Previous Research Project Examples

“The History of Jazz Trumpet”

Wayne Everett Goins, Director of Jazz Studies, Guitar

This project involves study of the evolution of jazz trumpet through the investigation of the various styles of the jazz era, including ragtime, swing, early bebop, hard bop, blues, funk, jazz/rock fusion, etc. More specifically, this project will examine the principal architects of jazz trumpet and their role in developing the American art form as we know it today.

The student will participate in active research, developed listening skills, music retrieving and archival activities, style analysis leading to trumpet solo performance, and lecture. The student will gain enhanced research skills, a jazz CD collection, a thorough working knowledge of jazz history and jazz trumpet, and performance and lecture skills.

“Costs associated with replacing milk with sugar-sweetened beverages?”

Tandalayo Kidd, Human Nutrition

Calories in sugar-sweetened beverages, “liquid calories,” do not replace the nutrient-rich calories associated with milk (vitamins, minerals, and proteins); therefore, the “liquid calories” contribute to a higher total energy intake which increases the risk for overweight or obesity, as well as any health issues associated with the decreased consumption of milk and milk products. The purpose of this project is to compare the costs (monetary and nutritive) per 100 kcal of milk, soda, juice, juice drinks, and sports drinks.

The student will become familiar with reviewing and summarizing peer-reviewed literature associated with the topic; collecting, analyzing and interpreting data; and developing a manuscript for publication, putting together a poster or oral presentation for a national conference, and/or developing nutrition education materials designed specifically for young adults. The student will gain skills in and increase their understanding of the methodology that is pertinent to conducting sound public health related research.

“Differential Pattern of Connexins in Mammary Cancer Cells Derived from MMTV-PyVT Mouse”

Thu Annelise Nguyen, Toxicology/Cancer Research

Breast cancer cells have reduced gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) and a high rate of cell proliferation in comparison to normal mammary cells. It has been shown in previous studies that primaquine compounds (PQ’s) can increase GJIC and reduce cell proliferation. Previously the transgenic strain FVB/N-Tg(MMTV-PyVT)634Mul/J (also known as PyVT) was used as a model system for measuring tumor burden, drug sensitivity, and metastasis of mammary carcinomas. A continuous line of mammary tumor cells (named FMC2u) has been established and characterized from the malignant neoplasm of a female PyVT transgenic mouse. All lines showed substrate adherence and maintained similar morphological characteristics of the original tumor from which it was derived.

The purpose of this project is to determine of PQs have a direct impact on gene expression of gap junction proteins on the continuous line of mammary tumor cells. The results will address whether PQs have a direct impact on the expression of gap junction proteins, critical players in cell-cell communication. Expected outcomes: The PQ-treated cells will have an increase of gap junction proteins (Cx43 and Cx46). The results from these new cell lines should be correlated with the tumor gene profile.

Through the duration of this project the student will gain basic molecular biology techniques, biomedical related software and hardware techniques, and critical thinking of her project and presentation skills.