17th Annual LBC Research Showcase

The 17th Annual LBC Research Showcase will take place from Feb 15th in Holmes Hall from 6-7:30pm.

This site is hosting the virtual portion of the event and you will find several student presentations in the recent posts. Awards for the best presentations will be announced at the MSUFCU Poster session on Thursday Feb 15th around 7:25pm at the West Holmes Hall lounge.

Several online submission for the LBC Virtual Research Showcase can been seen in the previous posts or link via the following.

TitleAuthorsResearch Foci
Tumorigenic Potential of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Chemoprevention by Natural CompoundsBailey Delcamp, Brad L Upham, Jamie LieboldMicrobiological Science
The Intersection of Race and Disability in Educational AccommodationsEryn Greuel, Dr. Nilüfer AkalinSocial Sciences, DEI&B in STEM
Impact of FGF4 on Murine Ectoplacental Cone OutgrowthLaura Stephan, Soo Hyun Ahn, Geoffrey Grzesiak, Margaret PetroffBiological Science

Tumorigenic Potential of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Chemoprevention by Natural Compounds

Authors:

  • Bailey Delcamp, 4th year undergraduate
  • Mentor: Dr. Brad L. Upham, associate professor, College of Human Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and Human Development
  • Jamie Liebold, MSU undergraduate Graduated 2023 

Abstract: Gap junctions are cellular ion transport channels. They are present in all signal transduction pathways (ST), which are required for uncontrolled cell proliferation. Improper functioning of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) poses a tumorigenic threat. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are anthropogenic “forever chemicals” that have been linked to a variety of diseases. We research how a variety of PFAS compounds are causing toxicity by inhibiting GJIC.

Impact of FGF4 on Murine Ectoplacental Cone Outgrowth

Authors

  1. Laura Stephan: 2nd year undergraduate student, Lyman Briggs College 
  2. Dr. Soo Hyun Ahn, Ph.D.: Assistant Research Professor, Department of Pathobiology Diagnostic Investigation
  3. Geoffrey Grzesiak: Research Assistant, Department of Pathobiology Diagnostic Investigation
  4. Dr. Margaret Petroff, M.S, Ph.D.: Professor & Principal Investigator, Department of Pathobiology Diagnostic Investigation, Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Department of Microbiology, Genetics, and Immunology

Abstract: In the early mouse embryo, the ectoplacental cone (EPC) gives rise to the cells of the mature placenta. The EPC, and then the placenta, attaches the embryo to the uterine wall and establishes maternal blood supply to the placenta. Thus, the EPC plays a vital role in the processes of embryo implantation and placentation. For this project, we aimed to develop culture conditions for optimal EPC growth. Mice were sacrificed at gestation day 6.5 or 7.5, and the ectoplacental cone was dissected and cultured under varying media conditions. Ectoplacental cone outgrowth was quantified over six days using NIH ImageJ software analysis of microscope images. Our results show that EPC outgrowth and trophoblast proliferation occur better in the presence of Matrigel® and FGF4 (Fibroblast Growth Factor 4) as compared with standard medium culture conditions. Matrigel matrix has been shown to improve the attachment and differentiation of certain cell types in culture and FGF4 has been shown to promote trophoblast stem cell proliferation. Thus, these findings illustrate the significance of growth factors in driving trophoblast cell outgrowth and their facilitation of placentation in our experimental model. In future experiments, we will introduce hypoxic conditions that model the physiological state of the uterus during early placental growth. Our findings can be used to understand the molecular mechanisms of embryo implantation, placentation, and positive pregnancy outcomes.

The Intersection of Race and Disability in Educational Accommodations

Authors:

  • Eryn Greuel, 4th year Zoology-Ecology
  • Dr. Nilüfer Akalin, Assistant Professor, Lyman Briggs College

Abstract: Many university students with a diagnosable disability never utilize the disability accommodations they are eligible for under ADA policy, especially students with psychiatric or “invisible” disabilities. Considering the advantages of accommodations for improving academic outcomes, it is possible that previous negative experiences students of color have had may convince them to never request accommodations. The literature has paid little attention to examine the intersection between race and disability. For this reason, it is worth asking whether accommodation offices are equitable between students of different races. This project revolves around the following questions: (1) I ask whether students of a racial minority gain fewer benefits from disability diagnoses and accommodations than white students? (2) How and in what way? Drawing on the literature review about disability accommodation in education and the intersection of race and disability, I examine each stage of a person’s educational path. Primary research on how K-12 accommodations offices support students of different races, and how these students perceive accommodations offices, are an important basis to improve academic outcomes for disabled students of color. This paper is significant as it explores the experiences of students of color with disabilities at schools and colleges and it points at the importance of positive efforts to improve academic outcomes for these students. I argue that (1) the combination of racism and ableism result in differing treatment of students, and (2) negative experiences accumulate throughout a student’s educational experience and are not isolated to one stage of the educational system. 

Link to video: https://mediaspace.msu.edu/media/t/1_5tqhvztg

Social Aspects of Medicine Semester Long Paper: Exploring how one’s Citizenship Status Affects one’s Access to Healthcare in the U.S.

Author: Sara Xhaja; 3rd year Human Biology Undergraduate

Faculty Mentor: stef shuster

Abstract

The semester long paper I completed in LB326B explored if the current state of the U.S. healthcare system is equipped to take care of people with varying citizenship statuses or if it’s negligent and further enabling present health disparities by answering the question, how does the legality of a person, in regard to citizenship status in the United States, affect one’s accessibility to healthcare? In order to answer this question, the analysis focused on the stigmas surrounding migrant populations, barriers to care, and the intersectionality in the U.S. healthcare system. Prior research highlights that “research on the effect of immigration status on population health disparities… is more limited,” with studies focusing on one’s nativity to the country rather than how one’s legal status impacts health disparities. This is a gap that must be addressed as there exists different classes of migrants within the U.S.  population and a “focus on nativity rather than legal classification may obscure the health problems the most vulnerable group members face” (Asad and Clair, 2018).  

Link to video:  https://mediaspace.msu.edu/media/t/1_wbv9yzqh

16th Annual LBC Research Symposium

The 16th Annual LBC Research Symposium will take place from April 24th through April 28th 2023 in Holmes Hall. You can find the full schedule of events and presentations here.

This site is hosting the virtual portion of the event and you will find several student presentations in the recent posts. Awards for the best presentations will be announced at the MSUFCU Poster session on Monday April 24th in Holmes Hall.

Several online submission for the LBC Virtual Research Showcase can been seen in the previous posts or link via the following.

Effects of Health Care Workers’ Participation in Equine Assisted Activities on Their Attitude Towards Horses and Future Participation in Horse ActivitiesAlexandria Mast, Christine Skelly, Karen Waite, Gwyn Shelle, Paula Hitzler, Thomas Guthrie
Social Aspects of Medicine Semester Long Paper: Exploring how one’s Citizenship Status Affects one’s Access to Healthcare in the U.S. Sara Xhaja
University students’ attitude towards horses improved with participation in an equine activity – Virtual Award winnerHaley Preston, Dr. Karen Waite, Paula Hitzler, Tom Guthrie, Gwynn Shelle, Dr. Christine Skelly

University Students’ attitude towards Horses improved with participation in an Equine Activity

Image Alex MastAuthor: Haley Preston – 2nd year student
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christine Skelly
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen Waite
Co-author: Gwynn Shelle
Co-author: Tom Guthrie
Co-author:Paula Hitzler

Abstract

The Michigan State University Horse Teaching and Research Center (HTRC) is open to the public every day. In 2022, 865 Michigan State University students took part in classes at the HTRC, representing only a fraction (1.74%) of the 49,696-student population. This study explored how student participation in a horse activity influenced their attitude toward horses. MSU students (n = 115) were recruited for this study using a campus wide poster campaign, Facebook posts, club and class announcements. Students were randomly divided into 3 activity groups: Guided walk primarily taking place on a farm lane with no opportunity to observe horses (n = 37); a self-guided tour of HTRC with the opportunity to both observe and interact with horses (n = 38); and grooming a horse (n = 40). Students completed a pre and post activity survey immediately before and after their 30-min activity. Both surveys included 8 questions regarding attitudes toward horses using a 5-point Likert scale. Five questions were modeled after the Pet Attitude Scale and 3 questions described what students might experience during their activity (do you like observing, caring for, or petting a horse). A repeated-measures ANOVA in SPSS showed that mean horse attitude scores improved significantly between pre and post test overall (F(1, 112) = 39.879, P < 0.005) and there were no differences between activity groups. During registration, student demographics were collected, and students answered questions about their previous horse experience. Most students participating in this study were undergraduates (78.2%, n = 90). Participants represented 14 colleges across campus, with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources leading student participants at 36.5% (n = 42). Students described their horse experience as either inexperienced (34.8%, n = 40), novice (31.3%, n = 36), intermediate (14.8%, n = 17), experienced (9.6%, n = 11), or advanced (7.0%, n = 8). Most participants (82.6%, n = 95) strongly agreed they would recommend others to visit the HTRC. Participants in the study also planned to participate in a horse activity in the next year (70.4%, n = 81) based on their experience in this study. While it is estimated the HTRC has 30,000 visitors each year, there is not any information as to whether MSU students utilize the farm outside of classes and organized events. These results support the idea that a visit to the campus horse farm can have a positive impact on a student’s attitude toward horses. This can be important as the equine industry investigates opportunities for individuals to engage in more horse-related activities.

Effects of Health Care Workers’ Participation in Equine Assisted Activities on Their Attitude Towards Horses and Future Participation in Horse Activities

  • Author: Alex Mast – 4th year 
  • Faculty Mentor: Christine Skelly – Department of Animal Science, MSU Extension
  • Faculty Mentor: Karen Waite: Department of Animal Science
  • Faculty Mentor: Gwyn Shelle: MSU Extension 
  • Faculty Mentor: Paula Hitzler: Farm Manager: Horse Teaching and Research Center
  • Faculty Mentor: Thomas Guthrie: Jackson County Extension Office

Abstract:

This study explored the influence of participating in an equine assisted activity (EAA) on health care workers’ (HCW) attitude towards horses and their future participation in horse activities. The study, conducted at the Michigan State University Horse Teaching and Research Center (HTRC), randomly divided HCW (n=55) into three groups: Control – walk on farm roads with no EAA (n=17); Low EAA – self-guided tour of the HTRC with opportunity for horse interactions (n=20); and Mid EAA – grooming a horse under supervision (n=18). All HCW completed a pre- and post-survey immediately before and after their activity and received a riding lesson voucher at the end of their session. Pre- and post-survey data were analyzed using the repeated measures one-way ANOVA procedure in SPSS. A repeated-measures ANOVA in SPSS showed that mean horse attitude scores improved significantly between pre- and post-test overall (F(1, 52) = 15.89,?P?< .001), with no differences between groups. HCW were sent a one-year follow-up survey to determine if they used their vouchers and if not, why. The follow-up survey had a 65% return rate (n=34) and showed that only 14.7% (n=5) HCW used their voucher. Forty-seven percent of HCW who did not use their voucher selected lack of time as the primary reason. This study suggests that participating in an activity on a horse farm may improve HCW attitude towards horses regardless of their opportunity for horse interactions. However, lack of time is a prohibiting factor for HCW future participation in horse activities. 

Welcome to the 15th Annual LBC Research Symposium

The 15th Annual LBC Research Symposium will take place from April 25th through April 29th 2022 in Holmes Hall. You can find the full schedule of events and presentations here.

This site is hosting the virtual portion of the event and you will find several student presentations in the recent posts. Awards for the best presentations will be announced at the MSUFCU Poster session on Monday April 25th in Holmes Hall.

Surface Transmission of Viruses in a Healthcare Facility

Author: Sydney Bush – 1st year
Author: Atef Choudhury – 1st year
Author: Sanjanasri Pothuraju – 2nd year
Author: Blake Potvin – 1st year
Faculty Mentor: Volodymyr Tarabara, PhD. – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mentor: Xunhao Wang – PhD student , Civil and Environmental Engineering 

Abstract:

In the world today there are many viruses that are a concern to human health. These viruses are especially prone to be found in a hospital setting where individuals are being treated for viral infections. Fomites play an important role in the spread of viruses. Higher probability of transfer is associated with fomites in indoor environments and especially with surfaces that are frequently touched. In this study, we numerically estimated adhesion of several viruses (human respiratory syncytial virus, human adenovirus, and coronavirus) to a number of different surfaces (stainless steel, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride) commonly encountered in settings typical for health care facilities. Adhesion was quantified and interpreted based on physicochemical properties of viruses and fomites. Surface charge and hydrophobicity data were obtained in part from published literature and in part by experimental measurements. Hydrophobicity was determined based on measurements of contact angle on the surfaces of selected fomites. Virus-fomites interactions are predicted using the extended Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory. The obtained data can guide screening and selection of materials that discourage virus adhesion, help design anti-adhesive surfaces and develop surface cleaning solutions and protocols.