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Fellowship Snapshots 2022

Here is a look at the research of some of the incoming and continuing Ph.D. students who received competitive fellowships from The Duke Graduate School for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

Yasemin Altun

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

My dissertation research focuses on women's group forms of artistic production in 18th-century France. This past August, with the support of the International  Dissertation Research Travel Award from the Graduate School, I visited the British Museum in London to view drawings done by an artist named Sophie Chéron. Chéron made these drawings to serve as designs for reproduction in print. At the British Museum, I discovered that one of the printmakers with whom Chéron collaborated made direct revisions to her drawings, enhancing them for publication. These revisions are not viewable online or in any publication.

 

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Deirdre Jonese Austin

Cultural Anthropology

Dean's Graduate Fellowship

Broadly speaking, I am interested in the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, religion, and embodiment, and my doctoral research explores how Black Protestant Christian women in the U.S. South come to understand their bodies and sexualities through dance in sacred and secular spaces. As such, I plan  to pursue certificates in African and African American Studies and Feminist Studies, and I also hope to take courses in the dance program and Divinity School (I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree before  enrolling at Duke). I am particularly interested in how religious messages around bodies and sexualities in church and ministry spaces shape the lives of Black women, such as their politics, attire, vocational pathways, and approach to relationships with others. I want to see how these messages contrast with those received in secular spaces, such as pole dancing studios.  As a cultural anthropology Ph.D. student, I intend to complete this project through ethnographic research in the U.S. South, utilizing a womanist or Black feminist cultural and theoretical lens.

 

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Emma Beane

Cell and Molecular Biology

Chancellor's Domestic Fellowship

As a first-year student in the cell and molecular biology Ph.D. program, I have the opportunity to explore the labs of several faculty members through rotations to find the lab that best aligns with my research interests. I look forward to diving into research that seeks to understand the mechanisms of cell processes, how the studies can inform our understanding of cancer development and progression, and how this mechanistic knowledge can inform targeted treatment. These rotations will allow me to learn about different areas of research beyond what can be learned through coursework, and find the lab that best aligns with my research interests to complete my dissertation.

 

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Blake Beaver

Literature

Rubenstein Library Internship: Advertising History Intern

My dissertation, ”Technological Allegories of Televisual Transformation: Network, Cable, and Satellite Family Dramas in the United States, 2001-Present returns to those family dramas on U.S. television that have proved central to my intellectual development. Reviewing these dramas, I perceived that they regularly feature stories centered around media technologies like TV sets, video cameras, VCRs, DVDs, Jumbotrons and smartphones, provoking the driving question of my study: what do such stories about the connections between the American family and screen technologies reveal about popular understandings of the TV medium and the American family in the post-2000 context? My dissertation contends that key storylines in recent family dramas translate changes in television technology, industry and policy into symbolically charged depictions of media technologies. I name this translation process technological allegory because of the hidden, historical meanings such stories about technology indirectly communicate. The family dramas focus on these technologies in their visual aspects through close-ups and lingering shots, as well as in the series narrative arcs. By consistently emphasizing the central position of these technologies, visually in our everyday surroundings and narratively in the stories we tell about ourselves, these family dramas reveal that screen technologies are primary agents of historical change in American industry, politics, and culture.

 

Christopher Behrer

Public Policy

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

I study how firms and individuals that provide health care products and services make decisions. Specifically, I study how competition between firms affects the type and cost of health care products and services available to consumers and how government policy interacts with this competition between firms. This award allowed me to travel to India to acquire data on the prices and quantities of pharmaceutical products sold in the domestic Indian market. I plan to use this data to study government price regulation, changes in tax policy, the behavior of a trade association of pharmaceutical distributors, effects of quality regulation, and the price, quality, and access tradeoffs inherent in a market for pharmaceutical products.

Carolin Benack

English

Bass Instructor of Records

I study the intersection of fiction and economics. My dissertation traces a shift in conceptions of individuality in late-19th and early-20th century US novels and economic theory.

 

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Julia Bingham

Marine Science and Conservation

Bass Instructional Fellowship, Instructor of Record; Summer Research Fellowship

My research addresses environmental knowledge, values, and social equity concerns in fishery governance and management. My dissertation research explores the role of scientific and Indigenous ways of knowing in the management of salmon fisheries on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada (WCVI). Salmon are economically, culturally, and ecologically important to local coastal communities, especially Indigenous First Nations. In BC, they are also facing dramatic declines and possible extinction due in part to mismanagement and climate change impacts. Stakeholders are motivated to change fishing and management practices to save salmon populations through the best available Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices and scientific tools and technology. Additionally, recent legislative changes require that Canada incorporates Indigenous rights and knowledge into fishery management plans. Contested sovereignty and colonial legacies add additional challenges. I hope to identify mechanisms for knowledge integration that support more effective and equitable fishery governance and management, and that shift western scientific management away from practices that historically marginalize local and Indigenous communities. I work following the guidance and collaboration of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Ha’oom Fishing Society. My research is intended to support Nuu-chah-nulth values and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations’ path towards self-determination.

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Ashley Blawas

Marine Science and Conservation

Katherine Goodman Stern Fellowship

My dissertation is focused on understanding the physiological responses of whales and dolphins to diving across multiple physiological scales, namely the responses at the cellular/molecular, tissue, and whole-organism levels.  Diving mammals are well-adapted to deal with the challenge of breath-hold diving and therefore have physiologies that allow them to tolerate low-oxygen conditions, prioritize oxygen resources to important tissues, and rapidly recover and prepare for dives. In order to understand how whales and dolphins will deal with the challenges of a changing ocean, like prey moving deeper in the water column as the ocean warms, it is critical to understand the limits of their physiology. Additionally, because marine mammals exhibit a unique tolerance to the low-oxygen conditions that develop during diving, they are a useful non-traditional model organism for informing novel treatments for oxygen-related injuries and clinical emergencies in humans. By understanding the diving physiology of whales and dolphins across scales we can better monitor and predict how they will function in response to human-induced stressors and can translate insights from these adaptations to improve human medicine.

Curtis Bram

Political Science

Aleane Webb Fellowship

Researchers have dedicated substantial effort to investigating important non-material motivations for people to get involved in politics, such as duty, emotions, and identities. Less attention has been paid to the expectations people develop for what governments and politicians will deliver. My dissertation is about what people think elections will do for them, where those expectations come from, and their political consequences. I address these topics using surveys, observational data, and field experiments.

W. Erickson Bridges

Classical Studies

Graduate School Administrative Internship

I am currently a 7th year Ph.D candidate in the Department of Classical Studies, working to complete a dissertation on retrospective readings of the poetry of the ancient Roman writer Lucretius. Lucretius' poem, "On the Nature of Things", is a physics textbook in poetic form, teaching the materialist and atomic scientific theories of the philosophical school of Epicureanism while extolling the ethical and moral benefits of adopting said philosophy.

Lucretius' poem infamously ends on an abrupt note, where an evocative and disturbing account of the Plague of Athens in 430 BCE ends without explanation. Scholars have puzzled over this ending for decades, offering explanations ranging from it being unfinished to functioning as a test of the reader's understanding of Epicurean ethics or a satire on Roman social life.

My dissertation sets out to survey these theories and argue that the sudden ending jolts the first-time reader into rereading the poem, where they will discover truths about Epicureanism Lucretius has hidden throughout the text which they were not earlier aware of. This then leads to what I hold is the ultimate lesson of Lucretius' poem: that the altruism present in Epicureanism, which far from being opposed to this hedonistic philosophy, is rather necessary for it.

I am thankful for the opportunity the Graduate School Administrative Internship has given me to finish my dissertation while also becoming familiar with administration in higher education!

 

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Paris Brown

Biomedical Engineering

Sloan Scholarship, Dean's Graduate Fellowship

Since August 2021, I've been conducting research in the Varghese lab. I began by investigating the penetration of a specific peptide through bovine cartilage. Later, I switched to a project involving an organ on a chip. The project’s goal  was to investigate the blood-brain barrier's response to inflammation. I used a device to seed human brain microvascular endothelial cells, astrocytes, and pericytes. I then introduced IL-1B into the system to mimic neuroinflammation. I also investigated the protective effects of omega-3 fatty acids to see if they could help keep the blood-brain barrier intact. We collaborated on the project with Niccolo Terrando's lab and published a paper a few months ago. I'm currently working on a new chip to create a 3D vasculature using endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes in a fibrinogen gel. I'm also growing neural stem cells (from healthy and Alzheimer's disease patients) right now in order to differentiate them into cortical neurons and create an organoid (vascularized) to incorporate into the chip. I'd like to compare monocyte infiltration across the blood-brain barrier in healthy and Alzheimer's disease patients. The end goal of my thesis is to create organoids of different brain regions and fuse them together to create a “mini brain” from stem cells.

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Patricia Buzelli

Nursing

Dean's Graduate Fellowship

My research interest is in health disparities and pediatric bereavement. Specifically, my interest lies within improving care for Latinx immigrant families living through the loss of a child to cancer focusing on asset framing and resiliency. Through a lens of protection, I hope to identify how Latinx families in the US who are living through the loss of a child to cancer, resource their communities transnationally to support their grief process. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, I have wielded my lived experiences to guide my academic and clinical pursuits over the last decade. More recently, I spent the last several years immersed in clinical practice as a nurse practitioner, where I developed my expertise in hematology oncology and captured the practice challenges that remain in providing equitable care for immigrant populations. I am excited to begin a career in academic research to bridge these gaps in care.

Cristina Carnemolla

Romance Studies

Bass Fellowship IOR

In Fall 2019, I worked as a TA with Prof Dainotto for this seminar and thought it would be interesting to teach the same movies by looking at them from the specific angle of critical racial theory. This academic year 2022/2023, I received a Bass IOR Fellowship to teach the Italian Seminar 328, "Race at Mafia Movies." This course is a personal reiteration of Professor Dainotto's Italian 385 "Mafia at the movies," one of the most popular seminars in the Romance Studies department.  

I applied for the Bass IOR fellowship to teach "Race in Mafia Movies" to offer students a better understanding of the racialization practices that underlie the representation of gangsters and Mafiosi in Italian and American Mafia Movies. The  leading questions this seminar will discuss are: Why are Mafiosi and gangsters always racialized? What does it imply if the gangster is from a marginalized community? How did the destiny of the Mafia cross with that of migration flow both in the U.S. and Italy?

Finally, my students will have a chance to talk with specialists in the anti-mafia movement in Italy at the end of our course. They will also have two joint sessions with students currently taking a Narco aesthetic course at Princeton University to share and compare what they have learned.

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José Colón Rivera

Physics

Sloan Scholarship

At Duke University, I am conducting research in the field of experimental nuclear physics. My research focuses on the search for a rare nuclear process which could help us understand why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe.

 

 

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Maria Creighton

Biology

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International, Summer Research Fellowship

In my Ph.D. work I explore the functional significance and evolutionary origins of animal sociality. I am specifically interested in understanding whether sociality helps animals to navigate environmental challenges. My dissertation can be broken into three main questions: 1) Are the survival benefits of individual and group social traits environmentally dependent? 2) How do individual and group social traits contribute to resource acquisition? 3) Do environmental conditions determine the global distribution of social vertebrates? I leverage individual, group, and species -level data on wild animal populations to determine how the social and physical environments interact in their effects on fitness-related outcomes at various evolutionary scales (i.e., within and across species).

 

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Alessandra "Sascha" Daniels

German Studies (Carolina-Duke German Program)

Dean's Graduate Fellowship

My area of interest is  within German Studies  specifically Black German Studies. My research looks at Black German, or Afro-German, identities and how Afro-German narratives are established in contemporary German society, mainly through various forms of media. Germany doesn't have a racial census like the United States does, so it is difficult to precisely say how much of Germany's population is Black-the estimate, however, is about 1 million people, or roughly 2% of the population. Though a small minority, Afro-German visibility is growing in literature and pop culture, which is why I find Afro-German youth culture such a refreshing subject. I explore this mostly through German hip-hop music, which is heavily influenced by music created by African Americans. There is an unmistakable connection between the African diasporas in the United States and Germany, and as a Black person who has spent significant time in both countries, I constantly see this affiliation in my work, as well as in my personal life. The Afro-German community is rich and dynamic yet  often overlooked in German Studies at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. My goal is to change the American perception of what it means to look or to be German and present a more accurate representation of the nation that is seldom seen outside of Europe. Germany's population diversity has shifted dramatically in recent years, and I strongly believe this deserves more attention in American academia.

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David S. De La Mater III

Ecology

Dissertation Research Travel Award: Domestic

My research quantifies the effects of environmental change through traits. I used a combination of broad-scale observation, small-scale experiments, careful measurement, and some simple mathematical modeling to make mechanistically based predictions about how we might expect environmental change (e.g. global warming) to impact species and ecosystems. I’m interested in answering the question: “How does environmental change affect the interactions that underlie the structure of communities and the function of ecosystems?” I use salt marsh communities as systems to investigate this question, and to understand more about the intersection of biogeography, community ecology, and conservation. Salt marshes are important coastal habitats that furnish us with many valuable ecosystem services, yet about half of all salt marshes, globally have been destroyed.

My work involves traveling large distances to measure how species respond to the many different environmental conditions they live in. For example, in 2019, I traveled from Florida to Maine, sampling salt marshes across the entire east coast to see how they differ across this environmental gradient. In 2022, I collected dead plant matter across the same gradient. I will perform experiments to see how different environments affect the rate at which this dead plant matter decays and how we might expect a warming climate to affect carbon storage in marshes.

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Kelsey Desir

English

Julian Price Graduate Fellowship in Humanities and History

Foregrounding a Black feminist lens and methods from literary studies, I analyze African American and African Diasporic literature and visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries to examine how language and The Politics of Affect buttress the gendered, classed, and racial oppression that Black women encounter in their pursuit of health and wellness and, in turn, how they use expressive culture to foster self and community care practices in the face of interlocking oppression.

Kerry Dillon

Molecular Cancer Biology

Chancellor's Scholarship

I am currently a rotating student, but at this time I am interested in investigating development and maintenance of therapeutic resistance, using unbiased screening approaches to explore potential collateral sensitivities shared across different resistance mechanisms.

Robin Fail

Marine Science and Conservation

Summer Research Fellowship and the Domestic Travel Award

The purpose of my research is to understand the role of competing discourses in constituting the politics and practices surrounding U.S. aquaculture development and to consider the equity implications of how certain values are prioritized and elevated via policymaking in this sector. Aquaculture represents a complex socio-ecological problem surrounding natural resource use, ocean access, sustainability, livelihood, food production, and culture. My research takes place in Maine, a state with a broad variety of aquaculture species and deeply entrenched maritime traditions. Proponents of aquaculture expansion commonly highlight its potential for aggregate economic growth and food production, while giving little attention to the place-based impacts of aquaculture development, including well-being and equity. My research tackles these questions by investigating how competing values are expressed through discourse and then empowered or marginalized via policymaking. As a rapidly growing sector, policymakers must grapple with conflict born of competing values and priorities and consider the equity dimensions of this industry as it reshapes coastal communities.

Leonard Faul

Cognitive Neuroscience

Katherine Goodman Stern Fellowship

My primary research examines the behavioral, psychophysiological, and neural mechanisms of emotional memory bias. That is, understanding why and how specific emotional experiences are remembered differently than other experiences due to consolidation and reconsolidation processes that filter and modify the type of information we store into memory. I have already examined this area of research with respect to the persistence of fear-based memories (Faul, Stjepanović, et al., 2020) and the cognitive restructuring of negative autobiographical events (Faul, St. Jacques, et al., 2020). With the generous support of the Katherine Goodman Stern Fellowship, I am also investigating how our mood states can selectively influence the balance of positive and negative information that is stored into memory. I recently published an extensive review paper on this subject (Faul & LaBar, in press) and am currently running studies that induce participants into different moods to examine how people misremember emotional episodes as better or worse than they actually were depending on their mood after the experience. With this work, our field will gain a richer understanding for how biases in emotional memory initially develop, which has direct relevance for improving models of mood disorders that are perpetuated by such biases.

Olivia Fay

Pathology

James B. Duke Fellowship

I am a first-year PhD student in the Pathology Department at Duke and a recipient of the James B. Duke Fellowship.

My research interests include immunology (particularly autoimmunity and transplant immunology), histopathology, neuropathology, and the role of genetics in disease pathogenesis. I am especially interested in conducting translational studies that are clinically useful in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of human disease. 

I am currently rotating in the lab of Xunrong Luo, MD, Ph.D. the Luo Lab studies methods of inducing tolerance in solid organ and tissue transplantation. My rotation project involves investigating the mechanisms through which fragments of donor cells interact with recipient immune cells and ultimately contribute to graft failure, with the overall goal of identifying ways to induce tolerance and prevent allograft rejection. 

I look forward to continuing my research journey at Duke, and I am extremely grateful for the support provided to me by the James B. Duke Fellowship.

 

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Brittany Forniotis

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

I study the architecture of hospitals in the Mediterranean prior to 1700. Hospitals are institutions that provide charitable medical care to travelers and the people of their community. They were important spaces for social activity. Hospitals often had places of worship and pharmacies open to the public. They employed laborers in caretaking, agriculture, and custodial work, among other professions. My work looks at the architecture of hospitals in West Asia, North Africa, and Southern Europe, regions between which people traveled extensively. I argue that the exchange between the peoples of these regions allows us to look at hospitals as a larger group when examining their architecture and their approach to medical care. At the heart of my project is the significant role that architecture has played in the history of the human health experience in the diverse, well-connected Mediterranean. Thanks to the generous support of the International Dissertation Research Travel Award, I was able to visit the Wellcome Library in London, which is home to a renowned medical history collection. This upcoming academic year, I will be traveling to Italy to study several hospitals.

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Tristan Frappier-Brinton

Biology

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

I am studying the effects of forest fires on lemur populations in dry forest in Madagascar. I will be studying how the abundance and distributions of seven different lemur species have changed after rampant forest fires in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. These species span a wide variety of body sizes, diets, and life history strategies. I will also be studying changes in the abundance of the different food items of these species to determine if differences in the viability of burned habitat between species can be explained by their diet type (e.g. fruits, leaves, and/or insects).  By studying how dietary guilds might impact the ability of a species to survive in burned habitats, these results will help us predict the responses of primates across the world to the increasingly prevalent threat of forest fires. With the financial assistance from the DGS Dissertation Research Travel Award, I was able to travel to Madagascar and collect data for three months on the effects of recent forest fires as the first field season of my Ph.D.

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Mitzy Garner

Pharmacology

Chancellor's International Fellowship

I am currently a first-year graduate student doing lab rotations. I aspire to do research that works towards the advancement of knowledge in the human health field through developing novel research for the treatment of various diseases. In my current rotation, I am working on synthesizing oligonucleotides and DNA aptamers conjugated with an anticoagulant drug to assess their inhibition of thrombin, as well as its reversibility using antidotes. The purpose of this work is to help create a reversible treatment for coagulation.

 

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Joshua Ginzel

Cell Biology

Paul and Lauren Ghaffari Fellowship

The modern era of breast cancer treatment has demonstrated that there is a certain number of breast cancers that are both difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat. More and more cancers are diagnosed early, yet there has been no concomitant decrease in progressive, metastatic breast cancer. Furthermore, once breast cancer becomes metastatic, the likelihood of cutting-edge, targeted therapies being effective dramatically decreases. One potential explanation for this complex problem may be the presence of alternative versions of cancer-causing genes in human tumors. These oncogenic variants may provide an insidious mechanism in which tumors initiate or progress to metastasis without being detectable or treatable under the current standard of care. My thesis work has been to characterize a cancer rainbow mouse model which fluorescently labels oncogenic variants of one of the most common drivers of breast cancer, HER2. This unique model allows for precise tracing of cancer initiation and progression to reveal the hidden mechanisms by which these oncogenic variants lead to lethal cancers. Understanding how alternative forms of oncogenes impact cancer outcomes could be incredibly impactful in reducing treatment resistance and preventing metastatic disease.

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Brittany Green

Music

Brown-Nagin Fellowship

I am a composer and scholar interested in exploring intimacy, resistance, and world-building through my music. My artistic practice includes spoken and electronic performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, experiential projects, and acoustic and electroacoustic chamber and large ensemble works. My scholarship investigates the music of composer Julius Eastman through Black and Queer studies frameworks.

Rebecca Horan

Marine Science and Conservation

International dissertation research grant; Summer research fellowship on women and girls of color

My research focuses on characterizing, contextualizing, and understanding the social dynamics of women’s small-scale, coastal fishing organizations in the Global South based on qualitative assessments of the members’ and collectives’ adaptive capacity (ability to prepare for and respond to shocks) and the interventions designed to enhance that capacity (i.e. capacity development). Women are significant actors in small-scale fishing activities from production through processing, marketing, and household consumption, if historically socially marginalized and rendered invisible by gender-blind research, policies, and governance systems. Researchers, as well as conservation and development institutions and their interventions, have highlighted the opportunity for women to expand their recognition, procedural and distributional justice in the small-scale fishing sector through collective action in fishing organizations if knowledge of where, how, and why these organizations work effectively towards just outcomes remains limited. Further, coastal populations face ever-increasing shocks (e.g. climate change, expanded marine conservation measures, blue economy expansion, etc.), so these fishing organizations more urgently need the capacity to prepare for and respond to change. Through evidence synthesis and an in-depth case study, my dissertation will add to the literature at the nexus of gender, social justice, fishing organizations, adaptation and capacity development.

 

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Ryan Harrison

Music

Bass Digital Education Fellowship

As a composer, my work lies mainly on the creative side. My artistic output, be it musical or through other mediums, seeks to communicate or/and evoke intangible sentiments and emotions universal to the human condition: e.g., loss, triumph, dread, and hope. 

 

 

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Keqi He

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Dissertation Research Travel Award: Domestic

Coastal wetlands provide critical ecosystem services that aid in regulating and mitigating climate change. In recent decades, these valuable wetlands have been experiencing significant devastation due to climate change and sea-level rise. The Southeast (SE) United States (US) is rich in wetlands, especially coastal wetlands. Of the total wetland areas in the conterminous US, nearly half occur in the SE US. Compared to their northern counterparts, wetlands in the SE are more vulnerable to climate change. The quantities and quality of wetlands are continuously declining in the SE US: several studies have documented that wetland losses (~26,000 acres per year in the last century) within the SE US accounted for 78-89 percent of the net national wetland losses. And massive coastal wetland degradation has been spotted along the North Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. However, how climate change contributed to wetland degradation has not been systematically investigated. Such knowledge is desperately needed in wetland management. Therefore, my Ph.D. dissertation research aims to understand the mechanism leading to coastal wetland degradation over the SE US using a variety of data (including remote sensing data, field observations, and AmeriFlux data) and tools (including the state-of-the-art hydrological models and machine learning techniques), which can help guide effective and targeted coastal wetland conservation and restoration measures.

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Joe Hiller

Cultural Anthropology

Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Fellowship, Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

My research focuses on the ways incarceration impacts peoples' lives in Colombia, with an emphasis on the experiences of queer and trans people and the experiences of the family members and loved ones of people behind bars or otherwise deprived of their liberty. As a cultural anthropologist, I am interested in how individuals and communities navigate structures of confinement. Specifically,I examine how they organize and make lives together against and in collusion with authorities, how prison feels on a day-to-day basis and in moments of crisis, and what forms of penal transformation or continuity people hope and work for. I appreciate the support from the Graduate School that will allow me to accompany family members and advocates as they visit people in prison. Furthermore, thanks to the Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Fellowship, I will be able to study drawing with the aim of giving drawing lessons to the people I  work alongside, all as part of our collaborative research into prison conditions and the possibilities for prison reform (or abolition).

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Dana Hogan

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Dissertation Research Travel Award: Domestic

My dissertation investigates visual representations of circulating objects and peoples produced by artists in early modern Europe. To arrive at a more holistic understanding of the visual arts during a period in which networks of exchange expanded rapidly, Expanding Worlds: Women Artists and Cross-Cultural Encounters in Early Modern Europe (Working Title) foregrounds women in the study of world-traveling artists, artworks, and subjects. By focusing on women artists”who as a group have been traditionally excluded from the historical record”my research offers a new perspective on the exchanges that hallmarked early modern Europe. The Domestic Travel Award supported crucial on-site research which involved examining paintings, drawings, and prints at the Columbus Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Oberlin's Allen Museum, Corning's Rakow Library,  the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Morgan Library, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ability to closely examine artworks firsthand allowed me to make observations not possible through facsimiles, such as a slight smile in the first known European portrait miniature of a Black African, which was made by a woman. Thanks to this award, my domestic fieldwork is now complete, and I am ready to begin fieldwork abroad, comparing my discoveries in the U.S. to related artworks in Italian collections.

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Alexis Holloway

Cultural Anthropology

Brown-Nagin Fellowship and the Dissertation Research Travel Award: Domestic

”For me, playing classical music was being me. Whether it was Mozart or Motown, the music actually spoke to me.” This quote from Joseph Conyers, the Black principal bassist for The Philadelphia Orchestra, speaks to the lived experiences of Black classical musicians in the United States. While caught at the intersection of racial and aesthetic hierarchies, where only certain modes of cultural production and ideas of excellence are valued, Black musicians still find fulfillment and joy in playing classical music. My research aims to investigate the underrepresentation of Black musicians in North American orchestras to understand how anti-Black racism shapes not only the profession but classical music itself. My dissertation will include both a traditional written portion and a complementary animated short that explores the experiences of a particular Black musician. 

During my time at Duke, I have focused on expanding my understanding of how systemic racism works by studying with professors Lee D. Baker and Anne-Maria Makhulu in the cultural anthropology department, as well as ethnomusicologists Louise Meintjes and Emily Yun Wang. The next stage of my research involves spending a full calendar year with incredibly talented Black classical musicians. Using a Black feminist ethic of care, I hope to work closely with these musicians to gain a deeper understanding of their lived experiences of systemic racism, both in and outside of classical music performance.

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Clara Howell

Biology

Aleane Webb Fellowship

Across animals, conflicts between signal senders (like males advertising their quality) and signal receivers (like females choosing between males) are common and present an evolutionary challenge: how do animals evolve reliable communication systems when there are so many incentives to be dishonest? To overcome this challenge, many animal species utilize ”honest”signals that are maintained as reliable through costs. Bird song, for instance, is developmentally costly, as it requires time and specialized brain structures to learn. While honest signals have been found in many animal species, the majority of these signals depend on long-term costs, like the growth or development of a signal over many years. It is unclear whether transient diseases, like a recently acquired bacterial infection, can affect these communication systems in a way that is detectable by receivers. In my thesis, I am testing whether a temporary bacterial infection, as mimicked with an immune stimulant, affects a long-term signal of male health, song in the swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana). Whether a long-term signal of health also reveals disease status in the short term has implications for animal communication and honest signals, as well as the spread of disease through a population.

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Stephanie Hoyt

Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Chancellor Scholarship

I am interested in studying genetic variation in the human genome using computational tools. I am particularly interested in how genetic changes outside of protein-coding sequences may influence the regulation of gene expression and how this might lead to disease or changes in development. I hope to develop new computational tools for the DNA analysis of sequencing data that will solve emerging questions around genetic variation and make these tools accessible to computational and non-computational researchers.

Alexandra Hoyt-Miggelbrink

Pathology 

Paul and Lauren Ghaffari graduate fellowship

My lab studies brain cancer, particularly glioblastoma (GBM). Patients that are diagnosed with GBM have a poor prognosis because current treatment strategies are not effective. Particularly treatments that harness the power of the immune system (and have shown incredible response rates in other tumors such as melanoma and lung cancer) are of interest to us. Unfortunately, these treatments have also failed for GBM patients. My project focuses on understanding the immune response to brain tumors in order to understand why these treatments don't work.

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Amelia Lawrence

Biology

Summer Research and Domestic Travel

This summer, I traveled to California and collected several species of Monkeyflower that I will use to study the genetic basis of extreme soil tolerance across species. My dissertation is on what genetic mechanisms allow Mimulus guttatus (Seep Monkeyflower) to live on incredibly harsh serpentine soils. Our lab now has mapped serpentine tolerance genes in two Mimulus (Monkeyflower) species but little is known about them. This summer, I was able to make collections of two more Mimulus species, which I will use to determine the genetic basis of serpentine tolerance across the genus Mimulus. The funding from the graduate school allowed me to conduct fieldwork, analyze data from previous experiments and continue my ongoing experiments in the Duke greenhouse.

Elise Le Boulicaut

Physics

Jo Rae Wright Fellowship for Outstanding Women in Science

My work is in experimental particle physics within the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN. CERN is a particle physics laboratory located in Geneva, Switzerland, and is home to the largest and most energetic particle accelerator in the world: the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is a 13-mile ring in which protons are accelerated close to the speed of light and are made to collide with each other. When this happens, new particles are created, which we can measure with massive detectors such as ATLAS. By reconstructing the paths of the detected particles, we can work backwards to understand what happened in the collision itself. 

My work involves two main aspects: data analysis and detector development.

On the data analysis side, I am working on testing theories that predict the existence of a new particle: the Z' boson. By selecting collision events that could be compatible with the presence of a Z', we can determine the probability of its existence. So far, no sign of a Z' boson has been observed. However, more data and more sophisticated analysis techniques could get us closer to an answer in the future.

On the detector development side, I spent a year at CERN working on testing new detector components that will be used in an upgrade of ATLAS in a few years. In particular, I helped write software that runs scans on the detector to characterize and calibrate it. I will continue to be involved in this project in parallel with my analysis work throughout this year.

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Jane Leer

Public Policy

Phillip Jackson Baugh Fellowship

Rising demographic diversity and persistent social inequality are two defining features of youths’ social worlds, and schools and neighborhoods are key developmental contexts where this component of contemporary life plays out. My dissertation aimed to better understand the developmental implications of these twin phenomena, focusing specifically on adolescence, a critical period of development characterized by profound neurobiological and social cognitive changes. Across three studies, I asked, (1) how does exposure to different types of diversity and inequality in schools and neighborhoods relate to adolescent mental health and academic engagement? and (2) how do these relations differ across contexts and according to individual socioeconomic and racial-ethnic identity?

The first chapter focused on schools' climate towards diversity (e.g., whether schools embrace multicultural versus color-evasive ideologies), and the second and third chapters focused on gentrifying neighborhoods as sites of often extreme economic and racial inequality in youths' immediate surroundings.

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Lailah Ligons

Biomedical Engineering

Sloan Research Fellowship

My research focuses on engineering micro-electrodes to study brain function at the neuronal level. I am working to interface technologies in neuroscience with biomedical engineering to measure electrical impulses from cells within the brain at high spatial resolution and consistent stability. These improvements to research are ultimately aimed at developing better treatment strategies for neurological disorders and diseases.

 

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Bryan Jian Wei Lim

Immunology

Paul and Lauren Ghaffari Graduate Fellowship

In the past decade, immune checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab and Nivolumab have revolutionized management of malignant tumors in the clinic. However, less than 50% of patients benefit from immunotherapy. The spotlight is currently on the “stem-like” population of T cells that have been shown to sustain T cell response to tumors and can be expanded through anti-PD-1 treatment. My research focuses on what is termed the “terminally-exhausted” population of T cells found within the primary tumor that is seeded by the “stem-like” population. These so-called exhausted T cells have anti-metastatic potential that can be leveraged upon release from the primary tumor prior to surgical resection in neoadjuvant treatment modalities.

Huijuan Ling

Music

Bass TA Fellowship, Julian Price Graduate Fellowship

For the Bass TA fellowship, I am working with Professor John Supko by serving as his teaching assistant for MUSIC 273S, Introduction to Electronic Music. As someone in year 5, I am gearing up and preparing for the job market. To be a strong candidate, composers must demonstrate that we can be highly versatile and teach a wide range of courses that may or may not be one of our specialties. With the course I currently TA for, I split gradings of students' projects with Prof. Supko, and I give students feedback on their work weekly. Furthermore, I will teach two class sessions in October and November 2022. The experience I gain in this class is invaluable because it will make me more competitive on the job market.

I am freefrom teaching obligations thanks to the Price fellowship. During the semester, I plan to supplement my study of electronic music by seeking mentorship within and outside of Duke; and to compose Rainy Days, a set of pieces for solo harpsichord and electronics in my dissertation portfolio. Upon completing the piece, I plan to give a series of recitals on this set of music, both inside and outside of Duke University. Preparing a solo recital requires hundreds of hours of practice that I can only afford to spend when free from teaching obligations. Furthermore, with the financial support of the Julian Price Fellowship, I will be able to tour with this program, which I plan to do during summer and fall 2023.

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Antonio LoPiano

Classical Studies

Digital Education Fellowship, Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

Thanks to the Dissertation Research Travel Award, I am conducting a ground-penetrating radar survey at the ancient Etruscan city of Doganella, which will furnish important new data on pre-Roman Italic urbanization. Doganella was one of the largest cities in Italy prior to its abandonment after the Roman regional conquest, but remains relatively little studied. This survey will produce high-resolution images of structures buried up to 2 meters below the surface. This data has the potential to answer several pressing questions within the field, including how Italic societies organized their cities, when urban features typical of later Roman planning, such as forums, first came into existence, and what debt Roman urban planning owes to earlier stages of urbanization in Italy. 

As part of the Bass Digital Education Fellowship, I plan to develop multimedia teaching modules and apps incorporating archaeological and historical data from my fieldwork and other subjects to facilitate interactive learning opportunities for students in my field and others. The modules will bring together multiple strands of evidence, from 3D models of artifacts to historical documents and literary sources. This approach encourages richer analysis through cross-comparison and creates more engaging lessons through interactivity.

Vladimir Lukin

Literature

Rubenstein Library Internship: Archival Processing Intern

My dissertation is on the early days of digital media in the USSR and how the cultural reception of computer technologies differed among communist and Western countries. This topic is under-researched and there are no systematic attempts to archive the history of computer technologies in the USSR due to the economic collapse of Russia in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union. The history I'm  reconstructing is incomplete due to the lack of archival evidence. This naturally led me to interrogate how our cultural archives of media technologies, in many ways shape, but also limit our understanding of contemporary technologies. On the theoretical level, my project contributes to media archaeology, a relatively new and burgeoning sub-field of media studies that aims to excavate forgotten technological inventions and explore untold narratives. These 'alternative' histories might help explain, for instance, why Russians tend to trust digital technologies while Americans treat them with suspicion.

The archival internship is tremendously helpful for my theoretical discussion for it helps me explore archival processes (how documents”whether physical or electronic”are received, classified, and stored, how researchers get access to them and how they work with them) and how they shape and guide knowledge production in a specific discipline.

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Christopher Kaminski

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Sloan Scholarship

I will be studying non-synchronous vibrations in compressor flows by using a harmonic balance solver. This novel methodology of computation as opposed to time-based solvers save computational resources while often giving a more accurate solution for stall cell generation in compressors. I will be developing a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code in Fortranto implement these solvers. The results will be compared with experimental data.

Ava Mackay-Smith

Genetics and Genomics

James B. Duke Fellowship

I am hoping  to incorporate an evolutionary framework for understanding population variation with cutting-edge functional genomics methods with the goal of understanding organismal adaptation, diversification, and speciation at the genetic and epigenetic levels.

Jasmine Magana

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

James B. Duke International Research Award

I am studying the function of collectivity in contemporary art practices that seek to repair social bonds fractured by the isolating effects of violent conflict and neoliberal economic policy. My research is based in three cities, Bogotá, San Salvador, and Los Angeles, to track a hemispheric trend in art that has been developing since the late 1990s. I focus on long-term projects that use the languages of performance and conceptual art to reach publics in urban communal spaces and to provide a sustainable model for constructing community identity.

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Halina Malinowski

Ecology

James B. Duke International Research Travel Fellowship

Loss of animal species and alterations in animal communities resulting from human-induced hunting has cascading effects throughout the tropics and can alter ecosystem functioning and composition. My doctoral studies at Duke is focused on changes in plant-animal interactions due to human disturbance in tropical forests. More specifically, I examine these effects on early plant life stages along a defaunation gradient in Ivindo National Park, Gabon. This known gradient demonstrates that closer to human settlements animal communities are more disturbed than in a primary forest. Throughout my studies, I am examining changes in seed predator communities along this gradient and how this affects the germination and recruitment of large and small-seeded, animal-dispersed tree species. I am exploring the effects of changes in forest elephant abundance on early plant life stages by understanding how gut passage and deposition of seeds in dung aids germination and recruitment. To gain a better understanding of the long-term effects of altered animal communities throughout plant life stages, I will focus on a single elephant-dispersed tree species and examine how changes in herbivory and resource competition affect survival, growth, and reproduction. Of particular importance to me is conducting ethical, sustainable, and decolonized international research, and the JBD has allowed me to begin to implement research methods that encourage local collaboration and increase access.

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Paul Markakis

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sloan Scholar

I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. My research focuses on developing new deep-learning methods for analyzing infant and fetal neuroimaging, specifically focusing on brain functional connectivity modeling. My hope is to leverage my research to provide insight into and serve as foundational for developing a more complete understanding of normal and abnormal early childhood neurological development. Prior to Duke, I received a combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in Engineering from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Johns Hopkins University, with a dual concentration in optimization/operations research and discrete mathematics. I bring seven years of research experience from employment at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where I was a member of the Senior Professional Staff in the Decision Systems Group.

Sydney Marshall

History

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

The financial assistance of the Dissertation Research Travel Award: International allowed me to travel to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to visit the International Institute of Social History (IISH). While at IISH, I reviewed the Women's International Democratic Federation (WIDF) records. The WIDF was an anti-imperialist, anti-fascist, and often socialist international women's organization founded after WWII in France but contains national branches around the world. This organization's members in Latin America were also members of the organization of my dissertation: the Women's Continental Front (FCMCI). I was able to cross reference members and events of the Latin American members of the WIDF to gain a fuller understanding of the FCMCI.

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Greg Merrill, Ph.D. candidate in ecology, looks for dolphins to biopsy blubber from using a specialized crossbow bolt off the North Carolina coast. NMFS Permit #22156
Greg Merrill looks for dolphins to biopsy blubber from using a specialized crossbow bolt off the North Carolina coast. NMFS Permit #22156

Greg Merrill

Ecology

Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Fellowship, Summer Research Fellowship (Summer 2022)

The Summer Research Fellowship and Aleane Webb Dissertation Fellowship allowed me to pursue two research questions: 1) whether or not microplastics ingested by whales and other marine mammals end up depositing in their blubber, a unique tissue important for energy storage, and 2) if so, what the effects of microplastics may be on blubber metabolism. I traveled to the University of Toronto and worked with colleagues to determine the chemical identity of plastic polymers putatively identified in the blubber tissue. Then I embarked on a research cruise where I biopsied dolphins to expose living blubber tissue to microplastics back in the laboratory to  begin examining how blubber may respond to microplastic exposure. I was grateful for both fellowships that afforded me the time and resources to complete lab work abroad and fieldwork at sea.

 

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Daniel Michael

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Sloan Scholarship

I am pursuing research related to computational mechanics. I will specifically focus on challenges in the design of new materials using machine learning and inverse problems.

 

 

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Kasyoka Mwanzia

Cultural Anthropology

James B. Duke Fellowship and University Scholars Program Fellowship

I’m a Ph.D. student in the department of Cultural Anthropology. I am interested in questions related to popular digital media in Africa including the production, marketing, and consumption of video games; video games as active archives; as well as critical analysis. At heart, I’m  interdisciplinary and interested in real-world linkages between scholarship, practice and use.

 

 

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Imhotep Newsome

Religious Studies

Dean's Graduate Fellowship

I am a first-year doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Religion (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament track). My research interests are in the history of interpretation of Daniel as it relates to race, empire, colonialism, the Black experience, and the American historical context. I hope to focus on forming questions around the experience of enslaved Africans encountering, interpreting, and re-interpreting the book of Daniel (and apocalyptic literature in general) while living in the antebellum South.

 

 

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Jessica Orzulak

Art, Art History and Visual Studies

Rubenstein Library Internship: Eleonore Jantz Curatorial Intern

My research focuses on contemporary art and visual culture in North America, with a special interest in the histories of photography, eco-criticism in art and visual culture, decolonial aesthetics, and contemporary Native American art practices after 1945. My dissertation, "Photography Otherwise: Denaturing Colonial Visualities in Contemporary Native American Art" explores conceptual photography by Indigenous artists based in North America that disrupts colonial visual discourses shaped by 19th and 20th-century photographic representations.

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Mirlene Perry

Nursing

Dean's Graduate Fellowship

As a native of Haiti, and through visiting outstanding community-based primary health care programs around the world, I have seen first-hand the effectiveness of community-based primary health care in reducing health disparities. My purpose, as a Ph.D. student here at Duke, is to acquire competencies that will help me to be an advocate for programs aimed at improving the health and well-being of mothers and children who are dying from readily preventable and treatable conditions in low-and middle-income countries--still more than 10 million per year (including stillbirths).  My main goal is to bring my nursing knowledge and my global health experience to program implementation research and evaluation to reduce maternal and child health disparities using a bottom-up approach, which can empower communities to improve their health.

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Tatiana Prioleau

Molecular Cancer Biology

Dean's Graduate Fellowship

I joined the molecular cancer biology Ph.D. program at Duke because I want to study tumor resistance to current therapies. In most cases, patients are diagnosed with cancer when cancer has already reached advanced stages. My goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of how advanced tumors evade current therapies and spread to distant sites  to develop better therapeutic strategies that will improve patient survival outcomes.

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Rukimani PV

Literature

Dean's Graduate Fellowship, University Scholars

Rukimani is a first-year Ph.D. student in the program in literature. Their research lies at the intersection between critical race studies and computer science, looking at technology and media's capacity to be a performative methodological strategy within the notion of resistance. They seek to explore and broaden the intellectual dimensions of critical race theory by examining how racial subjectivities shift with respect to technology and modernity, with a focus on migrant communities in the U.S.

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Lesa Redmond

History

Julian Price Graduate Fellowship in Humanities and History

My dissertation traces the major transformations in African American higher education as they played out over the 19th century in North Carolina, a pioneering state for the establishment of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Tentatively titled “Roots to Routes: African American Intellectual Production and the Politics of Higher Education in North Carolina, 1830-1891,” my project will look at postbellum North Carolina HBCUs like Shaw University, St. Augustine University, and Livingstone College. North Carolina’s early HBCUs embraced a unique set of hybrid curriculums that blended vocational training with classical and theological education. Writ large, they endorsed multiple routes to higher education. What’s more, my research aims to show how these pedagogies were fundamentally shaped by, and rooted in, the educational doctrines of the antebellum period. As such, I depart from most histories of African American higher education by taking a long view that begins in 1830 and ends in 1891. It was these six decades, and not, as some have suggested, the decades following World War II, that witnessed the greatest transformations in higher education for African Americans. Ultimately my research argues that conversations about the routes of Black education narrowed over the nineteenth century as industrial and vocational training took preference over all other approaches.

Alyssa Russell

History

Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Fellowship

My dissertation follows the Fantus Company, a consulting firm that facilitated economic development agreements between governments and private companies. The Fantus Company was the first site-selecting company, formed in 1919, and dominated the field throughout the twentieth century. Initially, the site selector was hired by companies to find the best deals for them to relocate, but within a few decades after the field's inception, site selectors offered their services to local governments to attract investment in their jurisdictions. This new enterprise lured businesses to locate or relocate their operations with promises of minimal to no taxes for decades, guaranteed no-interest loans, and/or thousands to millions of dollars in government grants. My dissertation uses Fantus not only to reveal the actions of this one company and its role in altering the U.S. economy but to also understand the impact of these deals on communities throughout the United States. The Fantus Company contributed to an economic "race to the bottom” with human actors driving the depletion of public resources at every step, and individual companies benefiting at a devastating cost to communities.

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Amelia Schirmer

Pathology

Paul and Lauren Ghaffari Graduate Fellowship

The objective of my research is to determine the mechanisms of the protein, STK3, in prostate cancer and test if STK3 has a role in supporting resistance to a particular form of cell death called ferroptosis. Prostate cancer (PC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and one in nine men are diagnosed in their lifetime. Ferroptosis cell death has emerged as a target for cancer therapies and has been implicated in the progression of advanced prostate cancer. Characterization of STK3 and its role in ferroptosis may open up novel druggable targets for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. Overall, I aim to determine STK3’s targets and downstream pathways to uncover new molecular mechanisms in prostate cancer and expand the knowledge of the field.

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Imari Smith

Joint Program in Sociology and Public Policy

Brown-Nagin Fellowship

I study how people interpret the discrimination that they encounter in everyday life, and the implications of those experiences on health outcomes, and how they navigate health systems. I am particularly interested in how these relationships vary for people of different social groups, with a special emphasis on race, gender, and class.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of my work and my aspirations towards a career in academia, I am using funds awarded by the Brown-Nagin Fellowship to attend conferences that promote my awareness of the strides being made in the fields of sociology, public policy, and population health.

Ross Snyder

Physics

Sloan Scholarship

I am a first-year Ph.D. student in Physics with a research focus on experimental nuclear and particle physics at Duke University. My research is part of the ATLAS collaboration, a large global collaboration that studies subatomic particle collisions at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Specifically, I will be assisting with the search for particles and phenomena that go beyond the Standard Model, a model that classifies all known subatomic particles and their interactions. There are still many questions that the standard model does not answer, such as what kinds of particles account for missing mass in our universe. This missing mass is called dark matter, and the collaboration is looking to see possible ways dark matter interacts with normal matter.

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Anna Truong

Chemistry

James B. Duke International Research Travel Fellowship

Truong is a Ph.D. candidate in the Derbyshire lab, where she integrates chemical tools and biological approaches to study the parasite that causes malaria. She will be pursuing a collaboration with Stuart Ralph at the University of Melbourne in Australia to elucidate mechanisms of parasite resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy, the current frontline antimalarial drug treatment. She aims to expand her research interests in characterizing ubiquitin enzyme pathways, which mediate an essential protein modification in the malaria parasite, to the context of drug resistance. Specifically, Anna is investigating the potential role of the infamous parasite protein K13 in mediating ubiquitin attachment to proteins. This work will ultimately inform malaria treatments by providing fundamental insight into parasite survival and identifying novel drug targets.

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Priscilla Torres

Political Science

Stern Fellowship

Toward the end of war, there are often international peacebuilders, such as United Nations peacekeepers or members of international non-governmental organizations like ActionAid, that go into post-war countries and engage in peacebuilding. Peacebuilding refers to actions that aim to address the causes and consequences of conflict. Much of the literature in political science and related fields has explored factors that make international peacebuilding more or less effective in contributing to local peace once war has formally ended. However, in many countries, local communities already have many different ways of addressing local issues. My dissertation asks under what conditions does international peacebuilding and community-based sources of peacebuilding complement or undermine each other in bringing about local peace? I draw primarily from interviews and survey data from Liberia in my dissertation to explore this question. The Stern Fellowship has allowed me to focus on finishing my dissertation and giving it the attention it deserves. For the past year and a half, I have been a pre-doctoral fellow at the Gender and Security Sector Lab at Cornell University. While this has helped to further enhance my dissertation by providing me with more opportunities to collect data in Liberia, I have not had as much time as I otherwise might to write my dissertation. The Stern Fellowship is crucial to allowing me to give my dissertation the attention it deserves.

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Hanna Varga

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Aleane Webb Dissertation Research Fellowship

Fouling, specifically  glass surfaces, poses challenges in a variety of fields, from exterior windows to UV-disinfection lamps in water treatment plants. As the use of renewable energy is spreading, the degrading effects of pollutant accumulation on the surface of photovoltaic (PV) panels becomes more apparent. Cleaning of PV modules can cost up to millions of dollars for large installations, therefore it is important to study the reversibility of the soiling process. There is also a clear interest in preventative approaches, for example hydrophobic or hydrophilic antireflective coatings. However, most hydrophilic or hydrophobic coatings do not consider that adhesion depends on the particle properties, not only the surface characteristics. This work aims to fill the gap in knowledge between particle characteristics and their soiling potential, so that findings can be used to develop an appropriate soiling mitigation approach based on regional atmospheric particulate matter composition. In addition, surface characteristics and factors that control the soiling potential of particulate matter are investigated and compared to field observations.

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Mateo Villamizar Chaparro

Political Science

Dissertation Research Travel Award: International

What are the long-term political and economic consequences of migration policies intended to "Whiten" the population? During the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century, Brazilian elites enacted a series of measures intended to attract European migrants to work on their coffee plantations. Elites also expected that, with time, more Europeans will help "Whiten" the population, especially in the face of migratory movements of previous slaves to urban areas once slavery was legally abolished in the country. With the Dissertation Research Travel Award, I flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to search through the Sao Paulo Archives for information about migrant entry, migrant accommodation, the migrant labor market, and the debates around implementing these policies. I plan to combine this information with current surveys on distributive preferences and political attitudes to understand what have been the long-term effects of racialized migrant entry into the country.

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Maya von und zur Mühlen

German Studies (Carolina-Duke German Program)

James B. Duke Fellowship

In my time at Duke, I wish to develop my research on marginal figures in German literature, specifically  what personal narratives can reveal about the structure of German society. My interest lies in literature of the period around 1800, the so-called Sattelzeit in German literature, during which important shifts in the structure of German society began to take place. My interest lies in the changes in affect as they are portrayed in the literature of this period and that which these shifts in the emotional landscape reveal, for instance about the disconnect between individual self-understanding and societal institutions. An interesting example of this is to be found in the novel Anton Reiser, an autobiographically inspired novel written by Karl Philipp Moritz and published in 1785. This novel follows the early years of Anton Reiser, a boy from a working-class family with great intellectual ambitions who faces many institutional hurdles to educational success. The story disscusses  religious indoctrination from his family and superiors, having to resort to charity to continue his studies, suffering economic discrimination in school, and  the feelings of loneliness and shame that ensue from the culmination of these hurdles. In studying literary texts such as these that bring together history with societal and psychological analysis, I hope to gain a better understanding of how these aspects of German society hang together at an important turning point in German history.

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Claudia Wong

Biomedical Engineering

Sloan Scholarship

I plan to conduct research in the areas of biomaterials, regenerative medicine, and mechanobiology.

 

 

 

Ruth Wygle

Sociology

Domestic Dissertation Research Travel Award

My dissertation is a multi-paper exploration of jail leasing or the practice by which state corrections administrators rely on local jails to house individuals who have been convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison incarceration as a result. Jail leasing is a way for states to reduce overcrowding and overspending, and offers an additional income stream to local governments. However, it is unclear what effect this practice has on those individuals experiencing extended incarceration in these short-stay facilities. This summer, with the funds I received, I spent time at ICPSR in Ann Arbor, MI working with BJS' Mortality in Correctional Institutions data. This work allowed me to answer the research question, what are the differences in mortality risk for individuals who experience jail incarceration as a result of a leasing agreement compared to the rest of the jail population and  the prison population? Since returning to campus, I have submitted this work to a conference and have started developing a manuscript for journal submission.

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Boyang Zhang

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Bass Instructional Fellowship: Teaching Assistant;  Summer Research Fellowship for Students in the Physical Sciences and Engineering for Third-Year Ph.D. Students and Beyond.

As we enter an era of intelligence and autonomy, humans are being liberated by robots from conducting tedious, complex, and even hazardous tasks. The control algorithm is the nucleus of such an intelligent and autonomous robot. In real-world applications the robot is subjected to external disturbances, actuator saturation, and delay. Moreover, swarms of robots are needed to perform collaboratively while ensuring inter-agent collision avoidance. This makes safety, resilience, robustness, and computation efficiency indispensable features of the control algorithm, which attracts ongoing research efforts within the robotics community.  

To address this need, I propose a new control paradigm for general dynamical systems by rejuvenating a fundamental principle conceived by the polymath Gauss in 1829. My approach poses the control problem as a constrained minimization problem without an objective function. The controller's stability, performance (e.g., path tracking and collision avoidance), and structure (i.e., centralized or decentralized) are realized by constraints alone. This method has been applied to the navigation control of swarms of quadrotor drones and wheeled mobile robots.

 The generous Bass Instructional Fellowship enables me to co-teach CEE201: "Uncertainty, Design, and Optimization" with Professor Henri Gavin in Spring 2023. I look forward to enhancing my teaching skills, sharing my own knowledge of the topic, and learning from the lead instructor and the students.