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Wednesday, April 19th
8:50 AM

A Comparative Study of Bioplastics

Srihari Gurugubelli '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

8:50 AM - 9:05 AM

As a promising and fairly new field, bioplastics are a topic of high interest in the scientific community. Mainly due to their significant environmental benefits compared to traditional plastics, many studies have found good reason to research them. The aim of this project was to compare bioplastics of various compositions to each other through an assortment of physical tests. This ... Read More

Bioremediation of Polystyrene by Superworms

Rylie Bozarth, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Divya Choudhary, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Kelly Cruz, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

8:50 AM - 9:05 AM

One of the greatest dangers to the environment is industrial waste, in particular, polystyrene (PS). Zophobas morio, commonly referred to as superworms, have the ability to break down polystyrene plastics. In this study, we investigate the suitability of Z. morio as a bioremediation organism. Three sets of 100 superworms were separated into three terrariums containing a normal diet (oats, apples, ... Read More

9:20 AM

5-hydroxymethylcytosine Deposition Mediates Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 Function in MYCN-amplified Neuroblastoma

Sahil Veeravalli '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

9:20 AM - 9:35 AM

Neuroblastoma, the most common extracranial solid tumor in childhood, is hallmarked by epigenetic deregulation as a driver of oncogenesis. Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) methylates lysine 27 on histone 3 (H3K27me1-2-3), is generally associated with transcriptional silencing through deposition of H3K27me3 at promoter regions. In contrast to H3K27me3, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is an intermediate generated in the active demethylation of methylated ... Read More

9:35 AM

Amyloid-ß Oligomer Formations Over Time

Maitreyi Pandey '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

9:35 AM - 9:50 AM

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, and often fatal, disease, and is the leading cause of dementia in older people (Chang et. al, 2003). Based on the amyloid-ß oligomer hypothesis, the brain damage that leads to Alzheimer’s is due to soluble, ligand-like amyloid-ß oligomers (AßOs) (Lambert et. al, 1998, Gong et. al, 2003, Cline et. al, 2018). The aim of this ... Read More

Wastewater-Based Epidemiology

Ella Mixer '23, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

9:35 AM - 9:50 AM

Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) has been utilized in various countries to control and address the spread of infectious diseases, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. This field aids public health officials in making real-time decisions as viral particles are present in the body residues of infected individuals, even those who are asymptomatic. WBE is a non-invasive and cost-effective technique that can be ... Read More

10:20 AM

Testing the overexpression of a PNCTR through PNCs and the effect of the knockdown expression of proteins on PNC prevalence

Cara Jacob '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

10:20 AM - 10:35 AM

We are conducting experiments to investigate the effects of overexpressing a long-non coding RNA, known as PNCTR, in cells that typically exhibit low expression levels of PNCs, a metastatic cancer marker. Our objective is to determine whether augmenting the expression of PNCTR in these cells can increase the number of PNCs present. Our research is motivated by a prior study ... Read More

10:35 AM

Conceptual Life-History Models for the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

Elizabeth Carlson '23, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

10:35 AM - 10:50 AM

The desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a species of concern in the southwest region of the United States, and is noted as declining in recent years. Successful conservation requires an understanding of the species’ population dynamics. However, this collection of information is scattered throughout studies and models regarding the tortoise’s life history does not exist. Thus, I developed conceptual life ... Read More

Conformational dynamics of Mycobacterium tuberculosis M13 metalloprotease Zmp1 and how it interacts with potential substrates

Vidyoot Senthilvenkatesh '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

10:35 AM - 10:50 AM

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). During infection, Mtb secretes a variety of proteins to confuse the host's immune system including Zinc Metalloprotease 1 (Zmp1). Zmp1 inhibits phagosome maturation and host cell inflammation activation, both of which are vital during M. tuberculosis virulence. It has a hollow catalytic core in which peptides bind and ... Read More

Modeling the Epidermal Barrier in Atopic Dermatitis with 3D Human Skin Organoids

Grace Daum '23, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Sophia Syed '23, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

10:35 AM - 10:50 AM

The epidermal barrier is essential for maintaining skin homeostasis, yet the cellular signaling mechanisms that lead to its formation and function are relatively unknown. Perturbations in the epidermal barrier cause many different skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis. Our investigations will help define signaling mechanisms impacting the barrier in atopic dermatitis using a 3D human skin organoid model made from primary ... Read More

10:50 AM

Investigating the Role of TET2 Enzymes in the Proliferation, Differentiation, and Survival of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

David Dickson '24, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

10:50 AM - 11:05 AM

Ten-Eleven Translocation (TET) enzymes play a critical role in DNA demethylation, which is essential for mammalian development and differentiation. Recent research suggests that the absence of TET enzymes is associated with an increased risk of malignancies. Among the TET enzymes, TET2 is the most commonly mutated and the focus of our investigation. Using gene editing techniques based on clustered regularly ... Read More

1:00 PM

IMSAloquium 2023 Keynote

Angel Alverez, Northwestern University

1:00 PM - 1:25 PM

Angel Alvarez: Director, Stem Cell Core, Northwestern University


  • PhD, Biomedical Sciences, University of Central Florida
  • Certificate in Life Science Entrepreneurship, University of Alabama at
  • Birmingham
  • BS, Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

... Read More