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The Nittany Lion Shrine at the University Park campus.

Nineteen undergraduates receive Erickson Discovery Grants

16 May 2024

Nineteen undergraduate students from the Penn State Eberly College of Science have been awarded Erickson Discovery Grants, which funds their independent research projects.
The Rodney A. Erickson Grant program is administered by the Office of Undergraduate Education and is designed to support undergraduate student engagement in original research, scholarship and creative work under the supervision of a research mentor. Students may use the grant to cover living expenses and project costs like supplies and travel.  
Funding is directed to student-initiated projects and facilitates experience in question generation, proposal writing, method implementation and communication of results. Projects may be completed on any topic and may be related to supervising faculty’s research but should be primarily led by and conceptualized by the student. Applications typically open in late October each year. 
This year’s Erickson’s Discovery Grant recipients in the college are:

  • Zachary Allamon, “Boundary-Value Solutions to the Forced Soliton Equation,” Physics
  • Taha Alubaidi, “Chemical Chaperones,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
  • Derek Baldwin, “Investigating the Impact of Temporal Proximity on the Efficacy of a Memory Update,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
  • Alex Baxevanidis, “Identification of a transcription attenuation mechanism controlling yrhG expression in Bacillus subtilis,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  
  • Alex Butzler, “Dual Emission System of Fluorescent Dye and Folic Acid Carbon Quantum Dots at Near Neutral pH,” Chemistry 
  • Adrien Chen, “Oxidative stress impact on Kinesin KIF1A structure and function. An in-vitro analysis,” Chemistry 
  • Ankita Dasgupta, “Determining the physical parameters of astrophysical tau neutrinos discovered by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory,” Astrophysics and Astronomy 
  • Garret Diven, “Investigating Gene Variants in VACTERL Association: Their Effect on the Aging Trajectory of C. elegans,” Biochemistry 
  • Isaac Gray, “Model Membranes with Cardiolipin as the Major Component,” Chemistry 
  • Mikayla Hribal, “Dissecting the Role of a DNA Damage Response Factor in Gene Expression,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  
  • Heejung Koo, “Gut Feelings: Investigating the Role of Bacteriophage on the Gut Microbiome,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  
  • Stefan Leovac, “Tetralin Derivative Synthesis via Photo-Redox C-H Radical Cyclization,” Chemistry 
  • Duncan McQueen, “Impact of Aging on the Tensile Properties of Photothermally Cured Polymer Systems,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 
  • Anant Pothakamury, “Investigating the Influence of the Host-Gut Microbiome Interactions on NAD+ Metabolism during Intestinal Inflammation,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Anisha Prabhu, “Investigating the Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in the 16p12.1 Deletion,” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Luc Schrauf, “Low-Cost Quartz Tuning Fork as Atomic Force Microscope Sensor,” Physics 
  • Sarah Scott, “The impact of prenatal and postpartum vitamin D supplementation on cholecalciferol concentrations in breast milk,” Biology 
  • Thanvanth Vinodh Kumar, “Comparative memory of a model particle suspension,” Physics
  • Matthew Visomirski, “Predicting Species Coexistence and Quasi-Periodicity via Graph Combinatorics,” Physics and Mathematics

The Erickson Discovery Grant program is administered by Penn State Undergraduate Education