Undergraduate Research Opportunities


Sample of Potential Research Opportunities

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Biological Sciences

Read through the research interests of Biology faculty on the Summerville Campus

Name: Nevin Lambert
Email: nelambert@augusta.edu
Department: Pharmacology and Toxicology
Title: Molecular Pharmacology
Description: Investigation of membrane receptor properties with live-cell spectroscopy and microscopy.

Name: Amy Abdulovic-Cui
Email: aabduloviccui@augusta.edu
Department: Biology
Title: Molecular Genetics/Genome Stability/Population Genetics
Description: Role of Hob1 protein in DNA repair and genomic stability; Genetic requirements of microsatellite instability during DNA replication; Investigating of the role of unbalanced dNTP pools on DNA mutations and DNA stability; Genetic diversity of multiple crab species along the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

 

Project 2:  Collaboration with Dr. Christy

Description:  Researching plants and their ability to protect themselves from fungi.  

Qualifications:  Student must have completed BIOL 1108 prior to joining.

Name: Christopher Bates
Email:
cbates1@augusta.edu
Department:
Biology
Title:
Molecular Microbiology
Description: Nutrient Acquisition by bacteria; E. coli as a Biomarker of Human & Animal Fecal Contamination in Streams & Rivers; Bacterial Physiology and Identification, Antibiotic Resistance

Name: Jennifer Cannon
Email:
jcannon3@augusta.edu
Department:
Biology
Title:
Cell Physiology/Reproductive Physiology
Description:
Effect of endocrine disruptors on mLTC-1 Leydig cells

Name: Brandon Cromer
Email:
rcromer@augusta.edu
Department:
Biology
Title:
Herpetology/Wetland Ecology
Description:
A census of frog populations of aquatic habitats in South Carolina; Aquatic turtle species composition, population evaluation, and environmental toxicology

Name: Bruce Saul
Email: bsaul@augusta.edu
Department: Biology
RESEARCH #1: Fish & Wildlife Management/Marine & Wildlife Ecology
Description: Monitoring of deer and wild hog populations along the Savannah River; Monitoring the diversity of fish species in local streams and assessing barrier island fish communities around St. Catherines Island, Georgia

RESEARCH #2: Categorization of Ichthyofauna around St. Catherines Island, GA
Description:  MOnthly collections of fishes via seining, trawling, and gill netting.  Maintain a database for east coast researchers and the American Museum of Natural HIstory.

Student tasks:  Maintain database and occasionally accompany collection crew to the island on a monthly collection trip (Fri, Sat, Sun).  Students need ability to work independently, competency with EXCEL, swimming proficiency, capability to pull heavy seine, and people skills.

Name: Jessica Reichmuth
Email:
jreichmu@augusta.edu
Department:
Biology
Title:
Marine & Freshwater Population/Community Ecology
Description:
Oceanic fish diversity among barrier islands along the Georgia-lina coasts; Diel variation in fish communities on a Georgia barrier island; Differences in tidal creek and oceanic fish diversity on a Georgia barrier island; Snail densities and movement in tidal salt marshes in South Carolina and Georgia barrier islands; Snail plant preference in tidal salt marshes in South Carolina and Georgia barrier islands; Macroinvertebrate diversity in Butler Creek as an indicator of stream health; Assessing man-made cuts on estuarine systems in Georgia; Biofilm diversity on marine organisms

Name: Donna Wear
Email:
dwear@augusta.edu
Department:
Biology
Title:
General Ecology/Urban Ecology
Description:
Recovery of the endangered Shoals Spider Lily; The endangered gopher tortoise and its habitat: tracking, monitoring, and management; Effects of pollution on reproductive physiology of fish

Name: Faith Wiley
Email:
fwiley@augusta.edu
Department:
Biology
Title:
Toxicology
Description:
Study of the chemical and biological properties of the toxin responsible for avian vacuolar myelinopathy.

Name: Ali Eroglu
Email: aeroglu@augusta.edu
Department: Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Title: Regenerative Medicine and Cryobiology
Description: We have ongoing projects to develop defined methods for isolation and cryobanking of human stem cells, as well as for cryopreservation of zebrafish eggs and embryos.

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed: Highly motivated students will be trained and carry out experiments along with a postdoctoral associate and a research assistant.

Name: Michael Murray
Email: mimurray@augusta.edu
Department: Biological Sciences
Title: Factors Affecting the Distribution of Cyanobacteria in Fresh Water
Description: This project is part of a regional sampling project for harmful algal blooms led by Dr. Alan Wilson at Auburn University, with a goal of better understanding factors affecting the distribution of cyanobacteria in fresh waters in the region. Several sampling trips will be carried out in the early fall (2014), and a literature review will help inform next steps.

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed: At least one course in introductory biology (e.g. Biol 1101, 1102, or 1107) and/or chemistry (e.g. Chem 1000, 1100, 1151,1211) preferred. Some outdoor experience (e.g. via camp), interest, and ability to work on a small boat needed.

Name: Mitchell Watsky
Email: mwatsky@augusta.edu
Department: Cellular Biology and Anatomy
Title: Vitamin D and Wound Healing in the Eye

Description: Vitamin D is traditionally thought to be activated by sunlight striking the skin. Our lab has discovered that sunlight can also activate vitamin D in the eye, and we are now exploring how it benefits wound healing in, and normal physiology of the cornea, which is the outer transparent tissue in the front of the eye. A scarred cornea blocks light from entering the eye and results in reduced vision or even blindness. We use cell culture and mouse models of wound healing to discover how vitamin D benefits the cornea. Other projects related to the cornea are ongoing in the lab as well.

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed: Preference is given to students in the BS-MD program, but all science majors will be considered. A student in my lab will be working primarily with cultured cells. While there are many projects going on in the lab, in general, students will learn to culture cells in a sterile environment and some students will learn to collect protein and RNA/DNA from the cells. Students may also work with advanced microscopy and image analysis methodology. She or he will be trained on the job (so to speak). She or he needs to be able to commit defined hours to be in the lab, should be patient, and prepared to perform repetitive tasks (hallmarks of any laboratory work), and needs to be a quick learner. In order to perform cell culture and pipetting, she or he will need steady hands. Computer skills will also be helpful. My expectations are that the CURS student will become a productive member of my laboratory team.

Name: Patricia Schoenlein
Email: pschoenl@augusta.edu
Department: Cellular Biology and Anatomy
Title: Breast Cancer, Cell Signaling, and Autophagy
Description: Breast cancer research, mechanisms underlying resistance to chemotherapy agents, such as autophagy, a response of cells under stress in which they 'eat' there own organelles and recycle them into new components.

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed: I am interested in a student who is interest in conducting research in the cancer biology area. Any committed student is fine. Fifteen hours a week minimum and prefer they do it as a course, but volunteer basis would work also. The project in general would be to characterize the underlying antiestrogen resistance mechanism in a novel antiestrogen resistant cell line selected in my laboratory and would involve drug studies, western blotting, immunocytochemistry, and possibly tissue culture.

Name: Ellen LeMosy
Email: elemosy@augusta.edu
Department: Cellular Biology and Anatomy
Title: Heart, Renal, and Spinal/Skeletal Developmental Defects in Zebrafish
Description: Zebrafish are a simple vertebrate model for understanding birth defects caused by many factors. Here we will test roles of extracellular matrix, cilia, and Wnt growth factor signaling in early organ development, and in juvenile scoliosis. Students will have hands-on exposure to multiple modern techniques, and the opportunity to participate in our collaboration with a major Princeton research lab. Exceptional undergraduate researchers may be rewarded by having their name added as a co-author on a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal and/or on conference presentations.

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed: Any student willing to commit to fifteen hours a week, and to take partial and sometimes independent responsibility for care of zebrafish, e.g., when I am traveling. A pair/team of students would also be considered but solos are fine! Your research experience will be more meaningful if you are able to do research over the course of 2 or more semesters. Prefer student do this as a course, but volunteer basis would work also. You may harvest, inject, and analyze embryos; genotype and use other DNA/RNA techniques; stain with antibodies or bone/cartilage-reactive dyes; perform CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis and genetic crosses. Preference will be given to: biology majors especially with genetics/cell biology interest, students in the Honors Program, students interested in committing to more than one semester, and students with a letter of recommendation from a member of the biology department.

Mentor webpage: https://www.augusta.edu/mcg/cba/faculty/lemosy_lab/index.php

This is an ongoing project that has received AU pilot grant funding and, more recently, a Re-Entry to Biomedical Research Supplement to Dr. Ellen LeMosy as a sub-award to NIAMS R01 grant "Cilia Functions in Spine Development and Disease" held by PI Dr. Rebecca Burdine, Princeton University. Dr. LeMosy is seeking independent external grant funding to support her research program. Publication is expected.

Name: Yong Teng
Email: yteng@augusta.edu
Department: Oral Biology
Title: N/A

Description: AAA domain containing 3A (ATAD3A) is an integral mitochondrial membrane protein with unknown function. Our preliminary data have now made it possible to address the precise molecular mechanisms behind ATAD3A-induced chemo-resistance in head and neck cancer. Therefore, targeting this mitochondrial protein may augment the efficacy of chemotherapy. We will dissect the novel molecular mechanism underlying ATAD3A-mediated chemo resistance in well-established head and neck cancer cells and determine the effect of ATAD3A inhibitors using animal models. Successful completion of the proposed studies will have a significant impact in the treatment and survival of patients with head and neck cancer, and will provide a new molecular target to inhibit chemo-resistance.

Student tasks/Qualifications:  
1. Molecular, biology, or medical background
2. Strong self-motivation  3. Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills

Faculty website

We are engaged in developing new anti-cancer strategies and ATAD3A is one of the cancer targets that inactivation of it will prevent cancer cell survive. We aim to build a top research team in this field. These studies are expected to be published in the high ranking journals in cancer research field.

Name: Dr. Neal Weintraub
Email: nweintraub@augusta.edu
Department: Vascular Biology Center (CB3301)
Title: Role of Adipose-Specific HDAC9 in Metabolic Disease and Atherosclerosis

Description: Our preliminary data demonstrate that HDAC9 knockout mice exhibit improvements in insulin sensitivity and are protected against TNFα-induced adhesion molecule expression and leukocyte adhesion to the blood vessel wall, suggesting favorable influences on development of atherosclerosis. Recent publications demonstrate that HDAC9 gene deletion attenuates atherosclerosis in LDLr knockout mice, but the mechanisms remain to be established. We hypothesize that expression of HDAC9 in adipocytes plays a key role in atherosclerosis during DIO through systemic metabolic effects (i.e., modulating insulin sensitivity).
We have constructed a HDAC9 flox/flox mouse, which has been bred with the adiponectin-Cre mouse in order to create adipocyte-specific HDAC9 knockout mice. We are breeding these mice into the LDLr knockout background and will feed them an atherogenic diet, examining metabolic parameters in conjunction with atherosclerosis quantification and histology to detect inflammatory cells. Metabolic status (including body composition, whole-body metabolic testing, glucose/insulin tolerance testing, etc.) will also be performed. 

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed:  No prior experience needed. Students will gain experience in laboratory work such as genotyping procedures/management of mice colony, RNA extraction, biochemical assays, etc. Students must be self-motivated and willing to commit approximately 6-8 hrs per week to lab work.

Publication is expected - Journal selection will depend on the experimental findings, but likely candidate journals include Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, Circulation, and Diabetes.

Faculty page  

Research faculty in Oral Biology

Name:  Dr. Chandramohan Wakade

Email:  cwakade@augusta.edu

Department: Physical Therapy  CA4018 and EC 3428

DescriptionAim 1 A: To determine whether niacin supplementation will improve the symptoms of PD patients as correlated by performances in motor coordination and cognitive tests.    Aim 1 B: To determine whether up-regulation of GPR109A in PD patients will respond to niacin therapy in                 reducing inflammatory markers in the CSF.

AIM 2:  To study the molecular mechanisms related to GPR109A as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic target in in-virto models.

Purpose is to examine the blood, urine, and spinal fluid of persons with Parkinsons to look for evidence of inflammation.

Student task/qualifications:  Helpful but not required knowledge of Western blots, RT-PCR, HPLC, ELISA

 

Business

Name: Harley Eades
Department: Computer Science (HCOB)
Email: heades@augusta.edu
Phone: 706-667-4543
Description: Attack trees are a modeling tool used to assess the threat potential of a security critical system. They have been used to analyze the threat potential of the cybersecurity of power grids, wireless networks, and many others. Attack trees for real-world security scenarios can grow to be quite complex and manipulating such large and complex trees without a formal semantics can be dangerous. The intellectual merits of the research are twofold: 1) It develops, using the power of linear logic and category theory, a new mathematical semantics of attack trees that is more general than existing models; 2) It designs a new domain-specific programming language for conducting threat analysis using attack trees. The language is specifically designed for not only the construction and manipulation of attack trees, but also for the ability to verify properties of attack trees. The project's broader significance and importance are improvement of security and reliability of software, training of a diverse group of undergraduate students at Augusta University in principles of programming languages and security, and exposing them to research.

The project's first step is to give attack trees a categorical semantics in symmetric monoidal categories. Then based on this semantics, and the connection between linear logic and symmetric monoidal categories, the project develops a new
statically-typed linear functional programming language called Lina (Linear Threat Analysis). Types in Lina correspond to attack trees, and programs between attack trees correspond to semantically valid transformations of attack trees. Therefore, designing and manipulating complex attack trees in Lina provides a higher confidence that the resulting analysis is correct.

 Student Tasks and Qualifications: 

The student should have the following qualifications:

  • Enrolled as a computer science major
  • Have taken the following courses:
      • CSCI:3400 Data Structures
      • CSCI:3030 Mathematical Structures in CS
      • CSCI:3300 Programming Language Concepts

Optional Qualifications:

  • Interested in web development
  • Interested in applications of logic in computer science

Name: Dr. Manisha Mathur
Department: Management & Marketing
Email: mmathur@augusta.edu
Phone:706-737-1455
Description: The goal of this research project is to empirically investigate social media marketing to demonstrate the marketing potential of social media in improving firm stock returns. The social media phenomenon has created novel challenges as well as opportunities for marketers. The social media marketing literature is still developing and current insights are mostly qualitative in nature. This research project will include in-depth literature review in the field of social media marketing, collection of data through online surveys of consumers, and statistical analyses. This research project aims at to engage an undergraduate student in quality, systematic research and provide the student with an opportunity to understand and apply marketing research methodology.

Student Tasks and Qualifications:  This research requires the student to have an understanding of marketing. The undergraduate student will perform literature review on social media marketing, design questionnaire, and collect data from social media websites and surveys.

Name:  Dr. Lara Stepleman

Email lsteplem@augusta.edu

Department:  Psychiatry and Health Behavior

Title:  Fostering an Inclusive Patient and Family Centered Care Environment for Sexual and Gender Minorities at AUMC

Description:  Seeking student interns to participate in the AUMC/AU Patient and Family Centered IMPACT Project.  Students with an interest/experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply:

  • LBGTQ issues
  • Healthcare
  • Diversity
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Public Health
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Instructional and Web Design

The purpose of this inter-professional project is to develop a series of staff and provider trainings to improve the healthcare experiences of sexual and gender minorities in AUMC;s hospitals and clinics to ensure patients are treated with respect.

Student interns will be integrated into all aspects of the development, implementation, marketing, and evaluation of this training initiative.

Please send your cv/resume and a brief email of interest to:  Dr. Lara Stepleman, lsteplem@augusta.edu

*Course credit, practicum/internship/service learning/research hours may be available on a case by case basis for participation.

 

Cancer Center

Name: Dr. Gang Zhou

Email:  gzhou@augusta.edu

Department:  Cancer Center

Location:  Office= CN4140   Lab:  CN4144

Phone:  706-721-4472

Title:  Developing novel strategies to enhance cancer immunotherapy

Description: Cancer is a disease affecting millions of patients and their families. Cancer immunotherapy, an immune-based therapeutic strategy, has evolved into a promising treatment modality effective for many types of cancer. However, not all patients respond to cancer immunotherapy, and not all immunotherapies result in durable curative outcomes. Therefore, there is urgent need to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy, by combining it with other forms of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Research in the Zhou lab is directed to understand the interactions between cancer cells and immune cells, and rationally combine immunotherapy with chemotherapy to achieve maximal antitumor effects. The ongoing projects include testing novel immunomodulatory drugs in cell lines and animal models, modulating immune cells with gene knockout/epigenetic regulation approaches, and developing new tools for real-time monitoring of immune responses.

Student Tasks/Qualifications:  The student will be embedded with a collaborative research team to conduct various immonological assays and animal tumor model studies. After a period of training, the student is expected to familiarize with some of the routine biology laboratory techniques, including flow cytemtry, cell culture, DNA/RNA extraction, PCR and RT-PCR, enzymatic digestion, Western blot, ELISA, animal dissection, etc.

The candidate should have interests in medical research, be self-motivated and responsible. Should have background in biological sciences, knowledge in molecular biology or immunology is preferred but not required. Should be proficient in record keeping and interpersonal communication skills. 

This position may result in a paid opportunity.

Name:  Dr. Surendra Rajpurohit                                        

Department:  Cancer Center  CN3116                                        

Email:  srajpurohit@augusta.edu

Description:  Our research focus on EGFR/sEGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Family) biology in Cancer Disease. The EGFR Family consists of 4 members, which are ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4. All of these Transmembrane Receptors are composed of 3 domains viz, Extracellular Domain (ECD), Transmembrane Domain (TD) and Intracellular Domain (ICD). The extra Cellular domain of each member receptor own the soluble isoforms. We are working on the structural properties of soluble isoform of EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) and its role in cancer biology. EGFR and its isoforms are exploring as tumor biomarkers as well as are potential targets for the development of novel anticancer therapies. My study area is the soluble isoforms of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 3 (sErbB3 or sHER3). Dr Maihle laboratory has characterized 4 soluble forms of isoforms of HER3 receptor. These soluble isoforms are p45-sHER3, p50-HER3, p75-sHER3 and p85-sHER3. My specific research project is to Generate and characterize the polyclonal antibodies specific to these sHER3 isoforms. In initial phase of the project we are modeling the short region of unique amino acid (UAA) sequence at carboxyl terminus of sHER3 isoforms. Furthermore, we are inventing the new polyclonal antibodies against human p85-sHER3 isoform for unique sequence (24AA). Our Lab has also been developed sEGFRs as a potential biomarker for cancer detection and now we are establishing it as a novel non-invasive bioassay in order to diagnose and treat the cancer disease.  

Student Tasks and Qualifications:  Basic Knowledge about the life Science and skill the read, interpret and understand research articles (Original /Review) related to Cancer Disease.  
Basic background about the Standard Operative Procedure (SOP) in the Laboratory environment including the scientific equipment handling skill.   
Elementary skill to do the basic experiments like Cell culture, media preparation, the Western blotting and PCR/RT-PCR experience will add additional impact.

Faculty website: http://www.augusta.edu/faculty/directory/view.php?id=SRAJPUROHIT http://www.augusta.edu/faculty/directory/view.php?id=SRAJPUROHIT

Name:  Dr. Darren Browning

Department:  Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Email:  dbrowning@augusta.edu

Phone: 706-721-9526

Location:  Georgia Cancer Center  CN 1164

Description:  Targeting cGMP - signaling for the treatment and prevention of intestinal disease. My laboratory aims to understand tissue renewal in the colon, and how this can be manipulated to treat ulcerative colitis and for the prevention of colon cancer.  We discovered that increasing cGMP levels with phosphodiesterase inhibitors (e.g. Viagra) can protect the colon epithelium and slow it's turnover. This is therapeutic in mouse models of colitis and colon cancer. We work with colon cancer cell lines, human and mouse intestinal organoids, and mice disease models.

Student Tasks and Qualifications:  Must have a passion for medical research and be an enthusiastic learner. Baskic knowledge in cell/molecular/biochm would be beneficial but not essential. Tasks depend on student effort/time in the lab. You can "hang out" to learn how the lab works, the systems/techniques we use. More effort will allow you to learn a technique or two (e.g. histology, qPCR, Western blot) to generate some data. Students who are driven can take on their own project using multiple techniques, possibly resulting in publication of results.

 

Chemistry

Name:   Dr. Jose Jimenez

Email:   jiimenezlugo@agusta.edu

Department:  Chemistry 

Title: Synthesis and properties of low-melting glasses and nanocomposites

Student Qualifications:  Students with interest in experimental multidisciplinary research with focus on applications are sought. Related to the research are various topics within the realms of materials and nanoscience, which build upon a foundation of knowledge and skills that extend across the traditional disciplines of inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry (thermodynamics, kinetics, spectroscopy).

Faculty webpage

Name:   Dr. Iryna Lebedyeva

Email:   ilebedyeva@augusta.edu

Department:  Chemistry 

Title: Counter ion exchange for existing drugs to explore the change in their properties

Student Qualifications:  will need to have taken CHEM3411

Name: Dr. Tom Crute
Email: tcrute@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Organic Synthesis
Description: Synthesis of biologically interesting compounds; Development of reactions for new synthesis applications

Name: Dr. Shaobin Miao
Email: smiao@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Semiconductors
Description: Organic semiconductors show great promise as low cost and large area electronic devices. This research focuses on the synthesis of large stable heteroacenes by introduction of nitrogen atoms and bulky alkyne substituents into strategic positions.

Name: Dr. Stephanie Myers
Email: stephanie.myers@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Analytical
Description: Various environmental monitoring projects including: Analysis of anions in the Augusta Canal by Ion Chromatography, Analysis of mercury in turtle blood by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Analysis of estrogens in waste water by HPLC with fluorescence detection, and Analysis of chlorophyll by HPLC with fluorescence detection
Student Qualifications Needed: Students should complete CHEM 2810 before beginning analytical chemistry research. Must be comfortable making solutions quantitatively and willing to learn to operate and maintain various instrumentation and work very independently.

Name:Dr. Angie Spencer
Email: acspencer@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Biochemistry
Description: Investigation of the potential use of stem loop DNA in the selection process for generating DNA aptamers. 

Other Research Interests: The study of bioluminescent proteins and their utility in BRET; Measuring the inhibitory effects of anti-cancer drugs on enzymatic activity 

Name:  Dr. Chandramohan Wakade

Email: cwakade@augusta.edu

Department: Physical Therapy  CA4018 and EC 3428

Description Aim 1 A: To determine whether niacin supplementation will improve the symptoms of PD patients as correlated by performances in motor coordination and cognitive tests.    Aim 1 B: To determine whether up-regulation of GPR109A in PD patients will respond to niacin therapy in                 reducing inflammatory markers in the CSF.

AIM 2:  To study the molecular mechanisms related to GPR109A as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic target in in-virto models.

Purpose is to examine the blood, urine, and spinal fluid of persons with Parkinsons to look for evidence of inflammation.

Student task/qualifications:  Helpful but not required knowledge of Western blots, RT-PCR, HPLC, ELISA

Click here to read faculty profiles/research areas in the Department of Oral Biology

 

Communications

Name: Dr. Debbie vanTuyll
Email: dvantuyl@augusta.edu
Department: Communications and Professional Writing
Title: Various
Description: 1. Occupied: Enemy Occupation and the Confederate Press.
A book I am co-authoring with Joe Hayden of the University of Memphis and Nancy Dupont of the University of Mississippi. My chapter looks at the effect of enemy occupation on the Alexandria Gazette. Alexandria, Va., was the longest occupied city in the Confederacy. Union troops occupied it on May 25, 1861, the day after Virgina seceded. Students would be involved in analyzing newspaper articles as well as diaries and letters written by Alexandrians. This project will require travel to Virginia to do archival research at the Virginia Historical Society, the state library of Virginia, and the Alexandria Public Library.

2. Confederate Community of Journalism.
This is a project that is related to Occupied in that one of my communities is Alexandria. Community of journalism projects look at the demographics of journalists and their readers to try to determine who influenced whom in the dissemination of information. Students will do geneological as well as historical and biographical research into the backgrounds of people who subscribed to newspapers in the antebellum period. We know a great deal about the newspapers and journalists of this period, but very little about the individual members of the audiences they were serving. This project will address that gap in the literature.

3. Thomas Francis Meagher: Revolutionary Speaker and Journalist.
Kathleen Trigg and I are working on a project to examine the speeches and the journalism of Thomas Francis Meagher, and Irish revolutionary who was exiled from Ireland to Australia but escaped and came to America where he started an Irish nationalist newspaper and then became a leading general in the Union army during the American Civil War. He was an enormously successful speaker, but not a great journalist. This project aims to determine why that was -- why is someone who is a good interpersonal communicator not so facile at mass communications? Students will be involved in content analysis and historical analysis. This paper has the potential to be presented at a conference in Ireland in 2013.

4. The Irish Press in America.
This is my newest project. It examines the role of newspapers intended for immigrant audiences in assimilating its readers into their new country while also connecting them with their home country. My starting place for this project is an newspaper run by Thomas Francis Meagher, an Irish revolutionary who would come to the United States after being exiled to Australia. Meagher ran his newspaper for about two years prior to the Civil War and then used his experience as a soldier when he joined the Union Army as the general in charge of the Irish Brigade. This study will eventually pull in the John Mitchell, a colleague of Meagher's in Ireland, who ran a newspaper in Richmond during the Civil War. Students would be involved in historical research and content analysis of newspapers and personal papers.

Name: Dr. Edgar Johnson
Email: ejohns22@augusta.edu
Department: Communications and Professional Writing

Title: N/A

Description of Research: Research will focus on the use of role-playing games and how immersive simulations can provide a rich context for public speaking classes and assignments.

Student Tasks/Qualifications:   Students should be willing to assume different roles as part of the simulation and be prepared to see improvements in speech performance.

 

Cyber and Computer Sciences

Name: Harley Eades
Department: Computer Science 
Email: heades@augusta.edu
Phone: 706-667-4543
Description: Attack trees are a modeling tool used to assess the threat potential of a security critical system. They have been used to analyze the threat potential of the cybersecurity of power grids, wireless networks, and many others. Attack trees for real-world security scenarios can grow to be quite complex and manipulating such large and complex trees without a formal semantics can be dangerous. The intellectual merits of the research are twofold: 1) It develops, using the power of linear logic and category theory, a new mathematical semantics of attack trees that is more general than existing models; 2) It designs a new domain-specific programming language for conducting threat analysis using attack trees. The language is specifically designed for not only the construction and manipulation of attack trees, but also for the ability to verify properties of attack trees. The project's broader significance and importance are improvement of security and reliability of software, training of a diverse group of undergraduate students at Augusta University in principles of programming languages and security, and exposing them to research.

The project's first step is to give attack trees a categorical semantics in symmetric monoidal categories. Then based on this semantics, and the connection between linear logic and symmetric monoidal categories, the project develops a new
statically-typed linear functional programming language called Lina (Linear Threat Analysis). Types in Lina correspond to attack trees, and programs between attack trees correspond to semantically valid transformations of attack trees. Therefore, designing and manipulating complex attack trees in Lina provides a higher confidence that the resulting analysis is correct.

 Student Tasks and Qualifications: 

The student should have the following qualifications:

  • Enrolled as a computer science major
  • Have taken the following courses:
    • CSCI:3400 Data Structures
    • CSCI:3030 Mathematical Structures in CS
    • CSCI:3300 Programming Language Concepts

Optional Qualifications:

  • Interested in web development
  • Interested in applications of logic in computer science

 Various Research projects and faculty 

Faculty projects in Cyber and Computer Sciences

 

Education and Kinesiology

 

Name: Graeme Connolly
Email: gconnolly@augusta.edu
Department: Kinesiology 
Title: Effectiveness of Accomplished Male and Female High School Team Sport Coaches
Description: Examine sport coaching expertise/effectiveness in the context of high school team sports. Data already collected and analyzed for 15+ coaches (more to come!). Qualitative research methods- primarily semi-structured interviews with coaches from a variety of high schools and sports in Georgia and South Carolina. Interviews are transcribed verbatim and themes are then elicited from the rich data sets.
Student Qualifications Needed: Interest in sports coaching/kinesiology field, sports pedagogy and leadership in athletic/school contexts.

Faculty webpage

Background Information: Research is on-going. Currently have small undergraduate research team. National Coaching Conference and regional/state presentations have been developed and executed as part of this research over the course of the past 3-4 years.

Faculty listing in the Department of Kinesiology

 Faculty listing in the Department of Teaching and Leading

 

English & Foreign Languages

Name: Dr. Christopher G. Botero
Email: cbotero@augusta.edu
Department: English and Foreign Languages
Title: Hispanic/Romance Linguistics
Description: Linguistics, phonetics, phonology, bilingualism, sociolinguistics
Student Qualifications Needed: Proficiency in Spanish (preferred, but not required if working on another Romance Language), knowledge of introductory linguistics, proficiency in SPSS (preferred), knowledge of Microsoft Excel

Name: Dr. Christina Heckman, Associate Professor of English
Email: checkman@augusta.edu
Department: English and Foreign Languages
Title: various research projects available
Description: Early British Literature (Anglo-Saxon, Arthurian, Middle English); Linguistics and Grammatical Systems; History of the English Language; Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien; Mythology; World Humanities

Project 1 Title:  The Tree of Myth - A Multimedia Web Resource and Database

Description:  Provides an engaging and interactive way to approach global pre-modern literatures and their contemporary forms.

Student Tasks/Qualifications:  Researchers will develop interpretive pages for approaching the study of myth, reading modules with key passages from literature, and a database of mythological symbols.

Name: Dr. Seretha Williams
Email: seretha.williams@augusta.edu
Department: English and Foreign Languages  (AHE239)
Title: Margaret Walker, Horoscopes, and the Foundations of Afrofuturism
Description: The poet, novelist, and essayist Margaret Walker began journaling at the age of 14 and continued throughout her life. The journals, many of which are digitized and housed in the Margaret Walker Center’s online archive, reflect Walker’s broad interests and intimate preoccupations. This project is an archival and digital humanities project. We will search digital archives and travel to Jackson State University to access the full collection of Margaret Walker's papers. We will transcribe documents and create a digital exhibit to publish our work.

The project will consider Walker’s interest in astrology by examining journal entries framed by references to planets, stars, zodiac signs, and numerology. Walker writes about her astrological charts and horoscopes that she believes influence her health, career, family life, and writing. In addition, she links astrology to historical events including the escalation of the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King. More than a hundred of the journal entries reference astrology directly; others allude to dreams or premonitions Walker understands as a part of astrology and of her identity as an African American woman from the South. Margaret Walker’s interest in astrology is intricately linked to her interest in folk literature and to the theme of black identity, which recurs in her oeuvre. Dream books, numerology, and horoscopes are cultural artifacts or tools accessed in black folk practices; however, scholars overlook astrology as an integral component of African-American and Afro-Caribbean (Walker’s father was from Jamaica) cultures. Understanding Walker’s interest in prophecy and oracle is not only important to studies of Walker’s work but also vital to establishing the cultural and aesthetic foundations of Afrofuturism and its preoccupation with consciousness and identity.     I am working on a monograph of Walker's unpublished works. Her journals are a part of a broader study of her contributions to American literature.

Student Tasks and Qualifications: Interested students should be interested in archival work and feel comfortable using technology. I will provide instruction for digital humanities software we will use for the project. Students must be willing to travel to Jackson, MS. to conduct supervised research in the Walker archives.

Faculty webpage 

 

Health Management & Public Health

Name:  Dr. Elizabeth Culatta

Email:  eculatta@augusta.edu

Department:  Department of Social Sciences

Office Location:  AHN219

Title:  Justice and Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault: Identifying Barriers to Mental and Physical Health Services 

Description:   The current study aims to address health disparities by identifying barriers to seeking physical and mental health services related to sexual victimization from marginalized young women. This research explores two primary research questions: “what barriers prevent women from successfully accessing and receiving health services and supports following sexual victimization?” and “do these barriers differ by race and education level?” The existing data on access to health care following sexual violence is drawn from mostly White women at elite colleges (ex. Campus Sexual Assault Study, Krebs et al. 2016). My study will target women ages 18-24 who are diverse on education status and racial group to better understand their experiences, attitudes, and constraints related to accessing health services. I will gather original survey data and will stratify by race (oversampling for women of color; 50%) and educational status (33% some high school or HS graduate, 33% some college, and 33% BA degree). The survey will include questions about both hypothetical and actual help-seeking behaviors following sexual victimization and allow for deeper understanding of four theoretically derived mechanisms that explain barriers to health services: stigma, logistical barriers, individual social factors, and institutional resources. For those who experienced victimization as college students, I will link their individual experiences to publicly available secondary data that will allow a deeper understanding of the impact of institutional resources available on some college campuses. 

This is a pilot study that is being conducted in conjunction with Dr. Kaitlyn Boyle at the University of South Carolina. The larger study will examine barriers to both (a) reporting sexual victimization to law enforcement and (b) seeking mental and physical health services following a sexual victimization. At the completion of this pilot study, and in addition to publishing findings from this study, we will apply for external funding to complete the larger study.

 

Student Qualifications:  Research assistants should be dependable and motivated and interested in social science research. In May 2020, I will gather data from over 700 women ages 18-24 (oversampling for women of color; 50% and stratifying by educational status 33% some high school or HS graduate, 33% some college, and 33% BA degree). In June and July, the RAs and I will sort through the data and identify the institutions that participants listed as places where sexual victimization occurred. Then we will use the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a publicly available data source (https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/) and gather information to create a unique dataset including both individual and institutional level data. This will allow us to make comparisons across institution type (e.g., religious affiliation, size, location, private vs. public, urban vs. suburban vs. rural). Due to the national, multilevel nature of these data, I will be able to explore how individual-level experiences (e.g., sexual orientation), institution-level factors (e.g., prestige, religious affiliation), and state-level differences (e.g., legal definitions of rape, women’s status and rights) affect the prevalence of and response to rape.

Name: Dr. Vahe Heboyan
Email: vheboyan@augusta.edu
Department: Health Management and Informatics
Title: Various Projects
Description: There are various opportunities available with Dr. Heboyan. Topics include smoking, e-cigarettes, health economics, marketing, telehealth, childcare nutrition.   
Student Qualifications Needed: Interested students should be highly driven and have a strong interest in research. Student should be able to work 10-15 hours a week. A flexible work schedule is possible and is located on the Health Sciences Campus. Students from a variety of majors are welcome to join these research opportunities. (updated 9/16)

Name:  Dr.Vahe' Heboyan

Email:  vheboyan@augusta.edu

Department:   Health and Behavioral Economics Research Lab

Title:  Economic Impact of US Vaccination Policies and Programs

Description:  Seeking a student researcher who is interested in Public Health related research. This is non-lab related research. Student will be tasked with reviewing select articles that can be used for a systematic review of the Economic Impact of US vaccination Policies and Programs.

Prefer at least a 2 semester commitment.  5-8 hours per week.

 Name: Dr. Richard Sams
Email: risams@augusta.eduDepartment: Family Medicine
Title: GA Advance Care Planning Assessment and Improvement Project
Description: The study is to determine the percentage af AU Health patients with a health care proxy, healthcare power of attorney, living will, advanced directive, or some other form of care planning document.  This will be determined using a survey provided to patients within a medical facility.  This will also intends to help identify areas for potential improvement in advanced care planning processes. 

Student tasks:  Students will assist with the study by interacting with patients at a designated clinic and asking if they would be willing to complete a survey on an iPad. Students are trained to determine if patients are eligible for the study.  CITI training is required.

Name:  Dr. Lara Stepleman

Emaillsteplem@augusta.edu

Department:  Psychiatry and Health Behavior

Title:  Fostering an Inclusive Patient and Family Centered Care Environment for Sexual and Gender Minorities at AUMC

Description:  Seeking student interns to participate in the AUMC/AU Patient and Family Centered IMPACT Project.  Students with an interest/experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply:

  • LBGTQ issues
  • Healthcare
  • Diversity
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Public Health
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Instructional and Web Design

The purpose of this inter-professional project is to develop a series of staff and provider trainings to improve the healthcare experiences of sexual and gender minorities in AUMC;s hospitals and clinics to ensure patients are treated with respect.

Student interns will be integrated into all aspects of the development, implementation, marketing, and evaluation of this training initiative.

Please send your cv/resume and a brief email of interest to:  Dr. Lara Stepleman, lsteplem@augusta.edu

*Course credit, practicum/internship/service learning/research hours may be available on a case by case basis for participation.

 

History, Anthropology, Philosophy

Name: Dr. John Hayes
Email: jhayes22@augusta.edu
Department: History, Anthropology and Philosophy
Title: Religion in the American South

Name: Dr. Wendy Turner
Email: wturner1@augusta.edu
Department:History, Anthropology and Philosophy
Title: N/A
Description: Medieval History of Disabilities, Medicine, Law, and Culture; Medieval & Early Modern History of Mental Health; History of Alchemy and Early Chemistry

 

Mathematics

Name: Dr. Neal Smith
Email: nsmith12@augusta.edu
Department: Mathematics
Title: Mathematical Modeling in Sports
Description: The analysis of sports is an emerging field, and a very common question involves how to quantify the “quality” of a team or an individual player, so that forecasts about the outcome of a competition can be made.  With some knowledge of the sport in question to find good predictors, and some mathematical tools (the Bradley-Terry model, logistic regression), this can be done. 
Student Qualifications Needed: At least one statistics course would be needed.  An upper-level course would be preferred, but an introductory course could be acceptable for a bright and motivated student. Proficiency in a statistical programming environment (such as R, SAS, etc.) would also be needed, but instruction could be given as part of the project.

Name:  Dr. He Yang

Email:  hyang1@augusta.edu

Department:  Mathematics

Title:   Computer Simulations and Applied Mathematics

Description:  Description: Investigate the performance of numerical methods for various models in Physics, Finance, Biology, Imaging Science and Machine Learning. Available projects include numerical methods for differential equations with applications in heat conduction, gas dynamics, plasma physics and quantum mechanics; accurate numerical methods in mathematical finance; free-boundary problem in biology; differential equations based image processing; the mathematics and novel applications of machine learning. 

This research will contribute to a long term research program in Computational and Applied Mathematics. Publication is expected.

Student Qualifications:  Need completion of Calculus I & II;  also a strong motivation and interest to learn.

Faculty webpage:  http://spots.augusta.edu/hyang1/ 

Name: Dr. Anastasia Wilson
Email:anawilson@augusta.edu
Department: Mathematics
Title: Modeling and Simulation of Adsorption-Based Bioseparations Processes

Description: 
The emergence of biopharmaceuticals as a way to manage chronic disease has created a need for technologies that deliver purified products efficiently and quickly. This has led to increased research on the development of high-capacity multi-modal membranes to improve adsorption-based bioseparations processes. Performance by multi-modal membranes depends on membrane properties, protein properties, and operating conditions (e.g., protein concentration, pH, ionic strength, salt type, flow rate, et al.). The number of variables makes it unrealistic to scan the available options experimentally and discover the conditions that would result in the best performance. Thus, to limit the number of experiments needed for process development, it is imperative to develop a modeling framework capable of describing the process under continuous flow conditions.

This project is part of an interdisciplinary effort conducted by 4 researchers at 3 different institutions.  A publication is expected.

Faculty Web page:  http://www.augusta.edu/scimath/mathematics/wilson.php 

Student Qualifications: 

Completion of MATH 3020 (Differential Equations) and MATH 3280 (Linear Algebra) is required. Completion of MATH 4350 (Numerical Analysis) is preferred, but not required. Completion of MATH 4110 (Mathematical Biology) and/or MATH 4530 (Mathematical Methods of Physics) would be beneficial, but not necessary. Some prior computer programming experience is required; proficiency in a certain programming language (e.g. MATLAB, C#, C++, etc.) will be needed for completion of the project, but instruction can be given as part of the project.
Specific Student Tasks can include:
• Investigation of the model parameters: The models for bioseparations processes include many parameters which are normally obtained experimentally or by fitting data to the models. However, the accuracy of numerical simulations can sometimes depend highly on these parameter values so it is important to investigate what ranges of values result in stable and accurate numerical results.
• Uncertainty Quantification: Since many of the parameter values are obtained experimentally, there is some amount of uncertainty in the experimentally measured values. It is important to understand how this uncertainty affects the final numerical results.
• Curve Fitting: We have experimental data obtained by some Chemical Engineers working on protein adsorption in multi-modal membranes. Some initial curve fitting has been conducted to fit the numerical results to the experimental results, but increasing the accuracy of the numerical results would be beneficial. This could be accomplished by varying different pieces of the model (e.g. parameter values, functions used for adsorption model, etc.).

 

Neuroscience & Regenerative Med

Read through the research interest area of each faculty member in this department by clicking HERE

Name: Dr. Xin-Yun Lu

Department:  Neuroscience & Regenerative Med

Email:  xylu@augusta.edu

PHone: 706-721-0550

Office location:  CA-3006  

Lab Location: CA-2054

Description:  The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular basis of mental disorders, especially for those with comorbid metabolic disturbances. Adiopokines, secreting by adipose tissue, can cross the blood-brain barrier to exert their biological effects by activating different receptors. We are interested in how these adipokine receptor-expressing neurons respond to stress and rewarding stimuli.  We utilize neuron-specific transgenic mouse models, patch-clamp, in vivo electrosphysiology and in vivo calcium imaging to understand the role of adipokines in the pathogenesis of major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. We also look to explore their therapeutic potential.

Student tasks/qualifications: Students will gain experience in laboratory work such as genotyping, western blot, real-time PCR, stereotaxic surgery and mouse behavioral testing.

This potentially could be a paid position.

 

Name: Dr. Joanna Appel

Department:  Neuroscience & Regenerative Med

Email:  joappel@augusta.edu

PHone: 706-721-3228

Office location:  CA-2012

Description: I am engaged in the field of Educational Research as an Instructor for the Medical College of Georgia. My current project of interest is the design and implementation of various learning instruments designed to enhance students' spatial awareness of the 3-dimensional nature of neuroanatomical structures. These learning instruments include both 3D-printed models and 3D virtual models.

Student tasks: A student engaged in the early stages of this project would have the opportunity to participate in project design, the design of learning instruments, as well as witness and participate in the process of submitting a project request to the Institutional review Board (IRB) for approval. A student engaged in the later stages of this project would have the opportunity to participate in data collection, data analysis, the processes of academic writing and publication.

Faculty webpage

Name:  Dr. Lynette McCluskey

Department:  Neuroscience & Regenerative Med

Email:  lmccluskey@augusta.edu

Phone: 706-721-5616

Title: Cytokines in the regenerating taste system

Description:  The recovery of sensory function after injury depends upon the accurate regeneration of the injured nerve and target cells. Taste buds degenerate when their associated nerve is severed then regenerate by poorly understood mechanisms. We are using molecular, cellular, and neurophysiological methods in transgenic mice to test how interleukin (IL)-1, a major regulatory cytokine, signals through its receptor to rebuild taste buds and restore taste function. These studies could potentially lead to novel biologically-based treatments for peripheral nerve injury.

Student tasks/qualifications: We are looking for a detail-oriented student to initially perform cryosectioning and basic lab tasks. Training is provided.  Motivated students will have the opportunity to learn further techniques including microscopy, qPCR, ELISAs, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemistry. Student could also take on a directed research project during the summer semester which is expected to lead to co-authorship.  Biology majors preferred. Student must be willing to participate in a lab which depends upon animal research (training is required).

Expected hours per week:  10 (or more)

Name: Jay Hegde
Department: Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute, Culver Vision Discovery Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, and The Graduate School.
Email: jhegde@augusta.edu
Phone:706-721-5129
Description: Research projects for undergraduate students as of 8/2016.

The overall goal of our research is to help understand how the brain works, use the principles of brain function to devise rehabilitative treatments for various forms of brain dysfunction and disorder, and to help develop algorithms and programs for machine learning and data mining.  All of our various diverse, multidisciplinary research projects are motivated by this overall goal. For detailed description of our research and publications, please visit our laboratory website at www.hegde.us.

 There are a large number of projects available in my laboratory. These include, but are not limited to:

 (1) Hand-on research experience in research on human visual perception, human multisensory (i.e., cross-modal perception) that use a variety of research techniques, including human psychophysics (i.e., behavioral studies), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), video eye-tracking, etc.

 (2) Hands-on experience in computer programming, machine learning, and data science and computer science.

 (3) Hands-on research experience in electronic engineering, laboratory instrumentation, and hardware interfacing.

  (4) Analysis of existing data sets functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye-tracking, or electroencephalography (EEG) data.

 (5) Creation of large databases of visual objects, and objects for multisensory research.

 Student Tasks and Qualifications:   Some familiarity with computer programming (e.g., at least one semester’s worth of previous course work that involved programming in Matlab, C, or any C-likelanguage) is required.

Name: Ali Eroglu
Department: Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Email: aeroglu@augusta.edu
Phone: 706-721-7595
Title:Regenerative Medicine and Cyrobiology
Description:  We have ongoing projects to develop defined methods for isolation and cryobanking of human stem cells, as well as for cryopreservation of zebrafish eggs and embryos.

Student Tasks and Qualifications Needed: Highly motivated students will be trained to carry out experiments along with a postdoctoral associate and a research assistant.

Name:  M B Khan                                      Email:  mkhan@augusta.edu         Department:  Neurology   Office: CA1012   Phone:  706-721-1698 (lab)  or 706-446-5558 (office)

Description:  Vascular dysfunction and resultant chronic cerebral hypoperfusion leads to vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), the second most common cause of dementia. We reported that Remote Ischemic conditioning (RIC)-therapy improves cerebral blood flow (CBF) in both murine stroke and VCI models. RIC is a non-invasive, simple, inexpensive, and safe use of repetitive inflation of a blood pressure (BP) cuff on the arm or leg to protect distant organs such as the brain from ischemic injury.  We have some preliminary data after Bilateral Carotid Artery Stenosis (BCAS) in the mouse (model of VCI) that daily remote ischemic postconditioning (RIPostC) using a BP cuff for 2 weeks increases CBF in a sustained manner, improves cognitive performance, and decreases aggregation of amyloid-beta 42 protein (Aβ42) in the brain. Our central hypothesis is that RIPostC therapy after BCAS improves cognitive function in animal model of vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). 

Our specific aims are:

Aim 1: Determine if RIPostC therapy after BCAS attenuate hippocampal CA1 neuron integrity. It is well understood that spatial learning and memory is a hippocampal dependent phenomena and pyramidal neuron in the hippocampal CA1 field. 

Aim 2: Determine if RIPostC therapy after BCAS protects axonal damage. Aggregation of tau is a well-known causative agent for neurodegeneration and pathological symptom that leads to learning and memory loss in early dementia.

Aims 3: Determine if RIPostC therapy after BCAS improves synaptic maker protein in hippocampal CA1 field. 

 Methods: Microcoil induced bilateral common carotid artery (BCAS) model will be used to induce chronic hypoperfusion. Adult C57BL/6J male mice of (10-12 weeks) will be assigned to 3-different groups (N=10), and subjected to Sham- (procedures of BCAS and RIC), BCAS- (induced VCI followed by RIC-Sham), and BCAS+RIC (induced VCI followed by RIC-therapy). RIC will started 1 week of post-surgery for 3-4wks. At 4-5 weeks post-surgery (1-wk after the cessation of RIC) CBF will be determined using laser speckle contrast imager (LSCI). Functional outcomes will be assessed using novel object recognition (NOR) test for non-spatial working memory, and hanging wire test for motor impairment. Histopathology and immunohistochemistry for BDNF and VGEF. Biochemistry will be also performed on the of the brain tissue collected after the neurobehavioral tests.

STUDENT TASKS AND QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED:   

  • Minimum of 6 months commitment.
  • At least 5-6 hours per day (Monday –Friday)
  • Some time they need to work all day as we do in the lab (Exception for class hour /course work).
  • Trainings required: Chemical Safety, Biosafety, Animal safety, etc. (We will manage about these training procedure through concern office).
  • We will trained him/her with different lab techniques (if required) and make them independent before starting new experiment by themselves.
  • Their contribution cannot be ignore when published the paper. We will give authorship in the publications.

They can share their idea and hypothesis in the work.

 

 

Nursing

Look for research opportunities within the College of Nursing

Name: Dr. Lufei Young
Email: luyoung@augusta.edu
Department: College of Nursing, Research
Title: Promote Cardiac Rehabilitation in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease
Description:  The purpose of the study is to examine whether 3-month cardiac rehabilitation program can improve the health outcomes of Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) patients.

Student tasks/qualifications:  

The list of duties and responsibilities include the following:

  1. Word/graphic/charts technology skills:

Working experience with office software programs, including spreadsheets, databases, word processing and graphic presentation software. For example, proficient is generally expected in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher. Have skills to format professional looking presentations and prepare manuscripts

  1. Wet lab technology skills: biospecimen processing
  2. Literature review
  3. Data entry
  4. Email scheduling
  5. Statistical analysis
  6. Attention to detail
  7. Has CITI and GCP training and certificate

 

Otolaryngology

 

Pediatrics

Name: Dr.Brian Stansfield 
Department: Pediatrics
Email: bstansfield@augusta.edu
Description: We are interested in inherited mutations that confer and increased risk of cardiovascular disorders and disease. To this end, we study the effects of protein loss and overexpression on the development of the cardiovascular system and the response to injury/stimuli. We utilize primary mouse and human cell cultures to study molecular signaling pathways including p21 Ras, PI-3Kinase and Hippo-Yap pathway. Students would learn to isolate and culture vascular smooth muscle cells and hematopoietic cells, western blotting, PCR, histology, ELISA, and genome editing. Additionally, students will learn data analysis and presentation, as well as scientific writing and presentation skills.
Student Tasks and Qualifications: Familiarity with molecular biochemistry. Previous relevant experience is a plus.

 

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Name: Nevin Lambert
Email: nelambert@augusta.edu
Department: Pharmacology and Toxicology
Title: Molecular Pharmacology
Description: Investigation of membrane receptor properties with live-cell spectroscopy and microscopy.

Physics

Name: Dr. Tom Colbert
Email: tcolbert@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Oscillating Systems/Optics
Description: Investigation of oscillating systems; Applications of optics

Name: Dr. Trinanjan Datta
Email: tdatta@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Theoretical and Computational Materials Physics
Description: Topology and materials science - How can a material (e.g. bismuth telluride) be metallic on the surface and insulating in the bulk? Non-linear optics of magnetic materials - probing the interaction of light with magnetic materials.

Name: Dr. Hauger and Dr. Joe Newton
Email: jhauger@augusta.edu or jnewton3@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Medical/Radiological Physics
Description: Measuring and characterizing dose from high energy electron beams. Developing 3D dosimetry plastics. Analysis of environmental sensitivity of new types of radiographic film.

Name: Dr. Andy Hauger
Email: jhauger@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Scientific Applications of Electronics and Microcontrollers
Description: There are many scientific applications which can be solved with novel designs of electronic circuits and microcontroller systems. We are primarily interested in research and development of environmental sensors.

Student Tasks and Qualifications: Students having strong interest in working with circuits and/or programming microcontrollers are quite suited for work in the Electronics Laboratory for the Internet of Things (ELIOT). Students will learn a variety of techniques including analog design, circuit construction, 3D printing, and electronic instrumentation. Most students also learn to program open-source electronic systems such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Name: Dr. Theja De Silva
Email: 
tdesilva@augusta.edu
Department:
Chemistry and Physics
Title: 
Theoretical Condensed Matter and Theoretical Atomic/Molecular/Optical Physics
Description: 
All projects involve studying collective and interaction dominated behavior of atoms/electrons to get better understanding of materials that leads to technological applications. 

Name: Dr. Josefa Guerrero Millan
Email: jguerreromillan@augusta.edu
Department: Chemistry and Physics
Title: Electro-coflow
Description: Drops are present in our everyday life in the kitchen, the shower, and are also used in fountains for aesthetic reasons. In addition, drops are of fundamental importance in many industrial processes in different areas like chemical, metallurgical and mechanical engineering, food industry, pharmaceutical sector and ink jet printing, to name a few. The same can be said for microfibers that are used in tissue engineering, coating, drug delivery or catalytic processes.
A liquid with finite electrical conductivity in the presence of a strong electric field can deform and adopt a conical shape resulting from the balance between electric and surface tension stresses. However, near the apex of the cone, this structure is not stable and the associated singularity is replaced by a thin jet. The resultant cone-jet structure, which is stable within certain values of the applied voltage and imposed liquid flow rate, is the workhorse of electrospray and all its associated applications. The jet that emanates from this structure always breaks into spherical droplets due to axisymmetric instabilities. However, in many cases, the jet bends off-axis due to a lateral instability that results from the repulsion between the straight and bent parts of the jet. If the growth rate associated to this whipping instability is larger than associated to breakup, the off-axis movement of the jet becomes the most significant aspect of its evolution. This is exploited in electrospinning, where the simple liquid is replaced by a polymer solution whose solvent evaporates before drop breakup takes place, thus resulting in thinner fibers, as bending stretches, concomitantly thinning the jet. Unfortunately, in most experimental realizations whipping manifests in a chaotic fashion preventing us from knowing and unraveling its detailed structure and properties.

I have applied an electric field to a moderately conducting liquid surrounded by a coflowing liquid to generate a steady-state whipping structure, which I found is helicoidal, with an amplitude that increases linearly along the downstream direction.
Although, an extensive work has been done in electrospinning, the fundamental principles of this problem are still unclear. I plan to continue this research with an extensive experimental work to study to role played by all the fluid parameters present: density, viscosity and conductivity of the outer and inner liquids and geometrical parameters, like the size of the tip or the distance between the tip and the ground. This work will be complemented with a theoretical and numerical effort to understand the fundamental principles of the electro-coflow. 

Student Qualifications: The only thing needed is to be willing to learn. Solid mathematical background appreciated.

 

Physiology

Use link to review current faculty and research areas within the Department of Physiology

 

Political Science

Name: Dr. Craig Albert, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Department: Political Science
Email: calbert@augusta.edu
Description: I am seeking students from any major that wish to help create an ethnic group identity database. The codebook of the database has already been published, and I am looking for undergraduate students to help analyze and record/code ethnic group identity and intensity of violence. You will do research on a number of ethnic groups and use coding mechanisms to determine how strong is their strength of ethnic group identity as well as coding how intense violence was during ethnic conflict, i.e, was it mass protest or full-scale ethnic genocide, or ethnocide? All participants will be noted in future publications that will result from this as being research assistants. Further, possible class credit as a 4990 research class is possible as well. 
Student Tasks and Qualifications: Students must be able to use Microsoft Word and Excel and should have great reading comprehensions skills. Intro to American Government is required beforehand. Research Methods is preferred, but not required. Am open to future co-authorships with undergrads if I value your work ethic on this project.

Relevant Readings:
Bringing Rigour to Ethnic Studies 
The Ethno Violence Nexus 

Name: Dr. Gregg Murray, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science
Department: Political Science
Email: gmurray@augusta.edu
Description: I am seeking students from any major that wish to help with terrorism research. We will be collecting data from numerous sources to compile into a database

 

Psychiatry & Health Behavior

Name: Lara Stepleman, PhD
Department: Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Email: lsteplem@augusta.edu
Phone:706-721-0114
Title: Health Psychology and Health Disparities Research
Description: Project availability varies but current projects include planning and implementation of studies related to: 1) African American women with substance use who are at-risk for or living with HIV; 2) LGBT health disparities including a community health needs assessment, another project using a national dataset to evaluate LGBT tobacco use, and one examining the impact of the Equality Clinic on patients and health professions students who volunteer at the clinic; 3) Adjustment to illness and identity in multiple sclerosis.

Student Tasks and Qualifications: Students participate in all facets of research depending on stage of the project, including IRB development, survey design and administration, data entry and analysis, literature review, and abstract and manuscript writing. Typically, students need to be in their last year of undergraduate study. Preference is given to student who have completed courses in research design and statistics. Past research experience also is preferred but not required.

Name:  Dr. Lara Stepleman

Email lsteplem@augusta.edu

Department:  Psychiatry and Health Behavior

Title:  Fostering an Inclusive Patient and Family Centered Care Environment for Sexual and Gender Minorities at AUMC

Description:  Seeking student interns to participate in the AUMC/AU Patient and Family Centered IMPACT Project.  Students with an interest/experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply:

  • LBGTQ issues
  • Healthcare
  • Diversity
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Publich Health
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Instructional and Web Design

The purpose of this inter-professional project is to develop a series of staff and provider trainings to improve the healthcare experiences of sexual and gender minorities in AUMC;s hospitals and clinics to ensure patients are treated with respect.

Student interns will be integrated into all aspects of the development, implementation, marketing, and evaluation of this training initiative.

Please send your cv/resume and a brief email of interest to:  Dr. Lara Stepleman, lsteplem@augusta.edu

*Course credit, practicum/internship/service learning/research hours may be available on a case by case basis for participation.

Name: Nagy Youssef, MD
Department: Psychiatry and Health Behavior
Email: nyoussef@augusta.edu
Phone: 706-721-6963
Title: Project available to examine correlation between the physician resident temperament and empathy with patient care
Description: This study will involve developing and analyzing a cross-sectional survey offered to primary care and neurology residents to examine the correlation between empathy and resident physician temperament. This is a pilot study to better understand the underlying temperament and aspects of personality characteristics that predict empathy during patients care and could help the development of educational programs to improve empathy and physician-patient communication.

Student Tasks and Qualifications: Students participate in all facets of research depending on stage of the project, including IRB development, survey design and administration, data entry and analysis, literature review, and abstract and manuscript writing. Typically, students need to be in their last year of undergraduate study. Preference is given to student who have completed courses in research design and statistics. Past research experience also is preferred but not required.

 

Psychology

 

Learn more about the types of research opportunities available in the Department of Psychological Sciences.  Take a look at faculty profiles, click on the "scholarship" tab where you will see their Research Interests and publications

Psychology Faculty profiles

Name: Dr. Michael Hoane
Email: mhoane@augusta.edu
Department: 
Psychological Sciences
Title: 
Novel Therapies and Rehabilitative strategies for Traumatic Brain Injuries

Description:  My research uses rodent models of traumatic brain injury to investigate novel therapies and rehabilitative strategies. My lab examines across the behavioral spectrum of the animal and uses pathophysiological measures (edema, cell death, inflammation.

https://www.augusta.edu/faculty/directory/view.php?id=MHOANE

Student Tasks/Qualifications:  Desire to work with rodents. Some laboratory experience is helpful. 

Name: Dr. Tadd Patton
Email:tpatton@augusta.edu

Department: 
Psychological Sciences
Title: 
Psychophysiology of Emotion

Description:  Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physiological changes, such as increased respiration, heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration (American Psychological Association, 2018). Individuals who experience robust and persistent feelings of anxiety often report that such feelings interfere with daily activities like school, work, and relationships and significantly affect impact mental and physical wellbeing. Research suggests that certain thought patterns, such as reappraisal, can alleviate the experience of anxiety. For instance, the process of reappraising or reevaluating a situation in order to alter its emotional impact may be an effective means to mitigate feelings of anxiety.

We examine this relationship by assessing cognitive, behavioral, and physiological measures of typically associated with feelings of anxiety. For instance, we assess changes in autonomic arousal within the context of anxiety-provoking events. This is possible due to the fact that the sympathetic nervous system, a portion of the autonomic nervous system, becomes more active when an individual is experiencing anxiety (Kreibig, 2010). Fluctuations in the arousal level of the sympathetic nervous system can be seen through the activation of eccrine sweat glands and in the appropriate context can be used to infer that an individual is experiencing feelings of anxiety (Aslanidis, Grosomanidis, Karakoulas, & Chatzisotiriou, 2018). A widely used metric regarding activation of eccrine skin sweat glands is electrodermal activity (EDA; Boucsein, 2012), and therefore can be used as a proxy measure for sympathetic nervous system arousal.

Thus, the overall goal of our research is to use the above-referenced measures to gain a better understanding of the relationship between cognitive framing and anxiety. Students who work with me will gain hands-on research experience working with human subjects and learn about the physiological bases of cognition and emotion in an applied setting

Student Task/Qualifications:  Student Task/Qualifications: I typically only accept students into my lab who can make a minimum of a 1-year (two semesters) commitment. Students are involved in several aspects of research, including but not limited to research design, conducting experiments, scoring and analyzing data and sometimes writing. I prefer that you have a GPA of at least 3.0 but the most important characteristics include being:

Conscientious
Detail-Oriented
Honest
Hardworking

Name: Dr. Vahe Heboyan
Email: vheboyan@augusta.edu
Department: Health Management and Informatics
Title: There are various opportunities available with Dr. Heboyan. Topics include smoking, e-cigarettes, health economics, marketing, telehealth, childcare nutrition
Description: : Interested students should be highly driven and have a strong interest in research. Student should be able to work 10-15 hours a week. A flexible work schedule is possible and is located on the Health Sciences Campus. Students from a variety of majors are welcome to join these research opportunities.

Name:  Dr. Jenelle Slavin-Mulford
Email:  jslavinm@augusta.edu
Department: Psychology
Title:  Psychotherapist Personality Traits Related to Psychotherapy Process and Outcome
Description:  Ample research suggests that therapists differ in their level of effectiveness.  Even more striking is that therapist effects appear to be larger than treatment effects. These findings suggest that “who” the therapist is may be more important than the type of treatment used.  Moreover, therapist training, experience, and theoretical orientation do NOT appear to explain the majority of therapist effects.  Thus, it has been hypothesized that therapists’ personal characteristics may impact treatment.  If this is true, it would seem wise for clinical graduate programs to accept students who possess these important traits.  Thus, the purpose of the present study is to examine how therapist’s personality (measured prior to training) impacts the way in which they conduct therapy with their first clients.  Gaining a greater understanding of these factors could have important implications for selecting applicants into training programs and could also inform types of training or areas of focus during training. 

Student Task/Qualifications:  I typically only accept students into my lab who can make a minimum of a 1 year commitment.  Undergraduates are primarily involved in the scoring of personality assessments and entering data.  The most important characteristics include being:

  • Conscientious
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Honest
  • Hardworking

Name:  Dr. Laurence Miller
Email:  laumiller@augusta.edu
Department:Psychology
Title:  Pain and Behavioral Pharmacology of Pain Relieving Drugs
Description:  Pain-related impairment of daily activities is a problem that impacts the quality of life of older adults. As the United states population ages, the rates of chronic analgesic use to treat pain-related depression of behavior in older adults increases. The magnitude of this problem has resulted in NIH prioritizing research examining how aging influences the experience and treatment of pain. A critical barrier to progress in improving the understanding and treatment of pain-related disruption of behavior in older adults is lack of consistency between clinical assessment of pain and the methods used to assess pain in preclinical research. Our goal is to improve treatment of clinically-relevant pain-related impairment of behavior in older adults by obtaining new knowledge on the role of aging in the expression, mechanisms, and treatment of pain using animal models of pain-related depression of behavior. Our objectives are to 1) model pain-related depression of behavior in rodents, 2) examine the role of aging in sensitivity to pain-related behavioral dysfunction, and 3) systematically examine determinants of opioid and monoamine uptake inhibitor effects on pain-related depression of behavior. These objectives will be accomplished using pharmacological approaches and the experimental analysis of behavior.

Student Tasks/Qualifications:  Training will be provided. Key qualities include reliability, conscientiousness, and ethical behavior.

 

Social Sciences

Name:  Dr. Elizabeth Culatta

Email:  eculatta@augusta.edu

Department:  Department of Social Sciences

Office Location:  AHN219

Title:  Justice and Resources for Survivors of Sexual Assault: Identifying Barriers to Mental and Physical Health Services 

Description:   The current study aims to address health disparities by identifying barriers to seeking physical and mental health services related to sexual victimization from marginalized young women. This research explores two primary research questions: “what barriers prevent women from successfully accessing and receiving health services and supports following sexual victimization?” and “do these barriers differ by race and education level?” The existing data on access to health care following sexual violence is drawn from mostly White women at elite colleges (ex. Campus Sexual Assault Study, Krebs et al. 2016). My study will target women ages 18-24 who are diverse on education status and racial group to better understand their experiences, attitudes, and constraints related to accessing health services. I will gather original survey data and will stratify by race (oversampling for women of color; 50%) and educational status (33% some high school or HS graduate, 33% some college, and 33% BA degree). The survey will include questions about both hypothetical and actual help-seeking behaviors following sexual victimization and allow for deeper understanding of four theoretically derived mechanisms that explain barriers to health services: stigma, logistical barriers, individual social factors, and institutional resources. For those who experienced victimization as college students, I will link their individual experiences to publicly available secondary data that will allow a deeper understanding of the impact of institutional resources available on some college campuses. 

This is a pilot study that is being conducted in conjunction with Dr. Kaitlyn Boyle at the University of South Carolina. The larger study will examine barriers to both (a) reporting sexual victimization to law enforcement and (b) seeking mental and physical health services following a sexual victimization. At the completion of this pilot study, and in addition to publishing findings from this study, we will apply for external funding to complete the larger study.

 Student Qualifications:  Research assistants should be dependable and motivated and interested in social science research. Summer 2020, my team collected and analyzed data. We are now looking for a student to help with literature reviews.  Student must be able to work independently.  Then we will use Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a publicly available data source (https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/) and gather information to create a unique dataset including both individual and institutional level data. This will allow us to make comparisons across institution type (e.g., religious affiliation, size, location, private vs. public, urban vs. suburban vs. rural). Due to the national, multilevel nature of these data, I will be able to explore how individual-level experiences (e.g., sexual orientation), institution-level factors (e.g., prestige, religious affiliation), and state-level differences (e.g., legal definitions of rape, women’s status and rights) affect the prevalence of and response to rape.

Name: Dr. Dustin Avent-Holt
Email: daventho@augusta.edu
Department: Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work
Title: What is Productivity?
Description:  The concept of productivity is central to how modern economies are organized, and how the value of economic activity is evaluated. More productive activities, individuals, organizations, and societies are granted more status and resources than are those deemed less productive. In this way productivity is a culturally valued concept, but it is also a culturally produced concept. What counts as productive is a subjective interpretation. In this project we propose to look historically across societies at the development of the concept of productivity. Here we are looking to understand how our general understanding of productivity has changed over time, especially as it became institutionalized into the discipline of economics and into business schools. To accomplish this, we will trace the evolution of the concept of productivity since the birth of modern economics in the 18th century. This involves reading early manuscripts and treatise that deal with the concept of productivity, examining them for how they define and use the concept. We will trace all of the economic writings that address the concept of productivity and work forwards into how modern economics and business schools treat the concept. This will include both scholarly writings and more professional practice writings such as Human Resource textbooks and trade publications.

 Student Qualifications Needed: There are no prior skills necessary. All students from all majors are welcome.

Name: Dr. David Hunt
Email: hdhunt@augusta.edu
Department: Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work
Title: Augusta Golf Science Institute
Description: To begin research to support the newly created Augusta Golf Science Institute. Research will be golf-oriented, and students will have the opportunity to design the research. Possibilities may include aspects of social class in golf, golf and gender, and social psychological aspects of golf.
Student Qualifications Needed: Research Methods and Statistics courses.

Name:  Dr. Lara Stepleman

Email lsteplem@augusta.edu

Department:  Psychiatry and Health Behavior

Title:  Fostering an Inclusive Patient and Family Centered Care Environment for Sexual and Gender Minorities at AUMC

Description:  Seeking student interns to participate in the AUMC/AU Patient and Family Centered IMPACT Project.  Students with an interest/experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply:

  • LBGTQ issues
  • Healthcare
  • Diversity
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Public Health
  • Education
  • Psychology
  • Instructional and Web Design

The purpose of this inter-professional project is to develop a series of staff and provider trainings to improve the healthcare experiences of sexual and gender minorities in AUMC;s hospitals and clinics to ensure patients are treated with respect.

Student interns will be integrated into all aspects of the development, implementation, marketing, and evaluation of this training initiative.

Please send your cv/resume and a brief email of interest to:  Dr. Lara Stepleman, lsteplem@augusta.edu

*Course credit, practicum/internship/service learning/research hours may be available on a case by case basis for participation.