Melvin Abzun

UC LEADS Scholar-Senior

Lab Group: Roberto Bogomolni Lab

Major: Electrical Engineering

Research: 

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Creating a Hands-on Demonstration Bench to Teach Basic Optics and Optical Systems Design. W. M. Keck Center for Adaptive Optical Microscopy Internship, 2016. Poster Present.

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Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2016 


Nicolas Blanc

UC LEADS Scholar-Senior

Lab Group: Quentin Williams

Major: Physics

Research: 

Most geologically important minerals originate deep in the Earth's mantle and crust. The structural and thermodynamic properties of these minerals give a valuable insight to understand their formation and, consequently, the formation and evolution of the Earth as a planet. Using high-temperature diamond anvil cells, a device capable of generating pressures corresponding to those present throughout the depths of the Earth, and in situ Raman and Infrared spectroscopic techniques, the properties of minerals at extreme pressure/temperature conditions are examined and characterized. The pressure- and temperature-dependent structural behavior of minerals are vital in determining the mechanisms of planetary evolutions and the degree to which the Earth has geologically differentiated over time.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

A High-Pressure Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Chromium Pyrophosphate to 18 GPa. Nicolas Blanc and Quentin Williams. University of California-Santa Cruz, 6th Annual Physical and Biological Sciences Summer Research Symposium, 2015. Poster Presentation.

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Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2015 


Diana Lucas Baca

UC LEADS Scholar-Junior

Lab Group: Raskatov Lab

Major: Chemistry

Research: 

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes memory loss and worsens over time affecting crucial synaptic functions, ultimately leading to a significant decrease in brain tissue. AD typically affects people at the age of 60 and older, but it can also affect people as young as 40 and 50 years of age. The loss of brain tissue is associated to two neuronal proteins, the tau protein that occurs intracellular and the amyloid-beta protein that occurs extracellular, which take part in the pathological aspect of Alzheimer’s that leads to the death of the neuron. We focus our research in the amyloid-beta protein, consisting of 40 – 42 amino acids, which has been found to self-aggregate forming toxic oligomeric species, fibrils and consequently neurofibrillary plaques. Its short sequence allows us to synthesize it and purify it to perform a series of biophysical experiments that will provide mechanistic details of great interest to better understand this protein structure and toxicity.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Synthesis and Biophysical Techniques for Alzheimer's A-Beta Peptide. University of California, Santa Cruz, 7th Annual Physical and Biological Sciences Summer Research Symposium, 2016. Poster Presentation  

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Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2016 


Emmanuel Kayede

UC LEADS Scholar-Junior

Lab Group: Gabriel Elkaim

Major: Computer Engineering

Research: 

Due to their highly reflective surface and low emissivity, front-surface silver (Ag) mirrors are crucial in many optical applications such as astronomical telescopes. However, Ag mirrors suffer interfacial corrosion as a result of atmospheric pollutants such as salt fog. The UC Observatory works in collaboration with the electrical engineering department to develop effective coatings to be used in the thirty meter telescope (TMT). The objective of our research is to use atomic layer deposition (ALD), a thin-film deposition technique, to deposit a protective thin-dielectric layer on Ag mirror. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) will then be used to determine the effectiveness of this dielectric layer.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Printed Circuit Board Stators for Brushless DC Motors. Emmanuel Kayede, Dmitriy Rivkin, Gabriel Elkaim. University of California-Santa Cruz, 6th Annual Physical and Biological Sciences Summer Research Symposium, 2015. Poster Presentation.

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Summer Research Experience, University of CaliforniaSanta Barbara. Santa Barbara, CA. 2016

Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. 2015


Valentin Urena Baltazar

UC LEADS Scholar-Senior 

Lab Group: Frank Bridges Lab

Major: Physics

Research: 

In our lab we conduct analysis of local structure in the various metal compounds using Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) Spectroscopy. This summer I examined the local structure of Cu10Zn2Sb4S13, or more formally known as Tetrahedrite. Tetrahedrites are a class of naturally occurring minerals with high thermoelectric efficiency. Thermoelectric materials are used in devices which convert heat to electricity directly via the Seebeck effect, and also for cooling without a refrigerant via the Peltier effect. We examine pure Cu12Sb4S13 and  zinc doped Cu10Zn2Sb4S13 tetrahedrite to better understand the metal to semiconductor transition at T~90K in the pure tetrahedrite. The copper atoms in the crystal are arranged in a tetrahedral structure (Cu1) neighboring four sulfur atoms and in a triangle (Cu2) neighboring three sulfurs. Understanding why the transition is suppressed upon doping will shed light on the structural properties of the tetrahedrite. To probe the crystal structure, X-ray spectroscopy data of the tetrahedrite Cu10Zn2Sb4S13 were collected at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL). The photoelectrons ejected by the x-rays are used to probe the local structure of around the excited zinc atom. We then analyze the data from the zinc absorption edge using the EXAFS method. Preliminary results suggest that the zinc atoms mostly occupy Cu1 sites and a smaller fraction of the zinc replaces Cu2 sites.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Analysis of Local Structure in Tetrahedrite Using Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) Spectroscopy. Long Beach, SACNAS National Conference, 2016. Poster Presentation.

Analysis of Local Structure in Tetrahedrite Using Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS) Spectroscopy. University of California, Santa Cruz. 7th Annual Physics and Biological Sciences Summer Research Symposium, 2016. Poster Presentation.

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Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2016


Javier Ruiz

UC LEADS Scholar-Senior

Lab Group: Robotics and Control Lab

Major: Computer Engineering

Research: 

A MinSeg is a small robot whose mechanics are similar to that of an inverted pendulum, with two wheels to drive the base to keep the upper mass upright. It is used for educational purposes in engineering courses. Its design causes the motor to apply torque to both the wheels and the body of the MinSeg. We wish to explore the dynamics of the system, in order to observe how to apply a controller to the system in order for it to balance on its own. To keep the MinSeg upright, we develop a model for its dynamic behavior. A linear quadratic regulator is then applied to the model, and the results are tested in simulation. Testing this controller on the actual MinSeg device, however, produces unstable oscillatory performance. This could be due to certain parameters of the system being unknown. Data pertaining to the states of the system are collected while the MinSeg is running and estimation techniques are used to approximate these parameters.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Distributed Formation Control for Multi-Agent Swarms. Javier Ruiz, Aaron Ma, Sonia Martinez, Jorge Cortes. University of California San Diego.Summer Research Conference, 2016. Oral Presentation. 
 
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Regent David Lee Scholarship. 2014, 2015

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 Robots in the Real World REU 2015, Oregon State University, Summer 2015


Masuda Sharifi

UC LEADS Scholar-Junior

Lab Group: Bill Saxton

Major: Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Research: Autophagy is a bulk degradation process in which a double membrane vesicle, autophagosome, forms around cytoplasmic components that need to be broken down. This process is essential in most cells, especially in neurons. Neurons are highly asymmetric cells with long axonal extensions that help transmit essential signals throughout the whole body. Because most biosynthesis occurs in the cell body, anterograde transport away from the cell body in the axons is important for the distribution of freshly synthesized components throughout the neuron. Old damaged components are returned retrograde, towards the cell body to be degraded and recycled.  Despite bulk degradation, via autophagy, mechanisms in axons being unknown, this process is still likely dependent on axonal transport which will target autophagosomes to damaged organelles. In order to gain better insight into autophagosome transport, we utilized Drosophila melanogaster as our model organism.  We expressed the autophagosome marker ATG8::mCherry in motor neurons and observed their distribution and transport in whole live drosophila larvae. We found more ATG8::mCherry expression in the motor neuron cell bodies compared to the axon and terminals.  ATG8::mCherry labeled vesicles moved in both direction in the axons and preliminary observation indicates that autophagosomes occur less frequently than other transport vesicles (dense core vesicles) in axons.  Our results suggest that autophagy is maintained at low levels in healthy axons and future work will focus on autophagy in degenerating axons.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Autophagosome Transport in Drosophilia Motor Neurons. Masuda Sharifi, Angeline Lim, William Saxton. University of California-Santa Cruz, 6th Annual Physical and Biological Sciences Summer Research Symposium, 2015. Poster Presentation.

SACNAS Travel Award Recipient, Summer 2015
Travel scholarship with award that includes travel, lodging and conference registration waiver for the 2015 Washington, DC SACNAS conference

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2014 Spring Dean’s Honors

2014 Winter Dean’s Honors

2013 Fall Dean’s Honors

2013 Fall Oakes Core Award

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Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2015 


Georgia Sheppard

UC LEADS Scholar-Junior

Lab Group: Bin Chen

Major: Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology

Research: 

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Laminar Fate Determination of Neocortical Progenitor Cells. Georgia Sheppard, Ton Nguyen, Alyssa Perry, Kendy Huang, Bin Chen. University of California-Santa Cruz, 6th Annual Physical and Biological Sciences Summer Research Symposium, 2015. Poster Presentation.

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Summer Research Experience, University of California-Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2015 


Jessie Ciscneros Solis

UC LEADS Scholar-Senior

Lab Group: Joel Kubby Lab

Major: Physics

Research: 

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

Adaptive Optics enhance structural imaging of Drosophila melanogaster mushroom bodies. Jessie Cisneros Solis, Sammy W. Novak, Xiaodong Tao and Joel Kubby. University of California Santa Cruz. 7th Annual Physical and Biological Sciences Summer Research symposium, 2016. Poster Presentation

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Summer Research Experience 2016, University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA. Summer 2016 


Maria Gonzalez

UC LEADS Scholar-Junior

Lab Group: Hinrich Boeger

Major: Biochemistry & Molecualr Biology

Research: 

Looking at the intrinsic noise of Chd1 on the Pho5 gene. Chd1 is a chromatin remodeler, and so it’s present during transcription. To look at how Chd1 works during transcription, we measure the protein intrinsic noise of a chd1 mutant. By looking at the intrinsic noise of Pho5, we can better understand the mechanism of transcription as regulated by Chd1.

Internships/ Presentations/ Awards:

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UCSF SRTP, Summer 2016 

MD Anderson CRIPT-CURE, Summer 2015


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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