Preview of Grad Slam prelim round 5: Wednesday, April 11

by Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 8:00 AM

The 6th Annual Grad Slam continues with prelim round 5. Remember to get out the vote to help your favorite presenters advance to the semifinal rounds! Check out a preview of the presentations below, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for live updates on the winners of each round.

Wed Apr 11 | 11a-12p
Engineering Science Building 1001

Neil Dolinski | Materials
3D Printing with Color: One Solution, Multiple Materials 
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, has enabled the production of structures useful throughout industry and cutting edge research. However, standard 3D printing approaches utilize harmful UV light, require slow layer-by-layer processing, and have vastly inferior properties relative to traditionally manufactured parts. Our group has developed a new technique for 3D printing, Solution Mask Liquid Lithography, which uses purely visible light to build parts 100x faster than state-of-the-art printers while completely eliminating layering. By varying the color of the light used in curing, we can produce parts with programmable local mechanical properties, allowing for the unprecedented growth of complex parts in a single step.

Veronica Laos | ​Chemistry
Understanding Neurodegenerative Disorders: One Protein at a Time
As we approach our future, expecting growth in developing countries and a rise of an older population, we can anticipate an imminent rise in neurodegenerative disorders worldwide. It is crucial that we develop a fundamental understanding of the pathogenic cascade involved in the proliferation of these types of diseases. My work focuses on characterizing disease related proteins to identify neurotoxic targets, which can then be applied to evaluate therapeutic agents in their efficacy for treating neurodegenerative disorders.

Lauren Menzer | ​Environmental Science & Management
An Assessment of Apparel Toxins' Impact on Mother and Newborn Endocrine-System Health 
The chemicals used in the apparel industry range from pesticides and formaldehyde, to synthetic dyes and flame retardants. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and skin irritants that can have immediate or latent negative effects on human health and the environment. Scientific research is has identified these endocrine active compounds as adversely affecting human hormonal systems, but many gaps still exist in knowing the connections between how toxins interact with one another and within the human body. Our research pieces together the various pathways that mothers and newborns are exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals from the apparel industry, and the extent to which these toxins impact their immediate and long-term health systems.

Dan Ovando  | Environmental Science & Management
Counting Fish from Space: Using Fishermen Behavior to Predict Fish Abundance
Managing wild fisheries depends on being able to estimate the abundance of fish in the oceans. However, this is an expensive and complex process, making reliable knowledge of fish populations out of reach for many fisheries around the world. To solve this problem, we are using a novel new source of remote-sensing data called Global Fishing Watch, that provides near real-time data on fishermen behavior around the world. With this data, we are asking, can the behavior of fishermen be used to predict the abundance of fish?

Natasha Picciani | Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology
A Spineless Tale of Jellyfish Eye Origins
Animal eyes vary considerably in morphology and complexity, and are thus ideal for understanding the evolution of complex biological traits. While eyes evolved many times in bilaterian animals with elaborate nervous systems, image-forming and simpler eyes also exist in cnidarians, which are ancient non-bilaterians with neural nets and regions with condensed neurons to process information. How often eyes of varying complexity, including image-forming eyes, arose in animals with such simple neural circuitry remains obscure. In this presentation, I will show that jellyfish eyes evolved repeatedly from ancestral photoreceptor cells in non-bilaterian animals with simple nervous systems, co-opting existing precursors, similar to what occurred in Bilateria. This study underscores the potential for multiple, evolutionarily-distinct visual systems and underlying developmental pathways, even in animals with simple nervous systems.

David Stamps | ​​Communication
The Problem with Protests: Emotional Driven Effects of Race Related News Media Images
News media images frame salient issues, but less is known about those frames influence emotions among audience members. The current study uses an experiment to present images of collective action, with varying racial ethnic groups, to examine the influence of visuals in news media. Results show that specific radicalized images generate greater emotional influence, and the framing of riots, versus protest, demonstrate even greater emotional response especially among socially dominant individuals. Given the current socio-political environment, extending our understanding of the effects of exposure to news coverage on audience’s judgement and emotions in the context of social unrest, is both socially and theoretically meaningful.