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Idaho Conference for Undergrad Research Celebrates Scholastic Achievements

Boise State will be hosting the Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research July 30-31. The conference is a celebration showcasing the leading edge of undergraduate research in all disciplines and institutions across the state of Idaho. The conference will be held in the second floor of the Student Union Building, with student poster presentations happening from 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m. both days in the Simplot Ballroom.

The Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research aims to promote mentored undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in Idaho in all disciplines. In addition, it encourages engagement of undergraduate students from multiple disciplines in research, builds an extended scholarly community across institutional boundaries in Idaho and ensures diversity in institutional representation, discipline and students’ backgrounds.

“Boise State is constantly searching for new lenses with which to see our world. It is through these lenses that we will benefit our local, national, and global society,” said Harold Blackman, interim vice president for research. “We strive to improve the lives and economic development of all those living in the region through our mission of research and education.”

To preview some of the Boise State research that will be presented at this conference, please view student spotlights below:

Development of Novel Drugs to Treat Amoebic Dysentery by Inhibition of Entamoeba histolytica MTA Nucleosidase

Libbie Luevanos

“My research is trying to find new anti-parasitic drugs to combat common parasites like Giardia and Entamoeba Histolytica. What makes this work worth it for me is the population that would be impacted by the discoveries of this research. E.h. and Giardia impact people in lower socioeconomic circumstances who don’t have access to clean water.”

Luevanos is a fourth-year biology major with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology. She also is working toward a minor in film and television arts. Her research is supported by the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

The Effect of Water in Solid TiO2 Nanoparticle Electrode Material for Metal Ion Batteries

Jorge Perez

“The project that I am working on aims to find out what water does to a battery during charging and discharging. I am testing this by heating titanium dioxide, which is the anode material, to very high temperatures and then charging and discharging a battery containing this material. I hope that this project will lead to other studies that help to improve the performance of batteries in everyday appliances.”

Perez is a third-year physics major with an emphasis on applied physics, and a minor in both applied mathematics and materials science and engineering. His research is supported by the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

Bringing Moon Moths into the Light: A Diurnal Study of Saturniidae in different life stages

Jessica Pozos

“I am studying a species of moth named Actius luna (a Saturniid moth with hindwing tails) throughout its life cycle, during its daylight hours. I raised caterpillars and I tracked the overall time from hatch date to pupation stage under different light conditions and variable or stable temperature conditions. I also did a study where I made moth models out of clay using their real wings and antennae. Since A. luna have hindwing tails, I left some of the models tailless and left the rest with tails to test if moths with tails would deflect predator attack better than those without tails.”

Pozos is a third-year biology major involved in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program.

Statistical Modeling of Interactions Between Imaging and Clinical Factors in the Osteoarthritis Initiative Database

Zuly Lapa

“The objective of this study is to develop 3D knee model representations of a subject in the Osteoarthritis Initiative from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and compare the structural change with their clinical information and pain progress over 48 months.”

Lapa is a fourth-year mechanical engineering major, and credits her current research pursuits to the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Research Experience for Undergraduates program.