UMD Undergraduate Research Journal

Volume 3, Issue 1

Professor Profile: meet Dr. Bryan Eichhorn

by Maggie Beatson
As a college student, Professor Bryan Eichhorn started out on the premed track, but found his true calling after taking an organic chemistry class. "[Organic chemistry] was so cool that I wanted to do that," he said. "Graduate school is when I really fell in love with research. It was one of the best times of my life." Now in his 22nd year at the University of Maryland, Eichhorn primarily conducts research in material science - the creation of new molecules with the ultimate goal of solving the energy and environmental issues.

Up in the Air: the adventures of Prof. Jeffrey Stehr

by Abigail Ahlert
Upon arriving at the office of Professor Jeffery Stehr, I was not at all surprised when the first thing he asked me was, "So how are you enjoying the Maryland weather?" If anyone is willing (and, indeed, excited) to talk to me about weather, it would be this professor of atmospheric science.

UMD Watershed: redefining what it means to be green

by Emily Jones
On a rainy fall afternoon, as one crowd in College Park cheered the Terps to a football victory, another crowd huddled in white tents on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., cheering on another team of Terps to an engineering victory as they won the 2011 Solar Decathlon.

Playing with Fire: fire safety with Prof. Peter Sunderland

by Maia Werbos
Fire is dangerous. Even with the best equipment and protocols for extinguishing fires, once something starts to burn, people and property get hurt. And that's why researchers like Peter Sunderland, professor of Fire Protection Engineering, work on preventing fires.

The Science of Aging: searching for a solution to Progeria

by Nicholas Hung
Imagine a young child, who, like many other children is new to the world with lots of time to learn and grow. Only, this particular child is lacking something so vital that they are unable to experience life and grow like other children. He is balding so much that superficial veins surrounding his head are visible; his arms and skin are so thin because very little, if any, fat is stored to insulate them; and his skin is wrinkled so that it looks as if he is many times his actual age.

Bioscience Research Day 2011: investigating infectious diseases

by Andre DeSouza
Many undergraduate students sitting at the back of Colony Ballroom during Bioscience Research Day's Keynote speech were unaware of the great opportunity they had just missed earlier that day. By noon on November 10th the main event at Bioscience Research Day was well underway underneath the chandeliers of the Grand Ballroom in the Stamp Student Union.

Maryland Neuroimaging Center: a new era in neuroscience research

by Poorna Sreekumar
This year, the University of Maryland has added a new research facility to its already sizable arsenal. The Maryland Neuroimaging Center (MNC) opened over the summer and houses various resources for neuroimaging, the most notable being the new functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanner and Magnetoencephalograph (MEG).

Volume 2, Issue 2

How to be a Successful Business Manager: Interview with Dr. Karen Wouters

by Rosie Zhang
While not many may know of the various research opportunities available in the field of business, Dr. Karen Wouters, a lecturer and director of the MBA Consulting program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is striving to discover some of the secrets behind management that differentiates successful versus failing companies.

Diggin for an Answer...

by Niklas Berry
For the past 30 years, University of Maryland Anthropology Professor Mark Leone has directed Archaeology in Annapolis, a research project excavating a wide range of historical sites throughout the capital city. Leone is currently excavating Wye House Plantation in Talbot County, and has made some revealing discoveries.

HHMI Symposium

by Jenny Wang
From tuberculosis to leishmaniasis, the 12th annual Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Research Symposium on March 3 boasted nearly 30 undergraduate research projects. Undergraduate researchers exhibited colorful posters in the Colonnade of the Bioscience Research Building, enthusiastically presenting about subjects as varied as cadaveric legs to oyster shells.

Searching for Solution X

by Maia Werbos
For some, it was just another weekday afternoon. For the middle-school girls and mentors in the Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) program, it was time to solve a mystery. "A student's science fair project - Solution X, The Cure for the Common Cold - was stolen from a nearby school recently," explained Megan Sanquist, a mentor for GEMS, to the class. "We have six suspects." Another mentor read off the names of the suspects: "Kat Chacold. Ivana Tishu. Ronnie Nose..."

Volume 2, Issue 1

Science on the Mall

by Jenny Wang
White tents dot the length of the National Mall interspersed with the occasional space shuttle and pilot simulator. Children pinwheel down the dusty tracks, adorned with face paint and "I love Robots" stickers displayed prominently on their shirts. They tug at their parents' arms, fight for chance to get a picture with Sid the Science Kid and scream about astronauts. They also shriek happily about the magic of math, which is perhaps the most surprising thing of all.

Terps Open New Chapter: CLFS and CMPS Become CMNS

by Jason Albanese
On September 16, the University Senate approved the merger between the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (CMPS) and the College of Chemical and Life Sciences (CLFS). The new college, titled the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences (CMNS), brings the core sciences together under the same college. The merger aims to promote interdisciplinary research among the core sciences and coincides with the end of the terms of the deans.

Dr. Wesley Lawson's Electrifying News

by Maia Werbos
What do a machine that prevents migraine headaches, a magnet that helps detect breast cancer, a non-invasive test for carpal tunnel, and a device to prevent self-injurious behaviors all have in common? No, they are not machines of the future that eradicate disease and suffering, but real-life medical devices Wesley Lawson, Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Education in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, works on every day.

Plant Sciences Professor Receives National Science Foundation Grant

by Niklas Berry
Dr. Priscila Chaverri, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Maryland, has received a $650,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund her work on South American Leaf Blight (SALB), an organism the United Nations has classified as a "potential biological weapon of mass destruction." Chaverri's job is to discover, catalogue, identify, and scientifically name fungi.

Volume 1, Issue 1

Interview with Dr. John Fisher

by Adam Pampori
Dr. John P. Fisher serves as the Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, as well as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Tissue Engineering: Part B. He has been featured on the Discovery Channel and has received numerous awards, including an NSF CAREER Award (2005), an Outstanding Graduate Alumnus Award at the Rice University Department of Bioengineering (2007), UMD Life Science Invention of the Year (2007) and Best Invention Pitch at UMD Bioscience Day (2009).

Interview with Dr. Raymond St. Leger

by Jenny Wang and Rosie Zhang
Dr. Raymond John St. Leger is a professor in the entomology department as well as the principal investigator of his lab. His research focuses primarily on entomopathogenic fungi, or parasitic fungi that can severely damage insects. By examining the evolution of insect pathogenicity, the underpinnings of animal and human disease can be extrapolated. St. Leger also investigates fungal toxins and genetically engineering fungi to target specific pests, like the mosquito.