OVPR Announces 2021 SURF Awards – Includes 14 MCB Students

The 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) Awards were announced. 14 out of the 56 undergraduate SURF Award recipients for Summer 2021 are MCB students. These UConn students were selected from an exceptionally strong group of applicants representing diverse areas of academic inquiry. These students are:

Michelle Antony '23 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: EGFR Signals in the Chondroprogenitor Response to Articular Cartilage Injury Faculty Mentor: Dr. Caroline Dealy, Reconstructive Sciences, Orthopedic Surgery & Cell Biology

Amy Backal '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: The Effect of Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) on the Tongue Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Goldhamer, Molecular and Cell Biology

Poorna Balakumar '23 (Molecular and Cell Biology & Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, CLAS) Project Title: The Role of Hydrogen Peroxide as a Virulence Mechanism of Mycoplasma pneumoniae In Vivo Faculty Mentor: Dr. Steven Geary, Molecular and Cell Biology

Ashiti Damania '23 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Validation of RGC Subtypes Via Molecular Markers Using Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Faculty Mentor: Dr. Feliks Trakhtenberg, Neuroscience

Brian Fox '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS; Management Information Systems, BUS) Project Title: Defining C1QL1 Protein Signaling in Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Differentiation for Central Nervous System Remyelination with Implications for Multiple Sclerosis Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Martinelli, Neuroscience


Varsha Irvathraya '23 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Chromosomal Rearrangement of CCND1 on the Development of Parathyroid Tumors and Hyperparathyroidism Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Costa, Center for Molecular Oncology

Paul Isaac '23 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Save the Crabs: An Investigation of the Genomic and Cellular Components of the Limulus polyphemus Immune Response Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rachel O'Neill, Molecular and Cell Biology

William Odell '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Inhibitory Effect of Sugar Kelp Supplementation on Inflammation in Mice with Atherosclerosis Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ji-Young Lee, Nutritional Sciences

Cindy Pan '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology & Philosophy, CLAS) Project Title: Weighing-In on Weight: A Qualitative Study on an Online Weight Loss Intervention Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sherry Pagoto, Allied Health Sciences

Avin Sapowadia '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Lubricin Delivery System via Biomimetic Nano-Matrix for Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yupeng Chen, Biomedical Engineering

Stephen Stanio '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: The Mutagenic and Toxic Effects of Formamidopyrimidine Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ashis Basu, Chemistry

Audrey Worth '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Controlling Pathogen Growth in Raw and Pasteurized Milk with Commercial Bacteriophages Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dennis D'Amico, Animal Science

Joshua Yu '23 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Correlating Uptake and Intracellular Distribution of Nanoparticle Therapeutics with Cytotoxicity Faculty Mentor: Dr. Xiuling Lu, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Humza Zaidi '22 (Molecular and Cell Biology, CLAS) Project Title: Identifying an Early, Novel Biomarker in the Retina for Alzheimer's Disease Faculty Mentor: Dr. Royce Mohan, Neuroscience