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About Student Research

Student Spotlights

Abdullah Al Mamun, Class of 2018

Computer Science Major

“This summer I got involved in a research project where we have been analyzing ancient manuscripts. We use these really old manuscripts where, in many places, the letters are almost illegible. In some places, there are even holes or scratches so that nothing can be understood at all. We have been creating programs to use Machine Learning and Deep Learning techniques to determine different lines, words and characters within these manuscripts. The final goal is to be be able to figure out what letters are missing in a word or, if a complete word is missing, what could it be! Overall the point of this project is to understand centuries-old texts from a new perspective and possibly reach the true meaning instead of what we have been assuming.”


Eli Roger, Class of 2018

Molecular Genetics and French Majors

“I worked with Imperial College London (Chelsea & Westminster Hospital) to help develop a smartphone app to treat burns patients. I worked with doctors, nurses, and therapists to create a set of treatment protocols and organized a filming crew to create a series of videos on burns treatment. I returned to London for the filming days and acted as a model patient for burns treatment--with burns camouflage applied by Prince William's makeup artist--and coordinated the editing and some of the post-production details for creating a functional app. I used the RIG (Research and Innovation Grant) to fund my living expenses in London as well as pay a stipend for the research time that I put in.”


Emily Scarpulla, Class of 2018

Psychology Major

“I was able to use the Discover Grant I received to help continue my research on different predictor variables for depression. I spent the summer interviewing adolescents about their lives and working closely with graduate students and professors to run analyses connected to my first poster presentation at an international conference as well as my honors thesis.”


Sophia McRae, Class of 2019

History and Environmental Humanities Majors

“I looked into the use of urban agriculture in two German cities to evaluate how local and urban food production can be used for social justice pursuits, community engagement, and sustainable urban development. I visited a number of different sites in and around Berlin and Freiburg and noted their structure, purposes, ownership, overall mission, and production output. This was done with the intention to understand how urban gardening can be structured to result in real and tangible social change.”


Xueying(Shelley) Chen, Class of 2019

International Relations and Business Majors

“I did a multi-city research on how Chinese social entrepreneurs are solving the problems that migrant workers face in the biggest urban cities. I visit sixteen NGOs, non-profit and social enterprises that have problems implemented to improve migrant workers' living conditions and employment environment. Every day, I would meet up an entrepreneur and talked to them about their approach to solve the pressing problems that migrant workers face. I also interviewed lawyers and journalists. It was a thought-provoking process. I enjoyed it so much.”


Maria Majid, Class of 2019

Cell and Developmental Biology Major

“I worked on carbon nanotechnology that can improve transfection efficiency for cells. More specifically, I helped in establishing a cell plating procedure for these devices, practiced fluorescence microscopy, and reliably imaged cells for presentations and conference papers.”


Jessica Occhiogrosso, Class of 2018

Neuroscience Major

“I am working with Dr. Nimish Mohile in his clinical neuro-oncology practice. I have taught myself how to use RedCap (a user-friendly database). I have also learned how to write IRB protocols, how to give informed consent, and how to interview patients (using the MOCA and MacCAT-T). I began the program by simply helping a med student organize her data collection into RedCap, then took over running her study (sending surveys) to patients and keeping track of, and collecting, their responses. I approached Dr. Mohile about working to create my own study that I could use for my senior honors thesis and he agreed. I got IRB approval for the study over the summer, after writing the protocol myself and designing a research question as well as outcome measures. I am really happy with how my role in this team has evolved. I feel very integrated and feel as though I am treated as a member of the team. I can already tell from looking at job descriptions/requirements that my research project now will prove very relevant experience for a job in clinical research, which is on my radar as a potential gap year position.”


Lukas Jenkins, Class of 2019

Chemical Engineering Major

“I am going to use my RIG (Research and Innovation Grant) to continue my summer research for a professor in the chemical engineering department during the school year by compensating myself with an hourly wage. The project is to create a nano-scale coating of synthetic peptides that will eliminate undesired protein adsorption and bacterial growth. This work will ultimately be applied to a scientist at URMC who is conducting neuroscience research using electrodes in primates brains that are in need of a coating to help the electrodes last longer before requiring replacement.”