Research Title: “Microaggressions, Depression & Anxiety: A look beyond Self-Efficacy”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lucas Torres
Abstract: Previous research has focused on the mental health implications that Microaggressions may cause to individuals of color. However, there is a lack of research in regards to how Microaggressions may impact students of color at predominantly white institutions (PWI), and the mental health disparities these students are potentially exposed to when experiencing subtle forms of discrimination. The current study sought to understand the roll of self-efficacy in predicting depression and anxiety above and beyond Microaggressions. Participants included 116 self-identified African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinx. Data was gathered through a psychology class pool, from a medium size university in the Midwest. Individuals who participated in the study had to identify as a student of color, and after completion students received course credit. Through conducting hierarchical regressions, significant results revealed that higher levels of Microaggressions and lower levels of self-efficacy can potentially predict anxiety and depression symptoms amongst students of color. These findings highlight the potential outcomes for students of color who experience Microaggressions on a day to day basis and the detrimental mental health outcomes these groups might experience.
Research Title: "Characterization of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome using Cardiomyocyte Stem Cells"
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Fitts
Abstract: Despite medical advancements, Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) patients suffer from high rates of morbidity and early mortality. Stem cells could be an innovative approach to model and ultimately treat pathologies like HLHS. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of MYH6 variant R443P on HLHS functional properties. Stem cell cultures were obtained from the Medical College of Wisconsin at Day 20 and stored in 5% CO2 at 37˚C. A four-week time course was conducted on each cell type where we assessed the electrical and biomechanical properties of the cell. Following functional assessments, cells were stored at -80C in SDS buffer until molecular analysis was performed. MHY6 variant R443P cells showed a significantly higher beat rate with less shortening in µm and % of cell length. Overall, mutant cells were more depolarized and the action potential duration was much shorter than MYH6 +/MYH6 + cell type.
Research Title: "Using Electromagnetic Articulograpy to Measure Human Swallowing"
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Betty
Abstract: The problem being tackled is traditionally swallows have been analyzed through the use of x-ray radiation in conjunction with a barium swallow. In the past 15 years, research has looked at alternative testing to be able to analyze certain aspects of a swallow at different points from lips to oropharynx. Their findings have led to this: EMMA. Electromagnetic midsagittal Articulography measures the oral articulatory movements during a swallow. In short, it measures the various tongue movements, specifically within the oral cavity, in extraordinary detail. What is even more promising is that the findings of the oral cavity from EMMA have been consistent with the findings examined using x-ray microbeam results from previous studies; making it a hopeful contender in feasible methods of studying tongue movements during the swallowing process. The hopeful findings include correlations between the tongue and the hyoid bone; commonly referred to as your voice box. With these findings, the question is this: can we use EMMA as a feasible tool for measuring a swallow to replace a barium swallow knowing the correlation between the tongue and the hyoid? The focus for this study is to address if EMMA can replace a barium swallow, as well as another subcategory, the hyoid. The measurements will analyze the swallow from within the oral cavity and through this we hope to find some connection between the hyoid and tongue. If so, we can then potentially use EMMA to analyze a swallow to a greater extent than just simply the oral cavity and possibly to the pharyngeal cavity.