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Summer Research Program for Students 2019

The 2019 STARS Summer Research Program for Students included 58 students from Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding areas. This eight-week program gave students an opportunity to work side-by-side with a faculty host in a research laboratory. It consisted of activities, seminars, and an individualized research project that contributed to the advancement of science. The students were able to showcase and share these advancements during the end-of-program scientific poster session.

Jaila Acevedo
Jaila Acevedo
Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School
Mentor: Charlie Khemtong, Ph.D.
Is the Heart Ketogenic?
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Emmanuella Alawode
South Grand Prairie High School
Mentor: Zhi-Ping Liu, Ph.D.
Development of A Novel Small Molecule Inhibitor of Jumonji C Domain-containing Histone Demethylases for Treatment of Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer
Ariel Alexander
Ariel Alexander
Harmony Science Academy Dallas
Mentor: Linda Baker, M.D.
Prune Belly Syndrome Filamin A Mutations Cause Altered Smoothelin Muscle Expression in Visceral Smooth Muscle
Yunbeen Bae
Yunbeen Bae
Reedy High School
Mentor: Pradeep Mammen, M.D.
Molecular Benefits of Activating Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide in Preventing DMD-Associated Cardiomyopathy
Janelle Baker
Janelle Baker
School of Science and Engineering at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center
Mentors: Jerry Shay, Ph.D. and Beatriz Fontoura, Ph.D. 
Compounds SW053772 and 336898 as Inhibitors of Liver Cancer Cell Growth and Invasion
Chaitanya Bashyam
Chaitanya Bashyam
Edward S. Marcus High School
Mentor: Yuh Min Chook, Ph.D.
Biochemical Studies of Kapβ2 with hnRNP A/B NLS
Ermias Belay
Ermias Belay
Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas
Mentor: Dayoung Oh, Ph.D.
Determining the Gene Expression of GPR84 in C2C12 Muscle Cells During Differentiation
Katelyn Candido
Katelyn Candido
School of Science and Engineering at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center
Mentor: Todd Roberts, Ph.D.
Gene Expression Patterns in Single Cells in RA, a Brain Region Associated with Song Production in Zebra Finches
Emily Caplan
Emily Caplan
Greenhill School
Mentor: Steven Gray, Ph.D.
AAV Capsid Engineering for Central Nervous System Gene Therapy
Jack Casey
Jack Casey
Jesuit College Preparatory School
Mentor: Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D. 
Cognitive Behavioral Testing of CLOCK and HuCLOCK Modified Mice
Katherine Corey
Katherine Corey
Highland Park High School
Mentor: Vinod Mootha, M.D.
Mutant RNA and the Molecular Mechanisms for Fuchs Dystrophy
Peter Dadson
Peter Dadson
School of Health Professions at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center
Mentor: Madhukar Trivedi, M.D.
Associations Between Plasma FGF21 and Anhedonia
Varsha Danda
Varsha Danda
The Hockaday School
Mentor: Kathryn O'Donnell, Ph.D.
Investigation of SET Oncoprotein Function in PCDH7-Mediated Lung Tumorigenesis
Sindhuja Darisipudi
Sindhuja Darisipudi
Uplift North Hills Preparatory
Mentor: Dominika Borek, Ph.D.
Purification and Structural Characterization of Standard for Cryo-EM
Audrey DeJong
Audrey DeJong
Richardson High School
Mentor: David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.
Pancreatic Cancer is Characterized by Loss of β-Klotho and FGF21
Ritesh Dontula
Ritesh Dontula
Coppell High School
Mentor: Maria Chahrour, Ph.D.
The Effect of UBE3B Loss on Calcium Signaling Pathway
Delaney Feagans
Delaney Feagans
Young Women's Leadership Academy at Arnold
Mentor: Jennifer Kohler, Ph.D.
Effect of O-GlcNAc on the Activity of Transcriptional Activators
Abel Fetahi
Abel Fetahi
School for the Talented and Gifted at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center
Mentor: Genevieve Konopka, Ph.D.
A Weighted Gene Coexpression Network Analysis on Single Cell Transcriptomics Data
Varun Gande
Varun Gande
Greenhill School
Mentor: James Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Loss of Hedgehog Ligand Reduces Levels of Hypoxia in Mice, Causing Reactive Oxygen Species Levels to Rise
Meera Gangasani
Meera Gangasani
Episcopal School Of Dallas
Mentor: John Minna, M.D.
Identification of Drugs that Generate a Synergistic Anti-cancer Effect in Combination with Cisplatin-Etoposide Treatment in SCLC Utilizing an FDA Drug Targeting CRISPR Library
Aileen Garcia
Aileen Garcia
Emmett J. Conrad High School
Mentor: Prasanna Alluri, M.D., Ph.D.
Novel CDK4/6 Degraders in ER+ Breast Cancer
Jon Graswich
Jon Graswich
Byron Nelson High School
Mentor: David Corey, Ph.D.
Localization and Expression of Ago2 Related to Cellular Stress
Amyia Green
Amyia Green
Young Women's Leadership Academy
Mentor: Xiankai Sun, Ph.D.
Evaluation of L-5-[18F]-Fluorotryptophan for PET Imaging of Renal Cell Carcinomas
Ryan Hammond
Ryan Hammond
John Paul II High School
Mentor: Kevin Dean, Ph.D.
Visualizing Microtubules Through DNA Cloning
Megan Harvey
Megan Harvey
MacArthur High School
Mentor: Jacques Lux, Ph.D.
Development of pH-Sensitive Microbubbles for Ultrasound Cancer Detection
Hafsa Hashmi
Hafsa Hashmi
Brighter Horizons Academy
Mentor: Zhao Wang, Ph.D.
Role of Protein Kinase RNA (PKR)-like ER Kinase (PERK) in Myocardial Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury
Samara Huckvale
Samara Huckvale
Wylie East High School
Mentor: E. Sherwood Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
The Examination of an Association Between Inflammatory Biomarker GlycA and Depression
 Haaris Jilani
Haaris Jilani
Harmony Science Academy Euless
Mentor: Ping Mu, Ph.D.
Investigating Mechanisms of Antiandrogen Resistance in Prostate Cancer
Toshiki Kato
Toshiki Kato
MacArthur High School
Mentor: Noelle Williams, Ph.D.
Lysosomal Sequestration of Drugs in Human Colon Cells
Aaron Libed
Aaron Libed
Mansfield Lake Ridge High School
Mentor: Ganesh Raj, M.D., Ph.D.
Therapeutic Combination-induced Synthetic Lethality in Lung and Pancreatic Cancers
 Katherine Long
Katherine Long
McKinney Boyd High School
Mentor: James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D.
Activity of TAK-243 in BAP1-deficient and BAP1-reconstituted ccRCC Cells
 Steven Lu
Steven Lu
Lebanon Trail High School
Mentor: Ondine Cleaver, Ph.D.
Cyp26B1 is Required to Guide Semilunar Valve Leaflet Remodeling and Restrict Endocardial Cell Proliferation
Priya Mandava
Priya Mandava
Allen High School
Mentor: Michael Buszczak, Ph.D.
Characterization of an Endogenous Translation Reporter Using Bimolecular Fluorescence Technique in Drosophila Melanogaster
Ashwin Mathew
Ashwin Mathew
Hebron High School
Mentor: Wei Xu, Ph.D.
Tracing of the Rewiring of Neuronal Circuits Involved in Learning and Memory
Caitlin McAlanis
Caitlin McAlanis
North Forney High School
Mentors: Douglas Strand, Ph.D.
Comparative Cellular Anatomy of the Mouse and Human Bladder
 Carlos Medrano
Carlos Medrano
School of Science and Engineering Magnet at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center
Mentor: Xun Jia, Ph.D.
Deep Learning Based Automatic Organ Segmentation for Small Animals
Amber Miranda
Amber Miranda
School for the Talented and Gifted at the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center
Mentor: Evan Nair-Gill, M.D., Ph.D.
Cellular Mechanisms of a Clinically Relevant Mutation in Pacs1
Riya Mohan
Riya Mohan
Grapevine Senior High School
Mentor: Ezra Burstein, M.D., Ph.D.
The Role of Endosomal Recycling in NF-kB Pathway Activation
Zac Nguyen
Zac Nguyen
Garland High School
Mentor: Melanie Cobb, Ph.D.
The Role of WNK1 in the Regulation of β–Catenin and Adherens Junctions
William Nickols
William Nickols
Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas
Mentor: Yunsun Nam, Ph.D.
DEAD-box Helicase Binding aAfinity to G-quadruplexes
Jennifer Okolo
Jennifer Okolo
Wylie High School
Mentor: Kevin Williams, Ph.D.
Treatment of Obesity with Celastrol Requires eif2α in POMC Neurons
Daniela Padron-Castillo
Daniella Padron-Castillo
Duncanville High School
Mentor: Asaithamby Aroumougame, Ph.D.
Expression of TRF2-DN Induces Cancer in Human Cells
Nathan Paul
Nathan Paul
Cistercian Preparatory School
Mentor: Joel Goodman, Ph.D.
The “Linker” Region of Seipin Is Important for Lipid Droplet Morphology
Nidhi Pawate
Nidhi Pawate
Allen High School
Mentor: Ivan D’Orso, Ph.D.
Characterizing the Histone 4 Binding Activity of Master Transcriptional Regulator KAP1
Sameen Rahman
Sameen Rahman
Uplift North Hills Preparatory
Mentor: Srinivas Malladi, Ph.D.
Metabolic Reprogramming Drives Metastatic Breakout in Breast Cancer
Matthew Raroque
Matthew Raroque
St. Mark's School of Texas
Mentor: Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D. 
Antibodies against Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptors in POTS
Rebekah Rohrs
Rebekah Rohrs
Nimitz High School
Mentor: Carol S. North, M.D.
Filicide and Postpartum Psychosis: A Review
Isabel Schaffer
Isabel Schaffer
The Hockaday School
Mentors: Michael Brown, M.D. and Joseph Goldstein, M.D.
Mechanistic Studies of Triazole Binding to Niemann-Pick C1 Protein
 Armaan Sood
Armaan Sood
Imagine International Academy of North Texas
Mentor: Elizabeth Maher, M.D., Ph.D.
Glioblastoma Nuclei Undergo Marked Deformation and Reduction in Size when Migrating through Confined Spaces
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Shanivi Srikonda
Irving High School
Mentor: Lee Kraus, Ph.D.
Role of Poly(ADP-Ribose) Polymerase 1 in Trophoblast Differentiation
Khyathi Thallapureddy
Khyathi Thallapureddy
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
Mentor: Chen Liu, Ph.D.
Human Genetic Variant OtpQ153R Causes Excessive Weight Gain and Glucose Intolerance in Mice
Jordan Thompson
Jordan Thompson
Greenhill School
Mentor: John Hulleman, Ph.D.
The Development of New Tools to Control the Unfolded Protein Response
Risha Dianne Valera
Risha Dianne Valera
Plano West High School
Mentor: Helmut Kramer, Ph.D.
Characterizing phosphatase CG6036 in the Dephosphorylation of Drosophila Melanogaster Acinus
Daniela Vallejo
Daniela Vallejo
The Hockaday School
Mentor: Kim Orth, Ph.D.
Characterizing Putative Virulence Factor VPA1328 in Vibrio Parahaemolyticus
Sarah Visokay
Sarah Visokay
Ursuline Academy of Dallas
Mentor: John Abrams, Ph.D.
Genetic Analysis of Remodeling Substrates Targeted by the Apoptosome
Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu
Carroll Senior High School
Mentor: Shaheen Khan, Ph.D.
Understanding the Development of Autoimmune Events in Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy
Nathan Wulfekammer
Nathan Wulfekammer
Plano Senior High School
Mentor: Mark Henkemeyer, Ph.D.
Impact of EphrinB Reverse Signaling on Interneuron Population and Distribution
Layla Zonouzy
Layla Zonouzy
McKinney North High School
Mentor: Jim Collins, Ph.D.
Functional Heterogeneity in Schistosome Tegument Progenitors: A “Skin” Teresting Study of Progenitor Specification