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Tobias Miller - Advisor, Johnna Temenoff, PhD, and Todd McDevitt, PhD
"Tuning Sulfation of Glycosaminoglycans for Controlled Protein Release"
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a class of biomaterials with negative charge which is in part conferred by sulfate groups. For each GAG species, the sulfation pattern is unique. As GAGs interact electrostatically with specific proteins, the affinity can be altered by tuning the degrees of sulfation. Such engineered materials can be used to fabricate biodegradable hydrogels for protein release with potential applications in regenerating tissue.
Mei Zhan - Advisor, Hang Lu, PhD
"Environmental Sensation and Stochasticity in the Aging of Caenorhabditis Elegans"
Aging is a complex process by which a combination of environmental, genetic and stochastic factors generate whole-system changes that modify organ and tissue function and alter physiological processes. Using the short-lived, transparent nematode C. elegans as a convenient model system, we seek to understand how environmental signals are represented internally and how noise in these representations may modify the aging of individual animals.