Summer Research 2021

Page updated August 23, 2021

Benedict College



Forty-five students and 12 faculty mentors participated in the 2021 Benedict College Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI).

Participants conducted research activities online for the entire eight-weeks and participated in a recurrent virtual research meeting via Zoom. Students attended the faculty-driven group meetings four days (Monday through Thursday) with a Friday research presentation.

Some carried out experiments in the lab on campus, then shared data with the students. Discussed were data, statistics, and presentation tools that were learned together from the ongoing project.

The research students also attended faculty presentations.

Dr. Mashrur Chowdhury of Clemson University joined Benedict for a keynote speech highlighting the new research opportunities in the transportation field. Said Dr. Samir Raychoudhury, SC INBRE Institutional PI, “It was a fun and engaging conversation, and I know many of our students will benefit from these opportunities.”

The program received support from different funding mechanisms, including NIH SC INBRE, NSF-HBCU-UP, LSAMP, TIP, SCDOT, MSEIP and DoD-NNSA projects.

Clemson University


PI: Dr. Jessica Larsen, SC INBRE DRP recipient

SC INBRE DRP-funded undergraduate researcher and rising junior in Biochemistry, Morgan Ethridge, is working to identify novel disease-progressive biomarkers of GM1 Gangliosidosis, a neuropathic lysosomal storage disease.

Coastal Carolina University

High School, Undergrads and Research Experiences for Teachers Program researchers

College of Charleston


Department of Chemistry

Jayda Carroll-Deaton (B.S. Biochemistry, 2022) is shown performing a Bradford assay to measure protein concentration. Jayda is studying mitochondrial proteins that help build the electron transport chain.


Department of Biology

This summer, rising sophomore, and Honors student Ansley Elkins is studying transfer RNAs (tRNAs), a class of macromolecules that are expressed in all living organisms and that are essential for the biosynthesis of proteins.


Department of Chemistry

Dallas Crowder is performing flash column chromatography in Dr. Tim Barker's lab this summer. Dallas is making compounds with nitrogen that could be useful in neuroscience pharmaceuticals.


Department of Biology

Faith Emetu (B.S. Biology - Molecular Biology, 2022) is shown analyzing a DNA gel. Faith is determining the molecular cause of a patient mutation that results in mitochondrial disease.


Department of Biology

Max Flota is studying mycobacteriophage genomes in the lab of Dr. Christine Byrum. He is reviewing genome annotations and functional roles and determining which features are conserved and which are unique.


Department of Chemistry

Phia Gierszal is using a double manifold to perform an air sensitive reaction in Dr. Tim Barker’s lab. Phia is working on developing a new organic reaction using a Cu catalyst.


Department of Computer Science

Julia Goldman’s research with Dr. Kris Ghosh focuses on computational prediction of RNA structure. They are investigating how RNA can be modelled using graph grammars with more data-dependent, probabilistic rewriting rules.


Department of Biology

Julia Hopkins is working in Dr. Michael Janech's lab to assess whether specific proteins can help medical doctors to determine the degree of kidney injury due to ATN by using less subjective and time-consuming methods.


Department of Chemistry

Skye Jacobson and Danielle “DQ” Qualls are purifying endothelial nitric oxide synthase heme domain to be used for single-turnover assay experiments.


Department of Chemistry

Lane Kenan is working in Dr. Giuliano’s lab to develop small peptide models of hydrophobic collapse. She’s pictured here purifying peptides using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).


Department of Chemistry

Ellie Kraichely is using a rotary evaporator in the lab of Dr. Tim Barker. Ellie is developing new reactions to convert carbon-boron bonds to carbon-carbon bonds.


Department of Chemistry

Gabby Molloseau is working with Drs. Giuliano and Forconi this summer. She has developed new synthetic probe molecules that allow for the measurement of the solvent characteristics of the interface between lipid membranes and water.

Said Dr. Giuliano, “Gabby attacked this project! She discovered that she is a gifted synthetic organic chemist and and watching that process was really special. I am so proud of her and excited to see where we can take this work!”


Department of Chemistry

Hailey Ninness is using DOSY-NMR diffusion experiments in Dr. Michael Giuliano's lab to study the ability of the endogenous opioids to associate with lipid bilayers. She’s pictured working to freeze-dry peptide samples on a lyophilizer.

Said Dr. Giuliano, “Working all summer with super-hygroscopic materials in Charleston humidity was no joke, and Hailey was more than up to the challenge. I am so proud of what she accomplished!”


Department of Chemistry

Liam Radeke is working in the lab of Dr. Amy Rogers on a colorimetric nitric oxide synthase activity assay that uses the Griess Reagent to quantify production of nitric oxide.


Department of Chemistry

Dana Mae Salvador (B.S. Biochemistry, 2023) is shown inoculating cell cultures. Dana Mae is studying a group of evolutionarily conserved enzymes to determine their biological role.


Department of Chemistry

Rachel Wilkinson is in Dr. Michael Giuliano’s lab purifying peptides using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). She determined the structure of the human neuropeptide galanin using NMR and characterized its solution behavior.


On July 28, Research Assistant Ansley Elkins and Dr. Renaud Geslain were excited to meet visiting New Covenant Upward Bound students from Monroe, NC. They played Molecular Biology bingo, talked about recombinant protein expression, and had fun with green glowing bacteria.

Francis Marion University


PI: Dr. Enoch Adogla

Demetric McCall is a Biology and Pre-med major with a Chemistry minor. He is a senior and plans to go to Medical school.


PI: Dr. Enoch Adogla

Riley Osbourn, a junior, is a Chemistry and Forensic Science major.


PI: Dr. Enoch Adogla

Andrew Powell is a Biology major with secondary education option. He is a senior and plans to be a high school science teacher.

Furman University

INBRE Faculty Fellows and Student Scholars

With a partial return to normal activities during Summer 2021, nine faculty (representing four departments) and 12 students were directly supported by INBRE beginning May 2021. The name of the faculty mentor, their INBRE funded student(s) and the titles of the student’s research projects are listed at right. An additional 12 students worked on INBRE-affiliated projects in the faculty member’s labs, and the university as a whole facilitated 272 summer research experiences campus-wide, with 104 faculty members, a record number of both student and faculty participants.

The new INBRE award (2020-2025) also introduced a new cohort building experience, with all 12 INBRE Student Scholars participating in a weekly seminar series. In addition to ice breakers, overviews of NIH -IDeA and INBRE programs and weekly check-ins, all 12 students presented 10-12 minute PowerPoint presentations with questions over a 4-week period during the summer. INBRE IV also introduced the INBRE Advisory Council (IAC) at Furman, in which four “seasoned” faculty are designated to support – through mentoring and planned activities – INBRE affiliated faculty as they work toward independent status.

Dr. Andrea Tartaro mentored Muqri Maherah and Miles Gary to investigate “Interactive Visualizations of Host-Pathogen Interactions in Dual RNA Sequencing”

Dr. Meg Breen mentored Ryan Singer on the “Investigation of the Phosphorylation Status of Pdr1 in Candida glabrata”

Dr. Mac Gilliland mentored Natalie Cheyne studying “Particle Coating of Paper Substrates for Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry”

Dr. George Shields mentored Brenna Outten and Lauren Jones for the “Investigation of the Role of Structure, Conformation, and Charge State of Agonists and Antagonists that Activate or Inhibit the µ Opioid Receptor”

Dr. George Shields (center) mentored 13 research students this summer on a broad range of computational projects. Brenna Outten (top second from right) and Lauren Jones (top right) completed a second summer of research with Dr. Shields, were inaugural recipients of the INBRE SIRP award. Both students were also recognized this past academic year as Goldwater Scholars.

Dr. Meg Breen (new faculty hire in Fall 2019) completed her first summer of research in 2021 and worked with INBRE Student Scholar Ryan Singer. The Summer 2021 Breen research group is pictured above with Dr Breen (far right) and Ryan Singer (second from right).

Dr. Pam Hanson mentored Daria Parks and Jackson Blackman on the “Analysis of ribosomal biogenesis as a potentially druggable target of the anticancer ruthenium complex KP1019”

Dr. Dave Hollis mentored Lana Aga for “Determining regional microcystin vulnerability in the central nervous system of fish”

Dr. Jason Rawlings mentored Eme De Graaf investigating “Signaling mechanisms regulating activation-induced chromatin decondensation in peripheral gd T lymphocytes”

Dr. Dave Hollis’ research students isolate the brains of fish exposed to the cyclic heptapeptide, microcystin-LR, in a study to determine regional brain susceptibility to this toxin produced during freshwater cyanobacterial blooms. Lana Aga (INBRE funded 2021) is front left.

Dr. Veronica Flores mentored Carl Hayes on “The impact of innocuous taste experience on long-term taste-learning and memory persistence”

Dr. Onarae Rice mentored Madeline (Mimi) Coleman to answer “Will Blocking the Brain’s Dopamine D3 Receptor Prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in a Rodent Model?”

Dr. Veronica Flores (new faculty hire, Fall 2019) completed her first summer of research in 2021 and worked with INBRE Student Scholar Carl Hayes (pictured above). Carl is presenting his summer research at the end-of-summer Psychology/Neuroscience Poster session.

UofSC Aiken


Learning Beyond the Classroom

Presented by the College of Sciences and Engineering and the Center for Research Excellence. Sponsored by ADP, SC INBRE, Workforce Opportunities in Regional Careers (WORC) and UofSC Aiken.

SC INBRE-supported –

USCA STEM Students
Madison Carelock, Faith Oladejo, Q’May Qourters, Chasey Shabdue, Caitlin Shirey, Kieran Short, Kylie Tager, David Weidner and Meghann Williams

High School Students
Madison Ackroyd, Kaili Renken and Peter Woodell

USCA Faculty Mentors
Drs. April DeLaurier, Nathan Hancock, Bill Jackson, MK Mills and Ken Roberts


“Synthesis of DHA Analog Substrates for Study of DHA-DAD Structural-Activity Relationship”Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ken Roberts


Investigating the Role of RNA Polymerase V in mPing Excision Site Repair”Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nathan Hancock
  • Madison Carelock (Biology), Analyzing the Function of an HIV-dependent Antiviral Expression Plasmid. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Jackson.

  • Q’May Qourters (Biology), Using a Short Hairpin RNA to Inhibit Expression of HIV-1 Tat. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Jackson.

  • Kaili Renken (High School Student - Biology), Investigating the Role of RNA Polymerase V in mPing Excision Site Repair. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nathan Hancock.

  • Chasey Shabdue (Biology), Determining the Role of Goosecoid in Craniofacial Development in Zebrafish. Faculty Mentor: Dr. April DeLaurier.

  • Caitlin Shirey (Biology), Stable Fly Vector and RNA Interference. Faculty Mentor: Dr. MK Mills.

  • Kieran Short (Biology), Determining the Effects of Loss of tbx5b on Zebrafish Development. Faculty Mentor: Dr. April DeLaurier.

  • Kylie Tager (Biology), Testing of an shRNA targeted to HIV-1 Rev exon 2. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Jackson.

  • David Weidner (Biology), Identifying the Regulatory Regions of the Artificial MITE mPong. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nathan Hancock.

  • Meghann Williams (Biology), Creating a Dual Expression Plasmid Targeted to HIV-1 Tat and Rev. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Jackson.

  • Peter Woodell (High School Student - Biology), Probing Egg Development in Culicoides sonorensis. Faculty Mentor: Dr. MK Mills.

Converse University and USC Upstate


Above is a screen shot from Converse-USC Upstate combined weekly meetings, Professional Development workshops, held on Mondays from 9 am to 10 am. The schedule included resume/CV writing, grad school/professional school applications, personal statements, digital presence, networking, how give effective poster presentations, how to give effective oral presentations, and writing your research. On August 9, they will have a virtual poster session. Said Dr. Neval Erturk, SC INBRE Institutional PI, “Students found these really valuable.”

Kaitlin Caughman, High School Student, Converse Program, Graduation Year: 2023
I am Kaitlin Caughman, a high school student dually enrolled at USC Upstate who will graduate from Dorman High School in 2023 with two years of college credits. The SC INBRE meetings each week taught me valuable skills such as how to write a resume, participate in a successful interview, and make my applications stand out, and I plan to use these skills as I apply to undergraduate schools and eventually, medical schools.

Valentina Aparicio, Converse, Mathematics and Business Administration Double Major, Graduation Year: 2022
Not only I have enjoyed every single one of them but I have also learned useful and important things that will help me better shape my future. Personally, this meetings came in right on time for me as I am a rising senior looking to strengthen my resume, cv and personal statement. I also found all the resources available extremely helpful and look forward to the last couple of meetings.

Heena Patel, Converse, Biology,
Graduation Year: 2023
I enjoy the weekly meetings because they provide useful information, such as how to communicate professionally. They also give guidance for what steps need to be taken to reach our future goals which has been very helpful.

Brianna Geddis, USC Upstate, Biology - Pre PA Major, Expected Graduation: December 2022
The weekly meetings were very beneficial to me! I believe that it was a nice way to incorporate professional development into the program.

MaKenna DeYoung, USC Upstate, Biology - Pre Med Major, Expected Graduation: 2024
Hi! My name is MaKenna DeYoung, I am a biology/ pre-med major and am expected to graduate in the spring of 2024. The weekly meetings are very helpful for me. I feel less stressed about organizing my future and love having so many great resources to help me prepare. All the information and speakers have helped tremendously.

UofSC Columbia


Chemical Engineering PhD StudentPI: Dr. Chang Liu, SC INBRE DRP recipient

From Dr. Liu, “There is an urgent need to develop rapid, quantitative, non–sputum-based tests for active TB that do not require bacterial isolation. In this work, a nanopore-based sensing method with attomolar sensitivity was developed for quantitation of circulating CFP-10/EAST-6 antigen complex for early detection of pediatric TB.


Biomedical Engineering PhD StudentPI: Dr. Chang Liu, SC INBRE DRP recipient

From Dr. Liu, “We developed DNA-assisted nanopore sensing for quantification of SARS-CoV-2 related antibodies in human serum. Different structures of DNA were used as detection reporters for multiplex quantification of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV-2 in serum specimens from patients with conformed or suspected infection.”