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PAI 3.04 
(512) 232-9358

Texas Institute for Discovery Education in Science
College of Natural Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin
103 W. 24th St., G2550
Austin, TX 78712

Lynda Gonzales
Director for Student Programs

Every Spring, the college celebrates its student-scientists at the Undergraduate Research Forum. More than 350 students give posters and oral presentations describing their research.

The best and most innovative poster presentations are recognized with awards judged and sponsored by the university, faculty, alumni and industry.

Undergraduate Research Forum Awards 2022

This year we recognized a total of 23 awards in 12 Research Categories.

1. CNS Award for Excellence in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Valentina Tardugno Poleo

Title: Identifying z~3 Active Galactic Nuclei from the HETDEX Survey Using Machine Learning

2. CNS Award for Excellence in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Emily Wade

Title: Searching for hypervelocity stars in the Milky Way via the HETDEX survey

3. CNS Award for Excellence in Biochemistry

Karen Zhang

Title: Evaluation of Non-target Metal Ion Interference on the Performance of theLi⁺ DNAzyme Sensor.

4. CNS Award for Excellence in Biochemistry

Caitlin Currie

Title: Investigating the Effect of Heat Shock Proteins on Heat Resistance and Growth of Texas Grape Vines

5. CNS Award for Excellence in Biochemistry

Yoonseo Choi

Title: Investigating the Role of Heat Shock Proteins in Texas Grapevines

6. CNS Award for Excellence in Chemistry

Fisher, Nickolas

Title: Evaluating Algal Triacylglycerols for Biofuel Development using Ultraviolet Photodissociation Mass Spectrometry

7. CNS Award for Excellence in Chemistry

Avery Carlson, Mihir Patade, Neha Patil, Megan Tran, Nagaharini Venkoba Rao, Salomea Giorgberidze

Title: Fluorescent Organic Dyes and Their Role in Photopolymerization

8. CNS Award for Excellence in Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Alekhya Kuchimanchi, Hanaa Siddiqui, Ruchi Bhalani

Title: Tail Wagging the Dog: Perceptions of Canine vs Non-Canine Behavior in a Quadruped Robot

9. CNS Award for Excellence in Human Development, Family Sciences and Psychology

Minerva Ramirez

Title: Resting state functional connectivity brain networks of bilingual and

monolingual infants

10.Thermo- Fisher Scientific Award for Excellence in Integrative Biology

Paige Durant

Title: Genetic Basis of Leaf Tensile Resistance in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

11.CNS Award for Excellence in Integrative Biology

Serenity Lozano-Cole, Garcia Laysha

Title: Housing Density and its Effects on Individual Sociability and Anxiety responses in Gambusia affinis fish

12.CNS Award for Excellence in Integrative Biology

Caroline Chessher

Title: The Conservation Implications of Phylogeography in a Threatened Salamander Species (Eurycea tonkawae)

13.CNS Award for Excellence in Math

Shankar Padmanabhan

Title: Enumerating the Fullerene Isomers

14.Thermo-Fisher Scientific Award for Excellence in Molecular Biology

Uebele, Allison

Title: The Impact of DNA-DNA Base Pairing on CRISPR-Cas12a Target Specificity

15. CNS Award for Excellence in Molecular Biology

Anna Bardenhagen

Title: Hedgehog signaling is reduced at the initiation sites of foregut-derived

organs

16.CNS Award for Excellence in Molecular Biology

Shilpa Rumalla

Title: Deciphering PIWIL3's Targets and Functions during Uncontrolled Cancer Cell

Growth

17.CNS Award for Excellence in Molecular Biology

Ren Smith, Eleanor Irion, Megan Trinh

Title: NSF Bee Edge: Symbiont-Mediated RNAi in Bee Species to Investigate the

Bee Genome

18.CNS Award for Excellence in Neuroscience

Tommy Liu

Title: Synaptic culprits underlying cognitive decline in the aged brain

19.CNS Award for Excellence in Neuroscience

Adrian Boehnke, Merrick Garner

Title: Sex differences in the cognitive relationships underlying risky decision

making

20.CNS Award for Excellence in Neuroscience

Samantha Jackson

Title: Quantification of movement patterns in two mouse models of Dravet

syndrome

21.CNS Award for Excellence in Physics

Rithvik Ramesh

Title: Enhancing Second-Order Optical Nonlinearity through the Bandgap

Engineering of Asymmetric Coupled Quantum Wells

22.CNS Award for Excellence in Public Health and Nutrition

Maggie Kappel

Title: The Role of IL-10 in Obesity-Induced T-Cell Polarization in the Prostate Tumor

Microenvironment

23.CNS Award for Excellence in Statistics, Data Science and Computational Biology

Lokesh Pugalenthi, Jensen Richardson, Wenxuan Jiang, Harish Srinivasan, Himanshu Reddy

Title: Characterizing Multiple Myeloma Cell Lines