The annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference is an opportunity for all students at Augusta University, regardless of disciplines, to showcase their scholarly and artistic endeavors. Participating students were competitively selected from abstracts of their proposed conference projects. The proposed project may have been presented elsewhere or be expected to be presented elsewhere, and it must endorsed by a full-time Augusta University faculty member. The conference is open to all undergraduate students. Students and faculty sponsors are not required to be members of Phi Kappa Phi. All presentations are assessed by faculty judges, with awards given to the top presenters in each session.

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    Kumar, Aria (Arundhati); Appel, Joanna; Wyatt, Tasha; College of Science and Mathematics; Department of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine; Augusta University; Appel, Joanna (1/31/2020)
    Neuroanatomy requires students to acquire, assimilate, and apply knowledge of complex neuroanatomical structures. Three-dimensional (3D) physical models and computer-aided digital models are effective in promoting the development of neuroanatomical spatial representations. However, what remains unclear is exactly which tools benefit students the most. This study investigates whether there is a relationship between individuals' spatial abilities and their neuro-spatial knowledge, and to determine whether learning neuroanatomy is enhanced using one of three instructional tools. The spatial aptitude of undergraduate medical students enrolled in neuroanatomy was measured by tests previously validated as predictors of visual-spatial abilities, and a spatial aptitude profile was generated for each student. Students were given a pretest designed to assess critical spatial skills within the context of applied-neuroanatomy. Following the pretest, students attended a learning session where they interacted with one of three learning tools: a) 3D printed neuroanatomical models, b) 3D virtual neuroanatomical models, or c) hands-on deep-brain dissection. Effectiveness of each tool on student learning was evaluated by posttest. Preliminarily, all three instructional tools proved effective when assessing percentage change in pretest:posttest scores. Data is under analysis to determine if there exists an interplay between individual students' spatial abilities and the effectiveness of each learning tool.
  • Salty or Slightly Salty: Is Fish Species Richness affected by an obsolete navigational cut

    Patterson, Rebecca; Matthews, Loren; Reichmuth, Jessica; Saul, Bruce; Mathews, Loren; Biological Sciences; Biology; Augusta University; Georgia Southern University; Reichmuth, Jessica (1/30/2020)
    As rivers flow toward the coast, freshwater mixes with saltwater in estuaries. The mixing here creates a wide range of environments for many organisms. The Satilla River Estuary has been cut eight times, which has altered the salinity gradients that are a result of natural tidal flow. Altered salinity gradients pose a threat to migratory fish species because they are no longer able to pick up on directional cues these gradients provide, ultimately affecting species richness in the estuary. The purpose of this study is to determine if Noyes Cut has affected salinity gradients at five collection sites in Umbrella and Dover Creeks. Experimental gill nets were set one hour before max flood tide and soaked for two hours.� All fish were identified to species with total and fork lengths measured to the nearest centimeter. Noyes Cut and Parsons Creek had the most species richness while River Marsh Landing and Todd Creek experienced the lowest diversity.� We believe these large salinity fluctuations are due to a sediment deposit that blocks water flow as a result of Noyes Cut. When Noyes Cut is closed, we expect fish to redistribute into Umbrella and Dover Creeks as a result of restored salinity gradients.�

    Cantenot, Marie; Medcalfe, Simon; Hull College of Business; Augusta University; Medcalfe, Simon (1/31/2020)
    People cut meat out of their diet for three reasons: health, environmental and animal suffering. Some even go as far as following a vegan diet, a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy, and all other animal-derived products. Many vegetarian and vegan groups believe the production of meat is unethical and unsustainable and therefore aim to abolish the industry through the boycott of all animal products. This raises the question of how this lifestyle may have a true impact on meat, eggs and dairy prices. This research aims to explore the interrelationship between the rise of vegetarianism and veganism and the changes in beef, pork, chicken, eggs and dairy prices. The data will be the monthly percentage of vegetarians/vegans in the U.S. and the prices for beef, poultry and pork, eggs and dairy from January 2014 until May 2018, controlling for other factors that affect these prices. The results from regression analysis will show whether the increasing number of vegetarians and vegans has an impact on the prices offered by the meat, egg and dairy industry.

    Thomas, Eyana; Lian, Eric; Roberts, Kimberly; Young, Lufei; Biological Sciences; Department of Medicine; College of Nursing; Georgia Highlands College; Augusta University; Young, Lufei (1/31/2020)
    Patients with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from cardiac diseases than other without this diagnosis. Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is known to improve the physical functioning, reduce risk factors in cardiac patients with diabetes. The aim of this study is to evaluate if cardiac patients with comorbidity of diabetes had improved physical functioning (measured by six-minute walk test [6MWT]) and reduced risk factors (measured reduced fasting blood sugar, lipid profile, overweight, fat composition) after the cardiac rehabilitation program. A retrospective observational cohort longitudinal study using secondary data from electronic medical records was conducted. Clinical data were collected from the individual cardiac treatment plan form used by a cardiac rehabilitation center. Among 93 patients, improvement in physical functioning (i.e.: six-minute walk distance, and METs) was significant (p-value = <.01). This was done by comparing pre and post 6MWT scores.
  • Assessing Local Parks for their Infrastructure Issues, and Use.

    Shabu, Elizabath; Peritore, Nicole; Kinesiology and Health Science; Augusta University; Peritore, Nicole (1/29/2020)
    This research project assessed public park physical activity infrastructure use in Richmond and Columbia County. Prior research has shown that children not only enjoy outdoor time but also consider parks as a place for socializing. Further, research has shown that playground time positively impacts children imagination. The playground also aids in the physical fitness of children by offering interactive experiences that can add into the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Park assessments were conducted utilizing the Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA) Tool and found that overall parks in both counties were well taken care of. Additionally, there was a wide variety of amenities available to utilize. There were some areas of concern in the parks however, which included cigarette buds, alcohol containers, trash and cracked sidewalks. In both counties, parks were observed to see how much children utilized the playground equipment. Observations concluded that the majority of the children utilized the different variety of equipment, with the swings and slides being the most commonly employed. In conclusion, this presentation will describe the diversity of amenities, challenges in maintenance, and the overall use of public parks in Richmond and Columbia Counties.
  • Portrayal of Mental Illness in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"

    Shaikh, Arika; Sadenwasser, Tim; College of Science and Mathematics; Pamplin College; Augusta University; Sadenwasser, Tim (1/4/2020)
    Edgar Allan Poe's "The-Tell Tale Heart" delves into the human psyche as it entails the story of an unnamed narrator who tells the tale of the murder he commits. Undergoing an emotional rollercoaster of pleasure and guilt, Poe's protagonist maintains his claim to sanity and a sense of reality. Poe articulates many tone and rhythm changes to create a sense of tension representing the narrator's mental condition. Throughout the narrative, the narrator struggles to reassure that there is nothing wrong with him and that he is completely normal. Exploring the themes of madness, guilt, and a false sense of reality, Poe's narrator suffers from a sense of false narrative, a trait characteristic of schizophrenia. In addition, the narrator demonstrates episodes of delusions, auditory hallucinations, diminished emotional responses, and significant disturbances to his normal routine which all allude to schizophrenia. I will utilize the DSM-5 criteria, literary criticisms, and other publications to show the audience the schizophrenic nature of Poe's narrator. I plan on discussing the DSM-5 criteria for schizophrenia and demonstrating how the narrator meets those criteria in several circumstances. Utilizing vivid imagery and a scattered style, Poe explores the mental depths of a man suffering from schizophrenia.
  • Characterization of a Cyclic Peptide AD05 as a Novel Inhibitor of the Hsp90 Chaperoning Machine

    Fang, Wayne; Lu, Sumin; Jilani, Yasmeen; Debbab, Abdssamad; Chadli, Ahmed; Debbab, Abdssamad; Biological Sciences; Augusta University; Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf; Chadli, Ahmed (1/31/2020)
    Protection of oncogenic proteins is the foundation of many hallmarks of cancer. Based on this, hsp90 inhibitors have emerged as a potentially potent strategy for cancer treatment. The clinical efficacy of the earlier Hsp90 inhibitors remains unsatisfactory, in part due to their induction of heat shock response and anti-apoptotic mechanisms in cancer cells. To identify alternative therapeutic agents without these effects, we have developed a cell-free high-throughput screen (HTS) platform based on the folding of progesterone receptor (PR) by the core components of the Hsp90 chaperoning machine. During our initial screening of 175 natural products from North African medicinal plants, we discovered the cyclic peptide AD05 as a novel Hsp90 inhibitor. AD05 has shown a powerful antitumor activity against various cancer cell lines including HeLa, Hs578T, MDA-MB231, MDA-MB453, E0771, THP1, and U937. Western blot analysis revealed that AD05 destabilizes Hsp90 client proteins without inducing heat shock response as indicated by lack of upregulation of Hsp70, Hsp40 and Hsp27. Remarkably, AD05 does not induce apoptosis but rather triggers autophagy in various cell lines.
  • Ionic and Covalent Conjugates of Metronidazole and Tryptamine

    Lyons, Dominique; Baako, Precious; Lebedyeva, Iryna; Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University; Lebedyeva, Iryna (2/2/2020)
    Metronidazole, is an antibiotic used in the treatment of many bacterial and parasitic infections. This antibacterial agent has been shown to have a variety uses upon its development. Metronidazole is derived synthetically from Azomycin, a natural antimicrobial antibiotic produced by actinobacteria such as Norcadia mesenterica, Sterptomyces eurocidicus and proteobacrteria Pseudomonas fluorescens used to treat anaerobic parasitic and bacterial infections. Solid drugs are not as effective in the body because they are not solube enough to allow for effectve release into circulation making it hard for the body to absorb. However, ionic liquids can be used to improve drug delivery, efficay and development. Ionic liquid compositons are typically made up of at least two different ions with atleast one kind of cation and one kind of anion. In this project ionic liquid compositions containing metronidazole as positively charged ion and acesulfame as counterion have been synthesized. To explore the brain-penetrating ability of tryptamine, we have created its conjugates with beta-alanine, glucine and gabapentin. These ionic and conavelnt conjugates represent existing drugs with improved properties such as palatability and lipophilicity.
  • How Does Economic Turmoil Affect Alcohol Consumption?

    Bruker, Augustus; Medcalfe, Simon; Hull College of Business; Augusta University; Medcalfe, Simon (2/4/2020)
    This paper's purpose is to examine the affects that recessive economic periods have on drinking habits in different countries. A recession is a very complex economic event that can affect behavioral patterns, including changes in drinking habits, across countries. The economic factors studied will include changes in median household incomes, unemployment rates, and GDP's of different countries. Alcohol consumption will be broken down into beer, wine, and spirits, which is necessary to the research because different countries may show different trends in what form of alcohol they choose to turn to during a recession. This research is important because it could potentially show a global problem in which society is turning to the dangerous habit of alcoholism to deal with their economic hardships. For the data in my paper, I plan to refer to the World Health Organization's 2018 global status report on alcohol and health. This report has data for all major countries pertaining to how much alcohol they consume per year on average, what types of alcohol the country prefers, and how factors such as age, gender, and race affect drinking in their country. I hypothesize that the public does in fact drink more alcohol during times of economic turmoil.
  • Development of Defined Culture Conditions For Human Wharton's Jelly Stem Cells

    Shaikh, Arika; Eroglu, Ali; College of Science and Mathematics; Department of Neuroscience & Regenerative Medicine; Augusta University; Eroglu, Dr. Ali (1/4/2020)
    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multi-potent and capable of differentiating into various cell lineages. While MSCs have commonly been isolated from bone marrow for treatment of numerous diseases, alternative sources including adipose tissue and Wharton’s Jelly (WJ), an extra-embryonic umbilical cord tissue rich from hyaluronic acid (HA), are under study for establishment of safer, less invasive procedures. Typically, WJ-MSCs are cultured in undefined media containing fetal bovine serum, of which use has been associated with different complications, including transmission of infectious agents and induction of immunologic reactions. To facilitate clinical applications, this project aims to develop chemically defined and safe culture conditions for human WJ-MSCs. The hypothesis is that undifferentiated growth of WJ-MSCs will be supported by an HA-based extracellular matrix and fortified DMEM/F12 supplemented with macromolecules, antioxidants, and growth factors. This hypothesis will be tested by comparing the growth kinetics and plasticity of WJ-MSCs cultured under conventional undefined and defined conditions. WJ-MSCs will be isolated via either the “enzymatic digestion” or “tissue explant” methods from human umbilical cords. They will then be phenotyped by evaluating the expression of relevant markers using a MSC phenotyping kit and placed into one of six different culture media groups for experimental testing.
  • ATAD3A: a critical driver for head and neck cancer

    Caleb Jensen; Yong Teng; Liwei Lang; Biological Sciences; Augusta University; Yong Teng (1/15/2020)
    For patients with head and neck cancer whose tumors are HPV negative HPV(-), current therapy does not lead to significant longevity and most succumb to loco-regional recurrence of the primary tumor. We discovered that HPV(-) head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) highly expressed ATPase family AAA-domain containing protein 3A (ATAD3A). ATAD3A is the mitochondrial protein, which has been demonstrated as an oncogene in breast and lung cancer. However, nothing has been reported regarding its role in HNSCC. Using the HPV(-) HNSCC cell line HN12 as a cell model, we show here that knockout of ATAD3A expression by CRISPR-CAS9 in HNSCC cells, leading to reduced cell proliferation and decreased the ability of colony formation and anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. Importantly, ATAD3A loss also significantly suppressed HNSCC cells to grow in 3D culture. Together, these findings suggest the potential oncogenic role of ATAD3A in HNSCC cells, and implicate that ATAD3A represents a promising target for better treatment of patients with HPV(-) HNSCC.
  • Early Extubation in Infancy and Early Childhood Following Heart Surgery: outcome analysis and predictors of failure

    Esquivel, Raquel; Geister, Emma; Crethers, Danielle; Weatherholt, Danalynn; Sanchez, Maria Gabriela; Munoz, Gustavo; Polimenakos, Anastasios C.; Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; Department of Surgery; Augusta University; et al. (1/31/2020)
    Fast-track (FT) strategies and early extubation (EE), when feasible, can have beneficial effect on clinical outcomes. Despite positive findings in adult cardiac surgery studies, EE procedures have not been rigorously evaluated in the pediatric cardiac populations. We sought to determine feasibility and clinical outcomes of EE in infancy and early childhood following congenital heart surgery (CHS), as well as identify predictors of failure and highlight cost implications related to FT. A retrospective chart review of children ?6 years old who underwent CHS at the Children�s Hospital of Georgia from January-December 2017 was performed. EE was defined as successful removal of the endotracheal tube in the operating room or upon arrival in intensive care unit (ICU). Multivariate analysis was used to compare peri-operative data, identify the predictors of EE failure, and assess total hospital cost. Of the 64 patients reviewed, mean hospital length of stay (LOS) was 6.97+/-4.1 days in EE compared to 21.78+/-13.45 days in non-EE (p�< 0.0001). There was a near 3-fold cost increase failing EE/fast track which impacted total hospital cost for EE compared to non-EE patients (p�<0.0001, mean: $51419.913 sd= 23,196.203). Deployment of FT strategy with EE is safe and feasible following CHS during infancy and early childhood. Proper customization and implementation, through patient modifiable variables, can have powerful impact on cost-containment.
  • A Study of Human Skin Color, a Natural Sunscreen: Physiology, Molecular Evolution, Public Health and Student Learning

    Ayala, Juan; Mukhopadhyay, Soma; Biological Sciences; Augusta University; Mukhopadhayay, Soma (1/30/2020)
    Human skin coloration is a combination of pigmentation, ultraviolet (UV) exposure, gene expression and natural selection. Skin tone is also associated with several physiological processes, such as vitamin D synthesization, calcium homeostasis, maintaining proper blood folate concentration, and the production of serotonin. In recent years, the study of molecular evolution has become very significant not only to understand the human body but also becoming an integral part for understanding public health and other fields of medical science. Our goal of this project was to create an interactive course module for Anatomy and Physiology students to show how skin physiology was driven by evolutionary pressures. Also, the module was intended to show how exposure to some UV radiation is important for certain biological processes and to offer protection against cancer and on the other hand how overexposure might cause damage and lead to cancer. Students were introduced to molecular evolution of skin color and the production of different pigments, eumelanin and pheomelanin to shield DNA from harmful UV light. Additionally, UVAB and UVC irradiance were measured and compared to the UV index which indicates the strength of UV radiation for the day to make people aware of the environmental factors arou
  • Schizoaffective disorder depressive type in "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman

    German, Lindsey; Sadenwasser, Tim; English and Foreign Languages; Augusta University; Sadenwasser, Tim (12/10/2019)
    Charlotte Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" is a literary work of empowering women and serves to explore the human psyche upon women in the 19th century. The author wanted to create a story that brought people"s attention to the rest cure treatment, and how it was not beneficial for the mind. It actually has detrimental effects on one"s mind, because the rest cure isolates that person in a room with nothing to do but to essentially "go crazy." Therefore, the author wanted to warn people about this form of treatment through the downward spiral of the narrator's mental health in the story. In my presentation, I will use other literary references and descriptions given from the short story to show the audience evidence of the narrator's behavior with the character diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder depressive type. To do this, I plan on discussing the criteria of the diagnosis from the DSM-V and how these criteria are met in the short story. This criterion includes a major depressive episode and schizophrenic symptoms. She displays her depressive mood within the story by crying all day at nothing. She displays her schizophrenic symptoms when she experiences delusions, hallucinations, and social withdrawal. I also plan on discussing how the sociocultural factors involving the rest cure treatment given to the narrator and her relationship with her husband further diminishes her mental health. This mental instability that she experiences causes much distress in her life to the point where she could not take it anymore.

    Hammond, Caroline; Agee, Brian M.; Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University; Agee, Brian M (1/29/2020)
    Recently, scientists have attempted to transform traditional synthetic procedures into ones that are more environmentally favorable due to the desire to circumvent the damage being done to our environment. A technique was recently developed in which satellite dishes were repurposed as solar reflectors that are capable of providing a focused source of solar irradiation.� The ability to use the solar reflector as the sole heat source for synthetic reactions has been analyzed for the synthesis of the commercially important polyamide, nylon 6,6.� Commercially, Nylon 6,6 is synthesized using a multi-step procedure, in which nearly all of the steps require the addition of heat in order for the reaction to occur.� Furthermore, the synthesis also incorporates some chemicals/reagents that are not environmentally friendly or consist of elements that are considered endangered and supply are in serious danger.� The exchange of these reagents with more environmentally friendly, sustainable substitutes has been analyzed for the total synthesis of nylon 6,6.� The incorporation of a solar energy heat source and use of environmentally friendly chemicals provides a new synthetic route to nylon6,6 that can be taught in teaching labs as a �green synthesis� experiment or scaled to fit the needs of industrial synthesis.
  • The Yellow Wallpaper: Obsessions, Compulsions, and Psychotic Episodes (Delusions)

    Morel, Nicole; Sadenwasser, Tim; College of Science and Mathematics; English and Foreign Languages; Augusta University; Sadenwasser, Tim (12/13/2019)
    The Yellow Wallpaper is a short-story which takes place in 1885 about the perspective of a middle-class woman who has been diagnosed with Neurasthenia. The symptoms of Neurasthenia were often described as having, "headaches, indigestion, depression, and anxiety" (The Nerves of Men and Women,2007, para. 6). Her husband who was a practicing physician implemented the most common treatment for this illness: The Rest Cure. This treatment comprised of complete bed rest, air, and absolutely no form of activity (Neurasthenia Cures for Women, 2007). This diagnosis was later discredited by the medical community. In this paper, I display how his enforcement of this treatment escalated his wives' mental health. From examining the texts provided by the novel, this essay will create a diagnosis of the possible psychological disorder the main character was driven into. Specifically, her husband may have induced an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with an acute delusion episode. Afterwards, there will be an analysis on two other sources which will support this psychological diagnosis. The results display how The Rest Cure may have induced a psychological complication.
  • Prehistoric Dinosaurs: An Exploration of Fact vs. Fiction Through the Creation of Comparative Sculptural Forms

    Havens, Krista; Onofrio, Jennifer; Crowther, Thomas; Art and Design; Augusta University; Onofrio, Jennifer; Crowther, Thomas (1/27/2020)
    Prehistoric Dinosaurs: An Exploration of Fact vs. Fiction Through the Creation of Comparative Sculptural Forms, is an art exhibition which displays the differences between how dinosaurs look in film and media verses how they are proposed to have looked based on scientific findings. The impetus for this project was to create a kid friendly educational tool, comprised of three hand-sculpted dinosaurs and three resin cast dinosaurs. The species of dinosaurs created were Carnotaurus, Velociraptor, and Dilophosaurus, some of the most commonly portrayed dinosaurs in the film industry. Each scientifically accurate dinosaur sculpture will be placed next to its film and media representation counterpart, to allow for the viewer to compare and contrast the differences in the physical appearances.
  • Competitive Balance in Women's Collegiate Golf

    Jones, Austin; Medcalfe, Simon; Hull College of Business; Augusta University; Medcalfe, Simon (1/31/2020)
    Since the implementation of title IX in 1972, there has been in increase in the organization and participation of women's collegiate sports teams. In 1982, which is when Women started competing in NCAA golf, participation was numbered at 739 and by 2008, there were a total of 2047 participants. This paper shows how the increase in participation among division 1 women's golf teams has affected the competitive balance in women's collegiate golf. The method of assessing this effect is to compare all the participating scores in past NCAA championships against the increase in participation over time. It is hypothesized that as participation increased, the scores have trended lower and therefore made women's golf more competitive. The division 1 men's golf team is used as a control to see that the effects are unique to the women's team.
  • Case Competition

    TBD; TBA; Augusta University; TBA (11/20/2019)
    The third Augusta University Case Competition, sponsored by the Hull College of Business, is a competition for student pairs to analyze a given business situation and advise the business's key decision-makers of the merits of their recommended course of action through a written memo. Topics include business processes, internal controls, and ethics. The top five student teams will proceed to a poster display and an in-person presentation to a panel of judges made up of local professionals in the accounting and finance fields. The top team will be named March 6, 2020, and (as discussed with Dr. Patel) the information will be provided for inclusion in the PKP Conference booklet and schedule.
  • Characterization of Proton Sensitive G protein-Coupled Receptors

    Nam, Alisha; Okasha, Najeah; Spencer, Angela; Lambert, Nevin; Biological Sciences; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Chemistry and Physics; Augusta University; Spencer, Angela (1/31/2020)
    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are membrane-bound receptors that can stimulate an intracellular signaling pathway following activation by a ligand. According to the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) database, GPR4, GPR65, and GPR132 are Class A orphan GPCRs with protons reported as their putative endogenous ligand; however, these receptors are currently understudied. After confirming whether these receptors are pH-sensitive, the purpose of our study was to investigate the interactions between GPR4, GPR65 and GPR132 and G protein subtypes (G?s, G?i, G?q, and G?12) upon stimulation with an acidic solution. Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), we studied the coupling between luciferase-tagged GPR receptors and fluorescent protein (Venus)-tagged G proteins in response to pH changes. Data indicated that all three receptors responded to pH changes. Upon extracellular response to pH changes, the receptors activate different G protein subtypes and thus, different signaling pathways: GPR4 activates G?i, G?q, and G?12; GPR65 activates all four subtypes; and GPR132 activates G?i�and weakly activates G?q, and G?12. Identifying these receptors as true proton sensors leads the way in understanding the role they play in maintaining acid-base homeostasis and will be critical for the development of novel drugs combatting acid-base related disorders.

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