Current Students

Graduate Student
Research Link
Carla Mecias

Strategic memory: Preschoolers' encoding of color categories so just an updated version of all the other presentation which were brainstorming presentations. In this work we are interested in exploring how assumptions about the future accessibility of  information will impact memory. Thus will children have enhanced memory for colors they believe they won't have access to in the future and less of a memory for  those that they believe they will have access to. Furthermore, we in interested in seeing if memory for color will regresses to the mean of that color category. We have seen this to the case in adults showing that adults rely of previous experience with a particular color to help remember a specific instance of the color. 

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Carolina Herrera

Carolina is starting her third year as a doctoral student at Rutgers University Newark, working in a Social-Development lab with Dr. Paul Boxer. Her research focuses on pathological adolescent development, specifically with regards to trauma and media influences. She has contributed to publications on adolescent development and high risk behaviors in youth, and has written a chapter in the upcoming edition of The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology."    

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Elena Guevara

Our studies focus on the regulation of the human pyruvate dehydrogenase multi-enzyme complex (PDHc), in which dysfunctions can lead to genetic defects causing type-2 diabetes and some forms of cancers.  Understanding the multi-enzyme regulation mechanism and interactions could lead to a potential for rational drug design.

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Israel Nnah

I am currently investigating the role of cellular endocytosis, the main source of nutrient uptake in cells, in the regulation of a central cellular kinase known as the Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1). This protein complex regulates major cellular functions including protein and lipid synthesis, and it's malfunction subsequently contributes to the onset of cancer and neurodegeneration.

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Ras proteins are a family of proteins that function as molecular switches that control many intracellular signaling networks. One member of this Ras superfamily of genes is the Rab family of proteins. Rab proteins are small GTP-binding molecules that are heavily involved in many functions such as the docking and fusion of many transport vesicles with their target locations. The Rab11 proteins include three isoforms. These isoforms are Rab11a, Rab11b and Rab11c/Rab25. Many of Rab11a functions are currently a Ivor Joseph

Ras proteins are a family of proteins that function as molecular switches that control many intracellular signaling networks. One member of this Ras superfamily of genes is the Rab family of proteins. Rab proteins are small GTP-binding molecules that are heavily involved in many functions such as the docking and fusion of many transport vesicles with their target locations. The Rab11 proteins include three isoforms. These isoforms are Rab11a, Rab11b and Rab11c/Rab25. Many of Rab11a functions are currently already known. These functions include the recycling of thromboxane receptor-B and internalizing B2-adrenic receptors. Rab25 is known to be involved in colon cancer, ovarian and breast cancer and is major player in cancer pathogenesis. However not much is known about Rab11b function. What is known about Rab11b is that Rab11b associates with myosin and carries a huge cargo with many proteins to localize at the plasma membrane. However many of these proteins have not been identified. I am particularly focusing on identifying the proteins that are in the Rab11b vesicles cargo. 

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John McClure

I am currently researching  the processing of visual and non-visual information in the primary visual cortex during cross modal perception.

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Juan Flores

I am interested in intestinal homeostasis and how the intestinal epithelium and immune system communicate.  Specifically I am interested how the microbial signals relayed by the intestinal epithelium regulate innate immune cells.

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Katherine Niccole Fuhr

The oxabicyclooctane structure is a motif found in numerous anti-cancer molecule. A common way of generating these motifs is by using cycloaddition reactions. We have designed a novel cycloaddition reaction that uses an asymmetric organic molecule to catalyze the reaction. The result is an oxabicyclooctane derivative that can be used in the application of potential anti-cancer compounds.

 

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Melanie Rodriguez

Medicinal chemistry research focused on the design and development of novel antibacterial compounds. Currently studiying the synthesis of new and potent Fluorinated inhibitors of the enzyme Lpxc, an essential component in the formation of the gram negative cell wall . In the future this can provide an effective treatment against  gram negative bacteria infections.
 

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Miguel Diaz

 I am researching cells and inputs that drive the shift from goal-directed action to habitual behavior in mice.
 

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Oluwafemi Ademuwagun

My primary research advisor is Dr. Lalancette and collaborate with Dr. He both of whom specializes in cobalt complex and graphene respectively. My current research interest entails improving upon the electronic, electrochemical, chemical, and optical properties of graphene nanomaterials by functionalizing it with cobalt complexes. I have began work on synthesizing a new and improved cobalt complex by intercalating it with graphene quantum dots with hopes of improving the aforementioned properties. As a result, possible applications include early detection of cancerous tumors and also a tool in drug delivery.

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Rosario Sanchez

My program of research is to explore the pathways of entry into and exit out of sex trafficking rings, using a qualitative design and through a recollection of memory of young adult survivors 18-24 years of age about their experiences as adolescent victims.
The study is innovative in distinguishing the population of females who are sexually trafficked from other intentionally traumatized females such as in relationships of domestic violence. Further, the planned study identifies themes unique to the trafficked population of never-served vulnerable persons, possibly aiding health care providers in the identification of interventions to promote recovery and resiliency among CSEC victims. The expectation is that data from this study will generate the foundational knowledge with theoretical underpinnings for the identification and incorporation of interventional services that is acknowledged by the population of rescued CSEC trafficked participants and promote future research.

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Sol Angelica Muniz

The trauma program manager position is a vital-mandatory role within trauma centers.  Leaders and managers portray distinctive functions, behaviors and characteristics.  My interest is to study the leadership role of the trauma program manager and its impact in trauma care services. 

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Undergraduate Student
Research Link
Brayan Zambrano

Our research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying demyelination following traumatic brain injury (TBI). We study a cell's response to concussive injuries to elucidate the biochemical mechanisms at play that contribute to the breakdown of homeostasis and ultimately cell death. This work can help shed light on the effects of TBI that contribute to neurodegeneration following injury. 
 

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Briana Mancenido

I am trying to create an automated way of classifying lesions in the brains of left-hemisphere stroke patients, using various methods and brain imaging tools such as AFNI. By being able to automatically classify where lesions are, we would then be able to predict where strokes are likely cause the most brain damage in other people and possibly such damage from happening.

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Cristhian Altamirano

Our research primarily focuses on the achromatic, or black to white, dimension. We study in particular, lightness constancy, which is how the observer’s perceived lightness (black to white spectrum) stays roughly constant under varying illumination levels. We have done work in the past with lightness constancy in a two-dimensional scene and three dimensional scene, seen through a veiling luminance (e.g. such as sun glare or fog), or layer of light. We have found several correlations that explain why a 3-D scene produces better constancy than a 2-D scene: (1) when shadows were present in the 3-D scene, lightness constancy went up (objects were perceived more accurately for the shade of gray they actually are). (2) When colored objects were added to the 3-D scene, lightness constancy improved, while lightness constancy did not improve for a 2-D scene. (3) Achromatic curved objects also improved lightness constancy. Regarding work done in the chromatic (color) dimension, we are doing work with chromatic induction. Chromatic induction is a phenomenon that occurs when a color induces or produces, a tint of its opposite color, on a neighboring, neutral area. What we are working on is trying to figure out how much color/saturation does a background have to have for you to start experiencing chromatic induction. In other words, we want to know the threshold. Finally, work has been done on perceived illumination of a field. Using a vision tunnel, we found that perceived illumination (brightness) is anchored to the highest luminance (the most amount of light that is being reflected by a surface), rather than the average luminance, as previously believed by theorists.
 

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Donovan Odelug

I am currently researching if cockroaches migrate to different areas or stay in the same place, carrying bacteria with them. I am interested in finding out whether roaches interact differently on different floors of an apartment building, whether their bacteria are localized in these habitats or moving across buildings, cities and, in our geographic areas, across state lines (i.e., crossing Hudson River!). To answer these questions, I use genetic techniques such as PCR, DNA sequencing, and data analysis. I  like to doing research on cockroaches because they inhabit our area in great numbers. Roaches are a leading cause of asthma and allergic reaction, especially in urban environments, and they habour bacteria on their exoskeletons; I am interested in learning more about their populations, and the populations of the things living upon them because this is of interest to human health. 

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Jessica Bowen

Currently, Jessica is collaborating with with a PhD student in the Attachment and Attraction Lab, where they are investigating attachment styles in people suffering from autoimmune diseases.  In sum, they expect to find that a relationship exists between insecure attachments and having an autoimmune disease, as well as evidence of increased anxiety and avoidance levels while symptomatic.  Moreover, they expect to see insecure attachments exacerbated when romantic relationships are not supportive of the person when they are symptomatic. 

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Joseph Prado

The role of attachment styles on stress in college students is unknown. Through an attachment theory approach, our investigation looks at the relationship between stress, psychosomatic symptoms and parental involvement in pre-health students.

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Marla Rodriguez

My research focuses on investigating novel mediators of PNS myelination. Currently, we are focusing on a possible receptor of pro-BDNF, SorCS2, and its role in myelination by Schwann cells using in vitro models.
 

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Valeria Vila

My current research looks at how emotional disclosure, which is writing about one's thoughts and feelings about a negative event, can be used as a self-affirming resource for people. Specifically, I am looking at how emotional disclosure can affect negative biases people have towards political or social arguments that aren't congruent with their own views. 

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