Ngoc-Han Tran

Forum Highlights Excellence in Student Research

student with working in a lab

Ngoc-Han Tran (SJSU Research Foundation image)

By Pat Lopes Harris, Media Relations Director

Outstanding research, on topics ranging from an ultrasound-based drug delivery to the true meaning of poetry in the lives of youths, will be honored at the 33rd Annual SJSU Student Research Forum noon April 4 in Engineering 285-287.

The SJSU Office of Graduate Studies and Research and the SJSU Research Foundation will jointly sponsor the event, which features student poster presentations, an awards ceremony, and reception.

These 2012 SJSU Student Research Competition winners will go on to present their work at the CSU Student Research Competition May 4 and 5 at California State University, Long Beach. Cash awards will be provided to the outstanding presenter and the runner-up in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of each category.

Here’s more on the SJSU students and their faculty mentors.

Biological and Agricultural Sciences

Title: Hybrid P450 Enzymes for the Hydroxylation of Organic Substrates upon Visable Light Activation
Student: Ngoc-Han Tran, undergraduate, Chemistry, College of Science
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lionel Cheruzel
Description: We have developed hybrid P450 enzymes as biocatalysts for the selective hydroxylation of lauric acid. These enzymes can be valuable for biotechnological applications.

Title: Investigation of the Sensory Signaling Pathway Required for Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) Sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans
Student:  Ben Barsi-Rhyne, undergraduate, Biological Sciences, College of Science
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Miri VanHoven
Description: An avoidance assay coupled with genetic techniques suggests a unique signal transduction pathway and an unexpected mode of synaptic transmission in Caenorhabditis elegans sensory neurons.

Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Title: Infrared Spectroscopy of Methane and Ethane Ices:  Implications for Planetary and Astronomy Studies
Student: Sarah Lee, undergraduate, Chemistry, College of Science
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Olenka Hubickyj Cabot
Description: Spectroscopic data of hydrocarbons diluted in nitrogen was recorded over a thermal range for comparison to the observed spectrum of Triton, a moon of Neptune.

Engineering and Computer Sciences

Title: Structural Changes and Imaging Signatures of Acoustically Sensitive Microcapsules for Drug Delivery
Student: Shruthi Thirumalai, graduate, Biomedical Devices, College of Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mallika Keralapura
Description: We are developing an ultrasound-based drug delivery scheme using microcapsules. These are designed to be acoustically sensitive by encapsulating ultrasound contrast agents and drugs. We study their structural changes and imaging signatures under ultrasound.

Humanities and Letters

Title: Home Lost, Home Regained: Locating the Church in Cather’s Fiction
Student:  Alicia McClintic, graduate, English and Comparative Literature, College of Humanities and the Arts
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Cullen
Description: This essay investigates the relationship of home and church in three novels by the American writer Willa Cather (1873-1947). The novels are O Pioneers!, My Ántonia, and Death Comes for the Archbishop.

Title: The Gallery of Beauties by Moretto de Brescia:  A Case Study of the Renaissance Fresco Cycle
Student: Sarah Dragovich, graduate, Art History, College of Humanities and the Arts
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Christy Junkerman and Dr. Anne Simonson
Description: This project centers on an illusionistic frescoed room displaying eight ideal portraits of women at a time when poets like Firenzuola were assembling an ideal through literature.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Title: Youth Spoken Word: Expression, Activism and the Cycle of Poetry
Student: Sandra Huerta, undergraduate, Sociology, College of Social Science
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Natalie Boero
Description: She investigated the true meaning of poetry in the lives of youths and the activism that merged from it.