Summer 2012 Research Projects

During the summer of 2012, Dimensions will support three faculty/student research projects.

Tor Signaling in S. cerevisae

Student: Andrew Anderson '13

Supervisor: Jeff Cardon, PhD

Several current concerns in human health center around the intake and utilization of food. When an organism, ingests food, that energy and material can be stored for future use, it can be expended in daily energy requirements, or it can be utilized in building tissue.  It can even be dumped as heat or other types of waste. It can be and has been argued that obesity results from the misdirection of these resources. Obesity then might be corrected or prevented by altering the regulation of energy and material use. The protein called Tor is a potential master regulator.  This project will be a study of Tor signaling in the yeast, S. cerevisae

Choice of Planes for Medical Image Segmentation

Student: Kevin Johnson ‘14

Supervisor: Ross Sowell, Instructor of Computer Science

Recent advances in surface reconstruction algorithms allow surfaces to be built from contours lying on nonparallel planes. These algorithms make it possible to construct high quality surfaces more efficiently by using fewer contours. This project will develop semi-automated tools for selecting which planes to use when reconstructing anatomical structures. These algorithms advances hold promise in refining construction of anatomical shapes generated from magnetic resonance imagining and computed tomography scans. 

Production and Study of Copper-Zinc Superoxide Dismutase

Student: Chris Rishel '13

Supervisor: Cindy Strong, PhD

Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is a small, soluble protein containing two copper and two zinc ions. In 1993, SOD1 was implicated in the inherited form of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. ALS is a fatal neurological disease characterized by progressive paralysis and eventual death as large motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord degenerate. The long-term goal for the SOD1 project is to better understand the effect of metal binding on the structures of the wild-type and mutant forms of human SOD1, and thus learn about the possible role of aberrant metal binding in the development of ALS.