(Click student’s names for ePortfolio)

Nalani Coleman

Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor:Dr. Christal Sohl

Nalani Coleman was appointed to the MARC Program in June 2020. Her major is Biochemistry. She is currently conducting research in the Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Laboratory under Dr. Christal Sohl. Her project focuses on analyzing the catalytic efficiency of WT IDH1 and mutant IDH1 to understand the effect of point mutations on IDH1, an enzyme commonly mutated in aggressive brain cancer. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Nalani plans to pursue a Ph.D. focusing on cancer stem cells.

Project Title: Catalytic Activity of tumor relevant mutant Isocitrate Dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1)


Kelcey Davis

Astronomy

Faculty Mentor: Kate Rubin

Kelcey was appointed to the MARC program in September of 2019. Her major is Astronomy, with minors in Physics and Mathematics. At San Diego State, Kelcey splits her research time between two major projects. She works with a 21-cm Cosmology lab at the University of Washington, modeling radio-bright foreground to help calibrate data. She started this work over the summer of 2019 with the HERA collaboration. She works closely with Dr. Kate Rubin on this project. In addition to her Cosmology research, Kelcey also works in SDSU’s Electro-Optics lab with Dr. Jeffrey Davis. They work with constructing optical systems by utilizing computer software to program Spatial Light Modulators which create optical systems that require no manual movement. 
 
Project Title: Constructing zoom systems with spatial light modulators Foreground modeling for 21cm Cosmology

Marisa Krauter

Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Emily Kappenman

Marisa was appointed to the MARC program in June 2020. Her major is Psychology with a minor in Counseling and Social Change. She is currently conducting research under Dr. Emily Kappenman. Their work broadly focuses on emotional and cognitive differences between populations using EEG and ERP methods.
 
Marisa hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and have a career as both a researcher and clinician. She aims to conduct research that assists minority populations and is applicable in a clinical setting.
 
 

Ernesto Millan Aceves

Chemistry

Faculty Mentor: Jeffrey L. Gustafson

Ernesto Millan was appointed to the MARC program June 2019. His major is Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. Ernesto is currently conducting research in Dr. Gustafson’s organic chemistry laboratory. His project is on developing new methodologies for regioselective C-H functionalization, in hopes of advancing more accessible and efficient pathways towards synthesizing pharmaceuticals. Once completing his Bachelor’s degree, Ernesto plans to pursue a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry involving biologically active or pharmaceutically relevant compounds. Project Title: Regioselective Minisci’s via Photoredox Catalysis

Jenny O’Connor 

Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Kesnija Marinkovic

Jenny O’Connor was appointed to the MARC program in June 2020. Her major is psychology with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. Jenny is conducting research in the Spatio-Temporal Brain Imaging Lab under Dr. Kesnija Marinkovic. Once completing her Bachelor’s degree, she plans to pursue a Ph. D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology. Her career goal is to create new tests for psychological disorders that could explain individuals’ criminal actions and which will enable them to seek the rehabilitation they need. 
 

Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christy Dykstra

Christopher Oyuela was appointed to the MARC Program in September 2019. His major is Mechanical Engineering. Chris is currently conducting research in Dr. Christy Dykstra’s Environmental Biotechnology Lab. Currently, his project is to create the first computational model in the field for bioelectrochemical systems tracking methanogenesis development in bioelectrochemical systems. Once completing his Bachelor’s degree, Chris plans to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering to hopefully investigate clean technology and develop novel nanomaterials to address current environmental issues. 


Deva ReignDeva MARC scholar

Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Eileen Moore

Deva Reign was appointed to the MARC program in September 2019. His major is Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. Deva is currently conducting research in Dr. Eileen Moore’s Center for Behavioral Teratology, Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory. Currently, they are studying the effects of Effects of alcohol exposure on brain development. Once completing his Bachelor’s degree, Deva would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior specializing in Neuropsychology.

Project Title: Center for Behavioral Teratology, Behavioral Neuroscience


Ryan Tung*

Psychology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ruth Carper & Dr. Annika Linke

Ryan Tung was appointed to the MARC Program September 2019. He is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Statistics, and is currently conducting research in the Brain Development Imaging Laboratory (BDIL) under Dr. Ruth Carper and Dr. Annika Linke. He is currently working on a project analyzing the neural underpinnings of anxiety in aging adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders using fMRI. Ryan would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience, focusing on MRI research in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Project Title: Functional connectivity within the anxiety network is atypical in adults with autism and also shows distinct associations with anxiety symptom severity 
 
*Not federally funded
 

Kara Whitaker

Physics

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Weber

Kara Whitaker was appointed as a MARC Scholar in September 2019. She is majoring in Physics with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Weber Honors College. She is currently conducting research under the mentorship of Dr. Weber into pulsar glitches and their relationship to quark deconfinement. After graduation Kara plans to attend graduate school to obtain her PhD.
 
Title Project: Pulsar Glitches and Solid Core Neutron Stars
 

Vinnie Widjaja

Biochemistry

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christal Sohl

Vinnie Widjaja was appointed as a MARC scholar in September of 2019. Her major is Biochemistry. Vinnie is currently conducting research in the Molecular Mechanisms of Diseases laboratory under Dr. Christal Sohl. In the summer of 2019, Vinnie and a team of other undergraduates worked on studying the effects of acetylation on the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1). IDH1 can be found in over 80% of glioblastomas, which often accounts for a fatal prognosis. For their research they hypothesized that acetylation would inhibit WT IDH1 activity. Understanding how acetylation can inhibit wild type IDH1 is instrumental for understanding and potentially finding future therapies for deadly brain cancers. She plans to continue her research using steady state kinetics to breakdown the individual steps of reaction pathways catalyzed by enzymes. She plans to do this with the development of future IDH1 mutants in order to better understand how IDH1 is regulated. Following her undergraduate career, Vinnie hopes to pursue a Ph.D in Biochemistry, and continue research in the field of cancer studies.
 
Project Title: The effects of Acetylation mimics on the catalytic efficiency of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1)