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Take a Look: Discover USC 2018

More than 1,000 presenters and more than 1,000 volunteers, reviewers, mentors and other visitors came out for Discover USC 2018, the second annual showcase of research, scholarship, creativity and leadership, on Friday, April 20, 2018. Hosted by the Office of the Vice President for Research, this new and growing USC tradition provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral and medical scholars from every USC System campus to present their out-of-the-classroom experiences to the entire USC community at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center (CMCC), in the heart of the capital city.

Check out photos and award listings from the poster, oral and three-minute thesis competitions. And, don’t forget to save the date for Discover USC 2019, which is scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2019 at the CMCC.


Undergraduate and PharmD Student Awards

There were 80 poster presentation sections and two oral presentation sections for undergraduate and PharmD students at Discover USC 2018. Download the Undergraduate and PharmD awardees list (PDF) to view the award recipients from all of these competitive groups. Congratulations to all 2018 undergraduate and PharmD awardees.


Graduate Student Awards

For graduate students, there were 19 poster sections, and six three-minute thesis competition heats, plus a fan favorite and final competition, at Discover USC 2018. Congratulations to all 2018 graduate student award recipients.

Poster Award Winners

Poster Session Winner
A Chamberline Ozigbu, Physician’s Practice Variation in Blood Pressure Home Monitoring (BPHM) Recommendations: Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survyey (NHANES) 2009 – 2014
B Nadia Al-Sammarraie, Loss of Transforming Growth Factor Beta-2 in Myocardium Causes Congenital Heart Defects
C Daniel Haun, Like, Share, Follow: Measuring Brand Engagement Through Purposive Behaviors On Instagram
D Olivia Spead, Specific Roles of Glypican3 in Axon Sorting and Topographic Map Formation in the Developing Visual System
E Ekaterina Dolgopolova, Photophysics and Electronic Structure of Metal-Organic Frameworks
F Michael Cranston, Sex differences in voluntary wheel running in the HIV-1 transgenic rat
G Shandrea Foster, Understanding Barriers to Genetic Testing for Sickle Cell Trait: The African-American Male Perspective
H Zachary Cannizzo, Habitat specific impacts of Hurricane Matthew on a range expanding species
I Sarah King, Improving the Walkability of a University Campus one STEP at a Time
K Nicholas Dopkins, Role of gut microbial metabolite tryptamine in the amelioration of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis
L Samantha Yaussy, Patterns of Craniofacial Fluctuating Asymmetry in Industrial-era England


Wurood Neamah, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) induces immune tolerance by altering the gut microbiome

Katy Pilarzyk, The Role Of PDE11A4 In Isolation-Induced Neuroinflammation



Ballie DeHaven, Probing the formation of reactive oxygen species by a porous self-assembled benzophenone bis-urea host

Jordan Holmes, Enzyme-free Glutamate Sensing at Ionophore-Grafted Carbon Fiber Microelectrodes
O William Hayes, Analyzing Individual Differences in Contextually-Based Choice


Christopher Perry, Eye-hand coordination is modulated by attentional demands

Jonathan Ruiz-Ramie, Cardiovascular Health is Associated with Incidence of Elevated C-Reactive Protein over 18 Years of Follow-up: The Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study
Q Phani Gummadidala, Flooding is Associated with Increase in Relative Abundance of Aspergillus and Penicillium spp. in Built Environment: Implications to Human Health
R Danda Chapagai, Selective inhibition of Polo-like Kinase 1 PBD for cancer therapy
S Sara Walden Hanna, Examining the Relationship Between Brain Lesion Site and Naming and Comprehension Ability Post-Stroke: A Dual Stream Model Investigation
T Emile Culclasure, The Development of Orthographic Knowledge: Exploring Results


Three-Minute Thesis Award Winners

Award Winner
Overall Winner Ashley Allen, chemistry, Miniature Spectrometers for Planetary Exploration
Overall First Runner-up Jamie Clark, marine science, Regenerating eyes: What can they tell us?
Overall Second Runner-up Alicia Dahl, health promotion, education, and behavior, The Healthy Motivations for Moms-to-be Study: A Mobile Health Intervention for Targeting Gestational Weight Gain among Pregnant Women
Fan Favortie Rasha Raheem, pathology, microbiology, and immunology, Enterohepatic Helicobacter species modulate severity of DSS-induced colitis but do not prevent amelioration by indole-3-carbinol
Heat A Jamie Clark, marine science, Regenerating eyes: What can they tell us?
Heat B Patrick O’Brien, history, “Unknown and Unlamented”: Loyalist Women in Exile and Repatriation
Heat C Tanzir Shuvo, health services policy and management, Alzheimer’s Attributable Costs in the United States: A Secondary Analysis of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2011-2015
Heat D Ashley Allen, chemistry, Miniature Spectrometers for Planetary Exploration
Heat E Keith Fuller, biological sciences, Using Satellite Telemetry to Track Environmental and Geographic Preference of a Juvenile Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini)
Heat F Alicia Dahl, health promotion, education, and behavior, The Healthy Motivations for Moms-to-be Study: A Mobile Health Intervention for Targeting Gestational Weight Gain among Pregnant Women


Medical Scholar Awards

For medical scholars, there were 18 poster presentation sections and a total of 113 presentations at Discover USC 2018. Congratulations to all of the Medical Scholar award winners.

Basic Medical Sciences &  Therapeutic Effectiveness/Efficiency

First Place

Christopher Toussaint
Medical Student, USC School of Medicine
Rett Syndrome: A Study of Phenotypical Variability

Second Place

Alicia Snider
Surgery Resident, Palmetto Health
Gender Differences in Cutaneous Radiation Injury and Systemic Symptomatology

Third Place

William Gazzola
Surgery Resident, Palmetto Health
Meltblown Poly-Lactic Acid Nano-Webs as a Tissue Engineering Scaffold


Case Reports/Small Series/Learning Innovation

First Place

Jaime Catala Fuster
Infectious Diseases Fellow
When Neurontin does not help for headaches

Second Place

Ross Taylor
Medical Student, USC School of Medicine
Parvovirus-Associated Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis, Utility Of Intravenous Immunoglobulin And High-Dose Corticosteroids

Third Place

Baker Mills
Medical Student, USC School of Medicine
Blumensaat's Line As A Prediction Of Native Anterior Cruciate Ligament Length



First Place

Lizzy Robinette
Pharmacy Resident, Palmetto Health
Impact of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Second Place

Mohammed Moizuddin
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Fellow, Palmetto Health
Sleep in Intensive Care Unit (ICU): Lowering Interventions by Empowering Nurses in Critical Care Environment – Noise Optimization in Sick Environment – The SILENCE NOISE! quality project

Third Place

Julian Duda
Neurology Resident, Palmetto Health
Association of Inflammation with Intracranial Atherosclerotic Stenosis



Postdoctoral Scholar Awards

For postdocs, there were four poster presentation competition sections at Discover USC 2018. These sessions featured current postdoctoral scholars and former recipients of ASPIRE I: IIB Innovation grants for postdoctoral scholars. Congratulations to all 2018 postdoctoral scholar award recipients.

Poster Presentation Award Winners

Postdoctoral Scholars Poster Session A
First Place Dr. Alexandra Kingston, Biological Sciences
Co-evolution of complex traits associated with a key innovation: Weaponry, armor, and vision in the snapping shrimp, Alpheus heterochaelis
Second Place Dr. Hasan Alghetaa, Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology
Resveratrol inhibits metabolism of SEB-activated T lymphocytes by epigenetic dysregulation
Postdoctoral Scholars Poster Session B
First Place Dr. Angela-Nadia Albetel, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Insights into the Molecular Mechanism of Fe Homeostasis in Yeast S. cerevisiae
Second Place Dr. Kumaraswamy Naidu Chitrala, Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology
Impact of deleterious single nucleotide polymorphisms in Catechol O-Methyltransferase conferring risk to Post-traumatic stress disorder
Postdoctoral Scholars Poster Session C
First Place Dr. Allison Sweeney, Psychology
A Qualitative Study to Examine How Differences in Motivation Can Inform the Development of Tailored Physical Activity Intervention Programs
Second Place Dr. Mrinmay Chakrabarti, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Aortopathy in a mouse model of Marfan Syndrome is exacerbated by heterozygous deletion of individual Transforming Growth Factor-β ligands
Postdoctoral Scholars Poster Session D
First Place Dr. Vancho Kocevski, Mechanical Engineering
Computational modeling of prospective molecular frameworks for nuclear waste forms
Second Place Dr. Dexin Shi, Psychology
Fitting Ordinal Factor Analysis Models with Missing Data: A Comparison between Pairwise Deletion and Multiple Imputation


25 April 2018

Discover USC, Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.