URS 2018

Monday, October 8

JHU Undergraduate Research Symposium 2018




The Symposium
and HOUR

URS provides a unique forum for JHU undergraduate students to share their work. Students will have the opportunity to give an 8-10 minute presentation describing their research, followed by 2-3 minutes to field questions from the audience. In previous years, students have used programs such as Powerpoint or Prezi to organize their talks but you have the flexibility to choose whichever presentation style is most suitable for you and your work.

Dr. Gorman will lead a How-To Session on October 4th from 5 - 6 pm, further clarifying the most effective ways to give a research presentation in a condensed time frame.



Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology students are able to meet the Honors criteria outlined by their departments by presenting their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

A new policy requires that at least 9 credits of research be taken before a student may be considered for Honors.

If you are NOT a Neuroscience or Behavioral Biology student, you may still be able to earn Honors credit by participating in URS. To find out if this event qualifies for you, please contact the administrative offices within your department. Also, make sure that you understand the requirements you must meet to earn Honors

(e.g. having faculty members present to assess your involvement in research and ask questions following your presentation to gauge your understanding). We do not coordinate that aspect of URS for you.

About URS

What is the Undergraduate
Research Symposium?

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a university-wide event open to all students conducting independent projects and participating in research. Reflecting the central philosophy of Johns Hopkins University, URS provides a unique forum for undergraduates to share their intellectual curiosities and passions, and be recognized for their work. This year, we hope to showcase the innovation that can result from collaboration across disciplines and facilitate discussion between students with distinct research focuses. Ultimately, our intent is to showcase the extraordinary and diverse work being done by undergraduate students and to encourage even greater undergraduate participation in research in all disciplines.

URS 2018 will be held on Monday, October 8, with student presentations scheduled from 5:00-7:45 pm. Dr. Gregory Berns will then deliver the keynote address at 8:00 pm.

There will be a reception following the keynote speech.

Keynote Speaker
Gregory S. Berns, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Gregory Berns

Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics & Psychology, Emory University
Director, Facility for Education & Research in Neuroscience

Functional MRI in Awake Unrestrained Dogs

The domestic dog’s accessibility, social intelligence, and evolutionary history with humans has led to increasing interest in canine cognition. The demonstration that dogs can be trained to cooperatively participate in fMRI studies – without anesthesia – has opened up a wealth of new data about canine brain function.

C​anine fMRI experiments can be divided into passive and active tasks. Passive tasks focus on mapping different perceptual systems of the canine brain and include responses to simple and complex visual stimuli (e.g. colored shapes vs. faces), auditory stimuli (sounds, voices), and olfactory stimuli (simple volatiles, biological odors). Passive tasks do not require the dog to do anything except remain motionless. In contrast, active tasks involve the elicitation of a response or a trained behavior. Active tasks present unique challenges because of the potential confound of subject movement. However, when the dog is trained to move only on cue, the movement artifacts can be delayed in time from the salient neural events. Many of these neural measures are found to correlate with out-of-scanner metrics of personality and behavior, and some have been used to predict a dog’s suitability for specific working roles.

Because the dogs participate in many scan sessions over their lifetime, the project has created a unique longitudinal cohort, which, in some cases has allowed the detection of CNS tumors before symptoms appear. These serial awake-MRI have been used to monitor tumor regression following radiation treatment.

Student Speakers
Bloomberg 274
5:00 - 5:15PM
Aditya Joshi
Individualized Sensor-Based Analysis and Classification of Motor Activity: A Novel Physiologic Variable in the Intensive Care Unit?
5:15 - 5:30PM
Miles Gilliam
Long-term preservation of fine motor function following primary traumatic axonal injury in the mouse: a pharmacological intervention to mitigate axonal degeneration
5:30 - 5:45PM
Jonathan W. Andersen
Investigating C9orf72 Poly(GR)-induced Stress Granules in c9FTD/ALS
5:45 - 6:00PM
Madeline Rocks
Nitro Fatty Acids Inhibit Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation
6:00 - 6:15PM
Natalie Moss
Sublexical prediction of spelling improvement in patients with acquired dysgraphia
6:15 - 6:30PM
J. Edward Hu
ParaBank: Monolingual Bitext Generation and Sentential Paraphrasing via Lexically-constrained Neural Machine Translation
6:30 - 6:45PM
Krysten Garcia
A Comparison of Contrast Sensitivity Tasks: Choice Vs. Visual Search
6:45 - 7:00PM
Ramya Prabhakar
An Examination of Gaps in Perception of Educational Access for Syrian Refugees in Amman
7:00 - 7:15PM
Hannah Smith
Deficits of myelination are common pathophysiology in autism spectrum disorder
7:15 - 7:30PM
Awinita Barpujari
Investigating the Role of Peripheral Mu-opioid receptors in Pain Signaling under Normal, Inflammatory, and Neuropathic States
7:30 - 7:45PM
Michael Peters
Repurposing the FDA-Approved Antiviral Drug Ribavirin as Targeted Therapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
Student Speakers
Bloomberg 276
5:00 - 5:15PM
Michael Schulte
Efficacy of a Dendrimer-Conjugated GCPII Inhibitor in an ALS Mouse Model
5:15 - 5:30PM
Courtney Whilden
Local Inputs to Layer 6 Corticothalamic Neurons in Mouse Somatosensory Cortex
5:30 - 5:45PM
Hyunwook Kang
Distinct Classes of Corticothalamic Neurons in Sublamina of Layer 5 in Mouse Motor Cortex
5:45 - 6:00PM
Zhenglong Zhou
Theory-like Model-based Learning in Video Games
6:00 - 6:15PM
Madhura Shah
Trax Expression in Serotonergic Neurons within the Dorsal Raphae Nucleus
6:15 - 6:30PM
Grace Duan
Aβ and Tau Accumulation Modulate Neuronal Excitability to Impact Sleep and Lifespan
6:30 - 6:45PM
Vicky Pascual Prizmic
Noncoding dsRNA induces retinoic acid synthesis to stimulate regeneration​
6:45 - 7:00PM
Anna Yang
Brain ALDH2 regulates alcohol-induced behaviors in an astrocyte-specific mechanism
7:00 - 7:15PM
Isaac A. Bernstein
Understanding the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in the Brain
7:15 - 7:30PM
Ariana S. Ginsberg
Mechanisms of Reward Anticipation in Prefrontal Cortex
7:30 - 7:45PM
Linyuan (Carol) Shi
Haloperidol Drug Injection on GSK3-beta Phosphorylation in WT and ArcKO Mouse Striatum
Student Speakers
Bloomberg 278
5:00 - 5:15PM
Seungshin (Sally) Lee
Testing a Novel Theory of Temporal Decision-Making
5:15 - 5:30PM
Heather Sweeney
Preclinical Evaluation of ATR Inhibitor, AZD6738, in HNSCC
5:30 - 5:45PM
Alisha Dalal
Role of antennal lobe interneurons in regulation of attraction behavior in Drosophila
5:45 - 6:00PM
Mingyu Yang
Sustained protein release from electrospun polymeric fibers
6:00 - 6:15PM
Sandeep Kambhampati
Modulation of the PPAR/PGC1α Pathway to Enhance Cardiomyocyte Maturation
6:15 - 6:30PM
Anthony Davidson
Can 12-month-old infants attribute to others a preference for 'more'?
6:30 - 6:45PM
Devina Chatterjee
Dual-gel 4D Printing of Bioinspired Tubes
6:45 - 7:00PM
Ananya Sarkar
Early Inhibition Control Following Perinatal Brain Injury Secondary to Preterm Birth
7:00 - 7:15PM
Jianna Cressy
The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Updating Value Representations
7:15 - 7:30PM
Alexander Ford Johnson
A Philosophical Assertion Regarding Quantum Mechanics
7:30 - 7:45PM
Wendy Yangyiran Xie
Autoantibodies against Agrin and LRP4 in Seronegative Myasthenia Gravis: A Review
General Presentation Tips
Rights to Use Material
Before using any text, image, or other material, make sure that you have the rights to use it. Complex laws and social rules govern how much of someone's work you can reproduce in a presentation. Ignorance is no defense. Check that you are not infringing on copyright or other laws or on the customs of academic discourse when using material.
Visual Contrast
Contrasts in brightness and tone between illustrations and backgrounds improves legibility. The best color combinations include white letters on medium blue, or black on yellow. Never use black letters on a dark background. Many people are red/green color blind - avoid using red and green next to each other.
There is no time in a 10-minute paper to teach standard technology. Unless the paper directly examines this technology, only mention what is necessary to develop the theme.
Graphic Format
In graphs, qualitative relationships are emphasized at the expense of precise numerical values, while in tables, the reverse is true. If a qualitative statement, such as "Flow rate increased markedly immediately after stimulation," is the main point of the image, the purpose is better served with a graphic format. A good place for detailed, tabular data is in an image or two held in reserve in case of questions.
Free of Nonessential Information
If information does not directly support the main point of the image, reserve this content for questions.
Simple Format
With a simple, uncluttered format, the image is easy to design and directs audience attention to the main point.
Clear Purpose
An effective image should have a main point, instead of a collection of available data. If the central theme of the image is not visible, improve the paper by revising or deleting the image.
Clear Train of Thought
Ideas developed in the paper and supported by the images should flow smoothly in a logical sequence, without wandering to irrelevant asides or bogging down in detail. Everything presented verbally or visually should have a clear role supporting the paper's central thesis.
Integrated with Verbal Text
Images should support the verbal text and not merely display numbers. Conversely, verbal text should lay a proper foundation for each image. As each image is shown, give the audience a brief opportunity to become oriented before proceeding. If you will refer to the same image several times during your presentation, duplicate images.
Designed for the Current Oral Paper
Avoid complex data tables irrelevant to the current paper. The audience cares about evidence and conclusions directly related to the subject of the paper - not how much work was done.
An image is most effective when information is organized around a single central theme and tells a unified story.
Excess information can confuse the audience. With an average of seven images in a 10-minute paper, roughly one minute is available per image. Restrict information to what is extemporaneously explainable to the uninitiated in the allowed length of time - reading prepared text quickly is a poor substitute for editing.
Readily Understood
The main point should catch the attention of the audience immediately. When trying to figure out the image, audience members are not fully paying attention to the speaker - try to minimize this.
Find more helpful tips at:
Event Schedule

Student Presentations=5:00pm - 7:45pm

Bloomberg 274, 276, 278

Keynote Address=8:00pm-9:00pm

Bloomberg 272


Refreshments will be served during reception.

URS 2018 Monday, October 8

Student Presentations
 5:00pm - 7:45pm
Bloomberg 274, 276, 278
Keynote Address
 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Bloomberg 272
 9:00pm - 10:00pm
Refreshments will be served during the reception.