Featured Story: 2013 Summer Research

Summer research via fellowships, special awards, or paid internships:

Iman (Emi) Abutineh, Biochemistry 2015, received an Ophthalmology Research Fellowship from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to work in the Ophthalmology Department at the Hamilton Eye Institute with Dr. Eldon Geisert.  The title of her project was: “Effect of Blast Injury on Central Corneal Thickness”.

Stephanie Allen, Biology 2014, was awarded a neuroscience fellowship and conducted research with Dr. Sunny Anand, UTHSC Neurology and LeBonheur Pediatricss.  Her research title was: “Socio-economic Status and Cortisol Levels from Sequential Hair Samples as Posible Indicatators of Neurocognition Development and Learning in Early Childhood”.

Cale Baskin, Biology 2014, worked with Drs. Steve Charles and Eric Sigler of the Charles Retina Institute.  His research title was: “Spectral domain Optic Computer Tomography (OCT) of disk nerve fiber layer in myopes.”

Elton Banks, Biomedical Science 2014,  conducted his research in Brazil with the MHIRT program with Dr. Luis Britto, Department of Neuroscience, USP, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The title of his research was: “Analyzation of Expression Patterns of Hamartin and Tuberin in Animal Models with High Fat Diets”.

Anna Birg, Biochemistry 2014, received a University of Tennessee Health Science Center Summer Research Scholar award to work in the laboratory of Dr. Rennolds Ostrom in the Department of Pharmacology.  The title of Anna’s project was “Receptor Agonist Mediated Response of IL-6 and cAMP in Human Bronchial Smooth Muscle Cells”.

Kevin Pham and Kristin Davis in Junior Seminar last spring.

Kevin Pham and Kristin Davis in Junior Seminar last spring.

Kristin Davis, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Marc Taub, Southern College of Optometry.  The title of her research was: “A Comparison of Letter vs. Continuous Text Contrast Sensitivity Testing”.

Jacob Foreman, Computer Science 2014,  Summer internship at FedEx Services. This was a group based internship. He worked on two projects that were technical in nature and required many different skill sets to complete. A project lead worked with the group to properly complete each project. The projects were presented to a board of directors.

Hope Gilbertson, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Richard Gilbertson, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The title of her research was: “Preclinical Assessment of Gemcitabine as an Effective New Treatment of Ependymoma”.

Rebekah Herrman, Mathematics & Physics 2014  Quantum Computing, specifically Continuous Quantum Walks on graphs  with Travis Humble at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Russ Higgins, Biomedical Science 2014, worked with Dr. Jian Zuo, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The title of his research was: “High Throughput Screening for Protection of Hair Cells within the Organ of Corti Against Cisplatin Ototoxicity”.

Kaitlin Howle

Kaitlin Howle

Kaitlin Howle, Computer Science & ECE 2014, Summer internship at FedEx Services. She was part of the EIS (Executive Information Systems) team-based approach. She worked on two projects, where the main idea was to create a portal for accessing information between all of the operating companies within FedEx, and also to create a portal to provide unified communication for products like Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint. Her team won the “Most Creative” for the first project, and the “Customer Focus” for the second project.

Kevin Pham, Biology 2014, was awarded a neuroscience fellowship and worked with Dr. Kristen O’Connell, Dept of Physiology, UTHSC.  The title of his research was: “Observing Food Intake and Neural Circuitry”.

Brennan PowersComputer Science & ECE 2014,  Summer internship at FedEx as an Intern Programmer Analyst. He assisted in the development of IROADS, an intracompany web application.  He learned the fundamentals of large project organization, web development, and database management. He succeeded in having all of his work moved into the current production of IROADS, and was just recently rewarded with the opportunity to return to work with the same team beginning in October.

Feb Ex group

Todd Seabrook (on the left) with his FedEx group. Kaitlin Howle is the fourth from the left.

Todd Seabrook, Computer Science 2014,  Summer internship at FedEx Services. He developed a web portal for them that was needed by one of the Admins in Accounting. This system was designed using Java servlets and JSP’s that ran on a web logic server. The program he developed is currently running on their production servers and in use by the Admins.

Shesha (Sheshaben) Shah, Chemistry 2014, was awarded a 2013 Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Webster in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.

JD Wolfe with his MHIRT group in Brazil.  JD is in the center with the blue shirt.

JD Wolfe with his MHIRT group in Brazil. JD is in the center with the blue shirt.

J.D. Wolfe, Biology 2015, conducted his research with the MHRIT program in Sao Paulo, Brazil.   He worked on albinism and the genes that potentially are involved in the genetic alterations of these individuals.

Erika Yates, Biochemistry 2014, received a 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. Erika worked in the laboratory of Dr. WenLin Sun in the Department of Pharmacology. The title of her project was: “Neurological Basis for Individual Differences in Punishment Sensitivity”.

More student summer research:


Danny Vu Cao, Biology 2015, worked with Dr. Alex Dopico, Dept of Phrmacology, UTHSC.

Yuan (Eva) Chen, Biochemistry 2014, completed a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Xuan Zhao in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.

Chelsea Clark, Biomedical Science 2014, worked with Dr. Pat Flynn, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Infectious Disease.

Lee Curbo, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Stan Eisen, Professor of Biology at CBU.  The title of her research was: “Levels of Helminth Parasitism in Fecal Samples Collected from Three Memphis Area Dog Parks”.

Jessica Jameson, Biomedical Science 2014, worked with Dr. Lisa Jennings and Michael Herr, UTHSC.  The title of her research was: “Tetraspanin CD9 Works Through Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor to Augment Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Production and Secretion in HT1080 cells”.

Eric Joe, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Kristin Hamre, Dept of Anatomy and Neurobiology, UTHSC.  The title of his research was: “Is there a strain difference in mice that supports one being more anxious?  Is there a correlation between sleep and anxiety?”.

Kevin Liao, Biochemistry 2014, worked with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.  His project involved synthesis of gold coated nanoparticles.

Shannon McDonald, Biochemistry 2014, worked with Dr. Richard Smith in the Orthopedics Department at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.  Her project involved monitoring the cellular response to particles on/in knee replacements.

Christine Nguyen, Biochemistry 2014, did research with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.

Danny (Duy) Nguyen, Chemistry 2014, worked with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.  His project involved synthesis of Iron Oxide Nanospheres.

Chawan Rasheed, Biology 2015, worked with Dr. Monica Jablonski, Dept of Ophthalmology, Hamiton Eye Institute, UTHSC.

Melanie Saunders, Biochemistry 2014, worked with Dr. David Tipton in the College of Dentistry at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.  Her project examined the effects of cranberry components on hepatocyte growth factor production by human Gingival fibroblasts in response to IL-1B and LPS.

Desire' Smith

Desire’ Smith

Desire’ Smith,  Ecology 2014, conducted two projects with Dr. James Moore, CBU, and in collaboration with Shane Hanlon, Ph.D. candidate from the University of Memphis. The first project is a confirmation of Chytrid fungus at the Edward J. Meeman Field Station using qPCR, and the second was detecting the occurrence of Chytrid at Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas.

Hema Sura, Biology 2014, worked with Dr. Bobby Myers, James Chiropractic Practice.  The title of her research was “Motor Vehicle Recovery via Chiropractic Techniques”.

Esha Thakore,  Biochemistry 2014, completed a research internship in the laboratory of Dr. Alex Dopico in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Natalie Wright, Biochemistry 2014, did research with Dr. Xiaohua Huang in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Memphis.