Phi Kappa Phi Logo
 

 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Summerville Campus
Augusta University

The 19th Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference is an opportunity for all undergraduate students of Augusta University (Summerville and Health Sciences campuses) to showcase their scholarly and artistic endeavors.

Schedule of Events

Opening Ceremony
JSAC Ballroom
12:00 - 12:30 P.M.
Dr. Kevin Frazier,
Immediate Past President, Augusta University Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 324
Dr. Gretchen Caughman,
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Musical Selections by the University Singers
Directed by Dr. Bill Hobbins

 

JSAC Ballroom
12:30 - 2:00 P.M.
Session A: 12:30 - 1:15 P.M.
Session B:  1:15 - 2:00 P.M.

 

JSAC Ballroom
2:05 - 2:10 P.M. Keynote speaker introduction by Dr. Kathy Browder,
Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs
2:10 - 3:00 P.M. Mr. Donny Weber,
Director of Workforce Support Activity, NSA Georgia

 

Varied Locations
Session I
Biopolitical Cooking with Vishnu: Spanish Flavor for the Discerning Cyborg Palate

3:15 - 4:30 P.M.

JSAC Hardy Room

Session II
Resonance is Futile: Benchmarking the Maximal Dose-Release of the Arduino System

3:15 - 4:00 P.M.

JSAC Coffeehouse

Session III
Of Mathematics and Money: The Uncommon NFL Email Scandal that Rocked the Health of the Forest

3:15 - 4:30 P.M.

JSAC Butler Room

Session IV
Tea in Uniform: A Stirring Story of Military Life in the Twentieth Century

4:40 - 5:25 P.M.

JSAC Butler Room

Session V
Little did BRET know that his Studious Life in Immunoliposomes Would Never be the Same

4:20 - 5:05 P.M.

JSAC Coffeehouse



 

JSAC Ballroom
5:30 - 6:30 P.M.

Closing Remarks by Dr. Jean Pawl,
President of Augusta University Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 324

Awards Ceremony

 

Poster Session

JSAC Ballroom (all posters)
Session A: 12:30 - 1:15 P.M. (P1 - P15)
Session B:   1:15 - 2:00 P.M. (P16 - P31)

Select the Poster Session for additional information.

P1 - Identifying Candidate Genes Involved in Syndromic and Non-Syndromic Intellectual Disability in Consanguineous Pakistani Families

IDENTIFYING CANDIDATE GENES INVOLVED IN SYNDROMIC AND NON-SYNDROMIC INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY IN CONSANGUINEOUS PAKISTANI FAMILIES

Presenter: Jason Brown
Authors: 
Jason Brown1 and Hyung-Goo Kim2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Hyung-Goo Kim
Institution/College/Department:
  1Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Obstetrics & Gynecology (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by substantial limitations in intellectual functioning before the age of 18. One of its causes is genetic etiology. Around 300 genes are believed to be involved in autosomal recessive ID (ARID). It is thought that there are still many more genes as yet undiscovered. Consanguineous families have higher rates of autosomal recessive disorders and so make a good population in which to study ARID. Phenol-chloroform extraction was performed on the blood of five consanguineous Pakistani families with syndromic and non-syndromic ID to obtain DNA. The DNA was genotyped using an SNP microarray and homozygosity mapping was used to analyze the genotyping data to provide candidate regions within the chromosomes likely to contain genes involved in ID. A review of current literature was performed to identify the most likely candidate genes among the identified regions in each family. In the most likely region from each family, 36 genes in total were identified as candidates for involvement with ID, with 17 identified as stronger candidates. This paves the way for future studies to provide more evidence for causation. DNA sequencing could be used to identify potentially causative mutations, which could then be tested in animal models.

P2 - The Relationship Between Christianity and PTSD Shown Through 19th- and 20th-Century Literature

The Relationship Between Christianity and PTSD Shown Through 19th- and 20th-Century Literature

Presenter: Allyson Smith
Authors: 
Allyson Smith and Lee Anna Maynard
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Lee Anna Maynard
Institution/College/Department:
  English and Foreign Languages (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
This project explores the validity of faith, specifically Christianity, as a coping mechanism for those suffering from PTSD. Rather than solely looking at the scientific side of this topic, I will use two works of fiction to represent the cultural attitudes toward Christianity as it relates to PTSD. The selected works are Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I chose to approach the topic this way because works of art, including fictional writings, tend to reflect the state of society in which the author lived. By incorporating context from the cultural and medical knowledge of PTSD at the time the books were written, events in the author’s lives, and events in the world at the time the authors were writing their books, I will explore whether a return to faith as a coping mechanism can be an effective strategy for the modern individual struggling with PTSD.

P3 - Characterization OF NF-κB Deficient Bone-Marrow Macrophages* * *

CHARACTERIZATION OF NF-κB DEFICIENT BONE-MARROW MACROPHAGES

Presenter: Anthony Peppers
Authors: 
Anthony Peppers, Jeffrey Fischer, and Jennifer W. Bradford
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Jennifer W. Bradford
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:

The aim of this study was to characterize bone-marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs) that lack canonical nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling. The macrophages for the study were obtained by harvesting the bone-marrow from p65LysMCre (KO) mice and LysMCre control mice. To determine NF-κB deletion efficiency, p65 (a transcription factor in the canonical pathway) protein levels were evaluated by fluorescent microscopy in both KO and control BMDMs that had been stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The induction of iNOS was monitored in KO and control BMDMs when activated by NF-κB stimulators IFN-g and LPS. The regulation of iNOS was assessed by comparing macrophages that had been treated with LPS, IFN-g, or both to a control treatment under fluorescent microscopy. In addition to staining, a nitric oxide assay was employed to help determine the extent of iNOS activity. The macrophages were also visualized under light microcopy by comparing macrophages that were stimulated with LPS and IFN-g to unstimulated cells using fluorescence microscopy. Currently, a caspase assay is in progress to help further evaluate the effects of p65 loss within macrophages.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P4 - Examining The Effects Of AETOKTHONOS HYDRILLICOLA Extract On Oxidative Stress In C6 Cells* *

EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF AETOKTHONOS HYDRILLICOLA EXTRACT ON OXIDATIVE STRESS IN C6 CELLS

Presenter: Kayla Ward
Authors: 
Kayla Ward1 and Faith Wiley2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Faith Wiley
Institution/College/Department:
  1Science and Mathematics (Augusta Univ.), 2Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:

Aetokthonos hydrillicola, a species of cyanobacteria, has colonized an invasive species of hydrilla in the lakes of the Southeastern United States. This cyanobacterium is suspected to cause Avian Vacuolar Myclinopathy (AVM). AVM is a neurological disease that affect birds. Bald eagles and American coots have been primarily studied and known to be affected by AVM. Symptoms of AVM consist of brain lesions, loss of basic motor skills, and the disease often leads to death. Extracts of A. hydrillicola are toxic to C6 cells, and this cell line is used as a model to examine the mechanism of toxicity. The aim of this research project is to understand the role of oxidative stress in A. hydrillicola cytotoxicity and determine if antioxidant compounds may protect the cells. Common oxidative stress inhibitors, Gingko biloba extracts and selenium, have been tested in different concentrations in order to determine if oxidative stress is present and preventable. These compounds did not prevent toxicity in the C6 cells exposed to the cyanobacterial extracts. The presence of oxidative stress in cytotoxicity will be further tested using oxidative stress analysis tests as well as other antioxidant compounds. Various measures of oxidative stress will be used to assess if oxidative damage occurs following exposure to the cyanobacterial extract. These results are preliminary results only.

*P5 - Isolation and Culture of Microglia* * *

ISOLATION AND CULTURE OF MICROGLIA

Presenters: Deanna Doughty and Natasha Venugopal
Authors: 
Deanna Doughty, Natasha Venugopal, and Jennifer W. Bradford
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Jennifer W. Bradford
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive and common adult brain tumor subtype, with the majority of patients surviving less than one year. The GBM microenvironment is composed of tumor cells as well as non-cancerous cells, such as microglia, a component of the immune system in the brain. To better understand the role of microglia in GBM, we have optimized in vitro culture conditions for primary microglia. Growing microglia in culture is challenging, but this technique is needed for planned future experiments. Microglia were isolated from mouse neuronal tissue by magnetic bead antibody cell separation using the cellular marker CX3CR1. Isolated microglia were then cultured in various culture conditions, and cellular morphology by light microscopy was used to determine cell health, viability, and activation status. It was determined that the primary microglia grow best in neurobasal media in wells coated with poly-D lysine. Future studies aim to isolate a larger number of cells to allow for co-culture of the inactivated microglia with GBM cells. These results will allow us to better understand the role that microglia play in GBM progression.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P6 - An examination of the morale of Women During the United States Civil War

An examination of the morale of Women During the United States Civil War

Presenter: Rebecca Williams
Authors: 
Rebecca Williams and John Hayes
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. John Hayes
Institution/College/Department:
  History, Anthropology, & Philosophy (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
This paper is analysis of morale of women during the American Civil War. In the past, when discussing the Civil War classes covered a majority of battles and events instead of expanding about the people. One main focus covered is the change from women believing political affairs were not their concern to wanting to be involved due to the effects they felt such as separation, lack of protection and the adjustment to new responsibilities. The main focus of the research is  class and religion. Comparing the common experiences of women in the upper class to women in lower classes in Georgia is a valuable tool when analysing the Civil war through a socioeconomic lense. It is also valuable to examine the feelings the women had toward god as the war progressed. The religious practices of women during the Civil war is reflects the morale of the women in Georgia. This paper offers sociocultural perspective of state history and gender roles.

P7 - Forecasting Hotel Occupancy Rates In Augusta: Can GOOGLE Trends Improve Forecasts?* *

FORECASTING HOTEL OCCUPANCY RATES IN AUGUSTA: CAN GOOGLE TRENDS IMPROVE FORECASTS?

Presenter: Jamie Callison
Authors: 
Jamie Callison and Mark Thompson
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Mark Thompson
Institution/College/Department:
  Hull College of Business (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
This project will develop models in an attempt to develop better forecasts of hotel occupancy for the market in Augusta, Georgia by utilizing historical occupancy data and Google trends data. Using the historical data from the years 2012 through 2015, a series of five univariate models will be made with differing forecasting equations to forecast the year 2016. The forecast for the year 2016 will be compared to actual occupancy data from 2016 to measure for errors. The models will then be re-estimated with additional keywords that will be chosen on the basis that they will be commonly used to search for and book hotels. Some terms will be specific to Augusta and others will be general for booking hotels. With those terms, an index will be created to weigh the terms according to their relevance throughout the year, according to Google trends. With the addition of the keywords, the new forecasts will be compared to actual occupancy data from 2016. Errors of the univariate models and the models utilizing Google trends data will be compared to determine the accuracy of the two forecasting techniques.

P8 - A preliminary Investigation of the Blue-eyed grasses of Augusta University's Summerville Campus

A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION OF THE BLUE-EYED GRASSES OF AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY’S SUMMERVILLE CAMPUS

Presenter: Corey Treacy
Authors:
Corey Treacy and Charlotte Christy
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Charlotte Christy
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
The genus Sisyrinchium (Iridaceae) is a taxonomically complex group that includes several species that are native to the Eastern United States. Initially, two populations with differing morphologies were observed in areas with contrasting maintenance and mowing regimes. This generated two initial questions: Are these populations the same species, and if so, are the contrasting morphologies due to phenotypic plasticity? Investigations included: surveys for additional populations; whether plants could be transplanted to a common habitat; observation of seedling morphology; simulated mowing to test for plastic responses; germination of seeds; and comparisons of reproductive output and of pigmentation. Results suggest that these populations are the same species but that there are differences in reproductive effort, in pigmentation, and in response to fertilizer application.  Further investigations to determine if observed differences are heritable and to characterize the type and extent of genetic differences among populations are planned.

P9 - S100A1 is Essential for Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (PEDTBI) Induced Depressive Behavior

S100A1 IS ESSENTIAL FOR PEDIATRIC TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (PEDTBI) INDUCED DEPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR

Presenter: Avirale Sharma
Authors:
Avirale Sharma1,2, Suvarsha Sura1,2, Rafay Chaudhary1,2, Abhinav Sharma2,3, Sumbul Fatima2,  Md Nasrul Hoda2 and Chirayu Pandya2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Md Nasrul Hoda and Dr. Chirayu Pandya
Institution/College/Department:
  1Science and Mathematics (Augusta Univ.), 2Medical Laboratory, Imaging, and Radiologic Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 3Lakeside High School

Abstract:
Majority of kids visit the emergency room due to a pediatric traumatic brain injury (PedTBI), which increases the risk of long-term prognosis. S100A1 is a small molecular weight calcium binding protein, which differentially regulates cell specific signaling. We tested the hypothesis that increased neuronal-S100A1 expression after PedTBI exacerbates depression. Wild type (WT) or S100A1 KO mice (SKO; 3-weeks) were used for behavioral comparison. Male mice from both strains (3-weeks) were also subjected to a closed-head PedTBI, followed by neurobehavioral assessments and tissue biochemistry at 4-weeks. Statistical significance was determined at P<0.05. Naïve SKO mice showed significant anti-depressive phenotype compared to the WT control, and were resistant to the post-PedTBI depression. In WT mice, PedTBI significantly increased the neuronal-S100A1 in the cortex compared to the control, which paralleled with the significant decrease in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and synapsin I expressions, the key molecules in neural plasticity. Post-PedTBI loss in BDNF/Synapsin I and behavioral abnormalities due were reversed in the SKO mice. Our data identify neuronal-S100A1 as a possible link in the development of post-PedTBI depression. Further studies are warranted to establish the functional role of neuronal-S100A1 in the development of depression after PedTBI.

P10 - Localization and function of an extracellular matrix protein, Tinagl1, in Renal Epithelial Cells

LOCALIZATION AND FUNCTION OF AN EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX PROTEIN, TINAGL1, IN RENAL EPITHELIAL CELLS

Presenter: Aarushi Kalra
Authors:
Aarushi Kalra and Ellen K. LeMosy
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Ellen K. LeMosy
Institution/College/Department:
  Cellular Biology and Anatomy (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays important roles in cell adhesion and communication. We are studying the localization and function of a small ECM protein, tubulo-interstitial nephritis antigen-like protein 1 (Tinagl1), in mammalian cell lines. Previous studies conducted in zebrafish suggest that Tinagl1 is imperative for function of motile cilia; however, it is still uncertain as to how this presumed basement membrane protein could regulate cilia, and whether this function has relevance in mammalian cells having only primary, non-motile cilia. We will use immunostaining of Tinagl1 in mouse renal collecting duct epithelial (IMCD3) cells to determine if it is only on basal side or if it can also be detected on cilia on the apical side. We will establish the knockdown of tinagl1 expression using siRNA methods with measurements of mRNA and protein levels. Using appropriate assays, we will examine if the knockdown of Tinagl1 causes the loss of primary cilia, changes in cell viability and programmed cell death, and/or the detachment of cell-cell or cell-matrix adhesions. This project will show basic functions of Tinagl1 in renal epithelial cell behavior, which will eventually give us more information about its anticipated roles in cell adhesion, cell survival, and primary cilia homeostasis.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant
                Vanguard Charitable Gifts Fund

P11 - Evaluation of Wild Pig Behavioral Responses to Scent Exposure on Cowden Plantation, Jackson, SC.

Evaluation of Wild Pig Behavioral Responses to Scent Exposure on Cowden Plantation, Jackson, SC.

Presenter: Samantha Rae Hitchens
Authors:
Samantha Rae Hitchens1,2 and Dr. Bruce Saul1
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Bruce Saul
Institution/College/Department:
  1Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Hull College of Business (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Increased numbers of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) cause multi-faceted problems with complex destructive impacts. The worldwide spread has affected many cultures, making it important to develop management methods suitable across different locales. Wild pigs are often hunted with the assistance of dogs, however, this method is not currently legal in all areas experiencing invasive pig damage. Combining this with pigs’ highly developed sense of smell led to the question: Can a natural scent function as a satisfactory pig repellant? To investigate this hypothesis, we tested the following scents: dog hair, horseradish extract, cinnamon bark, camphor oil, tea-tree oil, and black pepper oil. Pigs’ reactions were observed, via camera trapping, to weekly applications of each of the scents. Trail-cameras were placed at ten locations along the Savannah River swamp on a private plantation. For three months, scents and dried corn (as an attractant) were rotated at each location. Image totals for each scent were compared to image totals for controls. Behavior was categorized into three reaction groups: No Interaction, Interaction-Not Repelled, Interaction-Repelled. Pigs were not often repelled by the scents while the attractant was present. The majority of scent-related activity occurred after the attractants had been consumed.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P12 - Measuring the Influence of the Traffic noise on the songbird vocalizations

MEASURING THE INFLUENCE OF THE TRAFFIC NOISE ON SONGBIRD VOCALIZATIONS

Presenter: Eric Frazier
Authors:
Eric Frazier, Melissa VanDeventer, and Brandon Cromer
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Brandon Cromer
Institution/College/Department:
  1Psychological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Songbirds are a group of perching birds from the order, Passeriformes that possess a uniquely developed syrinx allowing for production of distinctive songs. Research suggests that songbird vocalizations can be influenced by their environment.  The objective of this experiment is to test whether traffic noise can alter songbird vocalizations in comparison to songbirds in naturally less noisy settings, i.e. parks, forests and marshes. Recordings were taken at Pendleton King Park, Brick Pond Park, University Village trail, Phinizy Swamp and near the Interstate 20. The recordings of both the low-noise natural and high-noise interstate settings were then analyzed using the software Songscope®.  We evaluated song interval and frequency and compared experimental groups using a Student’s paired T-test.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P13 - Education and Fitness Benefits Cognitive Performance in an older age

EDUCATION AND FITNESS BENEFITS COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE IN AN OLDER AGE

Presenter: Amanda Dojack
Authors:
Amanda Dojack1, Megahn Schulte1, Tiana Curry-McCoy2, Amos Meyers1, Angelia Holland1
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Tiana Curry-McCoy, Dr. Amos Meyers, Dr. Angelia Holland
Institution/College/Department:
  1Kinesiology and Health Science (Augusta Univ.), 2Radiology (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Cognitive function and cardiovascular health often decline with age. The relationship between cognitive performance and cardiovascular health in older versus younger men and women was examined.  Methods:  This cross-sectional study included 13 younger (18-35 years old) and 10 older (55-75 years old) individuals. Participants visited the lab fasted and the following occurred in order: informed consent and questionnaires filled out, blood pressure and resting heart rate recorded, triglyceride and cholesterol measured via a fingerprick, anthropometric measures recorded, cognitive performance assessed via tests from the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics, and a modified YMCA 3-minute step test assessed recovery heart rate. No differences between male and female between six different cognitive tests. The older group demonstrated significantly greater scores on five of the six cognitive tests (P<0.01-0.05) and had a higher education level (P<0.001). The younger group had lower systolic (P<0.01) and diastolic (P<0.05) blood pressure while the older group demonstrated a lower resting heart rate (P<0.05). Females demonstrated a greater recovery heart rate (P<0.01) and total cholesterol (P<0.05) than males. There were no differences in age groups for BMI, fitness level, or glucose, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels. Higher education and fitness may negate age-related cognitive declines.

P14 - Disease Gene Discovery for Microcephaly in Consanguineous Pakistani Families

Disease Gene Discovery for Microcephaly in Consanguineous Pakistani Families

Presenter: Vattika Sivised
Authors: 
Vattika Sivised1 and Hyung-Goo Kim2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Hyung-Goo Kim
Institution/College/Department:
  1Science and Mathematics (Augusta Univ.), 2Obstetrics & Gynecology (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Microcephaly is a genetic condition where the brain does not develop normally resulting in a reduced head circumference, and the disorder can be non-syndromic or syndromic. There are two types of microcephaly: primary and secondary. Microcephaly is passed down through family lines as an X-linked recessive autosomal dominant or recessive disorder. Microcephaly can be segregated in families through consanguineous marriages. These interfamilial marriages can lead to the child inheriting identical defective copies of genes from both parents, which results in an autosomal recessive disease. This paper will explore four Pakistani families, each practicing consanguineous marriages that have resulted in individuals displaying syndromic and non-syndromic microcephaly. A list of chromosomal regions obtained from genotyping methods allowed for the narrowing down of potential causative genes in each family. Using online search engines, including Endeavour and the Human Genome Browser, four lists of candidate genes were obtained, one for each family. For two families, a defect in the ASPM gene, a gene that is reported to cause primary microcephaly, has been discovered. Potential candidate genes, including SCN7A and PKIB, present in chromosomal regions found through homozygosity mapping of the remaining two families could be the cause of the phenotype and will be discussed.

P15 - Epigenetic modifications in rat pancreas following ethanol abuse* *

Epigenetic modifications in rat pancreas following ethanol abuse

Presenter: Kristie Liao
Authors:
Kristie Liao1, Nancy Jhanji1, Allison Pruitt2, Caterina Hernandez3, Tadd Patton4, Maria Eugenia Sabbatini1
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Caterina Hernandez, Dr. Tadd Patton, Dr. Maria Eugenia Sabbatini
Institution/College/Department:
  1Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Nursing (Augusta Univ.), 3Pharmaceutical Sciences (Appalachian College of Pharmacy, Oakwood, VA), 4Pyschological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Chronic consumption of alcohol can lead to pancreatitis, which can predispose to pancreatic cancer. Because combinations of histone modifications have been implicated in pancreatic tumorigenesis, our goal is to find histone modifications in pancreatic acinar cell nuclei following by ethanol abuse. As an animal model of alcoholism, alcohol preferring (P) rats and alcohol non-preferring rats (NP) were used. Histones were extracted from rat pancreatic nuclear fractions using 0.4 N sulfuric acid and dialysis. Histone modifications were studied by Western-blotting analysis using the following antibodies: anti-trimethyl-histone H3 at Lys9 (H3K9me3), anti-dimethyl-histone H3 at Lys9, anti-phospho-histone H3 at Ser10, anti-acetyl-histone H3 at Lys14, anti-histone H3, anti-acetyl-histone H4, anti-histone H4. We found that alcohol abuse caused a decrease in the phosphorylation of histone H3. This result was observed in pancreatic tumor specimens. Further studies are needed to determine the extent to which both modifications are related and which gene expression is affected.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant
                Translational Research Award

P16 -Does the JNK/Jun Signaling Node Regulate Autophagy in Brease Cancer Cells?****

Does the jnk/jun signaling node regulate autophagy in breast cancer cells?

Presenter: Carol Joseph
Authors: 
Carol Joseph and Patricia V. Schoenlein
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Patricia V. Schoenlein
Institution/College/Department:
  Cellular Biology and Anatomy (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
A common treatment for estrogen receptor positive breast cancers is the use of selective estrogen receptor modulators such as Tamoxifen. Unfortunately, 30-40% of patients experience relapse due to the development of antiestrogen resistance. Autophagy, a process that is typically seen in cells that are exposed to a variety of stresses, is critical to development of antiestrogen resistance and may play a key role in metastatic progression. To further combat antiestrogen resistance, a potential target for breast cancers is JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family. The mechanisms by which JNK inhibition affects breast cancer cell growth are not fully characterized. Our hypothesis is that JNK is a key regulator of autophagy and the emergence of autophagy-dependent antiestrogen resistant breast cancer. Our aims are to determine the effect of JNK inhibition on autophagy, cell number, and cell viability under conditions of antiestrogen treatment. By utilizing MCF-7 breast cancer cells and the irreversible JNK-IN-8 inhibitor our current data provides strong evidence that JNK inhibition blocks autophagy. Data supporting a role for JNK in the regulation of antiestrogen-mediated autophagy have the potential to identify JNK as a molecular target for the improved treatment of breast cancer.

P17 -The Sublethal Effects and Bioaccumulation of 17a-Ethinyl Estradiol in LUMBRICULUS VARIEGATUS* *

THE SUBLETHAL EFFECTS AND BIOACCUMULATION OF 17a-ETHINYL ESTRADIOL IN LUMBRICULUS VARIEGATUS

Presenter: Kikelomo Ogun-Semore
Authors:
Kikelomo Ogun-Semore and Faith Wiley
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Faith Wiley
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Freshwater sources are subject to contamination of toxic compounds and other harmful materials through improper sewage cleanup and pollution. Ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic, steroidal estrogen used as contraception, is present in varying concentrations across freshwater sources worldwide. The objective of this study is to observe the sublethal effects and bioaccumulation of ethinyl estradiol (EE) in Lumbriculus variegatus. Data on the reproduction rate and segment regrowth of L. variegatus are currently being collected. In the future, bioaccumulation of EE within L. variegatus will be observed through sediment tests and an ethinyl estradiol ELISA. Preceding data has found that ethinyl estradiol exposure leads to an increase in mortality, a decrease in offspring, and changes in reproductive morphology among other freshwater invertebrates. The data collected from this experiment would contribute to information available on the effects of low-dosage endocrine disruptor concentrations on freshwater organisms. The effects of EE and its bioaccumulation could be extrapolated to include bioaccumulation of EE in organisms of higher trophic levels, including vertebrates.

P18 -Geosmin and Methylisoborneol in Drinking Water* *

GEOSMIN AND METHYLISOBORNEOL IN DRINKING WATER

Presenter: Anna Rocque
Authors: 
Anna Rocque1 , Oscar Flite2, and Christopher Klug1
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Oscar Flite, Dr. Christopher Klug
Institution/College/Department:
  1Chemistry and Physics (Augusta Univ.), 2Columbia County Water Facility

Abstract:
Geosmin and methylisoborneol are two compounds that affect the smell and taste of drinking water, and both can affect the perceived quality of the water.  A possible method for the elimination of geosmin and methylisoborneol (MIB) is the use of hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet light to oxidize the molecules during pre-treatment of drinking water.  Samples from a scoping study, and samples prepared at the Columbia County water treatment plant using a scaled-up method were provided, and the concentrations of the geosmin and MIB were determined to test the effectiveness of the treatment method. An Agilent Technologies GC-MS was used for analysis of samples on SPME fibers.  Calibration curves were created using an internal standard, and were based on a USGS method.  Geosmin was measured at two atomic mass to charge ratios and MIB was measured at one.  The lower limits of detection were determined to be 14.1 ng/L for geosmin and 5.12 ng/L for MIB.  While further tests are needed to validate the proposed method of treatment for these two molecules, some preliminary results will be discussed, and other factors will be addressed.

Funding: Columbia County Water Utility

P19 - Innovation in improving general chemistry student lab performance

Innovation in Improving General Chemistry Student Lab Performance

Presenter: Ash Jain
Authors: 
Ash Jain1, Celeste Thompson2, Michael Wilson1, and Yanjun Wan2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Yanjun Wan
Institution/College/Department:
  1Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Chemistry and Physics (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
General Chemistry students often struggle with transitioning from high school level to college level chemistry not only in lectures but also in the corresponding labs. The teaching assistant (TA) of one of the General Chemistry I labs in the Fall 2017 semester noticed after the first 3 labs that students really struggled with linking what they had learned in lecture with the labs they were performing, resulting in low understanding and performance in labs. In an attempt to address this issue, the TA started to organize voluntary pre-lab meetings to review relevant concepts from lecture prior to each week’s lab. This gradually turned into an undergraduate SoTL research because of the need to assess the effectiveness of and to provide guidance for future directions for such meetings. Despite the small sample size, this pilot study exhibited encouraging initial results that students who frequently attended these pre-lab meetings had outperformed their counterparts not only on the average performance in the latter labs but also in their understanding and performance in lectures. To repeat this study on a larger scale in the Spring 2018 semester, two of the students who had benefited from the pilot study joined this research to make these pre-lab meetings available to more students at various times, in the attempt to better assess and maximize the effectiveness of these meetings. Positive findings from the larger scale study could offer insights for the incorporation of similar practices into other chemistry labs in future.

P20 - Patient Education of Acid Reducing Medication and Duration of Use

Patient Education of Acid Reducing Medication and Duration of Use

Presenter: Allison Lewis
Authors:
Allison Lewis1, Prentiss Autry2, Dan Spell1, Amy Rao2, Sarah Hampton2, Michael Sein3, William S. Grigg4
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Prentiss Autry, Dan Spell, Amy Rao, Sarah Hampton, Michael Sein, and William S. Grigg
Institution/College/Department:
  1Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2University of Georgia, 3Phoebe Practice Residency Program, 4Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Abstract:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a physical condition in which acid from the stomach flows into the esophagus. One of the most common symptoms of GERD is heartburn. More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and some studies suggest that more than 15 million Americans experience heartburn symptoms every day1. With Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) being one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States2, it is important to understand how patients are using these medications. Limited literature exists concerning a correlation between patient knowledge and duration of heartburn medication usage. This research identifies the demographic characteristics associated with the improper usage of acid reducing medications, specifically in the Southwest Georgia population. The participants of this study are representative of that area, with a majority of population residing in the medically underserved, low-income region of Albany, Georgia3. This information aims to help healthcare providers identify patients that are at a higher risk to misuse heartburn medication and be able to address these concerns.

Funding: Sowega-AHEC

P21 - Structural Affinity of CAP1 and AC isoforms

Structural Affinity of CAP1 and AC isoforms

Presenter: Simran Mehrotra
Authors: 
Simran Mehrotra and Maria Eugenia Sabbatini
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Maria Eugenia Sabbatini
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
The major cause of death of pancreatic cancer is metastases. For that reason, it is of interest to study the mechanism through which the pancreatic cancer cells migrate as it could help with future medicine and prolong survival rate. Adenylyl cyclase- associated protein 1 (CAP1) is involved in the regulation of actin microfilament formation, which ultimately regulates cell migration and invasion. CAP1 binds to G-actin, inhibiting polymerization. In previous results, we found CAP1 interacts with a number of adenylyl cyclase (AC) isoforms: AC1, AC3, AC4 and AC7. The goal for this project was to study the relative affinity of CAP1 for each AC isoform. Using sequential co-immunoprecipitation, we found that AC1 is the isoform that interacts more firmly with CAP1 in HPAC cells. Further studies will be done using the homology modeling.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P22 - Production of A NF-kB Deficient Microglial Animal Model

PRODUCTION OF A NF-κB DEFICIENT MICROGLIAL ANIMAL MODEL

Presenters: Michael Goodall and Karan Soni
Authors: 
Michael Goodall, Karan Soni, and Jennifer W. Bradford
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Jennifer W. Bradford
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Our goal is to determine how the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) signaling pathway is used in the communication between microglia and the progression of glioblastoma (GBM) cancer cells. The NF-κB signaling pathway is very important in normal immune system function and has been implicated in various types of cancers, including, GBM. GBM is the most common type of adult brain cancer, has altered NF-κB signaling, and is also characterized by a large population of microglia, the immune cell of the central nervous system. Based on our recent studies, we hypothesize that deleting the major transcription factor (p65) of the canonical NF-κB pathway in microglia would slow the progression of GBM. To test this hypothesis, we have developed a p65fl/fl/CX3CR1CreER transgenic animal, which should lack microglial p65 after exposure to tamoxifen. We currently have heterozygous animals and will soon begin characterizing them to determine p65 deletion efficiency.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P23 - High glucose treated cells may lead to cellular senescence effecting function of bladder

High glucose treated cells may lead to cellular senescence effecting function of bladder

Presenter: Julie Vincent
Authors: 
Julie Vincent1, Nicole Klee2, and Clinton Webb2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Nicole Klee and Dr. Clinton Webb
Institution/College/Department:
  1Education (Augusta Univ.), 2Physiology (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Diabetic bladder dysfunction effects 30-50% of all diabetes patients and is characterized by symptoms of overactive and underactive bladder, which greatly effects quality of life.  Diabetes is correlated with increased cellular senescence. Senescence is a physiologic phenomenon; however, chronic high levels can lead to tissue dysfunction. Multiple in vitro studies have shown that high glucose exposure results in an increase in cellular senescent cells.  The smooth muscle layer of the bladder is responsible for contraction and relaxation of the bladder; therefore, we hypothesize that primary bladder smooth muscle cells exposed to a high glucose environment will result in an increased number of cellular senescent cells. Rat primary BSM cells were incubated in normal glucose (4mM), high glucose (22mM), high mannitol (22mM), and bleomycin (+ control).  A beta-galactoside assay was utilized to visualize the presence of senescent cells. Cells treated with high glucose exhibited increased cellular senescent cells compared to both normal and high mannitol control. We conclude that high glucose exposure increases cellular senescence in primary bladder smooth muscle cells. An increased amount of cellular senescence within the smooth muscle layer of the bladder could contribute to bladder dysfunction as seen with diabetes.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P24 - Guidelines for Healthy Food Production in an Urban Brownfield: Is Aquatic Vegetation Safe for Composting?

Guidelines for Healthy Food Production in an Urban Brownfield: Is Aquatic Vegetation Safe for Composting?

Presenter: Bryuanna Barrera
Authors: 
Bryuanna Barrera1, Rhiley Greene1, Sheena Mondeddu2, and Donna Wear1
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Donna Wear
Institution/College/Department:
  1Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Clinical and Digital Health Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Sibley Mill, located in the community of Harrisburg near Augusta University, is a designated brownfield.  The property was the site of the Confederate Powder Works and later that of a cotton mill.  Soil contaminants include arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury.  There are documented cases of children in this community with elevated blood concentrations of lead.  Risks associated with lead poisoning are damage to the brain and nervous system, slowed growth and development, and behavioral problems.  The benefits of urban agriculture are well established, but currently there are no guidelines for safe methods of food production in brownfields.  Aquatic vegetation is removed weekly from the Augusta Canal to enable hydroelectric power generation at Sibley Mill.  We are using this vegetation to implement a novel approach for the production of compost for raised-bed gardening.  We measured the concentrations of 14 heavy metals, prior to composting, to establish baseline data.  Concentrations of barium (253.3-962.4 ppm) and lead (4.1-16.5 ppm) exceed the guidelines recommended for drinking water and are the two metals of greatest concern for the production of safe, usable compost. 

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P25 - Expression of BCL-2 in MCF-7 Cells Treated with PFOA

EXPRESSION OF BCL-2 IN MCF-7 CELLS TREATED WITH PFOA

Presenter: Manderrious Glenn
Authors: 
Manderrious Glenn, Tori Gaw, and Jennifer Cannon
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Jennifer Cannon
Institution/College/Department:
  Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, is a man-made chemical that has the ability to repel oil and water. For that reason, it is used to manufacture a number of consumer goods like cookware and clothing. PFOA is an endocrine disruptor as it interferes with normal hormonal processes and proposes a health concern in high concentrations due to its high stability and its persistence in the environment and in our bodies. Previous research in our lab has shown that MCF-7 breast cancer cells treated with 50µM and 100µM PFOA for 48h show a 25% decrease in cell viability. A significant decrease in estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) mRNA and protein and the reduction of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR γ) mRNA levels are thought to be associated with apoptosis in these cells. Experiments using the Caspase-Glo® 3/7 Assay (Promega) were used to determine that MCF-7 decreased viability in response to PFOA is in fact due to apoptosis. It is hypothesized that this PFOA-induced apoptosis may be caused by decreased levels of anti-apoptotic factors such as Bcl-2. We are using the Qiagen® RT2 Profiler PCR Apoptosis Array and western blotting to determine the levels of Bcl-2 in control and PFOA-treated MCF-7 cells.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

 

P26 - The Significance of the Study of Evolution: Development and Implementation of an Interactive Course Module: Phase I

The Significance of the Study of Evolution: Development and Implementation of an Interactive Course Module: Phase I

Presenter: Cynthia Lynn Wilson, Nilabhra M. Sanyal, and Alisha Wise
Authors: 
Cynthia Lynn Wilson1, Nilabhra M. Sanyal2, Alisha Wise1, and Soma Mukhopadhyay1
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Soma Mukhopadhyay
Institution/College/Department:
  1
Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Hull College of Business

Abstract:
The goal of this project is to create an interactive, one week course module to supplement teaching students about the connections between molecular evolution, macroevolution, microevolution and how they pertain to the human body and health. This interactive course module is being developed using resources from the Internet that will allow the students to better understand the content. The main purpose of this course module will be to show that evolution is an evidence based science that affects public health and all fields of biology. Those who believe that evolution is antithetical to their beliefs, their concerns and the controversies that surround the study and teaching evolution will be addressed to ease any problems that they may have. Surveys will be given at the beginning and end of the course to gauge the students’ current and learned knowledge of evolution and to get feedback for further improvement. This pedagogical research will be used to show that evolution is based on empirical evidence and is necessary to learn as it serves as the foundation of phylogenetic studies in biology. This knowledge can be applied to better understand individual human health and then to the wider field of public health.

 

P27 - Role of Perivascular Adipose Tissue in Vasoreactivity

ROLE OF PERIVASCULAR ADIPOSE TISSUE IN VASOREACTIVITY

Presenter: Rosaria Prasad
Authors: 
Rosaria Prasad1, Tetsuo Horimatsu2, Ha Won Kim2, and Neal Weintraub2
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Ha Won Kim
Institution/College/Department:  1
Biological Sciences (Augusta Univ.), 2Vascular Biology Center (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) surrounds most systemic vessels directly around the lamina adventitia, which has an anti-atherosclerotic effect. However, inflamed and dysfunctional PVAT induced by high fat diet (HFD) is associated with various cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the systemic effect of PVAT on vascular functions in the setting of diet-induced obesity. 50 mg of PVAT or subcutaneous adipose tissue (SQAT, as a control) from obese donor mice (fed with HFD) was transplanted into the abdominal aorta in recipient mice. We found that PVAT transplantation group showed significantly higher insulin resistance than the SQ group (p=0.095) whereas no differences were observed in body weight, fat composition, and glucose tolerance between these groups. Interestingly, PVAT transplantation, but not SQAT or sham group, showed the impaired vasoconstriction in thoracic aorta, as examined by wire myography. Furthermore, PVAT transplanted group promoted endothelial dysfunction as evaluated by endothelium-dependent relaxation curve analysis.PVAT transplantation into the abdominal aorta is associated with endothelial dysfunction of the thoracic aorta. Dysfunction of PVAT induced by high-fat feeding may negatively affect metabolic and vasoreactivity in an endocrine manner.

Funding: NIH(R01)

P28 - Role of Aging in The Expression of Pain-related Depression of Nesting in Mice

Role of Aging in The Expression of Pain-related Depression of Nesting in Mice

Presenter: Sarah McPherson
Authors:
Sarah McPherson, Tadd Patton, Lance Hunter, and Laurence Miller
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Tadd Patton, Dr. Lance Hunter, and Dr. Laurence Miller
Institution/College/Department:
  Psychological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Pain stimulates some behaviors (e.g. flinching, vocalization), and depresses others (e.g. locomotor activity, social interactions). Pain-related depression of behavior is a key diagnostic criteria and treatment target in clinical settings, but preclinical research has primarily focused on pain-related stimulation of behavior. The present study aims to improve understanding of the impact of aging on pain-related depression of behavior by examining pain-related depression of nesting behavior in male ICR mice. The mice are placed in a cage containing nesting material, and the rate of consolidation of that material is determined with a schedule of data collection intervals. The impact of pain stimuli and analgesic drugs on nesting behavior are then determined. Previous studies have shown that physiologically-relevant pain stimuli depress nesting behavior, and clinically-relevant analgesics block pain-related depression of nesting. The present study will examine the role of aging as a determinant of the expression of pain-related depression of behavior by comparing pain-related depression of nesting by three age groups.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

 

P29 - Energy Transfer Phenomenon with Nanoluciferase as Energy Donor

ENERGY TRANSFER PHENOMENON WITH NANOLUCIFERASE AS ENERGY DONOR

Presenter: Joseph Bailey
Authors:
Joseph Bailey and Angela Spencer
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Angela Spencer
Institution/College/Department:
  Chemistry and Physics (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Bioluminescence is a phenomenon that occurs where light is emitted from a chemical reaction that occurs in an organism. An enzyme called a luciferase assists in the catalysis of a reaction that releases the energy of broken bonds as light at a certain wavelength. Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer (BRET) is a technique that utilizes a luciferase as an energy donor, which emits energy from catalysis of a substrate. Fluorescence by Unbound Excitation from Luminescence (FUEL) deviates from BRET slightly. FUEL involves an energy donor exciting an energy accepting particle; however, the acceptor and donor are unattached to each other. The luciferase being used as an energy donor is Nanoluciferase (Nluc) that emits light at 454 nm. Nluc been modified to express a His-6 tag. The energy acceptors being used are Alexa 488, 555, and 647 and reemit light at the corresponding wavelength. Each of the Alexa dyes has been modified to include an anti-His antibody, causing attachment between Nluc and the respective Alexa dye. Energy transfer in the form of BRET did occur between Nluc and the Alexa 488 and minimally with Alexa 555. No energy transfer was noted with Alexa 647. Energy transfer was quantified using a fluorometer.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P30 - Expression and Treatment of Pa-Related Depression of Fixed-Ratio and Progressive-Ratio Food-Maintained Behavior in Rats

Expression and Treatment of Pa-Related Depression of Fixed-Ratio and Progressive-Ratio Food-Maintained Behavior in Rats

Presenter: Frederick Baker
Authors:
Frederick Baker, Eric Frazier, Laura Marshall, Sequoia Sinclair, Parth Thakkar, and Laurence Miller
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Laurence Miller
Institution/College/Department:
  Psychological Sciences (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Increasingly, preclinical studies on the expression, mechanisms, and treatment of pain have been aimed at improving understanding of pain-related interference with behavior. Positively reinforced operant behaviors are sensitive to depression by physiologically relevant pain stimuli. Most studies using operant conditioning procedures to examine pain-related depression of behavior have used fixed-ratio schedules of reinforcement. The primary dependent variable in these studies is the rate of behavior. In contrast, the primary dependent variable in studies using progressive-ratio schedules of reinforcement is breakpoint. Breakpoint is defined as the total number of reinforcers earned, and is thought to be related to the subject’s motivation to obtain the reinforcer. This study examined effects of pain and analgesic manipulations on behavior maintained under fixed-ratio and progressive-ratio schedules of behavior. Intraperitoneal injection of dilute lactic acid was more potent at depressing behavior under the fixed-ratio schedule compared to the progressive-ratio schedule. Ketoprofen was equipotent at blocking pain-related depression of behavior maintained under both schedules. These findings support the validity of operant procedures as tools to examine candidate analgesics for the treatment of pain-related depression of behavior. Moreover, the use of diverse schedules of reinforcement may yield important scientific information on the mechanisms underlying pain-related interference with behavior.

Funding: Augusta University CURS Student Research Grant

P31 - Synthesis of Peptides with Fluorescent Tags

SYNTHESIS OF PEPTIDES WITH FLUORESCENT TAGS

Presenter: Angel Weather
Authors:
Angel Weather, Zachary Sweatman, Junsoo Bae, and Iryna Lebedyeva
Faculty Sponsor(s)/Collaborator(s): Dr. Iryna Lebedyeva
Institution/College/Department:
  Chemistry and Physics (Augusta Univ.)

Abstract:
Covalently linked acceptor-spacer-donor (A-S-D) multichromophoric systems have previously been discussed largely in mechanistic terms, with emphasis on the roles of electronic and nuclear functions in determining the factors of internal electron transfer. Electron energy transfer between donor (D) and acceptor (A) molecules has long been applied to measure or estimate distance in macromolecular systems, molecular stacking, intramolecular changes caused by ionic strength or target molecule binding, to define protein folding and aggregation and finally to give information about conformational changes in the molecule. Coumarins represent a family of dyes that often play the role of electron donor in electron-charged systems. During tailoring of new chromophore dyads, coumarin derivatives have been linked to fullerene, peptides, and dyes (benzimidazol benzopyrans). In particular, 7-methoxy-2-oxo-2H-chromene-3-carboxylic acid is a commonly used tag that provides strong fluorescence and acts as an electron-donor. In current work we are developing chiral systems of 10 Å and more in order to establish a structure map whenever the donor-acceptor fluorophore is conjugating with another system (e. g. peptides). Our team enhances the fluorescence of the two coumarin-based fluorophores by linking them to the N- and C-peptide moieties via 1,2,3-triazine linkers.