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In the lab and out on the water: Gallaudet student researchers showcase their summer projects to the community

July 28, 2017
By Andrew Greenman, '10

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The annual Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STM) internship poster presentation was held in the newly renovated HMB third floor atrium on July 26, 2017. Seven interns displayed posters representing their summer research projects in genetics, bioinformatics, ecology, and nanotechnology.

This is the eighth year Gallaudet has run an STM summer internship program. Many interns go on to present their posters at professional conferences and at the University of Maryland-Baltimore Campus (UMBC) Undergraduate Symposium.

This year’s internships were funded by the National Science Foundation (CIQM DMR 1231319, PRDM DMR 1205608, and the NextGen Genome Solver Project, DUE-1505102), the NASA/DC Space Grant Consortium, the Beverly Taylor Sorensen Student Fellowship, the Environmental Sciences Fund (funded by an anonymous donor), the DC Water Research and Resources Institute, and the Gordon Brown fund administered by the Career Center.

Jonathan Gutierrez
Jonathan Gutierrez
, majoring in chemistry, presented “Bismuth Telluride.” This module concentrates on preparation of bismuth telluride nanomaterials. Bismuth telluride can be used for generation of generating electricity from heat. Nanomaterials are “super small” materials at the scale of one billion times smaller than a meter and has various applications. The study of nanomaterials holds almost unlimited potential for applications, ranging from cancer treatment drugs, to construction materials, to electronic devices. Gutierrez was mentored by Dr. Paul Sabila, STM professor.

Gabrielle Humlicek
Gabrielle Humlicek
, majoring in biology, presented “Analysis of Bacterial and Algal Diversity in the Anacostia River.” Humlicek was tasked with studying differences between bacteria and algae found in the Anacostia River, and identifying specific groups of bacteria. Upon her findings, Humlicek plans to determine which groups of bacteria can be beneficial, and which can be detrimental, to the river’s ecosystems.

Selman Jawed
Selman Jawed
, majoring in mathematics, presented “Assortative mating due to language preference can greatly accelerate the fixation of new alleles.” Jawed studied whether marriage between deaf people would lead to an increase in the deaf population, due to the combination of genes from both deaf parents. His project also showed that when people prefer to marry others within the same language group, like American Sign Language users, it can accelerate evolution.

Camac Kyre and Anthony Laucevicius
Camac Kyre
and Anthony Laucevicius, both majoring in biology, presented “Examining the effect of nutrients on algal communities on the Anacostia River.” The team is studying the effects of stormwater and sewage drainage in the river, and how this affects algal communities in the river. Algae absorbs all kinds of nutrients, both good and bad, and can impact the quality of the river water.

Jaquelyn Lalescu
Jaquelyn Lalescu
, double-majoring in chemistry and biology, presented “Exfoliation of Molybdenum Disulfide using n-Butyllithium.” She focused on the synthesis of molybdenum disulfide by the exfoliation process, which involves the insertion of lithium ions followed by peeling of layers by addition of water then depositing the material on silicon wafers. Molybdenum disulfide is currently being studies for electronic and superconductor applications and may even replace silicon in the future. Lalescu was also mentored by Sabila.

Jonathan Tikhonoff
Jonathan Tikhonoff
, majoring in information technology, presented “Evidence of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) in the Bacterial Species Yersinia.” HGT is the transfer of genes between organisms. Tikhonoff concentrated on the transfer of Y. pestis strains, utilizing homology search and analyzing certain metadata within the search process.

Photos by Zhee Chatmon.

28 July 2017
By Andrew Greenman, '10

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Andrew Greenman, '10

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