Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Students share their research findings at University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum

April 16, 2023
<p>Student researchers gather and present at the UURAF conference at the Breslin Center on Apr. 14, 2023.</p>

Student researchers gather and present at the UURAF conference at the Breslin Center on Apr. 14, 2023.

The Breslin Center was lined with posters, exhibits and displays on Friday as over 900 undergraduate students participated in the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, or UURAF.

Students talked guests through their work and received constructive feedback from judges. Some students also gave presentations virtually. 

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Human biology junior Aidan Davis presented the work he did with the Spartan Motor Sport performance lab. He studied the physical stressors of professional race car drivers. 

Davis’s research found that females yield a higher G-force tolerance compared to males, giving them an advantage for race-car driving on oval tracks where individuals tend to go through high G-forces. This could be due to the higher estrogen levels in females, which acts as a vasoconstrictor allowing them to undergo high G forces for longer amounts of time, he said.

David said he was thankful for the opportunity to present his research — he saw it as a learning experience in public speaking. 

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Horticulture freshman Chante Hardaway worked with the College of Nursing to study low income families across the state of Michigan in historic facilities to find how stress is related to dietary intake. 

Hardaway’s research found that people in low income families were only getting about two and a half out of the five servings daily that are recommended by professionals. She also found a high correlation between perceived stress level and emotional eating. 

Hardaway said she enjoyed being able to look around and see what everyone else had researched, while also getting a chance to share what she has been working on for the past year.

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Biochemistry and molecular biology junior Sam Sanderson presented his research on ovarian cancer that focused on the correlation of the gene TPPP3 and tumor growth in mice. 

Sanderson found that the mice that had high levels of the gene had a lower chance of survival compared to the ones with low levels —concluding that getting rid of TPPP3 in their system helps reduce tumor growth. 

Sanderson hopes that his findings in the mice can translate to help with ovarian cancer treatment in humans, and that doctors can use TPPP3 amounts in humans as an indication of tumor aggressiveness. 

 “If a patient has high levels of this gene, as well as in the future, we could maybe develop a treatment that could target TPPP3,” he said. “I’m really glad that I can spread awareness about (ovarian cancer) and basically get a lot more information about it out there because I think ... even though it’s a very lethal disease, it’s actually the most lethal gynecologic malignancy … so I think it’s really important that we’re talking about it.”

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