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UCI Emeriti and Retiree Fall Gathering

Spencer Olin, Professor Emeritus & Vice Provost and Dean Gillian Hayes of the Graduate Division invite you to:

UCI Emeriti and Retiree Gathering: Graduate Division Research Update

Thursday, November 7th
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Newkirk Alumni Center
450 Alumni Court
Irvine CA 92697

CLICK HERE TO RSVP


Join us for dinner and reconnect with colleagues, while learning about current research on campus from a few of our top Ph.D candidates. During this fall Emeriti gathering we'll highlight the work of our STEM disciplines. These students represent three of our top recent Grad Slam finalists.

Grad Slam is a systemwide competition that showcases and awards the best three-minute research presentations by graduate scholars. This competition not only highlights the excellence, importance and relevance of UCI graduate scholars and their research, but it is also designed to increase graduate students' communication skills and their capacity to effectively present their work with poise and confidence.

Presentations by:

Headshot

Mohammad Aghaamoo

Degree Program
Presentation Title

Outsmarting the Evil Genius

Lab/Advisor 
Grad Slam Finish
2019 Grad Slam Finalist 
Research

Single cell analysis is a rapidly developing approach to characterize living organisms at individual cell level. In recent years, there have been many reports that demonstrate there is a heterogenous populations of cells within any single tissue. Thus, single cell analysis plays a key role in understanding different diseases such as cancer, developing effective drugs, analysis of stem cell differentiation, etc. One of the pivotal steps in single cell analysis is sample preparation: to isolate specific types of cells from a heterogenous populations of cells with high accuracy and precisely manipulate and organize them individually to be studied one by one. However, the single cell analysis research field still faces major challenges to address these needs. My research is focused on providing researchers and scientists with a technology to isolate the cells they are interested in from population of cells and precisely organize them to be placed in specific positions to be studied one by one.

Headshot

Jessica Yaros

Degree Program

Neurobiology & Behavior Ph.D. (School of Biological Sciences)

Presentation Title

They All Look the Same to Me: Combatting the Other-Race Effect

Lab/Advisor 
Grad Slam Finish
2019 Grad Slam Finalist (Third Place)
Research

People tend to recognize faces of their own race better than those of other races. While behavioral research suggests this so-called Other-Race Effect (ORE) is due to extensive experience with one’s own race group, the neural mechanisms underlying the effect remain unclear. We employed a novel ‘mnemonic discrimination’ task to hone in on the memory-processing mechanisms employed for same- and other-race face recognition. Our findings demonstrate distinct responses modulated by race of face and similarity between faces. This suggests that the ORE is caused by differences in the ability to process interference between faces for same- and other-race stimuli. This research has strong implications for the criminal justice system, given the dire consequences of the ORE in the context of eye-witness testimony.

Headshot

Megan Newcomb

Degree Program

Chemistry Ph.D. (School of Physical Sciences)

Presentation Title

Using Bacteria to Tackle Global Problems

Lab/Advisor 
Grad Slam Finish
2017 UCI Grad Slam Champion
Research

Megan studies the enzyme nitrogenase, which she calls a “natural machine,” and tries to understand why it can convert carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into fuels.  She hopes that these same processes will be used to convert excess environmental carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into biofuels, which are actually beneficial for the planet.“We grow this natural machine using bacteria and then take it out of the bacteria to learn how it works. This enzyme can turn exhaust fumes from the air into the fuels we use to power machines and cars.” Megan’s work could have a major impact on energy systems worldwide. The opportunity to convert exhaust pollutants to clean energy could be crucial not only to altering the energy business, but also in reversing current global warming trends.

PARKING | Please park in Parking Lot 14, located at the corner of University Drive and Mesa Road. A parking attendant will be stationed at the Parking Lot 14 entrance. Please advise the attendant that you are attending the UCI Emeriti and Retiree Gathering, and a permit will be provided to you.

BUILDING ACCESS | Enter through the main entrance of the building and follow the signs to The Den

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