USC Davis Student Lab Members Honored During USC Undergraduate Symposium

Five undergraduate researchers from USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology laboratories were recognized for their scientific achievement during the 2017 USC Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work on April 12.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the symposium provides undergraduates with the unique opportunity to exhibit and share examples of their significant research and creativity with the university community and features research in arts, humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences and math and engineering. Students present work in a variety of ways, such as through poster/panel sessions, art exhibits, and electronic media. With $1000 first prizes and $500 second prizes in each category, the event awards over $15,000 in prizes each year.

“There was a record number of USC students from across campus presenting their work at this symposium,” said symposium awardee and USC Student Gerontology Association President Sarah Wong. “It speaks to the caliber of these students’ presentations and the merit of their research.”

Winning Researchers from USC Leonard Davis School Laboratories:

Category: Life Sciences I

2nd Prize – Richard Johnson ’18
Biochemistry major, Finch lab

Developmental Exposure to Particulate Air Pollutants Reduces Cell Proliferation in the Hippocampus and Impairs Hippocampal Dependent Memory

Faculty Sponsors: Caleb Finch, Davis School of Gerontology; Todd Morgan, Davis School of Gerontology; Nicholas Woodward, Davis School of Gerontology; Scott Kanoski, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences; Costas Sioutas, Viterbi School of Engineering

Honorable Mention – Shyam Hassan ’19
Human Development and Aging major, Curran lab

Cycloheximide Resistance, Mechanisms, and Genetics in C. elegans

Faculty Sponsors: Sean Curran, Davis School of Gerontology; Hans Dalton, Davis School of Gerontology

Category: Life Sciences II

1st Prize – Sang Wun (Erick) Jung ’18
Biological Sciences major, Lee lab

Discovering the First Immune System Encoded in the Human Mitochondrial Genome: The Antimicrobial Effects of a Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide on Bacteria

Faculty Sponsor: Changhan Lee, Davis School of Gerontology

Category: Social Sciences II

2nd Prize – Hannah Nordberg ’17
Psychology major, Mather lab

Anxiety, Physiological Arousal, and Executive Functioning in Younger Adults

Faculty Sponsors: Kelly Durbin, Psychology, Dornsife College; Mara Mather, Davis School of Gerontology; Allison Ponzio, Davis School of Gerontology

Special Awards – American Physiological Society

1st Prize – Sarah Wong ’18
Human Development and Aging major, Davies lab

Sexual Dimorphism and the 20S Proteasome in Oxidative Stress and Adaptive Homeostasis

Faculty Sponsors: Kelvin Davies, Davis School of Gerontology; John Tower, Molecular and Computational Biology, Dornsife College

Honorable Mention – Sang Wun (Erick) Jung ’18
Biological Sciences major, Lee lab

Discovering the First Immune System Encoded in the Human Mitochondrial Genome: The Antimicrobial Effects of a Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide on Bacteria

Faculty Sponsor: Changhan Lee, Davis School of Gerontology

Sarah Wong (’18 human development and aging), winner of the American Physiological Society 1st prize, with project mentor Laura Corrales-Diaz Pomatto (PhD Biology of Aging ’17) and fellow undergrad researcher Mayme Cline (’17 biomedical engineering).

Top: Shyam Hassan (’19 human development and aging) presents his research project during the symposium. He received an Honorable Mention in the Life Sciences I category.