2017 CGRS Presenters

Eight students will represent the University of Kansas Lawrence Campus at the 2017 Capitol Graduate Research Summit. Learn more about their research below.

Five students will also represent the University of Kansas Medical Center at the Summit; learn more about their research at the Medical Center site.

For information about the event, and the other participating Kansas universities, please visit the Capitol Graduate Research Summit website.

James Matthew Coll | Geography & Atmospheric Science | Advisor: Xingong Li

Global Trends in Snow Cover Frequency

James CollSnow cover is an important part of the water cycle, and it is vital that we understand its current state and trends if we are to properly model and forecast for the future. Coll's research presents a high resolution, global snow cover trend analysis which is available for exploration at trendy-snow.appspot.com. This research can be used as a tool to help plan for future water needs and improve our predictions connected with this critical aspect of the hydrologic cycle.



Lindsay Huffhines | Clinical Child Psychology | Advisor: Yo Jackson

Maltreatment and Physical Health Outcomes in Foster Youth: An Examination of Protective Factors

Lindsay HuffhinesHuffhines’ research focuses on the promotion of physical and mental health in maltreated youth. Specifically, she is examining the impact of individual and family factors on chronic health conditions and health service use in foster children and adolescents exposed to abuse and neglect. This study has important implications for improving physical health of youth in foster care.


Jeffrey C. Jennings | Geology | Advisor: Tandis Bigdoli

Identifying Areas at Risk for Injection-Induced Seismicity Through Subsurface Analysis of Southern Kansas

Jeffrey C. JenningsJennings’ research focuses on defining and assessing faults in Southern Kansas that are at risk of reactivation. By using extensive well-top data subsurface maps were created, with these maps surface analysis techniques were then implemented to locate the faults present throughout the subsurface. The second part of the study used borehole data and inversed focal mechanisms to determine the regional stress orientations. The combination of this information will allow for the determination of areas most at risk for reactivation from injection activities. This directly affects Kansas and the research process can be expanded for other areas within the state and globally to reduce the effects of injection into the subsurface.


H. Martin Koch | Geography & Atmospheric Science | Advisor: Barney Warf

Digital Utilities: Bridging Internet Divides with Municipal Broadband

Martin KochKoch’s research focuses on the incentives and disincentives for municipal broadband implementation among municipal managers, and how these factors impact implementation choices at both temporal and spatial scales. It illustrates what challenges face municipal broadband innovation, how these challenges vary based on unique local conditions, and how informed management practices can help overcome these challenges. Municipal broadband networks have already gained success at fostering economic growth, enhancing educational opportunities, and furthering social equity; this project could help rural communities power a new generation of prosperity by implementing more efficient, equitable, and effective information systems.


Maxwell D. Murphy | Bioengineering | Advisor: Randolph Nudo

Patterned Electrical Microstimulation in the Brain Improves the Information Transmission of Neurons

Emily CarlsonMax works in the cortical plasticity lab, where he examines changes in patterns of neural activity during recovery from stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI). His interests primarily concern changes in stimulus-related activity at the level of single neurons or spatially localized micro-circuitry. Studying the neural correlates of plasticity at this level of detail provides clues on how to modulate neural activity in order to provide the most efficacious therapy in treating stroke or TBI.


Kien Nguyen | Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering | Advisor: Caroline Bennett

Numerical Analysis of a Cracked Hot-Dip Galvanized Structural Steel Beam

Kien NguyenKien’s research focus is to provide improved design, materials, and construction specifications to help designers, galvanizers, and fabricators to build steel structures without any galvanizing cracking issues. This study is part of several research projects conducted at the University of Kansas to mitigate hot-dip galvanizing cracking in many types of steel structures. As a results, new specifications would help the State of Kansas and other states to save considerable amounts of money by making reliable, durable, and sustainable galvanized steel structures.


Aaron J. Rudeen | Molecular Biosciences | Advisor: Kristi Neufeld

Investigating the Impact of the Mutation Cluster Region of Tumor-suppressor Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) on Colon Carcinogenesis

Aaron J. RudeenTumor-suppressor Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is mutated in over 80% of colorectal cancers. This strikingly high frequency makes APC an attractive candidate for development of targeted therapeutics to treat patients with various stages of colorectal cancer. Aaron’s research is focused on working out the complex molecular roles of mutant APC in the progression of colorectal cancer.


Cate Wisdom | Bioengineering | Advisor: Candan Tamerler

Biomimicking Biological Interfaces by Engineered Multi-Functional Peptides to Prevent Implant-Associated Infections

Cate WisdomIncreasing antibiotic resistant bacteria pose a significant threat to society locally in the State of Kansas as well as globally. Bacteria colonize on medical implants and form biofilms that are difficult to treat and act as a natural barrier to treatment of bacterial infections on medical implants. Our technology incorporates antimicrobial peptide function that provide a defense against biofilm formation with the potential to be effective against bacteria that have developed resistance to traditional antibiotic therapies. Development of this technology could assist clinicians and impact patients significantly.

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