LSAMP student research experiences

Research Opportunities

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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience 2021 now accepting applications

Preference will be given to first-time applicants.

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SURE 2020 Researchers

Many LSAMP scholars participate in undergraduate research and internships. These experiences are key to developing students' research and career interests. Below are just a few of the research and internship opportunities our LSAMP Scholars are involved in. If you are an Ohio State LSAMP Scholar seeking research and internship opportunities, check out The Ohio LSAMP Alliance Student Resources page.

Annika Diaz, LSAMP Scholar

Dr. A. Vlasova, Food Animal Health Research Program, The Ohio State University
Title: Investigation of Suspect Coronavirus Infections in Pneumonia Patients
Abstract: Coronaviruses cause mild to severe respiratory disease in humans. Nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from pneumonia patients were pre-screened for coronavirus (CoV) presence, which identified canine coronavirus (CCoV) and deltacoronavirus (DCoV). We conducted RT-PCR using universal CoV- and DCoV-specific primers. Of 13 samples, 2 and 0 tested positive using universal CoV- and DCoV-specific primers, respectively. Inoculation of one positive sample into A72 cell culture (CC) resulted in characteristic CoV cytopathic effect. Following, the CC passage we were able to detect the presence of canine CoV (CCoV) using CCoV-specific primers. This suggests that animal CCoV can be involved in pneumonia development in humans.

Annika Diaz presentation video
Matthew Estrada, LSAMP Scholar

J. Kowalski, Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University
A. Nalin, Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University
Dr. A. Freud, Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University
Dr. B. L. Mundy-Bosse, Division of Hematology, The Ohio State University
Dr. E. M. Oltz, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, The Ohio State University
Dr. P. L. Collins, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, The Ohio State University
Title: Evaluating natural killer cells heterogeneity using mixed antibody and RNA single cell -omics
Abstract: Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes important for eliminating ‘non-self' cells, especially hematological malignancies. Killing is governed by heterogenous inhibitory (recognizes self) and activating receptors (recognizes stress), whose expression patterns establish both variability and specificity. To evaluate this diversity in vivo, I analyzed single cell RNA-seq and CITE-seq datasets derived from circulating and mucosal human NK cells, yielding information from surface proteins and transcripts. I found that the transcription factor FOS and inhibitory NK cell receptors are not expressed in the same cells. We speculate these inhibitory receptors extinguish FOS, which prevents more receptors from being transcribed.

Matthew Estrada presentation video
Jessica Ezeji, LSAMP Scholar

Dr. A. Rodriguez-Palacios, Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Dr. L. Veloo, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen (Groningen, Netherlands)
Title: Parabacteroides distasonis: A gut commensal with beneficial and pathogenic properties. Its influence on human health.
Abstract: Parabacteroides distasonis (, formerly known as Bacteroides distasonis, is a gram-negative anaerobic bacterium that commonly inhabits the gastrointestinal tract. Although it has been cultured from the feces of healthy humans, it has been isolated as an opportunistic agent from patients with wound infections and abscesses. However, microbiome-DNA based studies suggest P. distasonis could have protective beneficial effects against certain diseases (i.e. type II diabetes). Our research seeks to understand the biological and microbial fundamentals of this bacterium, genomic features, antimicrobial nature, and potential clinical relevance in the context of human health, diet, and intestinal microbiota.

Jessica Ezeji presentation video
Shuayb (Jet) Jama

Dr. A. Rinehart, Ohio State University Libraries, The Ohio State University
Dr. K. O'Brien, Museum of Biological Diversity, The Ohio State University
Title: Lantern Slides Take Over!
Abstract: Museum collections are often valued for their research potential, however the objects within the museum are powerful tools for engaging the public in learning about the natural world. A lantern slide was a way to show pictures in lecture from 1900s – 1960s. I digitized a set of lantern slides used by Donald J. Borror, a professor at The Ohio State University, and researched his life. To study public engagement, I set up a week of social media posts and assessed what was most successful. Slides connected to personal stories had higher engagement then posts that were only about biodiversity.

Tyra Robertson

Dr. M. R. Shrout, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Ohio State University
M. Di Gregorio, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Ohio State University
Dr. J. Kiecolt-Glaser, Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Ohio State University
Title: Vocal Stress after Marital Conflict
Abstract: Vocal analyses indicate individuals' emotional states after undergoing stress. This study's goal was to understand how spouses' vocal stress after a marital conflict correlated with their marital satisfaction. Married couples engaged in a 20-minute conflict discussion. Spouses recorded their thoughts about the conflict for two minutes, which was coded for vocal stress. Results showed spouses' vocal stress was not correlated with marital satisfaction. However, wives in shorter marriages had higher vocal stress than wives in longer marriages. These findings demonstrate that women in shorter marriages may be prone to stress after conflict, which may impact their long-term marriage and health

Tyra Robertson presentation video
Kayla Williams, LSAMP Scholar

Dr. J. Johnson, Department of Mathematics, The Ohio State University
Title: Dividing functions using counting and sorting principles
Abstract: Functions model certain correspondences between elements of two sets. Function composition allows us to combine two functions to produce a possible new function. Function composition is often thought of as an “algebra of functions” similar to multiplying numbers. For example, any number multiplied by the special number, 1, produces that same number; similarly, identity functions are special functions that, when composed with another function, produces that same function. Unlike multiplying numbers, function composition has a richer algebraic structure, which is apparent when “dividing one function by another.” I'll demonstrate how to apply counting and sorting principles to divide functions.

Kayla Williams presentation video
Tabitha Willis, LSAMP Scholar

Dr. M. Raghavan, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago
E. Bandyopadhyay, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago
Title: Decoding the Past: Reconstructing the Maternal Genetic History of South Asians Using Mitochondrial DNA
Abstract: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a marker in population genetics to trace the maternal origins and movements between human populations. However, most large-scale genetic studies have primarily focused on European populations, leading to major data gaps. To alleviate this gap, this project aimed to first compare the performance of two mtDNA analytical tools, Haplocheck and Haplogrep, then use the best-performing tool to reconstruct maternal genetic signatures using 100 samples from four South Asian populations. Findings were similar, however, Haplogrep was more in-depth. Results were compared with worldwide populations to explore maternal ancestry. Ultimately, this project provides insights to trace maternal histories.

Tabitha Willis presentation video