Thirty Harvard undergraduates have been named recipients of the second annual Herchel Smith Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships. After seven pilot projects were awarded last year, 2005 marks the first year of a full cohort of fellows. The program is designed to support promising undergraduate scientists in a formative, self-designed laboratory experience at the early stages of their academic life during 10 weeks of the summer.
The proposals are subjected to a rigorous, two-tiered review and selection process, first by one of three faculty panels in the natural, physical, or applied/engineering sciences, and then by an interdisciplinary selection committee. From the 75 applicants, these 30 fellows represent a significantly broad range of scientific interests at the College. Twelve of the recipients have chosen international destinations to conduct their research projects.
This year’s fellows, including their research and sponsors, are as follows:
Aaron Alexander-Bloch ’06 (philosophy): “Oxidative stress as a factor in the onset of schizophrenia,” Ashley Bush, Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
Egle Cekanaviciute ’07 (biology): “Neuronal aspect of decision-making and behavior in monkeys,” Ranulfo Romo, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City.
Allan Chu ’07 (physics/math): “Manipulation of individual carbon nanotubes in a microfluidic channel using dielectrophoresis,” Donhee Ham, Harvard University.
Ezra Cohen ’07 (biochemistry): “Infection of Plasmodium protozoan by double-stranded phage viruses; investigation of the var family of genes,” Colin Sutherland, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Wei Gan ’07 (biochemistry): “Role of RNA interference in gene control,” Siqi Liu, Beijing Genomics Institute.
Shantanu Gaur ’08 (biology): “Biochemical activity of receptor GPR56 at the cell surface,” Xianhua Piao, Harvard Medical School.
Jaline Gerardin ’07 (chemistry/physics): “Folding potential for sequence-structure protein pairs through Monte-Carlo simulations,” Eugene Shakhnovich, Harvard University.
Ana Glavan ’08 (chemistry/biomedical engineering): “Cell-based phenotypic and biochemical assays in fragrance design,” Uila Bonchera, The Firmenich Co., Geneva.
Jenny Jin ’07 (chemistry): “Co-crystallization of DNA with membrane transport protein SpoIIIE,” Greg Verdine, Harvard University.
Albert Kao ’07 (biophysics): “Quantum dot-based flouresence approaches to tracking intracellular calcium and extracellular ATP signaling in glial networks,” Gabriel Silva, University of California, San Diego.
Justin Kim ’07 (chemistry/physics): “Total synthesis of an anti-tumor agent, Peloruside A,” David A. Evans, Harvard University.
Henry LaPierre ’06 (chemistry): “Effects of metal substituents on thermal ring opening reactions of cyclobutenes,” Masahiro Murakami, Kyoto University.
Patricia Li ’07 (chemistry): “Utilization of organocuprates to synthesize medium-sized rings in biologically active compounds,” David Spring, University of Cambridge, England.
Kathy Miu ’07 (engineering): “Investigation of the vibrissae tactile sensory encoding and translation in rats,” Garrett Stanley, Harvard University.
Alisa Mueller ’07 (biochemistry): “Investigation of the interaction between TadA and its substrate tRNA,” Greg Verdine, Harvard University.
Rosa Ng ’07 (biochemistry): “Role of a novel AP-1 interactin protein in coat turnover at Golgi and endosomal membranes,” Rainer Pepperkok, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.
Jennifer Rood ’07 (biochemistry): “Genetic modification of non-ribosomal protein synthase domains,” Mohamed Marahiel, Phillips University, Marburg, Germany.
Saviz Sepah ’06 (psychology): “Measuring the Improvement of cognitive functioning using hemispheric-synchronization audio technology,” Stephen Kosslyn, Harvard University.
Scott Smukalla ’07 (biology): “Identification and analysis of the protein CotC on the spore coat of Bacillus subtilis,” Ezio Ricca, University of Naples, Italy.
Limor Spector ’07 (physics): “Data analysis of neutrino oscillations from the MINOS experiment,” Mark Thompson, University of Cambridge, England.
Alexander Subtelny ’07 (chemistry): “Generation of the enediyne component of the deoxykedarcidin carbocyclic ring,” Andrew Myers, Harvard University.
Thorold Theunissen ’07 (biology): “Development of regenerative therapy for damaged cardiac tissue using embryonic stem cells,” Christine Mummery, Netherlands Institute of Developmental Biology, Utrecht.
Parvinder Thiara ’07 (chemistry): “Self-assembled monolayers and new techniques in mass spectrometry to analyze interfacial chemical reactions,” Milan Mrksich, University of Chicago.
Matthew Tobey ’07 (chemistry/physics): “RNA-binding protein isolated in mammalian brain tissue,” Pamela Silver, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.
Joseph Torella ’08 (biochemistry): “Molecular regulation of aging using budding yeast as a model,” David Sinclair, Harvard Medical School.
Jonathan Tsao ’08 (electrical engineering/computer science): “Static random access memory and software components of field-programmable neuron arrays,” Gu-Yeon Wei, Harvard University.
Amy Xu ’07 (biomedical engineering): “Enzymatic activity of reverse transcriptase during DNA synthesis on a stretched RNA template,” Sunney Xie, Harvard University.
Rena Xu ’07 (biochemistry): “DNA-binding domains of the bacterial topoisomerase DNA gyrase,” Greg Verdine, Harvard University.
Dongbo Yu ’07 (biochemistry): “Development of modular mitochondrial tag reagents for small molecules of interest from diversity-oriented synthesis,” Stuart Schreiber, The Broad Institute, Cambridge, Mass.
Nan Zhu ’07 (biology): “Determinants in the HBV genome associated with viral persistence and chronic infection of the liver,” Priscilla Yang, Harvard Medical School. Henry LaPierre ’06 (chemistry): “Effects of metal substituents on thermal ring opening reactions of cyclobutenes,” Masahiro Murakami, Kyoto University.