Hamline News

NCUR Continued Online in 2021

Twenty-two undergraduate students from Hamline participated in the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in April 2021. This year, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the conference was held online. Typically, participants from Hamline travel to the conference and present their research in person. In recent years the students traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, and Missoula, Montana.

“Having the conference online was less expensive, and it is likely that some students who would not have been able to travel ended up attending,” said Irina Makarevitch, chair of the biology department and co-director of the collaborative research program with sociology professor Sharon Preves.

“What was lost, however, is that NCUR is about community,” said Makarevitch. “Hamline is a community of student researchers and at the conference they get together with a community of students and educators from other places. All of that was lost.”

Nonetheless, 2021 NCUR was a beneficial experience for participants, particularly because NCUR 2020 had been cancelled altogether.

“NCUR is a great place to practice talking about my research to a broad audience. I think this is a skill that always can be improved and is really important in scientific careers,” said Ash Robinson ’21, a biochemistry major and first-generation college student.

Robinson presented a poster on her project titled “Metformin (Glucophage) Biodegradation: Relevance to Water Treatment and the Human Gut.”

She has been collaborating with Professor Betsy Martinez-Vaz on this work since transferring to Hamline as a sophomore. Robinson’s interest in how microorganisms can break down pollutants led her to explore metformin, a common drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes that has been found in aquatic environments.

“It is a really interesting pharmaceutical drug,” said Robinson. “I have several family members who take it, and I think it is important to study how we can potentially lessen the amount of it that reaches our environment.”

Robinson will go to graduate school in the fall where she will continue to focus on her biochemistry research career. However, the experience at NCUR allowed her to explore other areas.

“Participating in NCUR has also allowed me to hear about a lot of cool research that is outside of my area of expertise from around the country,” said Robinson.

In addition to Robinson’s research in biochemistry, Hamline students presented twenty projects based on collaborations with faculty from diverse disciplines, including anthropology, neuroscience, biology, economics, art history, criminal justice, sociology, exercise science, and psychology. A full list of student participants and the projects presented at NCUR 2021 can be found below.

Eva Larson and Hannah Bergene
Lithic Debitage Analysis at the Louisville Swamp Site

Ash Robinson
Metformin (Glucophage) Biodegradation: Relevance to Water Treatment and the Human Gut

Naol Kebede
Chemogenetics Orexin/Hypocretin Intervention Ameliorates Hipp-dependant Memory Impairment in A53T mice model of Parkinson's disease

Ellie Julson
Determining the Expression Pattern of Contactin-3 (CNTN3), a Candidate Regulator of Neural Crest and Ocular Development

Mohammed Mashal
The Expression of ​Protocadherin​ ​8 (PCDH8)​ During Early Development in Chick Embryos

Sydney Preston
Mutations Along the COVID-19 Genome: Minnesota Cases

Kendra Yoder
Profiling Genes Regulated by the Neural Crest-Essential Methyltransferase NSD3 with an Emphasis on Nervous System Development

PaZong Yang
Analysis of RNA Sequencing Data from Chick Neural Crest Cells Identified Genes Linked to Primary Cilia

Dean Young
Development of the Organonitrogen Biodegradation Database: A Bioinformatics Approach to Study the Microbial Degradation of Cyanoguanidine and Related Compounds

Dalton Chenoweth
Are Pyramid Schemes Fueled by Strain or Opportunity? A Place-Based Analysis of Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing in the US

Jada Bennett
Taking on Their Face: Studying Modernist Aesthetics Through Self-Portraiture

Sadiyo Jama and Soraya Dorvillier
Community Incarceration: Economic and Sociological Impact

Sarah McCollum
Inoculating a Campus: The Efficacy of Pyramid Scheme Education at Hamline University

Paige Daniels
A Tale of Two Hospitals: Treatment Methods of Homosexuality in Minnesota, 1920-1945

Owen Sloop
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Exercise Training and Health of Masters Athletes

Owen Sloop
Acute Beetroot Supplementation Lowers Diastolic Blood Pressure in Healthy Female Masters Swimmers

Jess Marken
Effects of Personality, Emotional Intelligence, and Mood on High Stress Performance in Collegiate Gymnasts

Olivia Austin
Wigs, Lipstick, and Outcry: Drag Queen Activism from 1970 to 1983 in the United States

Caleb Rosenthal
Metagenomic Analysis of Maize Rhizosphere Microbiomes Treated With Urea and Triuret

Kylie Huesman
Exercise, Health, and Respiratory Infections, Including COVID-19

Evelyn Harrison
Associations Between Past Incidents of Child Abuse and Problematic Drinking and Risky Behavior

Written by staff