NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina University students enrolled in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, will present their findings at a statewide conference on Friday, July 29 at the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center. The summer program is part of the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).
Students are conducting the following research with their chief faculty investigators:
Dr. Bernard Munge: “Biomarker Arrays for Tobacco-Related Cancer Diagnostics.” Despite recent improvements in early detection and treatment, cancer is still one of the major causes of death in the world. Early cancer detection coupled with new therapies holds the best current hope to change this fact.
Dr. Steven Sympington: “Characterization of Pyrethroids on Human Voltage-Sensitive Calcium Channels.” Pyrethroids are widely used insecticides, especially in urban environments, to protect agricultural commodities and control vectors of human diseases. It is well established that pyrethroids modulate voltage-sensitive sodium channels; however, recent evidence suggests that voltage-sensitive calcium and chloride channels are also inhibited. Furthermore, pyrethroids modulate voltage-sensitive calcium channels at concentrations that elicit the in vivo acute neurotoxic symptoms of intoxication. The goal of this study is to determine relative indices of toxicity for pyrethroids on various human voltage-sensitive calcium channels expressed in vitro and validate the in vivo actions of pyrethroids.
Dr. Alison Shakarian: “Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes Among Leishmania Species.” The long term goal of this project is to identify and characterize differentially expressed genes in Leishmania that may be used as potential novel targets for the development of new drug therapies for the treatment of leishmaiasis. At least 12 million people in Africa, India and Latin America are infected with Leishmania, and 350 million are at risk.
Dr. Sandor Kadar: “The Study of Calcium Dynamics with a Comprehensive Model.” Heavy metals, pesticides, and other environmental factors have been shown to have a profound effect on the complex Ca2+ signaling mechanism of the cell. We found evidence, that synchronized random variation (correlated environmental noise) on the operation of the calcium channels and on the on the binding process of an agonist to the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) have an impact on the Ca2+ dynamics through a mechanism known as stochastic resonance (SR).
Dr. Sheila Quinn: “The Comparison of Three Behavioral Therapy Approaches for Children with Autism in Terms of the Acquisition.” While the effectiveness of therapy techniques based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) has been empirically verified1 the relative effectiveness of different varieties of discrete trial training has not been established. This project will employ 3 different types of discrete trial training (traditional vs. mastery-interspersed vs. incidental) to compare their effectiveness in terms of the speed of acquisition and strength of generalization of this important social skill.