Susan Chen

Metabolic engineering has the potential to provide environmentally friendly routes for the synthesis of a variety of molecules, including therapeutics and biofuels. One way to improve the flux of metabolic pathways is the use of synthetic protein scaffolds that colocalize enzymes in the engineered mevalonate biosynthesis pathway. Susan’s project tests the hypothesis that optimal scaffolds of certain architectures mimic substrate channeling and function by forming large, oligomeric complexes that bring scaffolds into close proximity. Adaptor molecules are synthesized that co-assemble scaffolds to designably control complex size. Mevalonate product titers will be measured using GCMS, and protein colocalization will be verified by fluorescence imaging. The successful engineering of this adaptor strategy can be applied to other pathways due to its modularity.

Elton Chan

The bacterium Salmonella is a significant cause of food-borne disease. Its pathogenesis depends on the type III secretion systems (T3SSs) that were acquired by horizontal gene transfer; the invasion of Salmonella into the host cells requires appropriate expression of T3SSs. Recent research has identified small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) as a class of regulators that fine tune gene expression required for bacterial physiology and pathogenesis. Elton will investigate the specific interaction between one of these newly discovered Salmonella sRNA and its predicted candidate targets; he will characterize the interaction between IsrM and its cognate targets, HilE and SopA, and identify the mechanisms of these interactions. The research work on the interaction between this sRNA and its targets will contribute towards a more complete understanding of the molecular coordination of Salmonella pathogenesis.

Matthew Grigorieff

In the spring of 2009, UC Berkeley (UCB) offered 98 courses in their Physical Education Department– none designed for disabled students. Forty years after UCB helped forge a civil rights movement for people with disabilities, neither Berkeley nor any UC has a plan or program for addressing the fitness needs of the disabled. Matthew hopes to address that deficiency. He will create and evaluate a pilot program to create boxing opportunities for the disabled, and travel to learn the successes and limitations of several other California adaptive fitness programs, creating a documentary film and enhanced thesis with his findings. He will then initiate fundraising efforts in order to develop a sustainable plan that can be offered for the disabled population at UCB, and in time replicated at other universities.

Sonia Gomez

Immediately following the end of World War II, the United States stationed nearly 450,000 troops in Japan. The U.S. occupation of Japan led to intimate relationships between American Servicemen and Japanese women, resulting in a large number of marriages. Between 1947 and 1975, an estimated 45,000 Japanese women immigrated to the United States as wives of U.S. Servicemen. Most scholarship on the subject focuses on the relationships between Japanese war brides and White American GIs. However, a significant number of these Japanese women came to the United States with their African American husbands; yet their stories remain largely untold. Through extensive archival research and oral histories, Sonia will re-examine gender and race relations in the post-war United States through the lens of the Japanese war bride and African-American GI.

Margaux Fitoussi

Revolutionary Cuba provided international support and financial assistance to the liberation movements throughout southern African. Cuba’s foreign policy of international revolution and its liberation discourse crossed boundaries erected by the apartheid state and influenced the South African emancipation movement. Despite a strong public rapport between Cuba and anti-Apartheid leaders, the majority of research on Cubas foreign policy towards Africa has excluded South Africa. Drawing on archival research conducted at the University of Cape Town and South African national archives, Margaux hopes to contribute to the analysis of Cuba’s symbolic significance to the anti-Apartheid struggle. She will trace the origin of Cuba’s involvement in the South Africa liberation movement beginning in 1975 with Cuba’s increase of support to African revolutionary movements and ending in 1991 with Nelson Mandelas visit to Cuba.

Amin Ebrahimi Afrouzi

Platonic dialogues usually consist of an interrogative discourse between Socrates and his interlocutor, situated in a specific setting, much like a stage, with other people present and participating somehow. Amin will investigate the role of peripheral participants and the staging of the dialogue in some essential texts known to be mostly concerning modes of discourse, namely Gorgias and Protagoras, as well as two early dialogues, “Crito” and “Meno”. Amin will examine these texts in the light of modern theories of discourse and performance while paying specific attention to cultural significations and the spatial staging of both the ancient Athenian forum and a modern U.S. courtroom. Amin’s analysis involves a comparison of the relations between the platonic characters and their relation to the staging of the dialogue.

Louisa deCossy

The recent influx of modernity and opportunity into Ireland has profoundly affected the countrys social, geographical and cultural framework. In response to growing social pressure and the relaxation of the power of the Catholic Church, Ireland has changed many repressive laws regarding divorce and homosexuality and has closed antiquated institutions, such as the Magdalen Laundries. Louisa will research the effects of these changes on the social fabric of Ireland by interviewing women from different facets of Irish society regarding their newly emerging cultural identity. She will also visit historical and geographical sites that are suggested by the interviewees. Utilizing the mediums of film, photography and landscape painting, Louisa will draw on both new and old traditions to illustrate a changing portrait of Ireland and the women that live there.

Stefanie Matabang

This project sets out to examine the acquisition of the Arthurian literary cycle by the canon of Filipino literature. Focusing on the only two Filipino translated Arthurian texts, Tablante de Ricamonte and Percibal, Stefanie will be doing analytical and comparative work on the texts and the Spanish counterparts from which they are derived. Traveling to Chicago and the Philippines, she will gain access to these 19th century, medieval-influenced manuscripts and in the Philippines, have the opportunity to consult with the mother of Filipino folklore, scholar Damiana L. Eugenio. Her ultimate goal is to ascertain what original elements of the tradition have been maintained in the translations and to determine what Filipino literature has contributed to the greater Arthurian literary cycle.

Mio Kitayama

Rapid land use transformation worldwide in recent years raises a demand for models that simulate the impacts of different land use policies on the local ecosystems and its services for human well-being. Mio will join a team in Brazil and devise a mathematical model that estimates the impacts of local land use choices on the carbon sequestration abilities of Atlantic Forest. She will integrate the devised model into Multiscale, Integrated Models of Ecosystem Services (MIMES), which collaboratively simulates the impacts of different land use policies on ecosystem services provided by the forest. This research will contribute to the development of effective land management policies that lead to sustainable conservation of Atlantic Forest. Furthermore, identifying the benefits, requirements and limitations of the modeling methods will provide valuable references for future studies.

Katherine Hood

While the recent economic downturn has brought national attention to the plight of the newly unemployed, downward mobility has been a steady feature of American society for generations. For Americans, however, downward mobility means facing not only declining economic prospects, but also the stigma of violating a cherished cultural norm: the pursuit of the American dream and the achievement of upward mobility. Katherine will travel to rural Oregon to conduct in-depth interviews with people affected by the decline of the timber industry, a once booming business that offered a chance at a middle class lifestyle. Katherine will look at how the loss of both socioeconomic status and the traditionally masculine identities tied to this work shape rural residents’ relationship to larger cultural expectations surrounding opportunity and success in America.