nationally-Representative Sample
Nathan G. Fester
Problem: The tension between police and communities of color continues to rise. Community-oriented policing strategies can be a way to ease the tension. Current Study: The study aimed to explore the prevalence of community-oriented policing among police agencies. The main research question was: What is the prevalence of community-oriented policing strategies used by police agencies across the United States? Data: The data used was the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) from 2016. LEMAS is a cross-sectional survey data that is used among a nationally-representative sample of police agencies within the United States. Analysis: Descriptive analysis was used to examine the prevalence of community-oriented policing across these agencies. Results: Findings show that 44% of police agencies did not employ community-oriented policing and only 14% used at least one type of community-oriented policing strategy. Discussion: Despite the potential benefit of community-oriented policing in improving community-police relations, the findings suggest that few agencies employ these strategies.
Katie Costello Hindersman
The aim of this study is to examine the effects historical redlining has had on public high school education outcomes. Schools in areas that were redlined in the 1930s are still experiencing negative effects from it today. Public high schools in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Columbus were all matched up with their HOLC score based on address. Graduation rate, attendance rate, and performance index percent data from the Ohio Department of Education were also analyzed in comparison to the HOLC scores. Using quantitative data, I examined how lower-scoring historical redlining public schools compared to high schools placed in higher scoring areas. Through this data, it is shown how historical redlining can still have an influence on education outcomes today.
Patresa G. Linehan
Human body hair removal has been practiced around the world for centuries. In many cultures, such as ancient Rome, hairlessness was seen as a trend in upper class society to show their status. Hairlessness has been linked in previous studies to connect a feeling of cleanliness, increased beauty, and sexual desirability among many other reasonings for body hair removal. The first purpose of the study is to explore attitudes and practices of body hair removal in college aged (18-22 years) women. The second purpose of the study is to explore if participants believe in a culture that sexualizes their bodies through a hairless beauty standard that is similar to the bodies of prepubescent children. The final purpose is to explore the relationship between women’s body hair removal practices and a culture of pedophilia. The data collected are on the views and practices of the participants. The participants are University of Dayton students aged 18-22, who identify as women. The method used is an anonymous survey sent out to students in predominantly female organizations and groups on campus. This research is important to sociological study because the findings shed light on various ideas and structures relating to what forms our identities, and therefore shapes our interactions in the social world.
Katherine Zoe Lynch
Juveniles in detention centers, rehabilitation centers, and other criminal justice facilities face legal, relationship, economic, and mental stress. For some young people in the criminal justice system, they may have no idea where to turn to after they get out, leading to recidivism and relapsing into the system after committing another crime. This research project examines the risk factors dealing with juvenile recidivism and the possible perceptions of individuals working in these facilities. Using interviews with adult agency members who work with at-risk juveniles, this project seeks to gain a better understanding of juvenile recidivism, particularly identifying risk factors.
Ben Klocke, Jason Tornes
Regeneration is a biological ability belonging to a small subset of vertebrates including the axolotl, an amphibian that can regenerate its limbs upon amputation. While it is known that the nerves play a critical role in promoting limb regeneration, the potential implication of other nervous system components is largely unknown. Proteomics screening approaches were implemented to compare protein expression data at various time-points into the limb regeneration program following amputation. In this presentation we identified proteins that are upregulated and/or downregulated throughout limb regeneration, and are currently working towards exposing novel protein networks that are activated during this fascinating process.
Expression, Purification, and Protein Crystallography Trials in Influenza Polymerase Acidic Protein Fusion
Kyle Benjamin Harris
Influenza viruses are responsible for annual epidemics, as well as previous pandemics including the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. In any given year, worldwide deaths due to influenza virus can reach 650,000. Due to influenza’s continued threat to global health, along with increasing drug resistance, new antiviral medications are imperative to safeguarding the global community. An attractive target of novel antiviral drugs is the Polymerase Acidic Protein (PA) of influenza. PA is essential to influenza replication, and its amino acid composition is highly conserved among fluA, fluB, and fluC strains. Currently, crystal forms of PA do exist, but these forms do not provide an accessible binding pocket for inhibition. This inaccessibility stimulates the need for additional crystal forms that could result in structure-based synthesis of novel inhibitory compounds. In order to initiate crystal trials, large scale expression and purification of PA must take place. Expression of recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli bacteria cells often result in decreased production yields due to insolubility and inclusion body formation. To combat these effects, a PA construct was created in fusion with Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). As well, the lysis buffer in the purification phase was optimized using solubilizing additives. Purification of the expressed construct was done through Immobilized Metal Chromatography, using a Nickel column, and Size Exclusion Chromatography, respectively. Purified samples underwent a Precrystallization Test, where results from this test were used to determine protein concentration used in large-scale sparse matrix crystallography screens, totaling 192 conditions. Two conditions from these screens gave interesting results and are under investigation.
Meagan Coveny, Mohamed S. Jalloh, Grace Steffen, Logan Trzeciak
Everyday, around the world, people of all ages face food insecurity. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food…”. Food insecurity is not simply being hungry, but a failure to provide people access to food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies food insecurity as a lack of “consistent, dependable access to adequate food for active, healthy living.” Many organizations have made it their priority to address these issues and help those in need. In Dayton, a meal on average costs $3.05 per person, 31% higher than the national average. The child hunger rate in Montgomery County is 41.4% higher than the national average, according to a report from data-analysis firm, Stacker. However, there are many causes that lead to food insecurity in Dayton, and across the country. A report filed by the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission found that the most common causes for food insecurity are low economic status and physical access to food. In Dayton, there is a larger focus on the latter cause of food insecurity. Gem City Market is a local co-op grocery store that is helping to provide the physical access to nutritious food options to the Dayton community. Despite only being open for less than 5 years now, the Market has become a glimmer of hope to those who have struggled to find solutions to issues in Dayton surrounding food insecurity. Our research will focus on the efforts of activists to solve food insecurity and document the stories of those who have struggled with food insecurity both on and off the University of Dayton campus. This project will also engage the University of Dayton community in educating on why food insecurity is prevalent in Dayton and effective ways that the school community can help alleviate these burdens. One way that this project will do so will be through encouraging listeners to shop at the Gem City Market and show how this action helps diminish food insecurity in Dayton.
Meghana Ayyalasomayajula, Kalyan Sakkhari
In this project, we develop a virtual whiteboard used for online learning. By using gestures, the users can easily sketch and express ideas. In addition, our virtual whiteboard supports different color input and stroke thickness. The gesture recognition is done through the analysis of skeleton information retrieved from a depth camera. The users appreciate our system since the gestures are easily used than traditional computer mouse.
Anna Marguerite Crowell, Anna Valerie Delaney, Rosalie Katherine Doyle, Sally Marie Gibson, Christina Marie Gillotti, Teresa C. Grijalva, Molly Obergefell, Arianna Maria Ranallo, Lucy Commins Tanner
Led by director Heidi Reynolds and interpreter Mary Ann Fraley, the University of Dayton performing ensemble Hands in Harmony presents popular songs while using signs from American Sign Language (ASL) to bring music in an accessible and inclusive way to members of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Compared to the grammar of ASL, Hands in Harmony utilizes a relatively literal interpretation of song lyrics, but does so in a way in which members of the ASL community and non-ASL community can interpret. For more information about Hands in Harmony or details to become involved, please visit the University of Dayton Ensembles and Performance Opportunities page under "Choral Ensembles."
Caitlyn Cristina Pittsford, Erin Elizabeth Tatham
Derose and colleagues (2009) argue that low socioeconomic status, limited English proficiency, and lack of familiarity with the U.S. healthcare system puts U.S. immigrants at risk for not receiving proper health care. Lawfully present immigrants are allowed to buy private health insurance or given access to Medicaid, the nation’s public health insurance program if they meet their state’s income and residency rules (healthcare.gov 2022). However, Hacker (2015) states that “fear of deportation, communication ability, financial resources, shame/stigma, and knowledge about the healthcare system” are only a few reasons why immigrants may not receive healthcare. It is not always a lack of access to healthcare systems that prevents immigrants from receiving care, but a lack of knowledge about the healthcare system (Hacker et. al. 2015). The Office of Minority Health (2018) states that providing all patients with responsive healthcare to their cultural health beliefs and practices, languages, health literacy, and communication barriers will allow for an equitable and effective healthcare system. Providing more education and accessible resources can help to support immigrants’ access to healthcare (Caulford 2014). The purpose of this poster is to examine lack of knowledge as a barrier to immigrants accessing the U.S. healthcare system and describe programs focused on addressing this barrier to access.
Brianna Rose Richter
Overall, 14% of American households are food insecure, meaning their economic and other conditions lead to limited or uncertain access to adequate food. This means nearly 1 in 4 households this year alone have experienced food insecurity. This research project examines the relationship between adults over the age of 18 who are utilizing SNAP benefits and health outcomes. Using secondary data analysis, this project seeks to answer the question of whether people who use SNAP benefits have a higher risk of any negative health outcome such as obesity or heart disease. This project digs deeper into the intersections of inequality.