Research Opportunities

Neurophysiological bases for learning

Educational Psychology
Faculty Advisor
Carrie Clark
Contact Email
Start Date
5/30/17 but flexible
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18

The Brain, Learning and Behavior Lab is beginning 2 new studies. One is focused on preschool children and seeks to understand how physiological reactivity relates to school readiness. We will use heart rate monitors and behavioral measures to address this question. The second study is focused on school-aged children and will use MRI to examine brain responses while children learn a new concept. We are looking for students interested in helping with recruitment, data collection and data entry and checking.

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Explore Living Cell Growth in 3D Micro-scaffolds for Regenerative Medicine

Mechanical and Materials Engineering Faculty
Faculty Advisor
Ruiguo Yang
Contact Email
Start Date
3/1/2017 but flexible
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18

Physical and mechanical interactions govern biological systems at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. The fundamental mechanisms of these interactions converge on mechanobiology, an emerging field of scientific inquisition at the intersection of physics, engineering and biology. At the cellular level, mechanical interaction regulates every facet of the cell cycle. Modulating cellular micro-environment has been regarded as key to potential therapeutic interventions for many diseases, including cancer.

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Care Transition Program using Smart Technology

College of Nursing
Faculty Advisor
Myra Schmaderer Phd, RN
Contact Email
Start Date
8/11/17
Paid or Volunteer
Paid via UCARE

Patients with heart failure are frequently readmitted to the hospital.  Approximately one-fourth of these re-admisssions are potentially preventable.  Adherence to suggested disease management behaviors is crucial to improve patient outcomes such as hospital re-admisssion.  I am piloting the delivery of a self-management care transition intervention that uses a technology platform to improve adherence.

   I am interested in 1-2 students who would like to be actively involved in research involving chronically ill patients with heart failure.

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Chinese Character Helpr

Teaching, Learning, & Teacher Education
Faculty Advisor
Justin Olmanson
Contact Email
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18
Hours Per Week
10

Despite the wide use and availability of multimodal print-based and new media-based supports for Chinese character acquisition, few applications exist that allow students to leverage their nascent but very real Chinese language knowledge for character production. Western learners of Chinese struggle with producing and recognizing characters despite having aural and pinyin-related knowledge of many Chinese words and phrases. This difficulty comes in part due to a lack of explicit, easily discernible sound-symbol mappings between spoken words and written characters.

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Placental damage during maternal obesity

Nutrition and Health Sciences
Faculty Advisor
Sathish Natarajan
Contact Email
Start Date
2/15/17
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18
Hours Per Week
10

Maternal obesity has been implicated in placental lipotoxicity and damage. Our long-term goal is to identify a nutrient compound that would mitigate placental injury and placental dysfunction during maternal obesity. Our preliminary data showed that saturated FFAs induces placental cell lipoapoptosis and palmitoleate, a monounsaturated fatty acid protects FFA-induced placental cell lipoapoptosis. Here we hypothesize that increased FFA in the maternal circulation would induce placental cell lipoapoptosis.

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Grass-root microbiomes

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Advisor
Sabrina Russo
Contact Email
Start Date
8/22/17
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE
Hours Per Week
10

We are looking for one or two dedicated students (research for credits or UCARE) to participate in our grass-root microbiome project. In this project, we compare root architecture, root anatomy and associated micro-organisms of 20 native Nebraskan grass species. Taking part in this project includes working with plants in the greenhouse, harvesting their roots, and measuring various functional traits describing root architecture and anatomy.

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Drinking Water Contaminants and Adverse Health Outcomes

School of Natural Resources
Faculty Advisor
Patrick J. Shea
Contact Email
Start Date
6/1/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18

We are looking for a student interested in learning more about the adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to drinking water contaminants.  Our research would appeal to someone interested in 1) conducting experiments in the laboratory using a chicken embryo model to evaluate toxicity and/or 2) conducting epidemiology studies to evaluate risk of adverse health outcomes (birth defects and non-Hodgkin lymphoma) associated with exposure to drinking water contaminants in Nebraska.

Students wanting to apply for  Fall 2017 would be eligible.

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Turbulent Drag Reduction for energy-saving engineering

Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Faculty Advisor
Jae Sung Park
Contact Email
Start Date
3/1/2017 but flexible
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18
Hours Per Week
10

Turbulence control is of great importance in many engineering applications thanks to the potential benefits associated with it, particularly with regard to energy savings. For examples, ocean shipping consumes more than a billion barrels of oil worldwide per year and transportation via road consumes about a billion barrels of oil per year.

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Development of Language and Literacy Skills in Spanish-Speaking Children

Special Education and Communication Disorders
Faculty Advisor
Marc Goodrich
Contact Email
Start Date
5/15/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Volunteer, can apply for UCARE 17-18

This project examines the development of language and reading skills among children who speak Spanish at home. Undergraduate research assistants will assist with data collection and data entry, including traveling to school and/or community settings to conduct assessments with children. Assessments include traditional measures of academic skills (e.g., reading comprehension), as well as measures of online written and spoken language processing using eye tracking devices.

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Breast Cancer Cell Metastasis to Bone Cells: Role of Mechanical Loading Milieus

Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Faculty Advisor
Jung Yul Lim
Contact Email
Start Date
8/17/2017
Paid or Volunteer
Paid via UCARE
Hours Per Week
10

Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most prevailing malignancies in women with bone being the most common site to which BC metastasizes. The BC metastasis to bone results in serious consequences including bone pain, pathological bone fracture, and dysregulated bone destruction, leading to critical impairment in the quality of life. Studies have determined the mechanisms and outcomes of BC cell metastasis to bone cells to some extent.

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