Friday, April 26, 2013


Hi, I’m Toby. This summer I will be traveling to Aarhus, Denmark to do research at the Center of Autobiographical Research at Aarhus University.
I am currently a junior majoring in biology and math and I conduct psychology research in the Bauer Memory at Emory Lab. Weird combination, right? Why is a biology/math major doing psychology research?
I had taken AP psychology in high school and the course had piqued my interest, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to take more psychology classes in addition to math and biology in college. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was part of the Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE) program. This program allows undergraduates the opportunity to become involved in research by partnering them with a faculty research mentor. As I was trying to figure out what type of research I wanted to conduct, psychology research seemed like a good way to learn more about the subject. When I came across the Bauer Memory at Emory lab and found that I could learn more about memory and development, I jumped at the opportunity.
The Bauer Memory at Emory Lab is interested in memory and development. Some of the questions we ask include: how does our memory of certain events change as we develop, as well as, how does our knowledge base develop and change over time?
The project I worked on determined if the conversational style a mother used to talk with her child about past events affected the child’s ability to regulate his or her emotions later in life. A maternal conversational style is determined by how often they talk about an emotional aspect of an event; if the child is permitted to talk about the experience or if the mother just tells the child what has occurred etc.  Emotional regulation is having control over one’s emotions and emotional experiences, internally and externally. While there are many aspects that contribute to one’s ability to regulate their emotions, we found that there was a correlation between the two variables. 
In Denmark, I will be working in Dr. Krojgaard’s lab, which also studies development, specifically in infants. In previous studies, it has been determined that pre-verbal children are able to remember a series of actions after viewing a pre-recorded adult demonstration. What we want to know is how these infants learn the series of actions.
This will be my first time to travel abroad. I am both extremely excited and nervous.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hello Hello~

My name is Jay Kim, and I am a junior studying Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology (NBB). I came to Emory knowing that NBB was exactly what I wanted to do and have not wavered in my decision ever since! The field of neuroscience is extremely fascinating and crosses so many domains of study. After finishing my undergraduate studies at Emory, I hope to continue my education in a graduate neuroscience program.

This summer, I have been given the opportunity to conduct research abroad at the University of Buenos Aires in Buenos Aires, Argentina through the IRES program. Through my P.I. at Emory, Dr. Ronald Calabrese, I was connected to a lab of his colleague, Dr. Lidia Szczupak, who researches in the Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Exactas at UBA.

In both the Calabrese and Szczupak laboratories, we conduct basic research to understand various aspects and mechanisms of the hirudo medicinalis, or the medicinal leech. At Emory, I have studied the interactions between the circulatory and nervous systems of the leech at various levels. From studying the whole animal to separate heart segments and finally to specific cells involved with heart motor patterns, I have learned to work with various preparations in studying different parts of the leech. 

When I arrive at Buenos Aires, I will be attempting to combine all of my research experience thus far into one experiment. By recording from both individual heart segments and the ganglia where heart motor patterns originate, I hope to recreate two separate experiments all in one individual and compare the numbers to the data that my lab has accumulated up to this date.

Other than the research, I hope to go around all over Buenos Aires and try out all kinds of the local cuisine!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Emory Gives Out Golden Tickets

Ok, so my name is not Charlie, and I am not going to a chocolate factory. It only feels like I unwrapped a candy bar and found the fabled free ticket. You can call me Shawn. I, along with five other Emory students, have been given the opportunity to travel overseas to conduct research for the summer through the IRES program. My destination is the University of Marburg, and in particular the lab of Professor Marahiel ( The focus of my summer research will be bacterial lasso peptides, crazy molecules with antibiotic and other capabilities that are literally shaped like lassos. Honestly, Charlie can have his golden ticket I bet Wonka Bars have nothing on good old German Schokolade anyway.

But enough about Charlie. Let me tell you about myself.

I was originally drawn to Emory because of its research. After striving for a semester, with guidance from the SIRE program, to become involved in the groundbreaking scientific community here, I joined the lab of Dr. Weinert. So far, the accomplishment of which I am most proud of is obtaining a SIRE independent research grant this semester for a project of my own design (Emory is tossing out research grants like they’re tomatoes on la Tomatina, If you’ve ever thought about applying for a grant, get on that! I’m interested in characterizing a new effector for a common second messenger in bacteria called c-di-GMP. It’s medically relevant because c-di-GMP controls biofilm formation, which confers antibiotic resistance, and a better understanding of how c-di-GMP binds its effectors could be essential in developing a drug to combat this problem.

I’m hoping that my current project in the Weinert lab will prepare me for this summer. Mutagenesis is one method in which I’ve gained experience, and I’ve recently expressed and purified the protein that I’ve been working with. I should use both of these tools this summer in exploring the differences in thermal stability between caulosegnins II and III, two recently discovered lasso peptides. Although they are very similar, caulosegnin II shows high stability even when subjected to extremely high temperatures, while caulosegnin III… kind of melts like butter. Nobody knows why, but it wouldn’t be research otherwise!

In short, I’m very excited.

Also, I know I said I was done with Charlie, but I just can’t resist. Did you know “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was filmed in Germany? Coincidence? Maybe.
Maybe not.
Hello everyone!  Guten tag!

I'm Hannah, and I'm currently a junior studying Chemistry and Economics.  My interest in chemistry first sparked in high school with the realization that chemical reactions and molecules served as the fundamental building blocks of our physical world, the ABC’s of science.  Indeed, it is the elementary nature of chemistry that I cherish. Chemistry provides the basis for my understanding of the molecular interactions that dictate life and nature.  This field is a gold mine of discoveries that have stunning real-world applications. The application and pervasiveness of chemistry, in medicine and in consumer items, draw me to this field of research.

My current research in the Lutz laboratory focuses on applying chemistry to protein engineering and the manipulation of substrate specificity towards a variety of real-world applications that range from gene therapy to novel laundry detergent enzymes. My specific project aims to inverse the substrate stereospecificity of human deoxycytidine kinase (dCK) through computationally selected point mutations. Variants of this kinase that can selectively phosphorylate non-natural substrates could have important applications as a reporter gene in the growing and promising field of gene therapy and could be used extensively as an imaging agent in positron emission tomography (PET) imaging.  

Vital to protein engineering is an understanding of protein stability.  This topic--specifically thermal stability--is the focus of my research for this summer.  I will be spending 10 weeks conducting research in a laboratory at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany through the German DAAD-RISE summer research program.  Specifically, I will be examining the thermal stability of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and refining high-throughput analytical methods in these assessments.

I'm SO excited to conduct research in Germany this summer, travel, make new friends, and immerse myself into European culture!  More updates to come when I get there!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Hey everyone!
My name is Mishi Bhushan and I am currently a junior at Emory University. For those of you who do not know me, I am a Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology (NBB) major and Spanish minor. I have the opportunity of a lifetime to travel abroad this semester to the wonderful University of Oxford in Oxford, UK.

For the past two years, I have been working in Professor Sathian's multisensory lab researching the intricacies of how metaphors such as "she pulled his leg" are processed by the brain in order to gain new insights into the basis of metaphorical thought. Exploring conceptual metaphor theory combined my interests in language and brain behavior, which fit into perfectly with my studies here at Emory.

This year, I have switched roles and am exploring multisensory perception. Through a very complex experimental set-up, we are analyzing the haptic activation of the visual cortex during shape processing. It has been shown that there are common imagery preferences between vision and touch, which are shared properties, and we are applying these to auditition, a nonshared properties.

This summer, I will be working in the Crossmodal Research Laboratory to further analyze cross-modal associations and the role they play in the decision-making process. Specifically, we will be exploring the role of attention in multisensory perception and the integration of information across the sense modalities (haptic, olfactory, audition, tactile, and gustatory). We will explore shared and non-shared properties between vision and audition (how a high pitch corresponds to a bright object and how a low pitch corresponds to a dull object.) I am very excited to not only start a collaboration between the two labs, but also to explore Oxford and travel around to London and perhaps even visit some of the other IRES members.

Cheers to what will be an amazing summer!
Until next time,